Posted: 31 March, 2014
The average Australian women learn to like her body at the age of 45! I read this survey result a few months ago in Marie Clare magazine and haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since. I’ve lived a very blessed life and achieved a lot – or so I’m told. The issue is, I’ve never believed it. I find it hard to truly appreciate anything I have accomplished in other people’s eyes because to me it isn’t enough. For eight years I was bulimic and abused prescription and illegal drugs. My life carried on but at the forefront of my thoughts were what I was going to eat, what I was not going to eat, how much I would exercise, how I was going to purge without anyone noticing and how I would get my hands on more drugs to suppress my appetite. My period stopped, my tooth enamel was eaten away by the acidity of throwing up so much and it also made my voice permanently horse. My skin was horrible, my weight fluctuated up and down by 20kg and I would only attract bad relationships. Besides counsellors, I never admitted to anyone that I had an issue, of course my family knew but for those eight years I lived through two different personalities – the confident and happy one I would show and then the deeply lonely and depressed one I would feel inside. I still get emotional thinking about how incredibly low and out of control I got.
At my lowest point a friend said to me “if you had the confidence… what would you do?” The question floored me as I never realised my obsession with my weight and consequent eating disorder and inability to find my life’s path was because I didn’t value myself. After many years of therapy and meeting a man who truly loved me for who I was (yep I married that Scotty too Hotty) I could finally talk about my issues and perhaps I’ve even gone the other way and overshare but I make no apologies for that. I don’t expect everyone to be able to relate but I think if sharing my story can help other ladies not waste years hating themselves, then I didn’t waste those eight years of my life. I still have insecurities and am plagued by thoughts of not being good enough but I’m working on it and know that these thoughts take a back seat to the love I get from my husband and son.
When I shared my story on-air and launched my Self Esteem Team I was incredibly nervous and unsure ladies would want to be a part of it. When the entries started coming in I was so excited about the amount of interest but that excitement very quickly turned to sadness realising how many of us aren’t happy within ourselves. Every story I read was unique, from body issues, money woes, domestic violence, bad relationships, job concerns, depression, anxiety and family troubles. The one thing that was underlining every entry, was the lack of self-confidence every lady had which was stopping them fighting these issues.
This weekend my Self Esteem Team is going away to the five star Spicers Retreats where we will work with life coaches, fitness professionals, finance gurus, relationship experts and whilst it won’t change people’s lives overnight I hope it will empower us to improve our futures.
From the bottom of my heart thank you to every one of you who entered, I was often in tears reading your stories and I wish I could take all of you (wouldn’t that freak out the men of Brisbane if we had a giant female workshop of that size :) ) but unfortunately that isn’t possible. However over the next couple of weeks there are going to be ways in which you can be involved and we will be sharing the things we have learnt on-air as well as the lectures from the professionals right here on this blog. I hope you will be involved and stay tuned for how you can submit your empower pledge so we can get some girl power back in our lives something that has clearly been missing since the Spicegirls
Love Abby xx
We would love to thank each and everyone for helping us put the Self Esteem Team together and encourage others to being their own journey. If you'd like to get in touch with any of the speakers we chatted to throughout the Self Esteem Team, please click the links below:
Julie Rogan from Career Discovery - Julie joined us on our Self Esteem Team retreat and gave us valuable information on the dos and don'ts of trying to get your dream job: www.careerdiscovery.com.au/
Val Holden from Relationships Australia - Val also joined us on retreat and taught us the most important relationship we have is the one we have with ourselves: www.rag.org.au
Louise Agnew from Lyfe Academy - Lousie joined us via Skype on our retreat and shared her extensive finance knowledge: lyfeacademy.com.au
Wyomie Robertson from Transform Life Coaching - Wyomie gave us the all important advice on talking to ourselves like we would a child. Wyomie works extensively with self esteem issues and can be contacted here: www.transformlifecoaching.com.au. Wyomie has even created a work book based on the work covered at our Self Esteem Team retreat. You can purchase this here: www.transformlifecoaching.com.au/product/tlc-self-esteem-workbook
Sharny Kieser aka Fit Mum - Sharny gave us some 'tough love' which was really common sense to get our butts into gear and be good to our bodies! Contact Sharny here: sharnyandjulius.com.au
We take a look back at our Self Esteem Team's journey...
Thanks so much for everyone who particpated in Abby's Self Esteem Team! Last night's dinner at The Regatta was the perfect way to catch up and cement everyone as friends for life #empowerpledge. Click here for pics!
To celebrate how far the Self Esteem Team had come since they first started, Abby took the team out to dinner at The Regatta and shared something she'd be battling with for a while. It's not what you expected...
We invited our Sexy Psychic Ira along to our final Self Esteem Team dinner at The Regatta where our members received 5 minutes one on one time. Team member Ebonie had an inkling of where her life was going but didn't expect Ira to say the things he said and he left her a bit stunned.
Contact Ira our Sexy Psychic here: https://www.facebook.com/ira.eyetwoeye
Think you're the only person with self esteem issues? Think again. We caught up with pop songstress Ricki-Lee and she revealed exactly what she's been going through.
Grab Ricki-Lee's EP All We Need Is Love now on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/au/album/all-we-need-is-love-ep/id858547454
When we were going through the registrations for Abby's Self Esteem Team we noticed a common theme and sadly that is a lot of people out there are suffering from depression. We thought we'd ask Brett from Beyond Blue some advice on how to deal with depression and what we can do if someone we know is suffering from it.
If you feel like your suffering from depression or know someone who is please contact Beyond Blue: http://www.beyondblue.org.au/
Health and well being play a big part in self esteem so Abby organised a massive open air yoga session thanks to our friends at Goodlife Health Clubs. Click here to check out the gallery!
Whoever makes these Dove ads really knows women. We’ve seen them do the sketch test and the photoshop reveals, this time they give out a beauty patch which claims to make women see themselves in a different light – wait til you see when they find out what’s in the patch!
Sharny Kieser aka Fit Mum has made headlines again about mum's getting back to their bikini bodies. What she really means is exactly why she we asked her to be a speaker for our Self Esteem Team...
We spotted this video on Buzz Feed and just had to share it... Really fits in with what our Self Esteem Team is all about.
We asked people to look in a mirror and describe what they saw. What they didn't know was that there were strangers on the other side of the mirror, giving their first impressions.
Abby took her Self Esteem Team to Westfield Carindale for a mini makeover session. Stylists Kellie and Annabel (with help from Claire at Style Magazines) gave insight into dressing for your bodyshape whilst Kelly and Miranda from Stefan gave hair and makeup tips...
Click here to see the transformations!
Find out how to book a Personal Styling Session at www.westfield.com.au/carindale or visit Westfield Carindale Concierge
To get great hair and make up tips visit www.stefan.com.au/
During the Self Esteem Team retreat we were taught you don't need to rely on other people for your self esteem. Self Esteem Team member Jessy found out through a letter from her partner Ashley that she's judging herself way too harshly...
Self Esteem Team member Emily sat next to Abby whilst on retreat, Abby recognised some traits in Emily that reminded her of herself back when she suffered with an eating disorder. Abby chatted with Emily one on one to find out where she was at...
One part of self esteem is Body Image. We enlisted in the help of Sarah Spence from The Butterfly Foundation to explain the term 'disordered eating' and what could lead to an eating disorder and tips for loved ones on how to help in these situations...
You can contact The Butterfly Foundation here: http://thebutterflyfoundation.org.au/
We saw this video and had to share (it's an oldie but a goodie):
Women are their own worst beauty critics. Only 4% of women around the world consider themselves beautiful. At Dove, we are committed to creating a world where beauty is a source of confidence, not anxiety. So, we decided to conduct a compelling social experiment that explores how women view their own beauty in contrast to what others see.
And don't forget: YOU are more beautiful than you think!
A little message from our good friends at Goodlife Health Clubs!
Exercise is a great self-esteem booster, but sometimes it’s hard to find the motivation to do it on your own. Working out with a friend is the perfect solution - they provide support, competition, companionship, and they also come in pretty handy as a spotter, too!
Goodlife Health Clubs is offering a free 14 day membership pass for you and a friend, plus a free 2 Week Feel Good Challenge eBook with recipes, workout ideas and positive affirmations to help you achieve your health and fitness goals. Click here for more details: www.goodlife.com.au/selfesteem
Abby teaches Labby and Stav how to do Fit Mum Sharny Kieser's (www.sharnyandjulius.com) WOW dance! Do this every time something awesome happens to you!
Fit Mum Sharny Kieser (www.sharnyandjulius.com) has an incredible story - she lost 24kg in 8 weeks after the birth of her fourth child all because she believed in herself that she could do it! She explained to Abby's Self Esteem team the tools she used and how she's integrated them into every aspect of her life...
Fit Mum Sharny Kieser (www.sharnyandjulius.com) asks Abby's Self Esteem Team to identity the non player characters in your life and remove them. What they think of you is none of your business.
Fit Mum Sharny Kieser (www.sharnyandjulius.com) teaches Abby's Self Esteem Team that there are no excuses and you are 100% responsible for the problems in your life.
Fit Mum Sharny Kieser (www.sharnyandjulius.com) takes Abby's Self Esteem Team through how to make positive changes to your every day life and how to do the WOW dance!
Fit Mum Sharny Kieser (www.sharnyandjulius.com) at Abby's Self Esteem Team retreat tells us how to change our thinking to believe that anything is possible and that you are the only one stopping you from achieving.
Meet Self Esteem Team member Ebonie. She's gone through a tough time with her hubby and had no idea he'd written her a letter for us to read to her whilst she was away on retreat. Hear how Ebonie reacted to his words here...
Life coach Wyomie Robertson from www.transformlifecoaching.com.au tells us that there are people in our lives who bring us down and stop us from achieving everything we want in life... it's time for them to go!
Wyomie Robertson from www.transformlifecoaching.com.au takes us through why we suffer low self-esteem and traces where it might have started for you...
Wyomie from www.transformlifecoaching.com.au spoke to Abby's Self Esteem Team about loving ourselves and changing our inner dialogue to stop beating ourselves up and start giving ourselves a break...
Been thinking about taking part in a 12 Week Challenge? Our friends at Goodlife can help you out!
NZ songstress Lorde posted on Twitter last week two pictures of herself - one that had been photoshopped (showing perfect skin) and one that had not (showing how she looks everyday). She tagged the post 'remember, flaws are ok'. It's a great message for ladies out there and we asked her about it...
We've had such an overwhelming response to Abby's Self Esteem Team that we had to share some of the emails we've been getting off air...
One part of Self Esteem deals with careers and who better to talk about it than local business woman Sarina Russo. She shares her thoughts on what women need to do to get ahead in whatever industry they're in.
You can contact Sarina Russo here: http://www.srjobaccess.com.au/
Some advice from our good friends from Goodlife Health Clubs on heading to your first group fitness class:
It’s something none of us like to talk about but it’s so important – our finances. Today Abby’s Self Esteem team took us into our bank accounts with finance guru Michelle Hutchinson and found them choc full of credit card debt. Here are some tips on how to get your finances sorted.
You can contact Michelle here: www.finder.com.au
When Abby was putting together her Self-Esteem Team she wanted it to be more than just how we see ourselves in the mirror. So she invited Dr Nikki Goldstein, who is a sex therapist and relationships expert, to talk to us about why we go back to the same bad relationships over and over again. She gives great advice!
You can contact Dr Nikki Goldstein here: www.drnikkig.com.au
Paralympic swimmer Karni Liddell joined the discussion with Abby’s Self Esteem Team on how being in a wheelchair affects more than your ability to get around. She told us how hard it is to be on the dating scene when guys find out she’s disabled and why saying “I just want a healthy baby” can be offensive without you realising.
You can contact Karni here: www.karniliddell.com
One of the areas that Abby wants to focus on as she recruits her self-esteem team, is BODY IMAGE.
As we go through struggles in life we often forget that it not only affects us but the people around us. After Abby let us in on her troubled past, including her struggle with prescription drugs and an eating disorder, Labby caught up with Abby’s mum Bev to find out the pressure having her daughter move back him right in the middle of her lowest point. *note keep the tissues close by!
Nikohl is a former member of Abby’s diet tribe, a team who set out to support each other and lose weight. 2 years later and Nikohl is over 10 kilos lighter and so much more confident in her own skin that it has allowed her to be more open and pursue opportunities that she never thought possible. Here how being a part of the diet tribe experience changed Nikohl’s life.
Hayley Hasslehoff – yes the daughter of the famous Hoff himself – has been in Australia representing plus size models (apparently a size 14 is plus size in model world), so we caught up with the Hoff-spring to see where she stands on how not being thin can affect a woman’s self-esteem.
At some point in our lives, most of us lack confidence and go through an unhappy time but Abby wants to help the people of Brisbane feel empowered in all parts of their life with her Self Esteem Team.
If you are extremely critical of yourself, use negative words to describe your relationships, doubt your ability in your career or struggling with financial trouble then join Abby to replace unhelpful thoughts and behaviours with healthier ones.
These chronic problems can be demoralising and lead to self-esteem issues which Abby, with the help of professional advice, want to change!
Just the audio here:
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