Wednesday, 26 March 2014

How I learnt to worry less and love myself more

I've never been thin - fact!
The fat ginger kid became a fat grey adult, and this is my story.

My parents were the products of rationing, where food was in short supply, and none could be wasted. More than this, being emotionally undeveloped meant that they couldn't express love in the normal form, by affection and vocalisation, so, they chose food as it's expression. These two facts have lead to my unhealthy attitude with food.

No one in my Mothers or Fathers family are particularly what you might consider slender - as a big baby I began life, and as a big child I continued. Combine my relationship with food, with my parents expressing their unhappiness with my size, by lovingly telling me how fat I was, and this lead me to eating even more ...and hating myself for eating more. Self awareness was absolutely no help or comfort.

My self disgust was rooted so deeply, it was hard to undo. My body was my battle, until it became my joy. As ugly as I convinced myself that I was, as much as I loathed every inch of my flesh, my body still did an amazing thing - it gave me two children.

Having children was the beginning of the change in my feelings towards my body. Most women bemoan putting on weight in pregnancy and then trying to lose it after, but, I was never thin, neither of those facts bothered me. Not that I found pregnancy easy, because it wasn't, but, it was all more than worth all the trouble, and the scars left by two caesareans.

Even my problems with breastfeeding didn't dampen this new found amazement at my body. It may be an everyday event, with women all over the world producing children, but, it’s still a miracle. Despite the stretch marks, and loss of muscle tone, I saw my body in a new way completely - fat and useless as it was, it has given me two fabulous daughters.

This lead to the realisation that on a daily basis our bodies perform countless miracles - each and every one of us are infinitely astonishing! Our bodies and our minds in harmony, interacting with the world, and those other bodies and minds that inhabit it. The giving and receiving of affection, the simple joy of holding your child's hand, or hugging a friend, right through to lingering in the arms of someone you adore. Our bodies are capable of so much.

So, the next time you look at yourself and think of your body in a negative way, remember this - your body is truly wonderful. Remember all the hugs, and kisses, all the holding of a loved ones hand. All the pleasure you have given and received. Remind yourself that you are loved.