Monday, 23 May 2016

The Next Step In My Search For Personal Freedom

Finding my path to personal freedom is definitely going to be a long one. A long, worthwhile journey, that is teaching me more and more about myself and the world around me.

My next step is probably the most challenging of them all for me.

Learning how to love my body.

Being 'tall for your age' is never an easy thing to live with. It makes you stand out from the crowd, it's literally the only comment anyone will ever pass when they meet you, and for a long while, there were particular peers who took great satisfaction in picking on me for my height.

But that's okay now, everyone has pretty much levelled out, and I don't stick out like the sore thumb I used to be.
But after years of hating my height, weight and pretty much everything else about my body, it's about time I realised that actually, my body is a blessing.

The body is a temple. It needs to be worshipped and cared for, in all the right ways. The right foods, exercise, sunshine, water. I am lucky enough to be able to walk, run, swim and be independent. Some people don't have the luxury of being able to complain about their 'fat thighs' or their 'chubby arms'. Be lucky you have arms and legs people! We take these things for granted!

If you 'hate' your body, ask yourself why you hate it. What is it you don't like? I could have gone on listing all the things that I didn't like about mine. But then I put it into perspective.

I wasn't happy with my weight - and not because of the wrong reasons. I don't want to be like all the models on the magazines, that's not realistic, never ever, even if I tried would I look like that. Yes, the models are beautiful, but you can bet your bottom dollar their tummy's aren't always flat, they have stretch marks, scars, moles, birthmarks - things that are considered 'flaws', but Photoshop allows them to cover all of this. Enforcing us with an image of 'perfection' and 'flawless skin'.

I didn't like my body, because I never did anything good for it.
I ate a lot of junk food, like literally - cake, chocolate, biscuits, crisps, takeaway foods - you name it. I mean, yeah, everything in moderation and all that, but I went full out and binged all the time. I hardly ever ate fruit and veg on a regular occasion. I didn't exercise regularly, so I always felt groggy and unfit.

So I have taken it upon myself to change it.  

Slowly, very very slowly, I am coming to terms with the fact that I should be loving my body. Little things, and small steps, giving myself a reason to love it

One of the first things I changed was drinking plenty of water, which has had a huge benefit on my health, as well as my skin (having suffered from acne previously, it has made the world of difference, clearer skin and much more glowy) as well as having loads more energy. My what-used-to-be regular headaches are very occasional, and over all general health has upped hugely!
Something that I would not have really considered for my well-being, is seeing an osteopath. I have suffered from agonising pains in my knees for an awfully long time, which has restricted how much exercise I can do and just general every day life. Since seeing the Osteopath, my knees have been incredible! And generally, my back has felt looser, everything just seems to work better. I can get on and do the things I want to without being in pain.
This then leads me on to exercise - now that I have sorted the aches and pains, I can finally get out and run! Running had never really interested me, I thought it was boring, and hated the achy feeling I would get. I had no motivation to attempt it. But that has definitely changed! I have signed up for a couple of events this summer for Cancer Research, which I am determined to push myself for. I have started running in the evenings after work and on the weekends. I feel amazing. I sleep better at night, I have more energy (I know, surprising to me too!) and it has actually helped rebuild family relationships. I enjoy throwing on a pair of trainers and just getting outdoors, its so liberating!
Healthy Eating
Ditching the junk food was the next step. This has been a tricky one. I do love a good old takeaway pizza and ice cream and chocolate and cookies and cakes... so cutting it down has been hard. Cutting down - not cutting out. I don't see the point in cutting it out completely. I love an occasional indulge in yummies, I mean who doesn't? So instead of depriving myself of nice things, I just limit myself, and eat fruit as snacks instead of crisps. It's not a diet, just controlled moderation.

These little gradual steps, are enabling me to embrace the healthy body that I want. Not that super-incredible-body that you see in the media, that's been touched up hundreds of times. But that healthy, female body, that I am absolutely, one-hundred percent in love with.

This does not go without saying that I don't get lashings of self-doubt, and days where I struggle to see any positivity when it comes to my body. But those are the days you just gotta get up and move, make yourself feel better. There's no use lying about feeling sorry for yourself.

I've learnt the long and hard way, that there is no other way to tackle these demons, than to do it yourself. No one can do it for you. You, yourself have to learn to love your body, somebody else could tell you a millions times to love yourself, and it still wouldn't work.
We are more than a physical body, but by learning to love the shell you're encased in, will allow you to grow as a being.

It is down to the individual to learn the art of self-love.

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