Amy’s story is sadly common for women; self- depreciation and self- loathing can lead to compulsive and destructive behaviours. But Amy managed to turn her life around, and now she inspires others to do the same. Here is Amy’s emergence journey:
How I started to heal my relationship with my body.
I remember being 12 or 13 years old, about to go and meet with my boyfriend at the time. Looking in the mirror and dissecting everything that was “wrong” with me. I had facial hair, my nose was wonky, I had crinkles under my eyes, my teeth were crooked, I was too big, my shoulders were way too broad.
This was my reality. It only grew worse from there. The never ending black whole of self-criticism, self-judgment and self-rejection followed me around, feeding on my self-talk, every day it grew and grew, until eventually it was so heavy it was unbearable to be with.
I had always turned to food for comfort. Whether I was stressed, anxious or even just bored. Food was my number one source of relief. It provided a temporary release of pain and a safe haven for the intense emotion that oftentimes felt too much for me to hold in my body.
When I was 18, things got real bad. My skin was red and angrily inflamed with severe acne. My eating was out of control I was spending so much money on processed, empty foods. I was stuffing myself until I could barely move. I felt embarrassed and I felt ashamed.
I felt like I was a terrible human with no willpower and what I saw in the mirror confirmed that every single day.
I just remember thinking “Why is this happening?”
I discovered 2 things:
- Eating Psychology and Mind-Body Nutrition, that helped me see my body was not the enemy, it was not out to get me. I learned that both my soul and my body were communicating to me through different symptoms and habits. This was key for me to really start to heal my relationship with my body and embrace my soul. I started to understand that my body was doing the best it could with the internal and external environments I was providing for it.
- A quote that changed everything for me:
“What if like isn’t about becoming anything, what if it’s about Unbecoming everything that isn’t you so you could be who you were meant to be in the first place”– Unknown
I realised that for as long as I could remember I had been being and doing what I thought people wanted me to be doing or what they expected of me. I realised that I had no sense of what emotional intelligence was, what my purpose in this lifetime was. I had no idea who I was and so began the process of Unbecoming and UNlearning the limiting beliefs I had embodied and told myself every day. Things like “I need to be pretty, flawless and thin to be someone in this world”
I started asking questions like “what do I really want?” “Why am I here?” “How best can I help other people?”
I couldn’t possibly have spent any time on these questions before because all my time and energy was concentrated on self-loathing. It was spent on wondering why I wasn’t as pretty, as flawless or as thin as the other girls and women around me.
My mind was consumed with toxic beliefs that made me feel worthless, powerless and undesirable.
Healing our relationships with our bodies doesn’t come from obtaining the “perfect” body because there is no such thing. It comes from being kind to ourselves, from appreciating all our beautiful imperfection and understanding that our bodies are our ally in life, not our enemy.
By no means is my binge eating eradicated completely or is my life a self-rejecting free party. It’s a life-long journey of recovery and some days are easier than others to be kind and compassionate to myself. But the freedom that self-acceptance has provided me is tremendous and has inspired me to help support others on their journeys.
Welcome to the #EmergingProud community Amy! ❤
Amy will be joining a group of brave #Emergees to share their stories on International #EmergingProud SoMe day in Norwich on the 12th May 2018. Pop by and talk to her!
Amy is a Certified Eating Psychology Coach, specialising in Compulsive Eating, Cultivating a healthy body image culture and empowering women to transform the relationships with the food they eat and the body they’re in from one of shame and guilt to one of nourishment and pleasure.
She is Founder and Director of the social enterprise SoulShine which aims to empower people of all ages to live their fullest and most authentic lives.
Find out more information at www.soul-shine.org.uk
Join Amy’s Facebook group: “Embrace” Yourself & Your Body with SoulShine