How a Body Hater Became a Body (and life) Embracer (09/11/17)

Thanks to my lovely fellow flawsomer and blogger Alison Murphy for the invite to guest blog on her page.   Yikes!  My first foray into blogging ever!  My teens and tweenager will cringe!  The reason behind the hijacking of Alison’s page is twofold.  To give you readers a glimpse into my life (how riveting!) and to explain  the effect seeing the wonderful  documentary “Embrace” created by Taryn Brumfitt, has had on my ever changing and expanding life and consciousness.   Sounds good?   Now let’s hope I don’t fall flat on my face!

Me.   Lorna Doorley a native of the Garden County now residing in the lake filled county of Roscommon.  Five children, one husband , two dogs, two cats and a very happy contented life filled with simple pleasures like walking , yoga, cooking, and for good measure a large dose of ferrying children here and there , the usual stay at home mother stuff.

I am nothing out of the ordinary.   Like so many women I know, I carried a burden from my early teen’s right through to my early 40’s.  A burden that too many people are struck down with in their early years , a gift from the media and consumerist society we inhabit , where “how it looks” is King (or Queen) and being brainwashed that sticking out , quite literally in any area is to be avoided at all costs.  The never ending quest for the “perfect” body and hating the perfectly working body I had was an affliction that I had for 25 years.   My first diet was at 17.  When I look back now at the photos of my Debs ball (teens ask your parents….it goes hand in hand with cassette tapes and recording songs off the radio!) it saddens me so much that I could not accept and love the beautiful body I had then.

The pursuit was endless.  The diets followed one after another.  The obsession was tiring.  Needing to be the slimmest I had ever been on my wedding day.  Then after each of my children were gifted to me and my incredible body grew them and carried them into this world and fed them , I continued to berate it , criticise, analyse and deprive it only to find myself then harming it with excess food.

For every breakthrough there has to often come first a rock bottom.  For me it came in 2015. Some months after having my 5th child, who needed to come in to the world through the sun roof (C-section) I presented myself at the latest fad slimming club…definitely not a diet folks …no way… feeding your body from a place lacking in intuition and relying on the instructions from a company IS A DIET (in my opinion…you are entitled to yours).  So I began, checking the book, the weekly weigh in all the time buying into the idea that YES I deserve the best YES I deserve to love and care for myself- but ONLY in the event of my body being smaller.  How could I love it bigger?

So I did it! Got to the acceptable target weight and for one weigh in I saw less than X stone for the first time since before I had my children . FOR ONE WEIGH IN! ONCE!  I stepped on the scales next week and was creeping back to my old weight, which I know have learned is my set point weight and is higher probably because of 25 years of yo yo dieting.   Anyhoo..   One day the kind leader was speaking to me as  I had slipped out of the “target “ weight bracket (there’s a surprise) and I burst into tears, the dawning realisation that I would have to maintain this obsessive behaviour for the rest of my days hit me like a tonne of bricks (or like the two stone I had lost).  I could no longer do this. My spirit was broken. I missed out on so much through my obsessiveness.  I lived in a perpetual vicious circle of shame and regret, steeling my resolve to try again only to fail and then the merry go round would begin again. I went home that day and took a sledge hammer to my weighing scales – that was the most liberating thing I had done in years!

Then I found a clip on You Tube about the documentary Embrace and saw an advertisement that it was being shown in Longford for International Women’s Day. I took myself off and boy was I blown away. I wasn’t the only one feeling the way I did. I wasn’t the only one seeking a way out to freedom from body obsession, the end to the torment in my mind and the concern about how I looked to others.   I am free today.  I live an abundant life, full of joy and contentedness.  I no longer weigh myself.  I don’t care about the label on my clothes.  I am free.  The key to this journey began by watching the documentary “Embrace” and from that grew a community of like-minded souls, all seeking to embrace life. It hasn’t been without its challenges. I  have had times when the lure of dieting has called me back.  I surround myself with like-minded souls who are there to support me when I am rocky.

This one life we have is short folks and it is only one day at a time given to us.  Someday my vessel, this body of mine, will be returned to the earth and on that day, I am quite certain that the topics of conversation will not be centred on what I weighed.  I won’t take bets on what will be discussed either!  I choose today to live a life that is filled with moments of joy, pain, fear and embrace it all. Welcome it all and learn from it all.  I choose to have people in my corner who get me, I don’t need to explain or defend myself any longer.  Along the way, I have utilised many services including that of therapy as I had underestimated the profound effect this issue had on me. Today, I lift my face to the sun and nourish my body mind and spirit in healthy, life giving ways to the best of my ability… and I eat cake!

I have decided to bring this documentary once again to the community and with the support of the amazing women of the Leitrim Luna Nua Red Tent, they and I are hosting the documentary screening in the gorgeous Carrick Cineplex on Wednesday 29th November at 7p.m. For this screening it is a women’s event and tickets are almost gone so to reserve one please email me slattagirl@gmail.com indicating your name and mobile number. Tickets are €10 and I will be there from 6.15p.m. –  ready to embrace you all ( please form an orderly queue lol) I hope we will be able to host future screenings also and if anyone is living in the Midlands or West and is interested please do get in touch!

Many thanks Lorna for your beautiful story and words.  I hope it’s a wonderful evening for all.  xxx