How much do you love yourself?
If you really think about it, how kind are you to you?
When we think about ourselves the first things we point out are our flaws, it’s become natural to do so, we all do it.
But sometimes we can go too far with the negative self-talk and before we know it…we’re caught up in something more harmful.
As women we all feel pressure to look a certain way but remain modest about ourselves because we don’t want to be seen as a ‘bitch’ or ‘up ourselves’.
I want to share my personal story of body image in hope that it might just make someone in a similar situation think twice.
I suppose I am tall, I stand at 172cm and I weigh what’s deemed a healthy BMI.
I have always eaten super healthy and taken care of my body. As kids my parents didn’t shower us with sugary foods or take- away very often. I have fond memories of my mum picking me and my siblings up from school, we would come home to a platter of broccoli and carrot with hummus. As a treat on a rainy day it was 2-minute noodles and a warm Milo (which I still crave now whenever it rains).
But as I got older, (for me this happened post High School which I am told is rarer) I developed an eating disorder, Anorexia.
You see, I left school and I realised the world of being a young female was pretty damn scary in a way. To be thin was and still is deemed desirable and when I was in school social media wasn’t as huge as it is now, the Kardashians weren’t a thing. Big booties and lip fillers weren’t the latest craze.
Initially, my reasons were to be as healthy as I possibly could be and let me tell you that slope gets really slippery really quick.
I was in my first year of University, I was studying a Bachelor of Science majoring in Nutritional Medicine. I had this idea in my head of how a Nutritionist was meant to look
and boy did I cling to that image like my nephew grabbing my hair, tight really tight.
I want to say I was 23 but my short-term memory is poor now. I was living out of home, I had a very sick brother and I was stressed – I was beyond stressed. And the way I deal with stress is gym (normally that’s fine) but the amount of time I was spending at the gym became scary. I wasn’t eating anything to fuel my body and for a while you think you can handle it all, that you’ve got it under control….. well little secret, it’s a fucking bitch of a disease. It grips you so tight that you aren’t you anymore, you become this version of you who is angry and scared and lashes out at the people you love.
I spent a lot of time in and out of doctors rooms, attached to various monitors that checked for everything, all in the hope that I could be freed from this horrible grip it had me under. But its grip is so strong, it’s terrifying. Over the next 18 months it had me prisoner, I couldn’t go to see friends, Uni became awfully hard, to even think just hurt my brain and I couldn’t walk very far away from my mum because I was afraid I’d faint.
My poor family had to watch me go through this, all the while my brother was so ill he was in hospital for months.
Anorexia isolates you.
In the beginning it seems like your friend, ‘you can do another 30 minutes of exercise easy!’ or ‘don’t eat that, girl think of how much time it takes to work off’.
It takes over your body and uses you as a vessel and in order for it to get stronger it sucks its energy from you.
It took two years from my life and left me with health issues as a souvenir.
I didn’t have a life for that entire time, people looked at me with pity and judgement in their eyes. I barely slept and if I did sleep, it was only a few hours here and there and I needed my mum next to me. I was lucky that she was there to hold my hand through the entire thing and to this day when I bring up that period in time I can see the sad look on her face and it kills me inside.
I have recovered now, I wouldn’t say 100% more like 90%. I still have thoughts that I have to deal with every day. I still see a psychologist to help me even years later to rid my mental health of that obnoxious weed.
But I can say with 100% certainty I love who I am, I love my body that kept me alive for those two years when I treated it so horribly.
I love me and I am more than just a size on a tag or a pimple that pops up at the most annoying of times. I treat my body like the temple it is, I feed myself food that will nourish me and I practice mindfulness….
Why? because I am human and while I am in this suit for hire I am going to treat myself with the upmost love and respect I deserve.
So why not start loving yourself a little more.
There is never a thing as too much love. I wish that self love was the norm.
Start simple, when you wake up each day and look in the mirror, tell yourself you are a boss bitch and you’ve got this!