Has everybody got an exit buddy?

September 3, 2018

It can take quite a tribe to help you through difficult situations. Each person takes on a different role, but at the end of the process there’s always those one or two people who you look back on and realise made quite a significant impact on your journey. Of course, my parents were critical in helping me through and did a lot of the hard work behind the scenes, however, I didn’t quite expect that my sister would be the one who was most influential.

Just being around her crazy enthusiasm, overall body and self-confidence and witnessing her devour whatever she felt like eating with no repercussions proved as inspiration to me. My advice to anyone struggling is to surround yourself with people who make you feel good, their company is your medicine. These people can come in a variety of forms, family member, friend, colleague, even someone you follow on social media, so long as they genuinely have a positive impact on your health and wellbeing, keep them close! Those watching on, never underestimate the value your company has on someone else. Here is a little journal entry which highlights a minor way on her behalf that made massive changes to me.

Have a lovely day x

I took a deep breath and stood beside my sister. She’s energetic as anything and was more than happy to take a photo comparing the two of us. Any excuse to get photographed. She’s pulling poses before the camera even starts clicking, “Kayla!”, Mum laughed “calm down”, Kayla is obviously more comfortable in her bikinis than I am. Mum decided that bikinis would be the best option because it would show me exactly what the difference is instead of hiding in clothes. “Ok, front on you two”, Kayla pulls a superman pose nearly knocking me out in the process, “now, side on”, this time she dramatically flicks her head over her shoulder and puts on a supermodel pout.

To do these photos was a risky move. It could work really well, or could totally backfire. I could be shocked at how small I am compared to my sister who I find to have an unbelievable body, or, my negativity could take over and my eyes could skew how I see the photos.

Just being in my sister’s company gives me a certain determination and peace. It’s like, when I’m around her I don’t feel the anxiousness I normally feel if I’ve eaten too much or am not out working it off. It seems insignificant, like she can blow all those thoughts out of my mind and make everything simpler. It’s her carefree, who cares, don’t sweat the small stuff attitude. Maybe I need to be strapped to someone like her for a while, go everywhere with her so that she can make sure I eat right and will be there to tell me to snap out of it if the voices come back. I want someone to be able to share the load, almost hold my hand through it all because the thought of doing it scares me enough, let alone actually going through the process. I want someone to remind me that everything is going to be alright, I want someone to catch me if I start to fall again, I want someone to get rid of all the negativity in my mind and fill it with the positive thoughts I once had. I know it’s a lot to ask of one person, I know that a lot of what I need to fix this has to actually come from me and me only, but having my sister around, she does all these things without even trying. She is the person who, whether she knows it or not will get me through this. I can’t believe its even come to this, she’s my younger sister, I’m meant to be holding her hand and guiding her through. But at the moment, she is the stronger of the two of us, I wish I were like her.

Those photos ended up being quite a useful little exercise. When mum showed me, I looked at them and realised with shock that everyone was right. Standing there in my bikinis next to my sisters beautiful frame, I look sick. I don’t understand it though, I study myself in the mirror constantly and never saw such an issue, I guess having this hard copy comparison makes it hard to ignore. Normally, when I look through my own eyes at myself compared to others I thought I was not far off being similar to them. Yes, I could see bones in myself but I just used that as reassurance that I was just that bit smaller than others which meant that I definitely didn’t have any extra ‘fat’ on my body. Having my sister stand beside me, who I truly believe looks amazing, it just really showed me how thin I am. I never wanted to look sick, and never did I realise how sick I looked.

For some reason, some good reason, this time the shock isn’t followed by that usual feeling of relief I normally get when I step on the scales. For some reason this shock is followed by understanding that I am too thin, that the way I look now is NOT the same as others, the way I look now does not look good. I want to look like my sister. I want to radiate the confidence that she does when she wears clothes or goes swimming in her bikinis, I want to be healthy and now I’m not. I have stuck those images in the bottom of my sock drawer, I wanted it somewhere that I can pull out when I need to be reminded of the fact that I am not healthy, that a little extra weight will do me good not harm.

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