Friday Feature: My story

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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So that’s my story.

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Comments

  1. says

    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 :)

  2. says

    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.

  3. says

    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

  4. says

    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!

  5. says

    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.

  6. says

    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 :)

  7. TK says

    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 :)

  8. says

    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

  9. says

    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 :)

  10. says

    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 :)

  11. says

    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.

  12. says

    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. 😛

  13. says

    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.

  14. says

    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!

  15. Lotts says

    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 :)

  16. Meg says

    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 :)

  17. kaity @ kaityscooking says

    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!

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