I’m going to start this post with a little history of me and my weight.
When I was a teenager I was taller than most of my friends. And being tall, more often than not, means being bigger set than others. I struggled with the fact I wasn’t a 5ft 4, size 8 girl throughout my teens and at one stage took to not eating in the bid to become ‘thin’. Crap idea.
After about 6 months I stopped torturing my body and self-image and decided to just have fun and not worry about what I looked like. This happy-go-lucky, confident streak lasted all the way through uni, I was just happy being me.
On leaving uni I got my first job in London. I lasted a few months. London chewed me up and spit me out with serious anxiety and paranoia. Luckily, I had a very supportive family who let me move home and take time to rebuild my mental health.
On moving home I figured I should register with my local GP (I have asthma and IBS C so quite often need a scrip). On a routine check up my doctor did the usual blood pressure checks along with height and… weight. This was when my appointment got interesting. As I stood on the scales and she took my weight reading she muttered, ‘you’re on the heavy side aren’t you?!’. Her small comment hit me like a ton of bricks, but it was the wake up call I needed.
I hadn’t noticed that for the past few years I’d just been eating whatever I wanted and doing zero exercise; I wasn’t looking after my body nutritionally or physically. I was basically a sofa slob who figured my metabolism would carry me through. I’d put on a lot of weight.
My doctors comments spurred me on to join a gym and tone up. At first it was a healthy hobby, I was eating better and working out, I’d swapped coke for water; all positive steps towards leading a healthy lifestyle. It was about 10 months in when it became an obsession. I restricted my calorie intake, worked out 6 times a week, obsessed about clothing sizes; all the while thinking it was the right thing to do.
Fast forward another year, I left Cornwall and moved to St Albans to live with my boyfriend, Ross. Here I continued to work out but felt at ease in my surroundings with Ross and gradually stopped the obsessive work outs and instead led a very balanced life. I wouldn’t stop myself having a pizza or going on a boozy night out, I figured it was all part of the ‘everything in moderation’ mantra.
Last year, we moved to New Zealand. Over the 13 months which were away I was totally out of my routine so going to the gym became less of a priority. I noticed my body becoming ‘softer’ but I figured that was just temporary so I ignored it.
(Note to self: ignoring something doesn’t mean it’s not happening.)
So as you can see, my relationship with my weight and body image has been a pattern of peaks and troughs since I was about 15 – that’s 11 years of ups and downs, exhausting!
Which brings me to today. Now back in the UK and reunited with my old clothes, I’ve realised a lot of them no longer fit.
I have put on weight.
After a few weeks of beating myself up about the fact I’ve put on around 10lbs, I decided enough was enough. I’ve decided I’m OK with it. Why? Because the weight I’ve put on is a result of having a bloody good time travelling the world, experiencing new food, drinking with new friends and generally having fun.
These love handles? They represent someone who loved the past 13 months.
My bigger thighs? Well they’re from walking 20,000 plus steps around the temples of Thailand.
My arms? They’re a sign I lifted many a bottle of beer throughout Asia and enjoyed every sip.
The other reason I’m OK with a few more lbs…it’s temporary. If I want to get rid of them, I can. I’ve done it before and I can do it again (this time it will only be done in a healthy way, I’ve learnt my lesson). And actually I’m looking forward to joining a gym and not because I might lose weight as a result….nope, it’s because going to the gym gives me more energy, it makes me feel more alert and like I’m achieving something. I get a real sense of pride when I reach a new PB on the squat rack, it’s fucking awesome!
So to all you wonderful people out there who are worrying about your weight, I want you to join me in loving yourself. Your body is an amazing thing and that should be appreciated everyday. Sure some days it might be harder than others to practice self-love but that’s what I’m here for. If you need some love, leave me a comment and I’ll send you a truck load.
You and your body is legit goals. As is mine, no matter the number on the scales.
*I feel like I need a disclaimer for this post. I’m not saying I’m fat, I’m not even saying I’m overweight. I’m saying that me ‘putting on weight’ is all relative, it’s in comparison to how I know I have looked in the past when I’ve lead a healthy and balanced lifestyle. I’m saying that my relationship with my weight used to be unhealthy and now I’m more at ease with it.