Here is my first letter – and it’s kind of a letter to myself – or to you, however you want to see it…
I want to tell you a little bit about myself and nutritional choices over the years. I’m currently working on my “Eating psychology Diploma” and wanted to reflect a little how I’ve been feeling about myself and food in the last years.
As a lot of people I’m overweight. Not the sort of overweight where you have to jiggle a little but you still fit into your size 2 jeans – I don’t want to skinny shame anyone, a size 2 insecurity can be very real and limiting too, just wanted to make sure that you understand where I’m coming from.
I’m more a size 16, leaning towards 18.
My whole life something was always a little off with my weight, always wanting to be different, thin, thinner, the thinnest, constantly failing because there was nothing wrong with me in the first place and doubting myself, doubting, doubting, doubting, limiting my own opportunities so very much – I recently found a diary entry from fifth or sixth grade (being 151 cm, 52 kilos) of me trying to look like one of my classmates who told me (why?) she was weighing 28 kilos. I know, this sounds like a weird blog entry that is about to follow but I just want to clarify a few things about myself. Now, about 18 years later, after striving for the “perfect” body all.the.time., the perfect nutrition, the perfect way, sliding in and out of eating disorders, always limiting, binging, limiting, binging and generally feeling bad about myself – I realised she LIED! This girl who had about the same height as me and maybe weighed five, six kilos less than me … She lied. Girls lie. Girls compare themselves to others, others to others, others, themselves to their mums, themselves to someone else’s mum. And since they already come from an insecure and critical place to begin with, they can only lose. When I look at any single woman on the street I can always find something about them that makes them prettier than me. Believe me, I could look at Frankenstein’s monster’s grandma and would still think “look at her posture, look at that hair – gorgeous”. And rather than just accepting this, I’d instantly justify, explain and trying to find a million reasons why my hair looks crappy. My. Hair. Is. Fine.
So long story short: WHY AM I DOING THIS?
Yes, I’m overweight. Yes, I will potentially never model for Victoria’s secret, but pssssst, here’s a secret: Even if I suddenly wake up tomorrow morning being thin, I’d still not model for them.
So, where I was going with this post – I’m sick of it. I’m fucking sick of constantly doubting myself, questioning if people find me attractive or not, judge me or not or if they count the calories while I’m having a fruit salad in the form of a gin tonic in public – becaaaaause it’s none of their business.
In the last years (before I moved to the UK) I lost 25 kilos with eating low carb and going to the gym 3-4 times a week, plus a full time job, plus going for hikes on the weekends, plus not drinking when I was going out but carefully trying to get over 25.000 steps while dancing, rewarding myself with a large bowl of salad after the gym, wohooo. I was really proud of myself, because I went from being bulimic (without my ex noticing) to being slightly anorectic (without anyone realising, because I was obviously still overweight). But on the other hand I wasn’t proud because I was fat and got myself into this position in the first place. So why being proud for something that other people can do too or don’t have to do at all?
It is impossible for me to only do things for 95 percent, so I became quite obsessed. But it all worked out, I lost that weight, I met my husband, a wonderful relationship followed a very annoying breakup, exception followed exception, a move followed a very uncomfortable notice period, and here job followed job, followed job, leading to weight gain.
The whole last year I tried to go back to Low carb, finding a routine, finding myself again, trying desperately not sliding back into the eating disorder, not realising I’m already sliding into another one. It kind of overshadowed the fact that I managed to move to a foreign country, we bought a flat, got married, I found a nice job and in general had a wonderful freaking time. Just because I was weighing more than before (when I still hadn’t been happy with myself) I let my insecurities get in the way of being truly happy.
I’m fed up – haha. Get it?!
I would like to just be happy with myself. Imagine the noise when you fast forward a cassette tape – DO YOU STILL REMEMBER THOSE? To the point:
At work I have to crack over 1500 eggs per week and the more I did it, the more I started to question it. It’s kind of weird, knowing that those 1500 eggs are coming from chickens, not happy ones either, they have blood slurs inside, they sometimes are bloody itself. The same week we had a shit ton of chicken wings for dinner and I thought “two chicken wings make one whole chicken who died for it” over and over. When I was thirteen-ish I became a vegetarian until my senior year in school – somehow suddenly craving chicken during the final exams. But- I loved eating plant based. It let’s you be more creative with your food, you (mostly) intuitively turn to healthy choices, you feel good about the nutrients you get into your body and animals don’t die for your nutritional habits. I made a decision to be happy with the body I have. YES, there are still ways to improve it and I would like to go back to hitting the gym regularly but not to lose weight. Or not primarily to lose weight.
I’m a strong, great and beautiful woman who had to overcome a lot of struggles in her life. And I don’t need to let my clothing size define me. So, long story short: I’m a vegetarian with vegan tendencies again and I’m so happy about that.
I’m feeling better about myself already, I feel happy when I look into the mirror, I like picking my clothes in the morning, I give myself some pep talk before I leave the house… To put it in a nutshell- just do what makes you happy. Don’t put yourselves into drawers you don’t belong in, don’t limit your own opportunities by constantly doubting yourself! YES, you might not become this model, but you are already a successful business woman, an artist, a blogger, a mother, a wife, a friend, comedienne, drag queen or what else. Isn’t that something? Stop comparing yourselves and make the choices that are best for YOURSELVES!
Don’t justify them all the time. Why would you need to do that, unless you’re harming another being by it? Just go for what makes you happy!
Thank you for coming to my ted talk!