Now before you start reading this is a pretty personal post. It’s not meant to be a ‘hey poor me’ essay, I’m writing this because at least one person out there will be able to relate to it and find comfort in it in one way or another. Or not, you may just think I’m really weird, and I’m totally cool with that, ha!
For such a long time I have been so unkind to myself, always doing what I thought I ‘should’ be doing instead of what my soul really wanted. Desperately seeking comfort and quick gratification I have always turned to food (the fat girl in me dying to get out). Binging until I felt sick, then despising myself, only to regain control and momentarily feel good about myself because I was being so restrictive. The cycle was never ending. There was no balance to that, not a healthy relationship with food at all. I would constantly tear myself apart in the mirror, compare myself to others, compare myself to old pictures of myself, compare myself to what I thought was perfect. And I still do that.
When times were really bad I would cancel plans, I would call in sick to work, I’d tell people that I was ill. Thankfully things haven’t been that bad for a while, but there have still been times in the not so distant past. Along with all of this came anxiety, something that travelling has taught me is still quite a big issue of mine.
Relationships have failed because of all of this, which in turn made me more self critical. I used sex as a way to make myself feel better about myself, sometimes at the expense of others, and that is something that I can never make ok, or will never be proud of. I would use social media as a little confidence booster, which only lead to further comparisons to be made and more pressure loaded onto myself.
Exercise has also been something that I have abused. It has saved me from myself in some ways, but has also helped me to become my own worst enemy. After binging I would over exercise to make up for the excessive eating. Over the past few years this has become less of an issue, but I have still regularly pushed my body to the point of complete exhaustion so that I could maintain my shape. Working in the fitness industry has its advantages and disadvantages on your mental state when you have issues with body imagine and food.
Coming away has made me realise just how hard on myself I am. Being stripped away from my routine, the gym, comfort food and my family has been very hard for me, but has been the best thing that I have ever done, it’s completely pushed me out of my comfort zone. I thought I had my life together, but travelling has shaken that up and made me look at my world from a different perspective. I still have a huge amount to learn, but that’s exciting. Each and every one of us has something that we are dealing with, small or big. We are often way too quick to judge others or compare ourselves to them instead of focusing on what really matters, yourself.
There is nothing appealing about having an unhealthy relationship with yourself for the rest of your life. For so long I have been trying to fix myself with the wrong things, not really addressing the actual issues. I have come a long way for sure, and despite the problems that I have, I have always been happy. I am lucky enough to have a wonderful life and amazing family and friends. But there has always been a niggling voice of doubt in my mind. For me, this is a turning point. Instead of always doing what I think I ‘should’ or ‘shouldn’t’ be doing, I am going to truly be kind to myself and listen to exactly what my heart wants. Obviously this is an ongoing thing, changes don’t just happen overnight, and that is ok. I have so much to be grateful for, now it’s time to really fix my relationship with myself and let go of the past.
Excuse the bathroom selfie but whilst travelling alone it’s hard to get photos of yourself haha!