Growing up, I have always been a people pleaser: never wanting to cause trouble for anyone, always seeking approval from others. Perhaps it was a part of the way I was brought up, to put others before myself.
I have always struggled with my body image since I was little: I was a chubby kid and I was picked on a lot. My parents were under the impression that I was just meant to be a “big” woman. Then I lost 60 lbs between 2006-2007 and proved that I was able to lose weight and look healthy. My weight then proceeded to yo-yo around 10-20lbs from 2007-2010.
Then, the 2010 accident happened and I gained a little weight during the time I was on bedrest and my parents stayed in San Francisco with me and my brother for a full month. During that time, I also started dating my ex. Things with him were fine until about a month into our relationship…
-Pokes at my stomach-
“You need to lose weight.”
“Huh? Yes, I know…”
“If you don’t lose weight, I am going to break up with you.”
His words hit me like a ton of bricks as I let it all sink in. I didn’t want to lose him, so I started working out again…and this time, I overdid it (compared to my previous experiences with working out). I exercised and dieted almost to the extreme just to keep him happy, keep him around.
Only in hindsight now do I see how miserable I was. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted to get back into shape anyway, but in 2010, I wasn’t doing the health and fitness for my own happiness: I was doing it for my ex’s happiness and his approval.
Even as I watched the scale drop down to my lightest weight of 145 lbs, it still wasn’t good enough for him.
“You still need to lose your stomach.”
I wasn’t going to make him happy, even though I felt pretty happy and content with my weight loss.
Since that relationship ended, I have gained the weight back, but I am actively working on getting into the best shape of my life in a much healthier way this time. This time, I am working out and eating well for my OWN happiness, not for anyone else’s.