The Fight for Beauty
Written by KimberlyWyatt on June 19, 2009
We have all at one point or another looked in the mirror and not liked the reflection staring back at us. There have been many moments I’ve obsessed over belly bulge and boob size. I’ve battled acne prone skin and fought the fight to be the image on every magazine cover. In some ways I can say I’ve been to hell and back when it comes to body image and the mental dialogue that goes along with it. Since you asked for it…J here is my story.
I came from a family of men who obsessed over Pamela Anderson. She had the skinny, tight body, big, fake boobs and bleach blonde hair that was to die for. I would soak in the bathtub after dancing all day and pray to one day be blessed with the same genetic makeup. I was already fantasizing about looking like someone other then me. The image of the entertainment industry had already affected me.
At school I was constantly being made fun of for my big, sloped nose and flat chest. I’d wear big bras with push up pads to give myself confidence. My plan backfired and I was the girl that stuffed her bra as well as the girl with the flat chest. In my mind I was going to get a boob job and nose job as soon as I could afford it.
Stepping foot into the working world of dance brought on more challenges. When I worked on Cruise Ships I’d dwell in homesickness by eating big bags of starburst at night, dove into desserts, and ate huge helpings. I gained enough weight that costumes were bursting at the seams and zippers wouldn’t even zip during shows. I was contractually obligated to remain the same weight I was when I was hired at 118 pounds. At this point in my life I stared down at the scales through blurry, tear filled eyes at a scale that read 139.
Cruise ships taught me that working out and watching what I eat would be a part of my life forever since I chose my line of work. After moving to Los Angeles and feeling lonely, scared and sorry for myself, I found comfort in gallons of ice cream, boxes of powdered sugar doughnuts, and packages of candy. I’d often eat an entire box or gallon in one sitting. Then the guilt of what I just ate would set in.
At one of my lowest points in body image I tried to make myself throw up. I stuck my fingers down my throat, gagged a few times and was left with blood filled eyeballs due to bursting blood vessels in my eyes from straining. Embarrassment set in every time someone asked what happened. The truth would burn my soul as I’d lie and say, “I sneezed really hard and it broke blood vessels in my eyes”. My conclusion to myself was that God was warning me to find another way.
The next big milestone in self-acceptance was acne. The smog in Los Angeles and the stresses over paying bills and booking jobs made for a deadly combination. I had developed a severe case of cystic acne. Cysts are extremely painful and they were all over my cheeks, chin, and forehead. Even a makeup brush touching my face hurt so badly I’d want to cry. Every night I would twist a blanket into a doughnut and place my face over the hole in the middle so my acne filled cheeks wouldn’t touch any surfaces. This would alleviate the pain so that I could sleep soundly. It was when my acne became a problem for the Pussycat Dolls brand that I sought after major treatments.
It was brought to my attention that if I didn’t take care of my problem I would be edited out of videos. I tried every method there was available to treat my skin. Pro Active was my godsend for 3 months until my skin became immune to it. I tried Natures Call, chemical peels, and every ointment available over the counter and Doctor prescribed. I visited Sonya Dakaar due to her reputation for giving celebrities beautiful complexions and I loved her products. She required ten thousand dollars to start and bi-weekly appointments to guarantee clear skin. I couldn’t afford that nor did I have the time. Finally I took high doses of accutane as a last resort. Giving blood once a month was a requirement for the drug. The doctors had to monitor my organs to make sure they didn’t fail due to the poison I was feeding my body. I spent thousands of dollars I didn’t have every month to fix my problem and nothing seemed to work. Weekly facials including painful extractions, micro-dermabrasions and bacteria killing tools is how I maintained somewhat clear looking skin. Still to this day I visit a dermatologist regularly, get extractions and facials, fraxel laser treatments to treat my scars, take birth control pills to manage my hormones and estrogen and still deal with somewhat problematic skin. But after all I have endured, I’m thankful for a few pimples and breakouts here and there.
Being healthy is a lifestyle change that’s not about what other people think but about how you feel on the inside. When I feel good about myself I’m less likely to pig out on Snickers, Twix, and ice cream. I made a pact with myself years ago to stop looking for, “the easy way out,” and dedicated myself to the discipline of making good food choices and working out regularly. Understanding more about nutrition gives me the knowledge to make better choices. High fructose corn syrup and processed foods is a huge NO when it comes to diet, they are sure to pack on the pounds. Instead of sugar filled candies I choose my favorite fruits instead. When eating out I make a point to always say no to fried foods and opt for a healthier choice like steamed vegetables or a side salad. If neither option is available then I just don’t get a side item. Water is important to flush your system and get rid of all toxins. I hate water but I know the importance and guzzle it down. I also know that when you feel hungry it is often because you are dehydrated. Try drinking water before you go for a snack. I have always been an over eater. I don’t know when to say enough is enough when I’m eating really good food. So now I listen to my body when I am eating. When I feel full I put my napkin over the rest of my food to ensure I don’t overeat.
I am blessed that my job involves a lot of cardio. When I have time off in LA I’m either running a few miles a day, hiking Runyan Canyon or working out with my trainer. I enjoy being outdoors and beautiful views. It’s all about finding what routine works best for you. So take the things you love in life like music, outdoors, friends, running, circuit training, kick-boxing, dancing, sports, rollerblading and choose your workout wisely. I often switch it up so I don’t get bored.
I live to be happy and healthy and I believe that exercise is not only good for your physique but is phenomenal in maintaining a stress free life. Through soul searching and self-discovery I learned to love myself. I see myself as different and unique. I no longer feel the need to look like Pamela Anderson because I accept my reflection in the mirror and I have learned to love my differences, my small boobs, my sloped nose, and my athletic body. I don’t think anyone is “perfect”. Although people can paint a pretty picture on magazine covers at some point their flaws will surface. The only way to be comfortable in your skin is to live in your own skin. Comparisons are the root of envy.
“Be your own beautiful self.”
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