I believe that appearances are deceiving.
While growing up, I always wore very baggy, dark lose-fitting clothing because I felt like it covered up everything I hated about myself. For years, I felt as though I stuck out like a sore thumb among other people my age, and I envied people who appeared to be happy because they were attractive and seemed to fit in with other kids.
Even though I had many friends as a kid, I felt extremely lonely, and the amount of people that liked me did not change the way I felt about myself. Many years passed by, but my feelings lingered and seemed to grow stronger with every attempt to hide behind my gleaming smile. My twisted views of myself finally lead to an unhealthy obsession over losing weight the summer before my freshman year.
Many stressful changes and difficult transitions filled that summer. Soon after the birth of my three-year-old brother, my parents felt strongly that they wanted to move to Ankeny from Norwalk, where we had lived for eight years, to be closer to a new church in Ankeny that they had started attending. In addition, my summer’s schedule was overrun with plans, trips with my family, and a mission trip to Sao Paulo, Brazil, towards the very end of summer. The start of the new school year neared, and still we searched for a new house and deliberated about the school I was going to attend my freshman year.
Looking at the scale, as the numbers went lower, and lower, lower. It was my drug. The picture of the scale’s arrow pointing away from that number that I hated, always in mind, it was always on my mind. I would rush home to step onto that scale, just one more time, and see it, telling me what I wanted to hear.
In a matter of three months, I had dropped over fifty pounds. Yet, after losing so much weight, I still looked at myself with disgust.
Even after people showered me with numerous compliments on how great my appearance had become, I still remained very depressed. But overtime, after I forgave myself and several people in my life, I began to realize that obsessing over a number or size or whether or not people accepted me would not change the way I felt about myself or would cause me to have an abundance of joy and fulfillment in my life.
I struggled with obsessions, depressions, addictions, and many other things to come to the realization that I am my own person, and that being perfect or accepted by everyone is unattainable. No one can truly be happy through his or her appearances alone, and from that I have found that a person’s outward appearance is truly just a mask.