14 February, 2013

Naked Series: Sarah Groom

After my Naked post last week, I was really inspired by the interaction and discussion after I posted, mainly on my personal Facebook page, but I wanted to bring that here. I have started the Naked Series, a series of guest posts about our bodies. The first guest post is from my dear friend, Sarah. She is a true inspiration to me, and I hope you love what she wrote just as much as I do. Her post came at a perfect timing too, so while I am away, enjoy this wonderful read.

 My body. Me and my body. We go way back. And we have had some pretty major bumps in the road. But the heart and soul of this story is not about the bumps – it’s all about the destination, baby! To a place where I love my body and respect my body, despite the imperfections.

Let’s talk about the bumps for a while though. I am a firm believer that we choose our path based on the bumps we stumble over, and that you really can’t separate the past from the present or the future. Sure, there may be things in your past that right now you are ashamed of. But don’t be – they were just bumps. Hopefully you learnt to slow down over the next bump, or even drive around it. And if you haven’t learnt from the last bump yet, it’s never too late. Our bumps shape us – physically and metaphorically, and we should embrace them.

My body. I love my body. Complete with stretchmarks, extra skin, bits that are wider than is probably ideal, all that jazz. I love it all. Because these are my bumps, the physical markers on the trail I took to becoming who I am today.

Today I am a single mum, a student, a blogger, a recipe developer (for myself!), and I run my own business. And my body is banging, because it’s mine. It’s the vessel that will carry me through this exciting life, and the vessel that carried my gorgeous boy into this world. What’s not to love?

Here’s a little bump for you – I gained 35kgs during my pregnancy. I actually told someone that this morning, and their response was, “What?!?!?!” (And that response made me laugh, it didn’t make me ashamed – because I can’t change the past and it is pretty ridiculous if you think about it.)

As a teenager, I disrespected my body in just about every way you can imagine. Alcohol, drugs, sex, and food (terrible food, sometimes no food, sometimes too much food, and never anything healthy). I was skinny, I looked good in just about anything (and nothing too!), but I had shocking self esteem. I hated my body, my face, my everything. So I disrespected it. I rebelled against my family, my friends, anyone who tried to help me, and against myself. Respect and love, disrespect and hate – they go hand in hand. You can’t respect something that you don’t love. I am very honest and open about my past, present and future because I am not ashamed. It was what it was, and I am who I am today because of it.

I fell pregnant just a couple of months out of high school, and that was an enormous reality check. It made me think, hard, about what I was putting into my body. Because, suddenly, I had the enormous responsibility of growing another human being. And whatever I put into my body was going into his little tiny body too. Sure, my diet didn’t go from french fries to falafel straight away (I actually don’t really like falafel anyway). But during my pregnancy and over the first couple of years of my son’s life, I made gradual changes in my diet. Sure, I still ate way too much. A lot of it was emotional eating. Baby steps.

But in the last two years I have completely reanalysed what it is to be healthy. I cut out all additives and processed foods, and promptly discovered that my daily headaches (they had been with me all my life) were related to some of the additives I had previously been eating regularly. That was a pivotal moment for me – not only did I no longer have headaches every single day, but I understood that those headaches were my body screaming at me to stop eating processed foods. They weren’t working for me. I started listening to my body. I started to truly respect my body. Food is the biggest way that we can actively respect our bodies. People often say that we have three opportunities a day to cast a vote for how we want the world to be. I think we have three opportunities a day to cast a vote for how we want to feel about ourselves, too. We have all these opportunities, every single day, to love and respect our body. Why don’t we seize them? Every single one.

So, I don’t eat processed food and my body loves that. I also don’t wear makeup or use hair products. I try to source the most natural deodourants, toothpaste and soap as possible. Our skin absorbs so much of what we put on it – it’s not just what goes in our mouth that counts. But our skin and hair is also what other people can see. In such a social world as ours, our skin and our appearance speaks volumes. Shouldn’t we try to make it presentable and appealing at all times? Absolutely. The most presentable and appealing look that you can have is your own. My skin is great, because I don’t confuse it with oils and chemicals that aren’t supposed to be there (and my diet helps here too). I feel fake and covered up with makeup on. My hair is very hippy – a pretty accurate reflection on what’s inside too! My hair, my face, my body – they are who I am, and I’m not hiding it.

Don’t hide your body. Don’t disrespect your body. Your body loves you, and you should love it back. All of it.

Because how will our children love their bodies if we don’t love our own? And how will they respect their bodies if we don’t lead by example? If there is one thing we all want for our children, it is happiness. But you can’t be happy if you feel stuck in a body that you hate and disrespect. We need to embrace our imperfections, our bumps, for the sake of ourselves and the sake of our children.

Because our imperfections are part of us. They are the bumps on the road that got us to where we are today.
Our imperfections are perfect in every way.
“Love what is ahead by loving what has come before.” – Yogi Bhajan

Sarah xoxo

Be sure to check out Sarah's blog// instagram @homemadehealthyhappy//Facebook


  1. When I started reading this post, I thought that I really wanted to contribute, too! But Sarah, you just told the story of my life! Ok, not everything's the same but I can relate to so many parts of your story! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    1. Krysta, I would love to share your Naked story as part of the series! Write it up and send it over to: thetinywild@gmail.com

      If you want a picture of yourself with no makeup, send that over as well!

    2. Oh, I just saw this! Well, maybe I can write a few words! It would be so interesting for me!

  2. love, love, love. read from the vantage point of a completely-devoted-to-natural-mama that has also been down the path of way too much abuse to my pretty small body, I loved and celebrated this beautiful post (and now i´m big time inspired for this weekend´s post! gracias!)
    mama bear