Thanks for this additional blog post Joanna!
It's such a catch 22 situation... I need to lose weight and keep it off to be able to accept and love my body, but I need to accept and love my body in order to stay in recovery and lose weight in a healthy realistic way and keep it off.
After I read this post earlier today it inspired me to dig out an old journal from a time when I'd worked on accepting my body and learning to love it. It was quite an emotional read ...working through the shame and disbelief that I'd done this to myself and taking responsibility for that, looking at how and why I'd done it and concluding that it had been essential for my sanity and survival.
In one part I wrote:
My body says a lot about me, about childbearing, about my struggles with food, about how much I have abused it, keep just pushing more food in.....it’s an unsightly, ugly body....that tells an ugly story.
and went on to give a brief account of that story, of how I was treated that led me to believe that my body was ugly and abnormal and something to be ashamed of, that should be hidden away under clothing that was more suitable for my grandmother than a teenage girl/young woman, and the social isolation that it brought.
But I was eventually able to start to believe that:
Everyone's body tells their story, for my body those imperfections illustrate the enormity of the struggles I’ve had and what I have had to overcome, they reflect the things that have made me who I am now; and the person I am now is someone quite beautiful and deserving of love, therefore the remnants of that journey that show on my body should be accepted and loved just the same as the rest of me
It's made me realise that deep down I still believe that, it just needs a bit of affirmation work. It's late now, but tomorrow I'm going to force myself to stand naked in front of the mirror, with that last journal excerpt in mind, and start working on learning to love and value my body again.