The Woman In The Mirror – My Personal Story

How many times have you looked in the mirror and seen something you don’t like? It happens to the best of us, we get caught up in what we ‘should’ look like. Thighs are too big, hair is too straight, too many freckles, breasts are too small… the list could go on, and for many of us it does. The question is, are you loving who you are and keen to further improve yourself, or are you getting caught in the old “I’ll be happy when…”? “I’ll be happy when I weigh only X kg”, “I’ll be happy when I get a boob job”, I’ll be happy when I have this or that done”.

The truth is that happiness isn’t a place, person, operation, destination or weight goal. Happiness is a feeling, and it’s entirely within our control as to if, and when, we feel it or not. The challenge many of us face is that we’re always searching for something externally to make us feel good rather than finding it within.

I know this, because I spent most of my life not liking what I saw in the mirror. I was Bulimic for 8 years and ALWAYS thought I was too fat. It wasn’t until I was looking back in hindsight, that I realised my problems never had anything to do with my weight. I’m 5’2” and at my very heaviest I was only 55kg (121lb), but I thought I was a huge, hideous monster. I was never happy unless I was down to 48kg (106lb), which – funnily enough – only seemed to happen when I was even more depressed, or on the ‘break up diet’ when I’d split with a partner. Most of the time I was never more than about 50kg (110lb) yet I absolutely believed that I would only be happy when these last 2kg (4.4lb) had dropped.

2kg? How could 2 measly kilograms really dictate whether or not I was happy? From the outside in, it was easy to see that I had a problem unrelated to my weight, but as the person experiencing this, it was all I could think about. In fact ‘think’ is too mild a word. I was obsessed. I would starve myself for days, only to binge on huge amounts of food which I would then purge, several times a day. This was a destructive, cyclic pattern and it was ruining my life, my relationships and my health. Even now, years later, my digestive system doesn’t function properly and I have irrepairable damage to my teeth from all the purging.

I tried everything I could think of to make the changes I knew I needed. I went to counselors, support groups, psychiatrists, nutritionists, everything… you name it, I tried it. What I hadn’t tried at that point, is to truly understand that I needed to fall in love with me, just the way I was. When I was 26, I started working one on one with Nina, a very intuitive life coach who helped me search inside myself to find the answers I was looking for.

There were many months of tears, frustration and soul searching… but eventually there was peace. I was able to understand why I was using food as an emotional crutch and what the real cause of my behaviour was. You see, the eating disorder was simply a vehicle for dealing with the real issues, and once I knew what they were, I was able to address them directly.

Today I am happy, healthy and loving who I am. I’m still human, I still have bad days, and I still have an ‘ideal weight’ that I’d like to get to… but it doesn’t dictate my life and I love myself regardless… squishy bits and all.