Aparrently today is world mental health day - so I just thought I'd share this photo of me when I was 49 kilos.
I think a severe sense of self-loathing for my body has taken up a major part of my headspace since I turned 15. It was at 15 that I first started to gain weight (in all the natural places a girl does at 15). I remember freaking out about the changes my body was going through and embarking on my first diet. I lost weight quickly and easily and got a thrill out of the sense of control it gave me. Of course - as my body fought back against sudden deprivation, I gained it back just as quickly. What I didn't know was that I had set in motion a devastating cycle of extremes that would follow me well into my 30s.
"Just eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly" I hear you saying. Sure. But you underestimate the power of low self-esteem and its ability to drive you to extreme measures.
In this picture I was in my late 20s, exercising every day and eating around 1000 calories. I counted everything I ate and refused to go to a restaurant unless they had their menu online so that I could decide what I would allow myself to eat before hand. People just thought I was an enthusiastic 'foodie'. It was crazy.
And yet... I'd be lying if I looked at this picture and told you I didn't want to look like that. Part of me still does. As horribly unrealistic my lifestyle was. And even though my head looks a bit too big for my body in this picture?
Anyway. Body-acceptance is a journey and I'm trying REALLY hard every day to find equilibrium. I'm so exhausted. Maybe one day I'll get there. I've found a lot of great books along the way that have been a huge help and I have lots of support.
If you're going through something similar and need support yourself - consider seeing an eating disorder professional. I can also thoroughly recommend 'Brain over Binge' by Kathryn Hansen, and her follow-up recovery guide. Thanks for reading! It's okay not to be OK.
PS. Was Peter 12 when we started dating? Lol according to this picture, aparrently yes!?