The story of Lorane
Lorane is one of our Ikigai Family members. Her story pefectly blends into the Ikigai Fashion philosophy. Growing up with a few extra pounds and being constantly confronted with the fashion ideal of the perfect model is not easy at all. When additionally your environment doesn’t entirely accept you as the beautiful person you are, your mental health is under great pressure.
We gladly publish the story of Lorane. Also because she is not alone. Many youngsters and adults go through the same fight. Yes, you should live healthy. Yes, you can achieve a lot. But let there be no misunderstanding. The beauty of a person is not measured by the pounds. You are beautiful. Whatever size.
How it all started
My story actually starts from when I was a little girl. I always struggled with my weight and self-image as a child. I went to dieticians, did therapies, you name it and I tried it. But nothing ever worked out. I just wasn’t ready for the change.
At that time, as a little kid, I also wasn’t that concerned about what people thought of me or how unhealthy I was. You can’t expect something like that from a little girl either.
During the years in high school things started to change. I saw all my friends go through their adolescent phase and then emerge as young adult, beautiful, strong ladies and that did a lot for me. Of course, you then enter a phase where boys suddenly ‘become interesting’. A very painful experience, because nobody appeared to notice me, the fat girl.
The turning point
That was the moment, when I was about 15-16 years old, that I gradually started to realize that I wanted to change my lifestyle and especially my body. It was very clear that if you carried a few kilos too much it was not always accepted by people. More and more the idea started playing with me that I had to lose weight and that I should have the body of a cover model if I was going to lose that much weight.
That is the biggest mistake I ever made and the one I would very much like to save others from! Weight is just a number, a stupid number, that just cannot decide or determine how you feel or should feel about yourself. You never know how your body will react to such a change and you never know what your body will look like, because everybody is different, and therefore no better or worse than any other person! No matter how difficult it is, how difficult I still find it…weight should not determine your happiness … weight should not determine the way you feel about yourself!
Starting the process
When I started my process I was mainly very scared. Several times I had tried to get back to a healthy life, to give my body what it deserved, but I never had the courage to keep going when things got tough. So at first I was very afraid of running into the light again. For example, I remember very well that the first week after I said to myself, “now it’s been enough,” I had still gained weight. I felt so unhappy, such a failure and I was really afraid that I would never succeed.
But I didn’t want to give up this time, I really didn’t, so I started my second week 200% focused and by the end of that week I had lost weight … and that gave me a lot of strength, in a way that I had never felt before. I then continued to do it and as time went on and as the kilograms flew off, I became more and more confident in myself.
I felt unstoppable during the process itself, I was focused, I was happy and I had never felt so strong before! I was immensely proud of myself. During that process I was the happiest I have ever been, I was on my way to becoming the person that (I thought) I always wanted to be.
… But still unhappy …
Months went by that way, not a cloud in the sky, everything crystal clear and I had never been happier. Then when I finally reached my goal (a goal I had set for myself), I noticed that I still didn’t look like all the cover models, at all and I became tremendously insecure. I knew I had done something I should be proud of, and I was, but I just thought that it wasn’t good enough. So I went on and on and on, but instead of being happy with the amazing body I already had back then, I became more and more insecure. No matter what I did, how hard I worked out, how healthy I ate, I would/will never have a cover model’s body and I couldn’t and wouldn’t accept that at the time. And then things got completely out of hand.
I wasn’t happy with myself anymore, at all, but people saw what I had done and were hugely impressed. Everyone complimented me and I pretended to be very happy, but on the inside I was dying. You can keep up with that for a while, but then you get to a point where you don’t recognize yourself anymore and you lose yourself. I really did lose myself in the whole process and people around me started to see that too obviously. All this time I had been living with a mask on and now it fell off. At that moment I was afraid of everything, of people, of going outside, of food… And you tell yourself that you will succeed, I can get out of this just myself … I can do this, but I couldn’t!
I found the way out!
I can best describe that period of my life as follows, to present it more visually: At some point you notice that you get to a point where you’ve dug a pit for yourself that actually needs to be filled … for me that was the point where I realised that I was expecting things from my body that just weren’t healthy. And really, that’s the time you should be asking for help, but you don’t want to, because look where you’ve gotten so far, you can do it yourself! AND instead of then starting to fill up your pit, you actually just dig it deeper.
Every time you say to yourself: I can do this on my own, I don’t want help, this one time won’t hurt … you dig yourself deeper into that pit. Until after a while you get so deep you can’t get out on your own anymore and that you don’t even see a way out, unfortunately. And then the moment comes when you yourself or someone else tells you that something must be done. That was the moment that external help was called in for me and to visualize it again, that is the moment that you look up from your pit and suddenly a ladder comes tumbling down. And you then have to climb up that ladder gradually, by trial and error! And climbing up that ladder that is something you have to do yourself, you are alone in that pit and there is no one who can help you do that. There are only people who can give you instructions. And as I said that climbing is with trial and error, I myself have certainly fallen off, but in the end I did get to the top of the pit.
I learned a lot from that period, but it is a period of my life I don’t want to think back to too often. I thought and did things then that I would never do or think about today. Then you really notice what damage a wrong perception of your own body or of others’ bodies can do. I had never thought before that I could be so mentally weak, but it has become very clear to me that how healthy, how beautiful, how tight you look is of no importance. As long as you as a person are happy with how you look and as long as you accept yourself and are mentally strong, it really doesn’t matter what size clothes you walk around in, believe me! During that period I often thought ‘I should just not have started’. Now of course I am very happy that my body and mind are so healthy, but if my mental health had not recovered and I would still be in that pit feeling unhappy about myself today, I would rather have my body and mindset of before!