Elli, 21

Almost everyone in my family is overweight, or at least has been at some point. My mom has managed to lose weight. Maybe that’s why it would be important to her that the rest of us lose weight, or at least try to. She keeps mentioning it, saying stuff like “are you sure you should eat that”, or “how can you be eating again?” It’s affected me, even though she probably thinks she’s doing me a favor and means well.

I object to her, though, which often causes an argument, a proper world war.

Me and my brother got comments about our weight in primary school, too. Already then I tried to respond with humor. I’ve long had a habit of making jokes about my weight before anyone else has a chance. Now I’ve made a conscious effort to stop it, because my joking gives other people permission to joke about it.

I’ve never in my life weighed as much as I do now. I’ve noticed that it’s started to make me not want to eat in other people’s company.

In primary and secondary school I really wasn’t that fat yet, maybe just a bit bigger. That didn’t stop me from going through every possible diet as a teenager, from cabbage soups to liquid fasts. Nobody told me I shouldn’t do it. Not even my parents. But many people were curious to hear how many kilos I had lost.

During my strictest diets I took my lunch to school in a Tupperware box. I ate it half secretly in some corner in the hallway, since it was a bit embarrassing, of course. I also went running before school with an empty stomach in -25 degrees.

But it’s always a vicious cycle: when you drop five kilos, you gain at least ten.

I don’t really know what I think about my weight at the moment. I keep having an inner battle about whether I should try to be happy or pressure myself into doing something.

For instance, when I’m trying on a piece of clothing that’s too small for me, it makes me decide that tomorrow will be the beginning of a new life. But it rarely comes true.

For me, my weight equals my looks. I can’t really think of my appearance outside the weight issue. It’s connected to everything. I’ve never considered myself particularly ugly, I mean in the face area. On the other hand, I’ve been told many times that my face is quite pretty. It sounds like intentionally omitting half of the truth. 

I can make myself feel bad if I’m out in a bar with my friends and I think someone else there is really good-looking. Especially if that person wears similar clothes to what I would wear if I was skinnier. This typically happens later at night. The feeling can be very strong. That’s why my bad mood may bring me to say stuff like look at that one, prancing around in those clothes.