Wednesday, 30 December 2015
I'm not skinny. My sister is, a lot of my friends are - but I'm just not. Even if I didn't eat as much as I do, my legs still wouldn't look long and willowy, I would still feel self conscious in one of those tie-up tops; my waistline wasn't built to be shown off. It doesn't matter if I have curves or if I have strength - I will never be able to try on one of those pretty little dresses with pinching waists, or skirts with tucked in tops, and look amazing.
I know big butts and muscle are meant to be in right now, but in my culture and my family they hate it. Being slim and fair is considered beautiful, and although I don't consider the colour of a complexion an indicator of beauty, I can't help but feel a pang of unworthiness when a dress doesn't look right on me, or when my mum says, "I want to get this for my other daughter. She's so slim and nice."
Being in Malaysia doesn't help at all. In Australia I can fit into smalls, but that's because I'm short so I automatically look proportional. Here, where I'm taller than everyone, the fact that I'm not model skinny already makes me look seemingly big, and around frank relatives who aren't afraid to state their opinions, it's scarring to the way I see myself.
I eat too much. I know that. I've noticed that whenever something it put in front of me, I gobble it up as quickly as I can, and while everyone else is still finishing, I can't help but reach for more. The thing is, when you're eating so fast you don't take notice of how full you are until you're finished and can barely walk anymore. That's me everyday, and although I'm not diagnosed with any kind of eating disorder, sometimes I become melodramatic and think I may as well have one.
One of my friends said to me once, when I was complaining, "Don't make your eating special. It's no different from anyone else's." and she does have a point. A lot of people suffer from this lack of self control and I'm sure you all relate to eating out of boredom and breaking down on a block of chocolate and feeling extremely guilty after. This seems to happen to me everyday in different ways, and I finish my day feeling disgusting and motivated to change only for the cycle to begin again.
It's just so difficult when the cupboard is filled with chocolates and biscuits and those delicious creamy wafers, the fridge with cakes and the laundry room with all kinds of chips. My family's just one of those unhealthy ones. I don't have a mother who doesn't allow junk food - she buys them on sale, my dad eats fast food probably more than twice a week, and my sister is so skinny that my family feels the need to pile food into the house in a failed attempt to make her put on weight. I know I should be able to work around this, but it's just so so hard.
Malaysia is like that situation on steroids - because I swear that in this country they don't know the definition of healthy. Meals are just carbs with spices, and they seem to happen every hour or so.
I can feel the fat gathering in my arms, my belly and my thighs. It's gotten to the point where I will feel around my waistline and try gathering all the fat in one handful at the front. Is the remainder how skinny I could be if I tried? Because it's not very.
I look at photos of muscled backs and bikini abs on Instagram, I watch the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, there's some girl with really nice legs on Justin Bieber's Instagram, and I want nothing more than to shed all that fat and have a 'tight body' as my current book likes to describe it. And the thing about 'tight bodies' is that anybody can have them. It's just muscle and not a lot of fat, so work out more, eat less: easy peasy right?
And I know looking after your body makes a real difference. I know I feel amazing if I've worked out and stayed away from the junk - but that hasn't happened for a while and I feel like trash. I feel like I'm just filled with toxins and I wish there were an easy way out.
Sometimes I tell myself that eating is worth it because I love it so much, and what kind of person would I be to deprive myself of something I genuinely enjoy doing. So I eat and I eat and then afterwards I tell myself it wasn't worth it and I shouldn't have done it because I'm better than that. I shouldn't feel guilty for every bit of food I put in my mouth, but I shouldn't overdo it either. I have this stupid love hate relationship with food and it really shouldn't be this hard. How do people stay healthy? How do they do it?
And working out isn't even a problem for me. If I tell myself to work out every day of the week, I will. I will run as far and fast as I ask myself to, and I will do all my crunches, hold the plank for as long as the goal I set, swim all my laps - but none of it matters. What you eat is what you are, or it determines 80% of it at least. No matter how strong I make myself, if the fat is there, it's there. And even if it's gone, my bones will be there to determine my shape and I can't do anything about that.
I know I should love my body for the things it's capable of doing, but I don't think I appreciate it enough. It seems as if in my culture, in my family, strength isn't factored in as part of your body. It's weight that matters, even if most of that weight is muscle. My mum has said countless times, "I was smaller than you when I was your age." And she was. She wasn't able to run as fast or do pushups or burpees, but she was still smaller.
And maybe as we grow older I will still be able to go for my jogs while everyone else's metabolism goes down as they begin to understand my struggle, or maybe not. Either way, I still won't be skinny.