“I’ve been underweight, I’ve been chubby, I’ve been skinny fat, I’ve been super lean, I’ve been at the peak of my physical fitness and then lost it all again. All along this journey, I’ve hated my body, loathed it, accepted it, then loved it, then hated it again, wanted it to be skinnier, then stronger, fitter, more flexible, and the list goes on…
Reflecting back on the last couple of years, I realize that there were so many stages that I went through in finding peace with my body. Because I’ve been journalling for six years now, I have all this personal material to read through and piece the puzzle together in retrospect. My diaries tell a story about how obsessed I used to be with trying to lose weight and controlling my food intake – I used to write down every single meal and snack for years – and how I equated weight loss to beauty and self-worth. They tell a story of realizing I didn’t want to keep living life in such a mundane and sad way. They tell a story of struggle, falling down, wanting to give up, pulling myself back up, trying again and all along never giving up hope. As the pages progress and become filled with an increased sense of self-awareness, subtle changes begin to happen in my behavior and thought patterns. At the time I remember thinking that I wasn’t progressing, but I can now see that I had to go through those subconscious, intangible changes first in order for them to come to sustainable fruition. It’s also been interesting looking through previous Insta posts of mine (here, here, here, here, here, here) and reflect back to what I was expressing at the time.
Overall, my self-love to self-loath ratio has changed significantly over the years.
But don’t get me wrong.
Some days my self-doubt and anxiety is still triggered. I might see a girl in the same dress I’m wearing and think “I don’t look as good as her.”, I might see a picture of myself and catch myself going to town on how I look, I might get dressed in the morning and a pair of jeans seems tighter than usual or I might scroll through Instagram and let the picture-perfect images screw with my mind. I call it my BDD flare up, BDD standing for Body Dysmorphic Disorder. The sudden escalation of frustration, the mood swings, the inability to rationalize my emotions and putting things into perspective, the ruthless overtake of my inner mean girl. Those. Things. Do. Still. Happen. And I’m not ashamed of it or try hiding them from you guys. But eventually, and this is in sharp contrast to the past, I get my head out of my ass and realize what a tantrum I’m causing. How I know better than this. That this isn’t me anymore. And so I file the moment away in my drawer of ED mishaps, give myself a little self-love from my SOS Self Love Tool Kit and move on. Done deal. Next chapter.