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Samantha Turnbull Writer, mother, anti-princess

#ihaveembraced

Embracing health

I just donated to a project that encourages women to live happily with their bodies the way they are.

At the same time I’m on a 30-day health kick.

Sound a bit contradictory?

Let me explain.

A few months ago I blogged about Taryn Brumfitt’s Body Image Movement. I’m such a big fan of the concept that I just backed Taryn’s crowd-funding campaign to make a documentary encouraging women to embrace their bodies.

Embrace

Yet, here I am, on the final week of a month-long program put together by Byron Bay-based health, fitness and lifestyle coach Candice Briggs.

Feel Your Best

When I recently revealed this to a friend, she said: ‘Why would you do that? I thought you loved your body…’

I understood where she was coming from. One of the first blogs I ever posted was about appreciating my body post-birth.

But, it hasn’t always been that way.

When I was 20 I weighed-in at a lean 49kg (108lb). I had just been through an extremely painful break-up and, as part of the grieving process, I had literally been starving myself.

I survived on the odd tin of vegetable soup and water – for months. I also exercised like a machine, but I wasn’t strong. I was tired and weak.

Everyone commented on how wonderful I looked, but inside I was miserable.

I was not healthy, despite looking the stereotypical part.

That was when I realised, health is based on so much more than physical appearance.

It’s about strength, stamina, vitality and, most of all, happiness.

A few months ago, I noticed that I was starting to feel sluggish. I’d enjoyed gently easing back into exercise since giving birth to my second child, but I was ready for more.

I came across Candice through a mutual friend and I liked the sound of her motto ‘find your fit.’ Her philosophy is based on empowering people to find their own version of health and fitness. For some it might be running a marathon, for others it might be lifting a huge amount of weight.

For me, I just wanted ‘that feeling.’ I wanted to feel strong, energised and happy.

And it worked.

I’m looking forward to continuing on the path of making health and fitness a bigger priority in my life, not because I want to look a certain way or weigh a certain number. I’m looking forward to it because it feels good.

I haven’t been paying too much attention to my appearance. I certainly don’t weigh anywhere near 49kg and I don’t think my post-baby jiggly belly will ever disappear.

But I didn’t sign-up to change my body.

I signed up because I already love my body.

And when we truly love something, that’s when we tend to nurture it, right?

#ihaveembraced

 

 

 

5 responses to “Embracing health”

  1. Sarah from Creating Contentment says:

    There is a line between acceptance of a truth and the recognition of this acceptance and seeing it as lacking. For example, I might be an asshole and I will come to recognise this as a truth. Then, I can accept this as a fact of who I am and continue my behaviour. Or through this acceptance of myself I can recognise that this truth is not a truth I want to live, so I can attempt change. And keep attempting change until my behaviour lines up better with my values. It is the same with our appearance. I can accept my body shape and I can change it to a healthier version. I can accept my hair type/ colour and happily experiment with styles and products. We are a fluid creature. Nothing is permanent or absolute. I’m glad that you are able to explain this to others.

  2. Kaz @ Melting Moments says:

    Yes! Good on you! This is so refreshing to hear. As I get older, the more I have come to love my body. Especially since becoming a mum. I hope it doesn’t take as long for my girls to love their bodies when they’re adults.

  3. Tess says:

    Beautifully said, you can love your body and want to change the way you feel all at once.

  4. Lauren Tober says:

    Love the bit about nurturing what you love! So beautifully said :)

  5. Zanni Louise says:

    Yes. So true. I was thinking only yesterday about how happy I was with my curves and all. That was directly having just completed an abs strengthening class.

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