In the Beginning
Seven years ago I met the proverbial rock bottom; a failing marriage, eating disorder, and drug addiction were plaguing my everyday existence. I was bleesed enough to enter an inpatient treatment facility and the road to recovery began. When I came home, life as I had known had completely shifted, I didn’t know how to exist in my new world. People treated me with kid gloves. Simple things like interacting with my husband and children were different; I didn’t have any of my old friends. We all slowly adjusted with some major and minor bumps and hurdles along the way. I am grateful to say, we are still a family unit today.
Years went by and I was happy, I thought. But the truth was, I was still really struggling with myself. I had lost weight, gone back to school and was living a much more fulfilled life than I once had. I had turned my life over to God (still with some resistance), became involved in a couple different spiritual communities, but still, I felt uneasy.
What was it? What was I searching for? Really?
And then it clicked one day. While I loved who I was in the present moment, all the spiritual and healthy goodness, I still loathed who I once was. I loathed my old body, my old mind, my old actions, all of it. And while progressing and creating a new life is fab, I wasn’t in love with my old self. I was running away from her instead of embracing her with open arms. See, I carried so much shame in my past physical body and actions that I couldn’t be in love with that girl and woman. TRUTH BOMB… SHE IS ME! Who I am today and everyday forward is because of her so I can not simply erase her from my existence. She needs room and space to play and sing too. And because I was trying to silence her, some of her not so nice traits would slip out so she could be heard. So it was time to give her the space she deserved. After all, my unhealthy behaviours started in young adolescence; she was driving the bus for a very long time. Now I’m happy to say, I’m driving the bus and she is sitting in the back seat.
This may sound counter intuitive but I had to gain weight. For so long I had so much body dissatisfaction. Instead of learning to love my body, I changed it. I would do radical things to change it: diets, surgery, purging, starvation. This might work for some people in their transformations but not me. I remember sitting with my coach and now dear friend and saying to her, “I can’t go back there. I can’t stop dieting, I can’t gain weight, I hated who I was then.” I was so afraid that if I gained weight my life would be how it once was; out of control, unbearable. Obviously, growth happens through struggle, so, I had to go back there. There was no way around it. Little by little, I started to release the reins around my diet and crazy food rules. I stopped demonizing food and making it a moral issue. I started to enjoy meals with my family, birthday cake and ice cream. It was amazing, I didn’t compltely go off the rails, I did’t gain a million pounds over night. I never binged; I just ate what I wanted when I wanted. I still ate nutrient dense foods; I truly believe it is vital to my emotional, mental, and physical health to fuel my body with nutrient dense foods and still leave room for a couple of treats.
So here I am sitting about 15 pounds over my old ideal in my new ideal, and I love myself more than I ever have. I am not uncomfortable in my own skin despite having extra body fat because I have learned to love all of me. I’m no longer just tolerating this body, I am embracing it. I truly believe that body image issues are rarely about the body and almost always about the internal dialogue going on inside.
So here’s to ditching your old stories and becoming completley unapologetic of your true beauty.
Love and Peace Friends