Whilst rummaging through an old box of belongings I’d brought with me from our old house, I found an old smartphone I’d used before I got married. The vibrant purple exterior showed off my girly side. But, is it ever a good time to turn on an old mobile device?
Most people probably cringe reading back old text messages to lovers. The texts that were left in this inbox were nothing out of the ordinary, girly dates and back to planning my wedding circa 2013-2014.
As I flicked through the apps, and gazed at my unchanged wallpaper (the ever-enchanting Eiffel Towel snapped in 2012) – I clicked onto the gallery, ready to laugh at the things I photographed (before the days of my iPhone and Instagram).
What I found was ugly.
There were months and months’ worth of daily snaps, each taken of myself in the mirror. Wide-eyed and endlessly staring at my reflection – lifeless, unrecognisable and empty. From changing rooms, to my old bedroom – the same pose, the same gaunt frame, the same ghost of the past…
So, here’s the truth. When I lost weight in 2013 – the year before my wedding, I stopped eating properly, over-exercised and became obsessed with my weight.
I was never diagnosed with an eating disorder clinically, nor did I fall so ill I was seen by a professional – but just looking at these photographs, I wonder if there was something much deeper that none of us realised at the time, myself included.
As soon as I’d seen these photographs again – I remembered the time in my life vividly, exactly what I was doing – taking on one unfulfilled job after another, trying to prepare for the biggest day of my life, and trying to get fit and turn my life around. But, did it have to be this way?
Would have I still managed to run a marathon, get married and find a job I enjoy without the painstakingly hunger and struggle?
I guess I will never know the answer to that nor will I never know what would have happened – if my obsession with losing weight had transpired any further. I know that some days I have flashes of regret, and moments of clarity when I realise how far I’ve come.
I came back fighting, and began seeing food completely differently, started enjoying life and quit obsessing over the number on the scale. I took a job which revolves around food, and fell in love with not just ingredients, but fresh produce at its best.
I turned off the phone for one last time. And then picked up my iPhone. It’s safe to say, this girl >>> has a passion, a purpose and yes… more weight than she did before.
I think if anything this is a fierce reminder for anyone going through a tough time. I was lucky, I came out of the other side. Stronger, wiser and braver.
But, it really can happen to any one of us.