It almost feels controversial to have an opinion about your body that isn’t a positive one now.
It’s amazing that body positivity is steadily being promoted in a more realistic and polarising way. But what if you aren’t particularly positive about your body? What if you think it needs work, on the inside and (or) the outside?
Nike introduced a new range of plus-size active wear recently. Idiots slammed it for promoting obesity, but smart people realised it was a great idea – no matter your size, a lot of us want to work on our bodies regardless of the end goal. The end goal might not be to look better, it might be to feel better and that’s amazing. For me, it’s both.
People say you shouldn’t aim for a clothes size (we all know how inconsistent they are in the high street shops, anyway). But I can’t help it. When I fit comfortably in my size 10 clothes, I’m happier. Most of my clothes are from the same few shops and the sizing is pretty consistent. As soon as the size 10’s start digging in, I feel ashamed. I’m not proud, but it’s my skin and only I know when I’m comfortable in it.
I’m not overly worried about having a toned stomach, or a firm butt. They’d be nice if they came part and parcel with getting back to my goal size, but as soon as my clothes feel tight I don’t feel myself any more.
“Why don’t you just buy size 12’s?”
Sure, a logical part of my brain says that going up a clothes size really isn’t a big deal. But then a bigger part of my brain reminds me of how unhappy I was when my wardrobe was filled with that size. This isn’t to say that size 12, or any larger size is “wrong” – it just isn’t me. It’s not the version of me that I like.
When I get to this stage, the stage I’m at now, I know why it’s happened. I’ve let my relationship with food run amok. I can hand on heart tell you that I’m an emotional eater. But not just when I’m sad.
Had a bad day? Better comfort myself with some chocolate. Had a good day? Better reward myself with a treat! Even an average day with no discernible highlights or downfalls gets perked up by a biscuit or five.
I’ve given up chocolate this month to raise money for The British Heart Foundation – but I’ve just replaced it with cheesecakes, biscuits, pastries, cakes… what can I say, I have a sweet tooth.
So what am I going to do about it?
I’ve already started to try and make positive change by going to the gym. I aim to go twice a week, usually in the morning before work. It does set me up for the day – even if the 6am alarm is a struggle!
So far, going to the gym has made me feel better, but until I kick the bad eating habits, it’s not getting me any closer to my jeans no longer pinching my waist. Next weekend I have a ‘Health MOT’ booked at my gym, to look at my overall health and changes I can make to improve it. I’m really hoping that if someone can tell me what I need to do to treat my body better, it will motivate me to adapt my lifestyle to suit.
I’m aiming to share the journey towards being happy with my body here in the hope that it will keep me on track. In a way, I’m excited about the prospect that I can make positive change, but I’m also pretty scared I won’t be able to.