I feel the need to share my story.  What led me to this path and why I am now so passionate.

I have touched on it briefly, but I believe that if this is a place people come to gain a bit of inspiration for a better way of living, then they should know how and why I got here.

::

This is me in my late teens, and again after the birth of my daughter.

AmeliaOld

Self-love and confidence have always been a struggle for me.  I never felt good enough.  I was always too fat.  I was always saying stupid things.  I have no idea why I used to feel like this.  I grew up in a loving and supporting home.  And my parents are two of the most generous, loving and kind people I know.  Yet I felt so uncomfortable in my skin.

I was always the chubby one.  The “fat friend” to all the beautiful girls.  The one that groups of boys dared one of them to kiss because it was apparently funny to kiss the fat girl.  I can’t tell you what it does to the self-esteem of a girl who desperately wants male attention to think they are interested and then have them sneer and laugh at you.

I always wanted to look like someone else.  Or be someone else.  Someone I thought was prettier/thinner.  Anyone but me.  I used to think that if I was skinny, then I would be happy and that boys would notice me and I’d then get a boyfriend.  Because for me back then, self-worth came from the knowledge that a boy had noticed me.  I craved the attention of boys.  It was my focus.  A good night out wasn’t a good night out unless a boy had paid attention to me.  I did stupid things to get them to notice me.  Really stupid things. And I did even stupider things to hold on to them.  I went through bad relationships.  Destructive relationships.  I had no idea who I was.

During school I was bulimic.  A group of friends and I thought it was cool to binge on chocolate cake and donuts and then throw it up.  “The two buck chuck” we called it.  I can’t believe what utterly destructive and damaging behaviour it was.  Throwing up after a meal became a bit of a game.  And then when that didn’t work, I abused laxatives.  I would binge and purge.  Binge and purge.  My weight went up and down like a yo-yo.

I remember one time when my Mum heard me vomiting in the shower after dinner.  And she confronted me about it.  I was still in school then.  I thought I was so sly and clever, but she knew all along.  As all mothers do.  It breaks my heart to think of what this did to her.  To both my parents.  Watch their daughter go down that path and try to help her but have it thrown back in your face.  I never want to witness that as a parent.  And I am eternally grateful that through it all – through the lies and the deceit, they never stopped loving me.

::

In 2008 I met my husband.  And he opened up my heart and made me see what true love is really about.  He loves me.  Like proper soul shattering love.  He didn’t care what I looked like.  He loved me for the person he knew I was inside.  The person I was still trying to find.  The day I got together with my husband is the day my bulimia stopped.  And thankfully, it has stayed away.

But even though I had the love of an amazing man, I still didn’t love myself.  Not even slightly.

When I became pregnant with our daughter, my weight ballooned.  Unhealthily so.  And while it was a magical time, there was still so much self-loathing there.  I would look at my body and rather than marvel that I was growing another human, I would pick and pick at the bits I hated.  And after our daughter’s birth and the rage of hormones that followed, my self-esteem was at an all time low.  I was big, heavy, unhealthy and miserable.  But this time I was on a mission.  We had our wedding ahead of us, so I had to lose the weight.  I had to.  There was no other choice.  So I researched my big behind off (quite literally really).

I discovered a whole new world of nutrition.  I learnt what it was to eat well and I started discovering superfoods.  I loved reading about the world of healthy eating.  I went to bootcamp 4 times a week.  I worked hard.  And it paid off.  But it came from a completely superficial place.  And even though I did feel incredibly beautiful on my wedding day, I still didn’t love myself.

Then I got pregnant with my son.  And while this time I ate healthily for the majority of the pregnancy, after he was born I still felt so disgusting in my own skin.  I was exercising and eating well and I dropped a bit of the weight quickly, but healthily.  But I still couldn’t see any beauty inside myself.

::

One day, a few months ago, I looked in the mirror.  I mean REALLY looked.  And then I sat on the bed and looked deep inside myself.  What was holding me back from really loving who I was?  I have a man who is completely devoted to me.  I have two beautiful children who think I’m the best thing since Peppa Pig.  Why couldn’t I see it?  Why did I keep talking to myself like I was my own worst enemy?  Feeling like this had been holding me back my entire life.  It had to stop.

I decided then to make changes.  Subtle changes.  But for me, with those subtle changes became a huge shift.  I started reading these beautifully inspiring blogs written by self-loving, confident women.  I wanted to have that confidence.  So I changed the way I spoke to myself.  I started using affirmations and I let go of a lot of negativity that had been holding me back.

I wanted to fill my life with goodness.  So it was out with the crappy food.  It was out with the diet coke.  Out with the processed junk.  Out with the gluten.  It was out with toxic, negative friendships.  I only wanted to (and still do) surround myself with people who I walk away from feeling uplifted and positive.  I can’t take on other people’s negativity.  It’s not part of my story anymore.

Now I eat well not because I want to lose weight but because it makes me feel good.  I know enough about calorie intake to know that I could have a one-off McDonald’s meal and I won’t put on any weight – but I don’t.  Not because I’m afraid of the calories, but because it makes me feel like utter shit afterwards.  And that is when the penny dropped.  I realised, that I now do really love myself.  I love myself enough to feed myself food that makes me feel good.  I love myself enough to really listen to the messages my body sends me.  I love myself enough to not put myself in situations that don’t nourish me.

And I swear, as soon as I properly started making an effort to love myself – so many incredibly beautiful and inspiring things have happened to me.  I’ve found my way, and all the negative thoughts, experiences and people that I had to get rid of, have made way for some seriously amazing thoughts, experiences and people.

The irony of it all is that when I started to love myself, I lost weight without even trying.

::

Now, don’t get me wrong, I didn’t wake up one morning, suddenly love myself and then it’s been a dance amongst the roses everyday since.  It’s a daily practice.  And I often hear that voice in my head that wants to say something mean.  But I don’t listen to it.  And when I hear it, I say something positive to myself instead.  It’s something I have to work on every single day.

I want to work on it every single day.  I do it for my Mum, in the hope I can repay her for all those years of worry.  I do it for my children, because I want to be the healthiest, most positive influence I can be.  I do it for my husband, because it makes me a better wife.  But most importantly, I do it because once you start feeling like this, it’s the best kind of drug there is.  I’m a better person for being kind to myself.

This is me today.  Right now, sitting at my desk (green smoothie in hand), so happy to be me.

Photo on 8-05-13 at 1.11 PM

::

From what I’ve experienced, I know this – no person or experience or possession can give you self-validation.  These things don’t make you truly happy.  You can’t have complete happiness until you truly and completely love and accept yourself.  Warts and all.  The beauty is, that with loving yourself, comes contentment, confidence, strength, grace and so much more.  A whole new world opens up.

Who I was then, and who I am now are poles apart.  But I am grateful for that girl, that time and the lessons I had to learn.  They all brought me here.  Where I am supposed to be.

If I can do it, then you certainly can too.  It takes courage, but you can do it.  And how do I know you can do it?  Because you deserve it.  You deserve to be happy and healthy.  You deserve to be treated with love and respect.  You deserve to shine.

41 Comments on My story – from self-loathe to being on the way to self-love.

  1. Alison
    May 8, 2013 at 2:58 pm (5 years ago)

    Thanks for sharing your journey. What a wonderful journey of self love it is too. It’s only taken me until the last 12 months to feel good about my self too.

    I do have one question though – why did you drop gluten from your diet along with ‘processed junk’? I’m wary of people dropping food groups/types of foods because they want to, not because their body is intolerant to it…. Sorry if I’m prying.

    Reply
    • Amelia {Nurture and Shine}
      May 8, 2013 at 3:23 pm (5 years ago)

      Hi Alison,
      Thank you so much for your lovely comment. 🙂
      And I don’t mind the prying. I should have been more specific. I eliminated gluten from my diet because I discovered I am gluten intolerant. I had probably known it for a long time but never listened to my body and kept eating it despite it making me ill.
      I’m studying to be a Holistic Health Coach, so I’m definitely aware of the fact that people shouldn’t eliminate food groups just for the sake of it. 🙂

      Reply
  2. Naomi @ Not Just A Mummy
    May 8, 2013 at 3:53 pm (5 years ago)

    Such a beautiful post Amelia, thank you so much for sharing it. It’s funny how you always seem to stumble on the stuff you need to read the most, at exactly the right time!
    I recently realised, when out walking with my 15 month old, that, up until about 6 months ago, all the changes I made in my life, the diets, crazy exercising, restrictive eating habits, were all motivated from a place of fear. It was a huge revelation I must say! No wonder nothing really ‘stuck’. I stopped eating sugar and totally overhauled my diet in Jan this year and have always wondered why those changes stuck.. I now think it was because I was motivated from a place of self love and the desire to make changes for the better for myself and my son.
    I’m still not at the finish line on the self love journey but it’s great to have a reminder that it’s a day by day process.
    Thanks again for the post!

    Reply
  3. Lecinda
    May 8, 2013 at 4:52 pm (5 years ago)

    I can tell that I am going to love everything you write about on your new blog! Looking forward to learning new things from you =) thank you for sharing this xo

    Reply
  4. Ellie
    May 8, 2013 at 5:49 pm (5 years ago)

    You should feel so proud for sharing your story! I hope to one day feel as strong and confident in myself as you do! I too have an amazingly loving boyfriend but I put myself down ALOT! I’m not overweight and I eat we’ll and exercise regularly but I’m still trying to learn how to be happy with myself and not put myself down! Hopefully the ball will drop for me someday soon too! XO Ellie (youmeandmisse.blogspot.com)

    Reply
  5. Astrid Van Der Linden
    May 8, 2013 at 7:32 pm (5 years ago)

    Thanks for sharing your inspiring story Amelia. It takes a lot of courage
    to do that! It gives each of us hope to know we are all capable of
    positive change. Thanks for the encouragement. For a big part of
    my life I experienced severe anxiety & depression
    which was debilitating. It was only until I started searching
    for answers in books & on internet about exceptional health that I
    discovered I had a lot of toxic thinking & bad food in my life. I only started
    to heal & free myself when I began loving myself unconditionally
    and respecting myself enough to make amazing positive changes like eating healthy, balancing work & play & replacing my self talk. I love life so much now & so
    happy I can feel peace again xx

    Reply
  6. Jane
    May 8, 2013 at 8:02 pm (5 years ago)

    What an inspiring and courageous post Amelia, written with such honesty and integrity! It is a such beautiful thing to know you can make peace with your body, and make that love part of your daily ritual, to love the body you have been given and not loathe it. We are our own worst enemies, but it must be amazing to finally be friends with it after all that time.

    I have dieted since I was 15, so 18 years of my life wasted on what I thought of myself, up and down yo yo dieting, but I was miserable the whole time. Its only now in 2013, where I have finally become fed up and want to to stop the crap I had with myself and make peace with myself. My body is only one aspect of my personality and it shouldn’t define who I am. but I want to look after it as it is only chance I have. I am slowly making the mind shift – a work in progress, but I am getting there. Finally understanding what my body needs to be nurtured not punished.
    Thank you for your blog, its a source of inspiration to live the best life possible! It really is beautiful
    xxx

    Reply
  7. Tegan @ Happy Healthy Whole
    May 8, 2013 at 8:41 pm (5 years ago)

    I can relate to so much of what you said Amelia. Its a rocky road to self love but its nice to know that were all trying our best with what we have. Keep shining your radiant light xx

    Reply
  8. Amanda Heywood (Jensen)
    May 8, 2013 at 8:58 pm (5 years ago)

    Inspiring Amelia!
    I have been ‘on and off’ diets since I was probably about 12. I am have always have weight on, and this year finally after some health issues I have some happiness regarding my ‘curvyness’ and just want my insides to be as healthy as they can be.
    Would love to see some recipes and some more tips on your healthly lifestyle 🙂
    Am loving reading the blog
    x

    Reply
  9. Cat
    May 9, 2013 at 9:09 am (5 years ago)

    You are gorgeous, truly. I feel like I know you lovely, like really know you! I am so inspired by you and your positivity. Your beautiful, generous spirit. The kindness in your heart. I am so glad you’ve found a way to love and be kind to you for you. I just adore you xxx

    Reply
  10. Amelia {Nurture and Shine}
    May 9, 2013 at 9:19 pm (5 years ago)

    I am so incredibly grateful to each and every one of you for sharing your stories with me and your support for this post.

    I’ll admit, it was quite emotional writing it, but once I started, the word flowed and I feel that it was a story I needed to tell.

    I really don’t have the words to say how much all your comments and stories have meant to me. But know that I am so so thankful. And I feel very very blessed.

    Love to you all! xxxxxx

    Reply
  11. Amy {The Misadventurous Maker]
    May 10, 2013 at 9:46 am (5 years ago)

    I adore you so much Amelia. You are truly the most beautiful person inside and out. I can’t believe it took you so long to see and feel your worth. I’m so grateful to have you as a friend and I can’t wait for our next catch up.xoxoxoxox

    Reply
    • prealfgoorp
      July 2, 2013 at 9:53 am (4 years ago)

      Interior Courtyard Garden area that opens to the sky. [url=http://www.kenzeus.com/]zeus father[/url] This isn’t a fresh concept. [url=http://www.kenzeus.com/zeus-father-cronus-life-overview/]zeus father of helen[/url] This stream have been utilized by many ladies of her line, uncontaminated water from the earthÂ’s inner core. Read more, http://www.kenzeus.com/

      Reply
  12. Kate Cooper
    May 10, 2013 at 10:59 am (5 years ago)

    What a courageous, brave, real and touching post Amelia! You are absolutely gorgeous, thank you for sharing your story, we can all take a little or a lot from your experience!!
    Within the last couple of months, I have also had a shift in the way I choose to process negative thoughts/doubts/worries. I can’t believe how much better I feel in myself and also how different I look at my relationship with my husband and children. Of course I have always loved them so much, but I feel now that I am more positive about myself, the light I can shine of them is sooooo much brighter! I am grateful everyday for where I am in my life and I feel good about sharing that with people, in the past I may have shyed away from proclaiming my love for life as I didn’t want to seem like I was boasting… how silly is that!!!
    Kate xx

    Reply
  13. Peta
    May 13, 2013 at 8:28 pm (5 years ago)

    This is a beautifully raw honest post – and so inspiring too! I am glad you have found ‘you’ and you truly are glowing.

    Aside- I have tried to follow your insta but it won’t even let me request? Would love to follow – I am @musingsofamartin

    X

    Reply
  14. CJ
    May 14, 2013 at 9:51 pm (5 years ago)

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing. It was wonderful to read your story and to be inspired. My story is different but my message is the same, I’ve always hated myself and I’ve got no reason too. Thank you for showing me that others feel this way too and that there happiness out there.

    Reply
  15. Tehachapi News
    May 15, 2013 at 3:27 am (5 years ago)

    I’m more than happy to discover this page. I need to to thank you for your time for this particularly wonderful read!! I definitely savored every part of it and I have you book marked to look at new stuff in your website.

    Reply
  16. enter site
    May 26, 2013 at 2:02 pm (4 years ago)

    Oh my goodness! an amazing article dude. Thank you However I am experiencing issue with ur rss . Don’t know why Unable to subscribe to it. Is there anyone getting identical rss problem? Anyone who knows kindly respond. Thnkx

    Reply
  17. visit site
    June 4, 2013 at 5:32 pm (4 years ago)

    You have brought up a very wonderful details , thanks for the post.

    Reply
  18. Ally Hetherington
    June 6, 2013 at 5:15 pm (4 years ago)

    Wow what a beautiful post! You are so inspiring. It’s such an amazing thing to see women out there taking control of their lives and learning to love themselves and feel great.
    Good Work! xx

    Reply
  19. Marla
    June 9, 2013 at 12:25 pm (4 years ago)

    Thank you so much!!! Your story is inspiring, encouraging , uplifting and real!
    When you conquer self love the rest of the puzzle pieces start to fit together so effortlessly!
    Your attitude is contagious…..our thoughts are powerful!
    YOU GO GIRL!!! Xo

    Reply
  20. visit website
    June 10, 2013 at 6:23 am (4 years ago)

    Wow, superb blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your site is wonderful, let alone the content!

    Reply
  21. web hosting reviews
    June 13, 2013 at 4:47 am (4 years ago)

    Thanks a lot for the article post.Really looking forward to read more. Really Great.

    Reply
  22. Lisa
    October 3, 2013 at 9:51 am (4 years ago)

    Hi Amelia

    I just erad this for the first time and it feels so familiar to me…..my journey has taken me on a simialr path although I still struggle daily with it. But I am on the pathway. I am so glad I found your blog….your give me hope and strength to continue. Thank you x

    Reply
  23. Livbfield
    October 3, 2013 at 10:07 am (4 years ago)

    So beautifully inspiring ! You need to get out mentoring teens in schools I bet you could change so many beautiful, self conscious girls lives going through similar situations!!! So proud of how you conquered and manage your biggest life battle!! Amazingly speechless!!!

    Reply
  24. Naomi
    October 3, 2013 at 10:15 am (4 years ago)

    Such a beautiful and inspiring post. I’ve only been reading your blog for short period of time Amelia and am so inspired each day by the beautiful words and images you post on Facebook. Thank you for introducing us ‘newbies’ to your first posts. It’s beautiful to see how much you’ve achieved xx

    Reply
  25. Leah
    October 3, 2013 at 3:16 pm (4 years ago)

    Funny thing is, you were incredibly beautiful even when you were overweight – you just couldnt see it!

    Reply
  26. Sanet
    October 3, 2013 at 7:06 pm (4 years ago)

    Your story made me cry. Its very much like my own, except Ive not yet arrived at my final (happy) destination. I dont know you either but i can say this: youve accomplished an awesome thing. And you inspire me massively. Fabulous work, and thank you x

    Reply
  27. Gabriela Staniszewska
    October 3, 2013 at 10:28 pm (4 years ago)

    This is so great, thanks for re-posting. From the other side of the world you are really helping me through my day.

    Reply
  28. Jasmijn
    October 4, 2013 at 6:14 pm (4 years ago)

    Dear lovely Amelia,
    I just read your beautiful courageous words… and tears were flowing from the start. Especially when you wrote about the concern of your parents. Oh my, I think my parents were in exactly the same position. I recognize every single word. Although I did not struggle with weight issues, my ‘thing’ was that I am severely hard of hearing, since birth. As I grew up in the ‘normal’ world, it had been a little fight to find my place, and I have always felt different from ‘the others’. With my bad ears, I found it hard to love myself, to accept myself as a worthy, lovable, wonderful human being as we actually all are. And, if I can’t hear well… then, I have to make it up by ‘looking nice’ on the outside. I started sporting excessively, had a wrong relationship with food, had to get good grades. It made me feeling even more insecure, always checking on myself. And somehow, because I loathed myself, I have been single always. I just didn’t dare to open up to guys… so they kept away.
    Only a few years ago, I decided I was all right. That my ears don’t matter. That I don’t want to spend my life keep on feeling like this. I’m now only starting to accept myself, loving myself and I know I have still a way to go. But, I completed my medicine study and started helping other deaf and hard of hearing to look for their possibilities. The man hasn’t crossed my path yet, and sure, I want to raise a family… but I realize so well, it all starts with love for the beautiful inside of yourself. I have this trust now, that things will eventually work out fine.
    Thank you so so much. Your words give me courage now to write openly about my struggles. I’m determined to change my life. I had to live this life, to learn from all that happened to me. My ears have also created the person I am. And I truly dare to think now, I have a lot to bring! 🙂 Big hugs, Jasmijn

    Reply
  29. Kirby Philliber
    October 23, 2013 at 11:11 am (4 years ago)

    Reminds me on the “street lit” debate.

    Reply
  30. Ellie
    August 18, 2014 at 10:37 pm (3 years ago)

    Beautiful blog Amelia, rings so many bells with me and reinforces to me that little changes will make all the difference 🙂 awesome journey! 🙂

    Reply

5Pingbacks & Trackbacks on My story – from self-loathe to being on the way to self-love.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comment *