I’m Trying To Be Happy With This Body

Imani Clovis
Imani Clovis

Honestly if I wrote a memoir right now it would be titled something like “I was only going to have a salad but ended up eating 4 slices of pizza, 3 cookies and some chips and queso.” As a twenty something recovering from four years of non-stop binge eating past midnight, binge drinking and then more binge drunk eating, my body is not quite what it was when I was eighteen.

It almost hurts to say this but I cannot recall a time where I was ever happy with my body. Now a lot of people would probably be happy with my weight (even at my heaviest.) But I am about 5’1 on a good day and those pounds stack right on, doughnut, after doughnut. LET ME TELL YOU.

I was a chubby-but-cute kid that turned into a awkwardly curvy thirteen year old, who to this day doesn’t always feel comfortable about my size. I can’t recall the first “diet” I tried. Perhaps it was my mother asking me if I “really needed a second helping” of something as a child or having a stint with just trying to not eat at all when I was in middle school. I even tried only eating cottage cheese for a week once (saw it on MTV…really will never look at cottage cheese the same way ever again.)

I’m not really sure when the concern about my body began but I do know it hasn’t changed. I believe those who know me would consider me pretty outspoken and rather confident, but hey body issues are an entirely different ball-game baby. Anyways, I know that the media dictates images of what we as women need to look like and act like, even smell like (if you didn’t buy Britney Spears’ Fantasy Fragrance, you’re lying.)

I logically understand all the talk about loving and respecting yourself regardless of outward appearance. But I was not happy with how I look and recently I have realized that is indicative of how I have felt. So finally after years of fad diets, starvation and overall self disappointment I began to do research. I began learning about nutrition and trying to really understand eating well and exercising. I began working with a medical weight loss center that helped me understand how my scientific make-up (metabolism, medical history etc.) plays hand-in-hand in-to how I need to be eating to stay at a healthy weight, and get the nutrition I need.

No two bodies are the same and that was something I truly did not understand until I began educating myself. I am a little over a month into my program. I’m not going to lie IT SUCKS. It sucks for so many reasons. It sucks not having a slice of cake when it’s a coworker’s birthday, and not being able to have a beer come 5:00 on a Friday.

These are things that won’t last forever though. Eventually when I shed the few extra lbs I have I’ll be able to indulge in moderation. So while it sucks it has also opened my eyes a little. I’ve learned so much about what I can and cannot do. I’ve learned that people will judge you whether you go for that second slice of cake or decide to opt out of cake all together. (People are extra annoying when they ask why you aren’t having any cake like OBVIOUSLY I WANT CAKE I’M TRYING TO EAT WELL.)

Being on a real diet is nothing like I thought it would be and nothing like my methods of the past. I’m actually starting to understand that to eat well does not mean I am punishing myself. The weight is coming off but that isn’t even what I am most proud of. I’ve stuck to something hard and am seeing results.

I’ve had a year full of ups and downs and it really does feel incredible that I am doing something for me, something that has made not feel hungry and alone (which is honestly how I’ve always felt on my little dieting escapades prior.) Being on a real diet is changing the way I look at food and myself. TC mark

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