With each step of my journey I have pushed myself out of my comfort zone. I’ve had good weeks and horrendous weeks, successful day’s and well let’s face it…some fantastically shit ones. I was given a good piece of advice on a dark day that stuck with me…’Fake It till you make it’. It made me laugh at first but it was actually just what I needed. I put it into practice just to see if it would help me and you known what, it really did work!
I walked into the gym like I belonged there, rather than the newbie who didn’t fit in I actually felt. I decided to buy new clothes, although I didn’t feel worthy if it. I started deliberately making additional healthy food choices that would be associated with a fitness fanatic, rather than worrying if people though I was ridiculous and wasting my time because I’m overweight. But most prominently I began sharing my photography, even though it shot my anxiety through the roof. I kept all these things up, because if I was faking it then I still wasn’t showing how I truly felt and that was still my armour.
The knock on effect of this ‘faking’ is that I’ve realised these things aren’t additions to me and my personality, they were already there. I got so much enjoyment from not worrying what others may think and just being happy with me. There is no faking it now, I feel like a new person and it’s such a release. I’m still going to have bad days and my body image isn’t suddenly fixed completely but I’m papering over the cracks in my self worth and reparing a lifetime of damage with positivity. I’m good at giving and seeing the best in others. I guess now I’m deciding to treat myself how I treat others, and accepting that I am actually worth something. I have a lot to offer and I do have talents. There are a lot of new experiences for me to try, like regular shopping for items I want, buying something a little bit for expensive for myself or just having a treat. I even went out in a sleeveless top due to hot weather and although I domt weigh any less I was comfident with it. That’s a.reliwf in itwelf, not sweating because I’m in a cardigan to hide my arms. Not major in the grand scheme of things but these are bad habits of a lifetime broken, not bad hey?! The latest little push of the comfort zone….sharing photos and posts about my progress in real life using my own name. It’s scary but the response was pretty overwhelming, I think those close to me have always seen past where my eating disorder stopped me. That’s quite an eye opener as hardly anyone knows I have this problem. Or am I actually ready to say had? Now that is something to smile about.
I have binging under control, I have coping mechanisms in place but what I don’t have is confidence in myself.This is something I want to change, to not care what people think or how they judge, to feel ok to stand out from the crowd. I will get there but I accept it will be a marathon, not a sprint!
All my life I have believed, that in order to be fulfilled and happy enough to accept myslef, I need to be slimmer.
I’m now realising that I need to accept myself, before I can truly be fulfilled and happy. That switch in focus will inevitably lead to me being healthier. Slimmer isn’t my goal it just happens to be a by-product of my transition.
For the last 17 years of my journey through life, there has been one constant…Pheobe. I have moved a lot and we don’t see each other very often (Perhaps a couple of times a year). She has saved me from myself and the dark moments of depression and anxiety so many times. She is not just my best friend but (although we may not be related), to me she is my sister. Continue reading →
Shopping is a form of torture for me. Clothes shopping would be the absolute worst case! I normally try clothes on, whilst being shown my horrible reflection from every conceivable angle. It’s rare that I find something that either fits properly (no matter what my size I’m and unusual shape) or that suits me. Normally to get to that stage is a success. I would get myself something to eat on the way home and binge. It can take days to get over the feelings of shame and disgust in myself. So I avoid clothes shopping at all costs. My trip of torture is braved on average once a year, unless I have a desperate need for something new.
I dont know how many more times I can hear that sentence this week. When asked about my current situation with work and the future I have expressed my concern for a) not knowing what is going on and b) the possibility I may not have a job soon. Now I get that people are trying to help and I should try and be more positive. But these are conversations intiated by other people. They have actually become mildly annoyed when I point out actually I have to be practical and look at what other opportunities are available to me. I can’t just stop working as there are bills to be paid. It’s safe to say tonight I’m a bit fed up, of people saying the wrong thing and my anxiety. I know it makes me more irritable but if I could ask you take one thing from this post its this; the next time you have a conversation with someone who has worries (anxiety sufferer or not) please listen. What they need to hear is understanding. ‘that sounds like it’s a difficult situation’ or ‘that must be very worrying for you’ is a much better response than ‘Don’t worry about it’. This only serves to make us feel worse, like our feelings are an over reaction and your not hearing us.Just be realistic, one sentence is not going to remove the bad situation is it?
A great read and some good truths. I need to remember some of her lessons when I’m desperate to be smaller faster than it’s happening. I’m in this for the long haul, not just this week or this month but a permanent change. That will take a very long time, but I think my hardest battle is almost won. I have stopped binging as a coping mechanism. That has been replaced by training as my first thought, when something happens. I am making the changes I need to succeed.
We all have a list of things that make us smile, feel content and make us happy. Each person values different things. I like to think mine is simple and it evolves as I grow older. I have never really valued power, wealth and large material objects as very important. They have their place, but they don’t make me happy. In fact I would go so far as to say, trying to achieve and maintain those things in my life, would make me miserable!
What do you say when someone pays you a compliment? Does it make you smile and feel happy or proud even?
When someone pays me a compliment I feel awkward, I have no idea what to say , or what a normal person would say anyway. My response at best is ‘thank you, but…’. I find it very easy to pass the credit onto someone else or make a negative comment about said subject. What is even stranger, is that when it comes to criticism, I can accept it readily. I have no problem with taking the blame for mistakes or errors I make. It’s even a relief if I do confess these slip up’s. I fear people thinking I’m conceited or arrogant. I deliberately don’t say when I know something in the hope I can stay unnoticed. This all sounds very sad and a little pathetic really. Describing my good points is hard, but I really need to change this!
Since deciding to share my photography on the blog, I have felt quite liberated. I have had a good response and positive feed back. something I didn’t expect but it feels good. In fact because of this, I have had a renewed surge in creative ideas and enthusiasm for new images.
To be able to keep this up and move forward I need to work on my self worth. I do have talents, I am intelligent and I always give my best to others. I just need apply that sentiment to myself. So as my husband has told me, when someone gives compliment I should take it and perhaps next time think…Yes, I rock, thank you! Obviously thank you will be the only verbalised response. Just writing it makes me smile, so perhaps he has the right idea?!