Have you ever heard of love languages? My primary one is most definitely physical touch. The irony and synergy between the joy and bane of my existence has, for a long time, been infuriating, but I've begun to find it more and more amusing because OF COURSE it's that way - we have to learn life lessons and break cycles and generational trauma somehow, right?
In a conversation with my parents a while back, they recalled how physically forward I was from such an early age - going up to people and hugging and kissing them and touching EVERYTHING. It's not as if I remember the really early moments, but it always makes me smile to hear about because I immediately find myself thinking, "YUP, that definitely sounds like me." Ironically, I have seldom had the opportunity to be so brazenly physical and affectionate with the people around me in my adult life yet I deeply relate to that little girl I've heard so many funny stories about.
The memories that do push themselves to the surface in regards to my body and physical touch are mostly all negative. It is unsurprising that negative or even traumatic experiences would most lastingly affect me when in relation to the primary way that I show love and feel loved. I don't remember hating my body inherently, I still don't think that I do, however I learned to hate how other people viewed my body and I resent(ed) myself for not having a body that could move through this world without being impacted by other people's scrutiny. I've spoken to a number of people with deep-seated insecurity or a lack of self-confidence in terms of their bodies, and what's most interesting is the fact that we don't actually hate our bodies until we try to change them for the sake of appeasing a societal standard norm or expectation.
I don't think I've ever gotten the balance quite right - body confidence VS body goals. The times that I've lived the most healthily (holistically) and with the most self-awareness and compassion, are usually times when I am heavier. I look back on high school where I thought I was positively obese (and I viewed that to be the absolute for a human to be for some reason), but I was the smallest I've ever been. Shortly after, in university, it hadn't really gotten much better - I think I was so incredibly mean and unforgiving of myself which caused my weight to fluctuate quite a bit (while remaining on the lighter side). At the time, I wasn't really able to see myself and my worth beyond my worth because that seemed to be the only thing that people cared about or judged your character on - thinking back on it, it might've seemed that way due to being so severely hurt through the channel by which people were meant to love me. It's always been mildly irritating that I couldn't just ignore what people said about my body (which was always the advice given to me, along with "just love and accept yourself" - just about the most vague, most unhelpful, non-instructive bullshit ever).
Society is gross. Other people's opinions are gross. Fatphobia is so rampant and insiduous in our daily lives with most people being completely unaware of the ridiculous standards that they subconsciously hold others to. One of the first things that comes to mind is the use of "fat" as an insult. (Rolls eyes). I'm currently an English teacher, so I've seen how students acquire the word "fat" and use it as a weapon... along with lumping it with words such as "bad", "gross", "ugly", "dirty". This isn't the fault of English language acquisition (but the way that textbooks and other teaching resources are designed certainly exacerbate the problem) as it's clear, even with a very basic understanding of Mandarin that fatphobia permeates South East Asian culture just as severely.
You've probably heard the phrase "burst someone's bubble" or some variation of it. I remember multiple instances in primary school when I was just minding my own business and just, you know, partaking in life when someone would call me "fat". I was always so taken aback by the venom that accompanied that word, the intention to shatter whatever joy I was experiencing for probably no significant reason. People suck. The fact that human beings have learned how to hate and weaponize just about anything sucks.
I've been thinking a lot recently about how I'd like to proceed in the next phase of my life as I have made it a goal to be healthier and to take better care of myself. Weight loss is a part of that but not a primary focus. Even so, eating healthier and exercising consistently still regularly trigger that little girl who was teased for no reason who now thinks I'm turning against her too. I used to be so mean to myself, so I don't blame her for not trusting me. That younger version of me was so good at loving and she was fearless... until people told her that her body - her source of power and love - wasn't worthy of love and loved in a way that no one would want.
Yeah, so that's where I am with that. Being so overworked has me at wits end with the shit that people give other people just for existing.