“How you love yourself is how you teach others to love you” – Milk and Honey, Rupi Kaur
I have been wanting to pen this article for a while now but every time that I sat down to start, nothing felt right. I concluded that the best way to go about it was to just sit at my laptop with old school Craig David playing, a mug of tea, with no plan or over thinking, and just type. That’s exactly what I’m going to do.
I’ve put on a bit of tub recently and I’ve been trying not to make a song and dance about it, mostly because I’ll get out of breath (just kidding. It’s not that bad but I set myself up to make that cracker of a joke. *Winking smiley*)
No. Let’s start again. Come on Henna. Can you tell that I’m out of practice?
I was scrolling through the notes in my phone and realised that I’d written “I’m really embarrassed about the way I look.”
I’d obviously written that when I was having a really bad day and it broke my heart to read it back. No one should feel like that.
The past couple of months in therapy have consisted of stripping back and really getting to the root of why I am often so hard on myself. It has been really emotionally draining and at times, even physically draining. Meaning that my priorities seems to have shifted.
I’ve realised that my body has changed but this time, I’m determined not to beat myself up about it.
For everything that we feel there is a “need” and a “solution”. For example, I “need” to not be so hard on myself because it is having an enormous effect on the way I live.
The “solution” to this would be to act kinder towards myself. However, I’m currently using the wrong solution. The solution that I’ve been using is to neglect my health and eat things that are bad for me. So what I’m trying to say is, it’s never going to work because my solution isn’t matching my need. Do you see what I mean? What I need to be doing is giving myself a break instead of putting myself down.
I’ve never been really skinny and honestly, there we’re times when I thought that I would never be happy unless I fit a certain mould.
This is mostly because when we gain weight, we are made to feel as though it is bad, but when we lose it, we get told how great we look. Which by the way from both aspects can be extremely damaging.
I just wanted to point out that I’m talking from the perspective of gaining weight simply because that’s what I am currently experiencing, but it applies to anyone.
I like to be healthy. I get it from my dad. He’s a massive health freak and I grew up around him always going to the gym and eating clean. Having said that, there is a part of me that believes that if you aren’t accepting of yourself with a bit of tub, then you won’t be accepting of yourself at any size.
I wish I could sit here and say that I am much more than the size of my body but sometimes, there’s a part of me that doesn’t quite believe it. That’s why I wanted to put this post together. To remind myself and anyone else that life is a working progress and all we can do is our best at that moment and not be so self critical.
There are a lot of daft bastards out there that think it’s ok to judge someone based on the way they look but I refuse to let anyone else determine how I feel about my own weight.
My therapist looked me dead in the eye recently and said “Henna. You need to be kind to yourself. This isn’t a question of ‘want’. You need to do it.” and I don’t think that I’m ever going to forget that moment because it made me realise how much damage had been done through a lack of compassion towards myself.
I’ve struggled with body image for a really really long time now but recently, I’ve felt so amazing being proud of my body and everything that it does for me.
Come to think of it, I went to my first yoga class in ages last week and although I was ridiculously out of practice, my teacher said something that really put things into perspective for me.
She spoke about how when we are no longer here, people at our memorial aren’t going to say “well her shoulders were a bit big” or “she wasn’t flexible enough to do that stretch”. No one is going to care. What they will care about however is whether you were kind, funny, honest and compassionate. That’s the stuff that really matters.
Shout out to all of you legends that struggle with the way you look but make an effort to try and love yourselves everyday. You’re doing great.
Oh, and if you’re one of those people that think it’s acceptable to comment on someone’s weight because it’s “your opinion” then my opinion is that you’re a cunt.
Thanks for reading guys and congrats on making it to the end of this hefty post LOL.