I’m so excited to share this post with you! It’s about something that was so important in changing how I viewed my life, and if you get to the end there’s a great downloadable resource to help you do the same!
I don’t know about you but I used to think about my weight or what I looked like aaaaall the time, and for most of us I think we do this at least once a day. But if I asked you about when you last thought about who you are I bet it would be much less recent. I’m talking about what your interests are, what your strengths are, what niggles you…anything that defines your character.
When I was recovering from my disordered eating I realised I didn’t know who I was any more. I was defined by how much I’d eaten that day, or how much I weighed. I spent my time preoccupied with food, planning meals, daydreaming about all the food I wouldn’t let myself eat…it was food, food, food.
If anyone ever asked me about what my hobbies and interests were I struggled. I would always go back to things I’d been interested in years ago when I had interests that weren’t food related. And in turn this made me feel boring and dull. I panicked that other people would think the same.
I tried listing my characteristics in my head and I struggled. And this made me realise that it would be pretty hard to start loving myself if I didn’t even know what there was to love.
I had to learn about myself again. I had to say hello to myself.
So I started to write. Every time I did something or thought something that was characteristically me I put it down on paper. Slowly I started to build an understanding of who I was. Sometimes some of the negative things I told myself, like ‘sometimes I don’t work hard enough’ showed themselves to be untrue (hello 14 hour work days…clearly the opposite of ‘not working hard enough’), and sure there were times when I realised I had negative characteristics (my poor boyfriend gets snapped at A LOT).
I learnt that I can’t stand a messy kitchen but yet I need a cluttered desk to function. I learnt that I love getting up early and going for a run or walk in the sunshine, but if you ask me to do anything other than curl up in a ball on the sofa after work you’re probably not going to get a positive response. I’ve learnt I love bright colours, but when it comes to clothes I’m a black kinda person. I’ve learnt classical music makes me insanely happy, flowers brighten my mood instantly, and nut butters = life.
The list continues to grow, but the most important thing is that as I learned all these things about myself I started to feel like an actual person! I know that sounds weird, but I realised I was just like everyone else, that I was worthy of feeling excited and passionate about my life! That there was more to me than my weight loss aims and restrictive eating. And there was more for people to find interesting than a hobby I had 10 years ago.
I’ve pulled together a resource that will help you to learn who you are. Just print off whichever of the designs you prefer and pin it up somewhere (or keep in a diary or journal if you don’t want it on view) and keep jotting down thoughts you have about yourself. They can be anything: what you like, what you wear, your favourite TV programmes, things that make you laugh, things that make you angry. Get to know yourself! These thoughts won’t come if you sit down and try and write a list of all the things you are. Instead they’ll pop up when you’re cooking dinner, or having a shower, so make sure your list is readily accessible! Doing this honestly helped me so much, so I hope it does the same for you.
Send me your results, or tag me in them on social media (links on the right) – I’d love to see what you come up with and learn more about you all!
I also want to bring a more personal side to the blog and document my journey to discovering more about myself, so I’ll be doing a weekly round-up of what’s been going on in my life, tied in with all things body image! I hope you like it.