my body and me

“It’s hard to fight an enemy who has outposts in your head.”
Sally Kempton

for the majority of my life, i've hated what has stared back at me in the mirror. i was diagnosed with bdd in my late teens, but i can see that i was already in it's grip for a good ten years prior to diagnosis.

one of my earliest coping methods was to stop eating, putting all my focus on avoiding food meant that i had little time or energy to focus on the real problems, it helped me feel like i was in control when everything around me was spiralling away from me and it helped to stop me feeling anything... it kept me numb.

even aged 6 i can remember feeling body shame.... and that has never gone away. 
that shame has trapped me, prevented me from living a full life. I've missed parties because i felt intimidated, i've spent too long throwing up in toilets instead of connecting with the people around me. i've never been free to enjoy all that life has to offer, because every day i have been suffering the fact that i can't stand what i see in the mirror.

for the past 8 years i've struggled to accept that my body is not what it once was. i still compare myself to how i was at 20, to a body i'd achieved through anorexia and bulimia. now after 3 babies, my body is not as skinny as it was.

whenever things get tough, and i'm back in the depths of depression... controlling my eating blocks everything else out. it stops me needing to deal with the reasons behind my depression. it consumes my every thought and blocks all else out. it's as if my mind thinks that abusing my body negates the abuse that has been done to me.

a few weeks ago i read Tara's post on body compassion, as well as the post from Ronnie which inspired her. i also came across the First Ourselves website where i spent several hours reading the info there on healthy body image.

it was like a wake up call, i cannot keep on abusing my body, i have to find a way to accept me for who i am. truthfully it's never really been about being 'skinny', although a little voice in me head always tells me "if only you were skinny then everything would be ok". i know that that isn't true, and the past 20 + years are proof, i also know that at a uk size 10 i hardly qualify as fat. but it's more about how i feel than how big i really am. 

another thing i am all too aware of is i have 3 daughters. and when i'm bent over the toilet bowl, throwing up the dinner i made myself eat so they wouldn't wonder why i wasn't eating (again), tears rolling down my face and my heart breaking at the thought of them ever feeling like this. i am no longer just me. my actions no longer affect just me. so for my daughters sakes as much as for me i say no more. no more starving. no more binging. no more purging.

my body isn't the same as it was when i was 20. but even after all i have done to it, it still gave me 3 beautiful daughters, which goes to show just how amazing the human body is. i'd been told that because of my anorexia it would unlikely that i'd be able to conceive.

my body needs lots of love and  tlc, it needs me to appreciate all the good it has to offer, all the good it has given me. it needs me to nourish it me healthy foods and accept and love it no matter what.

more than anything i want my daughters to grow up with a healthy body image, to not think that being a size 0 is the only way to be beautiful. to know that a female body is a thing of beauty, glorious in it's curves, a thing to be celebrated and proud of.


Beautiful Blog Award

Thank you to Claire for my Beautiful Blog Award a few weeks back! Apologies that it's taken me this long to accept it :-( 

So I'm supposed to pass it on to other blogs that inspire, delight, excite, motivate me... here's my list!


list 6: yearnings of my heart

  • nights snuggled by the fire, rain pounding on the windows

  • the courage to say what i want and need

  • the ability to love myself

  • a beautiful kitchen like this, full of laughter, love and dreams

  • forgivness 

  • the gift of friendship

  •  being loved, for who i am


finding my way back to me

do you know who you are??? truly are, deep within your soul? none of us are just one thing, we all have different roles that form our identity. sometimes these blend into one another, sometimes they are kept separate.

i seem to have spent most of my life searching for who i am. and i'm still no closer to knowing. from a very early age, i've felt like an outsider, i felt that i wasn't real and i didn't matter. things happened when i was little, things that made me shut a part of me off, self preservation i guess. i believed the things i was told. that it was my fault... that i wasn't good enough... that what i thought and felt weren't important.. and because i believed it i searched out more of the same... people who would validate the way i'd come to think of myself. my teens were a difficult time... an abusive relationship... a difficult relationship with my folks.... putting myself in situations because i didn't think i deserved any better... self harm... drink... drugs... eating disorders... all because i'd been taught to hate myself and i did with a vengeance.

the law of attraction says that like follows like... and because my thoughts were of self hate... and i expected people to abuse me... that's exactly what i got. the more that it happened, the more my feelings and beliefs were validated.

i've spent my life trying to be who other people want me to be...what other people expect me to be... trying to be someone different for each and every person in my life.. i've pushed people away if they get too close, afraid that they won't like what they find in me. and now... i don't know who i am... what really makes me ME.. i'm afraid to show the world my true colours, afraid to just be me, to not censor myself and allow myself to be the person i want to be.

i'm trying to find a way to reconnect with myself.. i want to live my life in full colour, free of the need for approval from others, free of judgement, free to be who i am. but first i have to find myself. i want to love myself and accept that i am me, no one else and for that to be ok.

i've been reading lots of other posts on blogs that have deeply resonated with me, this at ShaktiMama, here at Jen Lemen and this from Leonie . Many many more have touched me, but these are the first that sprung to mind.

a weekend in kent

one of the things on my 29 Things list was to take the train down to my sisters in Kent. i'd always put it off before thinking that it would be too expensive, and too difficult a journey to attempt on my own with 3 girls. however, when i looked at the booking site, train tickets were only going to cost me £30 return, the journey meant 4 changes, and i could walk between stations in london thus avoiding the underground. so i booked!

by the time it came to actually go i was wondering what i'd gotten myself into... the thought of the long train journey was a little daunting... and i wasn't sure i could do it.

but did it i did! the journey both ways passed without a hitch, we made all of our connections no problem, found our way across london without getting lost, and had a great weekend!

my girls loved playing with their cousins, Baya especially loved seeing the chickens in their garden. we had a lovely chilled weekend catching up, it'd been a whole year since we'd seen them, with baya just being a teeny baby at the time.

kent was great, beautiful and sunny, and i didn't want to come home! so i'm sure we'll be repeating the journey in the not too distant future. tho next time i think the rucksack needs to weigh a little less!

list 5: things i think are sexy

  • piercings
  • shyness
  • whispering
  • tattoos
  • scars that show your history
  • dreads
  • cut off jeans
  • being barefoot
  • laying naked, wrapped in a blanket in front of the fire
  • the anticipation of a first kiss