{Insightful Sunday} Self Love

Yesterday, I mentioned how I feel as though a wave of love has washed over me recently, making everything, including myself of course, feel good again!  I don't know why, nothing in particular has occurred, but I for one am not complaining!  An especially nice part about this current vibe, is that I have started to finally feel happy and content within my body.  The past few weeks I'd been feeling very critical of my form again, but over these past few days, I've thankfully made peace with my physicality and found the beauty in its imperfections.

It's safe to say I've had an ongoing battle with my body, which has raged on for over a decade now.  I was always pin thin as a youngster, despite my overtly large appetite, but when, at the age of eleven, I left the Government based education system and the exercise program that went with it, I suddenly piled on the pounds.  I turned vegetarian a few years later, at age fourteen and rather unexpectedly, all the excess weight just fell straight off me and I soon became a bag of bones.  However, a year later, when I switched to a strict vegan diet, I spectacularly bloated out, due to a soy intolerance I wasn't quite aware of and in fairness, sheer gluttony.

Four years of soy later, at age nineteen, I had fully begun to loathe my body and so began to stop eating and started to excessively exercise.  I quickly dropped the extra weight I was carrying, but sadly became chronically obsessed with counting every morsel I let slip pass my lips and after a year, I was fully in the grips of anorexia.  It was actually entering into my relationship with The Ex at that time, which helped me to start eating again, although, unfortunately, I then went from one extreme to the other and started to binge eat, which made me gain back any scrap of weight I'd lost and then some.  Cue further self loathing.

It's certainly been a battle over the past seven years since then, trying to find the balance between letting go enough to enjoy what I'm eating and keeping enough control, so as not to fall down the rabbit's hole of extreme overindulging.  Italy and my travels in general, have made keeping control of what I eat especially difficult at times.  Thankfully though, being in Berlin, whilst I am not entirely settled in the sense of permanent accommodation, has helped me tremendously in finding a good balance, when it comes to food.

What I like about this city firstly, is that it's very vegan centred.  It would be harder to find somewhere that didn't cater to a vegan diet, than one that did.  Equally so, the Berliners' love of organic!  The fact that I can go do my grocery shopping in a supermarket where everything is organic, still puts a smile upon my face, even after four months of living here.  In fact, eating and living healthily and naturally is extremely easy and actively encouraged.  Cycling, yoga, juices, this is definitely a very zen environment.

Although, admittedly and for a couple of reasons, I haven't been to yoga for a few weeks and having had my bicycle stolen last month, in terms of exercise, I haven't done much more than walking across town, so I'm pretty sure that I've put on a few pounds and my muscle factor has somewhat diminished.  However, I made the decision at the beginning of September, to simply give myself the month off from worrying about it.  Absolutely no obsessing allowed.  Just eating a balanced diet.  Lots of good, healthy, vibrant food and a decent amount of chocolate, because, I don't know about you but personally, I don't think a day without chocolate would be a day worth experiencing.

Being able to let go and embrace the body I'm in has been difficult and I expect it will probably be a lifelong challenge to some extent, but the past few days, having been filled up with all this new loving energy, I have genuinely been able to look at my body, squidgy parts and all and say, 'hey, you're beautiful, I like you!'  Yes, I'd like certain bits to be smaller, or other bits to be more toned, but when I stop obsessing about the things I'd like to change, I start to realise that it's a pretty good body just as it is and really, I should appreciate that!

Loving yourself can be damn hard at times.  There is always that critic in our heads, silently judging ourselves and comparing ourselves to others, feeding our insecurities, of which there can sometimes be many.  Sometimes though, it's good to take a step back and treat yourself in the same manner that you would treat a child.  I mean, you'd never tell a small person that they're fat, that they need to lose weight, or that they're not good enough!  Well, not unless you're pretty mean, anyway.

You'd want to nurture them, to love them, to encourage them.  You'd want to feed them and feed them well.  You'd want to tell them that they're beautiful, because they are, no matter what shape or size.  You'd want them to know that they are perfect, just the way they are and that all they should ever want, is to be happy and healthy.  No more, no less.  It is all of those things that we would not think twice about saying to others, that we need to start saying to ourselves.  Because we have our own inner child and it's one that needs looking after and keeping happy, not suffocating with toxic, negative, abusive thinking!

Come Wednesday/Thursday, there will be a new moon in Libra and the Equinox, which means we're facing a huge shift and a complete new beginning!  So perhaps it's a good time to make some positive changes in our lives.  Time to take a look in the mirror and begin to accept, embrace and love, truly love, what we see.  Because, when you love yourself, you radiate that love outwards and in turn, the world becomes a little lighter and brighter and ultimately, happier and I for one want to live in a happier world, don't you?

The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely.
— C.G. Jung

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