how do you escape a battle that’s in your head?

21 October 2015

This seems out of the ordinary, a blog post under the label ‘purely text’. But I feel like I wouldn’t be doing myself justice if I suppressed this. Anyway, here goes…

For the longest time I struggled with my weight. 

I would subconsciously pinch areas underneath my arms, my legs, my chin & if I found that I’ve grabbed ahold of more flesh than usual, it would effectively put me in a bad mood.
Then the thoughts came after, in deafening waves. 
“You’ve gained weight.”
“How could you have let this happened.”
“You shouldn’t have ordered so much.” 
“Why are you so greedy.”

Then there’d be days where I'd catch my reflection in the mirror & I’d utter in disgust.

I rarely spoke about it to my friends or even mention it as a topic of discussion. Let alone blog about it. It was my own battle but I was losing the war. I didn’t seek comfort from others because there was none to give. No words of encouragement or comfort could silence the internal screaming in my head.
So for most days, I’d be fighting a silent battle. 

I have always been a generally happy & cheerful individual but I didn’t extend that same basic courtesy to my body image. There was nothing you could say that would make me feel like shit, offend, hurt or patronise me. 
I singlehandedly did all of those things myself.
I was my own harshest critic. 
I often perpetuated my own flaws, therefore I was my own worst enemy.

Its important to note that I’ve been feeling this way since I was 12 up until this year (I’m turning 21 next month). So its important to understand that with this consistency in my thought processes over all these years - everything was automatic. 
My incessant self-criticism was on auto-pilot & I wasn’t planning on landing anytime soon.

What I hated the most was the fact that I knew what I needed to do to feel better. I needed to exercise more & eat more healthily. I tried everything; buying a treadmill machine, diet pills, appetite suppressants, herbalife, slimming programs (marie france) & exercise videos. Nada. None of it stuck.
I was focused on the sole idea of shedding kgs & being skinny. Emphasis on skinny. 

But the problem that lies herein is this:
I had no discipline. I was lazy. I procrastinated.
I saw exercising as a chore, as a method of losing weight. It manifested into something worthy of procrastination. 
I will never run out a supply of excuses like “I’ll exercise tomorrow.” “I’ll exercise after I eat.” “Its too late (or too early).”  

This combination of self-hate & laziness is catastrophic. 
It sucks the very liveliness out of you, forces you into a rollercoaster that only goes down.
It drained me & yet no refills were made. 

Fast forward to August 2015. 
My friend, Kimmy & I decided to start on Kayla Itsine’s BBG. I’ve attempted the workout numerous times myself but like I said, I lacked the determination & the inability to follow through with my plans. 
We’ve even made a legally binding contract the week before we were set on starting the exercises. If one of us cancelled, without any valid reason, then they would have to pay a fine. That was how extreme my laziness was. 
I had to succumb to monetary motivations. 

Deciding to have Kim as a workout buddy was the best decision I have made all year. She is determined, persistent & stubborn. If she was set on exercising that day, she was going to have it. Kim is no stranger to my excuses, so she could see right through me & call me out on it. She gave me that little push I needed when I couldn’t push myself.

She also gave me what I longed for the most:

I longed for consistency in my life. The discipline to follow through with plans. 
She made sure we were finishing the workouts every week & we were on schedule.
Its been an incredible success because we’re currently on the last week (week 12) then we’re redoing the guides again. This is no easy feat so I pat myself on the back.

You mustn’t mistaken something. This isn’t an ad for BBG. The workouts per se didn’t do much to my sense of betterment. Instead it acted as a catalyst, it provided me the framework to develop consistencies. What helped me get better was the act of committing to something.

Thanks to Kim & the beautiful gift of consistency, no longer do I regard exercises as a chore. It excites me now. I like the feeling of sweat bubbling on my skin. My laboured breathings. I welcomed the soreness that came after with open arms. As a result of the increasing production of endorphins, I’ve also given myself more credit. I’ve stopped selling myself short. I have a healthier self-image. I love myself more. I am no longer on an impossible quest to be skinny. 
I’ve diverted my course & I am on the path of being a healthier & more fulfilled person. 
Like Kim said, “just focus on being healthier. Anything else that comes after is just a wonderful side effect.”

I no longer revolve my mind around this cult of fear for sugary food & desserts. I no longer get angry at myself for a little treat. I no longer paralyse myself with detrimental comments. 
What I believe is this: moderation & consistency is key. 
I let myself indulge in food, I eat whatever I want, in huge portions. 
But I’ve also learnt to listen to my body. To know when I’ve eaten enough junk food. This usually happens when I wake up feeling extremely sluggish & lethargic. To compensate, I usually drink 3 litres of water or more & increase my dosage of fruits & vegetables.
So just pause, take a breather & listen to what your body has to say.

You need to find what works for you. And once you do, stick to it. Consistency is a wonderful thing. It gave me a functional framework for my emotions & my day to day activities. 

I have never spoken out about these issues. This has been going on in my head for so long that I’ve begun to perceive it as a normality; a friendly whisper rather than the whisperings of the devil. So many people shun the idea of discussing the negative ways in which you perceive yourself & your body. But just because it isn’t talked about, doesn’t mean it isn't there.

It doesn't help that talking about these things often came with stigmas.

If you are talking about your problems, then you must be weak.
If you are worried about your body, then you must be shallow & vain. 

But today, I am rising above these stigmas. 
Today, I defy fear of being vulnerable.
Today, I do not see vulnerability as a weakness.
Today, I see it as strength.

And I shall wear it like a badge of honour.

I want someone out there who is going through the same thing to know that you are not alone.
If the things I said today resonated with you, know that I am here. I have gone through the things you have. 
I know what it feels like to be your own worst enemy.

Its time to validate these feelings of insecurities & accept that they are there. But also learn to muster the courage to fight it. To challenge your inner demons. To say “no, fuck off you inner monologue! I am good enough.”
To tell yourself, “okay I’ve let myself go today but tomorrow is a brand new day.” 
Always remember to remind yourself when you’re having a bad day that tomorrow is a fresh, clean slate. 
Don’t bring the turmoils of yesterday into tomorrow. 

You are brave, you are marvellous, you are beautiful, you are intelligent & you are inherently special. 
Once you’ve accepted these things about you & change the lens in which you view yourself in…
You. Become. Unstoppable.
No-one can bring you down - none. You’ve fought your inner demons.
Therefore you are a warrior.

So best of luck, my strong warriors. 
Till our next battle,


Sara Suhaili. Powered by Blogger.