Today I quietly confronted something that has been a major issue of mine for the past seven years.
Now, I'm the eldest of two children, raised by a single mother for the majority of my life. My mother has always been very sporty and intelligent but left university to marry my dad and have me, and so I've had some expectations to live up to in regards to sport, studies, etcetera. I've had issues with weight, relationships, acne - the usual teenager problems - since I was about twelve or thirteen. I've also always been a bit of a weird child, so until I met my group of equally-weird friends I had a little difficulty fitting in.
A small incident when I was thirteen has stuck with me for a long time, and I think it may have something to do with my reactions to being in a relationship over the past few years. I was asked out by a boy I'd had a small crush on for a while, only to be told three days later it had been a dare. I brushed it off with a laugh at the time, saying I'd only agreed because the boy in question looked a little like a kicked puppy when he was down, but I realised recently that maybe that incident, being told I wasn't actually wanted, has affected me more than I thought.
Does he want me or is he using me? Is he going to cheat on me because I'm not as pretty as her? Did someone dare him to do this? Why does he even want me anyway? - these are the questions that fill my mind whenever I find myself in a relationship. The one person I've ever felt I could spend a good portion of my life with ended up scaring me off with talk of marriage and committment. I suppose that fear comes from seeing my Mum and Dad, my Mum's brother and his ex-wife, and various other couples within my family divorce and fight and go their separate ways.
My weight, however, is something I have been struggling with for almost a decade now. Friends say I'm fine the way I am, I should be proud of my body, etcetera, but I don't feel it. Being told repeatedly that you're fat and should lose weight, especially by someone you love and look up to, is a big blow to confidence and self-esteem. My mother, as much as I love her, isn't kind or subtle when it comes to her saying "get off your fat ass and do something" or telling me that I "just keep getting bigger and bigger".
At this point, I would like to state that I am not actually obese, and nor am I that much over the healthy weight range for someone my height and age.
For the past seven years, at least once every six months my mother will look at me with disapproval and tell me to lose weight, to join a gym, to exercise more, to eat less, and so on.
It's wearing me down.
I would love to lose some weight, especially from my bust - I think it would make shopping for clothing so much easier - but it's not easy when the slightest bit of progress is dashed the minute my mother opens her mouth about my size. I was doing really well at the start of last year - I'd cut down on my bread and pasta intake, and had actually lost nearly a full kilogram - but then Mum mentioned my size again and up went the weight.
I comfort-eat. When I'm upset I tend to eat, which just makes me feel worse when I realise how I've destroyed my limited progress. I have some problems with my wrists, knees and ankles, which makes quite a few forms of exercise difficult too.
I just hope that her being away for two weeks when I start my next attempt at weight loss will help in getting the weight off and keeping it off.
So, with that said, I'm sorry to those who don't want to hear/read about my petty little problems. I just needed to get it out before it drove me mad.
Listening to: Rescue Me by Kerrie Roberts