My journey to self love

My (Ken Sanabria) journal where I manifested losing weight in November of 2021

Ken Sanabria

My (Ken Sanabria) journal where I manifested losing weight in November of 2021

Ken Sanabria

I stared at myself in the full-length bedroom mirror; my eyes pointed out every imperfection. My arms were too big, my thighs stuck out in all directions, and my stomach poked through my shirt. I sighed as I walked to the bathroom and threw up my dinner. Would this make me worthy?

   I’ve been ridiculed about my size for a majority of my life. Hearing comments about my weight at a young age took a toll on my self-esteem. I have worked for over a decade to rebuild my self-image, but some things just don’t go away. 

Age Seven

   “Your shirt is too tight; let’s get bigger clothes,” said Mom. 

   I never shopped in the kid’s section after that. My sparkly purple clothing was soon replaced with ugly floral patterns. I got stuck shopping in the back of Kohl’s while all of my friends still got to shop at Justice.

   This situation made shopping a nightmare. I dreaded going back to school in September knowing I’d have to buy new clothes. A happy hobby for others was dreadful for me because I knew shopping would end with me crying in the changing room. 

Age Nine

   “Slow Down on the Big Macs,” said a WO Student. 

   I was nine. I just wanted to listen to the teacher read, not the rude and unnecessary comment from my peers. I went home and cried that night. Taking scissors to my stomach at age nine and debating whether or not I should just cut the fat off was my reality. No one should ever feel that way. 

Age Eleven

   “What are you doing? Keep running,” said a WO teacher. 

   I’m trying; I can only go so far. Growing up plus size and being forced to participate in a gym class was hell. I would fake injuries and sickness just to avoid the class. I couldn’t stand the thought of everyone including the teacher waiting for me to finish running. Their eyeballs staring into my head as I struggled to breathe; I never want to experience that again. 

Easing the Pain

   Although these comments left a mark, I have still managed to persevere. I will admit, I did struggle a ton to find my self worth, and I still struggle sometimes. Although I am happy with myself for the most part, the process to get here was difficult.

   I have tried every diet, all the exercises, even fasting. None of these options worked. I only strengthened my self hatred. My main memory from summer 2020 was fasting all day, and exercising until I became dizzy. I would keep going until I could no longer stand up straight. Then I’d eat. I’d eat everything in the house because it was comforting. Afterwards I’d throw up everything. The cycle repeated for days.

   In the past, I would manifest losing weight by writing the same sentence over and over fifty five times for five days straight. “I feel super good about myself at 170 pounds…I feel super good about myself at 170 pounds…I feel super good about myself at 170 pounds…” I would preach  this statement constantly, only to be disappointed when my weight didn’t shift, even after not eating at all. 

The Solution 

   Despite all that I put myself through, finding myself was the hardest part. At the moment I had devoted my life to becoming skinny like everyone else. To suddenly take a detour and travel down a hidden road was terrifying, but I pushed through. 

   I know it seems silly, but Lizzo and her music helped. Growing up I never saw the proper representation of being plus size, so when she became famous I looked up to her. Lizzo expressing herself in the media and ignoring what society says was truly life changing for me. Her music highlighted a lot of my feelings and thoughts. She made me feel heard. In all, she inspired me to be myself. 

   Looking back, the key factor in curing my self hatred was to not care what others think. I know it’s cliche, but ignoring my peers worked. As I grew as a person and maintained this mindset, I became much happier. Slowly, I began to dress and act for myself. I know now that no matter what I look like, someone will always find something to dislike. Therefore, my peers’ opinions towards me hold zero significance. My happiness and perspective towards myself is all that matters. This mindset is difficult to achieve, I mean some days I still struggle with it; but it is definitely worth it. 

Present Day: The Aftermath

   Not only am I healthier physically and mentally, but I finally feel comfortable in my own skin. I no longer wish to be anyone but myself. To finally achieve that feeling after fifteen years is something words cannot explain. 

   Having the mindset that being fat is the end of the world when it truly isn’t was my biggest mistake. Society puts the impression on others that fat people are far from worthy, which is nowhere near true. To be so rejected and unwanted by the world, but needing to persevere in order to survive is hard; and to ignore the looks and comments from others is just as difficult. 

   Now though, not only have I found love for myself, but I’ve fallen in love with myself. I no longer restrict myself on food, and I don’t force myself to exercise. I let both happen naturally which has greatly reduced my bulimic habits. 

   I would never wish for myself or anyone to go through the struggles I had to go through, but the experience is cherishable. My journey has taught me that love for yourself and love for others is what the world truly needs to survive.