Living with chronic illness can be extremely taxing on your mind and body. Today's podcast guest shares how she has learned to accept and even embrace her chronic illness and is now an incredible role model for many other women.
Grace Packer or goodnessgracie__ as she's known on Instagram, is a beautiful soul who shares her journey with Type 1 Diabetes, mental health and body positivity online. Grace is also a business owner of her extremely innovative company Prickin' It, whose motto is to make diabetes a little bit more fun!
Listen to our chat on the podcast below.
In this podcast episode, we chat about:
Growing up with Type 1 Diabetes
Why you should NOT be ashamed of your chronic illness
Letting go of perfectionism
Setting boundaries on social media and in real life
Body neutrality & the word "Fat"
Embracing your chronic illness!
When your illness is starting to weigh on you, and you wake up feeling down, Grace says to remember to be patient with yourself and your body. Make thoughtful decisions that are going to make you feel better and if you need to spend the day in bed watching Netflix, that's ok!
Grace talks about how she overcame feeling embarrassed about something that makes her so unique. She no longer hates her diabetes, instead she embraces it because she knows it does NOT define who she is as a woman.
Not only that she has found a way to help others do the same through her diabetic Instagram account where she connects with liked minded women and normalises having diabetes. After creating her account Grace noticed a huge gap in the market for fun diabetic stuff and so she created her business Prickin'It!
"I've learnt how to become empowered by my diabetes rather than controlled by it and I want to empower other women with a chronic illness to realise they can be loud and proud instead of being ashamed. That's how Prickin' It was born."
Let Go of Perfectionism
No one can be perfect, especially if you have a chronic illness because there are going to be days where you're going to just lay in bed and we have to accept that.
We are going to have shit days, weeks or even months and if we keep trying to chase perfection we will never just enjoy life.
There's no destination to self-love, and the journey is not linear. It's a journey with ups and downs and we have to stop putting pressure on ourselves to feel happy and be perfect all the time. The fun is in our imperfections.
Use Social Media as a Tool to Serve You
Once we understand that Instagram is a highlight reel where people only show the best side of themselves, we can start using it to serve us instead of making us feel like shit. Unfollow the negativity or the accounts that don't serve you and start following accounts that promote body positivity or similar things that you relate to.
Following other diabetic accounts made me feel less alone and encouraged me to also share my journey with my chronic disease, which in turn is helping others. You can think social media is bad and it can be, but it is what you make it at the end of the day.
When it comes to setting boundaries, you have to start by setting boundaries with yourself. You have to know what you want in life and what you don't want or need in your life. Once you stop allowing negativity or judgment into your life the people around you will show their true colours.
I had friends that were judgmental towards how other women looked and what they chose to do for a living and it was exhausting.
Once I stopped allowing that kind of judgment into my life, I lost some friends but in the end, it put important boundaries in place. Once you get older you realise you don't have the time or energy to waste on that kind of negativity anymore.
Learn Body Neutrality
We hear a lot about self-love but becoming accepting of and making peace with your body is so important.
Body positivity is about raising awareness that everybody is beautiful as well as awareness of the barriers faced by larger aka "fat" people. But why is it so hard to become accepting of the word “fat”? It's simply a descriptive word so why not own it instead of seeing it as an insult?
We need to look at the way the words "skinny" and "fat" are used. When people use the word skinny they are trying to give a compliment and often we take it as such, but if we are told "you look fat", it's seen as negative?
We should be encouraging women to focus on how their body feels instead of how they look. If you feel happy and healthy in your skin, that is much more important than trying to look skinny.
Are you wondering how to start your self-love journey?
Download your Free Self-Love Worksheet created from my heart to yours.
It includes five key learnings based around self-exploration, including self-esteem, self-care, mindfulness, gratitude and journaling to get you started on your journey to building your confidence and truly loving yourself.