TRIGGER WARNING! Underweight photos are shown here to show how much I’ve achieved. Please think carefully about whether or not this will trigger your mind or not before scrolling. Stay safe my loves.
I’m not going to go into detail, but my body was the source of so much unhappiness in my life for as long as I can remember.
It got worse. You can probably piece together a pretty clear image of what followed. My body disgusted me to the point that I avoided any kind of reflection. I hated having photos taken because of the hatred of myself that flooded my heart when I looked back at them. Self hatred turned into self starvation.
I hated my body from a scarily young age. I remember sitting on the hall floor in assembly and pinching my legs and imagining cutting the fat off them. It started with my legs. I hated them. They were like two chunky logs that I thought stuck out to everyone.
I am healing and I am beginning to love every inch of my body. It has been the biggest turning point in my recovery and it is a point I never imagined getting to. I didn’t even think I needed to get to this point, because it seemed impossible.
How I went from hating my body to loving it.
- I reminded myself that my body only existed to keep me alive. My body doesn’t care what it looks like. My healthy weight is what my body is going to try and reach no matter what I do. My body wasn’t created so I could feel that it was approved by society. My body exists to keep me alive. Everything it does is fighting to keep me healthy and functioning.
- I stopped comparing myself. This is difficult. We seem to compare ourselves everywhere we go, whether that is our bodies or any other trait of our appearance or personality. I started by telling myself that comparing myself to others had never brought me any happiness. There has never been a moment where I compared myself and came out feeling better about myself. Comparing yourself to another individual is so common in todays society, that it is almost automatic, and you might not even notice you’re doing it. You have to start by building your own image, that you can truly believe in. You have to know who you are and you have to realise that nobody else can ever be that – and that is your superpower that you have to run with.
- I danced along to empowering songs. This started by giving me a false sense of confidence, a temporary love for myself that faded the moment the music stopped. Even though it didn’t last, it gave me a feeling of what it would be like to truly love myself. The more I listened to these empowering playlists, the more I found myself believing the confident lyrics when applying them to myself. You can listen to my fave empowering playlist here, perfect for getting ready or when you forget how to love yourself.
- I unfollowed accounts that made me feel like I needed to change my appearance. This is vital and I know that you may love stalking Kendall Jenner and her crazy abs, but if it makes you feel that you need to do something about your body, is it really a good idea? My feed used to be full of models looking adoringly at a smoothie.
- I followed accounts like these. I have no idea where I would be without people like @bodyposipanda or @happywithliv – accounts like these are full of body positivity and preach equality and love. Filling my feed with these kind of accounts was the best decision.
- I focused on myself. I took a step away from the whole relationship situation. For some people, being in a relationship helps them realise how beautiful they are. It was the opposite for me and I spent the entire time questioning my appearance and my value. Taking a step back reminded me that I have never needed a relationship to complete me, and I never will. I am whole and myself without anyone else.
- I thought about dogs. Hold on a second, because there is a point here. I realised that a Labrador never looks at a Poodle and starts to aim for that body. It is impossible and unnatural. No Spaniel envies a Labrador. They carry on with their lives. Ok, so dogs don’t give a shit regardless. But I think, in a way, we are like dogs. If I am meant to be skinny, I have to accept that. If I am meant to be curvy, I have to accept that. Because all the wishing and dieting in the world will never cure my negative body image. It will just. put my body through pain and stress.
- I stopped weighing myself. This was such a massive factor. I hid the scales. Initially, I thought about them everyday and about how simple it would be to grab them. I still get weighed when I have medical reviews at the clinic. I had to get used to seeing a higher jump in the number, but I gradually understood that that was going to happen if I wanted recovery as much as I said. My scales have been hidden for months now, collecting dust.
- I focused on other factors of myself. My body is not my identity. I am a piece of artwork and I am compiled of my personality traits more than my physical traits.
- I wore clothes that I felt good in. A pretty basic one, but so important. There are days when I leave the house in gross outfits because I am going through a depressive episode, and that’s ok. But I’ve found that experimenting with outfits allows for you to find that one look that makes you say DAYUM GIRL.