A few days after I got back from Wales, Graeme took me to Amsterdam to cheer me up a bit. In the run up, I was religiously following Weight Watchers so that I could live by what Mel had spoken about in The Goddess Revolution and be free from food on my holiday.
Just one catch with that, you can’t put yourself on a restrictive diet to become free around food.
So I wound up doing Weight Watchers while there too, I was trying to hide it and be discreet about checking the app for points or to track my food but it didn’t really work. The whole time I was telling Graeme about my new-found “body positivity” and about how finally loved my body. All bull, of course.
It was only when I was stood in my bikini making Graeme take photos of me from all angles so that I could scrutinise every party of my body, in front of him, that I realised how much what I was doing was hurting him. So, I decided that when I got back I would give Mel Wells a chance. I’d follow her regime of having no regime and watch the ‘extra weight’ drop off naturally while I was laughing, joking and showing my abs off at the beach. Not exactly realistic.
True to my word, I did give up control of food when I got back. I made a conscious effort to not live by a restricted diet. Then something happened that I wasn’t expecting at the time, but have heard lots about since. I boomeranged. Hard.
I was eating everything in sight and not allowing myself to purge. I felt like the weight was just piling on. I wanted to go back to the safety of restricting, binge eating and purging but I knew that I couldn’t. I’d made an internal promise to myself after Kim’s funeral and again in Amsterdam that I couldn’t keep doing this to my body.
There was the first little spark of true self-love for me, saying to myself “I know that this is scary and I know you want to go back to old habits, but you need to push forward. You owe it to yourself to be healthy”.
I didn’t know how to achieve this at the time, my views on food were so skewed that physical health felt like a challenge. Never mind my mental health! But I knew, step by step, I had to keep going and trying. I’ve had a few relapses but generally, I still stick to those baby steps.
After a few months, in June 2017, I started a new job with the company that I still work for and actually really enjoy which really spurred me on to stay away from the slippery slope of food control. I wanted to get it right this time and be there 100% for work and when getting to know colleagues. I even went on work nights out and genuinely had a great time. There was some comparisonitis but I refused to let it ruin my night.
As I spent time with new people and listened to them rather than judging and comparing, another spark of true love came from me to me. I was really proud of myself for the way I was interacting.
In August 2017, I gave up weighing completely. My weight was starting to come down a little and I was starting to get obsessed with it again. I had been weighing pretty much daily for a few months which, for me, was a massive reduction but now it was time to stop and I knew it.
In the September, I think, Mel Wells held an event on Instagram called ‘Self Love Week’ where she set a challenge each day for us to get to loving ourselves. Some days were easier, like buying myself a gift. Other days were harder, like saying what I love about my body when all I could say was I was grateful that my body was healthy. There were a lot of tears that day. This time, not just because my body didn’t look how I wanted. This time, I also cried because I was desperate to be able to love myself and my body.
After completing the week, with much more emotion than expected, I decided to sign up for Mels Academy and become a ‘Goddess’.
I won’t share any of the content as it’s Mels business. It was quite expensive to join but I paid over 6 months and got gifted 2 tickets to the Self Love Summit so was worth it in my mind. Now, I feel like it was a small price to pay for what it gave me. Even by just signing up, another little spark of self-love grew through the gratitude I felt for investing in myself.
So, I went forward with my little sparks of self-love and vowed to do my best to keep growing them. Starting with binning the scales…