When I was 15, and 10kg lighter than I am now, I made the worst decision of my life – to go on a ‘diet.’ I was extremely unhappy with my body and became fixated on it and food and how food was in ‘control,’ of what it did to my body shape. Why I thought like this I don’t know, my brain was clearly not completely developed yet, and it’s survival instincts were on high alert. When you’re a teenager, I wouldn’t say you’re completely ‘rational,’ of what is right and wrong – and this choice to try and rid my genetic apple shape, only lead me down a road of self-destruction.
My journey through my brain rejecting diets and going into survival mode, binge eating, compensatory over-exercising, and obsession over calories and weight is a long story and needs to be broken up into separate posts, but I feel I have come a long way in 5 years, and have started to learn to recognise and accept my ‘adult body,’ with my ‘happy size.’
I am probably at my happy size now, I don’t feel like that every day, but there are more positive days than negative so that is an improvement.
- I don’t need to ‘diet,’ over-exercise or restrict any types of food
- With no fixation over food or body image, I can eat relatively easy whilst maintaining a relatively constant weight with a healthy amount of exercise
- I can go out and enjoy any type of food without further worry
- I have the energy to work, study, exercise, run this blog and IG and DO LIFE
- I don’t have ‘skinny’ clothes, and ‘fat’ clothes anymore (when my weight use to fluctuate through the binge and restrict cycle ‘seasons’)
- I don’t count calories, macros, portion sizes…I just eat with no food rules
You might not be at your happy size now, but your happy size is your healthiest size. You might not even know what the weight is – that is not the point. I like to call it ‘happy size,’ because weight changes on a magnitude of things, e.g. pregnancy, gaining muscle mass which increases weight, water retention, health factors etc – and I personally don’t like the focus on one number at a particular point in time. Your adult, woman body changes dramatically through life’s course, so I prefer to use ‘size.’
It takes time to love your happy size. I still hated my body at the same size as I am now a while ago, I just learned to start focussing on the positives of what this size allows me to do. When you look in the mirror, if you have positive thoughts you can be extremely happy with what you see back. But if you have negative, self-destructive thoughts, that same sized body you see is going to look disgraceful to you.
It’s not your body that is the issue, it’s your relationship to it. No one ever wants to be in an abuseful relationship with a partner, why should it be any different to the relationship between you and your body? You’ve only got one, and unlike a partner, you can’t get rid of it!
Your weight should never be the focus.
Your focus should be on health, and one of the most profound things we can do to better our health is to have a healthy, (relatively) stress-free mind, and put healthy nourishing foods in our body.
Consistently worrying about anything whether that be your body image, what you eating, other life stressors or your ‘diet,’ – it all adds up, and stress is a huge factor in determining your health.
We are all different shapes, and we aren’t supposed to look like our 14-year-old selves. We are all unique, and finding love and beauty in this will change your life in a profound way.
“You are not a mistake. You are not a problem to be solved. But you won’t discover this until you are willing to stop banging your head against the wall of shaming and caging and fearing yourself” – Geneen Roth