Sia Cooper Revealed Her Most Personal Health Struggles In a Letter to Her Younger Self
I'm not crying, you're crying.
If you could travel back in time and tell your 5-year-old self about what the future has in store, would you? What would you say? It's a tough question to answer, but fitness influencer Sia Cooper revealed in a super-personal post that she'd tell her younger self that she's beautiful, regardless of the toxic comments she would be told, even by those closest to her. (ICYMI, here's Cooper's story about why she removed her breast implants.)
Cooper, who runs Diary of a Fit Mommy, posted a childhood photo and photoshopped several comments in the background of the photo. The harsh words like "Your thighs look big," "Stop eating so much," and "Wear more makeup" are an intense juxtaposition to her smile. At the top of the photo, a statement in all caps reads: "Your words matter," revealing the intention of the post. (Related: This Fit Mom Is On a Mission to Prove That EVERYONE Jiggles In a Bikini)
In the caption, Cooper speaks directly to her 5-year-old self: "Dear 5 year old Sia," she wrote. "I want to tell you that you're beautiful just the way you are. However, you're going to grow up to hear things that no child or teenager ever deserves to hear."
She went on to describe how her mother "ripped" her self-esteem apart with toxic comments about her appearance. "Little does she realize," Cooper wrote, "those words will carry weight and lead you down a dark path."
That path included an eating disorder at 14 years old, suicidal thoughts at 18 years old, and emotional abuse in her early 20s, specifically during her first marriage, Cooper shares. Soon after divorcing her first husband, she said she struggled to find balance in her life. "You'll attend nursing school and learn to eat your emotions which leads you to your first actual time of being overweight," Cooper says. "However, you'll quickly lose the weight within a year dropping down to a mere 100lbs and wanting more." (Related: This Woman Wants You to Know That Losing Weight Won't Magically Make You Happy)
After years of struggling both mentally and physically, Cooper found the balance and positivity she deserves. She met the man she's "meant to be with," she writes, and together they're now raising two beautiful children.
Cooper revealed quite a lot about herself in this post, but she didn't do so to garner sympathy or attention. She wants people to know that, no matter how much time goes by, "those little words stick." Words like "too fat," or "thunder thighs," or "fat pig" aren't just words. "Kids like you soak up these sayings like a sponge," Cooper wrote to her younger self, "and it can either lead to a life of contentment or to a life of heartache and disaster." (Related: What We Really Mean When We Call People Fat)
Regardless of how life pans out, Cooper's point is that you are in charge of your journey. That it will have ups and downs, and people may try to hurt you, but it is your responsibility to "let your life be a story to others along the way," she said. Your hardships can teach you valuable lessons, and it's up to you to impart your wisdom to others and to "keep fighting," Cooper wrote. "With love, 29 year old Sia."