Body Image : the steps from hate to love

First of all, I did not wake up one morning saying or deciding I am not anorexic anymore. Today, I can list here the key milestones to my recovery but it has obviously been a rollercoaster journey.

When your body is your enemy

I know if you are experiencing eating disorder you may think, but how can she feel good she is not looking good… It has not been easy to accept my body as he is . I looked at tall and skinny models with such admiration for so many time. I wished what I did not have instead of taking care of what I have.

Throught the years, I have learned to get more self confidence to accept and love my body.

Step 1 – One relationship

I truly believe that the people you cross and the relationships you build are the essence of life. Support from others is difficult to ask sometimes but so worthy in the journey of self development.

I have found in my boyfriend something special that I did not have in any of my previous relationships. He was taking care of his body and was following a diet but in a such easy and simple way. He could get a pizza one day and balancing out for the rest of the week. I realized that you could eat different without being out of social life. He also supported me not to be ashamed to be picky in a restaurant but to propose what feels good to me. I started to be back in the social life.

He also helps me to stop complaining and start acting. His way of life is « I have a goal, I set up a plan and I will go for it 100% ».

Bear in mind that I had to listen and change my way to look at life, which took a while in retrospective.

Step 2 – Getting pregnant and becoming a mother

Motherhood is definitely a big step in connecting with your body. Your priorities change. Your body also becomes a complete machine that you have to fuel in a different way. It is not only a reflection in the mirror anymore.

My story goes along with some difficulties, I did not get pregnant as I drop the pill. All my hormonal system was out of order, I had polycystic ovaries. Then, I had to take a lot of treatments to finally get pregnant. I realized at this stage that my eating disorder put out of balance my whole body. So I started to relook at what I needed to eat to nourish my body and hope to carry my baby.

My body was not only an image but a part of me that I needed to take care of. Still not completely seeing me as a whole.

Those 2 steps could seemed the bigger ones, but they were not.

I have truly stepped out the vicious circle of food and body obsession after what follows.

Step 3 – Shifting priorities

Slow down and focus. This implies a lot of introspection on what really matters. This is when you start looking inside and learn about yourself, your strengths, your wishes, your dreams… Spend time to think about what you would like to achieve in the coming weeks, months and years. It can be a trip to plan, a business to start, anything that matters to you. More on how to set goals in your life ? Click here.

For me, the shift happens and I finally accepted to pause. I was a control freak, hyper active and outdriven person before 2013, not that all that is bad. But it has been good for me to reconsider what was my priorities and goals. I read of lot of books and decided to create a better version of myself in all my roles. It means trying new things as a mother, pushing harder, failing, getting up again, crying when I over-reacted…Rollercoaster ride still then.

Step 4 – Focus on how you feel in your body

Work out because you love your body not because you hate it.

What is your relationship with your body? You can think you are over body image. You do not think about food, you can eat whatever you want, you go out, life is good. It is normal in a society where image is so important to want to be fit and « likable ». Though, so much is going on that even if you eat more of the banished fats and carbs, are you over emotional eating and do you unconditionally love your body? Hope you can reply « Yes, I do ».

For me, Yoga has been the game changer. I managed to feel more and to look at my body in a different way. I get to improve my flexibility and focus on sensations. It is all about what feels good. It has changed my way to live from breathing to eating. Eating is not anymore a way to fill up a lack of or a reward. My focus is on how I feel, what are the things that will light me up and there are usually a lot of things I would like to do (reading, meditation, check a website, listening to a music or cooking, playing with my daughter, go outside…)

If you need one piece of advice on how to end a toxic relationship with your body, I would ask you one question: « how do you want to feel? not look but feel? » Write down the feelings you would like to experience on a daily basis, and in which case have you been feeling this way?

If you decide to change something in you, look inside yourself as the key to unlock your full potential is within you.

The next post will go into further depth on shifting priorities and how not all changes are visible in a picture.

∞ emlivelove ∞

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