I feel good!

All this time I have been thinking about how I look, how other people are judging me on the size and proportions of my body. Of course I realise that most people have at least 1,000,000 other things to do that are more important to them but being fixated on the way I appeared to the world and so quick to make these judgments about others I assumed this was what was important. I would look at people in the street and constantly be asking myself “is that what I look like?”. I didn’t know how I appeared physically to other people and couldn’t trust my feelings about my body because that, along with my appetite, had been drowned in a sea of dieting dogma and images of “ideal” women in the media. I didn’t know what I was, how I felt, or what I looked like.

But in the midst of making sense of all this, finding my place in world, knowing who I was, a small thought was growing in my head and now I can see that thought and understand how true it is. That thought it how much better I have been feeling. I think I’ve written before about having a number of health issues and they remain lurking in the background of my mind but since I have fully adopted this way of eating I have been sleeping better (for the first time since I had children 30 years ago), my stomach feels better, it seems to like the food I am eating and though I can’t do as much as I would like to do because of other issues, my day-to-day functioning in life seems better. I am busy and I am coping. I feel that I have taken a small step towards accepting myself as I am and by eating this way, by stepping away from the dieting madness, that I am finally starting to know who I am.

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I’m ok

I’ve been reading about shame and a lot of what I read focusses on body image, how we see ourselves, and beat ourselves up because we don’t measure up to the perfect images in the media. The messages are (and always have been the same): it’s not the images, the body shapes and sizes they portray, that are wrong, it’s us that are wrong for not fitting into that image. Now if we’d only spend money on the latest diet book, follow the latest trend, we could look like those impossible airbrushed images and it’s only down to our laziness or greed that we are not able to do that.

Now as a woman who has spent her whole life living with a message of what is missing in my life I find this ridiculous but, of course, ridiculous for everyone else rather than me. I could spend the rest of my life beating myself up, wondering why I don’t look like Helen Mirren in a bikini but this is just repeating my go-to message: there is something wrong with me. But what happens if I throw out that message, what happens if I focus on all the things I am rather than all the things that I am not? I know it’s easier said etc but I have do something different, more sensible than I have been doing so far. I don’t want to just ignore the bits I like, but rather focus on what is good, what I like, I want to give up my focus on the negative which seems to impact on virtually, no, come to think of it, it impacts on every part of my life: me, my children, my partner, my home, my work etc etc It needs to stop, I need to stop, enough.

So I am perfectly imperfect: I am good enough, I fit just right in this world, and won’t hear anything else.