Dnanananana Fat girl (cue batman theme)
Yep. that’s one of the few affectionate names I got called in Primary School.
I read that now and laugh, as it’s actually pretty funny and I love a good pun, but it’s moments like these that slowly embedded my fear of being fat and established my beliefs that my weight and the way I looked defined who I was.
Growing up I was always taller than everyone else, but on top of that I was also a lot bigger than everyone else too, which made me stand out.
This, along with the fact I was also good at sport, was an easy way to put a person down a peg or two (or in my case a keg or two) when they're getting beaten.
Teasing like the batman themed song occurred a lot growing up and I always wished that I could change.
I always wished I were skinnier. That life would be complete if I was small and petite like the other girls.
It wasn’t until I was in high school that I started to lean out, but by this stage the damage had already been done and the only way I would be good enough and accepted was if I was skinny.
Commence: Operation skinny.
My obsession with food and exercise had begun and I would often restrict foods or cut certain ‘bad’ foods out.
I would then reward myself for being so disciplined for the week that I would often have a binge day where I could easily consume a litre of ice-cream or a block of chocolate - no worries.
This coincided with the over exercising. Punishing myself for eating ‘bad foods’. I was constantly basing my work outs on what I ate that day or what I was planning on eating in the day ahead. If I knew I was going out and likely to make bad food choices then extra hard sessions would be on the cards - regardless of whether I was feeling tired or fatigued.
At this stage I was also playing professional netball and it wouldn't be unusual for me to do additional training sessions outside of our already heavy work load. My body was often sore and tired but would never let on that this was the case.
I would always be in control of my food for the day, food prepping, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but if I derailed from this then I would feel guilty and beat myself up. Maybe skip a meal later, maybe do extra exercise. If someone spontaneously suggested we go out for lunch (and ruin my plans) I would have a melt down inside as I would feel like I have no control of the situation.
I legitimately would think that I would just wake up overweight and all the taunting would start again.
These thoughts are completely irrational but it would genuinely stress me out.
This theme has continued for much of my adult life. Since I have started working on myself I have become a lot more self-aware of my thoughts and really breaking them down. I started to realise that I exercised A LOT for punishment for the food I ate in order to gain the perfect body (which I'm finding is a never ending cycle).
My mindset was always in a state of lack.
That I was never good enough, never pretty enough, never skinny enough, never smart enough… From where I’ve been and where I am now I have come a long way, but I can still fall back into this trap.
Now that I am a lot more self-aware when I am having these unhelpful thoughts I try to be more rational with my thinking and the likely hood of any of these crazy thoughts coming to fruition.
We have all had moments where we feel that we are not good enough.
We have marketing thrown at us all the time trying to create a bigger gap between were we are and where we ‘should’ be. What we look like and what we ‘should’ look like. What we have and what we ‘should’ have.
We have this unrealistic expectation that life will be better when we achieved these unrealistic expectations, or that people will like you more, but the reality is we are never satisfied as human beings.
Even if you reached your unrealistic goal, you’ll only find something else that you are missing or that could be better.
I could continue on the merry-go-round but instead, I am choosing to accept myself just the way I am.
Knowing that I am doing everything that I can to make sure I’m healthy.
That’s not just the exercise I do or the food that I eat, but most importantly in my mind and the way I think about myself.