Magazines, media, public opinion and misinformation has led to a rise in the number of people who suffer from body dysmorphia, eating disorders and mental illnesses based around food issues.
During Summer it can be the worst time for any person struggling to love themselves. The gyms are advertising for us to get our beach bodies and the weight loss marketing is in full swing. It preys on our insecurities about what we see in the publications and social media as being the body shape to aspire to, the body that will give us fun times and loads of friends and happiness. It's the tale as old as time!
New Year - New Me and many unsolicited adverts on social media and mainstream TV.
For me trying to get down to a "goal" weight and starving my body and mind with 1200 calories a day (which in all honesty is not sustainable), feeling miserable about my body and my fixation on clean food (what's good food vs. bad) was something that just had to change for me.
Then after hearing the amazing Taryn Brummfit talk about our body image and watching "Be Brave" I made a decision to work on liking if not loving my body and reversing all the hate I had bestowed on my body and the withholding of foods. It all had to end! This was around 5 years ago now.
I looked back and realised how getting thin was not making me happier, it was making me feel worse about my body and making me anxious about food ALL the time.
Worrying when I went out, who would comment on what I ordered - Should I be eating that, hadn't I had enough, should I really have dessert etc... Sneaking food, hiding chocolate in my home, eating it secretly and disposing of the evidence. This is not a way to be living!
I also realised I was not in a lot of photos when I was at my biggest, so many missed memories for my children and even me of milestone events
I know that for many of us who worry about what other people think and might say about our body shape, size, scars and markings, it's hard to just say "fuck it" and be proud of the body you have. We can't always ignore or not hear the comments, the whispers, the giggles. The how brave you are for wearing a certain outfit etc. For those of us that have experience it and know what's it's like, I hear and see you too.
It's time to make a change.
The body that woke you up this morning and was prepared for whatever you decided to do... That's the body you should try and learn to love! Let's face it, you would never be as nasty to your friends or say those things to your friends you say about the parts of you that you don't love.
Join me in being grateful for some small thing that some part of your body has helped you feel good about today and let's continue to learn to love ourselves.
I'm passionate about living and participating and not hiding on the sidelines, it's pretty boring!