"Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels", a damaging quote spoken by Kate Moss (which she later retracted), were the words I looked up to some several years ago.
This was a quote I thought I had to live by at a time when I was being told by modelling agencies "to be a successful model you'll need to lose weight off of your hips" and "you're out of proportion". I think back to this time and the words bore me because I now know that the size of my body does not control my potential in this world.
Yet at the time, I would have done anything to become a successful model because I thought I was different. I thought I could control how I lost weight and not become overly obsessed or out of control, but I was wrong.
The number of people in Australia with an eating disorder at any given time is estimated to be 913,986, or approximately 4% of the population (Butterfly Foundation, 2012). Of these people, 47% have binge eating disorder, 12% have bulimia, 3% have anorexia and 38% have other eating disorders (Butterfly Foundation, 2012).
Females comprise around 64% of people with an eating disorder (Butterfly Foundation, 2012).
These statistics are in Australia alone which is really scary and a lot of people aren't even diagnosed with eating disorders because like me, they hide it well.
I wanted to create this podcast to remind us that our bodies are doing their best to support and take care of us in this scary and uncertain time. Body acceptance and self-love is more important than ever due to the high levels of stress and uncertainty surrounding coronavirus.
I'm hoping that by sharing my story and experiences with my body and mindset that I can remind you that body acceptance is important because skinny does not equal happy.
“Happiness has to do with your mindset, not with outside circumstance.” - Steve Maraboli
At 17 I won a modelling competition in my home town and was sent to Sydney to compete in the finals. As instructed I had lost weight and mistreated by body in the eight months leading up to the finals and yet at my skinniest I was the most unhappy and disappointed in myself I had ever been.
At 19 I moved to Melbourne to study and I did really well at University but was extremely naive to think that anything had changed within the modelling industry. I was faced with the same criticism and again I tried to change my body. Old destructive habits rose to the surface and I went back down the eating disorder rabbit hole.
The above quote from Kate Moss was something that inspired me to do what I had to to lose weight. Restrictive eating, binge eating, over exercising and bulimia were all apart of my quest to become thin. I would go to the gym for hours multiple times a day which led to me regularly getting sick, feeling sore, miserable, emotional and depressed, I was certainly NOT happy.
I was weighing myself every time I went to the gym because I had linked success and happiness with being skinny.
My self worth became completely dependent on how much I weighed and the scale had so much control over my life but I knew something was wrong and that something needed to change.
The Turning Point
For me, the turning point was realising I had a problem and seeking help. I started to get into self-development and asked myself "do I want to spend my life consumed by how I look and trying to change who I am? Or do I want to spend it learning to accept myself, being productive and living in my body? I chose the latter.
I came to terms with the fact that the modelling industry was not for me... until... I entered yet another modelling competition but this time is was for curvy women. Again, I felt like an imposter because I'm somewhere in between skinny and plus size but I realised I didn't need to fit into a category and thought to myself...
"F*ck it, why put labels on what or who I need to be? I'll show up as myself and keep working towards my dreams of becoming the best damn version of myself".
I signed with Bella Model Management and so began my journey to self-acceptance and love. I started changing the thoughts I had, working on my self-development and learning to treasure the beautiful body I was given.
I can't remember the last time I weighed myself because my self worth is not based on a number. If you're waking up every morning weighing yourself, you are letting a number determine your happiness for that day...
...throw out the scale!
Don't allow yourself to be triggered by a number or consumed by being skinny because it's tiring, stressful and takes away from the beauty of living.
What we should be doing if focusing on feeling balanced physically and mentally. It's ok to strive to be your best and that might mean you want to make changes or results in your body and that's ok but we are going through stressful times at the moment. So remember that our minds and bodies are powerful, listen to what they're trying to tell you.
If you or anyone you know is struggling with an eating disorder please seek support or encourage them to do so. Opening up about our struggles can be scary, trust me I know, but with support, you can get through it.
Try talking to a close friend or family member, then your GP or a psychologist. Here are some helpful online support networks.
Wondering how to start your self-love journey?
Download your Free Self-Love Worksheet created from my heart to yours.
With five key learnings 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.