My inward and outward journey
Have you ever wondered to yourself or had the thought occur “If I look better, I will feel better about myself”? I know I have and I am sure that about 98% of other woman (and guys) have too.
Then one day I started to wonder about the real reason for my thoughts, why do I need to change and for whom?For as long as I can remember society has told us how to look, what to wear and even what is considered to be beautiful. Who is this society and who gave them all that power? The answer is simple – we did.
Growing up I was quite a skinny child. Being very tomboyish I would quite seldom even bother brushing my hair. I wasn’t exactly very girly and quite honestly that never bothered me all that much. I was outside playing sports with the boys so grazed knees and dirty hands were the order of the day. To me everyone was beautiful and equal and life was so simple back then.
My mother and I always had an unusual relationship and some things I didn’t quite understand about until later on in life. I remember her walking with me to school on my very first day and I gripped her hand so tightly because I was petrified. For some or another reason we spent some time at the admissions office so most of the other children were already in their classes. Once all the paperwork was finalised we were escorted by a prefect to my class. We walked down a long passage past classes filled with children staring, they were all STARING.
After what seemed like the longest walk of my life we made our way across a playground and to my classroom. The whole time I did not let go of my mother’s hand as I felt safe with her and I didn’t feel alone. Outside the door to my classroom I was greeted by a beautiful elderly teacher and she gestured for me to come inside. I looked up at my mom and started to cry, I didn’t want to let go and I didn’t want to leave her. She leaned toward me and hugged me as she held me I whispered in her ear “I’m scared Mommy, all the kids keep staring at me”. She pulled back slightly and I could see something in her expression that I didn’t quite understand at my age and she replied to me “Don’t worry my baby, they were not staring at you”.
As I got older I would hear comments from the other kids that sounded a lot like this, “Wow your Mom is really big” or “Isn’t it embarrassing having a Mom like that?”. Although this did hurt my feelings and made me conscious of something that never bothered me before my answer in most of these cases would be “No I am not embarrassed and who gave you the right to judge anyone?”. To me my mother was always beautiful and I loved her regardless of her less than “Perfect” image.
Teenage years came along and my mother’s issues became less of a worry to me as I was starting to deal with my own weight issues.
It had arrived! Dearest, darling puberty. I started to develop in all kinds of ways. At first the changes were subtle and beautiful. I was becoming a woman! Over time though I think puberty forgot to stop its magic with me and I started getting quite heavy. Where I once had a “Schwappa” I had a booty and those knobbly knees were now well surrounded. Birth control tablets and a terrible diet also played a huge factor with my weight after finishing school. This affected a lot of areas in my life especially my love life.
By the age of 22 I was engaged and welcomed my daughter – one of the most beautiful experiences I have ever been through, but man what damage it leaves behind on our bodies.
I soon reached what I feel were my darkest days with my body. I weighed 104 kg’s and being that I’m pretty short I felt that it looked even worse. I stopped loving myself, stopped bothering with nice clothes or even make-up, what’s the point right? My life started becoming very stagnant I didn’t want to go anywhere or do anything and man was I a miserable person. If I am honest with myself I am surprised that I have any friends left after all of that.
3 years later and everything started changing in my life.
Things had to fall apart in order for me to finally get up and start rebuilding my life. My relationship fell apart after 6 years together. I hit such a low point and I hated my body, I hated my job, I hated my life and I was just so full of hate and negativity towards everyone and everything but mostly toward myself. I kept on thinking, “How did I let myself get this bad? How did I get here? I don’t want to feel like this anymore! If I look better I will feel better, if I looked better maybe I wouldn’t have lost the things I valued the most, if I…”
And one day after a few depressing months I stopped and I listened to what I was saying and answered myself.
I am going to start feeling better right now.
Yes maybe things fell apart but I deserve to be happy and I’m going to fix my life and figure out how to be content with myself before I even consider trying to find happiness with someone else.
This all happened on a Tuesday afternoon and what a day it was. I had a meeting (Crap out) with the boss and quit an hour later. I know it’s crazy but I knew it, finally in that split second of absolute mad brilliance I finally knew it. I knew that I could do better and that I am valuable and I wouldn’t let anybody treat me like anything less than I deserve. Soon everything else quickly started to fall into place and I genuinely felt happy. I wanted to work hard to feel like this for myself. I joined a gym, cut my hair, got a better job where I felt like I wanted to be, Started buying nicer clothes, putting on make-up almost every day and just enjoying this journey that I started within myself.
Yes, I have been working hard on my exterior appearance but the biggest and most positive change has been something completely out of sight. My journey and transformation within my heart and my soul. I am learning a little more everyday how to love myself and how to be happy without any justification or pressure from any external influences.
Basically what I’m getting at is that the formula was all wrong, I think it should be something like “If I feel better then it doesn’t matter what I look like”
I’ve lost so far 24kg’s (almost a year) and as much as I love and am proud of my body I am more proud of how I feel within myself.
How can you expect somebody to value and respect your body when you constantly point out all its flaws?
Why do you rely so much on other people to make you happy?
Learn how to be happy on your own first, then you can figure out the rest and it won’t be easy but trust me on this, it is worth it!