A couple of years ago I finally found my balance body wise. After almost two decades of dieting and emotional binge eating I made healthy choices –and ate chocolate on a regular basis-, worked out two to three times a week, walked around the city every other day… I lost quite some weight and stabilised. Body love one hundred! For about two years I managed to keep my balance without even really trying. And then something changed…
Life shook me up. I left my good place for a very negative one and without immediately realising it I started eating differently. Less healthy stuff and more sugar, carbs and fried food. And I ate and ate and ate. And indulging is fun until you don’t fit into your jeans anymore. Just one problem: if the jeans don’t fit me anymore, I put on leggings. So I ate some more… And ohhh, ‘Can I get that with fries?’.
I got bigger and bigger. I knew it. I felt it. I ignored it. Why? Because for the first time in 20 years gaining didn’t make me feel like a loser. Putting on pounds didn’t make me feel like a failure. For the first time ever I actually didn’t feel anything. No feelings of guilt when I ate something unhealthy. No panic when I stepped on the scale. It was just a flat line.
‘After everything I’ve put my body through – twenty years of dieting, binge eating, unhealthy habits- it is still here for me’
Until one day I realised what I was doing: I sabotaged my own hard work. I was still keeping myself small. And transforming myself into that ‘unhappy fat girl’ again. Because being her was, in a weird way, a safe place to be. There was just one huge difference… When I looked into the mirror I realised something: I didn’t hate what I saw. My body still looked pretty damn good. That moment made me see how far I’ve come. I used to be the woman who hated herself for every kilo she gained. But I’m not her anymore.
After years of not really wanting to look at myself I’m finally in a place where I am cool with my reflection – and dancing naked in front of the mirror. I’m comfortable with this body. And because of that fact things need to change, permanently this time. Simply because my body deserves more than what I’ve given it so far. It’s amazing to be in a good place with yourself, it’s a great feeling to experience self-love and body love but I have to be honest with myself too. I haven’t been taking proper care of it lately (and by lately I mean the last 1,5 years).
‘When it comes to body love I can do better. I will do better. And most of all: I deserve better’
After everything I’ve put my body through – twenty years of dieting, binge eating, unhealthy habits- it is still here for me. It is still functioning. My legs take me places. I always got my own back. My arms lift me up. My hands help me write. My mind makes me wonder. My eyes show me beauty. My heart… oh my dear heart.
At times like this it’s important to be real with myself. Because what I’ve done is pure self sabotage. I worked crazy hard to get to a good place. And then I decided to eat and quit the gym because I wasn’t feeling myself? Because life wasn’t easy? What a bullshit. When something like that happens I should take even better care of myself.
When it comes to body love I can do better. I will do better. And most of all: I deserve better. I’m proud to say that I’m currently exploring a new work out buddy: my hula hoop. And we’re getting pretty close. So I will spin and twirl until I get myself back into my happy place.
Have you ever experienced something similar? I’d love to hear your story!
Pictures by Monique Gerritsen