“My body my story” campaign by Loose Women: would you dare to bare? #MyBodyMyStory

I am sat watching Loose Women and have realised how brave everybody is by daring to bare and show off their body.

I realised how I have never allowed myself to acknowledge my own insecurities about my body image. I have always denied myself compassion because I told myself I have never been bullied: therefore I had no right to say I have body image issues. I also downplay my issues by telling myself that everybody dislikes something about their body. And that is true to an extent, however it isn’t “normal” to dislike most of your body and it certainly isn’t right when it affects your day to day life. 

As most of you know, I have self-harmed in the past to deal with very difficult and overwhelming emotions. I now wear those scars on my body and have to accept that they are there whether I like them or not. These are the main reason I have a very negative image of myself and my body. However I am also very unhappy with my weight at the moment and dealing with weight gain that has sprung from nowhere really. Part of the weight gain is down to an increase in painkillers and mental health medication. 

So where I’m going with this basically is; the thought of taking a picture of myself in a bikini and sharing that on social media for all to see fills me with panic and shame. And I never realised my body image issues were so big. Which means that now I can start looking at that and working through it. And I am going to aim to get out a bikini and get some snaps that might be acceptable enough to share. 

So to everyone with scars, big thights, cellulite, post baby belly’s, skin problems or whatever else who have so far shared their body picture with the world; hats off to you. That is not an easy thing and I salute every single one of you. 

Join the body stories campign and dare to bare using the hashtag #MyBodyMyStory

Love to you all. Remember you are beautiful no matter what you think! ❤

Body image & eating disorders. Searching for something that doesn’t exist; perfection!

Body image is something that’s always been a problem for me, and most people I think. The majority of people have some kind of ‘problem’ area. For me, it’s my legs, bum, hips & stomach. Not much then? 

I remember when my problem with weight and body image started. I was at 6th form at the time, so around 16/17. Until this moment, I never worried about it. But one day sitting in the common room, I remember looking at somebody and noticing how thin she was. She wasn’t ‘skinny’ but she had a good shape; everything was in proportion if that makes sense. And I started to then compare my own body to that of others my age. This is why I now have problems I believe; because I compare myself to others.

Every individual is different, unique! Unless you’re a twin/triplet etc, there will be nobody with the exact same looks or personality as you. There is only 1 of you in the world. Yet we constantly look at others and wish we had ‘their legs’ or ‘their figure’. Why are we so desperate to look ‘perfect’ when perfection is impossible. It is impossible to be perfect to everyone in the world because there will always be people who disagree with your definition of perfect. And you’ll never reach your own definition of perfect because you’ll always want more. 

My problems with my weight became something I obsessed over, and when I first became unwell I started to restrict my diet in order to lose weight. However, during a psychiatric admission, one of the drugs they put me on increased my apetite and my eating went completely the other way. I felt I couldn’t control it, if I saw food I wanted it. I craved shit foods and the cravings always got the better of me. I piled the weight on. Eventually I had to come off that drug because of this. Slowly from then (that was 2006) my weight reduced. Then I was diagnosed with Chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia and found exercise hard on my body. I started to sometimes overuse laxatives or make myself sick to try and get as much out of my body as I could. I was so irrational at times, and when working with the eating disorders service, I was convinced I needed to lose more weight; despite weighing about 7 stone and coming in as very underweight. It’s only recently I’ve stopped fretting as much about food, diet and weight. I won’t weigh myself as I know this can act as a trigger. If I weigh more than I imagine I do it’s a disaster. And I know my weight is up at the moment so I daren’t.

I have always been somebody who is ‘picky’ when it comes to food. And if it comes to dinner time and I’m not hungry, I can’t eat. It makes me physically bork to try eating if I don’t feel hungry. I try to be ‘healthy’ but it is harder than ever now with all the fast food, ping meals and snacks. That’s me being lazy though and something I need to work on.

My point is, everybody at some point will understand what it’s like to be unhappy with a part of or all of their body. And when you focus on your problem area, the ‘problem’ becomes bigger; you are basically zooming in on that problem area and seeing more and more of a problem. 

I now try to focus on what I do like about myself. If somebody asked me what I like most about myself it would be… My eyelashes. Such a small thing, but better than nothing. So instead of looking at your problem area, discover what you like about yourself. Remember there is nobody like you; comparing yourself to others will simply lead you down the road to hell. It will drive you closer towards unhappiness. You can’t be somebody else, and no matter how hard you try, it will not change who you are!