Do you keep saying to yourself “I am unhappy with my weight?”
Well, if you’re tired of feeling unhappy about your weight then this blog post is for you!
It’s going to be powerful and compelling… I have a lot to say.
And, it all started from the age of 13 when I started to put on weight.
My home life was horrible and I began to use food as a way of stuffing my feelings down inside my body as far as they could go.
I believed I had no one to talk to and I wasn’t able to go to either of my parents for the love and support I needed.
So food became my comfort and my friend.
(Though, food was always that friend who left you feeling even more shitty about yourself than when you did in the first place).
The weight crept on, I began to hate who I was and life sucked even more.
So I ate.
And, the weight crept on, I hated myself more and more each day and my life continued to completely suck!
High school was an absolute nightmare and I felt ostracised for being overweight. I was teased, I was bullied and there was no one to talk to about how I was feeling.
I felt so lonely.
So, I ate.
I got bigger and bigger but I felt so invisible at the same time.
My voice, my heart, the fire in my belly; all died out a little more each and every day…
Until one day the mirror reflected someone I didn’t recognise any more.
I was gone.
From that moment on I lived as someone else. I lived trying to be someone I wasn’t. I became bits and pieces of other people. I spent my days simply existing.
What I never realised was a part of me, the real me, refused to die.
She stayed within me for 3 decades waiting, trusting and keeping the fire inside of me burning just enough so I could find my way back.
The desire to feel better, to be better and to be ME was always there.
When I look back she gave me clues. She tapped me on the shoulder and whispered in my ear “this is what you need to do” and guided me to some amazing experiences.
Yet, those amazing experiences were tainted by the fact I hated myself for being fat, I hated myself for being who I was and I hated myself for not being able to ever lose weight and become the perfectly skinny person society told me I was supposed to be.
I could not enjoy my life. I couldn’t appreciate any of it.
It was a fucking struggle every day to feel ANYTHING.
I was so miserable and unhappy.
I wanted out. I wanted to stop feeling this way.
There has to be more to me than this?
A tap on the shoulder.
A whisper in my ear.
“There is more to you than this. You are so much more than your weight. You deserve to be happy. YOU have the power to become yourself again.”
No. That’s not right.
I am who I am and there is nothing I can do about it.
“There is. Question everything you have ever believed and everything you have ever been told”.
The fire in my belly began to burn hotter and brighter.
I looked around me and noticed all of the bullshit I believed to be true.
My heart was beginning to melt.
My voice was returning to me.
I began to feel alive in ways I thought were lost to me forever.
I could see how beautiful my life really is.
The fire lit up my determination.
All so I can find my way to this very moment in time…
Writing to you.
Because I know what it’s like to live your life feeling the weight on your body. So heavy!
To feel as though the weight is all there is to who you are.
To live every day hoping, praying and wishing with all your might that when you wake up in the morning all the weight will have magically disappeared.
And feeling so disappointed when you pull back the covers to find the same body you went to bed with.
So, you hopped out of bed and went about your day feeling the exact same feelings as yesterday, living the same life you always do and believing the same stuff you always have.
There’s no escape.
But you don’t have to be stuck any more.
I am here to cut through all the bullshit holding you back because I have finally figured out how to stop my weight from making me unhappy.
I have realised there are so many unpleasant, annoying and down-right disgusting lies being fed to us every day. From ourselves, others, companies trying to sell us another ridiculous diet and societies unwritten rules about how a woman is supposed to look and behave.
But, where to begin?
Is it with another diet so I can get skinny and finally feel happy?
Is it by becoming super organised and strict with myself so I don’t eat my feelings any more?
I do love a good plan and being really organised but nothing worked before so why would anything work now?
What is it? What is it I need to do?
What were all the things making me fat and unhappy in the first place?
I‘ll start at the beginning.
I’ll question, challenge and confront EVERYTHING…
Inside and out.
And while I was questioning, challenging and confronting I discovered something truly unbelievable…
my weight really had nothing to do with my happiness…
Woah, this thought was both liberating and terrifying all at the same time.
Because in all honesty my weight wasn’t making me unhappy. My weight was only a symptom of a much deeper problem.
You need to know this. The world needs to know this so we can all free ourselves from the burden of our weight and finally give ourselves the chance to be happy.
So, I will now share with you 7 external obstructions keeping you from reaching your inner happiness so you too can begin to question, challenge, confront and, ultimately, change everything.
Next week I will reveal the 8 internal obstructions (stay tuned for those).
Let’s get started…
We are all born into a family.
And, that family: mum, dad, siblings, aunties, uncles, grandparents, cousins; their love, or lack of it, has a profound effect on how we live, grow, behave, think and feel.
We experience life through their past experiences as we strive to figure out how we fit into the family, into ourselves and into the world.
And our families feelings about themselves, their past and the beliefs they are holding onto have a major impact on who we become.
As a consequence of this we aren’t always able to fight for who we truly are because we believe in our family.
We believe in what they teach us and how they raise us. We believe they know best or perhaps its that we don’t actually know any better.
When it comes to happiness, we can only take as much as was given out.
If your family didn’t know how to be truly happy themselves and they believed in all of the other external and internal obstructions then they have no clue how to teach you how to be happy.
It’s up to you to find it for yourself.
2. Society’s unwritten rules and expectations of women and their bodies
Throughout the age of time women have been through a lot.
But at the beginning of humankind women weren’t always repressed.
Our repression began in the Neolithic era (10,000 B.C.E to between 4,500 and 2,000 B.C.E) when women began to be treated as property and as a commodity for men to do with as they pleased.
Women were seen as reproductive beings who’s only place was to bear children.
They had no other value in society.
This valuing system set up by the patriarchy saw women become less and less equal with their rights stripped away like they were worthless piles of dung.
But they had to be beautiful dung.
You know the saying “you can’t polish a turd”, well women were being treated like shit but as long as they looked good and could provide children then they were kept around instead of being thrown away.
Fast forward thousands and thousands of years, these same misogynistic beliefs about women are still upheld.
From Ancient Egypt where women were admired for being slender with narrow shoulders and a high waist to Ancient Greece and women were revered for being plump and full-bodied.
When the Italian Renaissance came around women were desired for their ample bosom, round stomach and full hips.
But in the roaring twenties women’s body size and shape had changed dramatically.
Women must now all look one particular way: flat chest, downplayed waist and boyish figure.
The 50’s saw women with curves and an hourglass figure with large breasts but move into more recent times and women’s body image has become remarkably unhealthy and unrealistic.
Flat stomach, thigh gap, skinny, size 0, waifish, tall…
How on earth are women supposed to achieve all of that?
No wonder women have starved themselves for decades, binged themselves sick and hated everything about themselves.
The expectation for every single woman to look exactly the same is baffling.
We are in a crisis here.
No one could possibly find their happiness when they are being told they are not good enough the way they are.
And, when did someone decided we all had to look the same?
We are ALL different.
Your happiness does not lie in what society wants you to be.
You get to decide that and thankfully women are beginning to stand up, use their beautiful voices and are make a huge, fucking noise about being treated in this disgusting way.
Together we are stronger.
3. Bullshit Lies and the wrong information
This carries on from the last point as we have been force fed bullshit lies our whole life.
They may have been subtle or they may have been shouted at us.
But, none-the-less we have been given the wrong information about what a women is supposed to be.
Firstly, she’s not supposed to be anything.
And by that I mean she is who she is.
A woman has the right to be whoever she is. Regardless of her body size.
Regardless of what clothes she wears.
Regardless of how many children she can bear.
These things do not define her, they do not limit her in any way.
The only way they limit her is when she believes the bullshit lies.
How many bullshit lies can you think of right now that you believe in?
I want you to know it is not your fault.
We have been taught to not know any better.
To not question or challenge.
We must all strive to be this one perfect person we’re told exists inside all of us.
But she doesn’t exist.
How can there only be one?
With billions of people on the planet, how can there only be one perfect person?
It doesn’t make sense.
Your happiness will come when you…
Question. Challenge. Confront. Change.
4. Diets and exercise: restrictive and excessive
Now we get to the epicentre of all our happiness heartache.
Eat less, move more.
And all your troubles will melt away in the gym.
Starve yourself. Deprive yourself.
Hop on the scale. Cry. Sob.
Hate yourself more.
Eat less, move more.
Oh, my gosh…
It’s a viscous vortex of hate, horror and hell.
No wonder you don’t feel happy when you’re punishing yourself everyday for even having a body, for even eating any food at all.
This is no way to live.
You are so much more than the latest fad diet and sweating your ass off in the gym.
There is a much better way beautiful woman, NO MORE DIETS.
No more punishing yourself in the gym to work off all those calories you ate today.
Calories were invented as another way to humiliate, repress and silence women into looking a particular way.
I can tell you with all honesty that your body does not care about calories.
Your body wants the healthiest, freshest food so it can love you with lots of energy and wellness.
But most of all…
to keep you feeling happy and fucking amazing all of the time.
5. Social media, Magazines and other forms of media
Who secretly hates social media and looking at all those perfect bodies as we scroll through our news feed?
What about models in magazines, actresses on the TV and in movies?
Do you secretly wish they would go and eat a huge meal so they can feel as shitty as you do?
I bet that the majority of those women we secretly despise are hurting as much as we are.
Because they are a woman.
And, unless they have questioned, challenged, confronted and changed their thinking, their thoughts, their behaviour and their feelings; they are hurting inside too.
They have been raised on the same bullshit lies we have but because they have made the decision to be a model or an actress they are now in the limelight showing off their perfect body.
And, the people who cast them have also believed in the bullshit lies so the lies keep being spewed out and perpetuated all over the place.
It is one big, viscous vortex of bullshit lies.
The only way to disrupt the vortex and bring it to a screeching halt is to stop believing everything you see.
Question. Challenge. Confront. And, of course. Change.
Change your beliefs.
Change how you think about yourself and the women you see in your news feed, in magazines and on the screen.
We are all fighting the fight of being a woman.
Some do it more courageous than others.
Some are finding their courage more and more every day; and some are yet to know there is courage within them.
Let’s be kind to ourselves and to the women we come across in our daily lives.
This will filter out through the world .
One kind gesture, one loving smile, one empowering word at a time.
This is how you will find your happiness.
By being compassionate towards other women.
No matter what they look like.
6. Commercials/advertisements/Companies not caring about us/Only seeing the same people on tv, in movies, commercials etc
Growing up there were hardly any fat people on the TV or in movies.
And if there was a fatty she was the ugly best friend, the nerd, the annoying co-worker, the one who wanted to eat like ALL THE TIME, the lonely one or even possibly the killer.
And the commercials shown at the beginning of the movie or during the TV program all portrayed the same women…
Tall, thin, blonde and ever-so-happy.
How is anyone supposed to relate to that?
We are supposed to see the commercial, hate our life the way it is and wish with all our heart that our life was as perfect as it was in the commercial.
That way we would get off our fat ass and go and buy whatever they were selling.
Diet Coke… yep, I won’t ever be fat drinking diet coke.
McDonald’s… how could I know the food was not good for me when everyone eating it in the commercial was so skinny.
Because skinny equals health.
Skinny equals the best life ever!
Those companies selling us these products have one goal in mind…
To get you to part with your money.
Now, I want to say that not all companies are heartless.
There are definitely some very profitable companies who are ethical, moral and honourable.
And, it’s not to say that all leaders in the companies around the world don’t care about us in some way but ultimately they have designed their business to make money.
And it is ok to make money.
Everybody has the right to make money.
What I am trying to say is it is up to you whether you believe the bullshit their commercials and advertisements are selling to you.
There is not one product in this world that will give you the true happiness you desire.
Yes, you can have a lot of fun, eat something really yummy, make your house beautiful, lose lots of weight or go on an amazing adventure…
but, ultimately, the happiness you allow yourself to feel whether you have those things or not is the magical happiness we all long to feel.
So, before you go and spend your money on another thing promising to bring you your happiness…
Remember to QUESTION, to CHALLENGE, to CONFRONT and to CHANGE.
Is this right for me?
Will this bring me the happiness they are promising?
What else could I do instead?
Who can I speak to about finding what is right for me?
Are they selling me this because they want me to be happy?
Will this bring me the change I desire?
7. Happiness only comes with the number on the scale/clothing size/Focusing on the wrong parts of ourselves
How many times have you hopped on the scale with your eyes shut tight, hoping and praying that the number you’re about to see is much, much less than the last time you put yourself through this misery?
Ahhhhh. Why do we do it?
Why do we hold onto that number and put all of our happiness into it?
Because some asshole told us that number must be below a particular number otherwise we are too fat.
We are too worthless.
We shouldn’t even be alive because that number is too high.
Here in Australia we don’t have a size 0. (I cannot fathom what that is or even looks like) but in the USA I hear that is the size every women should be working towards.
Women starve themselves, make themselves physically sick all so they can be a size 0?
Does this make absolutely no sense to anyone else?
What are we doing to ourselves? What are we really trying to achieve?
And, most importantly, what happens when you get there?
What happens when your dress size says 0? What happens when the scale says less than 125 pounds (56 kilos)?
What now? Does your happiness come flooding into your body and now all is right with the world?
You can now go on living your amazing, perfect, skinny life?
No. That isn’t what happens.
You’ll still hate yourself because that’s all you know.
You’ll still starve yourself because you’ll never be enough.
You’ll still binge and purge because your body only knows how to function at this level.
Life will never be good enough. It will never be perfect until…
There will always be something. Because you are focusing on the wrong part of yourself.
You are so much more than your body.
You have so much more to offer yourself and the world than just a size 0 woman who hates the way she looks.
You can find your happiness NOW. With the body you have TODAY.
You are beautiful, perfectly imperfect and fucking awesome just as you are. The woman reading this right now.
You are allowed to believe that about yourself.
Believe it. Because it is true.
That was a lot to get through.
Thank you for getting this far.
Thank you for taking the time to find out what external obstructions are keeping you from your true and magical happiness.
It is my wish that all women know this. So, please share it with as many women as possible.
And it is also my wish that we teach our girls to know what these external obstructions are so they do not live their life full of hatred and hurt.
Fighting with themselves everyday to eat less, be skinnier, dress sexier…
and never finding out who they truly are.
I have a 6 year old daughter and it hurts my heart terribly when I think of her hating herself the way I did.
Punishing herself with food and exercise to look “perfect”, knowing she will never achieve society’s idea of perfection because she has no idea it doesn’t actually exist.
Because she has fallen prey to the bullshit lies.
Her happiness has slowly seeped out of her mind and her body…
Until one day she is gone.
And, all that remains is an empty vessel resembling a woman.
The viscous vortex has consumed another one.
I can’t let that happen.
We must unite to never let this happen to our girls. To fight for ourselves and to fight for their future.
We will strengthen and rebel to break free of these external obstructions.
Together we stand.
Together we are stronger.
Together we find our magical happiness again.
For the Love of Me
This book came to be from every part of my life experience. Every heartache. Every hateful thought. Every self-loathing feeling about myself and my body. And, every bit of love that was denied to me and that I denied to myself. Be open to what may come to you whilst you are absorbed in the heartache, the loneliness, the sadness, the misery, the hope, the reflection, the spirit and the love in this collection of poems and short stories.