2019 that’s a wrap to the year AND the entire decade + the end of an Era.
2019 a year of learning to like, then love the skin that I am in.
To finish 2019 I wanted to apologise to my body for how I had treated it and more importantly the negative thoughts I have had, about it. I have made peace with those parts and I will continue to work on how I see myself & my body.
After all my Body is:
It is actually MY RESPONSIBILITY on how I see myself and my body, which is all within my control.
I am ending this decade LOVING my body - HELL YEAH – bring on 2020!!!
As this decade comes to an end, one of my goals for 2019 was to LIKE the skin I was in – even on my hard bloating body days (you know those days). As I am coming to the end of this decade, I have grown to not only like the skin I am in but LOVE my body. It hasn’t been easy and I have had to accept parts of my body that have imperfections, scars from accidents, sagging skin from being overweight for 2+ decades and scars from surgeries that removed the excess skin. Due to being overweight for such a long period of time, not all of my skin shrunk and in certain areas of my body, the excess skin was so excessive it would hang unsupported and it would get lesions and sometimes even tear requiring small stitches.
I have then moved into respecting these areas of my body.
WAIT A MOMENT--- this sounds a little familiar as I type this, that is because it does! I wrote a Blog Post on the 28/08/2019 called My Body Image Journey. So why does it sound like I am going back over all ground?
Photo's taken by Sarah at Starshots Central Coast. Sarah is a gifted photographer that makes you feel very much at ease as well as a good friend of mine. Thankyou Sarah. Fun Fact: MANY people actually have photo's just like this taken.
This isn’t something that just happens, well not for me or for most, so let’s do a quick rewind which may explain WHY I will continue to work on how I see my Body Image…..
From 1992 I disliked my body, in 2001 I stopped going into shops to purchase clothing, instead I purchased online. I did this for 2 reason’s 1: I didn’t fit into most clothes and 2: I didn’t need to look at myself in the mirror in the change rooms. Somewhere in that time I developed a hate for my body. Hate – such an aggressive thing to even type. At the start of this decade  I weighed in at 258kgs and by 2012 I was 284kgs and this is when I started yet again to do something about my weight and declining health. I lost 23kgs just by changing my foods, then joined a gym and was approached by a CrossFit Coach and started CrossFitting at 261kgs. I currently weight 78kgs. In that time I have had 5 Surgeries to remove the excess skin, become a CrossFit Coach, opened a Gym, become a Nutritionist and a Naturopath - needless to say it’s been a HUGE eight years for me. I think wrapping up these 8 years and this decade loving my amazing body was needed.
It hasn’t been an easy journey at all. Social media does shape our thoughts on what NORMAL should look like. Even in the CrossFit & Weightlifting space we have images of people who have been of larger weight and lose their weight and their skin has bounced right back. In fact if you look (and I have) you will find there are images EVERYWHERE about EVERYTYPE of body image imaginable and if we allow it in, it will infiltrate our minds and distort our own perception of self.
Think about it for a moment. You’re thinking of purchasing a new white 5 door hatch car and what do you see EVERYWHERE ? The same model white 5 door hatch back car right?
Let’s apply that same thinking to a Body Type you see that you admire, do you think you would see it everywhere? The answer is probably yes and if we see that body type everywhere and you don’t have that Body Type – how do you think of yourself?
In reality what’s happened is the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon (pronounced badder mainhoff), also known as frequency illusion or recency illusion has just kicked in. [source: Pacific Standard].
A couple of things that happen when the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon kicks in.
Your brain seems to be excited by the fact that you've learned something or seen new, and selective attention occurs. Your brain subconsciously thinks, "Hey, that's awesome! I'm going to look for that thing without actually thinking about it." So now that you're looking for it (without being aware that you are looking for it) AND you find it. To make it all the more powerful, confirmation bias occurs after seeing it even once or twice. In other words, you start agreeing with yourself that, yup, you're definitely seeing it more and this is how we start to compare our body to another.
The difference is unlike a car that is built on an assembly line and is mass produced, humans are not. We are individually unique and if we can’t even reproduce the same fingerprint from one identical twin to another how can we expect to morph our bodies into that of another’s shape and size.
I also find it interesting that we strive to have our own voice heard, to be unique, to put our own creative stamp on ourselves, what we wear, what music we like to listen too, how we drink out coffee, what our favourite coffee brand is, what we eat, how we do our hair, how we live our lives… heck we actually do this to the majority of things we do as we are unique individuals. Just look at Facebook or Instagram for example the different profiles we make them our own, we don’t subscribe to a stock universal photo, we look for one of ourselves that we like.
Our Body Image is stored in our brain cells not in our fat cells, so the main part of this year I have been working on how I allow my mind to perceive my body. For my Self Esteem, my Mental Health and also my Gut and overall Health. You see your Gut and Brain are connected via the Brain-Gut-Microbiome Axis, in other words what you think about yourself affects your gut health which in turn affects your mental health – such a horrible cyclic pattern. This cyclic pattern needed to be stopped and over written.
It has taken me WAY too long for this to happen – over 30yrs of hating my body.
So dear body for that I am sorry, I am grateful that I am now in the space to accept my parts, ALL of my parts lovingly. They are my unique story; a road map of what my body has lived through.
I can’t wait for 2020 a new decade with a different mindset – imagine where it can take me.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.