TW/CW: This blog post contains talk of depression and body dysmorphia.
From a young age, Roxane had accepted that she would spend her life being overweight.
Weight had always been a defining factor in her life.
Her mum had weight loss surgeries, and her dad had always been on diets. Roxane was forced to join him on his diets from around seven years old.
Through her parents’ insecurities, Roxane started to believe that people could only be valued and desired when they were skinny.
“It was always one day you’ll be beautiful. One day you’ll be taller, and your belly will go away. It was never you’re beautiful now.”
At 18, Roxane went through a traumatic experience and spiralled into a depression that became all consuming. She had no desire to eat because the only thing that mattered was her depression.
It wasn’t until her family began noticing she was losing weight that Roxane stood on the scales. She had lost 30 kilograms.
“I don’t think I had been that weight since I was like ten years old,” Roxane said.
Although now living in a much smaller frame, Roxane still had a lot of loose skin on her stomach, which can often happen after losing a large amount of weight. The loose skin was confusing for her.
“On the one hand, I had lost all this weight, but I still had a belly.”
She then developed Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD).
“I told myself I was strong and could do what I never thought I could do, but I still had this hanging skin like a permanent reminder that it was once filled with fat,” Roxane explained.
After a year, at 19 years old, Roxane decided to get a tummy tuck.
Roxane’s mum had a tummy tuck after giving birth to four children. She was self-conscious about her scar and has since tattooed over it. For a while, her mum’s own self-conscious talk about the tummy tuck scar was passed on to Roxane.
“I looked at her and said I’m already self-conscious about my body. Why would you instil your fears in my brain and pass down your insecurities to me?”
The recovery from a major surgery wasn’t easy. She wore a compression garment for two months, and it took another six months for the scar to heal. Roxane’s scar goes from past one hip, to past the other hip.
“I am proud of this scar because I know I never ever thought I could live a life where my belly didn’t hang past my vagina. I’ve had that since I was 12 years old. I really thought I would always be overweight.”
She doesn’t blame her parents for passing down their insecurities to her, but she knows that her body issues and mindset that weight and physical appearance equals self-worth and value initially came from them.
“My parents aren’t terrible people and I know what they did wasn’t intentional. People project outwardly what they feel about themselves. I don’t blame them, but I had to identify and realise where the thoughts and triggers were coming from before I could move past them.”
Roxane thought that as soon as she had the surgery, or as soon as she was skinny, she would feel good, but she didn’t. She realised that she had to put in work to feel good from the inside out, not the outside in.
“Something that I noticed I started doing on my journey to confidence and self-love was talking to myself in the mirror. Now, when I walk past the mirror, I’ll say, hey girl you look hella good today!”
Roxane’s journey is unique, like everyone’s. Progress looks different for everyone and sometimes, weight loss isn’t what people are hoping to achieve. Physical appearance isn’t a priority to everyone and overweight people don’t always feel like their weight is a burden.
However, for Roxane her mental health was impacted by her weight. Her parents and her own intrusive thoughts made her believe from a young age that her self-worth and value was dependent on appearance. Her mindset has changed now, and she feels comfortable in her body.
Whether you’re wanting to achieve weight loss, or you’re accepting of your body and weight, just remember that you are worthy.