Noemi Chaw: You do not have to live your life for anyone but yourself

I was bullied throughout the time I was in kindergarten up to Primary 6. I was called names like “Pig”, “Chicken” and “Fat Cow”, yet in reality, I was not really that fat at all. I was neither overweight nor close to being overweight; I was merely somewhat plump with baby fats. However, because of the words that labelled me, for years I truly believed I was fat and ugly and therefore, did not deserve friends or to be loved.

It was not just words. People around me publicly shamed me by chasing me around and laughing at me because my fat jiggled, they left notes and scribbles on my table telling me how no one could ever love someone like me and how worthless I was because I did not look as good as someone else. Because of this, I discarded and deleted all photos of how I used to look, hoping this would mean there was no trace of how I was when I grew up.

In primary school, we were taught about bullying – how to identify if you are being bullied and what to do if you are being bullied. I recognised that I was being bullied and like how we were taught, I tried to go to my teachers and to my parents. However, both sets of adults told me the same thing – that everyone around me was merely teasing or joking and I was taking things too seriously, hence it is my fault for feeling bad and lousy about myself because I let their words get to me. Many adults in my life did not believe that I was being bullied by those around me because I was always taller than most.

As a result of this environment, I eventually fell into anorexia. Unlike many people who suffer from anorexia, I did not lose much of my body mass because I could not overcome that hunger that I felt; I continued to eat just slightly less. But because my body and mind were not in sync, I began to hate myself from the inside out, ridiculing myself for not being able to control my hunger and for eating. In addition, because I did not lose the excess weight, no one believed I was diagnosed with anorexia; instead, I was told that I was attention-seeking and making up lies for popularity sake.

I never had the support of anyone in terms of my body image issues; no one ever told me I was not fat, no one told me it was in my mind, no one told me I was beautiful the way I was. It took years of time to love myself and slowly come to the realisation that I had truly been living my life for others and what they thought of me. For years, I could stand up for my abilities and my passions but I could never stand up for my appearance and my insecurities. It was a long and arduous process that I had to go through, however I hope that my story will help someone else going through the same thing without any help.

You do not have to live your life for anyone but yourself. Whether you are taller, shorter, larger, smaller or anything at all, it does not matter because the only thing that truly matters is to be happy. Stay away from the people who look down on you or do not support you the way you deserve. No matter how you look, I know that you are beautiful anyway and you definitely deserve happiness, even if no one else thinks so.

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On Instagram

  • YOU can control your own happiness. #rockthenakedtruth #loveyourselfeveryday #loveyourself #youarebeautiful #iambeautiful #bodyconfidence #beingyou #selfconfidence #motivation #inspiration #rockfam
  • Tinee Dino (@tineedino) didn't like looking at numbers, so he used a plain strip of paper to measure his waist. He needed a longer one this week.
// A collaboration by @rockthenakedtruthsg and @tineedino //
This illustration is available to purchase! Send us a message to enquire further on how you can have this on a hand-drawn card. #rockthenakedtruth #tineedino #loveyourselfeveryday #loveyourself #youarebeautiful #iambeautiful #bodyconfidence #beingyou #selfconfidence #motivation #inspiration #rockfam
  • We wanted to highlight our ROCKstar of the Month (April), @keanenlee, again. He submitted his story through ROCKshare early last year, but took some time to find the courage to join us. He finally came to @rockrunnerssg towards the end of last year and has been coming back ever since. •
He said, " life took a change for the worst when I was 15. My grandmother passed away on the day she was due to be discharged from the hospital. It was devastating news that sank my world.
To put things into context, my brother and I lived with our grandparents since we were babies, while my other two siblings stayed with my parents in the opposite block. Thus, this piece of news hit me really hard and I was very affected.
Although I managed to pick myself up from this, nothing was the same anymore. The relationship between my grandfather and parents started to drift apart. Being stuck in the middle, the kids weren’t having it any easier as well."
Keanen went through even more trials and tribulations in his life but he eventually overcame them. He added, "Without you my ROCKfam, I would never have expected myself to step out of my comfort zone and share my story with everyone. To everyone else who is reading this, I do not know of the battles you are fighting in your life, but I hope that you press on and in the process, remember to love yourself and those around you a little more. Everyone fights, no one quits."
  • Let's share some inspiration today - tag someone who inspires you to be better! It can be a friend, family, celebrity... anyone! #rockthenakedtruth #loveyourselfeveryday #loveyourself #youarebeautiful #iambeautiful #bodyconfidence #beingyou #selfconfidence #motivation #inspiration #rockfam
  • It's not about the number on the scale - it's how you feel. // #repost @saraweeyogic 
10 years apart and 10 kilos heavier. 
I'm not here to say I look better now than I did when I was 21; there's nothing wrong with my body in either photo. I'm just here to say that the weighing scale is just one of many factors that a play a part in your journey to getting fit, so an increased number does not equate to an increased size in your physical body. 
And don't be scared of developing muscles, we at @rockthenakedtruthsg think they're awesome!
  • Tinee Dino (@tineedino) made sure he had his sweatband off before weighing himself this time. He hoped the result would be drastically different.
// A collaboration by @rockthenakedtruthsg and @tineedino //
This illustration is available to purchase! Send us a message to enquire further on how you can have this on a hand-drawn card. #rockthenakedtruth #tineedino #loveyourselfeveryday #loveyourself #youarebeautiful #iambeautiful #bodyconfidence #beingyou #selfconfidence #motivation #inspiration #rockfam
  • Sometimes you just have to trust the process. #rockthenakedtruth #loveyourselfeveryday #loveyourself #youarebeautiful #iambeautiful #bodyconfidence #beingyou #selfconfidence #motivation #inspiration #rockfam
  • #Repost @cheryltaysg •••
Someone said to me the other day, "When I saw you, you don't look like the type who exercises... but actually you're decent on the bike." It was an honest comment not meant to wound, but it also reflects how people still hold the stereotype that athletes should be of a certain body type. •
I wouldn't call myself an athlete; this is a lifestyle to me rather but I DO exercise... quite a bit... I know I don't have toned arms or slim legs, I don't have abs etc; but do we need those before we can exercise? We shouldn't be exercising to get those either! I just like working out!! •
I wasn't offended, but it reminded me of how people are so quick to judge. Life isn't about how we look; it's about how we choose to live it. And I'm damn proud of my body, curves and jiggles and all, for taking me through the pain on this crazy tri journey! #cheryltayworksout #rockthenakedtruth #loveyourselfeveryday #loveyourself #youarebeautiful #iambeautiful #bodyconfidence #beingyou #selfconfidence #motivation #inspiration #rockfam