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The better you know yourself, the better your relationship with the rest of the world.

– Toni Collette

I have always had issues with how I look. I remember being a child and wishing I could wake up looking like someone else. It went beyond low self esteem, and bordered self-loathing. I had hoped that growing up would change this reality, but I soon realised that growing up only meant I knew how to hide it from the world.

Just this past week I decided to go window shopping. And as I looked around the shop and spotted things I like, I realised that I would never wear them. I would never wear them for the same reason I do not wear make-up: I am afraid that I will look terrible. In all honesty the picture that comes to mind when I think about it is that of a pig wearing lipstick. I am very uncomfortable in my body and no amount of growing up has changed that.

Lately I have realised that my battle with food has started. It started when I decided to increase my level of activity. The more I exercised, the more I needed to eat as I always felt hungry. The more I ate, the more I felt ugly and fat. I soon realised that I was becoming selective with my food. I would skip breakfast, only to have a rum ball for lunch. I would have toast for dinner if I didn’t manage to cook EXACTLY what I wanted. I began binging on ice cream and anything sweet.

The mirror makes me upset because it reminds me of what I am doing to my body. I had a nasty allergic reaction a week back and have a persistent case of acne that I suspect come from my poor food choices. But if history is anything to go by, I won’t be able to stop anytime soon. I wish I could. I wish I could flip a switch in my brain that would make me love myself more. I wish I didn’t constantly feel like a circus “freak” whenever I walked passed people.

I wish I could hide until I could face myself again. Until I could face the ghosts of my past that continuously tell me that I am not good enough because I do not weight below 50kg or wear a size 6. I wish I could hide until I possessed the courage to stand up to the people that constantly have something to say about how I look or my weight.

I wish I could hide until the day I love me.

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Ros Limbo
mulemwa.limbo@gmail.com

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