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Being Overweight, Bullies, IBS and Anorexia Made me Stronger :002

Being overweight, dealing with bullies and IBS (at the same time) and later anorexia was not comfortable…

…so why would I want to bring it up now? To help others in similar times of need.

 

I’ve put off sharing these stories for years.

 

Why? Because to tell the message that’s really deep inside of me; born of gut-wrenching emotional hardships and puzzling physical-health obstacles… I have to be real.

 

Being real and telling the truth are not easy. I don’t mean the plain truths; I mean the real truth where I don’t put up a veil, put on a mask, or just stay “politely” quiet.

 

So, to say the least, this is really awkward; to be on camera, talking about myself, figuratively and literally nearly naked.

 

***Learning to create a podcast is a bit like learning to ride a bike. You can observe, take instruction from those who’ve done it- but the first several attempts are going to be wobbly and might make you gasp! We’ll get the hang of this sooner than later. Please be patient as we get this thing going smoothly! Thanks!***

 

 

I’m creating this podcast because over my years of my personal Wellness Journey and through consulting others I’ve learned so much; and I want to continue to learn and help others!

 

By sharing my research, resources, and experiences through the enjoyable medium of conversation and podcasting, I get to do what satiates my desires to learn more and help others.

 

I started this process several years ago with my first book You-niversal Self-care: Improved Health Through Self-Understanding, teaching the ancient wisdom of Body-typing. Earth, Fire, Air and Water are the elements I use as metaphors to help people understand their body and environment, including relationships.

Since then I’ve felt the deep desire to contribute more, and help people gain Self-Empowerment and Self-Compassion.

 

 

At about 12 minutes into the recording  I’m more settled into talking to the camera and share significant experiences that cultivated me to be able to teach this material.

 

 

Significant Experiences I Highlight in this Podcast:

  • I was blessed with an unhealthy body as a youngster. Yes, I said “blessed”. Because I was significantly overweight and larger than my classmates (I weighed over 100 pounds as a 3rd-grader when my classmates weighted 60 pounds on average.) I am able to deeply empathize with those who are overweight, feel the pressures from multiple directions to be a “normal” weight, and to simply fit in; not to mention to just fit into normal clothes!
  • The truth is, bullies make you tougher… I don’t condone bullying, but today I thank mine. They prepared me for bigger bullies!
  • Through this experience I also learned that focusing on weight was not the answer, and by focusing on weight, I actually put more figurative weight on myself; the weight on one’s shoulders, so-to-speak.
  • If I were a youngster with the same conditions living in the time with knowledge we have today, I believe I would have been diagnosed with Celiac Disease and Irritable Bowels Syndrome.
  • Eating disorders are no joke. When I experienced anorexia I was trying to re-create myself. I wanted to fit-in and be accepted. I felt terrible. I had no energy. I was starving my body, and the essence of myself. I lost site of life, having fun and being me.

 

***Tangent***

By the way, posting this video of me in my bathing suit is not comfortable. As I said before, it’s very metaphoric of how nearly-naked I feel in just beginning to talk about some topics that I feel very vulnerable in talking about.

I’m normally rather reserved.

But, from my experience, I know how motivating it can be to see that someone else has achieved the goals that I desire. It’s like a sign saying, “It’s possible. You can do it too!”

While I do not promote physical image to be the end-all-be-all goal, a natural byproduct of leading a healthy life is looking good/healthy!

I’m doing what’s uncomfortable to me because my goal is to help people be more comfortable with themselves and more Self-Loving.

So, if this helps you feel more inspired that you can overcome too – here you go!

I want this to be a healthy form of motivation.

It’s about Self-Love… Sounds narcissistic, doesn’t it?

Don’t let this thought stop you! (Like it did to me for many years!)

The degree to which you can love yourself, you can love others. It sounds cheesy, but it’s true!

This ties into later podcasts on the topic of relationships I will do later with my hubby.

 

Ok… back to…

Significant memories from being anorexic- the turning points:

  • While literally starving myself I would make myself exercise. I played basketball at the time; not because I enjoyed it or was interested in it really, but because it was an activity I could involve myself in in order to exercise, burn more calories during the day, and avoid my parents seeing what was really going on.  Because my body was weak and I lacked energy, I would fall on the basketball court often.
  • I remember one final fall –it must have been right before I quit– when I heard, I mean really heard, my legs impact the hardwood floor. My knees sounded eerily hollow. It occurred to me then, that I felt as hollow as my body sounded physically. At that moment I felt sad and sensed empathy for myself.
  • Around the same time there were two people who’s simple, genuine inquiries of “Are you ok?” showed the care and concern I must have needed. I didn’t feel like I needed attention at the time, but these gestures of concern helped me to see that I deserved to give myself more care and concern. These two people were a teacher and an aunt.

 

What I learned about Healthy Self-Image, from the Oprah show

Around this same time, it was a typical routine for me to arrive at home, turn on the t.v. to watch a bit of an afternoon talk-show before doing homework and having dinner. Oftentimes I would decide on the Oprah show. That particular day she had on a guest who gave tips on developing healthy self-image. I am paraphrasing from memories nearly 20 years old…

“… Stand in front of the mirror naked. Pick out one thing you can genuinely love and admire about yourself. Keep doing this day-after-day. There will be a point where you will begin to see other things you can love and appreciate about yourself. It may take days or even months, but soon this self-love and appreciation will increase.”

Well, it sounded crazy at the time. And I felt so tremendously uncomfortable doing it, but at a time when I needed healthy Self-image the most- I gave it a try!

And, it works… really!

 

 

When you appreciate one thing in life or about yourself, it creates a healthy habit making it so much easier to appreciate many other things in life.

Then… life just get better and better!

What is concerning you? What steps are you taking?

It took me nearly 20 years to get to a point in my Wellness Journey where I feel healthy… it can happen much faster for you!

In future episodes we’ll continue to cover the plethora of information on health and wellness that’s available, and most of all, how to sort it out!

Comment and share!

Love,  Tara Baklund