I WANT TO TALK ABOUT: The Demon That Owns My Belly

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So I finished my book and to help get a feel of what people think of it (or at least a bit of it) I've decided to publish a chapter of it on the blog. I didn't know whether to upload one of the more jokey chapters or something more personal, but since the book is very personal to me, I went with the latter. The chapter is about my body image and everything that surrounds it, I hope you relate to it on some level and most of all - I hope you enjoy reading!



The Demon Owns My Belly
Letting your scales dictate the outcome of your day, week, month or even year is one of the most dangerous things you could do. As soon as you get into the routine of gravitating around a number, a weight, a goal – you become unhealthily focused on doing nothing but fixing it. And yes, we all go through a shit time with our weight, everyone has their own personal struggle – but remember everything else in your life. Remember that you have friends, people that love you regardless. Remember that you meet new people all the time and they don’t make a deal about what you weigh because they simply do not care. Usually, they’re discovering all the wonderful things about you before even considering deconstructing all your flaws and vices. Remember that you amplify things by a million percent when you’re striving towards a broken image of perfection that is fed to you by people that aren’t even real themselves. In the words of the great RuPaul – you have charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent. Work yourself up, not down.
Writing that last paragraph wasn’t for you, it was for me. Because I hate myself so much. I don’t hate my personality, or my nose, or my lips – or my legs or eyes. I love those things. I hate my thighs though, and I hate my stomach and my upper torso too. That’s fine though, in my opinion. I’ve come to terms, especially recently, that I’m never going to be okay with my body image. And I’ve realised that I’ll never look the way I want to – I’m always going to want to have the ability to mould and shape my form how I please. But, my parents, my grandparents – their parents gave me this body type and I shouldn’t want to change something that’s never been changed before. Don’t get me wrong; I’m going to continue to strive to be healthier and fitter because I need that, I need those goals. And I am always going to battle with my chubbiness – but if people love me for how I am and they don’t care then maybe it isn’t as bad as I think?
The demon in me will argue with this, and he’ll open up another argument as soon as I begin to make the effort to change what I hate. He’ll look at my nose and decide that, actually, it’s too squishy and small and it needs to be bigger. But I love my nose because it reminds me of my mum so I’ll fight back. The demon may own my torso and my stomach but he doesn’t own my nose.
Sometimes, when the demon in me gets needy and craves attention (this is a lot of the time, if you know me you will know this), he will make it his best effort to eat my brain up and take the wheel for a bit. He’ll decide that people will pity me if I tell them how I feel insecure about how I feel. He’ll tell me that as soon as I tell these people that I feel like I look like a fat turkey, they will tell me I don’t look like a fat turkey and actually look more like a slim chicken. But the demon never wins. People may tell me I look good and that I’m just being silly – but I know that deep down, even though they do mean well, they don’t think it. And I know this because I don’t think it – so I emit that energy out. There’s only so far that fake confidence will get you and fake confidence won’t help you push this away. It won’t make you see yourself skinnier or bigger than you are. Being brave about your body image takes a long time, it’s a constant struggle and you’ll feel like you’re never going to win. In some ways I guess that’s right, because as soon as you fix one thing – you will notice something else that you don’t like. But that’s beside the point. You can’t keep on searching for flaws and it isn’t right that you keep focusing all of your energy to one part of your body. Even if you begin to make changes to this part of your body – for example your weight, the minute you fall off of the wagon or make a small mistake you will hate yourself so much more. You’ll just keep battering yourself down more and more into an endless pit of self-hatred, and that’s not what you want, need or deserve.
Instead focus your energy onto other things. Hate other people instead and point out their flaws.
I’m kidding, don’t do that. There’s enough self-hate out there to last us a lifetime, so adding to someone else’s issues with your own deflected issues isn’t going to do anyone any good. Bullying other people because you have issues with yourself is like eating someone else’s food just to spite them – even when you don’t like the food. It’s pointless, it doesn’t sit well on your stomach and you will both end up upset. Just don’t do it, okay? (I mean the bullying, not the eating of the food – although come to think of it, don’t do that either).
Focus your energy onto your mind, your open mind. Explore yourself, be creative – and if you’re not a creative person then do something else. Something simple but something that you enjoy. Start a project. This whole book has come from a period of my life where I was really down and my depression and anxiety were at an all time high. It’s been a distraction, an outlet and more importantly it’s been a safe haven. Whenever I start feeling down, I’ll brainstorm ideas, or I’ll write a bit, or I’ll send some drafts out to my friends and discuss how I can improve it. I let the book consume me so the demon can’t, and it’s so helpful.

Although it’s easy to understand and see that everyone deals with body image issues to some extent and one point in their lives, it’s still impossible to fathom how anyone can have issues as bad as you. We live inside ourselves, and our minds are constantly on overdrive. You’re allowed to have problems with your mind, your body – yourself. But you’re also allowed to love yourself – to be in love with yourself. We’re told all the time that everyone goes through personal struggles, we’re told that it’s fine to want to lose weight or change the shape of our faces – but how often are we told that it’s okay to be comfortable with your body just how it is. Instead of listening to the countless weight loss adverts, or striving to look like the people you see on Instagram – try pick something about you (no matter how small) that you love and then build up from there. Ask someone else what they love about you; I’m sure plenty of people have plenty of things to tell you. So fuck those standards, fuck what they tell us when we’re growing up. Fuck being made to feel like nothing when someone tells you that you look like you’ve put weight on, or that you look like you need to eat because you’re just skin and bones. Basically, fuck what anyone else thinks about you but you. Love yourself, and kill that demon.

There we go! That's it. A short chapter, but still an important one. Let me know what you think of it, please? Tweet me or comment down below - I want to know the good and the not so good.

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