This is my first post for BeautyWell, which is going to be the 'beauty section' of my HoneyMumster blog. It's for women who are like me, who struggle to feel beautiful even though we are all, each and every one of us beautiful in some way.
We all have different reasons for wishing we looked like someone else and so I'm starting this blog with quite a heavy post about bulimia, to try to explain to you why I feel the way I do.
This picture above is my every day and has been since I was 11 years old. Since that age I can't say I have ever looked in the mirror and seen what is truly there.
I wanted to write this because it is part of who I am and I strongly believe that many people both male and female suffer from some type of body dis-morphia and eating disorder and have done for most of their lives and it is such a dreadful waste of a life.
It all started for me with a simple, innocent comment made by a dance teacher. I had big boobs from the age of ten and she told me that, as I so desperately wanted to be a professional dancer, it might be an idea to get my boobs reduced surgically, otherwise I would find it quite difficult to get work as they made me look fat. I know she said this to help me and could not have realised what it would unleash because I know she did care about me.
Of course I knew my parents would never allow or pay for me to take such drastic measures at that age and of course I didn't need to. Looking back at pictures now, I see I had an amazing figure, but being a sensitive soul and absolutely desperate to pursue a career as a dancer, I decided I must get rid of these hideous boobs any way I could.
So, with surgery, out of the question, at age 11 I went on my first diet instead. I lost too much weight at first and that got the attention of my mum, who quite rightly told me that I had better start putting on weight or I would not be going to dance classes ever again.
And so, torn between feeling fat and desperate to be able to go to my dance classes, the very ugly monster, bulimia took over my thoughts and body dis-morphia took over my eyes.
Another 11 years later at the age of 22, after living, at that time, half of my life with bulimia. I finally decided I had had enough of it and that I could no longer live like that.
Bulimia is a pernicious disease. Similar to that of any addiction. You feel you are no longer in control of your own actions. I remember every single day for 11 years, waking up in the morning with utter dread, thinking to myself, today I will eat sensibly, I will not binge, I will try to not eat at all. I must be thin, if I am not thin, I am nothing.... but I always ended up bingeing, I always ended up hating myself. I have endless heart breaking diary entries from childhood, through my teenage years in to early adulthood of utter self loathing and when I look back at pictures of me then, I had absolutely nothing to loathe about myself at all. What a waste of my life, such a shame.
I left home at the age of 18 years old, to be a dancer in the show Cats The Musical. By that time, I could not even have food in my house or I would binge uncontrollably on it. So many times I went to the supermarket and before I'd even put the food away a frenzied binge would take over me. So often I would put £50 worth of shopping straight in the bin for fear I would be taken over by the binge monster and so often I shamefully ate food out of that bin, some times eating raw food, often not even tasting it.
It's a disgusting disorder and it even makes you feel like a failure because you're not anorexic, which is so silly. Bulimics are rarely thin because they are bloated from it all.
It feeds on lies and the shame it brings. I recently gave a talk to young 'practising bulimics' and we all agreed, if you could just say to people after a meal, "Excuse me while I go and be sick now" or "Sorry, I can't go out and have a normal meal with you all, because I don't feel worthy of eating, I feel like you'll all judge me because I'm fat and shouldn't be eating. So, am going to pretend I'm on a diet and then the minute I get back to my house, alone, I am going to eat the entire contents of my kitchen and then be sick, finally falling in to a coma like sleep, hating myself." If we could just say that then the power that illness wields would actually be gone. If bulimics could openly be bulimic, then they might just be cured because it feeds on the secrecy it brings.
I still don't like eating in public but I am honest about why. I think that's why I am so honest in life and in my blogs, because I'm afraid. I'm afraid if I cover anything up, bulimia will sniff me out again and take over my sanity.
I was recently told that when your brain can no longer take any more pressures it tries to find a way out. Just the same as if your heart or lungs or any other organs in your body have too much pressure they just stop working or work too hard to compensate and your brain is no different.
Your brains way to cope with too much pressure however, is either to freak out and breakdown or to bombard you with thoughts of ending your life. What's important to see here, is that you haven't really gone mad and you don't really want to die. Your brain is just begging you to get help.
At the age of 22, my brain had had enough and luckily my cry for help was to smash up all the Easter eggs in a supermarket (a very long and darkly humorous story) which got me admitted in to a psychiatric hospital and saved me.
If you read my blogs you know my many battles with Prozac and you will know that I was addicted to that drug for 18 years. At the time of writing this, I am now 5 months clean of it and although it is a daily battle, at the moment I am winning it.
What you probably don't know is that Prozac did save my life. It cured me from Bulimia within a month of me starting to take it. After 11 years of fighting that fucking disease every single day, Prozac cured me almost instantaneously. I remember after about a month of being on the drug thinking, 'Oh wow, this must be how normal people must feel' - happy, free.
Of course after 18 years on Prozac and being almost completely cured of Bulimia I am on a different crusade to the destination 'normal'. I now have to find out who I really am drug free... but I am getting there. I am challenging myself and I am grateful to this blog for that.
I say ,"almost cured" because the body dis-morphia stays with me like a jinn on my shoulder. It's always been there. Even all those years on Prozac could't numb that away, I will keep fighting it though, I know there is a way out.
This picture was taken last week (22nd October 2016). It was then used in a lovely article in the Daily Mail Online (click on the picture to see the article) that could not have been nicer about us or more complementary about how we looked and it compelled me to write this blog post to all women everywhere who have low self esteem, like I still do.
I hate dressing up. I hate drawing attention to myself and I hate being on show. I know you all probably find it hard to believe and who can blame you, I am the girl who posed naked in Trafalgar Square both before and while I was pregnant for goodness sake. I went out in a corset to a club launch and my wedding was all over OK! Magazine.... but let me share with you, what exactly went on in my head that night while I was out being photographed.
First of all I nearly didn't wear that corset. I'm 42 years old for goddesses sake! That corset is also over 20 years old and let me tell you that it did go spinning through my head while I was out and about, that if your clothes are older than some of the people you are out with, maybe you should be staying in!
I only took my jacket off for pictures and then I quickly put it back on again, I was so insecure about it and I constantly had to quiet a dis-morphic, nagging voice in my head that was screaming at me, how awful I looked and that I probably had saggy skin and shouldn't be baring quite so much of it and that most people were probably pitying an old lady trying to dress like she was young again.
Obviously I've always thought like this, even when I was first brought that corset when I was a mere 21 years old.
As many years later, I have learned to control my low self esteem and I force myself to face that voice by wearing and doing things I'm not comfortable with. I've also made peace with the fact that (in my eyes) I'm not stunning beautiful, I often look like a chipmunk and I'll never be as lovely as most of the other girls out and about and that that is ok.
It's just my opinion and I don't need to be the prettiest, I'm a nice person, I can be funny and I've fought so many monsters now I know it's not worth listening to the voices in our heads because all they do is waste our lives. I don't want to waste my life this way anymore.
Phoenix has changed me an awful lot. Having a baby has made me care a lot less about how disappointed I am with the way I look because he is all I care about now. I realise how precious life is and believe me it's too precious to even give a second thought to whether you are pretty enough or thin enough, or tall enough etc.
A week after that picture was taken, as with most pictures I see of me, I wonder, what the fuck is wrong with me that I am so fucking hard on myself? I look fine, great in fact. If I'd seen that picture on the night it was taken though, I'd have seen someone different and hated her - it's like it takes at least a week for the 'I hate myself' glasses to fall off.
I know there are millions of women, and men who think like I do and we are all, each and everyone us beautiful. We are unique and original and we don't deserve to torture ourselves in this way anymore. We must stop the media and TV and the magazines telling us what pretty is. What the right shape is. What the right clothes and make up to wear are.... What age is best and what celebrity we should look like.
No one is more beautiful nor has a better figure than anyone else in this world. It is all subjective and absolute fucking nonsense. We are not here on this planet for very long and I implore you, do not waste one more second about how you look and I will try and do the same.
Fuck you body dis-morphia! You have stolen my eyes for too long now. It's mother fucking on!
I never did get rid of those pesky boobs and now I'd
like to thank them for the headline Cboobies. It may have ruined my kids tv career but it has to be one of the best 'carry-on' headlines ever and I love my titties for that!