Back in 2013, I was the lightest I think I’ve ever been. On the outside I was happy & healthy but on the inside I was screaming and terribly miserable. To get down to the weight I was, I restricted most food groups, exercised 3/4x a week and chose to stay in instead of going out, because the fear of socialising with my friends and eating something I deemed ‘unsafe’ was just unbearable.
The pressure to conform inevitably resulted in me pinning my self worth and beauty on being thinner, and everyday up until last year, I was desperately trying to drop a few pounds. I thought losing weight and getting to my ‘goal weight’ would solve all of my problems and make me the happiest woman EVER, but upon reflection – how bloody naive was I?!
Its now 2016 and I have gained a lot of weight. Yes its down to PSTD and an eating disorder, but the reasoning behind weight gain doesn’t matter. When gaining weight, the world literally loses its shit. All of a sudden you become a total failure. ‘How dare you gain back the weight you lost’. ‘Do you realise you’ve put on weight’?. ‘You’ve gained weight, whats wrong?’. ‘You look absolutely disgusting’. ‘You should lose weight’. ‘You’ve ruined yourself’. (actual comments I’ve received). I was deemed lazy & vile and it amazed me (but did not surprise me) how many people I appeared to disappoint.
It has been a very long journey with learning to accept the weight I’ve gained. I’ve had to re-learn to love my body the way it is now and I’d be lying if I said it was easy. Thankfully I now have the language to execute a few important things that gaining weight has taught me.
It isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Although the way society is setup you’d think gaining weight is the worst thing ever wouldn’t you? Although gaining weight for me was a sign of binge eating disorder, it was also a sign that I was ready to ditch diet culture and fad diets that were damaging my relationship with food. You can lose all the weight in the world, but if your mind is not healthy, it really isn’t worth it. Some people gain weight due to medication, recovery from exercise addiction and a bunch of other things too – it doesn’t automatically mean that gaining weight equals a lack of self care and self control. Bollocks to that!
It doesn’t always mean you’re unhealthy. There is a misconception that gaining weight or being overweight means you lack general good health, but that isn’t always the case. Mental health is just as important (if not more important) than physical health and sometimes people are naturally heavier than others. What’s so wrong with that? I don’t smoke and I rarely drink and some of my slim friends do, so why am I the unhealthy one because I have rolls?
You are more than what you look like. Until I lost weight and then gained it back, I didn’t realise just how much a women’s worth is based on her outer exterior. Joining the body positive community and going to therapy opened my eyes to how cruel and unfair society really is, especially when it comes to a women’s body. You can never please anyone and no matter what you look like or what you weigh, someone somewhere will deem it ‘unacceptable’. Fuck that and fuck them!
It’s empowering to eat intuitively. Which is something I am learning more and more each day. Before being admitted to The Recover Clinic, I didn’t even realise intuitive eating was a thing. I lived my life with thoughts like; ‘I should eat this so I lose a bit of weight’ orrrrrrr ‘I’m going to eat this because I don’t deserve what I really want’. So uncovering a world where you eat what you fancy and what your body is telling you it needs literally blew my damn mind. With every meal, I try to simply eat what my body is craving and what will make me happy. Lately my favourite foods have been caesar salads, frosties & mini eggs!
It doesn’t change you as a person. That goes for losing weight too! Being thin doesn’t mean you are better than anyone and being big doesn’t mean you are any less of a person. What really matters is who you are as a person and your weight shouldn’t play a part in that. Be kind, loyal, honest, trust worthy, empowering, supportive, patient & compassionate. Ain’t nothing more beautiful than a pure heart.
Dieting is FUCKING boring. So fucking boring it makes me question my entire life lol. Calorie counting, syn’ing, calculating points, planning every single meal, restricting what you really want to eat in favour over what you think you should eat. Its mundane and slightly soul destroying and life is far too short to constantly worry about everything that passes your lips. Our bodies (no matter what size) are incredible things. Trust them to tell you what you need to eat.
I know my body will change when I am in full recovery from my trauma and eating disorder. I am already mentally preparing for that and looking forward to my body finding its natural weight but for now, this is the weight I am and that’s ok. (more than ok actually because I’m fucking buff lol)