Stop being at war with your body!

G’day, Friends and welcome to another week and another blog post!

A few weeks ago, it was Australia Day. Whether you choose to sit in reflection on how our country came to be in some of the most horrific circumstances or you decide to reflect on other things during this time, the one thing that always happens on Australia Day is the Australian of the Year awards.

The recipient for this year was none other than Taryn Brumfitt. For those who don’t know who she is, she is a magnificent force in the body positivity movement. She even did a Netflix Documentary on the subject, which I highly recommend watching.

you can check out her Instagram here

Watching that documentary made me reflect on my past relationship with my body and how much my views have changed over the last few years.

Just over a year ago, I wrote about body confidence and how I loved my body. However, after watching that documentary, I need to clear up a few things and be honest with my story. Because, after all, honesty is the best policy!

I know that so many humans struggle to love their bodies. We are so harsh to pick apart the cellulite, stretch marks, scars, and extra rolls, or we feel we are too fat or skinny.

Add on being physically disabled. Not only do you have the standard ‘issues’ to accept when it comes to loving your body, but you also have the ‘deformities’ that your disability creates.

For me, my arms are permanently bent at an angle at my elbows that somewhat resembles penguin arms; I toe walk, Hence, I waddle like a penguin, the multiple scars from surgeries, tests and falls, and my shoulders are higher due to tight muscles, so my neck looks shorter.

a photo of me from 2012. I am wearing a navy blue dress and sitting at a table. My hair is pulled to one side and I am smiling at the camera. I also have braces on my teeth.
almost 11 years ago!

All things, combined with the usual ‘imperfections’, make me hate my body.

Growing up, I couldn’t stand to watch footage of me walking or dancing, and I would struggle to look at photos because I hated my difference.

I craved to fit in, and knowing my body was so loudly different made me feel horrid.

We all crave what we don’t have and what we can’t have. We long for it, and it becomes an obsession!

And then I would hear the body shaming comments from members of the public about people and those with disabilities:

” she is so ugly, good luck to her trying to find someone who will love her”

“they are so disgusting”

“what a waste of space”

Hearing or even reading comments like that on social media heightened my disdain for my appearance and what my body couldn’t do.

Every time I looked in the mirror, I would hear those words, and the more you hear or read something, you soon enough start to believe it. So little old me thought I was not worthy of being loved, that I was ugly and an oxygen thief, purely out of hearing comments directed at people who looked like me.

Appearance is commonly earmarked by society as the thing that makes you attractive and worthy of being loved and respected. Personality comes second.

I ended up losing 6kg worth of weight by restricting my calories and exercising 3 times a week. Sounds typical, right? What if I told you though, that out of desperation to be deemed ‘attractive’ and to actually lose the last bit of the weight when I hit a plateau, ended up restricting my calories to about 1000 on a good day and would exercise upwards of 6 times a week.

I became victim to my own insecurities buying in on the ‘smaller is better’ mindset and also I became victim of self-hatred. I poured every ounce of hate and guilt into the workouts. I didn’t enjoy exercise; it was a chore. My family had no idea because frankly I did so well at hiding it.

a mirror selfie from 6 or so years ago. I am smiling with a hand resting on my stomach. I am wearing a pink top up to my neck and a black skirt.
The height of being self-conscious and the heaviest I have been thus far.

So sure, I did lose the weight, and the size was acceptable, but the question is, did it make me love my body and my disability? Unfortunately, no. I still saw the fat on my hips and across my belly.

On the outside, I appeared to love my ‘new’ body, but on the inside, I felt guilty whenever I ate carbs or fats, even though that was what my body was calling out for. See again; I was a good poker player.

When I saw Taryn’s ‘before and after’ photo making the rounds on social media not too long ago, I saw a woman who was completely happy and confident in the body she was born into while leading a healthy life that fit for her and no one else.

And after a few conversations with my psychologist, she made me realise that I had a potential storm brewing regarding food, exercise and body image.

So I stopped counting my calories and just tried to eat more intuitively and worked on developing a more positive relationship with food and exercise and just loving my body for what it is.

I realised out of sheer desperation to be like everyone else, I was not true to who I wanted to be. As a result, I ignored the one thing that has given me some of the most incredible opportunities and lessons life has to offer—my disability.

Another mirror selfie from 2020. In black pants, a white print tee and denim jacket and my hand is holding one of the ends of my jacket
2020… post 6kg weight loss.. and unhappy

Over the past 12 months, I have learned what my body is capable of and how marvellous it is. Not to mention how it adapts to every slight muscle weakness or strength change.

I have always been proud of my scarring as it tells a story of life and grit. They are something I adore.

As for my approach to food and exercise now?

I train now because I enjoy moving, my body needs it. I train not for punishment but for self-love. I train 3 to 5 times a week depending on what my body needs. I train to be able to ride horses and experience that freedom every time I sit in the saddle. I train for one day maybe even competing. Most importantly, I want to be around for my family as long as I possibly can, and while my body responds positively to exercise, I will keep doing it.

My disability has given me more opportunities than I could have imagined. So why keep trashing it and hating on it?

Society does that enough.

So my message to all of us, especially those in the disability community. You are beautiful just as you are. Despite what magazines, runways, and the broader community tell you, everyone is entirely different, and that should be celebrated.

It would be best if you were celebrated. So what if you have a few extra marks and a couple of rolls, or use wheels instead of legs and a dog instead of eyes? It means you are human.

But most importantly, you are you and worth and deserve to celebrate you.

Treat yourself with kindness by nourishing your body with foods that support it (a sneaky choccy or a midnight Maccas run once in a while doesn’t hurt anyone), and don’t forget to move in a way that feels right for you.

Sure, there will be days that will be challenging, whether that be doctor appointments, online trolls, in-person trolls or just days that don’t go to plan. But we should never treat ourselves less purely because of someone’s opinion.

a photo from last year's law ball. in a rose gold dress with a slit up the slide. one hand in on my hip and the other holding my bag by my side. Owning my disability and feeling confident in my body.
me now, happier, heavier and a beautiful work in progress.

I genuinely believe it is no one’s right to tell you that you are not worthy based on how you look and that you are only desirable if you are a size six and can walk, see, speak, hear, and think ‘like everyone else’, read, whatever it may be that is unique.

The number on the scale or society standards does not and should not define your worth. And I would much rather stand out in all my disabled enjoying carbs like they should be and not size 4 glory thank you very much. Because let’s be real, not having carbs makes you miserable!! And I don’t know about you but I hate being miserable!

So remember, live abled your way, and never let anyone tell you your worth!

Till next week,


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