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"Body-ody oddy?"




Body image is something many struggle with no matter what stage of life we are in, but we have the strength to overcome these negative thoughts about ourselves!


When she met the MOST team, 17-year-old Xania* was playing football with her friends. Through different weeks of football and conversation, Xania started to share her journey and struggles with her perception of body image and weight which she was able to overcome and get to a healthier place eventually. 


Here is her story: 


"I don’t know where it started from, but this year I have been more conscious about my weight. I didn’t like being a certain weight or seeing a certain number on my weighing scale. I didn’t enjoy the thought of being fat or overweight and unattractive. 


These thoughts led me to have a very unbalanced diet and irregular meal times. It went to the extent of me only having one proper meal a day. Most days I would just have dinner and skip breakfast and lunch. It also didn’t help that I was quite active in sports and I burnt a lot of calories under the sun while I practiced my sport. Some days I would feel really tired and lousy physically but I ignored it.


The turning point came when I finally blacked out one day at home. I was trying to make noodles to feed myself, but during the process, I felt faint. I felt this way before but this time something felt a little different. I quickly got to a safe space in my room and sat down. I calmed myself down before I went back to the kitchen to bring my noodles to the table. Before I could do anything else, I blacked out. 


I was so worried and thought I might die. It felt horrible to be in that state. My mother was so concerned and she wanted to call an ambulance but I told her that I didn’t want to go to the hospital. I felt much better after having my noodles, but I knew this couldn’t continue.


I shared some of my struggles with a YGOS staff. They were encouraging and told me that I believed in the lies I told myself. It took a while but eventually, I agreed. Based on science and nutrition, I was not giving enough to my body. They also calculated my BMI and showed me how much weight I needed to gain to be of an acceptable BMI. 


They guided me slowly and helped me to be accountable. I was supposed to send updates on my food intake and my weight. It took a few weeks but I was finally able to reach a point where I had an acceptable and healthy BMI. 


Although it has not been easy to maintain my weight and feel good about myself every day, I am now able to eat and choose healthier options for myself. I have been able to make decisions to better my health and stick to them, no matter how I feel or how difficult it gets at times because I know it will be good for me. If I had to advise someone who struggles with the same thing as me, I would tell them to eat healthy and exercise well not just because someone else told them to do it, but do it for themselves."


We hope that her story has inspired you and see the significance of our belief in young people! If you would like to join us for these meaningful outreach sessions, please feel free to drop us an email at irene.neo@ygos.org.sg


*Names have been changed to protect the identity of our youths. 

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