As a thirteen year old, being overweight can be a nightmare. To few, you come across as cute however to the latter (including people you’d consider a “friend”) you are an outcast, someone who deserves to be shunned for their flaws and bullied to a point where you no longer feel comfortable in your own skin. Yes, I was bullied, called a “Pudge” (see image below) , called “FAT” and “UGLY”. Why? Because I was an overweight teenager whose Grandmother insisted she stuffed her face everyday (out of love). Having severe oily, tanned and acne prone skin does not help much either as it gives them further reason to make fun of you, rather than trying to help you. I still think back and remember the hateful words my peers said to me.
Eventually, I couldn’t take it any longer. I refused to go to school and even skipped my finals because I did not feel comfortable with myself. I lost whatever confidence was left in me to the point that I would’t speak a word unless spoken to. I began binge eatingbbecause of anxiety. My self esteem was down to 0. The desire to do something about my weight and acne came from within, not because of the jokes but because I did not feel good about myself at all. I was ashamed as I was a grown up UK size 16 and weighed a whooping 70kgs at the age of 13, NOT OKAY.
Being overweight does not only affect you psychologically but can further cause serious damage to your health, resulting in problems like PCOS and heart disease. It is VERY important to maintain a normal BMI (Body Mass Index, you can check yours online if you know your height and weight).
Further more, while I am a strong believer of the fact that “Imperfections are what make us unique”, why not do something about the acne? Having huge pimples, oily skin, uncountable black heads and a very uneven tan was not something that made me feel content about the way I looked.
Today this is what I look like:
Here’s what I did to tackle my problems:
- Get rid of all those fizzy drinks. They’re loaded with sugar and make you feel bloated. Instead, opt for fresh lemonade with some soda or even some squash. Fresh juices are also a great alternative (boxed juices are often made of concentrates which diminish the nutritional purposes of the fruit.)
- Do not deprive yourself. It’s all about portion control and timing. While I really don’t recommend indulging in chocolate bars on a daily basis, allow yourself a cheat once in a while. Switch over from normal potato crisps to baked options that are not only lower in calories but also contain fewer saturated fats. Always carry a cut up fruit in a sandwich bag with you wherever you go incase you feel hungry.
- Drink tons of water. Carry a bottle of water with you wherever you go, as this will encourage you to keep hydrated and stray away from other drinks.
- Don’t cut out rice, bread and roti. Instead, control the portions. Either have half a roti, 4 tablespoons of rice or a slice of toasted whole wheat bread. Don’t go for “brown” bread but opt for something whole-wheat as the fiber content is higher, this prevents constipation.
- Personally, I enjoy salads, as they are very refreshing. Fresh fruits and veggies are always best as they are most concentrated in vitamins and minerals when raw. If you aren’t a huge fan of raw salads, add in some boiled veggies to your meals.
- There’s nothing I love more than pizza and not once did I deprive myself of it. Instead, whenever I crave a little bit of cheesy goodness I order it as a side with some grilled chicken and have a slice to go with it. This way I satisfy myself while also filling myself up with something less fattening. Opt for thin and crispy bases over deep pan, as they can be so chewy and oily.
- Invest in a dermatologist (highly recommended) or a good skin care regime. Make sure to choose products that are meant for your skin type and allow time to see results. Always read up reviews before buying anything! For highly acne prone skin, I recommend Clean and Clear Exfoliating Daily Wash. It has micro-beads that thoroughly cleanse out all oil and leave feeling skin fresh and not so oily. However the face wash is quite drying, as are most products meant for acne. Also, go to your local dermatologist and have a consult. They can prescribe you a topical treatment that could help your condition. If you are not fond of taking medicines (as I am) tell them you’d like to opt for something topical and I’m sure they’d help you out! If you have milder acne, opt for a spot cream like Neutrogena On the spot: Acne Treatment or Oxy10.
- Get active! Go to the mall for an hour-long walk while you window shop. Use the stairs rather than the elevator or escalator. Try to get as active as possible. I did not gym at all, instead focused on trying to be as active in my daily life as possible. I do not enjoy gyms and only began going lately due to boredom.
- Find a partner (TRUST ME.) My mom was my partner and I cannot imagine getting through this transformation without her. She ate all the same meals as I did, encouraged me to stay on track, joined me when I exercised and the best bit, she made sure I NEVER bought junk food while grocery shopping. I mean if there’s no junk in your house, you’re not going to eat it and who knows, you might just encourage the rest of your family to lead a healthier lifestyle
- Don’t give up! It took me a year to drop down to a size 12 and ever since I’ve maintained my weight. Today, I am a standard size S and fit into UK 10s/12s and that is NOT fat. My weight fluctuates between 50 to 55kgs, and with my height (5″4) that is what the ideal weight is as it falls in the normal BMI range. You must be patient also with your skin care as nothing is really going to give you long lasting results overnight. Maintenance and perseverance is key.
Changing my diet and the level of activity generally improved not only my physique but has helped me regain a lot of the confidence that I had lost as a child. No, i’m not perfect. I still break out and have days when my jeans don’t fit me BUT I am content with the way I look.
Change must come from within, or it won’t last too long and it really won’t be worth it.I hope you guys find this post helpful as it is one that has a lot of personal value to me. If you need any further help leave a comment below or drop me an email through the contact form and I will surely be happy to help out!
Much love dolls.