What I learned from being ill but vain AF
More and more people are being diagnosed with what is know as a chronic illness.
For those playing along at home, this means something “bad” that has no cure.
This could be something like endometriosis or chronic fatigue.
In my case, it’s a few in the bag of tricks with the key players being Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis.
Otherwise known by their sexy name as Irritable Bowel Diseases (and all sufferers will scream together, ‘NO it is not IBS!).
Not cute, and not ideal for anyone, let alone someone who cares a lot about the beauty side of stuff (read: vain).
While you may be fortunate to not have a chronic illness you will likely go through times where you just aren’t feeling yourself.
This post is about sharing what I have learnt from this long road to understanding and save you the same walk.
Letting go of what you think is ‘beautiful’ is the fastest way to feel beautiful
We are surrounded by concepts of what is beautiful. None of which are truly real at all.
Cindy Crawford famously once said, “I wish I looked like Cindy Crawford,” in reference to digitally altered images.
The goal post to your socially crafted perceived idea of beauty will never be in reach.
It is always shifting from being skinny to being curvy, to thin brows to bushy brows, to little bums to big bums, Paris Hilton to Kim Kardashian.
Your body physically can not alter itself to the speed of trends.
Once you let go of that artificial beauty concept you will see that outside of those tight closed lines is an array of unique beauty.
The laugh lines of the woman on the bus showing a rich canvas of days well lived, the way brown eyes shift colour in the sun and how the greys that start to appear signal a sign of the next, exciting chapter in your story.
I can wax lyrical but beauty is in everyone.
And it is our job to ignore the noise from advertising to see it, acknowledge it and bring it out of the people we love.
Let’s play a game...gun to your head what is beautiful about you? GO! Now write that answer down in your phone notes and refer to it every day.
You are beautiful.
Wellness is what is well for you
No one shares the same level of “well”.
Some people wake up tired everyday but if they have the energy to get out of bed that is their “well”.
Some weeks all I can eat is white potato, white rice and steamed chicken to feel well.
To others that is a diet destined to weight game and self loathing. But for me it can save me from extreme pain and discomfort.
Someone may have a bloated appearance due to their medication for depression, yet they feel better then they have in years.
It is important to self check yourself by how you feel, not how you look in the mirror.
Sometimes I am at my wellness best when I have a little bit of extra thick on me because the steroids I am taking are easing my pain and healing my shredded insides.
Wellness can’t be compared and it can’t be shared.
You are responsible for creating your own wellness even if it is at the cost of letting go of what you think was the image of well.
Beauty comes from a state of mind
There was this girl when I was younger.
She wasn’t the cookie cutter beautiful girl we all wanted to be and lacked concepts of beauty outside of what was on Home & Away.
She didn’t have long blonde hair, she didn’t have skinny thighs and she didn’t have “white” features.
But man was she hot.
And one night at a party it was brought up why everyone found her so sexy and someone goes ‘because she is confident.’
That has stuck with me.
How common is it to see a beautiful girl only let down by her confidence.
Or to see someone SHINE because they are vibrant with personality and self belief.
You create the energy people see you with.
Don’t devalue your shine because of something so silly and fleeting as appearance.
Do what works for you
Paleo, celery juice, rice diet, water fast - we all know them and have probably tried them.
Holding onto hope because some model on Instagram said she lost her belly bloat taking these three pills.
Spoiler: she didn’t.
A promoted diet will not deliver sustainable, healthy patterns.
Will you lose weight? Probably.
Will you maintain it? Probably not.
It upsets me to see people I know still dieting, still limiting and still being unhappy with how their body looks.
Getting diagnosed with Crohn's totally changed how I treated and looked at my body.
I respected it for everything it did for me. For the road it had let me travelled. So I treated it with kindness.
With food that didn’t hurt it.
With exercise that empowered it.
And with joy it craved.
What did that look like?
There was no more kale and broccoli.
There was way more carbs.
There was less chasing my tail and more chasing waves.
This is what worked for me.
Basics. That’s where it all lay.
I ate what worked for my body. I moved in a way that made me strong. I enjoyed the things that made me happy (wine, it had to change to white but I still let myself have wine).
Don’t force your body into a square hole when you’re a star.
When you find your flow, there will be no more diets or detoxes or binges because you will be where you are meant to be.
Your body knows where that place is, so listen to it.
Don't wait to lose it to love it
Basically getting sick is what it took for me to appreciate the beauty that lay in me and appreciate the miracle of my own body.
Don't wait to lose something to be able to see the charm of your own self.
You are sexy, from your brain to your bunions.