Jasmine King Koi
Founder of ‘Her Pyramids’
"I’ve always been small. Now, when I look back at photos of my siblings and growing up we’re basically skin and bone despite eating until we were full at every meal. Being petite was just a result of my genetics. My relationship with food and my body image changed when I started dating my first boyfriend at sixteen. I used to dread having dinner with his family as they would endlessly mock me for the small portions of food that I ate. They called me “Sparrow.” I knew myself to always have a healthy relationship with my body, but their teasing brought on discomfort and anxiety. I’m sure they considered it harmless fun, but it made me conscious of my body and my food intake in a way I hadn’t been before. When the relationship ended, I packed up my life and moved to the other side of the world. I lived off comfort food and pastries. My active, healthy life was a distant memory and I began moving towards an unhealthy weight, but I think I wanted to prove to myself that it was okay and that I could do it.
The word sparrow has haunted me. It was one of the main issues I spoke to my psychologist about. Today, ten years on, I am still working on disconnecting the link I created with food and anxiety. I now live an active lifestyle and my passion for food, especially cooking, has become a source of fulfilment and something I truly enjoy in my life. I may be small and petite, but I am strong: much stronger than I look. And that is something I am proud of."