Any journey has a beginning. My body issues began in early childhood. I was always a big girl. I don’t think I was ever skinny my entire childhood. I don’t think I would have been labeled obese, but I was definitely labeled fat as a kid.
Now, on a side note, we should never call anybody fat. It has such a negative connotation. People can have larger bodies. I dunno. That’s my opinion.
Anyhoo, back to the story. Especially being a second generation Asian kid, I had parents who were extremely critical of my outward appearance. I grew up in a community of Asians who were very critical of my outward appearance and had no problem telling me to my face how fat I was. Even on my wedding day, one of my guests (in Korean, thankfully, so that my husband could not understand what was being said), that I was so lucky to marry a fat boy so that we could be fat together. Oh the warm and fuzzy feelings on my wedding day!
Yes, adults are mean too. Sticks and stones, folks, sticks and stones… they all hurt.
So as you can see, I was very conscientious of my body image and weight from early childhood. I may not have outwardly made it known how much it bothered me, but I cataloged all the comments and insults. Kept them close to me.
What made it worse was that I had mother who showed her love in food. As stated before, I had parents who moved from Korea to USA as working immigrants. I grew up being taken cared for by my siblings as my parents worked tirelessly to provide for us. Yet, even when my mom worked all day long, she would come home and cook us dinner, and we would always eat together. She made sure I ate every grain of rice on my plate. It was not until I became an adult and had children of my own that I realized that this was her love language. She showered my children with her love by constantly offering them food. As you can see, losing weight is hard to do when you’re constantly eating!
But the enemy is not food. The enemy is not even the negativity that people feed into your emotions and thoughts. It is the control and fear that you allow it to have on your life. When I harbored all of those comments, I allowed them to define me. I never thought I could be pretty or athletic or popular because of my body. These thoughts, that fear, the doubt… this is the enemy.
But the enemy will not defeat us! Sweet sister (or brother), the good news is that we are children of God. Even when our worldly parents fail us (and they have and they will), our heavenly Father does not. And He created us with beautiful bodies in all different shapes and sizes that are unique and special and should be loved. Don’t deny yourself of this reality. Our identity is through Christ and not through how skinny our body can be.
So… this was the beginning. I was the fat kid that was taunted over my size. The good news is that I started off low, but I didn’t end there. If you have a similar story, neither should you. Let’s keep moving forward!
If you need proof, here’s a picture of me from elementary school.