Body positivity and being disabled

Body positivity and being disabled

16th August 2018 1 By cara mccall

I’ve been officially classed as disabled due to M.E from the age of 18. M.E is an illness which effects my energy levels, my joints and muscles as well as effecting my ability to think clearly most of the time. These are only a few symptoms of M.E but they’re relevant to my body positivity.

Due to having M.E I can’t exercise. If I do, I get tight burning pains all over my body, extreme Post Exertional Malaise and very gross Brain Fog. I used to be very active as a child, I loved cross country running and was an award winning dancer. When I was 12, I caught Swine Flu which drastically changed my life, I had no energy, caught every sickness bug and cold going and if I did exercise I’d suffer for days later. Doctors put this down to puberty and Depression. Due to lack of energy and no exercise I started putting on weight around aged 16. I tried the gym occasionally and whilst I enjoyed it so much it caused my health to deteriorate. I beat myself up so much about not being able to exercise because I was overweight and felt that I had to lose the weight as soon as possible. This really influenced my body positivity and I found myself hating every inch of my squidgy body.

Being diagnosed at 18 was really a stepping stone to getting my body positivity in a better place but being told to avoid the gym really made me realise that I have to get used to and accept the body I am in as I won’t be able to change it much without severely limiting my food (as a woman with a huge appetite I shall pass on that one) or going to the gym and damaging my health.

I have struggled with body image for as long as I can remember. I would work extra hard at dancing or running if I felt particularly “larger” that day and would limit food. I felt this was a way of controlling my body shape. Being stripped of that control when falling ill has really been a struggle for me especially because I’d love to be able to be a gym bunny and fitness fanatic.

I’ve been focusing on what I love about my body more these days but I do really struggle from time to time with my own body image. Being on Instagram and seeing lots of people being fit and healthy fills me with so much envy but I decided to have a big Instagram clear out and only have people who make me feels good about myself with their positive and uplifting posts, here are a few women that have been keeping me uplifted lately…

I’m still in the process of accepting my body as it is and it will be a hard process. I know I have to learn to love every little cell of chub without feeling guilty about not spending my evening in a gym. It’ll be a process but I sure will get there.

Cara x