I have wanted to make this post for a long time! It’s something really close to my heart because body image can really make or break a person. I don’t want to glorify an unhealthy lifestyle so take what I say with a pinch of salt! This is a great milestone for me that I just wanted to share and talk about, especially in the summer season, where notions of ‘beach bod’ flood our screens.
My body image history
I have always been at war with my body. It’s strange to give strong connotations and expectations to something that is literally just your vehicle. An upbringing in dance meant that I saw a lot of bodies all of the time. This is something that I reflect upon a lot in my book, The Difference Project. My whole struggle with eating and body image can be read about there so if you’re interested, you can buy my book here. As a summary, though, my relationship with my body has fluctuated and so has my weight. I get too comfortable and I become self-loathing or I become so restrictive that I lose too much weight. It’s a nightmare. But, after university, my body changed again!
I got fat
Again, take these connotations with a pinch of salt. I’m just owning the word. Humour me, facing the bathroom mirror one day, discovering that I have a tire around my middle and the largest thighs I’ve ever had. I wrapped up in my towel, hiding my body like it was some sort of sin, and then pretty much just got dressed in the dark so that I couldn’t see it. I was scared of owning up to the fact that I ate my body weight in salted popcorn and ballooned. It can also be a bit of a trigger to see body changes so it was responsible for me to hide it from myself because I knew that I didn’t have time to go to war.
But even when you can’t see it, you still know about it. I was lugging around extra pounds with every movement. My ass and thighs were just bubbling with volcanic cellulite ready to erupt into madness. I frenzied inside my body for a good few months, bouncing between horrendous caloric deficits and random bursts of exercise. The fact of the matter was: I had gained in fat but I couldn’t be arsed to do anything about it.
What did I do? I found the solution.
Just buy bigger clothes
I can’t believe it’s this easy. The key to everything. Don’t squeeze yourself into your size 8 shorts and leave the buttons undone. Don’t cry into your croutons because they’re not doing anything for your quavers craving. Just buy bigger clothes. I know that health is important, and I have eaten a salad for two meals a day for the last month and am increasing my steps so don’t get mad at me. This is not me promoting unhealthy eating. I am just not going to create a place for unhealthy restricting to live. I’m probably healthier now than I was then! But all of our ‘I’ll just keep these to fit into later on when I lose the weight’ promises are only deferring our happiness.
All I’m saying is, I could have lost the plot, but instead, I just invested in bigger clothes and I like them. Just by changing how I dressed made me feel more comfortable. I pop my tire into my high waisted skirt or jeans and just move the fuck on. And I can’t tell you how relieved I am to have gained control. Don’t go to war with your body. Go to the shops instead. Hell, invite me to shop with you, we’ll pick something flattering! I’m not body shaming myself anymore. There are just way bigger things to worry about than a chubby season. Let’s all just laugh about it and humour it as best we can!