Warning: Body Dysmorphia. Body Dysphoria. Butts. Boobs. Bubble Tea.

My body had always been the problem. Be it my body’s inability to fit trends or my body’s ability to grain mass at an accelerated rate without it being in the scope of my consciousness. The body is blamed, judged, and the cause of unwarranted attention by a slurry of societal norms biased on the politics of desirability. My body does not have the influence to control its desirability, it can only exist within the genetics and environment I was provided with. I blamed my body and, like a neglectful and narcissistic parent, I scolded it without providing a solution or a reason.

Recognizing I was in a state of misery post-emigration facilitated an opportunity to accept that I had been disassociating through daydreaming. Feasibly, the traumas proximate to my upbringing – a choice I hold no account for – aided in the search for instant gratification. I wasn’t aware I watched the world pass me by and ate through all of the discomforts life threw at me.

I sought the familiarity of grief because I mistook it for security. It’s startling how our society discounts the physical manifestations of memory – cellular memory, muscular memory. I swam in self-deprecation and danced to the sonata of denial like a dust moat floating through time. Ten years had passed since I chose to embrace nothingness. It felt like if I could keep trying to daydream, I would cease to exist and I wouldn’t even realize that I did.  Then one day, I decided to be…

Reclaiming my body was the priority. What followed was presence and self-respect. Preference and comfort weren’t treated as burdens but now as a salute to independence. I don’t deny wanting to reclaim my sexuality.

Understanding what I wanted was the first step to regaining control over myself. I’d always known I wanted to possess a strong body. As I am a millennial the trend, back when I was growing up, was skinny tanned low waisted females. My body couldn’t morph into skinny even if it wanted to. I wasn’t also attracted to it. I preferred a more muscular, athletic body since, by association, that’s how my body was under the influence of physical activities.

When someone with influence starts promoting a body or, at worse, expounding on their physical preference, alienation happens. I don’t feel ashamed admitting I felt alienated. I don’t deny accepting I was undesirable. I let the trend happen and existed with in lifestyle until I moved to the United States and binge ate my life away to fill the hole caused by insecurity and instability. I think immigrant asceticism and my naivete caused my withdrawal from paying attention. I let everyone decide for me and I am aware that’s my fault.

All I had to do, before I reclaimed myself from the demonic possession of fat, was to admit I was obese and unhealthy.

Going to the gym is making an impact on my life. Eating out, drinking boba, and driving to different cities to experience more food was fun while it lasted. I want to experience a new version of myself born from experience and a sense of familiarity with my environment.

I know I could make up reasons why trying to be aesthetic is corny. I could make up a fuck ton of reasons why reading critical theory and philosophy is aimless. Yet, I won’t, because I’m genuinely into physical activities, sports, and the aesthetics of strong bodies. I am also into beautiful minds and the pursuit of insight.  It’s my preference just like how I prefer it if people respected someone who is in a weight loss journey. Seeing how rude people treat fat people (financially and socially) allowed me to empathize the Body Positivity Movement. Hearing insults and judgements while assuming their diet would leave someone feeling hurt, attacked, and insecure.

I get why media gives us “options” and sways our decisions. Uncertainty breeds spending and fuels industries. I can’t believe I fell for it. Just like how a lot of people can’t believe they’re not allowed to live an unbiased life.

Insecurity is a prison I strive to escape. I chose to start with my body and the rest, I feel, is about to follow…

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