I went to war with my body at the tender age of 11, and fought bitterly against it for the best part of twenty years. It sucked the joy out of my life, damaged my health and left me drained and exhausted on a regular basis. Why did an intelligent, smart young woman like me allow this to happen? As women is it just something that ‘we have to go through’? Is it part of our DNA to always want to be slimmer, leaner, a different shape to the one we are? Why do we punish ourselves so brutally to conform to an ideal that is not based in any reality I’m familiar with?
Answers to these questions later, but for now back to me and my pre-pubescent body.
Aged 11 I was obsessed with my dance classes and was convinced that I had been put on this planet to split jump and jazz hands my way to stardom. I adored dancing and it gave me a release and focus that I desperately needed, living as I did in a house that was somewhat fraught with tension. But as my long lean body began to change and I developed shapely thighs and hips, I began to dread the change into my leotard and tights. All the other girls in the changing room had long, slim legs and boyish waist lines, while my legs were not straight up and down, my hips were not narrow and my butt was the perfect J-Lo – way before the gorgeous Jenny From The Block made it cool to have a big butt.
As I hit my teens my obsession with dance morphed into a dangerous obsession with my weight and shape. (Read more)
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