A lovely guest post from a lovely girl :) Enjoy!
Hi I’m Anna and can be found over at Diary of a Former Food Addict. The short version of my story would be I lost a lot of weight. I mean a whole real lot, over 100 pounds. I did this with a nutritionist, and working out. I have struggled with disordered eating and self esteem issues for pretty much my whole life. Amie and I decided to guest blog on each other’s sites. I thought I would write a little about body image and it’s impact on practicing healthy behaviors.
I decided to admit defeat and get help in April of 2008 and started seeing a nutritionist. My behavior was out of control and I was beyond miserable. I was finally at that point of saying something has to change I am never going to just wake up and get it. I had to have my brain reset. I do not think everyone needs to see a nutritionist to be successful in their goals but I know for me I needed that guidance. The weight loss has of course been great, and what I initially wanted. What I have grown to value more though is the help I have been given in resetting my value system for my body and body image.
I was so disconnected from my body it took me about a year of work to be able to connect in any way shape or form. In learning to really dial into my hunger and fullness, to be able to pick up signs and clues as to what was going on with me took a lot of work and accepting just how disconnected I was. I also learned how to change my dialogue. I quit being self deprecating. I quit hiding my insecurities with humor and started to treat myself with respect. I also started working on my feelings of self loathing towards my body. I found some of the positive body image dialogues did not appeal to me. I did not want to just say I love myself, and I am perfect. That felt like a different sort of disconnect and denial. I wanted to be able to love and accept myself, flaws and all. Not just whitewash it with positive affirmations. Deciding what I wanted my dialogue to be helped me start changing my conversation with myself and reclaiming the discussion in general. My weight and body had always been a topic up for discussion. I took it off the table. It is my business and my business only.
Reclaiming my body image and redirecting the conversation internally and externally lead me to something I think is huge in changing your lifestyle. I was able to start practicing more self protective behaviors. I was better at being discerning of what is and is not a healthy choice for me beyond food choices and work outs. I also felt less like I had to apologize, defend, or explain my choices. I became more confident in making decisions for myself regarding my mental and physical health. I had some serious self doubt after ending up at over 300 pounds. You just do not really trust your judgment at that point or at least I did not. I began to rebuild my trust with myself and the behaviors I had been coaching myself about became more second nature. It has applied to multiple aspects of my life and I continue to learn better ways to protect myself and do what is right for me.
Every day is an exercise in doing the best I can. I allow for mistakes, and allow for positive actions. I still struggle with body image but I remain focused on making it better and not admitting defeat. I better understand now the links between body image, self esteem, and self protection and how all of them need to be nurtured to help you really believe you deserve the life that you want and do deserve. We all deserve success in whatever we want to achieve and we only have one body to do it in makes a lot of sense to do right by it and give it some respect. One of my few regrets is I did not understand this earlier. It would have spared me a lot of chocolate eating, bad boyfriends, and wasted time, but I also would not be who I am today so I suppose it is a wash because I can say honestly I am great with who that person is.
If you don't already read DFFA, I definitely recommend you start! Have a healthy week friends,