I have started this post several times now and it’s not the easiest thing to jump into. Not because I am ashamed of anything but because I know the subject of weight and diets can be such a triggering subject for people. So with that being said the first thing I’d like to say is I will be giving my specific weight in this post and I will be going through what has worked for me so far but if weight and blog posts about attitudes toward diets and food in general is something you find harmful I respect that and would urge you not to read on but I have included a link to a list of some UK helpline numbers and websites at the end of the post so please scroll down to the bottom this if you feel you would like help.
I was a chunky kid but I wouldn’t say I was obese when I was put on slimfast at age 9. Looking back I think being so young and starting with such a fad diet was incredibly damaging. It was a domino effect from then creating a really unhealthy relationship with food and with myself in general and it’s been a downward spiral for the last 18 years. From aged 9 I was then on and off diets and fads up to the end of 2017. In my teens it entered a dangerously obsessive level where I would throw up after every meal. Luckily my mum wasn’t daft, she saw what I was doing no matter how hard I tried to hide it and she worked hard with love, compassion and a sternness to get me back on track.
The more it went on > the more I hated myself > the older I got and the more things went wrong > the more food became my crutch. You’d be able to see just how well I was dealing with life by my size. My thoughts were vicious; Why don’t I look like that, why am I doing this to myself, everyone thinks I’m a joke because of my size, are the looking at me eat and judging me etc and my thoughts fed the vicious cycle I had found myself in. People’s comments would constantly bounce between “you need to put some weight on your just skin and bone…” and “don’t you think you should cut down on what you’re eating…”. Which brings me to how I came to my current attitude really. I have realised that nothing I do and no matter what size I am it will never be good enough for some people so it needs to start with me.
I am currently 19 stone 4 pounds and 6 tenths – I have lost just over 12 pounds (not even a stone). My hips are just over 50 inches, my waist about 46 inches and my bottom well I don’t remember but it’s around the 50odd mark too! Magazines would say I’m not pretty, that I’m not “the right shape” (whatever that flaming well is) and what do I say? Well I say I am the most perfect version of me I could possibly be! What I have found in the past few months as I have started to journey towards complete, unconditional self love is it is an inside job!
Everything I have done so far has started with my thoughts. Whenever I feel “too fat” I challenge it with “what even is too fat, who measures this & do they matter!?” the answer is no they don’t, only I matter because only I live with me 100% of the time. Whenever I feel like I’ll never be able to have a healthy relationship with food because of the age I was when I first started dieting I remind myself I’m a grown a** woman and there’s nothing holding me back but me! It is never too late to overcome our past stories. I don’t want to come across like some other blogs/youtubers etc out there who make it sound easy or natural believe me it has been the hardest thing I’ve done and I still feel the thoughts pop up but it’s also the most important thing I have ever done and the most rewarding. So I want to give some examples of what has helped me:
At the beginning when I really thought I hated myself:
- I’d pick something that I adored that wasn’t related to my appearance (sense of humour etc) because it’s important to know we offer so much more than what we present to the world in our physical forms (our shells)
- I’d list achievements in my life (again things nothing to do with weight). When my depression was really bad in December this was often just “I got out of bed” or “I got dressed”
- I reminded myself of all the people / animals in my life that have loved me at all my varying sizes
A month or so ago when I felt I’d outgrown the above
- I’d pick a body part stare at it in the mirror and smile until my jaw hurt – this might sound daft but forcing a smile for a certain length of time can alter your mood (or so I’ve read) and so I figured this could help and it did for me
- I danced more – this one’s fairly simple, it doesn’t matter what size you are to dance!
- I challenged the negative thoughts as soon as I could
- I stopped the self deprecating humour – this was the hardest for me because I have always been a “make the joke before anyone else can and it won’t hurt as much” kind of girl
- I spend every morning while getting dressed listening to a song with body positive lyrics in (even if just one line) and dancing along
- I get dressed in front of a mirror so I can see my marvelous, powerful and incredible body in all its glory
- I’ve started talking openly about how much I love certain body parts (my voluptuous bottom usually)
- I make a point of not making a conscious effort to avoid my body in the mirror when showering – I don’t constantly stare at it but if I catch a glimpse I don’t look away in disgust like I used to.
This has been so hard and I know my journey won’t be linear from Point A to B but more of a rollercoaster of learning with each set back. The way I see it I have spent almost my whole like hating myself and it really wasn’t working for me so I can’t go back now I’ve had a taste of how empowering it feels to take these baby steps. Also I have sisters who are 7 and 10 and I want them to grow up with someone in their life who shows them everyone is beautiful especially when they believe it themselves. The world they are growing up in is hard enough and negative enough as it is without them turning on themselves.
Click here for a link to a list of helplines and websites that can help if you feel you need to.
Talk to me in the comments or over on twitter (@KissedDaisy) I’d love to here about your journey or help if I can in anyway.
And as I sign off this post I just remind you all that you are worth self love and all love. You are enough just as you are!