I have been fat for as long as I can remember. I was always the fat sister, "la gordita." My weight defined me as a person.
You see, I was taught to hate my body; I was taught to dream of days when I would be thinner. The first person to remind me that my body needed to change? My mother.
Little did I know, she was telling herself the same thing.
My mother tried everything she knew to help me lose weight.
She would spend hours working out; I was told to join.
Every time she weighed herself and came just shy of her goal, I saw the frustration in her face. She hated her body, and that hate was palpable.
Somewhere in all this, at a very young age, I was given a girdle. It was the first of many.
It was the way she said it — as if it were a fact. And when I hit the ripe age of 10, the prophecy came true and I actually swore off swimsuits.
...and I was full of resentment.
That comment lingered in the back of my head for years. I almost hated my mom for saying that about me.
I didn't realize that she was going through the same body issues as I was. She grew up believing that thinness equated to beauty. My mother had been told that same thing on many occasions.
To anyone out there — at any age — who's being criticized for your appearance: Give self-love a try and you'll see how others will learn to accept you.