My body my temple
Your body is your temple… I’ve heard this so many times growing up, but I never understood it. Being a little girl who was chubby and yellow was never a great combination. Oh and having big thighs was a struggle – in fact it was a sin. I was reminded every time we would play skipping rope. I would never be picked to be in anyone’s team because I was regarded to be slow, so I’d either have to sit out a game or be chosen last.
I grew to hate to love my thighs when I got to lower primary. In grade 3 I sought out to join a mainly to lose weight. More specifically to get lean thighs. Imagine my disappointment when I was chosen to be the team’s goalkeeper instead of a field player. I remember that day like it was yesterday. I was devastated. When I arrived home that day and my cried my heart out. When my mom asked me what was wrong and I told her, she simply smiled at me and said, “my ‘’Oros” you will be the best goalie they have ever seen and no one will tease you or look down on you”. That was my nick name, my mom called me her little Oros.
I listened to her advise and fast-forward to 4 years later I, Pertunia Bonolo Maduna, became the best goalie ever. So much so that when I was in grade 7 I got recruited to play for my High School hockey team. This made me so happy and proud because I had managed to change the way people think when it comes to goalkeepers and for a moment I had forgotten why I had even started to play hockey. I began to enjoy the sport.
In my high school years I flourished and was one of the best goalkeepers in my district. One would think that at this point I’d be happy about how I looked right? I was anything but proud about my body. I criticized it and sadly I did not even think I was beautiful. I always looked for approval from friends and when I did not get the approval which I sought I would work out extra hard just to get a compliment.
To add to the problem it was no longer about my big thighs. As a teen my problem had now spread to a certain distaste for my whole body. My face, like so many other teens had acne and being light skin so many more people would notice.
This self-hate was throughout my high school years and and when I left school I
still had no love for my “temple”. More problems started piling up as I gained weight in varsity. I went from being a size 34 to 42 in one year. My life was upside-down.
Then came the year 2014. January 07 to be specific. I was unhappy and dissatisfied with life and so I tried to commit suicide. I had just got back from visiting my dad and went to my grandmother’s house. We had went shopping that day and my step mom made some stupid comment about my body and how I will never find a guy who will love me with so much weight.
I was only 19 at the time and her comment broke me. It was the final nail to all the distress I was going through. I walked into the kitchen and went straight to my grandmother’s medicine cabinet. I drank many pills just to get the pain to go away. I agreed with the things that people had said to me. Who on earth would want to love me?Who would want to spend their lives with someone so big, someone who doesn’t even love herself? For a moment I thought I had finally rid myself of the pain until I woke up in the hospital with my mom right beside me crying. I felt so stupid afterwards. Why would I do that to my mom? At the same time how could she not understand that all I wanted was to die.
2014 was a bitter sweet year for me, I went to therapy and worked through my emotions. I came to realizes where the true problem lay. It wasn’t easy. I regained my strength and myself towards the end of June 2015.
Bouncing back not easy but trust, it was worth it. Looking back now I do not regret the path I took or what happened. I would not be the person that I am now without my lived experiences.
One thing therapy taught me is that only I could help myself. Only I’m capable of loving myself in the best way. I am the only person who can teach those around me how to love me. With the support of my mom and grandmother and the Lord I was able to walk through this dusty dark path in my life.
September 2015 I turned 21 and this for me was one of my biggest milestones. I decided I was not happy with my weight but I will for sure love myself. I started working out and 2 months down the line I saw progress, two months became a year and the end of 2016 I had lost a whooping 15kg. I was proud and still am because for me it was not a diet, it was a healthier journey which I chose to take. It was much more than only working out physically but emotionally as well. I cleaned house. I regained my confidence, faced my
demons, stopped looking for approval from outsiders and most importantly became so selfish with my time and love.
I’m not yet done or where I want to be physically but emotionally I’m there and still growing. I’m very much in love with my thighs and every inch of my temple. Going forward I vow to never ever go back to that dark place I was in.
Here is to self-love no matter your body appearance.
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