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#TakeBackWhatsYours Campaign

I recently discovered this wonderful campaign through the lovely Karen of Confetti & Curves. I was so moved by her post and, as a result, decided I wanted to get involved too.

This campaign was pioneered by Chloe from Chloe’s Concept. Although I only know her from reading her post about starting the #TakeBackWhatsYours campaign, I was truly inspired by her too. It’s such a brilliant campaign and as someone who is a new years resolution skeptic, this seemed like a good way to benefit from the start of the new year and, hopefully, inspire others to do the same for themselves.

How To Get Involved Yourself:

  • Publish a post about the campaign, the message of the campaign and why you are taking part.
  • Take Back What’s Yours – What is your new year resolution which you are setting for yourself?
  •  Tag 10 bloggers to take part.
  • Notify Chloe that you are taking part.
  • If you can – include a photo of yourself with a handmade poster (It doesn’t have to be artistic!) with the words:

In 2015, I’m taking back: *i.e., “my confidence”

I really think this is such a worthy campaign and it’s so easy to get involved so please do! I am sure it would not only mean a lot to Chloe but also to yourself and to everyone who might be going through the same thing. It can mean so much to someone if you find out someone else is going- or has gone through the same thing they are. Often that is what inspires us to make a change. If we take back what is ours, it could be so beneficial to us. I know it can be difficult to confront the parts of ourselves which we have lost but, in the end, we are the only ones who can take it back. We can’t rely on others to make us happy or to bring us out of a dark place. Although companionship helps in those times, at the end of the day, you are the only one who can make a difference to yourself and your mindset.

Enough of my rambling though…

Here is why I am getting involved:

It’s relatively well documented on my blog that I have found it quite difficult to love my body over the years. I am not entirely sure why but I always just wanted to be thinner no matter what or how many times people said, “You are so skinny!”, “Nadine, you need to pick up weight.” or “You look anorexic.” I didn’t take anything they said to heart.

Although I don’t approve of their choices of wording, they were not too far off. I have realised over the years, though, that it is impossible to take what others say to heart when you don’t believe a word they are saying. I would go twelve hours without eating which included skipping lunch. If someone asked, I would tell them I wasn’t hungry when, in reality, I really could have eaten.

I feel a little bit saddened when I look at photographs of myself from that time now. Although I didn’t look quite anorexic, I think I might have been well on my way in that direction. I was skin and bone and my clothes were swimming on me.

I think a big instigator in the whole situation was my obsession with fashion. I wanted to look like the girls on the runways for some twisted reason but I would agree with my friends when they said that they were too thin. Even though a part of me knew that their weight isn’t healthy, I wanted to be like them and live a luxurious life in designer clothing. I didn’t want to walk the runways but their lives looked wonderful to me.

Another thing was the fact that I was a ballerina. My studio didn’t put pressure on us to be thinner but, to me, I felt like I was required to. I didn’t consider my health for even a second.

During my second year of high school I suddenly picked up quite a bit of weight. Considering how thin I was before I picked up the weight none of my friends noticed the dramatic difference since I still looked quite small especially considering how short I am. I was missing a lot of ballet and was on and off cortisone due to chronic swelling of my mucosa. (The lining of the sinus cavity.) This made me prone to sinusitis so I was constantly on medication, off school and off ballet. The medication along with the lack of exercise is what caused me to gain the weight.

With my academics dwindling, feeling ill all the time and the weight-gain, I hit rock bottom. The days I was at ballet I would look in the mirrors and feel disgusted. I would come home and feel the same when I tried to do my homework and struggled. I struggled in ballet classes since I missed so many and most of all, I felt terrible about how my body looked.

With thanks to my wonderful family doctor, I was referred to a specialist to deal with my sinus problem. Since visiting the specialist, I seldom got ill anymore. This gave me an opportunity to exercise more regularly again. I started jogging with a friend which didn’t last too well. As much as I love jogging, it’s impossible to get me motivated enough to go every single day without some real incentive. Considering how fragile my confidence still was as far as my body was concerned I was unable to keep jogging and something always seemed to set me off track.

I did, however, start losing some of the weight I had put on. By 2013, I was finally eating properly again and I starting drinking a decent amount of water. This made me feel better about myself and I also felt a million times better physically which inspired me to start exercising more again. I resumed jogging, attended ballet and started doing other exercises which focused on the parts of my body I do like such as my stomach.

In early 2014 I realised it was time to hang up my pointe shoes. My academics were falling because ballet was just too demanding on my schedule with everything else. I was utterly shattered and I spent hours over many days crying about having to stop. I actually still feel quite tearful when thinking of it. I love dancing with all my heart and I lost a part of me when I stopped dancing. Again, I was at a low point and, although I promised myself I would exercise every single day once I stopped, my shattered heart and longing body would not give me the emotional strength to go exercise. I picked up a bit of weight again, naturally, and lost a lot of my flexibility which only made me feel worse about my body.

During my November exams this year, I implemented a workout routine to keep myself sane during a high-stress period. It worked wonders and I felt amazing! This stopped when my exams finished though since I had no energy left.

Opportunity came knocking in the form of a neighbour of ours going away on holiday. For the past two weeks I have been running with her two border collies twice a day. It has made me feel so much better about myself and that is how I am going to continue to take back what is mine in 2015. I will continue to take her dogs out as well as do other exercises.

I am hoping that I will continue to learn to love my body for all the things that it is rather than hate it for the things that it isn’t.

I am going to cheat a bit here and, instead of tagging ten bloggers to take back what is theirs, I am going to nominate everyone who reads this for the simple reason that I really believe this campaign is so worthy of everyone’s time and that it shouldn’t just be limited to the ten people I tag, those who are nominated by the people I nominate, etc. I want as many people as possible to raise awareness about this campaign.

I really want to applaud Chloe as well for creating such an innovative, worthy campaign.