Category Archives: Body Image

My Body Image Confession

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I have never lied about my past and the fact that I had an eating disorder (twice) that nearly took my life.
I never regret telling people my story because I am proud of how far I have come.

On the outside I look like I have made a shining recovery from Anorexia. I help friends, family and strangers get over their body image discomforts but I do one thing that is holding me back from loving my own body and slowing down the progress of recovery that only a few people know; I call myself fat.

In fact I say” I feel fat” roughly around twenty times per day. At first I thought that this was a good thing, opening up and being honest to people. I felt as though it was some kind of release from within to voice how I felt but what I am actually doing is convincing myself that what I am saying is true. Just like affirmations, but instead of them being life changing and positive these affirmations are self-destructive.

I have given up all of my eating disorder habits but this one has stuck like glue and it’s time to give it up.
Not only is it hurting me, it’s hurting my friends and family. And let’s not forget that when people talk negatively about themselves, the listener begins to feel self-conscious too. This is something I often forget when I’m down in the dumps.

I’ve had to dig deep and figure out why I do this to myself. Why I keep convincing myself that I’m fat when I am nothing but a normal healthy weight.

The answer is the Ego. I actually call my ego Fred so I call tell the difference between my true loving self and not mistake myself for the life sucking voice in my head (Fred I’m talking about you!).
Yes, it may sound silly that I have given my Ego a name but it really works and helps you realise that you are not the loud voice in your head!

I look at woman of all shapes and sizes and say how beautiful they are, but why am I an exception? Simple, I’m not.
My body shape is just as beautiful as everyone else’s, there are no exceptions, no excuses and no denying that this isn’t true.

One thing that helps me is by looking at my Positive Body Image board on Pinterest. By looking at these inspiring images and quotes every morning (or multiple times a day when I need them) helps me feel empowered and inspired about my body.

Have a look at my board or create your own body loving board for when you need that little bit of inspiration too.
So I am making a commitment to drop the “Fat Talk” and I hope you can join me and do the same.

As always I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.
Lisa xx

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Taking Back Control

The Help

 

Recently I have been doing more self work. It is time to jump back on my beautiful journey of finding serenity and peace within me.

I have been focussing on understanding my actions and thoughts on a deeper level.

Most thoughts and actions happen without you even being aware, so being mindful of every action and thought is something that is challenging but it has helped me understand why I do certain things.

I recently caught myself feeding into my old demon (ED) while I was at work.

I was filling in for someone and I was trying hard to do my best, but unfortunately I made a mistake and a few employees were a little frustrated.

I’m working on being the girl who brushes it off and says “Ha! Would you look at that, a mistake, better luck next time” but I’m not their yet so my ego got excited and jumped in.

My ego made me feel ashamed, fat, stupid and embarrassed and all I wanted to do at that moment was to go to the gym and lose some weight.

That’s when I caught myself.

I turned to my ED because I felt a rush of emotions and felt I was out of control.

I believe that many people turn to their ED when they are in tough situations because when you start to lose control, you feel like your body is the only thing that you can control.

Every limiting belief that you tell yourself came from someone else pushing that thought onto you.

Most of these thoughts happen when you’re a child because that’s when you are open to trust and believe people.

Let me give you an example.

Let’s call the person in the story “X”.

When I was about seven years old, I told someone I loved very much that I wanted to be a vet. The person laughed and said “hunny, you will never be able to be a vet! You need to get an extremely high mark in the High School Certificate and you simply haven’t got the brains to do it.

Now saying that to a seven year old is undoubtedly harsh but X grew up in a very harsh environment from a small child. X grew up seeing black and white. There is no such thing as dreams or beating around the bush.

So while X had the intention on helping me by saying your best off not setting your standards so high because I don’t want you being hurt if you don’t get the mark you want, I was left to feel stupid.

It was only one conversation.

It was well over a decade ago.

I have been told on countless occasions to get over it. But that is where the limiting belief first started.

Knowing where that belief came from doesn’t mean that I feel anger towards that person but it gives me the opportunity to realise and understand why I keep telling myself that belief as if it were an affirmation so I am then able to let it go.

It may take you a while to think back to where certain beliefs came from but it is only when you find the source you are then able to release it.

I was listening to Coach on Call on Hay House Radio last week and Cheryl Richardson said she was recently talking to a psychiatrist who specialises in children and said that it only takes one sentence to change a child’s path for the rest of their life.

This really shows you the innocence children have and their willingness to trust and believe in you.

Although this gives an opportunity to create limiting beliefs, it also gives an opportunity to fill them up with love, humbleness and positive self esteem. And I believe now is the time to feed your own inner child with an abundance of love and respect.

As always, I would love to hear your thoughts on this in the comments below.

Be kind to yourself,

Lisa xx

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Fight For It!

self worth
A couple of months ago I wrote a blog about how I got my period back. I still smile about how ridiculously happy I was that I finally got my period back after all the years I neglected my health to serve a deadly disease.

I was stoked because that meant my body was getting healthy again. I was delighted that I did it naturally. I was thankful that it meant my body will now be receiving more nutrients out of my foods like calcium. But to be honest with you, I was probably more excited about the fact that I wouldn’t have to put on any more weight. I was at the minimum of a healthy weight range for MY body.

My partner would argue with me saying that I still had two more kg’s to put on for the sake of if I were to lose weight due to illness.

I knew what he was saying was correct as many health professionals have said it before and also just out of common sense but I felt I had reached this huge step and I didn’t want anything to rain on my parade just yet.

The next day I got servery sick. Yep, totally blame everyone who argued with me.
I got a horrible stomach bug that lead to gastro. I was literally forcing down cracker and vegemite and any foods I could stomach so I wouldn’t lose weight. I know that when I become underweight my inner demon (ED) becomes stronger so I was determined to not give in.

Anyways, regardless of my efforts I lost the weight I put on.
I had to work hard to gain it back but it took a solid 2 months.

So I started a battle with myself to gain the extra two kg’s. I fought for my health, my happiness and myself worth.
Fight
Everyone has the right to be healthy and happy. Every single person is worthy of love and acceptance.
Read that paragraph again: Everyone has the right to be healthy and happy. Every single person is worthy of love and acceptance.
For some reason I was limiting myself all of this.

I am proud to recognise now that two kg’s isn’t just weight that goes onto my thighs. Its 2 kg’s that protects me. It’s a TINY bit more of me to love and accept. It’s really not such a big freakin deal when you put your self worth first and choose to make your health your absolute number one priority.
I’m not going to lie and say that it was an easy choice to accept: to go above my minimum healthy weight for my body. For someone who has suffered from an eating disorder for most of their life that would be very rare. But it is a choice I have made. (One point for me and a kick in the ass for the ED.)

I want to really get through to you today that you have a choice in anything in life. You may not choose to become a victim of an inner demon like an eating disorder but you certainly have a choice to fight and get your health and happiness back.

Every time you look at yourself and you make a harsh comment, fight back and correct yourself by saying that you choose to see love in everything you look at.

It’s not an easy battle to fight every minute of the day but it’s certainly worth it.

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Why You Cant Neglect Your Inner Wellbeing

Hey lovelies!

First of all I want to shout out a huge THANK YOU to everyone who showed their support through my last post.

You have no idea how much your comments and kind words mean to me.

Lately I have been a little extremely slack on my blog posts, and today’s post will shed light as to why I haven’t been as frequent as what I would like to be.

One of the things I am currently working on is getting shit done.

Let me explain…

I am a fantastic procrastinator. When there is something that I know needs to be done but I don’t want to do it, I simply put it off.

Apart from the issue that some things never get done, the real problem is that I get so much anxiety about the tasks not getting done. I then create multiple problems within that one task which could have been rectified before any other problems could occur if I didn’t put it off in the first place!

When I’m stressed about certain tasks and issues I tend to change my focus away from it and head towards something much worse; body image.

It’s extremely common for people who suffer/suffered from an eating disorder to slip into unhealthy habits when times are tough.

Usually when you are in a stressful situation, you don’t have much control over it. By listening to ED’s voice and becoming strict with your diet makes you feel like you have at least some control within your life.

It’s important to know that it’s the eating disorder that gives you the false idea that controlling what you eat will help control other areas within your life.

For the past couple of months I have focused a lot more time and effort into my physical health, and haven’t spent enough time on my inner wellbeing.

Don’t get me wrong, I am extremely proud that I have finally reached my goal weight and got my period (you can read about it here) but I found that neglecting the inner health, there is now a build up of emotional work to catch up on so I don’t fall back into ED’s habits.

I am a huge believer that your inner wellbeing is the most important factor when it comes to over-all health. Too often people think that disease and illness come from external factors, but I truly believe that your mind is the biggest influence.

When I write on The Raw Serenity, I feel as though I am brought back to reality. I focus on how I am feeling and what is authentic to me. I tend to respect and listen to what my body is telling me and appreciate everything it has done for me. That is what The Raw Serenity it all about.

If you are a regular reader, you would be aware that at the end of last year I quite all drama in my life.

Only happy and positive people and experiences were welcome in my life. By manifesting this desire I now have a very positive network of friends that help keep negative thoughts at bay but I also find that when I need an instant hit of positivity I go straight to my Pinterest boards.

I find by just looking at my boards that I have created helps bring me back to reality and stops the negativity. I also find some pictures of animals impossible not to laugh at!

My next post is a delicious salad I recently created. It is packed full of flavours, textures and superfoods to support your mind and body.

Be kind to yourself,

Lisa

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What My Period Taught Me

I’m one of those people who is a little too open and honest about personal topics. The topics that other’s would consider awkward.

So people who know me weren’t surprised when my news of getting my period (after being absent for 2 years) nearly went viral.

Now I completely understand that it’s not glamorous to talk about your menstrual cycle, I get it. But what is glamorous, is being healthy.

Getting my periods was my indicator that I was at my ideal weight .My body was absorbing all the nutrients it needed to function properly and recover from the neglect and abuse I once put it through.

I don’t agree with an exact goal weight that comes from using the BMI. Everybody is different and functions better at their own individual weight.

One of the many arguments with my doctor over the years was about getting me to my “goal” weight. Go figure! (no pun intended).

My doctor was all for the pill. In fact, every doctor I spoke with recommended the pill.

This was because when a woman doesn’t ovulate and her hormones are out of balance, calcium and other nutrients aren’t properly absorbed by the body. This then can lead to fragile, brittle bones  and one day osteoporosis.

So by going on the pill and reaching a certain weight that is based on the BMI is exactly what I was being forced to do.

I didn’t want anything to do with the pill. I didn’t want a synthetic period that hides the real issue as to why I’m not getting my own period. I was also aware that the pill takes away many other nutrients from your body and don’t even get me started on how it affects my mood.

Using the BMI as a reference often got me fixated on a certain number based on others when I should be learning to listen to my own body.

I’m glad I stood my ground and stood up for my beliefs on this one.

I have learned to trust my body and not to compare it to others. I won’t lie and say it was easy because it was painfully hard, and some days it still is but knowing that the hard work has paid off, I know now that it was worth it.

Something common among people who suffer from eating disorders is their interest in health and nutrition.

Friends and family often don’t understand this because it is completely contradicting.

Many suffers of anorexia are very knowledgeable about nutrition. Many pursue it as a career, but in the peak of their illness, the meaning of health is disordered.

Its common that suffers often started their diet with the intension to get healthier which then turned into an eating disorder.

When the results from a new diet become visible and your health and energy levels are improving it’s easy to get carried away and take it further.

Not everyone requires the same nutritional needs. This is also why I am against common weight loss diets and programs because everybody is different and requires specialised programs to suit their own unique needs.

For example, the diet and exercise program that once helped me shed a little weight, gave me more energy and helped my overall health and wellbeing became toxic when I stuck with the diet for a long period of time.

When your body weight drops below a healthy level, the fat around your brain also drops so the way you think is altered.

When all fats, including the healthy fats are completely removed from your body, you are more prone to depression. Your body won’t receive all the nutrients that it needs. Energy levels drop and before you know it your overall health is spiralling down and soon it becomes out of control.

So even when people, like myself ate extremely healthy foods during anorexia and through recovery it doesn’t mean that your “healthy” diet is healthy for you or the person next to you.

This is the one thing that took me a long time to deal with.

Through recovery I ate an amazing diet.

Friends and colleges were amazed by how many nuts, avocado’s, seeds and oils I ate every single day and said if they ate that much they would balloon.

Why anyone would say that to someone with an eating disorder is beyond me but as much as that pained me to hear those comments, my body needed those nutrients to help my brain and my body recover.

With all of those amazing healthy fats and wholesome nutrition, I put on weight but it happened extremely slowly. I didn’t balloon at all. (Though some days I felt like I did, which was all in my disordered thinking).

So now that I have reached my goal weight and on the way to being glamorously healthy, what now?

Stay tuned…

As always, I love reading your comments!

Be kind to yourself,

Lisa x

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I Am Proud Of My Body

Hi all,

Sorry for the lack of posts recently.

I have been extremely busy but will get back into the hang of things very soon!

I am a huge fan of Kate Winslet; always have been but since reading the quote in the above image about creating a positive body image for children, I love her even more.

I admire her talent but most of all I admire the way she treats her body with respect and doesn’t cave into the unhealthy celebrity habits.

It absolutely terrifies me to see young girls being diagnosed with eating disorders and having a negative body image. The age groups for children being affected are getting younger each year.

The days are gone when the only thing you had to worry about when you were eight years old was what Barbie you were going to bring to “show and tell”.

I was actually told last week that eight year olds don’t play with Barbies anymore, they are far too old for that. I am still in shock.

I can’t say I am all that surprised. Everywhere you look there are images of photo-shopped models.

Every second advert on TV is about a new diet or a diet product to try.

The majority of movies have a token fat person that everyone picks on.

Music videos are just soft porn.

And the one thing girls do best when we get together is talk about weight loss and diet.

These are just a few examples of what young children have around them on a daily basis.

I’m not a mother. I do however want to be a mother one day and it breaks my heart to think that my daughter (or son) will be around all of these unhealthy messages.

I understand that we can’t eliminate every negative image and message from kids these days, but I do know that parents have the biggest influence on kids.

I too, have never heard one woman say “I am proud of my body”. I have heard a million times what they hate about their body but never anything that they are proud of.

I don’t blame my mum for never saying that she is proud of her body. My history of my eating disorder didn’t evolve from her. She isn’t one who fixates on her body. In fact I admire the way she has never stressed too much about it.

But I never heard her (or anyone else) say that they were proud of what they had.

Perhaps because we all didn’t want to seem “full of ourselves”.

I once remember my brother saying how awesome his muscles were and we all laughed and told him he had a big head. I can now see why we never spoke about what we liked about ourselves.

Kids have forgotten how to be kids. I see toddlers wearing clothes just like mummy and demanding baby cinnos.

We all give complements to little girls about their appearance. A child shouldn’t care about their appearance! They shouldn’t worry about their figure because they don’t have a figure to watch.

At work, I am around young kids all the time. For a few months I have been mindful of what I say around little girls. I never comment or compliment them on their appearance. I have told them that they are very important and that they have a big heart. I have told them that they can achieve anything they want in life and you know what, their smile was larger than ever and their spirits were high without talking about body image.

I would love to know your thoughts on this.

Did your parent’s relationship with their bodies affect yours?

Be kind to yourself,

Lisa x

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The Value In Vulnerability

Whoever said vulnerability showed weakness and powerlessness couldn’t have got it more wrong.

Being vulnerable takes courage and bravery to open up and be your own authentic self.

I have always felt a sense of embarrassment about my struggles with ED and depression.

I’d pushed people away and I wasn’t always truthful about my past and I continued to deny that I had/have struggles.

I used to feel that I shouldn’t talk about it to others and felt like my struggles would make people want to run and hide from me. I can now see that the only person running away was me.

Since moving from Sydney four months ago I have met a great group of friends and have also learnt that my fear of being vulnerable showed that I wouldn’t allow people to like me for who I really am. Instead of letting go and accepting my past and the person whom I am today, I was prepared to hold up a guard for my protection and for a decent amount of time.

Allowing myself to be completely vulnerable isn’t something I had thought of doing.

I saw the stigma behind it and wanted no part in it.

I would stick to the rules and ask for advice whenever possible to make sure I didn’t say anything inappropriate or put a foot in the wrong place.

As I have mentioned, this year is about finding my authentic self. Throughout this year I have made huge progress in finding and living in my serenity, but the fear of being vulnerable and being 100% honest in regard to my words is something I now see is what needs to be taken care of.

For the past fortnight I have been an open book. Vulnerable.

People have asked me questions and I haven’t sugar coated any answers.

I haven’t allowed myself to feel embarrassed or apologetic about my past or how I choose to live my life.

I have thrown out the book of rules that contain all the dos and don’ts in what you should do or say in certain situations and relationships. I have taken the time to dig deep and ask what I really want or think I should do, without any social pressure or other influences.

With this decision came a lot more self respect and love towards myself.

It feels as if a weight has come off my shoulders by saying to the universe “This is who I am and I’m not afraid to be me”.

This is the message I encourage all of you say to the universe from today onwards.

Vulnerability doesn’t deserve the stigma. It deserves the recognition of empowerment and self respect.

As always, I would love to hear your thoughts in on this topic in the comments below 🙂

Be kind to yourself,

Lisa x

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