diary of a beautiful girl

I have a cracked reflection of things beautiful.
I lost the wonder beneath the things that once were.
Standing in the middle of my room, I begin to cry
Because of who, no, what I saw in the mirror.

I hate to admit this but I’m going to anyway. Realization is the start of discovery and maybe I’m hoping that by being honest, with myself, with you dear reader… I will start on the road afresh. I’ve been sitting by the side, wallowing in the dirt, heaping condemnation upon condemnation on my head. Not anymore.

Since a year ago, I’ve piled on the pounds. From a UK8/10, I now have to buy clothing in a size 12. It may not seem much, but it’s been enough for me to enter a state of horror and frustration because for the first time in my life, there’s nothing I can do about it.

I tried dieting. I tried exercising. I tried giving up. I tried to not care. I tried believing. I tried speaking. I, I, I. And each time I try something and it fails, I enter a deeper realm of self-disgust.

You’re pathetic, I said to myself. Others have more serious challenges to deal with, you have more important matters to concern yourself with. But faced with a closet filled with clothes I can no longer wear, comparing myself to the world’s lack or beauty only fuels the downward spiral.

‘I don’t think it’s just the weight,’ the Mother said. ‘When did the weight start to affect you so much? I remember when you first started putting it on, you were happy! You were fit and ready to do anything! You had a healthy self-image. You were running, and trekking, and going to the gym…’

‘I don’t know. I think it started in June. I have no inspiration to get out there, to care for myself anymore.’ I muttered at the computer screen. We were conversing via skype. ‘I don’t even write anymore. I don’t listen to music, I don’t read. I’m just… existing.’

‘It sounds like you’re mildly depressed,’ Mother said. Mildly depressed?

‘Was it after I left?’ Mother asked quietly.

‘I don’t know…’ I looked away because the tears were threatening to spill.

Mother was right. Ever since she left, I feel more alone than ever before. Yes, I am surrounded by love but nothing can ever substitute Mother’s caring for me.

And that’s when it dawned on me – I’m not facing a problem with my weight. It’s just a symptom.

I’d been eating to fill the hole inside my heart. I would walk to restaurants, just to order something that reminded me of her. I’d plan dinners that she used to plan. And every morning I’m alone, I’d sit at the dining table (where we used to sit together) and eat, eat, eat…

The oddest thing is, no one around me seems to understand how hard this is.

‘I miss my mom,’ I’d confide in my close friends. And after a nod, they’d change the subject to ask me how she’s doing.

Perhaps it’s hard for them to empathize with me. You see, it’s not just a mother-daughter relationship I have with Mother. She’s my best friend. She is my confidante. She’s the only person who senses my mood changes and is gutsy enough to go for the jugular and meet me heads on to question my belief system. She makes me a better person.

And without her… maybe I didn’t feel that good a person anymore.

‘You know I’m still here,’ she said. ‘I’m always here. You’re my daughter and I’ll still step in to help if you’d let me.’

And therein was the clincher. After she left, I thought I needed to be independent. I stopped updating her about everything in my life. I did my best to be her, to be like her as I handled the household affairs and family relationships. But I’m not her.

Deep inside, I was also struggling because I know why she needed to leave. I am in total support of her decision and at the same time, the selfish part of me was angry that she had actually left. That for the first time in my whole life, I had to face life without mother by my side.

‘I love you.’ Mother smiled at me, her face out of sync with the video feed. ‘I’m always here.’

‘I love you too.’ I whispered back, before logging off from skype and crawling into bed.

*

Something changed after that.

This morning, I looked into the mirror waiting for that sense of disgust to well up but it wasn’t there.

I had time to meet up with friends, enjoy a funny movie with the family and for the first time in months, lunch and dinner passed without the strange appetite I’d been fighting against.

At night, I walked over to the mirror and, summoning all strength into my articulation, I worked my lips and tongue to shape words I hadn’t said to myself in a long time.

‘Hello beautiful.’

*

Thanks mom, for loving me even at my ugliest. I love you… with all my heart.

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where fat is ‘beauty’

Ever wished you lived in a place where fat was celebrated, and stretch marks considered the height of beauty?

I pondered that today as I stared at the weighing scale, the needle hovering over a number that I really, really hate.

For the girls living in Mauritania, that form of beauty is a reality. Except, they probably wish they weren’t pushed into living a different ideal. Like how we sign up for workouts that force us to exercise till we want to puke, these girls are sent to a form of fat boot-camp where they are made to eat continuously for days on end.

The goal? To gain massive amounts of weight in hope that they become marriage-worthy.

In Mauritania, a wife’s fat is a symbol of a husband’s wealth in the drought-prone country. A teenage girl is therefore sent to these fat boot-camps where they eat huge quantities of goat’s milk, oily couscous, pounded millet mixed with water, eggs, peanuts and anything else that can pile on the pounds in the shortest amount of time. Feel full? You still got to eat, and eat they do till they want to throw up but if that happens, they are then forced to eat what they threw up.

Almost 80% of the girls in that country are force-fed this way between the ages of 7 and 14. Their daily caloric quota ranges between 14,000 and 16,000. In between their gastronomical meals, they lie down on straw mats to digest their meals without expending energy.

Not all the girls consider being fat as beautiful though. But here, culture and tradition have the upper hand in the decision-making.

I continued to stare at my weighing machine and managed a thin-lipped smile. At least, I have a choice. The media and environment I live in are starting to wage war against being thin but it’s still up to me to decide what beauty is, and to live my life according to what I deem acceptable. I am extremely grateful to be able to have that choice.

I’ll run later today but it won’t be a battle to lose weight.

Instead, I’ll be celebrating the freedom I have to don my running shoes and wobble down the tracks.

(See the original article here)

fat

fat

Alright. Girly moment alert.

I feel sluggish and f.a.t.

I do understand it’s all in the mind. It’s a matter of perspectives. But I cannot deny that my clothes are feeling awfully tight recently and I absolutely hate that. I am happy with my body. I am just not pleased that there are some outfits I simply cannot wear because I have put on weight.

Urgh.

So I decided to check out the quickest way to lose weight. Besides the usual warnings that fad diets DO NOT WORK, I found a good article on weight loss. I may actually try this thing out for a week as the foods are easy enough to follow, except for the no caffeine bit. I will have to break that rule. I cannot live without my coffee.

Need To Lose Weight Fast?

By Kirsten Hawkins

If your normal diet is healthy, and you just want a quick boost to drop 8-10 pounds quickly, or to kick off a new diet with a bang, the Cabbage Soup Diet actually works. The cabbage soup diet has been around for nearly 30 years. It’s based on the notion that your body actually uses more calories to digest cabbage than the amount that it derives from cabbage. It’s a so-called ‘negative calorie diet’, and includes many foods that, like cabbage, are high in fiber and very low in calories. The base of the cabbage soup diet is – what else? Cabbage soup. There are several recipes for cabbage soup available. Essentially, the soup is made with onions, peppers, mushrooms, carrots, cabbage, celery and spices to taste. You’ll be eating the soup every day – as much of it as you want. In addition, there is a seven day routine of foods to supplement the cabbage soup.

Day One: All the fruit you want (except bananas) along with all the soup that you want. No caffeinated beverages or sodas. Drink only water, tea and cranberry juice.

Day Two: Eat all the vegetables that you want, but avoid dried beans, peas and corn. Eat veggies raw, fresh or cooked. No fats, no sauces, no butter. At dinner, you may have one baked potato with butter – and of course, all the cabbage soup that you want!

Day Three: Eat all the fruits and veggies that you want from day two and day three – but NO baked potato.

Day Four: Bananas and skim milk – yes, all the skim milk you want, plus up to eight bananas, along with — you guessed it, all the cabbage soup you want.

Day Five: Eat ten to twenty ounces of beef (or skinless chicken, or broiled fish). Drink at least 10 glasses of water, and eat up to six fresh tomatoes. (if you substitute for the beef today, you may not tomorrow)

Day Six: Eat all the beef, vegetables and cabbage soup that you want. No baked potato. Lots of leafy green vegetables.

Day Seven: You can have all the unsweetened fruit juices, brown rice, and vegetables that you want – and at least one bowl of soup.

That’s it. Remember – this diet is NOT recommended for long term weight loss, or long term use. It doesn’t contain enough complex carbohydrates to be healthy for longer than a few days. But if you just need a jump-start or a quick fix, it’s a good way to pick up the pace for a week. – quoted from Changing Shape

I am puzzled at why I can eat bananas on certain days, tomatoes the next, beef on others and why the drinking of cabbage soup tapers off at the end. Still, it’s an interesting diet and weirdly enough, I like cabbage soup a whole lot. So there. I put this here mainly for myself (for ease of reference) but if anyone has any comment on this, let me know. I’ll update on my progress. Just for fun.

I wonder what cabbage farts smell like though? And at the end of it all, will I smell like boiled cabbage?

Tune in for the answer to this, and more.