So it appears that I have time to write a blog post in Sweden after all.
It's been a week since I arrived here, 5 years since I have lived here. It is hard to believe to be honest- so many things are the same and so many things have changed. Time has just flown by so quickly!
So going back a little way. When I was 17 I went on exchange to Sweden for a full year. That's quite huge commitment for someone so young and to go so far away from my home in Australia. It changed my life. I made friends and family for life, I tried new things, I went out and explored, I became more confident in myself and I also lost 20kgs.
That also changed my life. I realised I could be strong and strict and could lose the weight myself. The problem was that being in Sweden and being in Australia are two very different things. For instance in Sweden I lived in a small small town in the country side where I had to ride a bike if I wanted to go anywhere. Food was always readily available, but it was all very healthy and there was no junk food and no fast food restaurants either. So my choices were limited.
This never made me feel like I missed out on anything, it just took away another choice or decision I had to keep myself from making. The youth here also spend there time differently. In summer they spent more time outdoors, probably because in winter they are stuck inside. And there is a bigger focus on activities together, craft groups, wood work, beading etc
So 5 years ago a came home a different person. And now I am back, and remembering all those different things and decisions I made and wondering why I couldn't live like that back home in Australia.
But I also realised that I am also in a better place now. I am training 3 times a week in something I really enjoy and don't see myself quitting. I am also eating healthily. Even here when I am on holidays and I told myself it would be OK to relax a little and just enjoy myself I still can't bring myself to quite let go. It's a good thing to realise that what I have tried so hard to stick to is now becoming something so permanent that I don't have to think about it anymore.
For instance, when offered biscuits and cakes I will taste some if I haven't tried it before and then I pass on it from then onwards. I am making sure that I eat my salad and veggies and while I am drinking more coffee and milk over here, I am also drinking my water and cutting out other dairy products to compensate.
So far it seems to be working and I don't feel like I am indulging too much or feel guilty. It's nice to know I can trust myself.
Another thing that I learnt the last time I was here and which I remembered was to be proud of my body and to not worry about what everything thinks.
My body is what I have made it, it is no ones fault but mine, and is testament to all that I have been through and all the mistakes and successes I have made. And why should anyone else be able to hurt me or condemn me for that but me? I am who I am. I am strong, I am healthy, I am flexible and I am capable of doing everything that I have ever asked of myself. So what if I do not meet other peoples expectations of what is beautiful or fit? They do not have to live with this body, they did not make the decisions I made and they do not know the reasons for them. I do.
I have decided that I like my body, that I will continue to like my body as I get older, skinnier, fatter, saggier, wrinkles, grey hair and more. We should all embrace our bodies and make sure that we appreciate them for what they do for us. Hating yourself does not make you skinnier, or healthier. It only hurts you and your body. So be happy, accept yourself and move on to a healthier you.
God Jul och Gott Nytt År. (Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!)