I can still remember the voice of the lady telling me how overweight I was the first time I joined a weight loss program in my early teens. In my life, I only really have two phases I can be in – on a really strict diet, or not on a diet and feeling absolutely awful about myself. And I think that pretty much has been a theme song of my life over the past fifteen years.
I have tried every diet out there; I lose a few kilograms and gain them back again. Every summer rolls around and I would feel a sense of dread. Earlier this year I started to feel so tired of this constant struggle. I could hardly enjoy any sort of non-diet food because it always came with feelings of remorse afterwards. Eventually I decided to change my approach and join the gym and integrate a really balanced, sustainable eating plan. I’d managed to stick to the routine for a good few months, enjoyed all the classes I had joined and actually looked forward to exercising for the first time in my life. However, about six months in I had a breakdown and wanted to give up. I had this mini breakdown and wanted to quit gym because I was still weighing about the same. Never mind the fact that I was healthier, fitter and stronger than I had ever been before but because the scale said the same figure it was devastating me. That was a defining moment for me because I realised my motives were so superficial and I was purely chasing just a number. I was chasing a number on the scale because society has told us our whole lives that a certain number equates to being beautiful. I think I’ve always believed subconsciously that skinny equals beautiful and that if you are not thin in society’s eyes, you’re not beautiful.
It took a good while of searching to challenge the mind-sets that have been built up after so many years of not accepting my body frame and natural curviness. I think only once I started to embrace my shape and eat healthy and exercise because I love my body and want to take care of it, and not because I hate it, have I actually felt truly beautiful and at peace with how I look. What is motivating or fuelling the decisions you make is really key!
So with this new mind-set, I’m still attending gym nearly a year later and for the first time in my life, you’ll find me happily exercising and proud of my body shape.