As a woman, I can feel how women look at their bodies full of expectations and beliefs around having the ‘perfect body’. Fitting a so-called ‘ideal‘ body image for me has been about my weight and becoming slim.
Becoming Slim to Feel Good about Myself
When I was a teenager, I didn’t feel I was good at many things, especially at school, and I didn’t like the way I looked. I thought that my thighs and my nose were too large and I didn’t consider myself as beautiful or good in anything, even though there were areas I was good in but didn‘t see at the time.
So when my sister lost weight through dieting and became very slim, I thought I was fat and started to go on a diet as well. For about 4 weeks I ate only yogurt and pineapple, losing 7 kilos.
At the time, I only felt good when I was slim. I wanted to fit in with what I thought was the ideal body image to get recognition and love from other people, especially from boys and men. For me, to be attractive and sexy as a woman, was to be slim.
I struggled and dieted for many years and it was horrible. I thought if I was slim or could maintain a certain weight, that I would feel good, however I was not listening to my body about what food and how much food it really needed. I was dis-connected from what I was feeling and therefore could not feel what weight was true and natural for my body. I used food as a filler and a distraction to avoid what I was truly feeling about myself and my low self-image.
I can feel how unlovingly I treated myself during that time because of wanting to be slim and attractive. At times I was overeating and then at other times I strongly controlled how much food I allowed myself to eat. I had a constant focus and struggle with food.
A few years later I stopped dieting because I had realised it did not make sense because I always ended up going back to my original weight, which I now realise as not being overweight at all.
I then shifted my focus to clothes, wearing clothes which were different that got me the desired attention. I was still looking for the recognition, but this time through the way that I dressed myself.
Starting to Feel the Effect of Food
13 years ago an illness made me stop and look for a different way to live. So I looked at all areas in my life, including food. I started to feel the effect of food in my body, what food supported me and which foods made me feel racy, agitated and unsettled.
Later, after attending some Universal Medicine events, I began to deepen my awareness of the effect certain foods had on my body. I could feel that after eating bread I felt very heavy and bloated, so I changed to gluten free bread. But at some point I could feel how racy and unsettled I became after eating that too, so I started to slowly drop carbohydrates from my diet as I could feel that they affected me and my body just like sugar did. I lost a lot of weight, and again, I noticed that I loved the idea of being slim.
I still was attached in a way to the image of a ‘perfect body’ and blind to see that I actually became too thin.
I thought it was great that I finally reached a slim body without even trying to lose weight, as I was still eating plenty of food. However I began to realise that if my body was too thin, my body may be showing me that something was not in balance.
My family had commented to me that I had lost too much weight (which I ignored). After some time, I read a quote which made me realise that I needed to take loving care for my body and what it needed. As I began, I started appreciating myself more and embracing the beauty that I bring; I found that my body naturally began to gain weight again.
Learning to Love just Being Me
My struggling with my weight and striving to be slim was because of how little I really loved and appreciated myself for just being me. The process of beginning to appreciate myself began with my listening to myself, especially with how I felt. I then began taking better care of myself in general, including:
- What and how I ate.
- Going to bed early, when I felt tired, usually before 9pm.
- Watching less TV and especially not before I go to bed, as I found this too stimulating.
- Having sessions with Esoteric Healing Practioners whenever I feel I need the extra support.
During this time what has changed in a big way for me is that I have started to love and accept myself more and more. This foundation makes it possible for me to deeply appreciate myself. This is ever expanding and there is much more to embrace and love….
What I have realised is that what is important is not looks or a certain weight, but the quality and way we live every day – and how loving and tender we are with ourselves and others.
Now I can say, not only the way I look at myself but equally the way I look at others has changed. I can look at myself in the mirror and look deep into my beautiful eyes and truly see the depth and beauty that I bring in just being me. When I do, I know that I am fully connected to myself. Often now when I look into peoples’ eyes I am amazed as I see and feel that same beauty in them too.
The way I dress has also changed. I bought myself many beauty-full dresses which support the beauty-full woman that I am. I see clothes now as a way to express my own beauty (which is in me) to the world, and to share this beauty in the way I dress and the way I take care of myself.
Everybody (including men) has their own natural weight, which is truly supportive and perfect for them, and the measure should not be dictated by a society or by outside factors – like our own ideals and beliefs about having the ‘perfect body’ – or by fitting an ideal body image, but by loving and appreciating ourselves and our bodies in whatever shape we naturally have.