Love Yourself and Your Body

love yourself A very blurry self portrait

When I was 16 I went from being repeatedly told by school bullies that I was ugly and skinny, to being thrust into the modelling industry. Being in this industry during such formative years resulted in some pretty messed up beliefs relating to my body, my worth, and how I show up in the world. At the ripe old age of 32 it is still something that I am working through and untangling. 

For years “being picked” meant I was winning (and able to pay for more than just my bills) And back then that had sod all to do with my personality. It was about my waist being small, my legs being long, and also having a “good arse”. I wish I was joking. This seriously impacted my dating as well, at some point I began placing all my worth on my ability to be picked, and I realised my needs and preferences took a total back seat. 

If they were interested in me, I had won, and that was enough. Were they interested in more than your body? Were they good people? God knows, normally not.

I would love to sit here and tell you I have healed all those wounds, but its a journey. My relationship with food on an average day is considerably more healthy. These days you won’t see me turning down food if I’m hungry, (sometimes even when I’m not hungry, stimming anyone). These days I make my choices from a place of longevity, and not a clothes size. 

There is still some progress to be made, sometimes I find there’s more pep in my step if I feel skinnier that day. And I am still having to reprogram myself when it comes to what a “healthy skinny body” looks like. Not that long ago I congratulated a friend on looking amazing, only for them to tell me that they had been really struggling recently, and could barely eat.

This lesson hit me two fold, firstly, lets just stop commenting on each others bodies, period. And secondly, there was clearly still a part of me that believed “thin is a win” But given societies obsession with bringing back heroin chic, I am sure I am not alone in this.

These days I try to focus more on happiness and health, over appearance. A month ago, I was really struggling with my mental health. I wasn’t living in alignment with my intuition, I was pushing myself past my boundaries in an attempt to please others. And the results were brutal. My anxiety and low moods had me in a chokehold, I was barely eating, the trip to Corfu that I had coming up was filling me with so much fear that I almost cancelled it, and I wasn’t even excited about my sexy new bikinis that I had ordered.

I forced myself to try them on, I stood in front of the mirror, and for a second I was thrilled with how tiny I looked in them. Another sign I was really struggling. “This isn’t something you celebrate anymore babe” I told myself. And yet there I was taking a posey photo. A month on, I found myself looking at the same photo, and it filled my heart with sadness, I look drained.

Emotionally

Nutritionally

Spiritually

 

Image of me, when my mental health is bad, and I have lost weight.

My face is drawn out, and I can see the desperation and exhaustion written all over it. And yet, had I posted this photo, I would be met with people congratulating me, maybe even wishing they were me.

Is it any wonder that women struggle to take up space?

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