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  • Arie Monroe

Becoming Myself


female black panther


You know that feeling you have in high school when you are a small, cute, or fit person and you are basically in the best shape of your life because your body is still young and you might be self conscience and have all the teen angst, but you are basically living that life where you feel like you are invincible because you are so young.


It happens somewhere between the ages of 12 and 18, or sometimes longer depending on the person and how athletic you might be. You all know the age frame I'm talking about. Or should I say most of you. Its the age where you pretty much take everything for granted because you just don't know any better.


Well my goal is to get back there by any means necessary. I want to look and feel as healthy and vibrant as a 18 year old girl ready to take on the world and with the energy to do so.


You see, when i was a young woman I never knew what it felt like to be happy with my body and take full advantage of its capabilities. I see a lot of young women on Instagram and other places online that really take advantage of the opportunity to enjoy who they are and the assets they are working with.


Recently, I started to look at the body as nothing more than an reflection of the mind. They go hand in hand. You can not have one without the other. If the mind is sick then the body in return is sick, as well as, if the body is sick the mind also suffers.


I think it is a weird thing that in our culture we separate the mind and body and spirit when truly they are all one. Because of this we need to care for them equally to achieve the best health.


Its why a confident person, whose appearance may not be very appealing, can shine and can still reap the full benefits of a life filled with love and happiness, and a beautiful person can live a life of misery and unhappiness. It all starts with a thoughts.


All things that happen in the mental are reflected in the physical world whether verbal or non verbal. The way you care yourself is a direct reflection of the opinion you hold about yourself.


I feel like, as a girl, my self esteem was ravaged by people telling me who they felt like I was supposed to be. Expected to live as, who I was told to live as, and as a result I was an emotional wreck.


I didn't get to enjoy my body. Living in it, using it. Being active and excited about living. Plus, I hated everything about it.


I remember many days just being sad and unhappy and even thinking about not wanting to be alive. I grew up in a place where everyone seemed like they were calling me fat and ugly telling me I shouldn't exercise or do anything for my health because I was going to be fat and I would never be able to do anything about it.


Yet I only weighed 125 lbs. I was called fat and ugly and slow by loved ones so much that I called myself that. I believed the lies. They beat up on me and when they were done I beat up on me.


No one ever had a positive word to offer, and when someone outside that sphere said otherwise, I didn't even know how to react to it. I didn't believe them. Mostly because, no one in my family life ever said I was anything, but ugly.


I remember one day I was at a relatives house and the neighbor girl put eyeliner on my eyes. I never worn makeup before, and when I walked outside my brother (who is 20 years older than me) looked at me and laughed and told me I needed to take it off because it made me look ugly. How can makeup literally make you look uglier, the whole purpose is to enhance your looks?


Needless to say I walked away feeling ashamed. I mean he was my older brother and he loved me, so he had to know better than me, right?


Even far into my 30's I felt embarrassed to wear any form of makeup around my family because I would get shamed for it or get accused of dressing up to please a man. Not because I was going on a job interview and wanted to look nice or because I had a art show where I wanted to look presentable. No, it had to be because I was being a whore.


At the age of 30, I would sneak and put on dollar store eyelashes in my bedroom for fun and maybe take a few pictures, but God forbid I walk out of my bed room and get caught with them on.



Sneaking to put on dollar store makeup. I didnt actually own real make up but i got some fake lashes and lip gloss and eyeliner from dollar general and played with it like a 12 year old HAHA!!


All this to say, i just didn't get to enjoy living in my body and just feeling proud or happy to be me. The people I loved most, basically, shamed me into believing I nothing. I hated for anyone to look at me in any way. I felt like they had to be judging me. It could be 70 degrees outside and I would be wearing a winter coat because I couldn't bare for anyone to see what I might look like up under it. How could anyone want to be around or associate with anyone so horrible.


I was constantly being fat shamed when I wasn't even fat. I was 125 pounds and being accused of being 400 pounds.


There was a woman my mom use to know that actually weighed like 400 pounds and she was around 5'2 in height (similar to my height).


My mom would tell me when i grow up I was going to look exactly like her and have arms like hers. Her arms were so big, the upper part of the arm fat draped over her elbows.


I would exercise like crazy because I was so scared of looking even worse than I was already told I looked. I could do tricep dips like a soldier!


I literally thought these people hated me.


They had to hate me. I was such a hideous and disgusting person.


So I hid a lot. I would hide in closets. Hide in the backyard. Hide in the car. Hide in my bedroom closet. And I was really quiet. I didn't want to talk, because i didn't want to upset them. Plus I knew they wouldn't listen anyway. I was the pure definition of seen and not heard.


The funny thing is what you believe about yourself, you eventually become. I began to gain a lot of weight, simply because i was so depressed and unhappy and I felt so worthless. The only thing that made me feel joy was cartoons and drawing cartoons.


Not to mention, it was also the only thing no one cared if I did or did not do.


I use to love to play piano for example. i really enjoyed it. I had a little keyboard, you know, one of the toy ones that didn't have much in the way of options or keys. You could only play Mary had a Little Lamb on it with one finger.


Then one Christmas I guess after watching me play with this thing all the time and seeing how much I liked it, someone got the wild idea to actually give me a real keyboard for a gift. Along with how to play music books. I immediately started memorizing songs and I would put on my headphones and just play for hours!


Then I had a music teacher in middle school that noticed I could do a little more than pluck out a few notes on the piano in class and he wanted to actually teach me how to play in his after school piano class.


That was pretty much the end of my music career.


The answer was NO NO NO NO NO NONONONONONONONONO NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Not allowed! I wasn't able to actually advance without learning any more so, slowly but surely, I started putting the key board up for longer and longer periods of time, until I stopped bothering to turn it on at all.


If I danced, i was being "fast", if I wanted play sports that was bad, so I wasn't allowed. I liked to hula hoop, but I wasn't allowed to hula hoop outside, I could only do it inside the house because it was bad if someone saw my doing it.


Not allowed to ride my bike, not allowed to play with the neighbor kids, not allowed to do after school activities (because I was probably just doing it so I could get the attention of a male teacher because I was a whore).


Not allowed to dance, cause there was no point in dancing since I was just going to be fat anyway. Only allowed to go to school, do homework, draw pictures and watch cartoons. Oh and be quiet.


Its funny, I have all this extended family I never really got involved with because I just wasn't allowed too. My sister recently called me and was upset because a extended family member had passed away and I had never met them in my life. Her and my brother being nearly 20 years older, they had been around them growing up.


But me, NO NO NO! Not allowed!

When I was young I felt like a prisoner, and when I became a adult it felt like my body started to become the prison. When you weight spirals out of control and you don't know how to do anything about it, you get trapped in your body.


You want to move and do all the things you use to be able to, but your body no longer has the ability because, well you just cant physically move that well.


Then you start to get sick. You start to feel like you are breaking down. You start to become everything you didn't want to become. Problem is, when you have been taught to hate yourself, and you have been told you are nothing, and you are not good enough, and you are worthless, and you believe what you have been told, there really doesn't seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel.


You just accept the hand you have been dealt. And the sick mind reflects as a sick body. All this to say, I live a very singular life now. I don't go around a lot of people anymore.


AAAANNNNDDD.......... I HAVE NEVER BEEN THIS HAPPY IN MY ENTIRE LIFE!!!!


I just want my outside to reflect my inside.



On the left I am 40 pounds lighter. Just working on my weight loss journey, Learning to love myself well. Its a marathon not a sprint.


God gave me this great organic machine and I want to enjoy using it. But the journey to joy and peace both inside and out is a tough one. Slowly I am reaching for the opportunity to be all the things I was told I could not be or that I should give up on being.


I want to shake my ass in a room full of people and not be ashamed of doing it. I want to be positive and confident and explore all that living and breathing has to offer.


I want to finally LOVE myself and be myself uninhibited!


WHY?


Because being yourself is not a sin.

Me at 14 years old

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Meet Arie
Loves Studying Animation ,
Reading Comics, Drawing Funny Cartoons, Eating Awesome Vegan Food, All Thing Shiny & Sparkly!!