Between Then and Now
You know how Facebook sends you updates of memories? Send you pictures to celebrate, to remind you of the good times? Well, Facebook sent me a reminder of this party, 6 years ago. And I don’t blame you Facey, you couldn’t have known it wasn’t such a happy memory.
I recall the afternoon very well! I was visiting my aussie boyfriend at the time, and we had a celebratory BBQ (it was the time I went along to celebrate Australia Day, not comprehending the symbolic of the day as I do now, but that’s another story). What I didn’t remember however was how unwell I was, and how obvious it showed on my face, on my body.
I have been open about my past and somehow continuing struggles with my body image, and my relationship with food for over a year now. Not only did it help me overcome the shame linked to this issue, but most importantly it did help numerous people to build up the courage to heal too. This is why it seems important to me to outline how I felt then, and how my body was reacting to my sabotaging habits. And offer an idea of how I feel now, 6 years later.
It is a long and strenuous journey, but the rewards are endless.
6 years ago. I was at my skinniest, I had reached the lowest weight of my adult life. I had gotten rid of so many clothes, replaced my wardrobe with ‘taille 34’, a French size 6. The absolute reward! But it wasn’t enough, of course, ce serait trop facile. I was convinced I had to get skinnier, to reach 48kg - my ideal weight, cause obviously I was still ‘un peu trop grosse’. It was traumatic for my body-mind to spend months, years eating in a very restrictive way, with no joy in savouring flavours but with the mere purpose of being skinnier.
At this stage, I was avoiding carbs like one would avoid saunas on a heat wave. I was eating copious amount of animal protein, and drinking mainly water, coke zero and dark coffee. I was also regularly eating a mono diet, pretexting a health fast, caring for my gut…I don’t really like bananas to be honest, but I would still spend 3 days eating ONLY bananas… Yep, I hear you I was totally bananas myself!!
I had lots of digestive issues, high acidity in the gut, insomnia, depression, social anxiety, red and dry skin, soft and shrunk breast, amenorrhoea (no period) and my eyes weren’t as green as today.
About a year and half after this photo was taken, my mum put me aside and told me “don’t you think you have lost a lot of weight?” and I think I answered “not at all. Can’t you see I need to lose at least 2 kilos?”
I think it was a wake-up call. My mum had never really expressed worries about my health before.
I was emotionally trapped in other ways then - mainly to do with an abusive boyfriend, so it took me a while to take ownership of my well-being. Yoga, and the philosophical teachings in class helped me to discover another path to happiness.
It took me 6 years from acknowledging my troubles to overcoming destructive self-talk, paired up with damaging habits. Today I am 10kg heavier, I got my feminine attribute back with 1 extra cup size, I have a glowing smooth skin all over my body, a strong, pain-free and flexible body, and a healthy regular moon cycle.
I am still working on unconditional love towards my past and present self, but oh I would never wish to go back in time, to the struggle of hating myself.
In the beginning, war feels like the gain is worth the pain, but the battles, the hate, the violence that come with it only lead to misery, to destruction, to loss of direction.
Happiness isn’t in the shape, colour or size, it’s in the uniting ease in the mind, body and heart.
If you too are struggling with body image issues, obsessive relationship with food, or destructive self-talk, ask for help, ask me. Recovery starts now.