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Love your body (it's the only one you've got)

posted 10 May 2015, 00:23 by Tim Elliston   [ updated 14 May 2015, 05:55 ]
By Louise Jensen

I was never the most confident of people but I honestly believe I had no body hang ups until I was 17. Coming home from an evening out with my then boyfriend I suggested stopping at the local Chinese takeout. "Are you sure" he asked "you are getting rather fat". I laughed on the outside but I was crying on the inside and so began many years of fad diets and self-loathing.

I became totally obsessed with my body, ‘weighing yourself once a week in the same conditions’ scenario never satisfied my curiosity and I was on and off the scales so often I am sure I heard them sigh whenever I approached.

The magic figure would then, ridiculously, govern my entire day from what I wore, to what I ate, and, particularly, my mood. If I deemed myself too heavy (even by 1lb) I would cancel any after work social plans as I felt too big to be seen.

In my mid 20's when I started my training as a Kinesiologist and Nutritional Therapist I completely overhauled my diet and mealtimes stopped becoming my own personal battleground. However I still viewed every mirror with suspicion, weighed myself too regularly and was far too self critical.

After my car accident (I spent 3 years in a wheelchair) it finally dawned on me how incredible my body actually was. That its purpose wasn't in the way it presented itself to the world but by serving me. Being strong and supple and allowing me to have complete freedom.

I met a friend for dinner last night who commented on how well I looked. There was a period, in the seconds it took the words to register in my mind, they would have been translated into “Louise you look fat”.

I realised that for the first time, in a long time, I have absolutely no idea what I weigh.

It has only really been since my health circumstances changed so drastically I see what a beautiful gift the human body is. If I have a day I feel strong enough to stand and cook a nutritious meal for my family without too much pain I am grateful for my extraordinary skeleton. I am thankful for all I can do, none of which is dependent on my dress size or the figure on the scale.

Aside from the physical, when I got ill I realised the human body is just a place we inhabit in this lifetime. It doesn’t actually define who we are. I call the body the ‘little me’. Me, the actual ‘big me’, is something beautifully whole, intangible and perfect.

Now I am very respectful of this physical entity I hang out in, I nourish it, love it and take the best care of it I possibly can.

Louise Jensen