It’s only recently that I have begun to open up about my experiences with the issues of weight, body image and mental health…it’s a very empowering and freeing feeling to break through that wall and begin talking about it. Especially considering it’s been an internal struggle for me for the majority of my life so far.
In September I took part in an annual self love week which released some inner strength I didn’t even know I had, and gave me the power to post about these issues on Instagram for the first time ever.
Now, although this is MASSIVE for me, I also kept it strictly to Instagram as the only social media channel, and I also secretly felt safe knowing that my Insta account is private. However this still meant that some close family and friends, colleagues and ex-colleagues, and other people I see regularly could read them. I felt extremely vulnerable but my posts were met with nothing but love and support. The mindset shifts I made during that week empowered me to start this blog in order to fulfil my love of writing!
I have always been the “bigger girl” out of my friends, my family, my year group, my workplace. Ironically it makes me feel like the smallest person alive! And that feeling right there, impacts hugely on my confidence, my faith in myself, and overall my mental health. My relationship with food is the most toxic relationship I have ever been in, constantly yo-yo’ing between a diet method and binge eating. I’ve realised in the past 6 months that “dieting” is not for me – it’s not that I don’t lose weight when I follow them, it’s because the restriction mindset only worsens my mental health and my relationship with food. I realised that what I needed was for food to become just food again, so instead I have adopted the abundance mindset – all food is available to me, whenever I want, however much I want! Now, I know this sounds completely controversial, and downright scary for people who, like me, have relied on diets for soooo long that they know no different. And initially it’s very normal to catapult into a massive binge on all of the “forbidden” foods and gain weight.
Bare with me…
But what you will learn is intuitive eating instead. I’m still working on this, as I’m still quite new to the practice myself. Listening to what your body really wants. You know that feeling, after the Christmas period, where you’ve stuffed yourself silly with chocolate, cheese, alcohol, roast potatoes and Yorkshire puddings etc, and you can literally hear your body screaming out for vegetables and fruit and salad?? Your body really does know what it wants!!
I am also a sufferer of depression and anxiety and I struggle with them every day, some days more than others, and I can’t always explain why. Through doing self love week and continuing my inner work, I have realised that I neglect my self care – doing things which light me up and make me happy. Taking time for myself is now becoming a big part of my life. Even when I’m super busy and skint. Something as simple as a hot bubble bath and a face mask can change my entire mood – how crazy is that?!
My point is that we all have busy lives – we have husbands/partners, children, pets, jobs, school, after school clubs, housework, cooking…the list goes on. But we absolutely must prioritise taking care of ourselves as well – even if it is just your own mini pamper session! Because this is your life too, and it is happening RIGHT NOW!