How I Finally Learned To Love My Body And Live A Healthy Life
Yeah, me too.
We have to go back almost 30 years to find my first memory of having body issues. I was only eight years old. I distinctly remember being told I was chubby, and to make matters worse, it was by own family. What was a child supposed to do with that? I was very active and played lots of sport. What I know now is that I was athletic, not overweight.
But my parents’ words became internalised and the start of my destructive self talk
I matured a lot earlier than the other girls. I was blessed with curves. Big boobs and a bum. People pay huge amounts of money to have those things nowadays. Pity the Kardashians weren’t around when I was a teenager. But I was embarrassed. I wanted to be like the other girls. The more I looked in the mirror, the worse it got. I even started to hate things like my freckles.
The thing is, I would get compliments daily, but I couldn’t hear them. All I could hear was the negative thoughts in my head.
When I turned 16 I tried my first diet… ugh! I hate that word, diet. I became a yo-yo dieter. But it wasn’t until I turned 18 that I became obsessed with having the perfect body. I tried every tea, detox, cleanse, fad diet, diet pills, laxatives, everything and anything to have my ideal body.
At my lowest point I was 20 years old, 5 foot 3, and weighed in at 37kgs, fully clothed
I remember looking at the scales, and bursting into tears. Logically I knew I was extremely underweight, but there was now even more things for me to dislike.
Not long after, I met the love of my life. If he could love me at my worst, then he was definitely a keeper! He made me happy, and feel good about myself. Slowly, I started to get healthier.
He took me to see a doctor. I had messed with my body so much that I had irregular periods and sporadic spotting. It was then that I was told that I had a heart shaped uterus and would be unable to carry children. I had never thought about having kids, but to have that choice taken away from you is devastating.
I was crushed. My partner wanted a family and I couldn’t give that to him. I tried to set him free, but he stood by me. Then not long after, to our surprise, I fell pregnant. We wanted a big healthy baby, and to ensure I could carry it, my partner really encouraged me to eat. And I took that advice to heart, eating for two, literally. I went from one extreme to the next, and I put on 30kgs!!!
30 freaking kilograms!
But it was okay, because I could go straight back on to all my crazy diets straight after right? And despite being a healthy weight after my perfect baby was born, I did go straight back to dieting.
I was blessed with three more beautiful babies, and each time I gained 30kgs, and then jumped back on the emotional rollercoaster. I exercised obsessively, and looked trim, but I was so unhealthy and unwell – literally killing myself to look a certain way.
Then one day I realised I was pushing my ridiculous, harmful beliefs on to my kids.
That’s when it all stopped
I couldn’t allow my kids to ever feel that way about themselves. I wasted so much of my life being self destructive, all because I was fed lies as a child. So I went to work on changing my beliefs.
Loving your body, starts with your mind, and the first step is ridding yourself of self ridicule.
I started acknowledging and respecting my body, for all the amazing things it has done. It grew four healthy babies for goodness sake. What a miracle! I decided to wear my tiger stripes with pride, to I love my baby belly, because it is a reminder of my miracles. I now love the things that make me uniquely me, like my freckles.
But please don’t think this change happened overnight
It was a constant battle in my head, but something I worked on daily, with the help and love from my partner. It has taken years to get to where I am today. To have the confidence and self belief that I should have had all along.
There’s been a few a times when old habits started to slip back in, but they were short lived. I couldn’t handle being starving and agitated all the time. Don’t get me wrong, I still have times where I look in my wardrobe, and am too scared to try something on because it doesn’t fit like it used to, but then I remember just how far I’ve come, and who I have looking up to me… my kids.
I also started surrounding myself with people who taught me about the importance of taking care of my body and mind. I wanted to change. I am now part of an incredible community that empowers me to become the best version of myself, and live a whole foods lifestyle.
I now nourish my body, and gives it the fuel and vitality it deserves, and I exercise to serve me, not destroy me. When you treat your body with respect and talk positively to yourself, you will glow from the inside out, and you will radiate real beauty.
Our bodies are amazing gifts that can do incredible things, and each one is uniquely different. When you get the inside right, everything else will follow.
If you are struggling with an eating disorder and need help or advice, please contact the Butterfly Foundation. You can chat online or give them a call: 1800 33 4673
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