Health & Wellbeing

Reflecting on Body Image, and Seven Extra Kilos

July 12, 2016

My friend sent me this image above and I laughed and laughed and laughed. It is sooo true. When I met The Ginger Hunk, I was, well, skinny. At the time of course I didn’t think it though. I thought I was fat. So fat. I would stand on the scales and GASP when I saw that the scales had moved 200 grams in a certain direction. Like I had seen a ghost. I’m much heavier now than I was back then. I’ve put on about a kilo a year since that time, on and off. My relationship with food, for many years was a very unhealthy one. I had times of being super restrictive, then binging with not a care in the world.

At my skinniest...somewhere dancing in 2009

At my skinniest…somewhere dancing in 2009. (When I thought I was fat.)

I don’t know when it started but I always thought I was fat. I was nicknamed Fat Ash, as a joke in high school and not being good anything much sporty wise. It sort of stuck into young-adulthood. I always felt inadequate. A series of early boyfriends really damaged me in the body image department. One boyfriend, who seemed to have his own body issues (and going through a super annoying bodybuilding phase) told me that “I disgusted him”, because of my lack of exercise. Instead of kicking his arse to the kerb, I decided to lose weight. I joined him in the gym, and got pretty lean after a while. But I never felt it was good enough for him. He never complimented me, and I did not feel all the effort was worth it in the end. Fast forward to significant relationship number two. (I do not know how I meet these humans, seriously.) We are away for our first weekend in the Hunter Valley. I’m in my early twenties and I’m pretty excited, so I invest before the weekend in some underwear. He tells me, that I look fat, after an errrr, intimate moment. I cry and cry and cry in front of him. He says he did not mean to offend me. I do not see this as a problem, and I vow to lose weight.

Happy and Healthy in Koh Samui in 2012

Happy and Healthy in Koh Samui in 2013

And so the cycle began. Of thinking that others were judging me, instead of how I feel about myself. I’ve been through  a lof of phases with what I am into, training wise and diets over the years, which impacts on my body shape. I had success on Michelle Bridges, but did not find it suitable for endurance training. I did triathlon for a while which made super fit. I did F45 for a year which made me lean up but I felt like I had a lot of pain and tightness in my back. I think I have found a balance now, where I love to run or do a CanToo program, and fit in the other stuff I love, like yoga and a spin class. My body issues tended to flare up in times of stress, and they got to a point where I saw a counsellor about it. I will no longer use an app or calorie count, and didn’t have scales for about a year, until recently. I’ve never been as skinny again as the stressed out person dancing in the top image. And I never want to be. But, after really not giving a shit for ages, now I am at the heavier end of my fluctuation range. So now, I embark to be on a healthier relationship with food. From not caring anymore, to caring, but not being obsessed, for me, just me.

How’s your relationship with food and your body image going? 

Good? Bad? Ugly?

Are you on a health kick too? 

Happy Tuesday 

Ashleigh XXX

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  • Don’t you hate the way we create these warped sense of selfs. I can’t believe that anyone could possibly call you Fat Ash even as a joke! I don’t have the greatest relationship with my body but at the same time I have an unhealthy addiction to chocolate! Like Sammie I would rather be fat and happy (for the record I am not fat!) than skinny and cranky because I get very very cranky when I diet and monitor everything that I eat and I get really snappy at everyone else who eats whatever they want. The truth is that regardless of the weight I am my body will never be the way I want it because I have had major abdo surgery so all my muscles have been cut and put back together and well no amount of crunches will make it look “normal” ever again. But I am alive and healthy so that is what matters most. You are just gorgeous I hope you know that!

  • I lost 20kg and was the slimmest I’d ever been and then I got thyroid cancer. I’d been at my goal weight for about 6 months and the first thing I said to my doctor when she told me the diagnosis was “oh no, am I going to get fat?” I’ve since regained almost all the weight I lost which I think is in part due to my lack of thyroid and part due to my love of cake. But you know what, although I’m not super pleased about my ability to gain weight faster than the speed of light, I’d rather be heavy than dead. Every time I want to beat on myself, I have to remind myself of that. I love that you’ve found your happy place with food, all by yourself and for yourself. What a good place to be 🙂

  • I have a crap relationship with my body. I’ve never been super-skinny thanks to my genes but I remember in Year 7, a couple of boys at school nicknamed me ‘Moti’ {which is ‘fat’ in Hindi}. I wasn’t overweight at the time but did balloon after Year 10. Plus my mum has body image issues of her own which she graciously transferred to my sis and me. I’m still struggling, still trying to make peace. I’m not on any crazy diets though as I still love my food!

  • It hasn’t always been good, that’s for sure. Though it’s much better now that I’m older. I like how I look Though I would like to lose the weight I’ve gained this year, because it was all from stress eating. It’s about 10 pounds. The weight I was at last year is where I am comfortable. 🙂