Women self-destructing

24 Sep 2008

By The Record

"Inside Out" event calls women to accept themselves


Jane Sawicki


By Jane Sawicki

Like many teenage girls in today’s society, I went on the oral contraceptive Pill at 16 years of age. It was ‘normal’ to be on it, and despite going to a Catholic school, most of my girlfriends were taking it, and I could easily get it without my parents having to know.
I remained on it for 5 years. In that time I thought I was liberated and free. I could control my menstrual cycle and I learnt that I could get whatever I wanted, when I wanted, and I used my sexuality to do that.
I also started to diet and I lost weight. I got so many compliments and acknowledgement from men, and began to believe that being slim makes you more loveable. But what I didn’t know at the time was that I was becoming disconnected from my body.
I was shutting off my natural fertility with the synthetic hormones from the pill, and I became so caught up in how I looked on the outside that my dieting became an obsession, and I developed an eating disorder.
I got so caught up in being acknowledged for my appearance, that I forgot God loved me unconditionally and I drifted from my inner spirit. Deep down I became more and more unhappy and dissatisfied with myself.
At 21 years, I decided to give my body a break from the Pill. My period never came. One year went by and still no period.
I was studying naturopathy at the time, and as I started to learn more and more about hormones and health, I began to worry that maybe something was wrong with me.
Still another year went by and no period. Finally after three years of no menstrual cycle, I started taking herbs and I will never forget the day that my period finally came.
Finally, I was a real woman again! But the excitement was short lived, and although my periods came back, they were every 50-60 days. After further investigation, I was diagnosed with polycystic ovaries. By this time I was a practicing naturopath specialising in women’s health.
And despite helping many other women balance their hormones and achieve pregnancies, I was still struggling with my own fertility and hormones. I was taking herbs, yet deep down I knew that I had to heal myself at a much deeper level.
I sensed that I needed to reconnect with God and renew my spirit.
I started to become aware of how I felt about myself.
I noticed that there were many things I didn’t like about myself, and despite being in a loving relationship and having loving family and friends around me, I was plagued with feelings of shame about my eating disorder.
I believed that if people knew what was going on inside, then they wouldn’t love me.
I also started to discover something interesting whilst working as a naturopath with more and more women.
I noticed that women who were very career orientated, or working in masculine environments (law firms, police force etc.) were experiencing heavy painful periods and endometriosis.
I noticed that women who were struggling to fall pregnant sometimes did not feel emotionally or financially safe in their relationships.
I also noticed that women who were struggling to lose weight, were craving nurturing and emotional nourishment. I knew deep down that I had cysts on my ovaries, because I was constantly dissatisfied and was rejecting the body that God had given me.
So I prayed and prayed – it was all I had left. I asked God why so many women beat themselves up. Why did I find it so hard to love myself? As months went by I began to see myself through God’s eyes.
I knew that every time I spoke negatively to myself, I was hurting something beautiful that God created. I knew that my own healing and my client’s healing was to come from the inside out.
It was time to get rid of the shame and the guilt – no more secrets and no more eating disorder.
So I braved up and told my friends, my family, my partner, his family and my work colleagues.
I told them everything I was hiding, about my self–esteem and my eating disorder. And I discovered something amazing – they still loved me. For the first time in my life I could feel that I really was loved unconditionally. The love had always been there, I just didn’t love myself enough to receive it.
Love truly is an amazing thing. Since I let go of the shame and the need to look a certain way, my next period that came was a 30 day-cycle. From that day a space was created for me to love myself on the inside.
I now have regular 30-35 day cycles, I am free of my eating disorder, and there are no longer any cysts on my ovaries.
So years of personal frustration, and a deep passion for women’s health, has now fuelled my desire to create an event that acknowledges women – for how wonderful we are.
We are in a society where eating disorders are on the rise, where infertility affects one in six couples; where prostitution, drug abuse and sexual assault are increasingly prevalent. Women of all ages can’t escape the media pressure to look like supermodels, to dress promiscuously, to buy into the latest material fads and fashion.
But for one night, on October 10, 5.45pm–10pm, I am inviting all women to join me in being free.
Inside Out is an evening event, where we will celebrate with organic wine, nourish our bodies nutritionally with organic food, and be inspired by the brilliant rhythms of African drumming and dance.
We have high profile guest speakers including Jon Gabriel, author of The Gabriel Method, who has lost over 100kg himself, and will share his story and tips about how to break free from battling with food.
Chris Fernandez from Natural Fertility Services is going to talk about the gift of our fertility and menstrual cycles, and finally Linda Watson, Woman’s Weekly’s Most Inspirational Woman of the Year 2003, will share about her past as a madam and her House of Hope that helps women break free from the sex industry.
Tickets are $75 each or you can purchase three tickets for the price of two by emailing
charityinsideout@gmail.com or call Jenelle on 0433 182 399.
All funds raised on the night will go to Linda’s House of Hope.