Throwback: High School & Body Image

Thank you Kathy from Mama’s Losing It for today’s prompt. She provided five different prompts for today and I decided to go with #2 Throwback time! Share an old class photo of yourself. With no other instructions I decided to go with the last class picture we took during my last year in high school. Please note that in Venezuela, all students wear uniforms and we have one less year of education than in the US. So this was the equivalent to the 11th grade and I was 17 years old. It’s the 90s (yes, I totally dated myself) and hence the horrific super dark terracotta lipstick. 😀

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I can’t believe that I thought I was fat. I tend to tell people that I have never been at a healthy weight but then I come across my high school pictures and even a few from my early twenties and I am reminded that I have been at normal range although at the time I didn’t think I was.

I still remember my time in high-school. I have fond memories. I had many friends and got along with my peers. I was liked and respected by my peers and teachers. But I realize in retrospect that I had an unhealthy body image, one that contributed to me gaining so much weight in the last decade. I truly believed that I was fat and I wasn’t. I wasn’t thin, I wasn’t the prototypical “hot” girl for sure but it bothers me to recognize that I felt less so than some of my peers that I now come to realize didn’t look that much different than I did.

Why do we have these crazy body image problems? I wish I knew. I wish I had realized I had them so that I would have done something about it. I wish, I wish, I wish.

It’s been almost 20 years since that picture was taken and I finally have an appropriate view of my body. In fact, recognizing where I was was crucial in getting me to work towards where I want to be. Although I still cringe when someone asks me how much I weigh (this only happens when it’s appropriate to ask), I make an effort to share it out loud. I own my number, I own my body, and I own my process. I have to be thankful too for this body which I had totally abused with little exercise and too much fatty “fake” food, and it still kept going. Now, halfway through my journey to a healthy weight and on a lifetime journey of keeping myself healthy I see how my body rewards me for treating right.

Dear 17 year-old me, Stop worrying… you look great… enjoy life, many adventures await you.

I wish I could say that to her. I wish someone would have said that to me. Alas, I have had great adventures but I have also missed out on things for not thinking that I was good enough. It’s never too late to turn it around though. This process has not only giving me back my health but I’ve learned again to love myself and be happy with who I am. Don’t like something? Change it, WE CAN CHANGE! How awesome is that!

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6 comments

  1. Hey, I had those teracotta lips too! 😉

    And I think this is a common complaint for most of us who had body issues in high school. I think the problem was for me, there were so many girls who had TINY frames and when you’re sitting next to them you can’t help but feel like you must be gigantic. The truth is they’re just different people than we are and the only thing that should matter is whether or not we are healthy and functioning. Of course, 15 year olds don’t listen to that kind of reason.

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