Over the Easter weekend, we'd love to share Sam's incredible story with you. Each day we will be posting a part of her journey, and as the thread of her story is woven together, we know you will be inspired!
Sam's Story: Part 1
Lately, every night I seem to go to bed with something of my past flashing in my mind, so vividly that it consumes my sleep and is there when I wake up. They are times in my life that I have not thought about for quite some time but have left their mark on me from years ago. I feel this deep sense of sadness; but it is different- in the past I absorbed the sadness and brokenness into every inch of my being, now it feels like a sadness that I must grieve and expel. Now more than ever I feel like my story needs to be written down... so here it is: vulnerable, exposed but full of hope.
I grew up in a beautiful, loving family with great friends, plenty of time for play and a big sister to follow around endlessly and idolize. I feel like my own memories of my childhood should be loaded with imaginative games I played with my sister and best friend or my family holidays at South West Rocks. When I dig deep I get a glimpse of them, but when I try to bring them to the surface, to reminisce and appreciate, they are overshadowed by powerful and haunting memories of a very different nature.
Although I was the youngest sibling, I grew up to be physically larger than my older sister. here was always an ongoing comparison, with the words: "Isn't it funny how Sam is younger than Nikki (sister) but yet she is bigger! orever lingering in my memory. I began to feel like something was wrong with the way I was, but more specifically, the way that I looked. When I reached Year 6 my body began to change and develop quite noticeably compared to my peers and by the time I got to high school I was bigger than my group of girlfriends. Once again, lots of people felt the need to comment on this change and I found myself embarrassed and hating the fact I had boobs. My older sister was still ‘flat as a tack’- and this was a point I was always reminded of. One PE lesson, we had to record our weight as an activity. I remember standing there and all I was thinking was how there was no way I could hide the number that appeared. All eyes were on the scales... and they all saw I was the heaviest in my group.
One morning, I decided that I needed to change my body because I believed it would fix everything. I had spent a lot of time thinking about dieting and needing to loose weight, but until this morning in Year 11, I had never acted on those thoughts. I had been unhappy with my body for a long time and although I was very active I had never tried to diet. I stopped eating ‘bad’ food and exercise became my number one priority. I felt like I had no choice and that it was the only way to get people to like me.
I often wonder what changed, what made me finally snap that morning, so that it was no longer constant thoughts in my mind but now a new found reality. My life changed dramatically that morning. I started reading all sorts of articles relating to health and losing weight, how to read nutritional labels on food packages and the best exercise to do to burn the most fat possible. I started to exercise every single day and I began to form special ‘rules’ for myself. At first it was easy to hide behind the “I’m just being healthy” line. Little did I know just how much these ‘rules’ would become the most powerful influence in my life: they controlled me.
Tomorrow we will release Part 2 of Sam's remarkable story. x