WRITTEN BY: Christine Mons (State Of Mind Blog)
My body has always been a struggle for me, I have thin and curvy genetics and a fast metabolism, my struggle has always been to put weight on, even when I’m fully healthy. And recently I’ve noticed body positivity and confidence become more popular on social media, being realistic is what people want and I have no trouble supporting that. In fact, it’s inspired me to tell my own truth and thoughts on the subject because I admit I haven’t been 100% realistic. I’ve always been known to have a nice body, nice legs and tan and that’s all the world knows of my physical self, it’s all I’ve shared. But that isn’t all, that’s not realistic, this is.
I’ve never had to workout to maintain my body, I’m a naturally thin person. I’m tall and petite, tan with blue eyes, I’ve always been admired for looking effortlessly fit, always told I’m blessed to be born thin and I should appreciate my genetic lottery. Whenever I would admit that I wasn’t feeling confident in my body I would get replies like ‘ easy for you to say ‘ or ‘ what are you complaining about? ‘. I had an idealistic body and I knew that, I was happy with it.
But then one summer holiday I fell sick, and when I woke up sick one morning I never expected the extent it would reach. I was in hospital for a while, too weak to even produce words. I never received a proper diagnosis and was able to leave the hospital just before school started back, I looked like a ghost, able to breathe and move again that’s all. I remember not being able to make it up a stairway to class one time, my sick legs just gave way beneath me. Privately I restored some of my health and put on the weight I’d lost, but all anyone saw was me come back from holiday looking like a ghost. Rumors swirled about a drug addiction or eating disorder, unfortunately I didn’t hear about these until too late and unfortunately I was too scared to be honest about being sick.
A short time later I had a wild ride, literally. Some fun times led to me being in a kayak going down a bank, which probably wasn’t the best idea, because I broke my toe, hip, pelvis and right after that I had a fall and broke my tailbone. This took a huge toll on my fragile body, I had to adjust to my mobility become very limited and I lost a lot of independence which I struggled with. Things like shaving my legs, putting on socks, getting in or out of a car became extremely difficult and frustrating. It took some time for me to accept this had happened to me and weather I liked it or not I had to not move to let my bones heal. I had no choice but to stop fitness, I’m an active person and physical activity makes me feel good but I had to slow down a lot if I wanted to be able to walk later in life. I have now spent just under 2 years recovering from that accident, and in the midst of it my sickness came back. This time it didn’t hit as hard, but enough to make daily function even more difficult with my mix of broken bones. I became bed ridden with chronic pain, my energy levels didn’t allow me to fill a day and I started again from the bottom working towards a fully functioning body.
I am now mostly clean from sickness and my bones have healed, I’m through the worst of it. I wish I’d been more open about my health when it was happening, I never let on that I was sick or in pain because I liked my body. Looking back now I feel stupid, my physical self is growing strongly with time and I have nothing to be ashamed of. I’m not anorexic or a drug addict, I am simply a genetically thin person who’s body took a beating.
I would delete photos where you can see the scars on my leg from the accident and where if you looked you could see I was sick. I posted photos where the angle worked with my body, the same people who called me anorexic called me sexy. I am neither, I’m in the good stages of recovery and I am so secretly proud to say that I feel healthier now than I have in a while and the 24/7 pain of broken bones is gone. I’m capable to workout again lightly, my movement has been restricted for so long but I am slowly building back strength and flexibility through working out and yoga. I know my body’s limits, I’m so aware to make sure I don’t over do anything and I do wellness right. I didn’t use to be able to go for scenic walks or carry a supermarket basket by myself and moments were smiles behind pain, I can now walk without assistance or a limp and that just makes me so damn happy. I know its hypocritical of me to be upset about rumors when I wasn’t willing to talk, but this is the truth, behind the tan lines and long legs. My body is far from perfect, I’m not as confident as I have been admired to be, I’ve had to work for my health and I will continue to until my hips are fully healed and I no longer get sick for months without explanation.
This is realistic, I can’t wait to share again in a few months the improvement of my health. I’m learning everyday about healthy lifestyle, whats right for me and my limits. Some days I get a bit too excited with my energy, I still haven’t learnt to keep everything in balance when I’m feeling good because I’m so happy I feel good I want to do everything that day, if I do that I will spend the next week with symptoms such as fatigue, nausea, exhaustion and of course the chronic pain in my hips. The message behind this story is that social media can alter your perception, not everything is what seems to be. Behind each shot is editing, planning, posing and heaps of unused snaps. Before you judge someone for beginning to say their sick but they look healthy, think again. “Healthy looking” isn’t a realistic term, and I don’t even believe I was healthy looking at all. Body confidence isn’t any specific shape or size, it’s just as mental as it is physical and it’s time to be realistic, share our struggles and journey and help each other on the way.
With love, Chris
Social Media- Instagram @christine.mons