Hello everyone! I’ve been thinking about whether or not to post my story up, but after seeing so many courageous pictures and reading so many uplifting stories, I’ve decided to post mine as well.
How to begin… Well, I’ll admit that up until the 3rd grade, I was a fairly skinny girl. I liked wearing girly things and buying Barbie Dolls. However, when I reached the 3rd grade, my eating habits became out of control. I would eat huuuuuge portions of food. At school, I’d eat my regular school lunch with a chocolate chip cookie every day. When I got home, I’d complain about being hungry and eat again. Around dinnertime, I would fill my whole plate up with rice. And when I mean whole, I meant WHOLE plate. And it was just the rice. After I put my rice on my plate, I poured whatever soup, meat, or fish my mom cooked on top and finish it all within 5-10 minutes. And because I finished so fast, the feeling of being full didn’t register, so I’d immediately come back for seconds. To aid my thirstiness, I would drink 2-4 glasses of Sprite or Coke. Eating like this never bothered me when I was younger, because I was only 8 and I wasn’t exactly huge.
But by the time I got into 4th grade, my eating habits caught up with me and I wasn’t skinny anymore. I was an overweight 9 year old girl. Insecurities poured in immediately. When I looked in the mirror, I cringed. My hair was long, I wore glasses, I could barely fit into my jeans (in fact, my zipper was always unzipped because of this), I had to wear Large shirts instead of cute shirts, and I had a huge gap in between my two front teeth. I was embarrassed with the way I looked. And what made me even more embarrassed was that my best friend (who’s still my best friend ‘till this day despite the distance) was a beautiful, skinny girl. Next to her, I felt like the ugliest girl in the world, but she was my best friend. I couldn’t believe the hate and jealously I had towards her. She was so sweet and loving and always gave me gifts, but I would always look at her body and think, “Why can’t I be like her?” All the guys had crushes on her. “Why can’t I be pretty like her?”
Also, around that time, I began to grow hair on my face. Some might call it “peach fuzz”, but not mine. The hair on my upper lip was visible in lightness or in darkness. I began to hate myself. I would look in the mirror and think, “Why am I so ugly?” I’ve blocked it out until now, but I remember the kids at my school making fun of me for the hair on my face. I was devastated. It hurt me so much when they said that to me. One day, I was extremely vulnerable and when I looked in the mirror, I evaluated my face again. Hairy. Ugly. Fat. Only knowing its use, I grabbed my dad’s razor and tried to shave it off. Since I didn’t use shaving cream or water, I immediately bled. But parts of the hair was gone, so I did it to the other side, too, and regrettably, I bled there also. I also remember my mom warning me never to shave any part of my body, because it’d grow back 5x more longer, but at that time I didn’t care. I felt so ugly and hairy. I was jealous of my own best friend and I wanted a boy—any boy—to at least have a crush on me. (And of course, it didn’t happen… It just stopped the bullying for awhile)
Then I entered the 5th grade and I was still overweight, but not as much as 4th grade. But 5th grade was when I first got my period, so the hormones came pouring in. I began to get pimples everywhere. My forehead was the main area of my problems. I also began to grow more hair on my upper lip and on my stomach. Not only was hair a problem, but the gap in between my two front teeth was even more noticeable. I’d smile in mirrors and I’d feel like crying, because of how huge a gap it was. Since then, when I laughed, I’d cover my mouth with my hand so people wouldn’t see how ugly my teeth were. Undoubtedly, I felt even uglier, but since I had the right set of friends, no one ever commented on my appearance.
Then, 6th grade happened and it felt the same just as my past years in school. I grew hair up to my butt, because my friend told me I looked pretty (and now looking back on it, I wasn’t pretty—at all), I wore thicker sets of glasses, because my eye sight got 100000x times worse, and I was very, very, very fat. During 6th grade, I went to the Philippines for my second time and I was extremely excited to see my cousins, aunts, and uncles. But when I got there, everyone commented on my appearance. Although they assumed I couldn’t understand what they were saying, I knew what they said. “Oh my! She’s so big!" When they said that, I was confused on whether or not to take it as a compliment or an insult, so I just smiled meekly, which was why they thought I couldn’t understand. Then I met a few more titas and titos and they all exclaimed the same thing, but with a few more words. Tambok.Tambok means fat. One of my uncles went on to say in English, “You know what? America made you fat! America makes you fat!”I knew he was joking, because he laughed afterwards, but having that said in plain English to my face destroyed my self esteem completely. I was devastated. I knew I was fat, but there were nicer ways of saying it. From then on there, I hastily decided that I never wanted to go back to the Philippines until I got skinnier.
Then in 7th grade, I cut off all my hair and got a Rihanna bob. I thought I looked pretty, but my hair grew at a fast rate, so by the time first semester ended, my hair looked unnatural. Also, by that time, the pimples on my forehead spread to my upper lip and nose. I began getting nasty whiteheads and cysts on my upper lip. Whiteheads weren’t the only thing on my upper lip, thought. There was still the hair. The hair on my upper lip definitely grew longer than before, but I was too scared to use a razor in fear that it’d only grow longer. I would always dream of the day I asked my mom to let me get it waxed. I always looked myself in the mirror and think, “I wonder if there will be a day when I actually will get prettier.” The hair was also visible in my wonderful unibrow. I use the term wonderful loosely. Around that time, my close guy classmate would always comment about the hair on my lip or the pimples on my face and every time he did, it was like a punch in my stomach. He wasn’t a bad person, but he was just really blunt. His words hurt, but I’d always pretend like I didn’t care. During winter break, I bought a cream specifically for the removal of the hair on my upper lip from Wal Mart and I’ve been using it ever since (I tried waxing myself, but it only ended up in pain). Also around that time, I got braces, so I was fairly happy about my appearance.
Still worried about my weight, I would check it regularly. I was never the thinnest girl and I’d always remember the day in 5th grade when we had our annual evaluations by the nurse. We’d all line up in the hallway and the nurse would check our weight in front of everyone. I remember being so insecure in front of the guys. I remember my weight being 105. But that was 5th grade and by the time I got to the 7th grade, I was 147, almost 150 pounds. When I reached 149 lbs, that’s when I set myself straight. “No more eating more than you’re supposed to.” I googled information about going on diets and would go on websites that calculated what your calorie intake should be. I didn’t really work out then. I just ate less and I lost about 20 lbs.
By the time I got into the 8th grade, I was 127 lbs. That was also around the time my sister and I began to “compete” against each other. My older sister was without a doubt, always skinnier than I was. We were “sorta” close back then, but I wouldn’t take it so seriously. When I started losing weight, she noticed immediately and always had something to say about it. She would “accuse” me of not eating right or going on a diet (going on a diet was a strong word when I was younger in my family. When my family thought of a diet, they thought “starving yourself”). She made me feel even worse about myself. Then, she was in tennis and she worked out non-stop. I’ll always remember the devastating day I heard her throwing up from outside of her bathroom. You guessed it. She was bulimic. Hurt and anger filled up inside of me. Here she was, accusing me of not eating properly or going on diets and she was the one who was throwing up after every meal? After that, our connection with each other stopped.
And well, now, I’m gonna go ahead and skip Freshman year, because that has been a good year for me. Now I’m a sophomore and I’m still not okay with the way I look. I’ll admit, I’ve gone a long way when it comes to appearances, but I know that there’s more I can do with myself. I’m not gonna shoot for some crazy goal weight. I’ve just really always wanted to weigh in the teens. It’s been my goal since forever and lately, my self esteem has just been rotten. I always tell myself I’ll never get there, but I know I will. As you can see from my pictures, my acne is still as bad as ever and I still get whiteheads and cysts, but I’m still waiting for the day I’ll be comfortable in my own skin and love myself wholeheartedly.
PS, I think every girl who posts up their stories are beautiful and amazing. It’s so inspiring to hear others’ stories and to know that I’m not alone. If you guys have any tips on losing weight, I’d appreciate it if you’d message me! tambokazngirl.tumblr.com
BE BRAVE! JOIN THE REVOLUTION!