Sunday 4th October
Third blog in one week and have almost completed my chapter for 20 beautiful Women so I definitely have my writers hat on. This blog has been such a huge part of my life this year and it has been amazing to share this experience and my Secret Experiment as it happened. Even though the “experiment” ended I am so aware that I will always be learning and I want to be able to pass it on.
Well the reason I’m blogging today is that it is a year since I stepped up on stage as a first time bikini competitor the end result of almost two years of dieting and training but realistically the final stage on a journey that I began with my eating disorder aged 8 years old, the months after the competition were the hardest times I have ever endured but they brought me here and I had to go through them because it was only because of them that I truly realized how badly I felt about myself. It was in those months that I became aware of the eating disorder and how long it had been with me. They were my rock bottom but I know now after this phenomenal year that no matter what happens in my life I will never feel like that again because instead of fighting with myself, putting myself down I got to see, love and appreciate the real me the part of me that exists without a reflection. Our true selves exist in us all and it doesn’t need looks, possessions, achievements to base its self-worth on. It simply is perfect right now as it is.
But although I am in such a different place now and my eating disorder has well and truly left my life – I am human- there is still a voice in my head that can whisper doubts to me and I would be lying if I didn’t admit to being a little apprehensive about today and seeing pictures on Facebook of those who competed.
My body no longer looks like it looked last year. It is the truth when I say this doesn’t matter to me now but I really didn’t know how I’d feel or what emotions it would bring up. All of my life I judged myself by my external appearance. I needed it to be something extra special because I was afraid that without it people wouldn’t like me as much as they did. These thoughts were not rational and mostly subconscious but as I move forward into a whole new chapter of my life today this strange anniversary was something I knew I had to acknowledge.
So today when I took out my phone and looked at the pictures I felt a whole mix of emotions. Firstly a whole pile of love for the amazing Christian who has been beside me for 20 years and who has loved me throughout it all and for a beautiful friend who stood up on that stage again yesterday. Sadness came it was fleeting but it came-for the fact that it’s not a place I belong anymore I made some amazing friends during my time training to compete some of whom are still in my life and there is a real sense of community but I know that it’s not a community I belong anymore. Then came gratitude. For everything. For every single experience that led me to now. For every day I cried. For every day I wished my life to be over. For The Secret and how reading it before the competition planted the knowledge that I had a choice and it was this knowledge that saved my life because it inspired me to begin my experiment. Gratitude for the fact that I am healthy and fit, for the fact that even though bits of me wobble now (some days more than others) I know that the bit on the outside of me isn’t the bit that matters.
So mostly I am grateful for the fact that I have discovered and seen all the good in the inside of me.
It is not our appearance, our houses, our cars, our bank balance, material possessions, level of education, our achievements or the achievements of our children that matter. There is nothing wrong with wanting any of these things but it is only the person we are inside that counts. What we really are is what is left if all of those things were taken away. Every moment spent supressing and criticizing the real you stops you from moving forward. When we are ashamed of ourselves a negativity and unhappiness seeps out whether we are aware of it or not. When we are kind and accepting of ourselves a love and happiness radiates and it affects everything in our lives in a positive way.
On the 4th February 2015 I began my Secret Experiment and I began to give myself a break, to be kinder to myself, to be grateful for who I was and so today in my mix of emotions the overwhelming one is the fact that I am happy right here right now in this moment exactly as I am.
And excited…because I get to live my dream and help other people get to say the same thing.