Hey, this is what is in my heart and I wanted to send it to yours. The way I appear to others. (or, rather my concern over what they think of me, which is a separate matter entirely).
I read two posts yesterday which helped me see ME through a new lens. There was this report from Vanity Fair about how Emilia Clarke has dealt with years of questions about a few seconds of nudity in a scene that was shown in 2011, and that is what she is asked about. It made me think about how I did one thing, for an excellent reason, and it’s all people see.
And, there was this blog from the Brummy mummy of two , its a really excellent post about how to enjoy summer. And it’s true.
So, my lens is this, I used to sell being thin, and now I am not thin, and I have some fat. I sold a version of happiness and now I sell a new version of health. I had a set of beliefs and now I have a different set of beliefs.
I deliberately say I have some fat, as, I read this quote and its true, “fat is like toenails, it is something you have, not something you are”.
For many years I sold not being fat, the hope, the living proof if you took these 3 simple steps you too could be not fat. I was “slimspiration”, as my colleagues and I called it, and I was good at it.
I am a kind person, and I had experienced deep love, amazing sex, and fulfilling friendships whilst I was a vessel for my fat. I had worn swimming costumes and surfed and birthed babies, and gone on airplanes and eaten wonderful meals at excellent restaurants, the fat had not deprived me of living. I had compassion for everyone who came to me for help, and they felt my heart.
And, (not but, and), I had experienced how hard it is to do those things whilst carrying my fat. It is a lot harder to walk 10 miles carrying an extra 100lb, it requires a mental toughness honed by years of not giving up. It is determination that meant I got dressed and showed my best, even if I was worried about being seen eating in public (a fat person eating is one of the key methods of shame – Google women laughing at salads and watch food adverts, especially junk food adverts, no people with a BMI over 21 to be found).
So, whilst I was private and silent with my fat, with my fatloss I was public, I sold it, I became known for it, it was my identity. At the start, I did as I was told, I posted the summer countdown visuals, ” start now and be 3 stone lighter for summer” , “don’t wait and be depressed in your size 18 capri shorts”.
After a while, that didn’t sit right with me, so I said and posted things that were more body positive, “be beach body ready, take your body to a beach – done”. Then I went for “strong not skinny” (I still love that actually, three of the best women I know embody strength, emotional and physical from weightlifting).
And then I stopped, I stopped because it didn’t feel it was true anymore. Was that my whole identity? Limiting my food was my whole public life.
So I started my new business in May last year, and I was still slim-ish. I had taken steps to lose an extra 3 stone in feb/march/april for a holiday I had in May, I hated myself into a size 12 with perfection (I was well practiced and it is not hard). So for the rest of the year I kind of had a hangover of slimness. Two holidays, Christmas and moving house ended that illusion.
I know am currently in the possession of some fat. It is a bit inconvenient, I bought some new clothes as the clothes I owned would not fit. I am out of breath when I run up the stairs, my knee hurts. I sweat a lot and get this weird rash under my boobs, (which are now massive again, so my shoulders hurt too).
These inconveniences are just that, awkward, troublesome, annoying, (I looked up inconvenient synonyms, it is illuminating!) my weight though not great is not going to kill me, I had a health check and I have the respiratory system and heart of a 30 year old. My diet has improved in recent years.
Now, this improvement is a viewpoint issue. A decade ago it was full of booze and highly processed high calorie food.
Then for about 7 years it had some fruit and veg, but the majority was highly processed nutrient poor low calorie or chemically altered “low calorie” foods, (when you see the words “low fat” or “fat free” think “chemical shit storm”.
So, for the past year I have been on a journey of healing my food. Whole foods, organic foods, plant based and without caffeine. This healing is up and down, fast and slow, I generally don’t have caffeine, I generally don’t have sugar, (I no longer have sugar in my tea! a habit of 39 years (I am from the generation of tea in a bottle!) I am healing my adrenal fatigue. I am active, and I seek opportunities for more activity.
For the first year showing up in front of a camera was easy, I still looked slim. This year, whilst the inside is healing and my love for myself is growing that is not shown on the outside – in the photo or the film. After years of selling fatloss my first reaction to seeing a photo of myself is, wow, that’s a great “before” photo, and then I have to catch that thought pattern and love it to death.
So,what has this all to do with being seen. Well, for my business to succeed I need to show up, in every way. and do it now. My dream is to stand on a stage and inspire women to start their own business, to take their business to the next level, to hold the vision of time and financial freedom. For me to make that dream a reality I need to show up now, not when I feel like my visual fits with what people will like. Now, exactly as I am.
I put up Facebook post with a full photo of me and I felt sick. But I did it because I’m proud of the work I am doing Facebook post
And being seen is scary. It is it FUCKING SCARY. Or, as I said in the opener, the judgement is scary, “who is she to sell natural health when she is fat?”, “who is she to impact 300000 homes with natural solutions”, “who is she to have the audacious goal to grow a million pound business when she cannot sufficiently control her food intake to be a size 12”, “who is she to stand on a stage when she is fat”. I have a lot of these, they are excellent for the Tapping I do (Emotional Freedom Technique -EFT is awesome, YouTube EFT Brad Yates).
So I Tap away as I know that the world needs me, it needs what I can bring it and if I wait til I am the “right” size I am wasting myself, my talents and those things have nothing to do with my calorie intake.
Why now? Well, I heard a podcast the other day where the author said she doesn’t talk about food (she is slim and a leader in the health movement and I guess she gets asked a lot). And it opened my eyes, I can choose to not talk about food, my plan for my million pound business does not need to include a food sheet.
A facebook memory came up and I was delighted to easily fit into a uk size 12 GAP chinos, they were awesome. The problem, getting into them was my whole life, it was more important then anything else. If I applied the same dedication to my business now as I did to getting into that pair of trousers? I would already BE THERE.
I spent two days at a businesses growth conference last week, it was awesome. (a day at the beach is also awesome and probably won’t grow my business, so let me elaborate).
The women there did not know me (I knew one person who is a friend, fellow home ed mum and my current healer, I knew one person who I had just welcomed into my community the week before, but I didn’t know her personally and she was there to grow her business too, so 77 new women.
And, to quote my friend, I “Brene Browned myself”, (and I am taking that as a mental tattoo emblazoned across my brain. I “rose strong, braved the wilderness, allowed the gifts of my imperfections whilst daring greatly”, those are book titles, my friend didn’t say them I looked them up for this blog and they amused me,).
I threw myself in, I opened myself out and I said hi. Hi to the possibility and to the opportunity, to every woman I came into contact with and I thought good thoughts and I stayed present and created connections and felt those beautiful seeds of friendship get planted. They did not care what size my trousers were, they were interested in my humor, my experiences, my dreams, and my oils (of course my oils!)
And I watched. I saw women who were not a size 12 talk about how they had grown their businesses. How they were owning their time and what habits that took. I heard that if people self select out because they don’t like my hair, or my clothes or my voice, that is awesome, as I don’t want those people.
I know how powerfully the way I feel about myself affects the way others view me, a few weeks ago at a meetup I was mired in self hate, and repelled people, my energy was so off, my vibe was so low. People kept moving away from me, a few different things happened within a few hours and I was like ok universe – I get it, I surrender this feeling – no more. I upped my meditations of self love (Abraham Hicks – YouTube and app), I upped my gratitude and appreciation.
And, by magic it got better, well, taking action to love myself, taking action to appreciate all I have, taking action to book an event to move my business and personal growth on, taking action to own my identity… that’s some alchemy for magic.