I have been on a nutrition and exercise venture for most my life. I have had to take a very serious look at my health as the first part of my life was very unhealthy. Here is my timeline, as far back as I can remember til now at 41 1/2 years of age. Ugh…did I really have to write 41 there. Oh my I feel old seeing that in print. Anyway, here it is.
- Around the age of 8-9 I was watching other women and starting to wonder how I could look like them. This is when I started doubting the way I looked. Looking and pictures now, I was normal, average healthy weight, but I did not see that then.
- About the age of 11 I started doubting that I could ever look like the women I would see in magazines and in the world around me. I lived in Canada, and at this time we still only had about 4 TV channels so TV was not an influence yet.
- The age of 12-13 we moved from Canada to the US and I got a whole new TV atmosphere and it was then I decided that I was not good enough…I needed to take some drastic steps in “bettering” myself. I use the word bettering loosely as I had my ideas all wrong.
- Age 13-14 I got into dance. I loved it, it was an outlet. I had no idea I was even good at dance. It was a total fluke I got into it, but it later would both make me and break me.
- Age 14-15 puberty hit and so did the hips, butt, and thighs. Genetics were not kind and I was so hateful to myself on what puberty was doing to me.
- I kept in dance from the above age clear into, well the present. But there were a lot of years I beat myself up and compared myself to the long-legged ballerinas and girls with absolutely no hips and thighs.
- At age 16 I made my high school dance team and then then eating disorder took its course from that year into my mid 20’s
- At about 24-years old I decided that there had to be better choices so I enrolled in school to get a BS in Exercise and Sport Science. Still struggling with an eating disorder I did finally come clean with my Mom and those around me and got a little help. The education on how the body works is what I needed to help me through. Understanding was the key for me. I was not out of the woods, but it was a great start.
- From 24-30 I met a lot of people, like me, and was able to be more open of my issues. I rid myself of those who brought me down and had a new life, with new friends, and started to feel better about myself.
- At age 30 I moved out-of-state. I took a job teaching young girls at the impressionable age of 13-18 and they taught me as much as I taught them. I taught Health, PE and Dance and got to run things my way. I was able to heal more by opening my ears and heart to girls that were the same age as me, when I started with my worst hang-ups that can still haunt me today.
- At age 33 I ventured into an MS in Education. At first I thought it was just so I would be a better teacher in my High School classroom. Well, it was also the other learning tool I needed to keep healing my own body image issues. I did learn a ton. I learned how to eat, and a lot about my mental stress towards eating. That Masters was the best thing I ever did for myself.
- Ate age 35 I was married and by 36 I had my first baby. By age 38 I had my third child and I was 80 pounds over weight. I was FAT again! Damn this did a lot to my esteem and body image issues. The difference this time is that I had my education and I was not going to go down the unhealthy road again.
- By age 41 I lost those 80 pounds. I still have some to lose but I have made it this far. My mental state is better. I know I will never be rid of my body image issues but I am better at attacking them and not letting the negative win. I have gotten to place where I can positive self-talk myself and get my mind in a better place a whole lot faster.
So this me what has made me…well me.
I share this time line because body image starts at such a young age. I was 8, as far as I remember. I could have started earlier, but I don’t remember much before the age of 8.
Because of all my history I have taken certain steps with my own children, especially my daughter. I say things to her like…”you are the perfect size.” When she grows bigger I say you are get “big” and not “heavy.” There are a few words that I call Que words and heavy is one of those words. I add Que words to my list all the time. I try not to use those words with my kids. It’s not like my parents ever said those words to me, but others in my life did. I am hoping to instill good body image to both my daughter and son. I