Before & After – A Mental Transformation

Well this is going to be confronting & long. It’s going to be a case of personal oversharing including photos of me – yep, I’m totally freaking out here – but it has got to be said and it has got to be shared for clarification.


The photo on the right is me 4 years ago. Eating crap, exercising little (unless waddling is a recognised sport nowadays) and weighing the heaviest I have ever done in my entire life. Clearly I am also very pregnant, in fact I am 3 days overdue with my fifth devil spawn … and by devil spawn I mean my darling children. I was told during this pregnancy, around the halfway mark, by my doctor, that I was not to gain anymore weight. At that point in time I had only gained 5kg. By the time this photo was taken I had gained 10 in total. I’m such an over achiever … Actually thats a lie – I’ve never overachieved at anything. Let me tell you though that being told not to gain weight or even to consider losing some while pregnant by a professional really fucks with your head. Like really. Fucks. With. Your. Head.

The middle photo is of me at my slimmest – as an adult at least. Or as someone trying to be all adulty and stuff. This was me 6 months after giving birth to my fifth child and 6 weeks into a gruelling 500 calories a day supplement supported “detox”. I wasn’t allowed to exercise on this diet which is clear because there were no calories to spare. I cried many of those 42 days and would beat myself up when I ate an extra cracker or didn’t lose some gram of weight daily. Then at the end of all that, 10kg lighter, I still saw a fat, disfigured, heavy set woman. Although that is me smiling in the photo – posing even – in all honestly I had my daughter take at least 20 photos before I decided none of them were good enough to share and went into the bathroom to cry because I was just so fucking hideous. Which cracks me up now because I’d give my fifth child up (I’m kidding!) to look like that again but I wouldn’t ever want to go back to the way I felt emotionally and mentally at that moment in my life.

The photo on the left was taken 3 months ago. It’s a flattering photo of my current body & this is obvious to me because it’s the only full length photo I can find of myself recently. Which means that perhaps I don’t look like that in real life. Perhaps I am bigger and realistically I know I am. I know I am because I am pretty close to the weight I was in my pregnant photo. Yes the pregnant heifer on the right. The one who was warned to lose weight or face diabetes. I also know I am heavyset because categorically the BMI (or as I prefer to call it Bad Mother-fucking-mental-image Indicator) says I am either close to being obese or I’m too short for my weight.

BUT what it doesn’t tell you is that in the here and now I eat a well balanced diet including eating some form of crap once or twice a week because I love food that is sometimes not classified as “good” food. It doesn’t tell you that I’ve given up the torturous yo-yo dieting, self sabotaging and body hating. I no longer drink coffee because of the horrible reflux, the side-effect-city medication I took for it and the anxiety those little brown beans caused me. I seldom drink more than one or two glasses of alcohol a week, though if I do it’s more like 6 or 7 in one quick sitting as I’m a irregular try-hard party girl who prefers her jarmies, a good book and her bed. But most importantly what it doesn’t tell you is that I am mentally stronger than I have ever been in my entire I-feel-not-good-enough life.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not “cured” of this mental torture so many of us have and in all honesty I can say sometimes when I look in the mirror I don’t love what I see. Sometimes I look at photos and it looks as though I am smuggling food in my mouth. But I’m not. My cheeks are just chubbier than they once were which would have been cute 30-something years ago. What’s more confronting is that I know you guys see it too. You see the extra chin, the bigger belly, the fatter arms. And it’s there for all to see. I get it I see it too. But whats more important is what you don’t see. You don’t see the real difference between those three photos, those fragmented stages of my life. The difference that actually matters. And that is my mental state. My happiness.


I can now honestly say that 97% of my time is spent with me accepting my body. But don’t you dare confuse acceptance with defeat. I haven’t given up on my health. I am not “letting myself go”. My health is top of my priority list as I get to the halfway point of my life – assuming I live to 70-something. I don’t want to hear the “no excuses” tag line anymore because I do actually have them. I have a few of them. But I will not justify any of them to you because this is my body. My life. My mental state in question. My excuses. My reasons. My body. My life.

Mental health issues are torture. Be kind to others – you do not know their insides and if you did you would be a really valued member in the X-ray department. Stay focused… on yourself. Your own life. Your own happiness.

One love
DRK xxx

Raise Your White Flag in the Body War

It was recently made very clear to me how far I have come in the body image war I have succumbed to for decades. It became clear when I was exposed to judgements, harsh and directed solely at me judgements, about my body not being the size it was pre-baby number five. For it not being slim enough. For it being not as attractive as it used to be… yes seriously. I was told that I wasn’t trying hard enough to “get it back” and that I needed to eat less (*hint* one meal a day) and exercise more (*hint* up to a couple of hours a day). *Hand slaps forehead* Really?! And all this from a man!

I sat and listened for 45 minutes to a mans attitude about my body. It was painful and it actually really hurt my feelings… Yes I have feelings. To think their opinions towards my body was more important than my own opinions of my body left me flabbergasted. It pissed me off because I had to defend my body like it was an object up for discussion and it gutted me because I have finally, FINALLY, embraced what I have in all of its womanly glory and yet that doubt, that ugliness of body hate still managed to creep its way back in, briefly.

I am not going to lie to you and tell you how fierce I was during this discussion. How strong or how awesome the comeback I had was. No. I am going to tell you the truth. I went to bed and I cried. Not a lot but a little. I cried silently to myself because I felt humiliated and angry that my body could be put under a microscope like that. I cried because it brought up instant dread of being stuck as me, in this body, even though I no longer despised it.

My body was not only scrutinised but it was also measured against my husbands. My body that is nourished with healthy food, rarely has toxic drinks poured down its throat, never faces internal rotting and decay with cool drink and is regularly nurtured through physical exercise was compared against a males. A man whose body, which obviously appears slimmer to the judiciary, is exposed to litres of cool drink, buckets of lollies and rarely sees any exercise – unless it is his annual 56km charity walk. I am not husband bashing here either because my husband is a very physically active man but to compare us, to compare our bodies is absurd.

My body has housed five babies, lived through over 200 weeks of pregnancy, suffered depression, been tortured with diet after diet, its been starved and then stuffed full for emotional protection. It has been through grief and stress and yet it is curvaceous, it is healthy, it is nourished with goodness and it can walk, stand, jump, hug, hold and move without much fuss (or pelvic floor stability – lol). It is pretty fucking amazing.

My body should not be up for discussion, yet I was body shamed pure and simple. I sat and listened to how huge an Australian size 12 was. I watched those words roll off the tongue with facial expression like they’d just swallowed a fly. A fly encrusted with maggots and then rolled and toasted in shit. But being a size 12 I guess I would still eat that coz thats what we ‘big’ people do – we eat anything and everything.

The whole 45 minutes was awful, it was embarrassing and it made me feel very self conscious about every move I made thereon in. BUT and this is a big but – I overcame it. A few years ago that kind of conversation would have destroyed me. I would have starved myself for a few days and then binged for a few more. I would have beaten myself up til I was black and blue with nasty self talk, daily mirror bashing and thrice daily body weighing – followed by uncontrollable crying. My anxiety would have been through the roof leaving me with panic attacks unable to leave the house without hours of trying on clothes that would cover up all my unsightliness. I would have retired all my shorts, figure hugging dresses, skirts and sleeveless shirts in the “I can never wear these again pile” and I would have cried for days upon days.

BUT I only cried a little. Then I put on my mum-of-five-appropriate short shorts and I got on with my life. I ate as I normally would which for those of you judgement focused people out there is actually balanced. My anxiety remained level and there was no beating up on myself at all. I’d like to even go as far as to say that this 45 minutes was actually a blessing because it taught me so much about myself. It taught me that I actually do love my body enough to accept it in times of examination. To accept it regardless of anyone else’s opinion of it and it taught me that I am miles ahead of the body hater I once was and this is good news! No fuck it it is GREAT news!

I’ve surrendered to the image focused world I live in and to the people who feel they have the right to make decisions about me based on my body. But my surrender doesn’t come feebly, it comes from power. A powerful position that I have long awaited to stand in. This is me. This is my body. This is what I am most proud of. It’s done me good. It will continue to do so and I know without a shadow of a doubt that when I die I will NOT ever question, care or have any concern for that kilo or ten I thought I had to lose just because society told me so.

I’ve surrendered because somebody else’s opinion of my body doesn’t matter. I’ve surrendered because I know how I care for my body. I know that I am healthy and I know that for some reason this weight is just where my body whats to hang out at regardless of what I am doing for it right now. I own this. I own this body I am in and there is no shame in my body what-so-ever.

Sadly I know I am not alone. I know there are so many people out there that are body shamed daily who are still where I was a few years ago and so I want to say this to you…

If you don’t stick up for yourself who will? If you don’t support your body and all of its amazing physically capabilities and glory than who will?! Who will have your back (and front and cellulite and butt)? Nobody can have it better than you! Only you can pull those shoulders back . Only you know that your body is nurtured, looked after and loved. There is only one person in your bodys’ world that has any importance – YOU. You and you alone have the power to surrender to the ridiculousness of this image focused world and truly shine as your unique self.

Find the love within. Your body can do amazing things – and it does them without you even having to think about them every single day. How fucking lucky are we!

One Love. Body Love.

DRK xxx

Superwoman Reincarnated

What happens when you finally sort your mental shit out? Well not much apparently. The earth doesn’t explode into a billion delicious oreo cookie pieces. You don’t magically look any different. People don’t fall over each other to be around the new you. But blogging does become more difficult. Or perhaps just different.

My gripes, my vents, my deep personal and over shared thoughts are now silenced. I’ve dealt with them. I guess in a way they are still there, they always will be so the skeptics say but they are fainter than before and I can laugh way louder than them now. And so I do. I laugh louder. I laugh more. Which is nice and I’m proud of that.

Here have a 9 minute laugh on me…

I never thought I’d ever be able to say this but when I occasionally weigh myself these days I feel … Nothing. Nothing at all. Not even when I had to weigh myself at the hospital on Sunday in front of a complete stranger and in fact the worst kind of stranger – a woman stranger. This would have given me sweaty palms and high blood pressure if I had of been standing there as the old me. I would have begun to make excuses about having fallen off the wagon recently, having had a big night of pizza loving the night before, or the best and most used excuse of all time – having five kids! This particular excuse has always been used as a distraction and it’s worked every time. Ok so it was a little bit of an excuse too but that’s got to wearing thin considering my youngest is nearly 2.5! It definitely distracts people momentarily though as I apparently look way too young to have five kids. Not sure how I’m supposed to look – haggard or whore-ish perhaps?

Anyway…..

I proudly stood there on the scales with this complete female stranger hovering beside me, a nurse who ‘The New Me’ knew had seen much worse in her career like blood and guts and things stuck up peoples anal passages. Things way more exciting than the numbers the scale was about to announce. Finally the numbers stopped going up (and up and up) and I noticed I weighed +3kg more than I have EVER done before. I didn’t even get the chance to freak out before ‘The New Me’ rationalised this weight gain instantly clarifying that my body was wearing shoes, socks, jeans, singlet, bra, top, jumper and a puffer vest, yes a puffer vest! That’s a fair bit of extra kaygees right there. Best of all though, I didn’t feel ashamed of me or that number. I didn’t go home and cry. I didn’t go home and start a new diet – aka starvation-slash-binge-slash-newest-fad-diet-slash-starvation-again. I didn’t go home and look in the mirror so I could personally curse the ugly, fat reflection staring back at me. No. No I didn’t. I took my sick not-so-little baby home with my healthy and able body. I held him the entire five hours I was there in the hospital ED and I did that with my strong capable arms. I kissed his head. I wiped his tears. I lifted him in and out of his car seat and I carried him up our 9 stairs to get home. I cuddled him. I loved him. And not once did I think about that number again that day.

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I love this about ‘The New Me’. I love that there is more liberation in my head. There’s more room for things to float freely. To be able to feel the real stuff without the added anxieties that a compacted thought system can make you feel. There’s more space to rationalise, to breathe, to just be in and enjoy the moment. Even if it’s a shitty moment. A moment where you worry about your sick kid. But let me break this down for you too – I am not a miracle. I am not magically cured and now living the perfect life in the perfect body of the perfect wife/mother/woman. My kids still drive me crazy and I am still known for yelling like a banshee. I argue with my non-perfect husband, I cry at silly ads on TV and wouldn’t you know it I bleed just like every human on this Earth. But now I don’t care what others think of me. I don’t care if they notice my spare tyre once carefully hidden beneath my top. I don’t care if they hate freckles, my nose stud, my tattoos. I don’t care if they like me or if they don’t. I only care about being me.

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With my new found freedom of mind and with all that extra air in there I didn’t think I could blog again. I’m not sure how I can go from sharing all this crazy head stuff to not having anything mental left to share. I could use this blog to vent about my messy, noisy children, my frustrating yet totally loved husband, my treadmillish routined life BUT I think I’m going to offer more of myself to you than that. I’m feeling naughty and not afraid of the possibilities. I’m feeling brave! And I’m scared where this empty wild head leaves my blogging now but I know I will find my new groove, I can feel it feathering away inside me – like an internal tickle but not like an anal itch. It’s exciting, frightening and frustrating. It may take some time and we are all well aware of my patience (yep – zilch, nada, zip) but I’m one of the lucky ones who has time. So be patient my little super heroes, my fans, my followers, my friends and in the words of The Terminator, I’ll be back! And better than ever too!

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One love,
DRK xxx

Getting Naked

Every time I get naked and catch sight of myself in the mirror I am shocked! It’s like it is the first I have ever seen my post baby body and I’m instantly like “Omg who the fuck is that?” and then…  “Oh shit it’s me..” It’s not a complete repulsion but it kinda makes my eyes bleed a little.

First of all there is this fluoro, beacon light thing going on with most parts of my skin. These are the places where sunlight has never dare set foot. In fact I am so vivid white that I’m pretty certain if you turned off the light I would glow in the dark …. True story! Then there are those ‘tiger stripes’ that women talk about. It’s not that I am ashamed of them but I’m certainly not as proud of them as I could be and I really, really admire the superwomen who are proud of theirs! My stretch marks have faded over time but I still see them as irrepairable imperfections – wait a sec … who the hell has taken my perfection bat!?!

And then there is this belly button that I inherited from my Dad! It’s deep enough to plant a tree and then grow a bloody orchard! It emphasizes my little pot belly in a way that should be as illegal as a person who is blindfolded, drunk and operating a vehicle. And it is my belly that I am most self-conscious with … My dreaded jelly belly – the junks not in the trunk but under the hood… And it scares me sometimes because I wait for the “Omg when are you due?” question.  My only comeback is “Oh and your arse is having twins, congratulations!” – which is not so effective when they are 80… And a man.

So anyway, I was talking to my friend last night about plastic surgery. An idea I have been flirting with for sometime. I have always thought a bit of liposuction would be all that I would need to make me happy with my body but then after my jelly belly was gone what would be next? Wouldn’t I then want my boobies put back on my chest to keep my knees from banging into them? And how about shaving my nose down to a more petite size so my allergies are halved in springtime?

I wonder though who would I be doing it for? It definitely wouldn’t be for my husband because when he says he loves me just the way I am I actually believe him…. So then it must be for other men? No, it’s not coz I honestly only care about what my husband thinks of me. Well then it only leaves other Superwomen… And yes its probably very true that I would more than likely get surgery done to please my allies… Or to be like my allies… Or to even look better than my allies? It’s that competitiveness once again that I feel when other women look me up and down and then casually glance at themselves in the reflection of the shop window. If they smile once they’ve compared the both of us I know I have just made them feel better about the coffee – with full cream milk – they’ve just had.

ImageBut then I love talking about this to the real Superwoman in my life, my Mum, because she tells me how back in the 70’s none of these things were an issue. I love knowing that if I was born 30 years earlier then I was that I would have been living in that world, but I’d be without my Supermum! She always tells me that ‘back then’ women got together once or twice a week to play a game of tennis or badmington which would then be followed up at someone’s house with coffee (that instant stuff) and cakes, slices and biscuits. All homemade, all full of sugar, gluten, dairy, wheat…. Sometimes it feels like these are all taboo food nowadays! But the good ‘ole days! How awesome is that?! Even more awesome when she shares with me vital info that I never knew was possible – that being that they never ‘looked’ at each other the way we do. They never noticed if someone gained or lost weight let alone ever commented on it. Whereas now everything is weight related. From the skinny latte with no sugar you order at the counter to the gym junkies who count how many calories they have just burnt to the ‘Wow have you lost weight? You look great!” comments.

It’s on the cover of all the magazines…. One week it’s “Celebs Who Are Too Skinny” and then the next is “How to lose 5kg FAST”. I look at those ‘too skinny’ celebs and think yep, definitely too skinny but then the next week I’ve cut out that 3 page spread on how to lose 5kg fast so I can pretend to follow it just to wear a dress to a party without feeling like the elephant among the mice. And it’s a terrible cycle for me but I am far from having a eating disorder though I do believe there is another ‘new’ disorder evolving.

ImageOne thing I do know and it’s something I remind myself of daily is that when I am dead and buried I know for a fact that my headstone will not read “Died finally reaching her goal weight” yay for me! Or “Died just 2kg away from her idea of a perfect weight – what a total failure!!!” It’s ridiculous!

Happiness is a state of mind not a number on the scales! It’s time that we live our lives without repenting over the extra 200 calories we ate for dinner! We are the role models for our daughters who we will teach to either love themselves and life wholeheartedly or to continue the downward cycle of regarding external ‘beauty’, and the judgement of what society says that means, for the rest of their lifetimes!

ImageSo it starts with me… Today I am backing away from the scales, I’m giving my donut jelly belly a loving little squeeze and I’m getting on with living! Whose in?!

One Love

DRK xxx