Introducing our KindaProud Rep for the #EmergingProud through disordered eating, body image and low self-esteem Pocket Book of Hope and Transformation.

Amy Woods is KindaProud, and so she should be! She’s emerged through years of self- criticism transformed, to give hope and support to others who are still struggling. We couldn’t be prouder to have Amy as one of our KindaProud Pocket Books of Hope and Transformation Reps! Here’s Amy’s story…

#EmergingProud through disordered eating, body image and low self-esteem

AmyWoods

“What if the journey 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.”

I remember the feeling well….It was like a black hole of never being satisfied and obsessing about my next mouthful of food. I fantasised about what I would eat next, what I’d get from the shops to devour later and how I would hide it.  The shame, the secrecy, the manipulation of urgently needing to eat so badly! Just eat and eat and eat…

I remember having a meal with some friends and family members when I was about 18, reaching for portion number three when someone shouted: “Amy, stop eating! You’ll get fat if you keep eating” I was completely taken by surprise and to my horror realised that I’d been caught out.  From this place of utter embarrassment I tried to defend myself to deflect the hurt when they responded:  “Well, you’re putting on weight….”

In that moment, the long-tunnel vision, punch in the stomach, red cheek flare of shame washed over my body like a heavy wave of absolute failure.  Something within me cracked open. From this place of shame, embarrassment, humiliation and deep hurt, a door that was holding back so much emotion, flung wide open. I cried all night and 2 days after that. The utter heartbreak I felt was unbearable and tears kept coming, and coming. Until I eventually found some peace. I felt cleansed, light and liberated.  I realised that for so long, for years, I had actually numbed myself of feeling any kind of emotion and had imprisoned myself in a box of self-judgement and self-criticism.  I realised that for a very long time I had been completely rejecting my body, hating it even. Feeling frustrated every time I looked in the mirror and saw my hideous self looking back at me. 

The encounter had completely cracked me open and for the first time in what seemed like forever I felt an aliveness, a peace and a connection to something so much bigger than me.

Around the same time I had started to come across authors such as Marianne Williamson and Eckhart Tolle, where they explained much of what I was feeling and opened my eyes to this “other world” where all beings are connected in the source or the Oneness.

This was the beginning of a long journey of UNbecoming everything that wasn’t me and embracing everything that was me.

A few months later I came across the Institute for the Psychology of Eating. They were talking about how the relationship we have with our food is ultimately a relationship we have with life.

When I came across their ethos, I started to understand that my binge eating was a result of years and years of not knowing how to process the intense emotions I was feeling, it was a result of DIS-connection from my soul and from the Oneness of life, it was a result of not feeling able to express who I was and what I wanted. It was the result of being so severely disconnected from my Wildish nature and the natural world around me.

It was an intense way of my body and my soul desperately trying to get my attention. 

“DIS-ordered eating is the body’s way of coping with a DIS-ordered world”

– Marc David, Founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating.

I started to discover that there was so much more to the story than me being a weak  failure with a complete lack of willpower.  I started to become aware of the tremendously judgemental and critical narrative I lived my life through and actually realised I had a choice and the willingness to transform it into something positive.

I then went on to discover books like “The Gifts of our compulsions” by Mary O’Malley, “Women who run with the Wolves” by Clarissa Pinkola Estes and “Body Positive Power” by Megan Crabbe, and learned more and more about where this mentality of self- blaming and shaming comes from and why we have different self-sabotaging behaviours. 

All of this opened my eyes to the fact that we are so much more than our physical appearance. We are spiritual beings living an imperfect and emotional human experience with a purpose.  We are each here for a reason, we belong to mother Earth and we are unconditionally accepted and loved by her helped me begin to heal my relationship with my body and my food.

Understanding that it was ok to feel EVERYTHING from the heartache to the ecstasy and everything in between.

Understanding that the voices that were telling me I was not flawless enough, thin enough or beautiful enough, are not who I truly am and knowing that they are ghosts of a narrative so deeply ingrained within our collective consciousness that we inherit them on a subconscious level from the human world around us.

The transformation I experienced through starting to heal my binge eating and my unhealthy body image inspired me to train as an Eating Psychology Coach and support and empower others to feel free, alive and worthy.

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 it’s safe to say that most of the time, I am no longer afraid to be myself, to speak my truth and fight for what I believe in.

If you are reading this and are struggling with your relationship to food, your body image or low self-esteem, please know that it does get easier, things will change. You are strong, you are so strong actually, hang on in there and reach out for support in any way you can. I believe in you. You are worthy, you are resilient and you are so flipping beautiful.

Doing this with the support and love of people who understand and have been through similar things has made this journey a lot easier and so much more fun too. I am so grateful for meeting people like Katie who are doing such inspiring things to bring hope to so many people who are struggling in a world that tells them there is something “wrong”.

There is nothing wrong. This is your time for transformation. Love, Amy x

Does this subject resonate with your own experience? 

Would you like to share your story for Amy’s KindaProud book, #EmergingProud through disordered eating, body image and low self-esteem? 

Please contact Amy to find out how by contacting her at: info@soul-shine.org.uk

Manifesto of the Brave and BrokenHearted

There is no greater threat to the critics
and cynics and fearmongers
Than those of us who are willing to fall
Because we have learned how to rise.
With skinned knees and bruised hearts;
We choose owning our stories of struggle,
Over hiding, over hustling, over pretending.

When we deny our stories, they define us.
When we run from struggle, we are never free.
So we turn toward truth and look it in the eye.

We will not be characters in our stories.
Not villains, not victims, not even heroes.
We are the authors of our lives.

We write our own daring endings.
We craft love from heartbreak,

Compassion from shame,
Grace from disappointment,
Courage from failure.
Showing up is our power.
Story is our way home. Truth is our song.
We are the brave and brokenhearted.
We are rising strong

– Brene Brown

Does this subject resonate with your own experience? 

Would you like to share your story for Amy’s KindaProud book, #EmergingProud through disordered eating, body image and low self-esteem? 

Please contact Amy to find out how by contacting her at: info@soul-shine.org.uk

 

Amy’s Bio:

Amy Woods 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.

SoulShine delivers coaching sessions, workshops, inspirational talks, vlogs, online courses and wild women photo shoots.
Amy and Robyn are highly motivated and passionate about creating positive change within their community and  believe that everyone deserves to lead a fulfilling life and be able to embrace their full potential.

Their aim is to build a supportive and compassionate Body Positive Community where each person is celebrated for who they are.

Come and join the Body Positive Revolution!

Find out more information at www.soul-shine.org.uk

SoulShine

Join our FB group: “Embrace” Yourself & Your Body with SoulShine

Facebook: @soulshinehealingAmy

Instagram: @soulshine94

Twitter: @soulshineyou

Amy’s poem; Dare You? 

Like a tornado ripping through a forest
with the strength of a thousand angry oceans,
I felt the pain tear it’s way through my heart.
I felt the pain from the depths of my soul..
With what felt like a stone in my throat,
I sobbed into the ocean.
The waves embraced my being and washed away my tears and my sadness…

Sitting on what felt like the edge of the world,
with the occasional spray of the ocean from a wave hitting the rocks with a greater force
I felt my open wounds start to heal
With the strong rays of the sun kissing my skin,
I breathed in the sea air and finally started to feel the storm inside, calming down…

I dare you…. to have the courage to be vulnerable. To feel everything deeply, but not to get lost in the pain.
I dare you….. to have the courage to look that ghost that’s haunting you in the eye, forgive it and let it go.
I dare you…. to forgive yourself and open your heart to the experience.
I dare you… to LIVE and BE everything you are meant to be.

Does this subject resonate with your own experience? 

Would you like to share your story for Amy’s KindaProud book, #EmergingProud through disordered eating, body image and low self-esteem? 

Please contact Amy to find out how by contacting her at: info@soul-shine.org.uk

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2 Responses to Introducing our KindaProud Rep for the #EmergingProud through disordered eating, body image and low self-esteem Pocket Book of Hope and Transformation.

  1. Pingback: Jenny shares a bit more of her #emergence journey to integration | Coming Out Of The Spiritual Closet

  2. Pingback: Hear from our inspiring KindaProud Rep Amy… | Coming Out Of The Spiritual Closet

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