Friday Feature: My story

by Jemma Andrew-Adiamah on August 19, 2011

in Friday Feature Posts

Before I begin  this post I wanted to warn those who are recovering from an eating disorder or are suffering from anything similar then this post focuses on body image.  You may or may not find this  triggering, but I thought I should make you all aware.

It’s nearly been a year since I started writing my blog.  In those very early days when Celery and Cupcakes was just a little idea thought up during a busy day in my lab I had no clue what to expect or even where to begin.  But, I know that one thing for certain I have never looked back.  During this time I have been nothing but honest with you all.  However, there is something that I have kept back.  Don’t worry it’s nothing demonic, hideous or scary.  It’s simply about why entered the enchanting world of blog land.

Everyone has a story right?  Well I thought that it was about time that I shared with you

my story.

I think almost everyone is always on that quest for perfection, whether it be in their job, relationships or how they dress.  Obviously the vey idea of perfection is different for everybody.  It is an entity that is individual to the person that craves it.  I craved it.  I was hooked on trying to find it from a very young age.  And after all of those years of trying I never did find it.

Let’s get one thing straight I’ve never had an eating disorder.  For me to say that I did would simply be cruel and disrespectful for those who are suffering at the unkind hands of an ED.  Although, I would say that I became obsessive about what I was eating, why I was eating it and did I really need to eat it.

scales

Source

On my mum’s side of the family the women in particular are all much more generously proportioned than most.  As a result, growing up I was always surrounded by weight loss diets, Slimming World, Weight Watchers, Atkins.  Repeated weigh in reports of being 2lbs up or 3lbs down.  At some point it was going to have an impact on me.

This impact all became apparent at school when I was 14.  I started to take notice of how [some] of my super naturally slim friends used to eat. I was always in awe by they way that they could eat so little and somehow be satisfied.  I thought that there must have been something wrong with me.  I was somehow greedy for wanting to have chips with my slice of pizza.  So it was away with the chips.  I started just eat slices of pizza or just a chocolate bar at lunch because I was kidding myself that this was healthy.  Restricting what you eat when there is no reason to is never healthy.  To my mum’s surprise I always seemed to inhale my dinner in seconds, her sausage casserole with mashed potatoes being my favourite at the time.

mirror

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I’ve never been overweight and I’ve never been super tiny either.  But, aspiring to be like my much slimmer friends started to take over.  Before bed every night I would go up to my room and put on my mum’s Cindy Crawford fitness DVD.  I thought it was necessary to do this every night for my own good.  To achieve that slimmer figure of my friends and those teenage magazines that I always used to buy.

My addictive personality’s grasp on this need to be skinny took another hit when a distorted body image problem began to develop.  When I looked in the mirror I always saw a much bigger girl in my reflection.  I hated my curves.  I hated being slightly larger than my other friends.  I hated my frizzy curls.  I didn’t like the look of the girl staring back at me.  So on came the sneaking into my mums room to weigh myself every day and the calorie counting also ensued.

overcoming-low-self-esteem1

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I did kind of get over this wanting to be slimmer.  I put it away in a box somewhere and stapled the lid shut.  However, staples can become unstuck.  It’s always always been in the back of my mind.  May be it always will be.  It’s hard to break a habit that has being going on for so long.  I noticed this when I started my relationship with Alfie and put on a few pounds.  Without noticing I began to analyse my figure in the mirror again.  Eating lighter and smaller meals.  However, this time was different as I was happy.  I was happy in my relationship.  I was happy that somebody loved me for who I was no matter how small or large I was.  This was the case in my early teens, but I failed to realise it back then.

The more I think about the younger me. The old me. I cannot believe how different we are. I’m supposed to have curves. I’m supposed to have a more fuller butt. That’s just my figure. It doesn’t define who I am.

Florence_2011 641

It took me a while but now I know that food is no the enemy.  In fact I love to eat and experimenting with food.  It’s just the most creative thing.  The most satisfying thing. I look at food with a much healthier perspective and get excited about meal times.  Being strong and healthy far outweighs any desperation to be skinny. Listening to what my body wants is so important to me.  If it wants chocolate than that what it shall have.  I’m ok at giving in to my cravings now as I know that it’s not going to do me any harm.

I’ve learned to accept myself and the way I look.  Now when I have to use the mirror to check over my face or flatten down an unruly stray hair the girl looking back always remembers to smile.

acceptanceSource

So that’s my story.

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{ 41 comments… read them below or add one }

Cara August 19, 2011 at 6:04 PM

This is just what I needed to hear. Thank you.

Sophia August 19, 2011 at 6:42 PM

great story. i think i needed to hear that too.

Lenna (veganlenna) August 19, 2011 at 6:52 PM

I love this post, really Jemma, there are so many beautiful things written in your post! Everyone should be reminded that weight is not what we are. We are living beings full of hopes, dreams, aspirations, love, abillities etc. I also remember the time when I first noticed some curves on my body and was shocked and ashamed by this, because many of my friends look different (and better, in my young and stupid opinion). But we are all different and that´s why we are beautiful :)

lactosefreelizzie August 19, 2011 at 6:53 PM

Amazing story. You are an inspiration, especially to me, considering that I’m only 14 and you started your eating disorder around my age.

Sweet Potato Sarah August 19, 2011 at 6:58 PM

Such a lovely inspiring post :)
I can’y wait to read another years worth of your awesome eats and recipes!

Mary @ Bites and Bliss August 19, 2011 at 7:18 PM

I can relate so much to your story. It’s amazing how much we can be brought down by that lame number. It means NOTHING to how beautiful we are!! Thank you so much for sharing!

Sarah(everydaysapicnic) August 19, 2011 at 7:26 PM

This is such a wonderfully written post and you really capture the way a lot of women feel.
When I was a teenager I genuinely needed to lose weight, but it doesn’t mean that it’s healthy to become obsessed with the scale number.

Alexis - PumpedforPumpkin August 19, 2011 at 8:29 PM

Amazing story and beautifully written. I’m so happy you shared this with us :)

kristinerunningonhungry August 19, 2011 at 9:01 PM

Such a lovely and well written post, I really enjoyed reading this!

~Jessica~ August 19, 2011 at 9:44 PM

Thanks so much for sharing this *hugs*.

I’ve always thought your curves were perfectly in proportion, and I know I’d kill to have your beautiful silhouette!

xxx

Rachel August 19, 2011 at 9:48 PM

I’m so glad you decided to share! This post is amazing, just like your blog. (also thanks for the comment-love)

kabochafashionista August 19, 2011 at 10:06 PM

Jemma, this post is simply amazing, seriously. I can relate to your story in so many ways..unfortunately my comparing with my friends was the start of my eating disorder so I guess I took my ‘slimming’ to the extreme. I’m now learning to accept that women ARE supposed to have curves, it’s natural, because women’s bodies are made to have children and being stick thin is not healthy enough to do that and even though I don’t necessarily want children, I want to a have a happy healthy functioning body and that means eating good food to have a healthy body and also a healthy mind!

Amanda @ Running with Spoons August 20, 2011 at 12:27 AM

Thank you so much for sharing your story, Jemma. It breaks my heart to hear about beautiful women who struggle with body image, but it’s so great to hear that you learned to accept yourself the way you are. You’re beautiful and I’m glad you can see it now :) I look back at my younger self and wonder why I was so hard on myself and why I couldn’t be happy with what I had. Now I’m doing much better at appreciating my body for what it is and what it can do instead of hating it for what it isn’t.

Hannah August 20, 2011 at 1:10 AM

This is truely beautiful. And so are you!
Finding balance is far more rewarding then always seeking perfection.

movesnmunchies August 20, 2011 at 1:15 AM

you are SO brave for opening up. thank you!!

Ffion @ Chocolate and Rapsberiies August 20, 2011 at 1:37 AM

Lovely story :) Your are awesome!

Ma Ma Megan August 20, 2011 at 2:21 AM

So brave for opening up! It’s horrible how many people struggle with distorted body imagine even if they don’t have an ED, it’s still heartbreaking. We are all beautiful and we need to see that :)

TK August 20, 2011 at 11:06 AM

A wicked read! I’m currently under treatment for anorexia… not the best feeling! But it’s uplifting to hear other peoples perspectives and be reminded that you reeeeeeally aren’t defined by the way you look. (Plus if i ate the amount of superfoods and had the lifestyle that you do im pretty sure i’d feel too happy to give a shit about what anyone thinks of me anyways haha! hello endorphins and contentment!)

Inspiring read, you’re awesome! Thanks lovely :)

sarah@onedayiwillseethesun August 20, 2011 at 11:28 AM

Thankyou for sharing your story, was inspiring to read that it is possible to have a healthy relationship with food

shuhan August 21, 2011 at 4:22 AM

that’s a really inspiring story! I think many people develop this unhealthy way with food– looking at food and seeing calories or fat, but food is food and should be savoured. as long as we eat real, natural food, we shouldn’t be too obsessed over “how much weight i’m going to put on”. love your body, cheers!

http://mummyicancook.blogspot.com/p/listen-to-your-mummy.html

Laura Agar Wilson August 21, 2011 at 7:40 AM

Great post! I love reading people’s stories of how they came to embrace healthy living in a healthy balanced way :-)

lucie August 21, 2011 at 1:55 PM

This really touched me. Ive suffered from anorexia since I was 12 years old (im now 20), and im currently at my worst and am fighting my hardest for recovery and for life…its great to be able to follow a blog like yours, that embrace healthy living. Its so inspiring to know that you accept yourself for who you are!

x

Errign August 21, 2011 at 5:20 PM

Thanks for sharing your story :) I’m glad you were able to come to a place of acceptance with yourself, since you’re totally right – you are who you are, regardless :)

Ashley@BakerbyNature August 22, 2011 at 7:20 PM

Beautiful post! I wish more girls and women understood body image like you do – truly inspirational!

Lindsay August 23, 2011 at 3:48 AM

beautiful story. Thank you for being so open, honest and willing to share. It sounds like you have grown a lot in this past year and are finally more at peace with yourself and body image. I have been down that road too and it’s quite a liberating feeling to be rid of the nasty thoughts :)

beautyinthebalance August 23, 2011 at 12:25 PM

Thank you for sharing your story Jemma. It was beautifully written! I am so pleased to read that’s all in your past!

Maria August 23, 2011 at 10:12 PM

You always write such fantastic pieces, and you can see by all those comments how important it is to write things like this. You are strong and healthy (and also have am amazing figure)- so much more important that being super skinny. Well done for writing your own story on your blog.

Living, Learning, Eating November 11, 2011 at 6:20 AM

There are so many people who don’t have EDs, but do have disordered eating. Good for you for confronting yours and realizing that you don’t have to be on death’s door to need a healthy change! :)

Oh my gosh, you’re getting marrrrrrrrriiiiiiiiiiiieeeeeeeeedddddd! I love weddings (though I’ve never been to one, I do fantasize) so I hope there are lots of pics.

I’m talking about dresses. Because that’s why girls get married, isn’t it?

I kid. :P

ohshineon December 14, 2011 at 4:07 AM

you are a terrific writer who writes from the heart. it is easy to see how genuine and caring you are about other girls and your desire to have them see themselves as beautiful and unique.

Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes December 14, 2011 at 7:05 PM

Thank you so much for your kind words!:D

Jentry Nielsen March 14, 2012 at 9:06 PM

Wow I just came across your blog and I love it! You are so inspiring! I feel the exact same way! I would never go as far to say I have an ED, but I do obsess and think about food, exercising, my weight far more than normal.
I love that you love yourself for you! God made us different, we need to embrace that!
I look forward to reading more from you! I am so glad I came across your site!

Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy June 24, 2012 at 9:15 PM

Thanks so much for posting your story – I loved reading it. It’s great to see another UK based health blog :)

Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes June 26, 2012 at 6:25 AM

Thank you Dannii!

Alaine @ My GF & DF Living July 20, 2012 at 3:31 AM

I love this. Thank you for being so open and honest about your life. It’s inspiring to hear your stories and how you overcome everything!

Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes July 20, 2012 at 12:19 PM

Thank yo Alaine, so glad that you enjoyed this post, mean a lot :D

Lotts October 9, 2012 at 9:03 PM

Thank you for this inspirational story-I am 14 and always see myself to be ‘Fat’ everyone says in am skinny, i eat healthy and I’m I am happy-Just see myself to be fat. However I do think it is just phase :) Thanks :)

Meg October 11, 2012 at 10:46 AM

Jemma, thank you so much for sharing your inspirational story. I also suffered from an ED for several years, and it feels amazing to finally have a healthy relationship with food. Love your blog :)

Meg October 11, 2012 at 10:51 AM
kaity @ kaityscooking December 13, 2012 at 2:42 PM

This is sucha awesome story, im glad you found your way.. HS can be tough for anyone, but i think girls have it the worst with all the judgement! cantwait to read moree!

Maddy October 25, 2013 at 6:30 PM

Hi Jemma,
Just wanted to say what brilliant post this is and how much I love your blog – yours in the first I really fell in love with :) I just started my own blog and would love for you to have a look
http://madeleinealice.wordpress.com/
x
Maddy recently posted…My new loveMy Profile

Jemma October 28, 2013 at 8:12 AM

Hi Maddy! I’m so glad that you enjoyed this post and like my blog. Thanks for the link I will be sure to check out your blog :-)

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