As last week was a Mental health awareness week focused on body image I’ve done lots of self reflection on that topic. Although I’m only 24, I’ve been to emotional hell and back when it comes to body image.
But haven’t we all?
As I’ve always been bigger than any girl my age and people would always point that out as something that was incredibly wrong with me. I was called names and made fun of my looks simply because I was taller (mostly by undeveloped little boy twats), and had like extra ten-ish kilos.
Little did they know that I don’t actually give a single fuck what they think or say.
I first came in touch with body dissatisfaction in high school when my best friend developed anorexia and bulimia.
I didn’t know what the fuck to do.
How to help.
Or even what to say.
To me, she was the most beautiful, smartest, funniest and kindest girl I ever knew, that I know.
I didn’t understand.
I would stuff my careless face with pastries whilst she’d tell me stories about how she lives on half of the apple a day because her tights don’t have a gap size of the Grand Canyon between them. It was abolutely devestating to see her think and act like that.
But that’s the thing about eating disorder, isnt’t it? It makes you tell yourself that you’re not skinny enough, that you’re not pretty enough and all of a sudden you’re not good enough.
It is so fucked up.
What she’s gone through marked me a little as well. It put that little bug in my ear that said: well if you ever do feel like you need to lose weight this is the faster/easier way. Because nothing feels as good as skinny!
WRONG, I’d tell myself, sausage rolls do!!!
And as a every sixteen-year-old I too was obviously very delusional.
Pressured into it just to fit in, my time of no eating anything or barely something came as well.
Luckily enough my mom shut it down after two months of me pretending to live in Skins tv show with a threat she’ll smack my bottom and send me to live with the nuns.
It wasn’t really until I was 18 and have been to through some serious medical shit that changed by body literally over night that I was left with a seriously poor self image.
Next five years of my life was me living in a body that I didn’t recognize.
A body I was ashamed of.
I tried hiding it and didn’t love it, like at all.
On really bad days I’d actually hate it. I’d scream at doctors asking why the hell would they try to fix me by ruining my body?
How dare they saving my life if that meant losing all of my hair and gaining weight and having mulitiple scars, muscle atrophy and let’s not even mentions cheeks as a squirrel caused by sterioids because I CAN’T.
It took me five years to even consider myself beautiful.
To even try to look like a girl.
To feel confident.
To tuck my shirt into my jeans.
To wear heels.
To wear a skirt above my knees.
To wear a tank top.
To wear something that shows my scars.
To put on a bikini.
To not worry if I’m going to fit between tables in a coffee shop.
To feel like a woman.
Five years of practising self love and self care.
Lot’s of therapy.
Pep talks from my friends but mostly mother.
Accepting I am good enough the way I am.
Finding a workout and a routine I love.
And lots of deep self analyzing to be able to even like my body.
I did lots of journaling.
Listened lots of podcasts and read few books.
I unfollwed all unreal Victorias and her secret models on social media and started following body positive advocates.
But the hardest thing was letting go.
Letting go of things I can’t change.
Letting go of man that make me feel like shit.
Letting go of people don’t accept me for who I am and are constantly trying to change me.
Letting go of diets.
Letting go of that control freak I was.
And accepting who I am is enough. I am perfect the way I am. And if I am too much for some people, well then they weren’t my people to start with.
A letter I wrote to my body
I am so sorry.
I am sorry for the way I treated you most of my life. For not caring enough about you and not liking you enough, sometimes even at all.
I am sorry for eveytime I hurt myself by bumping into things and for all the broken bones, total of 9 throughout my childhood.
I am sorry for all the cigarettes I smoked.
All the alcohol I drank and continue to drink.
And all the drugs I’ve put you through.
I am sorry for every 2am McDonald’s.
I am sorry for late nights and lack of sleep.
I am sorry for googling plastic surgeries I can get in order to fix you. God knows I’m too much of a wuss to even get a lip filler not to mention liposuction or mastopexy.
I am sorry for every bad sex that left both you and me very unsatisfied.
I am sorry for every single time I over fed you.
I am sorry for every single time I starved you.
I am sorry I’ve got sun burnt every summer so far.
I am sorry for all the tight clothes I used to squeeze you in. (we both know that Spanx didn’t change anything)
I am sorry for all the comparisons I made with skinny girls in magazines. And all the Kardashians who drink shitty teas and have armies of people who make them look like brand new Barbie dolls.
I am sorry for all the damage I’ve put you trough whilst doing squats and dead lifts completely wrong.
I also want thank you.
Thank you for fixing yourself after all the damage I’ve done to you. It still amazes me how incredible you are.
Thank you for getting me places even when I didn’t want to go.
Thank you for getting me through cancer. For putting up with all the chemo and other shit that we needed in order to get cancer free.
Thank you for not giving up on me when it was life or death.
Thank you for loving me back even tho I didn’t love you.
It is just you and me on this journey life is and I need you to serve me as long as you can so we can have more fun, see places we’ve never been to and walk down the aisle to marry a man we are going to have many dogs with.
Or even a little baby. Would it be okay if I let another person live in you as well? It’s just for 9 months that according to my sister go by very fast.
I am sorry it took me nearly 24 years to do so but I love you.
Love every scar.
Every strech mark.
Every bump and lump.
Every grey hair.
Every line on my face.
All the cellulite.
Hair that doesn’t listen even on a sunny let alone rainy day.
My bad knee that doesn’t bend properly because I fucked it up skiing.
My shrek fingers that look very wonky.
And even my hobbit feet that I got from my dad (and his nose!)
I love you dear body.
I will take care of you for the rest of the life. (and yes, I will try to cut my alcohol intake)