18 Year Old Shares a Lot of Wisdom about Body Image and Happiness (and makes me cry)
Posted May 20 2009 9:34am
I went to record an Ask Roni Video/Podcast this afternoon only to be thrown off track by a case of Roni Sappiness. I really thought I would be able to Read Celeste’s email aloud but I just couldn’t. I tried 3 separate times and cried more and more with each one. Her email has touched me so deeply. She describes EXACTLY the process I went through. I’m so proud and happy for her. Especially because she DID NOT waste an entire decade trying to figure it like I did.
I decided to post her story since I can’t read it without crying like someone just stole my puppy dog. Seriously. I’m a SAP! Please take a minute to read it. This 18 year old shares a lot of wisdom about body image and happiness.
Hi Roni! I haven’t been visiting your site for very long, but I’m already addicted, I think :P I have a tip and a little piece of my story to share with you and any others either might help.
I’m 18 years old, 5′4, and 139/140 pounds. A month ago I was 147. I was scared; this was the heaviest I had ever been. I knew I was on a slippery slope and had to stop this before it spun out of control. Yet I also knew that I had to be in the right frame of mind for this to work. I waited. I didn’t try and just drop the pounds immediately. First, I thought back on how I had felt about my weight at different ages. At 14 I was 125, and wanted to be thinner. At 16 I was 135, and hated the way I looked. Yet at 18, I would LOVE to be 125. All a matter of perspective, right? So I thought “What if I weighed 160? Wouldn’t I WANT to be 147?” Completely changed my perspective.
So, I slowed down and took a look at my body. Picked out tiny details that I loved, and were sexy, and just looked great. I thought “This is a pretty awesome weight to be. I love that you can’t count my ribs–who wants to look like a skeleton? It’s awesome that my upper arms are thick–I’ve got muscle.” That sort of thing. And all of it was true. I actually felt like that, and still do. In fact, at my heaviest weight I ended up feeling more confident about myself than I ever had before!
I’ve always had a shy, quiet, out-of-the-way personality. I would wear baggy t-shirts and clothes that didn’t fit right and didn’t flatter what I had. I knew that to changing my attitude would require a complete transformation. Including wardrobe, hair, everything. But only in very small stages that I was comfortable with. Stressing myself out would be VERY BAD and only lead to depression and over-eating. So I took it in stages: when it came time to buy a new pair of pants, I went for the hip-hugging low-rise, rather than the granny-big-butt. Time for a hair-cut? Go short, get some product, dye it! I nudged myself to the edge of my comfort zone, but not beyond. Slowly I gained confidence in what I was doing. Now I look at the giant stack of extra-large t-shirts in my dresser, make a face, and grab a form-fitting long-sleeve. My closet is now filled with color, instead of blacks grays and whites. I’m about to dye my hair a deep red and get a pixie cut. AND I FEEL AWESOME!
When I get on the scale and see 139, I think “Go you! You’re doing totally great and look amazing.” When I get on the scale the next day and see 140, I think “You know what? Doesn’t even matter. A woman’s body weight fluctuates daily, and you know that you’re on the right track. One pound doesn’t make you look like a whale–and even if it did, you’d still be a sexy whale.”
I love your site because it draws so many people who are ready to loose weight the right way. But many don’t know how. I consider myself so lucky that I figured out a ‘good’ way that works for me, before I’d wasted a decade on self-hatred and dieting (shudder). I want my story to show people that there are so many positive ways to return to one’s natural size. There isn’t one giant secret about being happy, it’s a whole mish-mash of different stuff. You could spend fifteen years in a remote Tibetan monastery and figure out the secret to happiness if you really want to. Have fun. I, on the other hand, have too much to do! So here’s your second option: ask, read, learn, discover, fail, succeed. Find out about how a bunch of individuals have triumphed over their weight, or depression, and take what you like best from each success story. Use those ideas in the shaping of your own perfect remedy. And add a dash of your own originality.
I’ve gotten off course. Sorry about the rambling.
The other thing I want to mention was a little more mundane. I’ve seen quite a few entries about people eating late at night. I had that problem too, but I came up with a few fixes.
I’m quite lazy. So fifteen minutes after dinner I’ll brush and floss my teeth. If I want to eat again later, I just remind myself that I’ll have to go brush, ect. all over again. 99% of the time I’m like “Nah, I don’t feel like brushing again, so no more eating tonight!”
I need and love to sleep. Completely great activity. However, I also love having energy when I’m awake. Pretty simple: go to bed at a decent time (I shoot for 9:30pm) and STAY ASLEEP. Don’t wake up. If you do, don’t GET up. That will just make it harder to go back to bed. ***It’s scientifically proven that people who don’t get enough sleep eat more!*** Plus dreams can be really fun. It’s all pros and no cons!
Well, that’s all I’ve got to say (this time around :D ). This was a lot longer than I expected. Thanks for taking the time to read it!
Girl power! Celeste
Thank you Celeste! I think a lot of people who learn for you. :)