As a teenager I remember being repulsed by the size of my mum’s tummy. To my younger self it seemed like she had rolls of fat just hanging off her. It was something that repulsed me at the time and when I think of it now, it still does.
I’m sorry. I know it’s judgemental and disrespectful to my mum. But it was my reality.
A few months ago. I looked at my body in the mirror and I saw my mum looking back at me. And it rocked me. I was, that fat, middle aged woman standing in front of me. It really shocked me. Not because I hadn’t realised I was fat. But because I saw her. I didn’t like it. And I didn’t like feeling replaced at my body. (I find my face repulsive, so actually I manage life very well not looking at my face) but I don’t remember feeling that about my body before.
So, I’ve got to do something about it. And only I can. I can remain the same- or I can change. I read a Facebook quote which paraphrased went something like, the difference in my body next week will be decided by the decisions I make in the next 7 days. I can do nothing and get bigger. Or I can make small decisions that improve my life.
One of the most freeing things about my recovery, is that I have choices. Instead of things being ‘done’ to me, I can choose. I can be as busy as I like. I can be as fit as I like. I can choose. And I can now choose to do things that better me, improve my life, help me.
I was anorexic for about 3 years after my second bout of plastic surgery when I was 16. It wasn’t that I ever thought I was fat (I wasn’t) but I felt that I didn’t deserve to eat. I was such a horrible person that I didn’t deserve food. The lengths I went to punish myself are a bit shocking to reflect upon to be honest. My swing towards overweightness started after I was on huge doses of steroids for long periods of time to manage ulcerative colitis. The weight piled on. I have lost weight once, but I just lost the weight without loving my body and as soon as the diet finished the weight went back on. I hadn’t changed how I felt about myself or how I felt about food.
The other complication with my tummy area is that I have 2 large fibroids. One is the size of a 5 month foetus (yes, gross!) I also have one higher up that literally looks like a mushroom sticking out from under the skin. But these have been my excuses. It is unlikely that I will get a flat stomach because of them, but actually they are no excuse for just not caring about my body.
The other issue is that I also have a large vertical scar that is virtually the length of my torso. Even with big Bridget Jones knickers on, the scar sticks out over the top of them! But nevertheless I am going to wear a bikini on holiday this year. Men who have open heart surgery wear their scars with pride… so I will join them!
So what I am going to do about it. In a nut shell, a lot! but also a little! Its slowly slowly wins the race. Small choices, that added together make a big change. Bit by bit. No fads. Just rock solid perseverance. I’ve exercised 4 times a week for the past 7 weeks, I’m trying to make a treat a treat (not an entitlement). I’m thinking about what my body needs. I’m visualizing looking in the mirror and smiling! I’m dreaming feeling well, having more energy. Because just maybe, I deserve that as much as anyone else does.
Thanks for listening.