A recent trip to visit the Butterfly Foundation last time I was in Sydney brought back so many opinions I have around body image, and I want to share. The whole idea of actually needing to talk about, think about or be aware of our body image is infuriating. Really, if it wasn’t for mirrors and other people’s opinions – we would never see or concern ourselves with vanity. Body image isn’t something I necessarily think about in recent days; I’ve tried to distance myself as much as possible from any of the thoughts and opinions I used to have. What I really want to share in this blog, however, is how I’ve dealt with and approached my own negative self talk over the past 4 years since recovering from anorexia.
Once upon a time, I never even dreamt it would be possible to live a life where my weight or appearance wasn’t a relentless 24/7 inner-monologue. Even though I’d committed to recovering, I always thought I’d live with those nagging thoughts and self talk; carrying it through my days like a heavy weight. I never believed I’d be able to shift limiting belief systems, and unconscious programs that prevented me from genuinely loving myself. I had accepted that this was just “the reality” and that it was totally ‘the norm’ for women to just hate their bodies.
FUCK that. Luckily, I know better now. Beliefs are literally just beliefs. They are thoughts that only have meaning (and more importantly, POWER) because we give them meaning. That’s IT! Isn’t that crazy? We go through our lives thinking that our beliefs are a reflection of the worlds interpretation of us – but really, our beliefs created our perceptions of reality. They form our relationship with the world. It’s actually completely in your control and power. Change your thought, and your world will follow. My biggest secret in being able to overcome the thoughts that debilitated me once upon time was to continue to choose love. I committed to choosing love, NO MATTER how loud that voice got. No matter how much that the voice wanted to beat me down, I chose to stand back up and tell myself and my body “I love you”.
What has astounded me about this process over the past four years, is how much (slowly but surely) our bodies begin to trust us again. Your body will not trust you straight away, if you’ve abused it. Just like any other relationship in your life. If you abuse a friend, there will be a breakdown of trust – this is no different to you and your body. Only in recent days does my body trust that I will give what it needs, when it needs it – with no question. I don’t try and intellectualise or rationalise, or calorie count. I do not believe (anymore) that my mind (possessed with 1 million different thoughts) knows better than my body does. If you let go of vanity, and trust your body – overtime you will build a healthy relationship with your body, and this is when you’ll look your prime. It may take years – just keep trusting in the process.
The whole idea of body image sucks – see your body as a means to experience life. Keep it strong and healthy so that you can be more and do more – not because of what others might think of you. Life is so rich, life is so beautiful – please, see beyond the limits that stop you from seeing this. The more you hate on yourself, the more you separate yourself from others. And on a bigger scale, this separation is the root cause of the suffering we see. Move beyond this… and commit to love. In all areas of your love. And surround yourself with beautiful people that understand this. Here are some of the babes in my life that remind me of this every time I see them… so thank you <3 <3