HOBS UngdomsZon
My Experience of Public Appearances-My Story, Anne

Appearing in public is the absolute worst. Every time I visit the grocery store, I have to go through a series of humiliations that just does not end. Be it either that the people do not think that or they do, I still feel ashamed and humiliated of my appearance. Whenever I have to buy snacks when friends come over or just because I feel like eating chocolate or cake, I feel self-conscious about people's looks. I am not saying that people look at me in a judging way but rather, I feel that they look at me in a judging way. This does not only happen in the grocery store but everywhere else. When I walk from the bus stop to the station, from home to the grocery store, from school to home, and any other place you can think of. This feeling of insecurity or not being confident about my experience also makes me wear clothes that are bigger than what I need to wear. These oversized clothes somehow act as a shield from the disapproving glances from people. To clarify, I am not blaming the people around me for my feeling of insecurity. However, it would make a huge difference if I did not feel the way I feel when I go outside. Trust me, insecurity is not the best feeling in this world. I haven't even started talking about how I feel when I am surrounded by friends at school. Every PE lesson is absolute torture. I like working out and running. However, with my body, I cannot keep up with everyone else in my class. This is the ultimate embarrassment. I used to feel so insecure at the beginning that I would skip PE classes just for the sake of experiencing insecurity. However, I know for sure that it helps when the people around you are a bit accommodating of your appearance and help with your insecurity. My friends and classmates made me feel safe to the extent that I stopped skipping PE lessons. They encouraged me to try my level best. My PE teacher also encouraged me. He helped to improve my grades by giving me tips on how to last during a workout routine. I guess what I am trying to say is that you don't have to feel insecure about your body. It does not help one bit. On the other hand, try to talk with the people around you. This was the one thing that I learned from my experience. More importantly, if you thought you were alone in your insecurity, you are not. It is also really important that you realize that you should feel confident about your body. More than the physical tool on your body by being unhealthy, the emotional stress you put on your mind by being uncomfortable with the way you look, is much more harmful to yourself. Let us all try to not gain any more weight and work to feel confident about ourselves. 

Learning to love yourself - My story, Anne

The reason why I started writing about my experiences as an overweight person is because I think that the hardest thing for me was feeling all alone in my ongoing struggle for losing weight. I think that feeling stigmatized stems not only from the outside, but also from the inside. I cannot count the number of times that I’ve felt ashamed for my body or the way it looks. I wear loose shirts just so that it doesn't look too fat. I've come to realise that this way of thinking is not good. You might think that this statement is obvious. However, one thing that I share with all of my other friends is that even though we know we should be proud of the way our body looks, not all of us feel that way. It is very hard to learn to love yourself, both inside and out. 

There is this one thing that happens everyday that reminds me about my feelings of being overweight. Everytime that I climb stairs with my friends or anyone really, I don't like breathing hard or being obvious that I am panting. I mean, I feel a bit ashamed that I have to pant so much while climbing stairs while the other person is not as affected as me. When this happens, I usually just try to not show others that it was hard for me to climb the stairs because I feel like others around me are going to judge and make assumptions based on it. I think another hard experience for me is when my friends compliment on my features or appearance that I find it hard to accept them as true. Because if we truly define beauty as something that's on the inside rather than the outside, why do we compliment some people for looking beautiful when they have a pretty dress or shirt? To be honest, I don’t know the answer to that question. I’ve told some of my friends that they look pretty sometimes but after I’ve said that, I’ve wondered why I said that. 

I think that it is not only overweight people who face problems with self love and body image but every single person has faced it. This is why it is important if we all speak up. I also think that we should take this more seriously than we do now. Making fun of people based on the way they look or what they eat is not something that should be encouraged. I would not say that my journey of learning to love myself is complete or even close to completion. I still have a long way to go before I feel content and satisfied with the way I look or rather whatever way I look. But I think choosing to take part in My Story has really made me feel like I have a voice so I can bring to light the way that people like me feel sometimes. I am in no way a professional on this subject but, from my experience, one step to loving yourself is talking to people. Tell your friends if you’re feeling insecure or not beautiful. Ask for help. Speak up about it. 

"Anne" - My childhood

My Childhood

I am 15 years old. For as long as I can remember, I have been living with obesity. For as long as I can remember, I have been trying to lose weight. For as long as I can remember, I have been trying to fit in with everyone else. For as long as I can remember, I was asked questions about how old I was and people staring at me in disbelief for “my appearance did not match my age”. It went to such an extent that when I was eight, I started saying I was twelve. This habit continued until I was 14. That is when I realised that why should my appearance match my age.

A year ago, if you had asked me what my goal was, I would have said lose weight. Unfortunately, it took me a whole year to realise that my real goal was to be healthy. It was not to fit in with society. It was definitely not to be accepted by other people who judged me for my appearance.

When I was seven, I could not shop in the kid section because the clothes won’t fit me. So, I had to go buy clothes in the adult section. This is not even the worst part. The worst was school which is supposed to be like a second home. Names such as “fatty”, “potato”, “fat pumpkin”, and I keep on listing. No-one stopped to think that I was just a girl who was bigger than the “normal size” of girls my age and that this did not give them any right to call me such names.

Unlucky as I was in the friend department when I was a child, God had blessed me with a good family. I say that they are good because they at least helped me not to gain more weight. They helped me to eat healthy and control my portions and I will ever be grateful to them. They helped me to learn to accept and love myself. However, this did not help those lonely evenings where I longed for a friend to play badminton with. If I could time travel, I would give anything to go back and change my mindset. For feeling lonely is obviously not the best feeling in the world.

I believe that if people could just realise how sensitive we feel about our body and how much stigmas we have to face on an everyday basis, it would help all of us to become a better person. For we are not perfect, but the fact that we try to the best of our abilities to be perfect is what matters. Together, we can strive to be a better version of ourselves.

/ "Anne"