This past weekend, I turned 30. Officially in the dirty thirties now. And I feel great. Fantastic, in fact.
|My awesome hubby took me on a helicopter flight for my b'day!|
It has been 1 year since I wrote my postabout putting on weight to restore my fertility. It has been 3 years since I lost my period due to under-eating, over-exercising, taking the birth control pill and being a stressed-out, maniacal perfectionist. It has been an interesting 30-year journey of progressing from someone who was constantly trying to change her body to meet some unrealistic ideal, to someone who actually loves the skin she is in. And I am not just saying that. For the first time in my life, I actually really love my body.
I have been wanting to write this post for a while, but putting it off. Not sure why. I guess we all have a fear of being judged in a negative light. So I ask you to please, if you have nothing nice to say, then say nothing at all. OK here goes...
For reference purposes, here is my before and after pic to show my progress. Please excuse the hair in both shots – one was scraggly beach hair and the other sweaty post-workout hair. But it’s not about the hair (although it is thicker and more lustrous nowadays). Let’s take an objective view here, simply looking at the change in body shape.
On the left, you will see “Check out my 8-pack, you think I'm healthy and fit , but my fertility is in the shitter” Kate. I showed this to a friend the other day and she said “Oh wow! What were you training for?”. Nothing. I was training for my illusive “dream body”. Pfft.
On the right, you will see “Check out my boobs, I look healthy and feminine and my internal state reflects this” Kate. There are just two things that I do not like about this pic –
1)My lack of tan (although I have that many layers on here in Wanaka that a tan would not even get noticed) and
2)The selfie pose. I hate bathroom-half-naked selfies. It makes you look like such a wanker. I apologise. I am doing this for reference purposes, not to show off or entice more Instagram followers.
OK, so aside from having boobs (seriously, I’m still obsessed with them), what is so great about my new body? Probably best if I list out the reasons, as I tend to do. As always, feel free to just read the bolded text to get a general gist:
- I have unbelievable energy. I used to have to take regular naps throughout the day, just to make it through. Now, I can soldier through, completely sans-caffeine. Funny what happens when you start to eat enough
- The whites of my eyes are crystal clear. They used to be constantly bloodshot and my vision was blurry. I relied on ClearEyes, and I wasn’t even getting stoned!
- My skin is clear and wrinkle free. Previously, it would look kind of dry and lackluster
- My nails are thick and strong. For the first time in my life, my nails are not snapping off as soon as a little bit of white appears. I used to have vertical ridges (signs of adrenal fatigue) and horizontal ridges (signs of thyroid issues). These ridges are almost non-existent now
- My gray hairs have disappeared. Now this one I find quite odd, and did not think it possible. I used to have quite a few gray hairs, and my hairdresser can vouch for this – she kindly pointed out a patch of grays on my head that I would have otherwise been unaware of. Thanks Leigh. Those grays – all gone! Bizarre, right?
- My cycle is getting back on track. Thank God, because that’s the whole reason I headed down this road. It’s not perfect – about 40 day cycles, but compared to the nothingness of about 6mths ago, this is a pretty significant improvement
- I can do crazy yoga shit. Seriously – handstands and backbends and balances and all sorts of awesome stuff. I am loving it! I would never have gone down the yoga path if I wasn’t forced to sort out my stress and pull back on the chronic cardio that I was doing
- I am so much more in tune with my body now. I listen to how it feels and I respond with understanding and respect, rather than saying “Harden up! It’ll be worth it”, because more often than not, it won’t be worth it.
- My hubby thinks I am sexy and tells me this all the time. I know what you are thinking – he has to say that. Maybe, but he could just say nothing at all. I asked him if he preferred me the way I used to be and he said “Honestly, you were almost too skinny for me”. Interesting. I find the male response to this whole thing very intriguing. Any males out there who want to chime in on this, please do – obviously not telling me I’m sexy (unless you want to), but just commenting on the whole female body thang.
- I am now in the position to be a positive role model for other females, both young and old. My previous body was unrealistic and unattainable for most. It took a lot of hard training and strict eating, and wasn’t even healthy. I was practically a male! No boobs, no period, no hips. Sounds pretty masculine to me!
So how did I do it? How did I go from hating my body at 57kg (172cm tall, 'cos I know you were wondering) to loving it at around 62-64kg (not exactly sure what my weight is – I broke up with the scales a while ago)? Well, it wasn’t easy. I didn’t just suddenly wake up and go “Hurrah! I am woman, hear me roar!”. These are the things that were invaluable to complete body image backflip:
- Support. Lots and lots of it. From loved ones, and from you folks through the interwebs – thank you!
- The knowledge that I might be helping others in a similar situation – this was a massive driver! I truly hope I can help others, even if it is just one person
- The realisation that menstruation is a sign of fertility. Fertility is a sign of health. Body fat is needed for menstruation. Ergo body fat is healthy.
- Self-love. I know this sounds really woo-woo, but it truly helped me understand the underlying thoughts I had about my body and how to change them. Gabrielle Bernstein’s May Cause Miracles, and Louise Hay’s You Can Heal Your Life are invaluable resources. Get them both. NOW!
- Yoga. Yes, I am well and truly a hippy now. I even have crystals throughout my house. Candles too. But back to yoga. Aside from being able to bend and balance my way into poses that I was once only dreamed of doing, yoga taught me how to focus on my body’s ability, rather than it’s aesthetics.
- The realisation that those who really matter in your life could not give a flying fuck (sorry - I was overdue for a swear word) if you are a size 8 or a size 14
|Image via care2.com|
This is my body. In your eyes, it may not be perfect. I have cellulite. I have stretch marks (in fact, I had cellulite and stretch marks before putting on weight). I don’t have abs. Or a thigh gap. But in my eyes, what I see and how I feel, for the first time in my life, I am completely and unashamedly happy. This is 100% me. I am not a replica of someone else, nor am I trying to be. I am confident and I am healthy, and I hope that I have sparked the desire in you to love, accept and appreciate your body exactly as it is. xx