Friday, 29 October 2010
Me, Myself and I.
Todays blog is a piece I wrote as a guest blogger for a Twitter friend of mine, Voice in Recovery, I thought I would share it with my own readers, its a very personal and poignant piece for me, very honest and was quite hard to write in places. But here it is:
I am a 37 year old woman, I live in the stunning Yorkshire Countryside in the North of England.
I will briefly give you an overview of my younger years which sadly were filled with loneliness due to merciless bullying throughout my school life. Whilst I never really thought I was too badly affected psychologically I can now see it had a rather profound impact on me in the years to come, I was mocked for everything from the way I walked, the way I talked to my flame red hair and geeky glasses.
I left school and began to flourish, I got a good job and became interested in fashion and cosmetics, even training at night school to be a make up artist. I was really developing in my late teens and without very much effort at all I developed a great sense of style to go with my media perfect size UK 10 figure.
I became quite the socialite, I had complete confidence in my looks, I believed myself to be truly beautiful, I invested in myself, the best clothes, the best hairdresser, the latest make up, beauty treatments etc.. When I walked into a room I wanted everyone to notice me.
I had a good long run at this, around 10 years to be precise, and I never once let up on my socialising. However I was beginning to become quite unhappy, and my behaviour was beginning to change, to cut a very long story short I was diagnosed with Clinical Depression at 29 and my GP gave me Fluoxetine (prozac) to counteract the symptoms that were occuring. I took the tablets without question, but the depression deepened and I became darker and more isolated and moody.
Over the next 2/3 years my body began to change in quite dramatic fashion, I began to put on a lot of weight. I was at a loss as to why this was happening, my diet hadnt changed, nothing had changed, so why?! why was this happening to me?! My confidence was sinking fast and as quick as I was buying new clothes, I was bursting out of them again.
Something had to give. So my body hatred began! I began searching out the 'best' ways to lose weight, by this of course I mean the quickest! And so began 2/3 years of what I can only describe as sheer Hell. Atkins diet, cabbage soup diet, south beach diet, weightwatchers, slimming world, not to mention the other practices I was indulging in, bingeing, purging, 'detox' days, fasting, slimming tablets. You name it, I can guarantee I tried it, all to no avail, the weight was still creeping on and by now I was a virtual recluse.
My weight finally stableised and my dress size was now a UK 20, twice what I had once been and I despised myself. I went again to my GP who told me I was now classed as 'clinically obese' I cried for 3 days solid about that statement.
When I looked in the mirror I saw a monster, I couldnt find clothes to look right, I never went out socialising any more, I had stopped wearing make up and I was extremely depressed.
One particular day I came across a book by Marilyn Wann called Fat? So! I was intrigued by the title and delved into the book. It changed my life.
Marilyn Wann is a 'Size Activist', someone who believes in health at ANY size. The book was a revelation to me, this woman was saying its ok to be FAT??!?! She was saying just be HEALTHY, eat well, exercise and take care of yourself but dont worry about your weight. This was totally alien to me and whilst at that point I didnt believe her I began to read more books by these 'Size Activists'.
I began to realise that much of the weight gain was due to my depression medication and since it had now been determined I would have to be medicated for life I was going to have to get used to this bigger body. I knew I had been abusing my body terribly for the last few years with the fad diets and diet pills etc, and vowed there and then to stop.
I threw away my scales and put my faith into these 'Size Activists' and how my life transformed! Today I eat well, I exercise well and I take good care of my body on the inside and out. Yes, I am still Fat but you know what? I am proud of my body just the way it is today. I no longer put off socialising, I buy nice clothes that suit my new shape, I eat out, I dance, I cycle and I laugh. All things I thought I would never, ever be able to do again until I was thin.
Today I myself am a Size Activist, I preach the Gospel that its ok to be Fat, its ok to be Thin, its ok to be YOU, just accept yourself and be kind to your body.
My hang ups with my body were never about anyone else accepting me, they were about ME accepting me and I have managed to achieve that with the help of some very special ladies within the Size Positive Community, I am indebted to them and hope that my words and actions will reach out to at least one person who felt the way I did, and show them that they are beautiful just as they are today, that their body is amazing today and that being kind to themselves will be the greatest gift they can give themselves.