I was talking to someone the other day whilst waiting to collect my son from school and she said something which I sadly hear far too often….’when I can get some weight off I know I’ll feel so much better about myself and happier in general’
I used to think that. That became one of the most ingrained and prominent thoughts I had 24/7 and I think it’s important for you to realise that I am no different to you. I had the same struggles, the same issues, the same body hangups and the same thoughts of food obsession, calories and diets for years.
I’m opening myself up to tell you a story now that only a handful of people know. I feel vulnerable writing this and slightly anxious at telling you some of my deepest and darkest experiences but at the same time, I know how important my story is to share for so many of you.
Let’s go back just over 10 years to where it all started……
Back in 2004, I was living in Munich (a gorgeous part of the world which will always have a place in my heart) with my fiancé. We’d been together for 8 years and had survived college and different universities travelling to see each other at the weekends. 3 years into our German adventure my world fell apart over night. My fiance broke the devastating news to me that 6 months before our wedding (which was already well into the preparation phase) he didn’t want to be with me anymore.
As if that wasn’t the most crushing conversation, I was dealt another blow when he also declared he’d been having an affair for 6 months and was moving in with the ‘other woman’.
Time stood still and sped up all at the same time
Within the blink of an eye my world fell about & I completely lost myself. I had no idea who I was. I didn’t know where I was going. I didn’t know whether to cry, scream, panic, hide or run away. (As it turns out I did all of those things in the preceding months following that life changing conversation on that cold October evening.)
The following few months are a bit of a blur as I adapted to moving to a new apartment closer to my friends, I started to try and find myself again and figure out who I was and what the hell I wanted.
During this time, as is so familiar with relationship breakdowns, food was no longer my obsession. I completely stopped thinking about food, eating, my weight (I was trying to focus on getting through each day which seemed far more important). That focus which had always been there, controlling and ruling my every thought, action and behaviour was pushed to the back of my mind for the first time ever.
I found myself become the slimmest I’d ever been. Actually that’s not true, I’ll back track, I became the skinniest I’d ever been. Work colleagues and friends expressed their concern at my weight loss. I was boney. Skinny. I wasn’t eating. In fact somedays I’d be getting ready for bed and realise I hadn’t eaten all day (that’s the extent of my connection to life, food fell off the radar)
I’d reached my goal
I’m telling you this as on paper I got to that place I’d been desperately wanting to for YEARS.
Food obsession stopped.
Food no longer controlled me.
My weight was at an all time low without even trying or dieting.
I had no idea what I weighed (although I know by my clothes falling off me that I was a lot less than it used to)
But I wasn’t happy, I was so far from the ‘happy life’ I had imagined it was as if I was living in a parallel universe. I’d believed for years that slimness would make me happy and yet here I was trying desperately to pick the pieces of my life back up whilst feeling like I was being pulled into a black void everyday.
That ‘readjustment phase’ lasted about 6 months most of it a blur of feeling really low & confused. I spent far too much time going out until the small hours with friends whilst trying to hold down my job as a way to numb myself from what had happened but then slowly but surely I started to emerge from the other side. I finally started to come out of hiding and embrace life again. One day at a time, some where better than others. I started to realise that my body needed food and nurture and kindness. I realised I needed more than my friends to support me through what had happened and that’s when my journey really started…..I sought professional help and the rest is history.
I’m so grateful!
I accredit this time in my life as not just being one of the most challenging and darkest times but also THE most enlightening and defining moment where my path completely changed direction, not just with myself but also with my relationship to food & my body and the future career I would end up calving from my experience of ‘getting back on track’
I’m so grateful for what happened. I’m thankful for that conversation. I’m glad that my path was intentionally changed for the better
And then what..??
You’ll be pleased to know, that as with most stories this one has a happy ending. Prince Simon (aka my husband) walked into my life just at the right time, about 8 months later and he allowed me the time and space to really heal and let go of the hurt.
If right now you are of the belief, as was I, that being slim and no longer thinking about food will be your key to the ‘happy life’ and that suddenly everything will fall into place, I challenge you to re-think that belief my darling. For many of us it is so engrained into our being, it becomes out identity. We seek for perfection. We seek flat stomachs and toned arms. We think that being cellulite free will allow us to smile all day every day (just like the celebs in the magazines)
Although my story is unique to me, the message is still the same…..happiness has nothing to do with your body size. It has everything to do with LIFE. It comes from feeling connected, feeling joy, feeling loved, feeling satisfied, feeling safe. It comes from waking up every morning with a spring in your step as you know your day is going to be amazing……cellulite, wobbly tummies and undefined biceps should have no impact on that.
I’d love to know your story. Have you had an experience which resulted in ‘thinness’ but not necessarily happiness? Have you been at your slimmest and been your unhappiest? Comment below, let’s talk about this!