From body hatred to body love: a personal tale of healing and acceptance w Che from Blessed Brisbane
Growing up, I always had a slender frame. My friend’s parents called me ‘spaghetti legs’. People commented that I ‘might blow over in the wind’. I was the ‘eat-anything-and-never- gain-weight- girl’. For many years I witnessed other women in my family - those who were born with more curvaceous frames – dieting, oogling over other women’s bodies and speaking down about themselves. I came to believe that flat and shapeless = good, and that curvy and womanly = bad.
Because of this, I struggled big time when, at the age of 28 and for the very first time in my life, the scales started to climb and my body shape began to change.
When my tummy got rounder.
My hips got wider.
My thighs got softer.
My boobs got lower (haha!)
When my clothes no longer fit. I was no longer the spaghetti-leg- eat-anything- blow-over-in-the- wind-girl. And that freakin’ terrified me!
My relationship with my body hit an all time low in 2015.
Though it had been building for some time, a stint as a U.S.A Summer Camp Counselor tipped me over the edge. I was the second oldest of the Camp Counselors with 20+ of my colleagues being in their late teens/early 20’s. The gals in the group had the body I used to have and that I so desperately wanted back and daily sports and water activities acted as a daily reminder of what I’d lost.
Here’s some words I divulged in the pages of my journal around this time …
I’m tired of the bullsh!t.
I’m tired of feeling the need to hide and cover the bits of myself that I don’t love.
I’m tired of monitoring what I eat only to feel sh!t about myself in the process.
I’m tired of my body hate being the first thing on my mind as I wake and the last thing on my mind as I lay my head to rest at night.
I’m tired of speaking the cruelest of cruel words to myself.
I still very clearly remember the day I decided I’d had enough of thinking and living this way.
The day I decided to be active in my healing.
The day I decided to change my mindset and steer my life on a different course.
By the grace of something miraculous, I came to realise that I had a choice about how I chose to feel about and perceive myself. And in that moment, I chose to change.
Did I heal overnight? Hell no.
And let me tell you now that that two years on, it’s still something that sneakily infiltrates my mind from time to time. But I’m aware of it, I catch the cheeky thoughts, I send them compassion and then shoo them away. It’s not easy but my goodness, it’s worth it.
Sadly, our society reinforces the false belief that beauty = thin and that anything other than that means there is something wrong with us. We’re bombarded with images of stick thin women and ads for the latest diet fads on billboards, our social media feeds, in magazines and on TV. Too often we hear those around us criticising the way they look, restricting their food intake and smashing their bodies with exercise - not in an attempt to feel good, but to look a certain way.
It’s all wrong. So, so wrong.
I want you to know that you are freakin’ beautiful. How do I know this? Because we’re all beautiful honey. Can you believe that in a world full of millions of human beings, there is only one you?
That thought blows. My. Mind.
YOU are the only one with stretch marks that fall in your special formation.
With a nose that bends in your unique way.
With fingers that are shaped in the perfect ways yours are.
With eyes that are set in the way that only your eyes ever will be.
And THAT is gorgeous.
Celebrate your special and unique self honey.
At the end of the day, it’s all you’ve got and you can either resist it and hate on yourself or meet your uniqueness with acceptance and gratitude.
It’s up to you.
Che is a happy-go-lucky lady who loves to smile and overdose on turmeric. She is the founder of Blessed Brisbane, an online space that connects women with local events that nourish the mind, body and soul.
Full of heart, full of soul - I think you will love her openness and honestly in her journey from 'spaghetti legs' to self acceptance.
Say hello on instagram, you can bet your bottom dollar she will respond with love in a jiffy xx