Story by Fatima | Photos by Safiya Saeed Berberaawii.
When I was in Year 5, it was one of my hardest years. I felt completely out of place considering I weighed over 10 stone. As much as I used to hear that it’s only baby fat and that most likely I will grow out of it, I also used to receive a lot of hateful and insensitive comments which made me develop an insecurity.
My biggest challenge was not to lose weight, it was to learn to love myself regardless of my size and not let other people affect my journey.
Then it was time to make the decision to do something about my weight, so I began to attend Sisterhood, it’s where I call home now. I was the youngest at the start but that didn’t affect me, it actually allowed me to mature and build my confidence before I started to play with girls my age.
Entering secondary school was brutal at the start. I had lost a lot of weight but I was still bigger than average. Luckily, I had already built the confidence and I developed a routine of sport, meals and work and I made it my goal to not allow anything to ruin that. Nothing did.
I feel that learning to love yourself should be a priority from when you learn how to speak. It’s putting your mental well-being whether that be physical or emotional. It’s having compassion and loving yourself unconditionally and I can say it changed my whole perspective on the world and gave me a sense of contentment and I have a much more positive attitude towards life.
I also changed my friends who were getting negative attention, and with friends who shared a goal, thought about future, laughed and simply were humble. My environment is something I want to always protect.
Mini Messenger: Reach Up Youth • Spring 2022 • www.reachupyouth.co.uk