A picture of health

You know THAT one photo where everyone comments how amazing you look? Yes you know the one, we all have ‘the one’.

But what if that one photo captures a moment in time where you’re anything but amazing, in fact internally you feel at your lowest and not the picture of health and happiness your misleading photos portrays? 

I was talking to a friend recently and both of us have had similar experiences, a photo or series of photos which capture a moment or time in your life when you’ve hit close to rock bottom and the physical results effect your body. So if that’s the case what does the viewer see and deem to be fabulous?

2012 at my sickest

Christmas 2012, me at my sickest

This is my photo. Looks like I’m having a fun time, however, I was 17 days post my diagnosis with Crohn’s disease and was on a high dose of Prednisone (steroids), Pentasa and Azathioprine – a horrific immune suppressant drug normally given to transplant patients when receiving a new organ. I’m holding onto that glass of orange juice for dear life as I felt so sick from the disease and the drug’s side effects, I thought I was going to pass out. In the end I conceded and we left pretty soon after we arrived. 

The irony is as soon as a friend posted the photo on social media the compliments flooded in. At the time I accepted them with kindness but now looking back it makes me a bit (a lot) annoyed. 


Annoyed because the only physical change people saw was a thinner version of ‘me’. The Nadine who couldn’t eat properly and had lost about a stone. People were judging my fabulousness by my weight. 

In comparison, today I am drug free, eating (healthily) without issue and have made exercise and fitness part of my daily routine. I’m fitter, stronger and healthier than I’ve been in years and yet not one comment along the lines of you look well, blah, blah, blah. 

Again why? Because I’ve put back on the weight I lost due to regaining the ability to eat and enjoy food. Doesn’t matter I’m more toned  and muscular and can run uphill and down dale for hours on end, the fact is I’m bigger which in the eye of the beholder equates to ‘not looking my best’. 

Thank you society for warping our perception of health, beauty and fitness. 


Me completing the 10k Mud Runner race 2 weeks ago

This is me today, and weight aside I do feel at my best. However, if one more person remarks to me that muscle weighs heavier than fat they maybe on the receiving end of my newly honed right hook. 

My ‘best’ is feeling well enough to enjoy food and exercise, not chasing society’s ideal of thin = beautiful. 


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