My past battles with my body image and body confidence have been no easy road. I’ve only just started to enjoy my body and feel confident in the past few months. My first memory of someone mentioning bulimia was when I was 13. There was over 10 of us out for meal and there was one relatively slim lady with us but she ate the amount any person would. I remember a relative sneakily say “Oh she’s off to the toilets now. She might be in there for a while after all that food”. I didn’t quite understand what was meant by that. I’d never heard of bulimia before and I didn’t know throwing up after a meal was a ‘thing’. Over the years that memory has always stuck with me till eventually I fully understood what was meant by it. As far as I am aware, the lady isn’t bulimic and never has been, she just doesn’t really put on weight. It was a very judgemental thing to say about someone especially behind their backs. I think this might be the reason as to why I never spoke about my eating habits. I have always had a fear of being judged and I was never 100% sure how friends or family would react because it wasn’t something they could relate to and as there is a lot of stigma behind the subject I thought it was best to never mention it because I couldn’t be arsed arguing with someone who didn’t have any idea about how I feeling or what I was going through and I really couldn’t be arsed arguing with someone who wouldn’t even try to see it from my point of view.
In my second year of college I was struggling with my body image and how I looked. Whenever I saw myself in the mirror I would cry and I physically hated myself. I was with a boyfriend at the time who sometimes compared me to other girls or to celebrities. I don’t think he realised how much it brought my self-confidence down even after I told him I didn’t like it. We got into an argument one time about how insecure I was because of him going on and on and on about how much he fancies these celebrities. I used to look at myself and think “You’re never gonna look that good. You’re never gonna make him happy with that body” I started to compare myself to others and I was bringing myself down. My diet wasn’t the best in college so I’ll admit my lifestyle could’ve been healthier but I was living at college! There was alcohol, take aways and constant snacks on the go. I had my own room in college with an en suite but I was practically living in my boyfriends room. Every now and again I would nip back to my room to get some clothes or get some work done. One time I was very depressed and extremely insecure. I had just finished my tea which tasted lovely but the thought of what it was going to do to my body scared me. I didn’t want to put more weight on. I didn’t want to become less desirable. I sat in my room, went to my toilet, lifted the lid and stuck my fingers down my throat. It was horrible. The tears streamed down my face from making myself be sick. I got saliva everywhere and all I kept thinking about was how much I needed to get this food out of me. I can’t quite remember how long I was there for but I reached a point where I was exhausted. It had physically, emotionally and mentally drained me. I sat with my back against the wall and I just stared at my toilet. Part of me felt ashamed, part of me felt relief and part of me felt disgusted with myself. I blew my nose, dried my tears, flushed the toilet and washed my hands. I carried on like nothing had happened. I never told anyone and they never suspected it.
When our college lessons were over, we would all usually stay in the canteen till the tea time food was served. Once we had finished eating I would head off to my room. I’d tell my boyfriend I was getting some more clothes to bring back to his room and I’d tell my friends I was doing college work. I went to my toilet and stuck my fingers down my throat again. I did this on 4 different occasions but on the 4th one I knew it wasn’t right. The overall feeling it was giving me wasn’t pleasant. The experience was borderline traumatic and I never felt any better so I stopped doing it.
2 years ago I was struggling with my body image again. I had finished working with horses and I had moved back home but I was unemployed didn’t really have an idea of what to do next. I was eating like crap and because I wasn’t doing much exercise I was putting weight on and it was destroying my confidence but I loved the crappy, fatty food. I didn’t want to give that up so I tried an old habit again. This time, I actually googled it and I came across forums of people giving tips and tricks. So I ate a meal and some snacks then took myself up to our bathroom. We only have one bathroom in the house, so I put the shower on to mask the gag noises. I sat with my head in the toilet, fingers down my throat, tears streaming down my face and saliva everywhere. It wasn’t a pretty picture. By about 5/10 minutes I couldn’t do it anymore. The feeling it was giving me was probably making me feel worse. I flushed the toilet, turned the shower off, washed my hands 3/4 times and went to bed. I haven’t done it since. This was towards the end of 2016. By the end of 2017 I had started to clean my diet up (Diets and You) and my life was getting back on track.
It’s something I’m not proud of but this is what happens in life, especially during teenage years. We live in a world where we all get compared to each other and I believe this is a contributing factor to body insecurities. I do however feel like we are going through a turning point. We are breaking ‘rules’, boundaries and really pushing ourselves. I feel more people are encouraging others to be who they truly are. We are being empowered to accept and flaunt our deepest insecurities because in reality there is no need to be insecure about your body. Everybody is different. Everybody has lumps, bumps, scars, cellulite and stretch marks. Why are these made out to be a bad thing? They are completely normal and it doesn’t make you any less of a person for having them. Being confident and feeling confident are very different but when you begin to love yourself you can instantly feel the confidence shining from your body.
Own your body. Flaunt every inch of it.
Love you all lots,