Lashing on the Love (22/04/17)

To say I’m ecstatically happy to be part of the Body Image Movement as a Global Ambassador would be an understatement.  I applied back in January having seen Embrace and decided I’d crack on with trying a screening to just DO something to contribute to the change this film can make.  It really didn’t disappoint and I’m hoping to do another.  In the meantime I decided to start by loving my body – first and foremost in my mind as that’s where the change had to happen first!  I’ve done lots of reading, lots of soul searching and lots of thinking.   I felt like a switch was flipped and it happened pretty quickly.

Then about a week/10 days ago though I experienced a bit of a wobble.  I saw a picture of myself and it sparked a deluge of emotions and thoughts that I really wasn’t expecting.   I totally panicked and plunged into a pretty dark pool of self-pity!  There was a voice in my head saying “Oh now you see, you need to lose a bit of weight!”  I thought it was my voice.  I’ll admit I panicked!  What the hell was I doing feeling like this when I had this whole body image thing licked?  “Ha!  Silly girl – got a little too cocky perhaps?”

The voice felt weirdly disconnected from me which was in a way a comfort.  It made me sad to think I would still treat myself like this and it took me a bit of work to figure out where the voice came from and who it belonged to.  I named names in my head – there were quite a few.  They were those people I know would have something to say about my size, my hair, my look, my diet.  Many of them are gone from or distant in my life now because I’ve worked to really fill my life with people who lift me up, inspire me and that I can be really me with.  I’ll be honest I felt like a bit of a fraud.  How could I be hosting screenings and telling everyone to embrace when I was having a hard time with it myself?!  Am I nuts?!  Should I just stop?

So I ranted and poured it all out to some of my tribe and I took stock.  I named those negative voices the titterin’ bitches (a nod to an uncle’s term for my mum and her sister when they got together!) and decided to lash on the love and be really be good to me.  Strip it down to basics.  Stop.  Read, craft, cook, snuggle the family, meditate, work it out with friends, research and find a way to see good in it.   It worked.  The titterin’ bitches fell silent.

Then I got my email – “Congratulations to our newest Body Image Movement Global Ambassador!”  Oh my heart!  Can I really do this?  Will I be any good?  What do I have to contribute?  Yes.  Yes.  Me.

Embracing yourself just the way you are right now is a daily job which is constant and entirely wonderful – a work of art if you will!  There’s lots of internal work to be done and from time to time titterin’ bitches to be loved into silence.   I’ll mostly have days where it flows and it feels good, but I did have a good week to 10 days where I struggled to find my joy of embracing again.  It didn’t flow, it didn’t feel good and you know what?  That’s okay.  It has taught me a really valuable lesson and shown me that I have an arsenal now  (complements of the titterin’ bitches visit) of self-care, love, support and good people, who can kick me into touch, hold me up if I need it or just let me sit till it passes.

I have so much work still to do on myself.  My health is an issue I’m beginning to tackle and will continue to be so.  My fitness levels need some attention too and I’m just now looking at new ways to move that both my body and I will love and enjoy.  Having been off for two weeks with the kids I think I’ll have fun getting back into the daily walks this week – but I’ll welcome the company of the dogs and my wonderful walking buddy and being out in nature again.  Baby steps!

My body’s been amazing for 46 (nearly 47!) years of what could possibly be classed as neglect but wow have I had fun so far!   Now it’s payback time and my turn to love my body and nurture it the way it has nurtured my journey through life.

I’m looking forward to helping spread the word through my experience and of course, through the wonderful film that is Embrace and with the support and input of the wonderful folks at the Body Image Movement.  I’m really honoured to be even a tiny part of something so life-changing for so many people.

Till next time – keep lashing on the love!

xxx

Alison

P.S.  I’m still waiting on news for another screening so watch this space…