weight isn't making you attractive).
many years, I thought that I had done so many things wrong in
my life that nothing good I did was worth anything. I kind of felt
as though the good things I did were overshadowed by my many wrong
doings. Publicly, I wrote this great facade of being this oh-so-confident
person but in private, I thought I was never going to be accepted
because I thought I never could reach an ideal weight.
honestly believed that I was accepted by the people I was accepted
by because of how I looked. I thought that the smaller I was the
more people would like me and want to befriend me. I don't know
how I did it but the summer between my eighth and ninth grade year,
I lost forty pounds, without even trying to. People began to comment
on it, and, for the first time in my life, strangers would turn
their heads as I walked by. I thought that that made me a special
it became my intention not to eat. My goal was not initially,
to lose weight: it was to not *gain* any weight back. But then several
crisis entered my life simultaneously and I was very lonely, very
afraid and very uncertain about whether anyone cared about me, so
I began to focus on losing weight. I would have kept right on losing
weight had it not been for my best friend. One day, he took my face
between his hands and he said, "Tiffini, do you really want
was near tears and in all the many years I'd known him, he'd never
cried. It shook me terribly and I realized that I was working so
hard to maintain what I felt was a decent weight (which was actually
22 pounds under weight) that I was not allowing myself to
feel any happiness at all. My days had somehow managed to become
burdens; lost in avoiding food, throwing the food I was given away,
making up half-truths about why I had suddenly become "pale as a
living ghost" and dodging the "Are you even eating?" questions.
has taken me a very long time to realize that I am no different
from everyone else. See, I was so used to holding myself to stricter
standards than everyone else that I had begun to feel lower
than the very people I admired and loved; people who were healthy.
I believe, too many times young people, and adults alike, base their
actions (such as losing weight and then more weight...) on what
they imagine everyone else thinks of them. They think everyone sees
them as overweight, so they become anorexic. They think everyone
sees them as selfish, so they become compulsive do-gooders. The
problem exists because in trying so hard to do what they think
will bring acceptance and love into their lives, they lose sight
of what's really important and good things that are in their
one really knows what others think but we do know that we were created
equally by a God who loves us, and He's most happy when we're happy.
If we're starving ourselves, then how can we possibly be happy?
I have finally begun to understand that real beauty, beauty that
is worth finding and beauty that is worth being proud of, comes
from the heart. It comes from caring about your friends and your
family, it comes from doing the things that you know to be right,
and it comes from acceptance of yourself for who you are, instead
of who you think you should be.
still sometimes difficult for me to remember all that, though.
Sometimes I will still stand straight up and look down. If I see
a "pudge" I will still sometimes panic but I have learned of a way
that helps me through those moments. It's a method that helps anyone,
for it helps boost self-esteem and if you have self-esteem then
the need to please other people is lowered. Every day, I write 5
good things down about myself. Sometimes it's, "I like my eyes"
and sometimes it's "I worked hard today" but I write 5 different
things down that I can take pride in and whenever I feel panicked
or afraid or low, I take that list out and I reread it and read
it again. It helps me balance my sometimes irrational and inaccurate
thoughts with more realistic ones. We are not all bad and I have
never met a truly physically ugly person, ever. Remember that you
are no different from anyone else: you have beautiful qualities
about you just as your favorite model or actress does. And
keep in mind that those spirits that are genuinely happy radiate
beauty, from the inside out.