I’ve always had a really poor view of my body. I’ve never been overweight but I’ve also never really considered myself thin and I think the last time I was comfortable naked in front of a mirror I couldn’t even walk yet.
When I’ve been at my lightest, I’ve always wished I could be 1-2kg lighter. I’ve never been truly happy. When I’ve been at my heaviest, I’ve punished my body to try to be slim again.
I have been beating myself up a lot recently because I’m unable to exercise for reasons that are so far beyond my control and my body has changed significantly.
On a day that I was feeling particularly low about myself last week, an article popped up in my inbox with a couple of questions:
Have you ever met someone who has hated themselves skinny and had healthy, long lasting results?
No. No I haven’t.
And the opposite, has anyone ever loved themselves fat. Has true, authentic love for themselves led to massive weight gain?
These questions have stopped me dead in my tracks. For the last 16 or so years I have been comparing the way I look to others and agonising over why I don’t have long legs/skinny arms/smaller boobs/a more defined waist. I have had meltdowns after catching a glimpse of myself in the mirror as I leave to go out for the night totally destroying my self-confidence for the evening.
This poor self-view has been the source of my poor eating habits, my insecurities around the way I feel other people view me. The reason why some days I wish I hadn’t looked in the mirror before I left for work because it completely ruined my day.
For all of the nasty people I’ve met in my life, I could never have considered myself to be the meanest person I know. But when I think about it, I’ve been really awful to myself for a really long time.
I suppose this is the part where I tell you that article has changed all of that, that I’ve had an epiphany and suddenly I’m happy with the way I look. Well, it’s not really that easy. What it has done is really brought my attitude to my attention. I am more aware of the thoughts circling through my busy brain trying to take me down. I have had a conversation with some of those thoughts and have let them know that actually, they’re not welcome here any more so they’d better find somewhere else to live.
I am embracing the concept of Radical Self Love. I choose to no longer believe these thoughts and I am repairing the damage they have caused me. This is a (very nearly) 30 year old body. It has been a home and given birth to two precious children, taken me on adventures and played a vital role in my sporting endeavours. It has endured countless nights out, music festivals and concerts and has only let me down a couple of times. It’s been through quite a lot.
Now, it’s time for me to reward this little body for a job so far well done, I choose only to allow beautiful, helpful, constructive thoughts about the way I look reside in my head. Food is no longer going to be a tasty lamb shoulder to cry on, I will use it to fuel and nourish me and to connect with the beautiful souls around me. I will bend and stretch and move and play.
I will show myself a whole lot of love because I am truly, fucking magnificent!