I’ll be the first person to admit that I have body issues. The issues that pertain to my body have been around for as long as I could possibly remember. If it wasn’t about my weight, then it was about how short I was, (I’m a whopping 5’0, not anything too intimidating.) And I’m a size 0, that I know of.

I never really felt comfortable

I would stay that size all throughout high school, and I continue to stay the same size to this day. (In case you’re wondering, I wear a size 0 in pants, which is measured in American sizes.) My frame never really changed much; my weight stayed consistent, I grew an inch, and my body finally proportioned itself out in junior high, but that was about all that happened to me. I would get compliments on how my body looked and how perfect it was, and people in my class told me they were envious of how skinny I was. I didn’t like the fact that I had bulges on my sides when I put my size zero jeans on, I didn’t like when people commented on my weight, or anything about my appearance in general. My friends would joke and laugh about ‘muffin tops’ and how they were gross, and I would just laugh along with them, but I knew that I had them too.

I criticised every single part of my body

Every single day, I found myself looking in the mirror, analyzing every single flaw of my skin and body: I had too much acne, even though I had a low number on the scale, I still didn’t have the flat stomach that I craved, when I put on my jeans, my sides would stick out of the top… (Little did I know that this was normal). I hated myself. I hated every inch of my body. I wanted my stomach to be flat. I wanted my breasts to be smaller. I wanted my sides to be slimmer, so when I put on a pair of my favorite jeans, they would hug my hips instead of pinch them.

Ignoring my problems

This made me fall into a state of depression. I wanted to go on a diet, but I knew that if I lost too much weight, my body wouldn’t look right and I would just be miserable. So I was in a standstill. Do I lose the weight and risk it, or do I keep the weight on a stay miserable? In the end, I didn’t do anything about my situation, I just shrugged it off as me just being a typical teenager, and when I got to my junior or senior year, everything would be sunshine and rainbows and I would be happy again.

My insecurities grew, I wasn’t good enough

I didn’t think that I was smart. I wasn’t beautiful. I wasn’t ready to go onto college. I wasn’t friendly. I didn’t like people. I didn’t like going to school. I didn’t care about my grades. I didn’t mind coming home and crying about what they had said to me at school. I didn’t care about my appearance; which in this case is kind of an oxymoron, because I would still go into the bathroom and slather foundation on my face and coat my eyes with eyeliner and mascara. What did I like? I liked my room. I liked to sleep. I liked being around people who didn’t judge me. I quit the softball team because I thought I wasn’t good enough; because I couldn’t keep up with the rest of the girls because of my anxiety. Because I got upset over stupid things and would cry when I got home. I dated the wrong boys, who in reality didn’t even care that I was fighting a war in my mind.

I suddenly opened my eyes and realized

And then it hit me. It hit me like a ton of bricks. Sitting in sixth period health class sophomore year, highly medicated on antidepressants two years too late, three of my fellow classmates looked me in the face and told me “Sam, why don’t you go home and kill yourself?” I was shocked. Who would say a thing like that to someone fighting depression? These boys were persistent.  “Sam, why don’t you go home and cut yourself?” “The world would be better if you were dead.” “Please go kill yourself.” I took those comments to heart. I would think to myself, “Are they right? Would I be better off dead?” But I would never go anywhere with those thoughts; that’s all they were, anyway. I had to come up with a better plan.

I didn’t want anyone to look at my body

By senior year, I would be more self-conscious of my body than ever before; my mom went so far as to make the comment, “You’re such a pretty girl, but you never wear jeans anymore. What happened to you wearing jeans?” She was right. I didn’t like the feeling of my jeans on my body, so I switched to wearing sweatpants and leggings instead. I didn’t answer her, I just chalked it up to everyone else in my school who was a senior dressed like this, or they decided to dress up every single day, and I wasn’t about that life. So my wardrobe consisted of 80% leggings, sweatpants, and black t-shirts, while the other 20% consisted of shorts, jeans, and form fitting shirts.

A little ray of sunlight

When college rolled around, I hated my body even more. I didn’t even want to look in the mirror, because I knew I was going to cry. But something strange happened. I found myself saying in my head, “There’s nothing wrong with your body. You haven’t gained a significant amount of weight in seven years. You wear the same size zero jeans that you’ve been wearing since sixth grade. What the hell is the matter with you? Wear that croptop. Wear a skirt. Show off your legs. You love your legs, don’t you?” The voice in my head was right: I did love my legs. (I still do. They’re my favorite part of my body.)

Love your body- you only have one

This is when I started to give advice to people on how to love their bodies. I told them how they needed to love themselves, that body positivity was a great thing, and that there was at least something that they loved about themselves. I told my friends how they were all lovely and beautiful, because they are beautiful, and their flaws are what made them unique. I loved every little bit about them. They were happy. But I wasn’t. So I needed to do something.

Hey, you look pretty today

So I tried something different. I told myself something that I liked about myself every day, which lasted for about a week. After a week, I found myself in the arms of my boyfriend, sobbing and I mean sobbing uncontrollably for hours on end. You know that type of crying where you get physically ill, it hurts, you shake, and you actually make weeping sounds? That was me. For like two hours a night. It became a part of our nightly routine, so much so that I stopped wearing makeup when we saw each other because I knew it was going to end up with me in tears.

 Deep inside I know it’s true

But I kept on giving advice to people. I kept telling them that it was okay to not be happy 100% of the time. But I kept on hating my body. And I still do. I have body issues that no one really knows about. But I still give advice. I guess I should take a lesson from my own book…

Tumblr: diary-of-samantha      Facebook: Samantha Casey Neeman  Email: S.C.Neeman@eagle.clarion.edu      Twitter: @ManthaCasey

If you like this post, check out : Body Image Know No Bounds,Self-Love Gave Abby More Then She Got From Size 2How Self-Love Makes You Healthier, & One Beautiful Thought for a Healthy Body and Mind!

 

 

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