How I have finally learnt to love my body | Body positivity, intuitive eating and self love | Kate and the Twins

Over the years I have shared a lot of my story in regards to body love, eating disorders and exercise. I will leave a list of blog posts related to this one at the bottom so you can check them out if you wish.

Over the years I’ve found loving myself really challenging but now, finally I feel that I’ve come to a place where I am truly happy with myself and my body. Well, most of the time anyway. Of course I still have wobbles and days when I don’t feel great but for the most part I’m doing really well and I wanted to share my top tips in reaching a stage of self love with you guys!

1. Diversify your feed

By this I mean follow all different types of people. Follow fat bodies, thin bodies, middle bodies, disabled bodies, black bodies, white bodies and everything else in between. Unfollow the people who make you feel crap about your body. Don’t just follow people who fit in to society’s idea (aka slim). Now there’s absolutely nothing wrong with being slim but not everybody is and that’s ok, but if all you see every time you check Insta are bodies that are not even close to how you look then you’re not going to be very happy. I also think it’s important to follow people who are a similar size to yourself and are rocking their body, wearing amazing clothes and practising self-love. Some of my faves are @midsizecollective @stylemesunday @effyourbeautystandards @bodyposipanda and sooo many more.

2. Ditch the diet

Diets do not work. It is a proven fact. If diets did work we would all be skinny by now but the fact is they don’t. Only between 3-5% of people who lose weight on a diet will actually keep the majority of the weight off. Diet companies such as Slimming World, Weight Watchers and every other one you can think of are BUSINESSES. They exist to make money. Now, think about it logically, if their diet worked and you lost all your weight and kept it off they wouldn’t be getting any money from you – not a very good business model is it? Diet culture is real. It is the idea that society tells us we are fat and then sells us the solution, if you want to know more read about diet culture here.

3. Intuitive eating

So if we’re ditching the diet, what are we replacing it with? Well that’s where intuitive eating comes in. Intuitive eating is the idea that you eat whatever you want, when you want it. Sounds too good to be true right? Basically it’s the idea that our bodies know what they need and we should listen. Nothing is off limits. You may think this means you’ll constantly gorge yourself on cake but actually when cake is no longer seen as “bad” you actually crave it less. Ok when you start you might eat more cake but after a little bit your body naturally balances itself out and now I honestly barely think about food. It’s not even an issue for me. If I ate chocolate before I would obsess over how bad I was but now I just move on. What’s more registered nutritionists actually recommend this for a healthy relationship with food – follow @laurathomasphd @dietitiananna for more. If you want to know more, read about intuitive eating from an expert (as I certainly am not one)

4. Say goodbye to the scales

I can honestly say since I’ve done this I feel so much better. When I was trying to feel better about myself I was doing really well for ages, then I’d weigh myself and I’d hit rock bottom again. Weight can change for any number of reasons, a big one is gaining muscle. So setting a goal based on a number is unrealistic and will just get you down. If you really, truly want to change your body then I encourage you to take progress pictures to see changes rather than looking on the scales. But honestly, you are amazing as you are!

5. Set point weight

Following on from the previous point, I have recently discovered set point theory and it makes total sense to me. Research suggests that every individual has a “Set point” and just as we have no control over our natural hair colour, we also have no control over our body’s biologically and genetically determined weight range. This is obvious when you and your best mate have near enough the same diet and both exercise regularly yet she is heavier/ lighter than you. Scientists estimate that this range is between 10-20lbs so there’s quite a lot of room for change. Look back on your weight over the last 5 years (assuming you’ve not been pregnant or had an unusual illness or something) I bet your weight has rested within certain parameters. This means that we are all meant to be different and that’s ok! And trying to get out of your set point range is going to be very difficult and make you very unhappy. On that note, we need to realise that we are going to weigh less or more at different stages of life. It made sense that when I was walking 4 miles a day to the train and back I was consuming way more calories and still was slimmer than I am now. It made sense that when I was burning 1000 calories a day breastfeeding my twins that I was slimmer than I am now. It makes sense that you’ll be slimmer when you work on your feet all day than when you sit at a desk. Activity levels differ throughout our lives and that’s just a fact. Don’t punish yourself for it.

6. Exercise

One of the times I feel the most confident in my body is when I’ve just finished exercising. When I’ve pushed myself to run an extra mile or I’ve smashed my PB time. It feels amazing and I’m so proud of my body. What’s more, exercise has so many benefits. It’s good for the mind, body and soul. So find an exercise you enjoy…don’t run if you hate it. Take your pushchair for daily walks, do yoga, swimming, rowing, boxing. There are sooo many options. But my best advice would be try not to focus on changing how you look, focus more on how it makes you feel. Strong, confident, fast etc. Exercise really is so great and body acceptance doesn’t mean you have to stop working on yourself physically, it just changes the mentality behind it. A great person to follow on Instagram for this is @thefashionfitnessfoodie

7. Remove triggers

You know that person you follow on Instagram who constantly goes on about their weight? If it’s getting you down, unfollow them. If someone starts talking negatively about weight on a YouTube video, skip past that bit. If your friends and family are going on about dieting either find an excuse to leave the conversation for a bit (go to the toilet, check on kids etc) or try and zone out and go somewhere else in your brain. It might not bother you but sometimes the progress I’ve made can be hindered when I hear others speaking negatively. If it does then I try to remove the problem. I will also never talk negatively about my body to anyone else and especially my daughters. I want them to see me as a positive, happy role model and not feel inadequate if they grow up to not fit society’s beauty standards.

8. Bad days are ok

You won’t feel good about yourself all the time, bad days will come. It’s a journey and not a 3 steps to success programme. There will be days when I’ll see a photo of myself and get really down, but I always try to talk myself round. I also speak to my husband about it and he helps me to see things in a different light. The point is, don’t feel like a failure if you don’t crack this right away. I’m sure nobody does.

9. Realise your worth outside of your looks

You are so much more than what you look like. Sometimes we can be so caught up with “working on our bodies” we forget to work on our minds. For me I am a first class university graduate, a writer, a mother, a sister, a friend, a wife, a Christian and so many other things. I’m kind, caring, generous, silly and many more things. My outward appearance is just a shell. I’m not saying people are wrong who care about their appearance at all – I love make up, clothes, getting my hair bleached and all the rest of it but just remember it isn’t the only thing you are.

I hope my story helps you change your mindset. I would encourage anyone to read the book Body Positive Power by Megan Crabbe & to listen to podcasts by Laura Thomas to start the ball rolling.

If you’ve read this far, thank you! I know it’s long but I am passionate about this and I really did try to make it more succinct!

(P.s the last 2 photos are to show how awkward I am at posing!)

What being a feminist means to me

I still remember the day I first learnt what feminism was. I was in my first week of my first year at uni, sat in a large lecture hall. “Hands up if you consider yourself to be a feminist” came the call from the lecturer. Only a few hands went up, not including mine (shout out to Callum if you’re reading this cos you did put your hand up!). The lecturer wasn’t surprised and went on to tell us the dictionary definition of feminism.

“The advocacy of women’s rights to create equality of the sexes”

She asked us again to put our hands up if we considered ourselves to be feminists and every single hand went up.

You see, up until this point I’d believed that feminism was all about thinking women were better than men. Women should rule, be in charge, take over. In my mind I was thinking “well I’m all for girl power but feminism isn’t for me”. So many people say that they agree with gender equality, but not feminism. They are the same. damn. thing. Feminism is about women, yes. But it’s about promoting women’s rights to create equality. Nothing more than that. For years women have been downtrodden. It’s an uncomfortable reality for people to face but it’s true. For years a woman wasn’t allowed to work, then she could work but only until she got married. Then after that she could work but only until she had children. Women used to be used as property to be bought and sold. Gradually we have progressed and society has evolved, we are starting to make real head way but there is still so much sexism that goes on in daily life and the sad fact is we barely even notice it. What’s more, many countries are nowhere near as progressive as us and girls all over the world are being pushed down and overlooked on a good day, objectified or raped on a bad day.

That’s not to say it’s all great for men. Awful stuff also happens to men every single day… but a pursuit of gender equality means that the stigma surrounding male rape, male domestic abuse victims and male suicide is shifting. So men and women both benefit from feminism and gender equality.

Of course, there are people who “give feminism a bad name” there are women out there who hate men and call themselves feminist. But the dictionary definition focuses on equality of the sexes, those people are not true feminists. Just like terrorists are not true Muslims and murderers of innocent school children are not true Christians.

With all that being said, what does feminism mean for me?

First of all, freedom. Being a stay at home mum, I once thought I was “un-feminist” but I have since realised that gender equality gives us the freedom to work or not. It also gives dads the opportunity to stay home if that’s what they want. Being a stay at home mum isn’t weak, it’s strong because it means I am prepared to sacrifice to do the best for my family. But feminism also means that more and more women who have amazing careers are able to go back to work thanks to maternity pay etc.

Secondly, feminism is opportunity. It means that there is a world of options open to my daughters regardless of their gender. I did a quick search for “girls toys” on toys r us. The first categories that came up were dolls, arts and crafts, beauty accessories and make believe toys featuring a picture of a microwave. Do you know what came up for boys? Building sets, action figures and LEARNING. Yes, that’s right, companies think beauty accessories are a higher priority for young girls than LEARNING. I don’t want my daughters to grow up thinking that their outward beauty is all they are which is why I actively try to compliment them on their intelligence, strength and bravery every single day rather than just how pretty they are. I want them to have the opportunity to play with toys that will challenge their mind and grow their skills. I personally don’t think there is any need to label toys “boys” or “girls”. I want my girls to have opportunity to play rugby, do ballet, play video games, programme computers, cook and so much more.

Finally I think for me feminism is about safety. We’ve all heard the stories; woman rejects man in a club and gets punched. Male domestic abuse victim is not taken seriously. These kind of stories show how dangerous life can be for men and women. Particularly women in other countries where laws aren’t so strict/ well enforced and women regularly get bought and sold or given away as property. Rape is a weapon of war. It’s not ok and it isn’t the type of world I want to live in. Once we start to see the sexes as equal it starts to become less ok to do these things.

As a Christian I believe we are all made equal by God. When Jesus was alive, he cared for women and treated them as human beings which is something that was seldom done in those days. He would have been seen as radical on his approach to women.

I want my girls to grow up with every opportunity that their male peers have. I want them to know that they can be strong and sensitive. They can be a stay at home mum or prime minister of the UK. Equally, if I ever have a son I wish the same for him. I want him to know it’s ok to cry and not like football.

So there you have it.

I’m a feminist. I believe in equality.

Thanks for reading.

Hi I’m Kate, and I’m a stay at home mum.

“So what are your plans about going back to work?”

I hear this a lot. People don’t think anything of it and nor should they. But for me it’s actually not that simple. For me there’s no “going back” to work because I never actually started working! I mean, I’ve obviously had jobs before when I was at college and uni but as I finished my degree I got pregnant and by the time I’d finished I was already heavily pregnant and had no hope of gaining employment!

So in August the girls were born and the last 10 months have been unbelievably intense. Yes, they would have been sweeter with a bit of maternity pay but I wouldn’t swap our time together for anything. Now the girls are coming up for a year, this would be the time to start looking to go back to work.

I’ve barely left the girls up to now. Other breastfeeding mums out there can vouch for the fact that when you’re breastfeeding, leaving your baby is way more trouble than it’s worth usually (hello lots of pumping, engorgement and leaky boobs!). The thought of putting them in to nursery scares me as they still feel so young to me. However I know they’d thrive with it deep down but the simple fact is I’d have to earn a heck of a lot to even make it worth putting them in childcare. Furthermore, I’d probably want to go back to work part time so I still got lots of time with the girls. I guess flexible hours are a lot easier to negotiate when you’re already employed rather than seeking new employment.

I want to have a career. In fact I never dreamed of having children but I always dreamed of having a career. But I don’t want to put my career above the girls. Right now, though it may seem self involved, I know the girls need me more than anyone. When they’re three years old they’ll go in to funded nursery and when they’re 4 they’ll be in school. I can’t bear to be parted with them so it seems when I add all these factors together that there’s only one option. Being a stay at home mum. 

If I’m honest I used to kinda look down on stay at home mums. That was before I found out just how hard being a parent actually is. Doing it all day every day with no break is relentless, frustrating and monotonous. But it also unbelievably rewarding, enjoyable and fun. The hard times are really, really hard but there are also the really good times of being able to just go out for coffees with people or take your kids for a picnic. The kind of thing you’d miss if you were working. I’m sure if you’re reading this and you’re not a parent you probably think “what is so hard about being a mum?!” Lol, well you just wait! I used to feel the same as you! I used to think being a stay at home mum was such an unfeminist option, so many women fought for the right to work and not have to give it up when they had children. But I see now that feminism is all about having the option to go back to work if you want to, and not if you don’t.

The way I see it is that this time with the girls is so unbelievably precious. It comes around once in a lifetime. Because the girls are twins I already kind of feel like I have half the time with them as it is and I want to treasure the time with them so much! 

I am still only 23, even if I wait 4 years to start working I’ll still be pretty young starting out in my career. I want a proper career that I love and not just settle for something because it’s what fits around nursery schedules! At least this way I haven’t had to have a career break, instead I can start my career in a really good position, knowing my girls are happy and settled!

In the future I may have to miss out on school trips, sports days or class assemblies and that’s why I’ve resolved to drink in these moments with my babies because they won’t last forever.

So no, I’m not going “back to work”. At the moment it’s not what works for our family. But I’ll keep on making my girls’ worlds go round and leave changing the rest of it for a few more years! 

Body image after baby

For the vast majority of my life I have struggled with body image issues.I despised my body and the way it looked at times and felt disgusted when I looked in the mirror.

Before I got pregnant I was in the best state of mind I had ever been in regarding my body. I was confident, comfortable and happy with how I looked, my body no longer felt like my enemy but I embraced it.

When I was pregnant, at first I wasn’t bothered with how I looked. I didn’t even begin showing until around 16 weeks and I carried so small and neatly that many people were shocked that I was having twins. I went on holiday to Italy and I confidently strutted my stuff in my bikini, yes I probably looked a little further a long than I was but other than that I felt pretty good! However, one thing that made me less confident whilst pregnant was the fact that I couldn’t wear stylish clothes and I felt like I constantly looked like a sack of potatoes.

As I got further along with my pregnancy I began to grow larger and larger and felt more and more unhappy in my body. My stomach stretched massively and was covered in stretch marks – by 30 weeks I was the size of a full term pregnant woman and I only got bigger and bigger. I began to pack the pounds on and retain so much water; everything from my legs, arms, face to my lips were completely swollen! By the end of my pregnancy I could barely  move and I felt so grossed out by my body! I couldn’t even fit in to maternity clothes anymore!

When the girls were first born, I felt shocked at how little my body changed. From the cesarean/ IV etc. I was completely swollen and I could not fit in to any of the clothes I’d brought with me. Josh had to go out and get me size 18 clothes to wear. I felt so uncomfortable in my own skin (which was incredibly loose) and I didn’t want any photos to be taken!

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Josh took this photo of me 1 week postpartum. It was the first time I felt comfortable enough for a photo to be taken. Just look at my swollen feet!

I am now six months postpartum. My body should now be fully recovered yet it looks nothing like I thought it would. I guess I knew I wouldn’t look exactly the same but this wasn’t really what I was expecting.

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I am now below the weight I was before I was pregnant – thanks to breastfeeding! Feeding one baby burns 500 calories a day so its more than likely that breastfeeding twins burns 1000! I don’t get out much to do exercise, except for a few speed walks with the pram and the 100s of times a day I run up and down the stairs to put dummies back in etc.! So lets just say my body is not exactly toned. My body looks pretty normal now, thankfully I am back in to my pre-pregnancy clothes – I was grateful for this fact because I couldn’t afford to buy a whole new wardrobe! My stomach, however, is my biggest bug bear. It carried to fairly large babies and stretched beyond belief – lets be honest a woman’s body is designed to carry one baby, not two! My belly now has loose skin, stretch marks and yes a bit of fat on there too! I prefer to keep my stomach covered – so I decided to bare it for the world to see. My body isn’t magazine perfection but it has done something incredible that many people would never be able to do.

If I’m honest, I still struggle with my body. I’d desperately like to feel confident and awesome in myself but I’m not there yet. Some days I look in the mirror and feel proud of what I see, other days I feel a bit grossed out! I am a bridesmaid twice this year and of course that in itself brings trepidation – people looking at you etc! Although I’m sure the brides will be much more interesting. But when you are wearing the same dress as other women you can’t help but feel like you will be compared!

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I guess having a baby, especially two at once changes your body. Of course it will, you have grown human beings inside you. I was three people at once, now I’m back to being one. My body isn’t what it was before, and it never will be again… but I have to accept that. I am me, my body is beautiful. A few months a go, someone on the telly said “having a baby ruins your body” and Josh turned to me and said “I don’t think that is true, your body isn’t ruined!” and that made me stop and think. My body isn’t ruined. My body isn’t something to be upset by, it should be celebrated. I may not be there just yet but one day I  hope I will be!

 

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I hope you enjoyed this post.

Kate-Sig-1

For my girls on your dedication 

Today my beautiful daughters are getting dedicated in church. If you don’t know what a dedication is, it’s similar to a christening. Instead of baptising as babies we believe you should have your own choice to be baptised when you’re ready. A dedication is a commitment from the parents to bring their children up in God’s ways and be an example of a Godly person to them. With that in mind I wanted to write a post to my girls on this special day. 

Dorothy and Margot, 

Today is a special day for you although you don’t yet know it. Today is your dedication and we’re so excited! You have gorgeous little outfits and a cake with your picture on. Your extended family are coming from far and wide.. from Cornwall, Kent, Bath and Wales among many other places. 

You’re three months old and right now everything about the world is new and exciting for you. Every day I watch you learn new things and take in more and more. At the moment the world is fun and there’s no sadness apart from when you’ve gone a few hours without milk. 

For your dedication the church leaders asked us to think about our dreams and desires for our children’s lives. Of course there are so many things we desire for you… health, safety, kindness etc. But  my biggest dream for you is that you will be adventurers all your lives. I want you to see all the continents of the world, swim in warm oceans, be close to wild animals and eat exotic food. I hope we can adventure together and travel as a family but I also hope you’ll experience some of it by yourself.  I also hope you’ll find adventure the mundane, the daily life; in school and swimming clubs and kids parties. But I truly hope that your biggest adventure will be your relationship with God and all that brings you.  I pray you will find God exciting and let him guide your lives and futures.

Life isn’t always fun an exciting. It can be hard sometimes and sometimes you will need someone to lean on. I pray that God will be your biggest source of comfort when you’re in pain and  the one who gives you strength. I pray that in the difficult times you will draw close to him. 

As you grow up I’d love you to be clever, creative, funny and talented. But most of all I want you to know the importance of being kind and loving others. I want you to see that as the most important thing you can do and your highest calling. I want you to love people fiercely regardless of their situation, their gender, class, religion, race or sexual orientation.  I pray that you will have room for everyone in your heart.

I pray you will be fierce women of God, not content to sit on the sidelines but wanting to get stuck in. I pray you’ll be strong willed and know your own mind but also adaptable and able to compromise. I pray you’ll be generous and selfless like your Daddy and put other people before you.

I don’t know how our lives are going to work out .. it’s a mystery. But I hope your Daddy and I can be examples to you of Godly people. I hope we can bring you up to know and love Jesus and one day you will make your own decisions to follow Him. 

I want you to know that whatever you do we will be your biggest supporters and we will always be cheering you on. 

I love you; my precious daughters. 

Love always, 

Your mummy xxxx 

“I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born in set you apart.” Jeremiah 1:5

“Train a child up in the way they should go and when they are older they will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 

What to expect when you’re not expecting to be expecting…

Bit of a tongue twister isn’t it?! I have been pretty quiet on my blog lately… mainly because I have one secret thing consuming my every thought. I am going to be a mum. I am pregnant. But not just pregnant, pregnant with TWINS.  I am growing two humans inside me, and after I go through the traumatic experience of birthing said humans I am going to be responsible (along with my husband, of course) for keeping them alive, looking after them and fashioning them in to somewhat decent human beings.

The problem is I was never planning on being a mum. I guess I knew it would happen, but it always seemed a fairly abstract, far-off eventuality that a future version of myself would have to deal with. I always thought that future version of myself would be ready, she would have planned this, she would have thought it through. She would have experience with other people’s babies, she’d probably be an auntie and she’d just simply know what to do.

The moment I found out I was pregnant was one of the most crazy moments of my life. Unfortunately it wasn’t joy that filled my heart and soul at that moment… more fear, disappointment, confusion, sadness and tears. I always imagined the moment I found out I was pregnant for  the first time would be a moment of elation for me, but that wasn’t this moment.

Before I go on, let me first say that a child is always a gift. There are many in the world who so desperately desire to have a baby and it doesn’t happen for them, or their journey is riddled with pain and anguish and so what I say now I intend to say with the greatest sensitivity to those still trying or indeed those who have given up hope. I was not trying to have a baby, in fact I was actively trying not to have a baby. I had dreams of travelling the world and being a career woman before I even thought about becoming a mum. So when I found out I was pregnant it was not met with joy but week after week of tears and depression.

I think the world sells us this image of a happy little family but we don’t see what goes on behind closed doors. Unplanned pregnancy isn’t necessarily made easier because you are married or in a relationship. Unplanned pregnancy is a shock which can hit you at any stage or any age in your life. I felt guilty because I thought I should feel a certain way and I didn’t, which I think made me even more depressed. But now I’ve come to the realisation that it’s okay not to get those butterflies and feelings of elation when you find out you’re pregnant, it doesn’t mean you’re going to be a bad parent and it doesn’t mean you’re ungrateful for the gift that you have been given.

I thought people would judge me for getting pregnant so young. In all honesty I didn’t want to live up to the stereotype of getting married young and settling down. I was afraid of what people thought of me. I was afraid people my age would look at me and feel sorry for me, they’d think to themselves “well that’s good for them but I am so glad it’s not me”. Well the truth is out now and I don’t know if people are thinking those things… if they are I don’t blame them. But I have no plans to settle down, not when I got married and not now I’m having kids. I am still going to see the world, it just might be in a different format to the way I’d originally planned. I’m still going to have a career, only now I have a couple more years to decide what I actually want to do with my life.

I wouldn’t be any sort of Christian if I didn’t believe everything happens for a reason. I believe God has a plan for my life and sometimes that plan doesn’t necessarily match up to my own. God works all things together for good, He sees the big picture but he only reveals to us what we need to see right now. These babies may not have been planned by Josh and me but they were planned and purposed by God. He is knitting them together in my womb as I type this. He guides my path and always will. I put all my trust and faith in Him because I know that He is always faithful to me.

I’m 17 weeks pregnant now and in all honesty I still have my ups and downs. I have days of sheer excitement and I have days when I cry for the life I thought I was going to have. When people say congratulations sometimes I find it hard to play the beaming mum-to-be but I appreciate all the love and support we have received. I wanted people to know our story, to understand how we came to be where we are. But most of all I want people to see that even when your plans don’t fall in to place the way you’d expect, God is still working.

 

Have faith!

Kate-Sig-1

Food, glorious food…

So, today I was out jogging and I came to a realisation… for once in my life I am not excercising because I want to lose weight or because I feel insecure in myself… I’m actually exercising because it makes me feel good… and makes me feel healthier in body, mind and soul!

I can still remember the first time I felt like I had fat legs. Up until this point, I had always been told by my mum that my thighs were “shapely and womanly” and this body positivity had got me through until I was around thirteen years old. I was sitting at a youth group one night, when a boy looked at me and said… “your thighs are pretty enormous aren’t they?!”… this is where the thigh-hate began. That moment has stuck with me ever since, one off-the-cuff comment from an immature teenage boy undid thirteen years of compliments from my mum to help me avoid loathing the dreaded “Trevelyan thigh”.

The picture at the bottom of the blog is me around nine years old, as you can see.. I’m wearing a bikini and I have fat rolls. I can remember even from this age hating myself and hating my body… my friends were pretty much all skinny and I was the token chubby one in the group. You can read about my issues with self-esteem here.

From pretty young, my low self confidence and hatred for my body caused me to develop an unhealthy relationship with food. I developed what I now know was the eating disorder Binge Eating Disorder (read about it in the link). I was never diagnosed by a doctor or anything, in fact B.E.D is commonly left undiagnosed because many people are uninformed about it as a disorder, but looking back I ticked all the boxes. I never thought about the fact I had an eating disorder because I thought that typically eating disorders made you thin, and mine was doing the opposite.

My insecurity and depression created a void in me so deep that I began to feel a compulsion to fill it with food. I would come home after school and slather chocolate spread over slice after slice of toast. I shoved biscuits in my blazer pockets and ran upstairs, I ate whole ‘sharing pouches’ of chocolate in one hit and shovelled tablespoon after tablespoon of sugar on to my cereal every morning, I could not control it. It was an obsession, an addiction. I would often get myself in to a fervent state whilst on a binge, where I was in a daze and afterwards it would feel like I was on a come down from some sort of drug. I was never satisfied. It was like an unquenchable thirst. It even drove me to steal money regularly from my mum’s purse to fund my addiction or buy chewing gum which was the only thing that could stave off my desire for food for a while.

Nobody knew about my habits for a long time – or at least I never expressly told them, I know my mum noticed how rapidly we were getting through jars of nutella. I didn’t understand what I was going through, I thought it was dirty, shameful… I was just greedy and gluttonous. I would often starve myself of food to try and make up for the binge of the previous day but then I would succumb to the desire and binge again once I got home from school.

Eventually, breakthrough came… once I admitted my problem to someone who didn’t judge me and just listened, a weight was lifted. And after a lot of prayer and counselling I began to feel my obsession with food begin to fade away… it wasn’t an instant healing.. it continued over time and a constant renewing of the mind.

I stand before you now totally free from my eating disorder (it still feels weird to call it that!). I have been “clean” for years now, but the shame and stigma has caused me to keep it a secret for too long. I want to stand up and fight this with others who are going through the same thing – so if you are please don’t be in it alone. I will stand with you in prayer and support.

I love food, I always will. I enjoy cooking and baking, in fact I have scoffed almost half an easter egg this evening. But I know now, even if I have the odd binge on junk, I am not under the same power I once was. I am free.

I wish I could tell the little girl in the photo then, what I know now…that she is not less of a woman or less beautiful because she is a little chubbier than her friends. My prayer is that children today will grow up in a world where the hypocrisy of “the perfect body” is not shoved down their throats…where they learn about being healthy physically and mentally rather than learning to strive for a perfectly toned tummy. I have never felt so confident, healthy and happy in myself as I do now because I have accepted who I am & celebrate the way MY body is! Made in the image of my creator.

I’ve also decided to share a picture of me in a bikini last summer on the beach, I hope nobody finds it too immodest! I felt like sharing this photo would overcome a huge barrier for me!

Phew! My last few blogs have been very serious – I will endeavour to post something very lighthearted next!!

Much love.x

me bikinipaddling pool