aAs I looked in the full-length mirror in front of me, the one behind and the bonus third mirror to my left, I could really see myself in all her glory.  And I didn’t like what I saw one bit!

I asked myself ‘how’ have I got so big again, when almost 2 years ago to the day I was in good shape and about to run the Bristol 10k!  Yet now I wouldn’t even be able to run to the corner shop for a tub of ice-cream!

But what made me sadder, and perhaps compelled me to write such an open and exposing blog is that I realised that I wouldn’t be the first woman to feel this way in a Marks and Spencer’s changing room and I wouldn’t be the last!  Today I decided to embrace the weight I have gained and to get my much larger norks measured and safely housed in a bra that wasn’t 3 sizes too small and a pair of pants that actually covered my rather round derrière!  In doing so I felt sure that I would feel empowered and almost accepting of my new fuller figure, yet it left me looking shamefully at the reflection of this person I barely recognised with tears running down my face.

I am returning to my blog writing after taking some time out, and this comeback subject and level of honesty may seem a tad strange, but I blog about my real-life experiences on my journey to healing, and sadly for me weight will always be my nemesis and the very thing that I struggle to control and accept.  We all have our vices, and mine is food.  As I looked at myself today I felt vulnerable, which is something I am not very good at admitting or feeling, and I couldn’t understand how I found myself here again, looking at someone who, well, I didn’t want to look at.  But what perhaps disappointed me more is that it always seems to take weight gain for me to appreciate how perfectly acceptable my figure was in the days before.  I am terrible for critiquing myself.  For comparing myself to women whose figures are unachievable for my frame and health limitations, and then using this to somehow validate my inner critic when she says that I am too fat, too wobbly or not pleasing to the eye.  Of course, with my weighty life flashing before my eyes in the changing room today, I realised how much time I had wasted not feeling ‘good enough’ over the years, when infact I would LOVE to be any of the sizes of my former selves again right now.

So how do I break this cycle?

One that I am sure so many women can relate to.

 

If I had the answer to that question, I would not only be a very rich lady but I would be one slender goddess!  For there is no ‘quick fix’ and it seems, rather puzzlingly, that the more healing I do right now, the more pounds seem to go on!  I was actually slim when I started my Reiki training and I have got bigger every year since.  And I have asked myself WHY so many times.  I have, like many people who come to me as a practitioner searching for answers, turned to various groups and professionals, including nutritionists and channels, for the solution, but with no lasting luck.  I have had deep healing sessions and even tried hypnotherapy, yet I find myself the least in control of my eating I feel I have ever been, and now looking to take Cherry Plum Bach remedy for the fear of this relationship with food spiralling completely out of control.  That’s because ALL forms of healing (despite what they may claim) simply remove layers, assist you to the next lesson in life, give you another tool and move you ever closer to unlocking your potential, but of course it’s a journey!  One which will always take effort, moving goalposts and some lessons that can only be learnt through pain.

It has made me feel super vulnerable to share this post and I know that once I publish it I am likely to re-read it multiple times and question whether I should take it down, but I have felt for a while now that there is a need for more practitioners to be vulnerable.  To practice what they preach, to take down the ‘show-reel’ a little and to keep healing real!  And that means being authentic themselves and on occasions a little raw and out of their comfort zones.  I don’t personally believe, despite what some therapists riding firmly on weight-loss bandwagons claim, that there is any one solution to the problem.  I think it comes back to the individual and their own unique emotions and journey, which is why I utilise the Bach remedies first and foremost as my layers peel.

We are moving into a time where people are beginning to challenge stigmas and to encourage others to speak out, so although this may not be the full extent of my story, I do hope that it helps someone feeling deflated after a changing room experience today that they are not alone.  That someone else in the world has an issue with body image and is battling with their weight and insecurities. I am a positive person, and I am actually in the best place I have ever been with my confidence and acceptance of the person I am.  But I am human.  I have insecurities as much as the next person and I am on a healing journey along with the rest of the world.  I am lucky enough to have many tools to support me, but I have learnt that no matter how happy you are or how far along your journey, we ALL have issues behind the scenes, things we dislike about ourselves and things that we struggle with.

What makes the return of my plus size figure perhaps harder to deal with is that this time round I am awake enough to realise that sometimes things need to get worse before they can get better. Which means that I know that no weight loss club, no chanting in a candlelit room in Glastonbury or shot of cider vinegar each morning is going to cut it!  For I have to travel not to the diet club in the local church hall, but within myself.   As hard as this is to do, for I have clearly avoided the bigger picture for too long now, I need to surrender to the process and trust that in order to break free from my yo-yo figure and relationship with food, I need to do the internal work and I need to break the cycle…and that will take as long as it takes.  Some say that it’s common to put on weight when you are going into a deeper level of healing, for you need ‘protection’, and to a certain extent I can understand that.  Over the last few years I have gone on a healing journey of epic proportions and with each layer I have peeled back, with each core belief I have challenged and with each failure I have endured, I have picked myself up and learnt from it.  This is a time when I need to bring my demons to the surface, whether that be in blog form, self-acceptance or just bigger pants for now, this is a time when I know that it’s no longer about quick fixes or a pair of size 10 jeans, because that’s not going to make me feel better in the long run.  I need to challenge my thoughts and feelings and I need to deal with my pain and trauma, so that I can break abusive habits once and for all.  Weight can be a way of holding yourself back.  Food can be a replacement for love and weight can be a way of stopping yourself from meeting a new love, perhaps through fear of being hurt again, which are certainly all true in my case.

I wish this was more of a blog about how to love yourself, as I don’t like to think of anyone stood in their underwear in a room full of mirrors and critiquing their unique shape, marks and scars and questioning just how ‘beautiful’ they are.  And I would never speak to anyone else in the manner I speak to myself, I wouldn’t even think it about them!  So why do I allow myself to speak so cruelly to myself, why do I have such an idealistic view of ‘beauty’ and weight when it comes to myself yet I see women of all shapes and sizes and truly think they are beautiful?  The answer to that is probably because I’m human!  We are all our harshest critics and we all carry pre-conceived ideals of what is and isn’t acceptable for ourselves.

But, I take comfort in the fact that this blog is probably the most vulnerable thing I have ever shared, and in doing so I feel it is the first step towards breaking that habit.  Right now, this is where I am at, and that doesn’t mean that this is where I will be tomorrow, or next month or next year!  Becoming aware of our shadow sides and learning to face them head on, whether that be in one mirror or three, is a fundamental part of healing.  Denying the very thing that is making us unhappy or is stopping us from truly stepping into our power can continue to make the problem worse, masking it for a little while longer, before the blood seeps through the bandage and we can no longer hide it.  Today, why not ask yourself what is holding you back?  What is the thing that makes you unhappy? And what are you avoiding?

For me, today I will trust the process.  I will surrender to the flow and start to ask my inner voice the overdue questions such as the ‘why’s and the ‘how’s’.  I will take my Bach remedies and peel back those layers, challenging the emotions, fears and outlooks that lead me to this vulnerable place I find myself in today.  And what’s more, I will choose to do all of this in slightly bigger pants and a fabulous new bra!

Yours in love and voluptuous light,

 

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