For each and every time I smile in the mirror now [and I do smile], I’m scared. You see, at 40 I know myself. I see the paths I’ve walked before in food and body image territory. I’ve worn those running shorts, ran until I could run no more and made myself sick. Mentally, physically – and to a point where I was hospitalised at 21, vomiting blood.
I don’t want to go there again. I’m an addict. Exercise, diet, chocolate, rituals – I’m easily hooked, by good things and bad – and I take them to extremes, and crash.
It’s a seesaw. I teeter. Wobbling between not caring what the world thinks – including those very close to me, who have seen how I’ve struggled over the years with my weight yet still make flippant comments, over and over, as if I don’t realise I’m fat.
I know I’m loved unconditionally by three beautiful boys – [one of whom calls me his Princess] and a wonderful husband, but then I topple over to the other side. That side is dark, filled with feelings that my life is practically over, I’m a shambles of a person and the rather unattractive slug I see in the mirror is nothing more than a fat old lady well past her best years…and yet in truth I’m wasting years, in misery.
I don’t want to not care, and I don’t want to feel self loathing. I want to feel comfortable in my own skin – caring what others think essentially stops me being happy. For the first time since I can remember, I’m trying to be balanced. I’m getting my life back – and I my own two feet carrying me through the door of Slimming World to thank for that. Sitting weekly in a group of men and women, talking over how we’ve faired that week is liberating.
Speaking without being judged, listening without speaking if I want to – just knowing that there are friends in that room who want you to succeed is so freeing. We laugh [a lot], we share and we can be who we are, inside and out, on better or worse days.
I’m going to be brave and try and post about my journey on here – because it’s a road I’ve travelled on so many times before – and this time I don’t want to turn back.
Thank you Mom, for taking my photo.