(TW: weight, weight loss, food, disordered eating and disordered thinking about food)
I’m making an active decision to love myself.
I know that a person’s value in life in no way equates to their size. I know it. But I don’t know that for myself, or practice it, in any way.
I was reading model-turned-chef Lorraine Pascale’s blog post this morning, which inspired me to write this, and this particular quote screamed out to me:
I have picked on myself physically (and mentally) so much in the past and the result usually is me going to the shops to eat too much of something. Can you relate?
I spend a minute eating it and then the rest of the weekend/week beating myself up for doing so and feeling crappy about my body. And so the cycle continues as the beating-up-of-the-self moves me to again ’emotionally eat’ for that fleeting moment of feeling better.
I have picked on myself mentally and physically for my entire teenage to adult life. Particularly when it comes to my body, or my weight. There have been lulls, there have been binges, there have been “fuck it” moments.
In low points I’ve gone to the grocery store to buy heaps upon heaps of junk food and eat it all in one evening to get rid of it and then “punish” myself at the gym in the days after.
It’s the “picking on myself” that really sticks out to me. The way I have insulted myself, talked down to myself and verbally beat myself up for years is sad.
Food culture now is something that’s inherently good or inherently bad, which makes this disordered thinking and eating even worse. Although the Deliciously Ella and Helmsley and Helmsley “clean eating” and “wellness” phenomenon has taken a real hit, I am constantly making excuses to myself and whoever is around me for eating chocolate, or ice cream, or fries, or pizza or whatever food that I love (seriously, there’s nothing better than those and you can honestly fight me) and for what?
At almost 30-years-old do I have to continue to explain to myself or anyone else why I want a side of fries?
Am I going to continue to pull away every time my husband puts his arm across my waist because I’m embarrassed about my stomach?
Am I going to never wear a bikini again?
Do I have to justify every single food decision I ever make for the rest of my life?
Or can I just accept myself as I am and eat the fucking thing.
So I’m taking steps to start loving my body as it is, right now in this moment. Not thinner, not with an hourglass figure, not if I just lose another five pounds, just…as it is.
1: Stop following all of the Instagram accounts (or people) who make me feel like shit about myself. I read a quote the other day that said, “‘Fitspo’ is ‘thinspo’ in a sports bra.” And it is! Nothing wrong with staying motivated, and in the right mental state then those accounts can be incredibly motivating to stay active and get some vegetables in you. But when all I do is feel like shit about myself for not living up to those standards then they have got to go.
2: Being ‘unhealthy’ doesn’t mean that I am undeserving of love and respect. Being an unhealthy person doesn’t mean that I am worthless or less valuable.
3: I am grateful that I am alive in this moment and am able to live in a city that I love with the person that I love, surrounded by people I love. My body allows me to move through the world with my person, travel, explore and even exercise, as much as I dislike it.
4: I am going to acknowledge that the way I speak to myself about food or about myself and the way that I look is significant. I’m not going to eat fruits and veggies all day every day, I’m not going to exercise every day. Other people are, and that’s okay.
5: How I look isn’t everything. Seriously! It’s not. It’s going to take likely years to unpack this, but knowing that is important.
Check out some incredible charities doing work for eating disorders:
And some incredible body positive women that I follow:
Megan Jayne Crabbe aka Body Posi Panda
Do The Hotpants