The first book in our not-for-profit KindaProud Pocket Books of Hope series is now with the Publisher, and so it’s off to work on manuscript 2 we go! …
The KindaProud series will use all proceeds raised through book sales to provide free Pocket Books of Hope to mental health facilities in order to support people in need of hearing messages of positivity.
Remember our inspirational Peer Rep for the book #Emerging Proud through Disordered Eating, Body Image and Low Self-Esteem, Amy?
Here’s a reminder of her story;
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 reflection of the 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