“You are imperfect, permanently and inevitably flawed. And you are beautiful.”
“Yes, Chelsea, you are the most beautiful woman in the world, I couldn’t even imagine a more beautiful woman if I tried.”
“Oh Prince Charming! I…”
*beep, beep, beep, BEEP, BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP*
Dream’s over. Wake up. Time to go pick up some dog poop and stack some cans.
On to the floor I fall, wondering if maybe I can sneak in another five minutes sleep, so I can finish my chat with that Prince who thought I was cooler than avocado toast.
Not with the full face of makeup I insist on doing every day. Every. Day.
In front of the mirror I sit, my girl Clarins giving me my morning pep-talk and Revlon turning my lips from dead to dreamy while I sip my almond milk, low-fat, low-joy smoothie.
On the scales I stand, fingers crossed that I’ve lost an unreasonable kilo since this time yesterday.
I do the not-so-sexy skinny jeans dance into my leggings and pull on my baben yellow, polo, work shirt.
This has been my morning routine for too long.
I believe in active language, for anyone who doesn’t know what I’m talking about, duing is a real word, it refers to the way a persons brain actively uses certain neural pathways to respond to situations e.g ; anxiety, and therefore that person is duing anxiety. A genius is someone who is brilliant at consistently doing or duing something. For example; Hitler was a genius at leadership, Albert Einstein was a genius at Science, Jesus is a genius at forgiveness. This wording might sound strange, if you have no idea what I’m rabbiting on about, check out my previous blog post “Popping Pills Like a Rockstar.”
I am a genius at duing Body Dysmorphia.
I am a genius at duing perfectionism.
A perfectionist is someone who is almost always dissatisfied because let’s face it, nothing is ever really perfect. Imperfection is beautiful but a perfectionist is constantly striving, getting frustrated, giving up and starting all over again with the extreme expectation of perfection. There is nothing wrong with being a hard worker, but as someone who is a genius at perfection and body dysmorphia, how do I teach my brain the difference between perfect and a job well done? Between striving and balance? Between Healthy and unhealthy?
Food and my body has been an internal conflict for as long as I can remember. I think of when I was just seven years old and I was told by my best friend that I could “play the fat one” in our games, being called “chipmunk” because I had round cheeks, at 13 being picked on for the way my thighs jiggled when I wore shorts and when my ex-boyfriend’s mother picked me up for being a good girl when I didn’t eat chocolate biscuits.
Add that to a girl with a history of sexual abuse; who at a young age was taught that her body is not her own and you get what most women in society today du struggle with, a lack of body-love.
I have been on every diet possible, 5:2, Paleo, Vegan, Gluten Free, Sugar Free, Grain Free, Vegetarian, Keto etc. At one point I was at the gym every day, sometimes even twice. I have counted every calorie, cut every carb, missed every meal and even convinced my doctor to prescribe more laxatives. As a girl recovered from an eating disorder and now healthy, my body doesn’t really want to let go of weight to prevent what happened in the past.
I’m in an industry where image is half the gig, where “the camera adds 10 lbs”, where skinny looks better on stage.
But even more so, I look at myself in the mirror and I don’t see a size 8, I see something very different. For a very long time it hasn’t mattered if my mum told me I was beautiful, if someone stopped me in the street to pay me a compliment, if my boyfriend has told me he loves me, my brain has chosen to believe those things are a lie and that people feel sorry for me. It hasn’t mattered if the scales have gone down, it has still not been enough. It’s like the little girl on the inside has been so absolutely terrified of being out of control that she has taken control of the one thing she can, my weight.
So, what do you do, when you stand in front of the mirror listening to the lies in your head? You take control of them!
“The Brain makes a terrible master but an excellent slave.”
“If you treated your friends the way you treat yourself, would you have any friends at all?”
I am making it my mission to be healthy, not skinny. It is time for a revolution in my heart.
I am the daughter of a King.
Made in His image.
Loved by my family and friends for who I am not how I look.
I am not damaged by my past.
I don’t need to control anything because I have a gracious God in control of it all for me.
I am healthy, I am strong, I am me.
Imagine what a world we would have if everyone could believe this about themselves? If we could all catch ourselves right as we go to hurl another insult at the mirror and say:
“I love you!”
And mean it.
What if instead of looking at ourselves in the mirror and seeing all the things we don’t like, we pointed out everything we like. I like the way my hair looks a little bit red in the sunlight, and the way my eyebrows are naturally dark and thick. I like that my feet don’t hurt anymore, I like the way A-Line dresses fit me, I like that my eyes are sometimes green and sometimes blue. What do you like about yourself?
Sometimes we du fear around liking ourselves, as though that would make us vain. Can we please just tell that ridiculous lie to go back to whatever hole it came from? How can your body be loved by you if you don’t even like it? How can you be loved if you can’t accept love, and how can you give love if you’re without it? Teach yourself to love yourself and watch the miracle happen.
Not only would we really start to love ourselves, but each other too. All the times we have hurt others out of envy or spite due to hate for ourselves. If we could change our thinking to be absolute love, kindness and compassion for ourselves then maybe we could make that love reach the world.
I have spent so much time focusing on what is wrong with me, but maybe there isn’t anything wrong with me at all.
Maybe there’s nothing wrong with you either.
Maybe you should go eat a piece of cake.
“Life is way too short to spend another day at war with yourself.”
2 thoughts on “Mirror, Mirror”
Thank you for the courage you show as you open yourself up and share your private thoughts and experiences. I, for one, am certainly encouraged as I read your blog. Mum xx
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Thank you so much for that love and support! It makes all the difference xx