Something a little bit different and much more personal, however it’s a significant part in my journey towards a healthier and happier life. In this post,
I’d like to address body image and my personal experience with low
self-esteem and self-consciousness. I ramble a lot about makeup and skincare,, but having made the conscious choice to go green stems from something deeper.
This. This gif (from The Breakfast Club movie) sums up how I felt throughout my entire teenage years and early adulthood – and I don’t think I’m wrong if I say that I wasn’t the only one feeling this way, no?
It would be hypocritical of me to say that I accept myself entirely. No. I have moments where I don’t feel great at all, BUT compared to several years ago, it’s a world of difference now. It had nothing to do with other people; my family and close friends loved me dearly and never made any remarks of some sorts, this was just me.
I could spend hours trying to figure out the causes; it could be the general environment, or the magazines which relentlessly try to sell you “perfection”, but this question is not relevant to me anymore. I can’t change the medias, the environment or the people. What I can change, is how I see things.
I was what you’d call a bit chubby growing up, (I just love bread ;), and what my parents lovingly referred as “baby fat” was just plain grossness to me. Going shopping and trying on clothes used to be my definition of hell. I’d be excited to see a nice piece of clothing and then once wearing it on, I’d see all my hopes of looking good, vanish. I thought nothing looked appealing on me, and when something was ill-fitted, I blamed my body. I pretty much blamed it for everything. My stomach, my legs, my short height, everything looked distorted to me, and I would bottle up this anger towards my body. So I let myself go. I felt ugly, which led me to emotional eating and as I ate more, I got heavier, and as I got heavier, I got more depressed, leading to a vicious circle. Sometimes, I’d go for the yo-yo diets, (where I’d cut out almost everything) and quickly lose weight (more like nutrients and muscles) and gain back
everything (and more) a few months later. At 16, some health issues ensued and that was the last straw. It’s not normal to experience repetitive acute sinusitis (at least 1-2 times each month, knowing a crisis would last minimum a week), repetitive antibiotics treatments, fatigue, hair loss and joint pains at 16. I was 16 but I felt like 80.
It made me think of what we call karma. You hear people say “beware of karma”, but I believe there’s a body karma, because later on my
body made me pay for all this animosity I had towards it. It’s only after going to a naturopathic doctor that things started to brighten up. She didn’t provide any definite cure to my ailments, but she showed me that small changes could have tremendous impacts. The first thing for me was cutting out dairy, which triggers sinusitis. As the crises were less frequent, I started eating better and avoid sugary drinks. Overtime, I slowly reduced my antiobiotics intake and regained more energy. Same for workouts. I didn’t start with running or anything like that, I began to go for little walks until I walked longer and faster. Then I started taking an interest in essential oils to reduce my stress and anxiety. Eventually, my passion for wellness and green beauty grew from there. Slowly, but steadily, I started seeing myself under a new light: as I treated my body right, my body looked right to me.
Choosing more ethical and greener product has been my way of overcoming insecurity. Would it work for everyone? I don’t know. But since going green, step by step and day by day, I accept myself more as I am. It’s not about looking prettier, slimmer or younger. It’s about treating my body with kindness and respect, by choosing gentle products and by giving it the right nutrients. Going green has been my apology to my body.
And no it’s not perfect, it never will be, but there is a constant improvement and that’s what matters to me. So now, when the pants don’t fit, I blame the pants, not the body. 😉
I felt a bit nervous writing about this, and apologies if it seems to go all over the place, but it’s what happens when emotions take over. Now I’d love to hear your stories, so feel free to share them here – in the comments or per email if you prefer).