The minute I turned 16 my body was up for commentary.
It led to hours wasted staring in mirrors trying to figure out what to change and how.
For almost 3 decades my weight swung around by a couple of stone.
I’d lose far too much weight and be told I was perfect.
I’d work hard to gain muscle and be told I was too bulky.
I’d get food poisoning and be asked what my secret was to looking so fab.
I watched celebrities shrink and saw the success, status and admiration it gained them.
Discussions about thighs, flat stomachs, cellulite, toned arms and the number on the scales were constant around me.
The continuous dialogue from others caused an excessive body-checking habit, looking in every mirror or shop window.
Overthinking the portions, the exercise, the calories and the jeans feeling tighter.
I could be confident and curvy one minute.
Slim and insecure the next.
It was all-consuming and mentally exhausting.
Beneath it all was a sense of just not feeling good enough, consistently enough.
It was also pointless because I was never going to fit with an ideal that everyone defined, except me.
BUT with age, experience and illness I realised the ONLY thing I need to listen to is my body.
Not the fictional narrative chattering away in my head.
Food and exercise are now about strengthening my body, mind, resilience and confidence.
I’ll always be a work in progress to some degree.
I’m not immune to triggers but I don’t react in the same way.
The people in my life are also a BIG part of that (thank you, Matt)
If this resonates with you, here are a few books that helped me realise I wasn’t alone:
- Girls Will Be Girls by Emer O’Toole
- The Body Is Not an Apology by Sonya Renee Taylor
- Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach
- Hunger So Wide And So Deep by Becky Thompson
- The Romance Diet: Body Image and the Wars We Wage by Destiny Allison
Does this post resonate? Let us know.
Keris Marsden (NT Dip CNM, BA Hons, mBANT) is a qualified Naturopathic Nutritional Therapist and lecturer on nutrition. She is also a qualified Personal Trainer and Yoga Instructor and is the mastermind behind the sweet treats on offer from the Fitter Food Kitchen.
As the co-author of the best selling paleo inspired recipe book, The Paleo Primer, she is 100% dedicated to showcasing that eating an awesome diet of good quality, great-tasting and easily accessible produce is essential in living a long, healthy, energised and positive life. Keris regularly blogs on fitterfood.com about her personal experiences with PCOS, orthorexia and hormone health.
Book a nutritional therapy appointment with Keris here.