I Grew Up a Fat Kid – My Body Image Struggles

March 8, 2018

Dear Readers,

HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY!

As women, we all share the same common insecurities. For instance, most of us are never satisfied with our body; the shape of our bodies seem to be the greatest source of our insecurities. BUT IT SHOULD NEVER BE THAT WAY. In fact our bodies should be the source of our strength. Our bodies can give birth. Our bodies have its purpose. Our bodies are strong… and you should never be ashamed of it.

We all have our own unique body shapes and sizes. You can’t compare an apple to a pear – so why are you comparing your body to that of someone else?

You are inherently unique.

The perfect body doesn’t exist”. That’s a phrase you probably had heard plenty of times… but that phrase is so true. When it comes to body image, I find that women are more critical about how their bodies look than men are. There is this growing stigma of women trying to perfect themselves through any means – healthy or not. This struggle of achieving “the perfect body” has led to mental illness and unhealthy behaviours such as dangerous diets. Women had been characterized to be skinny, but skinny doesn’t mean healthy.

I promote healthy body perceptions. I want all women from all age groups to understand that their bodies are unique and beautiful. Having a healthy body perception means a healthy mental state. Women must empower each other towards being healthy, both physically and mentally. We should empower each other to be healthier – NOT to look “good” but more towards doing our bodies “good”.

I used to be a fat kid. How I improved my body image, started with my drive to live a healthier lifestyle.

I grew up fat. As a fat kid, I grew up being the main target for bullies in kindergarten. As I aged, the bullies from my past stayed within me. I went through junior high with an attitude, driven by my sole desire to fit in and be accepted. Then, when high school came around I finally had a chance to be different (I went to a dominant “white” school, wherein only 10% of the students in my grade were Asians). Although I stood out due to my race, my appearance was still not like the other girls in my grade. They were all Barbies. A living, breathing array of perfect girls – with pretty blonde hair, and beautiful blue eyes. Not to mention, these girls were fit and had “model-like” bodies. I had no chance of being that girl whom all the boys wanted. Thus, I became your typical high school snob. You know, that one cocky kid with an attitude but really has nothing else to back it up… yeah… that was me.

Now that I think about it… I was an awkward teenager. I wasn’t like the girls my age, due to the simple fact that I was a little bigger than them. Back then, my body shape really impacted how I saw myself. I didn’t have enough confidence… I felt isolated… I didn’t feel like I was the person I wanted to be.

I envied other girls who were skinnier than me. I wanted to have a body like them. Regardless of how hard I tried to fit in, I still stood out like a sore thumb. I was really, really, really different. (Or I thought I was….. out of place) So, I went on to high school accepting my difference. I embraced the fat kid in me, and continued to play my part in the minority.

I had lots of insecurities due to the fact that my body was different. I had lots of hatred towards how my body was shaped… I doubted myself too much… I didn’t like how my waist was too big… and I hated how my legs were too thick… worst of all, I hated my big belly. 

All these insecurities that I had gone through as a teenager, were mostly derived from my weight and body size.

This was me before:

ONE DAY I HAD ENOUGH OF IT

The way I fought my battle against “body image” is through improving my body the healthy way. I decided to change the things I disliked, when I knew that the change itself is achievable. That’s when I decided to hit they gym and eat healthier. My lifestyle today is shaped because of my body struggles. My personal “body image” has improved because I changed the way I viewed and lived my life. I’m more confident now, because I made a decision to become a better version of myself.

This is me now:

To change my “body image” and to remove my insecurities, I made a personal promise to myself that I will take better care of my body and live a healthy lifestyle. I started waking up earlier to go to the gym, I started eating more vegetables, and I slowly started to understand that my body is different in a beautiful way. As the days passed, my body was starting to look the way I wanted it to be. Most importantly, I was feeling better than I’ve ever had before.

However, there are still times wherein I find myself too critical of my new and improved body… despite all the progress I made, somehow I’m still insecure.

Even though I’ve gone a long way from who I was before, there are still times wherein I’m not happy about my body. For some reason, I’m still not satisfied of my body even though my body’s changes are noticeable – my followers often comment “goals” on my body pictures in Instagram, but that doesn’t really mean much for me since I’m overcoming my own personal mental struggles. There are times, wherein I still feel like there are so much more work I need to do, and more things I need to change – and no matter how much “likes”, “comments” and “support” I get from my audience, I still feel like it’s not enough.

THEN I REALIZED THIS:

I will never have the perfect body for OTHERS, but I can make my body perfect enough for ME.

The key to a healthy body image, is to love yourself more than anyone else does. In this world, it is close to impossible to please every single human being… so why waste all your energy on being perfect for others?!?!? You’re way better than you think you’re not – you just need to realize it for yourself.

It takes a lot of mental strength to love yourself, but it’s an inherent aptitude.

When you find yourself in an insecure position about your body OR when your confidence is lacking, I want you to reach deep within yourself and BELIEVE.

You are great! You are beautiful! Your body was made for you! It’s a work of art created just for you… it’s an abstract masterpiece designed just for you! Don’t try to change God’s design – embrace it!!!

Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. We all have different standards and views on beauty, and thus, the perfect “body image” doesn’t exist. Take my story for example. Some would consider my current body as “goals” and “perfect” – but I still don’t see it. I know that my body has its own imperfections, and I EMBRACE IT. Pictures can be deceiving, so don’t compare your body to what you see online, on TV and on the magazines. The curves of your waist, to the size of your booty is beautiful – and you should really, really, really love yourself MORE than anyone else does.

You can shape the way YOU want to be beautiful! If you want an IG model body, then work hard for it! If you can’t learn to embrace yourself, and love everything about your body – then who will?

At the end of the day, your body is yours to care for and love… so give it your all, because a work of art needs to be appreciated, not hidden.

I hope this message empowers you. It is International Women’s Day today, and I wanted to share a post that would uplift us all. We’re all beautiful and if we continue to lift each other up, the world would become 100 times stronger and unified than it is today. Don’t let the hate, negativity, and envy drag you down. Lift yourself up and believe in your own worth.

You are simply, amazing.

A personal message to my Readers:

Sorry for my slow blogposts, I’ve been super unmotivated lately… and super tired… plus, I’m about to graduate and I’m focusing so much time on finding a job and doing well in my classes. For now, I’ll try to post at least 3 times a month… but if I can’t keep up, I hope you understand I’m going through a transition in my life.

There are also other personal matters my family is going through at the moment, which I will share with you all once the timing is right.

With love,

Mary Dezleigh Teodosio

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Photo by @hzgunner on Instagram

Reflections of a 4th Year Uni Kid

November 14, 2017

Dear Readers,

4th year of university is a beautiful combination of fear and excitement. Excitement as in you’re so close to being done with school – and the feeling of accomplishment and success is maximized each day as you get closer to graduation day… yet the fear exists as you transition into the stages of adulthood, as in the fear of “growing up”, from job hunting to moving out, to going to work religiously from Mondays to Fridays, all the while paying for your adult bills and student loans.

It’s so fascinating how much time flies within the years you spend in university. I spent 4 autumns studying the mesmerizing world of accounting. I spent four falls and four winters going to campus, studying, drinking my half steeped tea-half french vanilla from Tims, 4 falls and 4 winters worth of stressing about assignments, tests, midterms, and finals. 4 cold winters of driving 20 to 30 minutes everyday on the icy roads of Sarcee Trail and Crowchild. 4 falls and 4 winters of lectures…. note taking…. socializing…. growth… and discovering myself.

Without a doubt, I wouldn’t had wanted it any other way.

During the past 4 years, I made friends, and created enemies too. I met plenty of outstanding individuals, such as Professor Shiraz Kurji who had impacted my life beyond knowledge and pushed me towards self-discovery. I met people who inspires me everyday, and people who had inspired me at times wherein I needed it the most. In the last four fall semesters I spent in Mount Royal University, this fall semester is perhaps the best one.

This fall, with the sight of graduation day inching closer and closer, I find myself more determined to graduate. My desire to conquer everything I have not yet conquered in university is heightened. The new Riddell library is like my second home lately, and the communities around Mount Royal safeguards my car for the day. The gym is like my escape room – a place wherein I can find peace through running on the treadmill. The hallways seem so familiar, yet becoming more unfamiliar each day as newer faces comes in and out. EVERYTHING about this LAST FALL SEMESTER is a mix of joy and sad.

So far, I had learned how to budget my money, prepare my food, wake up early, be punctual, how to send a professional e-mail, file my taxes, balance a balance sheet, prepare financial statements, be a team player, how to lose and gain weight, where to park for free around campus, best times to study, and SO MUCH MORE.

But the best lesson I learned so far, is that time flies fast.

At the beginning, four years of university seemed like a stretch. 4 years seemed too long. Now, as a student in her 4th year, I’m looking back at the past years and questioning myself, “how did time fly so fast….”

For the newbies, the “first year brats”, believe me when I say, “You have so much to learn with so little time”.

With love,

Mary Dezleigh Teodosio.

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22 – Letter for Myself

September 6, 2017

Dear ME,

As I enter another year of life, let me quickly reflect on my 21st year of life. Within the past year I learned so much lessons in love, relationships, friends, family, school, and life. I am not the same person as I was a year ago. The old me wouldn’t even begin to comprehend the reality of her heart being broken for the first time. The old me wouldn’t even dare to imagine that all her fears would come true, yet she will face those fears head on and conquer it all. The old me wouldn’t even believe that she will fall in love again and gain a new appreciation for life, for love, for everything that shines and glows bright.

A lot has changed, and to be honest, I’m a better person now than I was a year ago.

Yet, the fears still exist. From the fear of getting heartbroken again, to the fear of failure, to the fear of losing people, to the fear of losing the drive in achieving my dreams. I had come a long way from the darkest times of my life, to where I am now. If life was to get more difficult within this point moving forward, I truly believe that I am more than capable of handling it all. I learned so much as a 21 year old naive girl and those lessons turned me into a woman with a heart strong enough to handle pain, a mind eager to learn more, and a body prepared to endure.

During my 21st year of life, I learned that Tax Class is not as easy as I thought, and I should had bought the textbook for the sake of my GPA. I learned that partying for 15 weekends in a row is insanely bad for my diet and body. I learned that being broke sucks and that I must work hard to support myself financially in the future. I learned that I’m not the best at being honest. I learned that travelling for 5 weeks to the Philippines would had been more fun if I had someone dear with me. I learned that our time on this Earth is temporary, and we will lose our loved ones eventually. I learned that I should had taken each opportunity presented to me, instead of letting it slip away. For instance, I had the opportunity to book my flight to the Philippines a month earlier… time enough to give my grandfather one last hug before he passed away… my failure to do so destroyed any living opportunities on this planet of allowing me to tell my grandfather how thankful I am to have a man like him in my life. Aside from death, I learned that people in my life are not always going to stay. Some of the most important people in my life will leave as new ones enter. Most importantly, I learned that a heartbreak is the best way to reshape and improve a person whose path has been rerouted.

Dear Dez, as you enter another year, I hope you remember all the lessons you went through. You will doubt yourself at times, but know that deep inside you exists strength and talent. You will fear many things, but there’s nothing else that should scare you more than losing faith in yourself. You are so much better today and you know it yourself. I hope you allow yourself to love genuinely and whole-heartedly once more. I hope that you allow people to prove themselves to you, as you do to them. I hope that you strive 100 times more towards becoming a CPA, a genuine blogger, a healthy individual, a great friend, a sweet daughter, and a kind person. Your dreams will come true, because you will remember to work towards each of them. Just believe. So many people believe in you, and I believe in you too.

Sincerely,

Yourself, Mary Dezleigh Teodosio.

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