Something many of you don’t know:
I suffered with an eating disorder when I was younger.
I don’t think I’m alone- in fact I know many girls and boys who have walked this journey before and many who may still walk it after me.
If anything: I hope this post will guide you away from these destructive decisions and closer to the journey of self love instead.
My eating disorder and anxiety with food began in primary school.
It started as a result of childhood bullying.
I was always short for my age group, so naturally I was also chubbier and stockier than my peers.
I was quiet, shy and nervous and when we moved towns, fitting in to the new social circle was tricky, so instead food became my friend.
Because school kids are so creative in their bullying: I became known as meg the PIG.
Or the most creative… “fat Meg”.
When I was 12 years old , I decided that I didn’t want to be “fat meg” any more.
Fat meg =unpopular=bullying= a constant state of unhappiness.
My only goal was to achieve happiness and this meant:
no longer being fat.
Of course this led to a variety of crash diets, mal-nutrition and nothing short of starvation.
Because I had a fair amount of weight to lose- nobody seemed too concerned about my lack of interest in food.
I also got quite good at being busy during meal times, “studying” “homework” “dancing”- anything to get my parents off my diet scent.
There were days that I would just eat watermelon, or popcorn.
But I never became skeletal, I managed to always stay on the right side of looking healthy.
Although I was far from it:
I was anxious, restless, and tired all the time.
But that was the least of my concerns…
I was finally happy.. or so it seemed.
I now had friends… and a boyfriend.
I was considered cool- a far cry from unpopular and safely out of the bullying Zone.
This continued throughout high school and early adulthood.
Within my first few years of studying Homoepathy, I began to explore the ideas of nourishment instead of starvation.
We learnt about correct nutrition, how the body works to heal itself through good food, self love, and healthy natural ways.
When I turned 21 my parents granted my long held desire and sent me on my first yoga course. This was where I finally saw the light.
I started to understand the relationship between self love, and happiness.
Love for self, led to better choices for myself, healthier, kinder food decisions.
I was less concerned about calories and more about enjoyment.
I started to release the need to control everything I ate, and began to enjoy the experience of what good food can offer.
And just like that, the desire to be thin faded away…
Because the reason I needed to be thin had faded away.
What I looked like, or the size of my
Bum no longer determined my state of happiness.
Over the years of practicing and teaching yoga, I had cultivated a safe space for myself, a space filled with self love, and one that was strong enough to withstand any body bashing or bullying of my past.
But… I’ll let you in on a little secret…
Since falling pregnant those anxieties of old are resurfacing…
“What if I lose my figure?”
“What if I always feel this tired?”
“What if carbs are the only thing I can eat?”
“What if I do get fat?”
“What will people say about me, if I am not attractive anymore?”
“What will my friends say if I am that chubby mum?”
Now I reason with myself….
Why am I even concerned about this?
Why am I being so insecure?
And so I admonish myself, and beat myself up for feeling like this.
Which only leads to further anxiety and further self loathing…
The reason I am so concerned about this, is because I know what it feels like to be bullied, and deep down I don’t ever want that to happen again.
Adult bullying is a little more subtle, a little more creative, slightly more insidious but trust me it’s there..
Maybe it’s just gossip,
Maybe it’s the filling of conversation with mindless chatter?
Maybe it’s the comparison to those who seem to have it all?
BUT I have been at many a lunch or dinner party, and heard good, kind, lovely woman say these things.
I know because I have been privy to many a gossip session where woman will berate and mock their friends for getting fat, or letting themselves go.
And these words and associated feelings have now imprinted themselves into my subconscious.
And the more pregnant I get,
the more carbs I eat,
the less exercise I do…
the more they pop up to greet me.
Iv been doing a lot of thinking about this, and I feel that it’s because of the major change and transitioning that pregnancy brings..
This incredible journey is all about learning to surrender to the unknown, to let go of the control and to soften and expand into this new role of motherhood.
What an honour, what a privilege and what a beautiful reason to be reminded about our need for self love.
We are the vessels of change, of new life, of new experiences, and it is our duty to guide our children toward self love, and away from the pain and suffering associated with insecurities, bullying and negative self image.
It was my husbands cool, calm grounding words the other night that finally shook me out of my fears when he said: “be grateful for this experience, you are blessed to be able to carry a child, and if this pregnancy means your bum gets bigger, or your hips get softer, it’s just a little extra for me to love”.
And there you have it.
Real Love heals.
The healing Love of a good man, and the healing Love for yourself.
Because love is not skin deep, nor is it concerned with the extra rolls or muscles or folds or a six pack you may develop, it is vast, it is mature, and it reminds you of what really is important in life.
Love allows you to let go… to surrender, to enjoy the journey of transition…
And it is love that will ultimately heal the world.
I leave you today with these thoughts, “be gentle, you are meeting parts of yourself you have been at war with”.