I don’t normally write much personal stuff or post many photos of myself, so this post is a bit of a challenge for me.
The fact I am even writing this post and showing you these photos is an indication of how much I have grown in the last few months.
It’s hard to even know where to begin telling you this story of mine, but I guess I will start at the beginning.
It all started when I was about 10 and suddenly I was self-conscious of puppy fat.
I have been self-conscious of the puppy fat for the last thirty years.
I have cried. I have wailed. I have dieted. I have exercised. I have punished myself.
I have hated myself. I have felt shame, desperation, anger and self-loathing.
This year, I had nearly given up hope. Hope of ever being at peace with my body.
But the Universe had other plans for me. My soul is here to learn a life lesson about love. Self love.
My weight has been up and down my whole life.
I am 155cm tall. I have been 48kg. I have been 90kg. And all the weights in between.
Was I happy at 48kg? No. I was miserable. I was told by someone at the gym that I could still lose a few kilos. I still wasn’t the ‘perfect weight’. I felt like I would never be ‘good enough’.
Was I happy at 90kg? No. I was miserable. I was uncomfortable, unfit and ashamed.
I was an active member of Weight Watchers from the time I was 17 until the time I was 35.
I even worked for them for six years and maintained a healthy weight in this time. Was I happy? No! I felt so much pressure to maintain that weight that I punished myself at the gym and ate crazy, artificial diet food. Still hating myself and my body, I beat myself up every time I ‘broke’ the diet or put on a kilo.
In all this time, I was convinced that Weight Watchers was the be all and end all. I was convinced it was me that was faulty, that I had no willpower or discipline.
In that time, I saw hundreds of women come through those doors, suffering, hating themselves. I could recognize it a mile off – because I was just like them. You know what? Out of the very few women that ever got to their ‘goal weight’ every single one that I know of has put all that weight back on. I am telling you now that dieting is a waste of money, time and energy.
At the start of 2007, my life fell apart.
One of my friends was killed in a car accident, my best friend moved hundreds of kilometres away and we were in the middle of renovating our house. I was 50kg and thought I was healthy. I contracted parvo virus – an airborne autoimmune disease.
I went from an active, gym junkie to not being able to get out of bed. I was a mess. I was prescribed antidepressants. The weight stacked on. More than I had ever put on in my life. I tried to go back to the gym, but for every week I went, I needed three weeks to recover. The chronic fatigue hit me so hard. I wasn’t in control of my body anymore and I hated it.
It’s been a journey full of ups and downs since then. Not only has my weight gone up and down, but so has my health. I tried other diets and approaches without success. I found out I had a bulging disc in my back. I had a whole series of health issues – systemic candida, insomnia, depression, anxiety, hormonal issues, adult acne and ovarian polyps that required surgery.
One day, I found out about toxins. I read in a Nature and Health magazine that to support your immune system, you should cut out all toxins. So I went on a frenzy and eliminated all the chemicals from my house and my food.
That helped enormously with my health and my weight a little too.
It set me on my natural, new age path.
I started to eat real, organic foods and began gentle exercise and yoga again.
The weight was coming off, but it was slow and up and down.
Slowly it dawned on me that my weight problem wasn’t about the food I ate or the exercise I did, it was all about my lack of self-love.
When I exercised, it was me punishing my body for being overweight.
When I ate crappy diet food instead of delicious real food, it was me punishing my body for being overweight.
I had the wrong focus all along.
This was a huge revelation for me and a very different path.
I had to let go of punishing myself and start loving myself instead. I know in my heart, that this is the right path. How can it not be?
Love is always the answer.
I am trusting in myself and the Universe, that this path will eventually lead my poor, neglected body to a happy and healthy place of peace.
So, how am I doing this?
Well, lots of things are helping me learn how to do this.
Yoga. Lots of yoga and lots of meditation. Yoga literally, is a joining of body and mind. It helps me have awareness of how my body is feeling and what my body needs.
Coaching. My beautiful friend Kirri recognized my struggle by something I let slip one day and offered to help. I know she is an angel sent to me on this journey. With her coaching and guidance, I am learning self-compassion and mindfulness. I am watching, learning and listening. What are my thoughts? What negative beliefs do I have? What are my emotional triggers? I am learning that I am more than my body.
EFT. I am only just starting doing this technique, but I think it is going to lead to huge changes. Tapping enables you to ‘let go’ of stuff you are carrying around. I feel that letting go of stuff will enable my body to function better and I will also be able to ‘let go’ of the weight that is protecting me.
Realizing I wasn’t alone. I used to hold my cards close to my chest. The only person who knew how hard things were for me was my husband. The Universe brought me into contact with another angel in the form of Alisha, The Naughty Naturopath Mum. Suddenly, here was someone with the same issues as me and I felt able to share with her my feelings of self-loathing, never feeling good enough and not really measuring up as a real ‘natural new age mum’. Alisha wrote this blog post and it gave me courage and inspired me. She is my soul sister and I love her.
Nourishing myself. Some of my ‘homework’ with Kirri was to commit to and make time for things that nourish me. Instead of doing things to punish my body for being the way it is, I am doing things to nourish my body because I love myself and I deserve it. Wow. What a complete 180 ! I made a list of things that nourish me. I made a list of things a person who loves themselves would do every day. I am gradually incorporating them into my life. I have been able to let go of anxiety about my weight and focus on self nurturing and self-love.
I was really excited when Kirri told me that she was putting the techniques that we had been doing together into an online coaching course. She has teamed up with Corona Brady (yoga and health guru) and come up with Nourished. Having had an eating disorder herself, Kirri has such empathy and understanding. She saw many women unhappy and struggling with their weight and body image and felt she needed to help. I knew she was onto something. Something important. Something big.
I am going to participate in the course. I feel like there is more for me to learn and consolidating and reinforcing what I have already learnt can only be a good thing.
I very nearly didn’t sign up. I thought I couldn’t spend that money on myself. I thought our family had other priorities for that money. That was the ‘old’ me thinking! The ‘new’ me says I am worth it. I am worth the money. I am worth the time. I am worth the effort.
I know my family would prefer to see me happy and healthy and participate more rather than being depressed and unhappy on the sidelines.
I decided to join Nourished as an affiliate. Kirri asked a few of us to join her in spreading the word. I, for one, am shouting it from the rooftops and am happy to tell people how great she is! I know how much this approach has helped me. More than Kirri will probably ever know and for that, I am eternally grateful.
You can find out more about what they are up to at the Nourished website and even win a spot in the course!
I am here if you need support or have any questions about my experience so far.
I feel good. I feel happy. I feel empowered.
I am learning to love myself. I deserve to be happy.
I feel like I am finally making peace with my body. ♥
UPDATE! Kirri is running her course again this year in July and you can WIN a spot in the course! Check it out here.