Appreciating My Body, Changing My Life

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For so long I never really appreciated my body, I used to think negatively towards it, always focus on parts I hated, I even had diaries full of the latest diets I was planning to try out (or did try), the craziest regimes I would put myself on, lots of different fads through my teen years and even ended up being a size 24 in jeans, which is fine for some people, but for my frame, it wasn’t right. I used to think I was fat and I was really unhappy, even when I did lose all that weight, I thought I would be happy, but I wasn’t. I still had a lot of depression because my life just wasn’t right. I had many stresses going on around me, I hadn’t long been diagnosed with my illness and I wasn’t settled at all. All of this led to being unhappy (most part due to being restricted), but a lot to do with my lifestyle. I’ve spent years battling with anxiety and depression and even though I have refused numerous times to be put on anti-depressants from doctors (simply because I believe you can cure yourself), I was still lost trying to find ways to get better. [Sorry for the very open and depressive intro, but it’s necessary for where this post is going!]

But, the older I get, the wiser I get and the more knowledge I take in, and it’s taken me all these years (from about age 13 until now, where I’m 25) to really understand my body, who I am and how I feel. I’ve always been the type of person who was strong willed, never succumbed to peer pressure and had my own ideas and needs, so I’ve always stuck by the fact that I wont drink alcohol, I wont smoke, I wont take drugs and I try to be healthy, but even though I thought this was being healthy, this year of 2014 has really opened my eyes to a world I never knew existed in terms of health. You may remember a post I made around new year where I said that this was the year for change for me and achieving goals, one of which was to really make my life better and myself better and I can safely say that I am 75% there already.

I’ve been learning so much over the past few months and honestly, I have never felt so healthy and so happy and despite life still throwing me curve balls as often as it can, I now have a much better and healthier way of dealing with situations that I couldn’t necessarily handle before. I started reading Cameron Diaz’s book ‘The Body Book’ after researching and purchasing it and it’s actually changed my life. Considering I made healthier choices when it came to foods in the first place, I now understand my body so much that I know exactly what it needs, when it needs it and why it needs it and I no longer look at food as an enemy that makes you fat, I look at it as an amazing fuel that your body needs just to function and get you through day to day life. I’m not talking about any food though as fast foods, processed foods and junk for me are a thing of the past (as of almost 3 months) and I’m opting for whole grains, lentils, more protein, more water, more fruits and vegetables, porridge with raw honey, green tea… All foods which are a vital source of nutrients for me. It really gives me more energy, a clearer head, happiness and a sense of relaxation.

I admire Cameron for doing what she did because I find a lot of similarities in myself with her. I’m thankful that she has put all of this information in this book for others like myself to read and follow. I’ve also noticed that my eyes are no longer darker underneath, they are brighter, my skin is actually brighter too and clearer, my hair is better and my overall energy and vibe is wonderful. I’ve learned so much about how nature really knows what it’s doing with foods and how having more of a natural diet, just like nature intended, is good for the body and just what it needs. Fast foods may be easier, but they are literally empty calories, there is nothing in them but calories and I enjoy eating now, more than I ever did before. My boyfriend even said to me that he’s happy that I look forward to eating food as I’ve had so many issues with it in the past.

I honestly never really realised how important the right food is to the body. So many times I’ve been filled with such rubbish information in magazines about not eating carbs, not eating this, not eating that, slimming meals which are pre-made, diet foods etc and it’s all useless. None of it helps and none of it is good for our bodies long term. The only sure way to gain health and happiness and remain a healthy weight is with a healthy lifestyle. Like I said, I’m actually eating more now than I was before and I have actually lost a few pounds and changed shape (which I know a few of your have noticed), but I couldn’t be more healthier. It’s amazing. I even always used to suffer with digestion issues and have stomach ache a lot of the time, but I no longer do.

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One thing that I thought was really interesting and got me thinking was something that my boyfriend said to me and that was with today’s medical technology and knowledge, if we had the diet of say 60 years ago, how much longer would we live? That fascinated me because I reckon it would be a lot longer. The amount of health issues we get these days which are from a bad lifestyle is crazy! High blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, liver damage, kidney damage, lung conditions, weight related issues etc, all from bad diets.

I have always felt like people don’t take me seriously because I don’t look like my age. I’m always told that I look about 16 and when I’m almost 26, that can be quite upsetting to hear. Just because I look like a teenager doesn’t mean I act like one and that I’m not mature enough to handle certain things, however I realised in this progression of my life right now that people treat you the way they see you. If I’m confident and enthusiastic about what I’m speaking about then they will perceive me that way and treat me that way. If I’m shy and quiet and look scared, then I will be treated accordingly. This is slightly off topic and non food related, but it’s definitely a huge part of how my mentality has changed over the past few months.

This isn’t something I would normally write about, but I feel like I have made a breakthrough this year in terms of myself and my well being and I wanted to share it with you in case any of you are going through a similar thing. If you are unhappy, anxious, feeling exhausted and ill a lot, I definitely encourage you to try changing your diet and lifestyle and see if it improves your mental state because I can seriously say that is has for me and the health I feel on the inside really shows through on the outside now, I want to scream and shout it from the hills, it means that much to me. Making sure I am drinking loads of water, getting enough sleep and nutrients is number one on my list now.

I realise that this type of post might not go down well with some of you, which is fine, but it’s something that I needed to share with those who feel the same way as I do. I hope it can inspire you to really take care of yourself, look after your body and treat it with respect as it’s the only one you have and it’s with you for a very, very long time. You can’t just trade it in for a new one like you can a bag or a car, it’s yours for the duration of your life, so it deserves respect.

I don’t know how true this is but I heard in some Eastern countries the women don’t really suffer badly with their menstrual cycles and don’t really go through a menopause either because their natural diets don’t mess up their hormones. So many lovely Chinese and Japanese people live such long and healthy lives and have wonderful skin because of their natural diets. I think this truly speaks for itself. Can anyone else confirm this as true? Speaking of skin though, this is what got me into the healthy eating and learning about my body in the first place. I’ve had problematic skin for years, probably since I was 13 (thank you to Photoshop now though!) and I’ve not been able to make it budge. I’ve found out though that eating the wrong things, especially chocolate, sweets and fatty/sugary foods is a huge no no for me now as it just breaks me out within a day. Now that I’m eating the right foods and avoiding bad ones (this is where my other book comes in, The Clear Skin Diet), my skin has improved dramatically and I’m so happy! I still have hormonal issues and get small breakouts at certain times of the month, but the majority has since gone and as something that’s plagued me for about 12 years, I’m elated.

If this is a topic you are interested in, I would be more than happy to talk more to you about the type of things I am eating now, my routines, everything like that which has changed my life around as it’s now something I am hugely passionate about. I didn’t mention it before though as I wanted to make sure that this is something that works and is right for me and after 3 months of healthy eating, it definitely does work. I don’t think I’m the only blogger though who has changed their life this year as I know Kristina Bazan from Kayture recently posted something similar. All about how she’s changed her diet and is now incredibly healthy and her skin glows. Anyway, please let me know what you think of this post as I would love to know your honest thoughts! You can also buy the Cameron Diaz book here and The Clear Skin Diet here.

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Written by Lorna Burford

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31 Comments

  1. May 24, 2014 / 11:27 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this Lorna! I always love reading your blog as I find us so similar straight across the board (I too am 26 going on 16…!) It is so important to have a good grasp on a healthy lifestyle and a healthy understanding of body image, especially in our industry as we are constantly “attacked” by images of society’s expectations of us.
    Forgive me if I missed it in your post- are you exercising as well? I recently started a new exercise regime and wouldn’t mind hearing what you’re up to- if you are up to anything? This entire post is a great and I would love to hear more about this from you as I recognise it as an extremely important topic.
    Congratulations on your “new you” I’m happy and excited for you!

    xoxo
    Jen

    ps- thanks for the book recommendation. I’ll have to pick Cameron Diaz’s book up soon!

    • May 25, 2014 / 12:19 am

      Hi Jen! I’m so glad you liked it! I’m really happy you read it all and enjoyed it, that means a lot to me! We do seem pretty similar. I do try to exercise and move as much as possible, but I do struggle due to my joints and muscle pains that I have, so I’m not able to work out like most people, but I do what I can and it’s helpful to me. What are you doing for exercise? You should definitely check out Cameron Diaz’s book! What other posts would you like to see?

  2. ali
    May 25, 2014 / 2:45 am

    Lorna, this is an amazing post. Thankyou for sharing it, I have had eating problems most of my life, I know I felt better when I ate healthily but for some silly reason the bad habits keep creeping back in. What you have wrote here has given me lots to think about, we do take our bodies for granted, we presume it will always be ok, but of course this is rarely true. Our body is our temple, and as you say , it is with us for years and years. I do believe we can prolong our life, and by keeping positive and happy it does have an impact on our health. I am going to re-evaluate my own life and will keep you posted.Thankyou xx

    • May 26, 2014 / 1:38 am

      Thanks ali, I’m really glad that you appreciated it and took the time to read it. I hope it works out for you too!

  3. May 25, 2014 / 6:23 am

    Great Post Lorna, I love reading real posts from the heart.
    I was Anorexic as a teenager and struggled ever since it wasn’t until recently I found how to love myself and to love the skin i’m in.
    Thank you for taking the time to write such a great post!
    xo Holly xo

    • May 26, 2014 / 1:39 am

      Hi Holly! I’m really glad you have managed to overcome the illness and really enjoy your body now, I know it’s a struggle sometimes, but you seem to be on the right track!

  4. May 25, 2014 / 8:35 am

    Thanks for sharing your store. I’m so happy to hear your happier with yourself again. I have been getting more healthier myself too.

    • May 26, 2014 / 1:39 am

      Thanks Amy! That’s great that you have been too!

  5. May 25, 2014 / 1:29 pm

    Great post! I also started to stir my life in a healthier way recentely! It’s really easier when you understand what your body needs and why it is important! I made this decision because I gaind quite a few kg’s in last year, but the thing I love the most right now, are my energy levels! I don’t ned a mid-day nap, I am not tierd and naggy all the time, and I feel great!

    xx
    SASHA

    • May 26, 2014 / 1:40 am

      Energy levels go through the roof don’t they? I’m really glad you are finding yourself and understanding your body now too! That’s amazing!

    • May 26, 2014 / 1:40 am

      You definitely should! It’s amazing!

  6. May 26, 2014 / 1:03 am

    As someone who has literally only just stopped fighting her body after almost 12 years of loathing it and destroying it I really related to this post. Fantastic xx

    • May 26, 2014 / 1:41 am

      I’m really glad you no longer hate your body, it’s so important to be on the same page as it, after all, it is what’s keeping us alive, I realised we should be thankful to it and treat it with respect! I hope you can continue to be happy!

  7. May 27, 2014 / 10:56 am

    Thank you so much for this amazingly insightful post. I to really struggle with anxiety and depression, and this was just what I needed. I have a lot of insecurity surrounding my body, what I eat and what look like, so I’m so glad someone like you was able to ahed some well needed light on the situation. Have a lovely day xxx

    • May 27, 2014 / 11:35 am

      Hi Gwen, I’m really glad that it was helpful to you. I appreciate you taking the time to read it and actually gain something from it! I hope it helps you!

  8. May 29, 2014 / 3:12 am

    I love this post. It is so hard to be so open about something on the Internet, but you are so brave for doing so. I read Cameron Diaz’s The Body Book and it’s like my bible now. I think understanding the science behind why your body accepts certain foods and the scientific effects that processed food have on your body is a real eye opener. It certainly was for me and I have not regretted cutting out processed food since and taking on a healthier lifestyle. And congratulations for taking things into your own hands. I hope you are much healthier and happier for the better ๐Ÿ™‚

    • May 29, 2014 / 10:32 am

      Thank you, I’m really glad that someone else has read it and feels the same way ๐Ÿ™‚ I appreciate your comment!

  9. Harry
    May 31, 2014 / 5:48 pm

    Fascinating and brave post. I agree with you in not believing in anti-depressants. I think it’s a bit miserable to think that you can’t improve without taking these unpleasant pills for life. A bit of luck, lots of books on Buddhism and one called “Stop thinking start living, and I don’t think of myself as depressed, and haven’t for a long, long time – although I too had and still have health concerns, on and off.

    But clearly it’s individual. One person I knew with really serious depression felt that it helped to think of it as an illness – but I was uneasy about this, causing an angry response from my friend.

    Work was one thing that seriously messed up my head – I kept trying to do the wrong thing for a long time, because it brought in nice amounts of money. Had to stop that ๐Ÿ™‚ The world of work is sooo difficult!

    Food is a big issue for me, but I just try to have what I enjoy as much as possible. That’s about as deep as my thinking goes on that one. Studies on diet are somewhat unreliable for various reasons, and medics tend to change their mind a bit from time to time.

    Good luck

    • May 31, 2014 / 7:22 pm

      Thank you Harry! I’m really glad you liked the post and that you also managed to change your way of thinking as well, it’s really important to try and be happy as going through life in a down state is not nice at all. If you are willing to put in the effort, changing your life without tablets definitely works. We are two examples! Work is definitely a main source of problem though, especially if you hate your job. That’s good you have managed to find something else though ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Jennifer
    June 8, 2014 / 12:00 am

    Lovely post! I’ve started taking evening primrose oils and it has done wonders for my hormonal acne. Worth checking out!

    • June 8, 2014 / 1:56 am

      Thanks Jen, yeah I tried that before but I was one of the unlucky ones where it actually made my skin really, really bad, so I had to stop using it lol.

    • August 12, 2014 / 7:24 am

      Hi Lorna! I know I already commented on this post but I just have to say that I just walked in the door with a new copy of The Body Book and am SO excited. I feel like I’m going to stay up all night reading it hahaha. Thank you again for sharing!

      • August 12, 2014 / 10:00 am

        You will love it! It’s really good and motivational! I’m glad I could help you! Let me know what you think!

  11. Amarantine
    September 6, 2014 / 9:39 pm

    What a great post Lorna ๐Ÿ™‚ sorry I’m a bit late to the party, I followed the link off your latest post! This was very inspirational! Like you I’ve struggled with various image and food issues (still working on some of them!) and one thing that I’ve never been able to fix is my skin. It’s never been terrible but I have never been able to shift the breakouts I do get, regardless of how much money I spend on products! It would be fantastic if you could do a post on the kind of foods you’ve been eating that seem to have helped your skin, as I have run out of products to try that won’t ruin my sensitive skin and I’m starting to wonder if it’s linked to my diet! Thanks for this post, I enjoyed it ๐Ÿ™‚ x

    • September 6, 2014 / 10:32 pm

      Hi Amarantine ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m so glad you found this helpful! Mine is definitely related to hormones and diet, it’s a really complicated process that I have been battling for years and trying to understand for so long. Products don’t work for me, well, there are a couple that really help, but never cure since it comes from within.

      The best thing I can recommend to you is eating a pure diet for a couple of weeks and seeing if it helps. By this I mean no sugar, no saturated fat, no fast food or ready made meals etc. You need to stick to a diet that would be suitable in the olden times. So whole grain bread and rice, protein like chicken, fish (try and avoid red meats in too much quantity), lots of fresh vegetables! Eating raw carrots helps a lot to, and fruit, however don’t eat too much fruit as it’s high in natural sugars which can spike your own blood sugars. Avoid fruits like oranges, pineapples, mangoes and exotics as they are too sticky and go for fruits like strawberries, bananas, cherries etc.

      The main culprit for me is crisps, fried foot, chocolate, cake etc and the number one issue is dairy. I am lactose intolerant and if I eat it, not only do I get an upset stomach, but my skin breaks out awful. Try cutting out the dairy too, it’s often a huge factor for so many people. Avoid milk, cheese, butter, chocolate etc to begin with, see if that helps. Keep in mind that your skin has had a long long time of getting back and aggravated, so it will take a while to heal too. Don’t get upset if nothing changes in 1-4 days, you need to see how things look in a couple of weeks, 2 weeks to a month, to get it out of your system. I really hope this helps you and please do message me if you need any other help at all ๐Ÿ™‚

Thanks for your comments =) I read & reply every one =)