Photography by JKG | jkgphotography.co.uk
Location: Tooting, London
I don't want to be slimmer anymore. No really.. I don't.
I'm not entirely sure when the realisation first hit, but over the last few weeks I've really turned a corner in terms of body acceptance and understanding my eating disorder and y'know what, it's been a longtime coming. If you've been following me for a while, or even just in the last few months you would know my battle with my body, and how difficult self love has been for me. The pressure to be perfect and desperately trying to fit into a ridiculous box that society has created, made me unwell and fucking miserable for most of my life. I've been at war with my body for as long as I can remember and at one point I genuinely believed that I'd never be happy unless I was thin.
My eating disorder diagnosis back in the summer of 2016 was the moment I really started to work on myself, and now 14ish months later, I am in a completely different place. Over the last year I've discovered myself and then re-discovered myself again. I've cried over weight gain and pined for a slimmer body - my 21 year old body that in my mind would eventually lead me to ultimate happiness, if of course I could just lose one more extra pound and stop eating so many damn syns (slimming world bullshit right there). I've removed myself from toxic relationships and friendships that I felt were stunting my growth. Boundaries are now in place and self care is the number one priority at the top of my list. I've diversified my social media platforms so that I am seeing bodies that come in all different shapes and sizes and most importantly.. I have unravelled all my childhood trauma and processed things that have happened to me, the things that I thought I could fix if I was skinny. Because lets face it.. we are all brainwashed into believing that happiness comes at the end of reaching our goal weight. Again, its bullshit!
There are many factors and reasons as to how and why I've reached this point and I would honestly be here for hours talking about them all, but what I will say, is that undoing all the things I had learnt about bodies, health, worth and size has allowed me to live in freedom. Research and education has completely empowered me to shed the emotional baggage tied into my self worth - the belief that being big is bad and that being thin is in.
My mental health is SO important for me and if I have to be this size in order to be completely free and happy with the factors that lead me to have mental health issues and experience overwhelming sadness, then that is okay with me. The feeling of waking up and eating what my body wants is SO empowering and I don't think it will ever get old. For 20 odd years I've battled with my thoughts and my body and to be in a place of peace is truly, truly wonderful. So wonderful I could cry.
Health at every size is the journey I am on now and I'll be damned if I ever sacrifice my health for thinness again. My body is beautiful and I do not wish for it to be any other way than it is right now. And why? Because it has housed me all my life and still survived the emotional and physical pain, I and others have put it through. It loves me, it takes care of me and if I'm the happiest I've ever been then surely this is how I'm supposed to be? Who am I to criticise the way I was created?
"Don't worry about your body. It isn't as small as it once was, but honestly... the world needs more of you". - Clementine Von Radics
So I may be a size 18/20/22 now and maybe I have a few extra rolls and chubbier cheeks but with all those gains I have also gained freedom. Freedom from counting calories and obsessing over whatever enters my mouth. Freedom from diet culture and perfectionism and trying to blend in when lets face it - I was absolutely always supposed to stand out. I'm free. Free from it all and to say that and truly believe it means more to me than you will probably ever know.
I am worthy and YOU are worthy of kindness, love and respect no matter what size we are.