Thankful Thursday: I Heart My Body | Kylie Purtell - Capturing Life

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Thankful Thursday: I Heart My Body

1996 - When I first thought I was fat!
Could not have been more wrong!
I've never had a great relationship with my body, it started in high school and has been a constant struggle ever since.

I went to a performing arts high school and I auditioned and was accepted for Dance. I have always loved dancing, I started dancing when I was 3 years old. It was always about having fun, I went to a dancing school where we didn't do comps or eisteddfods, the emphasis was on everyone having a go, having fun and enjoying themselves.

I think that's why it was such a shock to me when I did dance at high school. Just about everyone in the class was a 'serious' dancer. They competed in eisteddfods on the weekends, they had their audition dances choreographed by their dancing teachers and they wore all the trendiest Bloch dancing gear.

There I was, having never competed in a comp, I choreographed my own routine for my audition (which for some reason I was embarrassed about at the time but looking back I am actually really proud, that routine got me accepted and I made it up myself, no help from a teacher! At only 12 years of age no less), and all I had was a black leotard and trackies to dance in.

I felt like all of the other girls in my class were just so much better than me. I thought they were better dancers. And I thought they had better bodies. I gave up dancing and switched to music after my first year because dancing had stopped being fun and I was too self-conscious.

After that my weight went up and down, but no matter what I weighed or how I looked to other people, I always thought I was too fat, too ugly. I was so depressed in year 8 and 9 that I barely ate and was extremely anxious most of the time. I had a lot of days off school because I just hated feeling like I was the odd one out.

2000 - At my formal, again, thought I
was fat. Only thing fat was my hair
When I finished high school I lost a lot of weight, about 20 kilos, and was the thinnest I've ever been. I still thought I was fat. Looking back at photos of myself now I can't believe I thought that, I was such a dickhead.

After meeting Dave in 2002 the weight slowly started to creep back on and by the time we got engaged in 2006 I had put back on the 20 kgs and then some. After we bought our house in 2007 Dave and I decided that we wanted to make a change and lose some weight before our wedding the following year. I lost 20 kgs over the space of about 8 months and was leading a much healthier life, eating well and exercising regularly. I had so much more energy and my frame of mind couldn't have been better.

But after being so good and so disciplined for so long I decided that I could ease up a bit and of course, my weight started going up again. After our US trip in the middle of 2010, after deciding that we wanted to have a baby in the next couple of years, I went to the GP who advised me to lose a bit of weight, nothing too drastic, to get myself back in to a healthy weight range and to a weight that wouldn't be too hard to maintain.

She was a lovely doctor and so positive about it all that I came away feeling like I could do it, and looking forward to finally feeling more energetic and healthy. Losing weight was no longer about how I looked but how I felt. I started exercising more and eating better, and while the weight didn't just fall off I definitely noticed a change in my energy levels and just generally felt better taking better care of myself.

The day before Mia was born 22.11.12
Excuse the toothpaste mess on the mirror!
I fell pregnant early 2011 and it was like I gave myself a free pass to eat whatever I wanted and I very quickly started to gain weight. My OB never said anything to me about my weight and it being too high or being any kind of issue and I must be honest and say that I was hoping against hope that it didn't matter how much I put on because if there was any fairness in the world I would lose it all and then some through breastfeeding, like I'd seen other people do. Ah yeah, that didn't happen!

At 29 weeks I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes (GDM) and I have to say I was pretty shattered at first. Having a parent with diabetes meant that I was already high risk for developing GDM, something I hadn't actually realised before, and add to that my rapid weight gain, I shouldn't have been surprised.

Having GDM meant that I pretty much spent the last 12 weeks of my pregnancy focusing on nothing but the food that was going in my mouth and the exercise I was or wasn't doing. I had to be a on a VERY strict diet and check my blood sugar levels 4 times a day. When I first found out I had it I felt like a failure and that it was the end of the world. I won't lie to you, those last 12 weeks were not as joyous as they should have been but a super healthy baby at the end made it all worth it.

Now I see that it was actually a blessing in disguise. I only put on 3 kgs in the last 12 weeks of pregnancy which is traditionally when women put on the most weight. Had I not been pregnant I would have actually lost weight and I actually developed a more defined waist line in those last few months! I also learnt some really important lessons about food and lifestyle after seeing the nutritionist and endocrinologist for the GDM and it's information that I have been putting to use now.

Since having Punky in November 2011 I have been up and down in my efforts to lose weight. I tend to eat when I am frustrated, and as any Mum can tell you, there are a lot of frustrations when you have a new baby. Add that to being tired a lot of the time and I just couldn't be bothered exercising. I also resisted having to watch what I ate after spending 12 weeks of doing nothing but obsessing over what I was putting in my mouth and when.
My awesome body produced this little miracle!
My body's proudest moment.
I put on 20 kgs all up while pregnant and now, in October 2012, 11 months later, I am 3kgs off my pre-pregnancy weight. These last 3 kgs are proving the hardest to lose and I would like to lose another 5-10kgs after that because I know how much better I have felt both physically and mentally when I have made the effort to eat well and do a little exercise. I want to be healthy and fit to be able to play and run around with Punky, and to reduce my now heightened chances of developing Type-2 diabetes later in life (women who have had GDM are much more likely to develop Type-2 than those that haven't).

While I still struggle with the motivation to exercise and the temptation of large portions and sweet treats, I'm not as stressed as I have been about it at any other time of my life because I know I will get there and I'm taking steps that are about lifestyle changes rather than just fast weightloss.

September 2012 - I don't like seeing myself in photos, but I have to say,
while not the weight I want to be, I love this pic, because I felt really
good that night, even before I got a few cocktails under my belt!
It made me realise that the smile on my face is what is most important
I also have such a better attitude towards my body now that I have had Punky because I am amazed by what it gave me. My body created and grew this amazing, gorgeous little creature who makes me so happy. My breasts have nourished her for 11 months and my arms have held her and comforted her more times than I can count.

My body isn't perfect, but it is amazing. It's done amazing things for me. And while I may not always love it I am so very thankful for it. I will leave you with these awesome words that my good friend Kelly HTandT wrote in one of her very first blog posts because she sums up the way I feel about my body now perfectly-
"So when I think back to my old friend, the pre-baby body, I laugh at the frivolity of its concerns and complaints. If only I knew then what I know now. Never again will I take this body for granted, for I am so incredibly lucky and so grateful to have received the gift of fertility."

I'm linking this post up for We Heart Life's I Heart My Body campaign, and also for the lovely Kate's very last turn at hosting Thankful Thursday. Thank you ladies for making me stop and really think about my body and my life, about what is important and what I am thankful for.
Thankful Thursday

weheartlife.com

25 comments:

  1. Thank you for linking up Kylie. Reading through your thoughts, I think the same, I always thought I was fatter then I was and I look back now and think, 'What the hell was I thinking?'

    xx

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  2. Thanks for the reference. Love the post, you've documented your body's journey perfectly. How skinny mini is that 1996 pic!! And the September one is nice :) x

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  3. It's a beautiful story of how your body, thoughts and emotions evolved through thr years. So proud of where you are now Kylz! Hope your storage photos can be retrieved today!

    Ai @ Sakura Haruka

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  4. I can totally relate - when I look back at photos where I thought I was fat at the time I just shake my head and wonder exactly which bit I was looking at that I thought was fat !
    I am a lot better now although am still too hard on myself - I am trying not to be but it is a slow process.
    Have the best day !
    Me

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  5. What an amazing story, and so true how we evolve over time. It takes time. You look great!

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  6. What a great post - your story is beautiful. I think we can all relate to looking at younger photos and thinking WTF how did I thinking was fat lol!

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  7. Gosh, you're gorgeous! Your smile just radiates through those photos. So glad to hear that you've reached a happy place with your body because like you said, it's produced a beautiful miracle in Mia x

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  8. I too took a free pass to eat for the nation in my pregnancies :-) But it was kind of worth it. I love that picture of you, it's just stunning! xox

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  9. I am a frustrated and 'i can't be bothered' eater too! I am learning to change my habits and be more deliberate about what I eat, it is tough with an active toddler in the house. Great post, love your honesty! Karen xx

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  10. You are beautiful, and that smile is gorgeous.

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  11. I love your focus on what your body has given you - and what it CAN do - rather than what it can't. I'm still trying to lose my baby weight too, but I think having a positive body-image is half the battle.

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  12. Definitely gorgeous Kylie... perhaps you could join us at Roller Derby? ;) It's fun! :D
    xxx

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  13. You look so happy and relaxed in the September pic. Beautiful :)

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  14. It really is an evolution. Life and growing up and stripping back your ideas on your body and weight and shape and beauty. Great post.

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  15. You look amazing and I've always been of the belief that nothing is as attractive as a smile and confidence. I've looked back at highschool photos and been shocked at my size because I was sure I was a giant whale... I wasn't at all, I was perfectly average!

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  16. I too took a free pass to stuff whatever I could in my first pregnancy. My vice was...Iced Chocolate...with LOTS OF EXTRA CREAM! ha! Well, needless to say, I never went that route with my 2nd or 3rd child knowing now that I wasn't really eating for 2 and having too much cream really wasn't that great for my health either. I guess we all learn as we grow older that being healthy is what's important. And more importantly, loving ourselves. :)

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  17. You've got such a lovely attitude about your body and weight loss now, and about the fact that your body *made* a little miracle! A beautiful story about coming to terms with the one body you'll ever have.

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  18. I so identify with the photos here - I think every single photo ever taken of me I thought I was fat. Even the ones where I'd just lost ten (or twenty!) kilos, I thought I just wanted to lose a couple more. What a waste of time I spent thinking about how fat I was! So many more important things to think about now.
    You are beautiful x

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  19. Super post. I struggle with the same things you do, but ultimately we are gorgeous baby making machines! You made a Mia :-)

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  20. Oh God I so get this - You look back and think geez what on earth was I talking about. I just wish we had the knowledge and the wisdom that comes with age at those times when we needed it most. I often laugh that in my twenties I had the thin waist, but the wisdom I have gained through the years had to be stored somewhere - on me its my ass and my arms and my tummy lol. for the record - I think you look fabulous in every one of those photos and you have the most genuine and beautiful smile. xx

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  21. Ahhhh those school days you were beautiful then and you are beautiful now....I remember being the "serious" dancer hoping nobody would realise how poor I was...the hang ups we all have. I have to be honest I think all the pics are totally gorg because the thing you see first is that gorgeous big smile xx

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  22. Isnt it funny that now, when we look back at our bodies that we thought we fat, we realise we had the body we always wanted. And yet our self acceptance and self love comes from somewhere else. Its not about the weight, size or shape, its about acceptance and good health. I personally think you look perfect in every one of these photos xx

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  23. Beautiful ending to a very touching story. Thank you for sharing. My weight has never really fluctuated...it's quite stable. But I know many people who have a complex relationship with their weight, and I feel for them greatly. I am glad you found peace with and gratitude for your amazing body. xx

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  24. You could wear a garbage bag and I'd still find you incredibly gorgeous x

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  25. I can't believe I missed this post at the time Kylie. It is a lovely post. It is amazing how many women learn to respect and love their bodies after having a kid. I was the same, although it took me a couple of years post baby to figure it out!

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