I'm certainly no expert in this department but I think this is a very valuable lesson. I've consulted my friend from down under, Rhiannon (with her nifty blog, Rhiannon Travels) about her experiences with body image. She greatly puts life into perspective after fighting her own battles with an eating disorder and this is a story of recovery that I think can be inspiring for anyone. We all face our mornings looking in the mirror, tracing imperfections, but Rhiannon reminds us that obsessing over this can bring us unhappiness for something that's not worth it. Perfection is impossible. Instead, we should focus on living life with a happy head and heart.
Hear her story:
"Body acceptance is a difficult concept to get the hang of. I learnt this the hard way, when I was only 18 years old. I put so much pressure on myself, making sure I lived up to the unrealistic ideal of being ‘perfect’. Not only did I spend most of my day with my butt planted on the seat of the household stationery bike, I also developed an unhealthy obsession when it came to food.
Five years of my life was spent being afraid of anything above 100 calories. I would limit myself to a bowl of cereal for breakfast, and a bowl of fruit for dinner. Healthy snacks? Oh, absolutely not. Unhealthy snacks? I would break down in tears at the thought of putting a bar of chocolate in my mouth. Five years was spent living my life this way - all because of the media’s idea on what the perfect body looked like.
Some people are afraid of spiders, others are afraid of heights. I was afraid of food. Thinking back on that time in my life makes me cringe. It was such a selfish thing that I put myself and the people around me through, every single day. Being afraid of the food that I have such easy access to, when there are people in the world who struggle to consume enough nutrients every day, to keep themselves alive.
I was voluntarily, and selfishly, killing myself. Slowly but surely, I would end up in hospital if I didn’t get my act together. If I didn’t admit that Anorexia was taking over my life, and I wanted to be rid of the mental monster that took so much life away from me.
It wasn’t until a road-trip from California to Las Vegas, that I clicked to what I was doing to myself. I didn’t want to sit in my room all day, miserable and depressed. I didn’t want to waste anymore of my life, like I had for so many years. I wanted my life back. I wanted to be able to travel and see the world, without fearing food. I wanted to experience as much as I could, with the rest of my time on Earth. So that’s what I did. It wasn’t easy, and I definitely messed up a lot. But here I am now, four years later, happier and healthier than ever.
I’m sure you’re reading this and wondering “How is this chick going to teach me a lesson about being an adult?”. Am I right? I’m probably right. But please, stay with me. Let me teach you how and why you should love your body, especially during your adult years.
We all get one shot at this thing called life. We get a numbered amount of days to wake up and kick some ass. I chose to waste roughly one thousand, eight hundred and twenty five of those days living off lettuce and watermelon. As much as I love watermelon, that’s not a very exciting diet.
So here is your lesson for today - how to love your body as an adult: Put yourself in the eyes of a child. Do they care what their bodies look like? Do they spend hours upon hours each day, scrutinizing every stretch mark and bit of fat (healthy, essential fat) they can find? No.
Children haven’t yet become victims of the media’s influence. They haven’t sat and read magazines that tell us we need to be a certain weight, a certain height and a certain hair colour to be beautiful. Children wake up each morning, and they are happy. Regardless of what they look like.
I truly believe, with all my heart, that EVERYBODY should see themselves this way. Realize that you are your own version of perfect. You’re the only you on this Earth. Wake up each morning, be thankful that you are alive, and let all the little insignificant things that don’t matter, be forgotten.
Nobody is perfect. At least not in the way the media has told us to be. All it takes is one article to spread like wildfire, and next thing you know, the world is in a frenzy, trying to look like the model who has been Photoshopped until there’s nothing left, and airbrushed like there’s no tomorrow.
Being an adult is a difficult task. Don’t let something as small as trying to be ‘perfect’, stop you from enjoying every moment we have with our friends and family. Go out and see the world instead. Do something that makes you happy. Spend your time with the people who make you happy, and do things that make you thankful you’re here!
Life’s too short to spend it scrutinizing every inch of your body.
I can guarantee, everyone reading this - that’s right, YOU! - is perfect in your own way. So put on a killer outfit, and go show the world just how kick-ass you really are."
Now, Rhiannon travels plenty. She enjoys her life and all the experiences it brings. Her mind is in a healthy state, far from deprivation. The way it should be.
To learn more about Rhiannon's lifestyle and adventures, check out her blog below!