My body and I have been in battle for at least half my life

"I'm scared guys, so scared for my daughters."

It’s so common for young girls to have self-esteem issues and for them to eventuate into restricted eating, crash diets and searching for any way or product to 'improve' the way they look in hope that it will 'improve' the way they feel about themselves. These issues if they go on for too long or without anyone stepping in, can and will turn into mental health disease and eating disorders that can be life-threatening.

This was me

I started by restricting certain foods. Skipping meals. Skipping whole days of eating.

It then eventuated into researching very damaging ways of losing weight, joining online forums and chat rooms dedicated to getting as skinny as possible and binging and purging, the very little I did eat or the things that I ate around my friends and family so that they didn’t know what I was doing.

In the end, my obsession turned from wanting to be thinner into a full-blown mental health issue which is where I believe my anxiety and depression started and I’m still battling with today. I was so so obsessed and so disgusted in myself at times that I had very terrible thoughts of not wanting to be alive, all because of what started as wanting to look a certain way.

"If you have never been hated by your child you have never been a parent. " - Bette Davis

supplied

Picture: Brittany Noonan Instagram.

I was good at hiding it. Very good.

This is what scares me about raising children in a world of perfect bodies online, damaging products that are marketed to these impressionable young females and even males who think they need to look a certain way to be happy. The worst part is that these products are promoted as a 'health' products most the time by people who 100 percent did not come to look the way they do because of them.

I'm scared guys, so scared for my daughters.

This culture HAS TO change.

We MUST be the change in helping our kids realise there is more to life, more to being happy and more to being successful than a 'perfect' body.

We MUST show them that it’s OK to not fit this mould, to normalise normal bodies of different shapes and to love yourself anyway even when the world is telling you not to.

This post originally appeared onand has been republished here with permission. You can follow Brittany on or Instagram .

If you are experiencing an eating disorder or concerned about someone in your care, you can chat to the Butterfly Foundation National Helpline 1800 33 4673 or visit www.thebutterflyfoundation.org.au

Try to always use reason not rage. Avoid fighting fire with fire. Be in control of your feelings and your actions so that your children can learn to be in control of theirs.

Other crisis, counselling and online services

  • Lifeline - 13 11 14 www.lifeline.org.au
  • Kids Helpline - 1800 55 1800 www.kidshelp.com.au
  • SANE Australia Helpline 1800 18 SANE (7263)www.sane.org
  • headspace – www.headspace.org.au
  • ReachOut – www.reachout.com