London, UK

I have struggled with my weight since I was little, always yo-yoing from skinny to overweight. I was always trying some new diet and getting angry with myself for not being able to stick to it. I always ended up where I started. I really struggle with binge eating, and it gets a lot worse when I try and restrict myself on diets. It definitely makes my depression worse as well. But when I look in the mirror and hate what I see it’s hard not to turn to dieting. It’s always the same… starve myself, binge, feel guilty, repeat.

I come from an Asian family and it’s a bit of a cultural tradition to comment on weight all the time. No idea why. Lots of my Asian friends say the same. I have had “you’re too skinny, eat” and “why are you so fat at the moment?” from two different relatives on the same day which almost made me laugh. I guess everyone has different ideals. It’s their way of showing they care I think but it never feels that way at the time. When I’m so self-conscious about my body, it’s really hard hearing those comments. Sometimes I don’t want to see them because I am worried about what they’ll say. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to change the way my family are but I am trying to be on a better path with my own feelings about myself.

It’s only recently that I have started to come to terms with my body and accept it for what it is. And appreciate what it does for me every day instead of getting angry with it for not being skinny enough. Like enjoying the roses instead of fixating on the thorns. I’ve been following a lot more body positive people on social media and that’s helped a lot. I feel like I got sucked into only following people with a body type that will never be sustainable for me and seeing those pictures all the time made me miserable. Since following more positive people with bodies more like mine, it’s been easier to accept and love myself for the way I am. It’s such a long road though, and every day feels like a struggle sometimes. I gained a lot of weight during covid, bingeing was so much easier as I was home all the time and anxious about being in lockdown. I feel like that’s set me back a bit. It’s hard not to look in the mirror and feel defeated and compelled to start dieting again. I worry a bit about another lockdown but I know it’s not something I can control. I’m just trying to focus on the stuff I can change. Sometimes I feel really ashamed of the binge eating but I have found writing this and reading some of the other stories really helpful. I guess I want anyone in similar shoes to know they are not alone.