I’m not oblivious to the many body positivity movements that adorn our Instagram feeds. In fact I’m behind a lot of them, or at least I want to be, I’m envious of them. I want to be a woman who gets behind a body positive movement. I want to love what I see in the mirror, on my phone screen that one time I let someone else take a pic of me. I want to not feel the need to scrutinise everything I see.
I haven’t always struggled with my weight. I’ve actually been slim for most of my adult life, with a few years of fluctuation. It was only after having Ciara and being diagnosed with fibro, That I’ve really struggled to keep it off. I could sit here and blame the illness, the fact I suffer with my mental health, the baby weight or the medication I take, and I wouldn’t be lying, these are all factors in my inability to be able to keep my weight at a healthy number on the scales. However, they aren’t the main reason, oh no. The main reason is me. I will offer excuses but not because I’m trying to pass the blame, but because I genuinely feel helpless about how I look at the moment. I’ve let it get to a stage where I hate what I see in the mirror and the work to undo it seems a mountain too big to climb.
I was going to fill this blog post with lots of pics of me 10 years ago when I was just a size 8, but what’s the point in that? I already know what I used to look like. It’s how I look now, that I’m really struggling with.
They say the camera doesn’t lie but I hope that’s not true, because I actually cried a real tears round the pool behind my shades, when I saw the above photo. Do I really look like this? The answer is quite obviously…. Yes!
I’ve tried every diet known to man and yes they do work, but they require a staying power I don’t seem to have at the moment, a commitment I don’t feel I have in me to give. Everyone says you’ll do it when the time’s right, but right now I’m not sure the time will ever be right, because I can’t get my head in the game AT ALL.
I was talking to Shaun earlier asking what he thought and if he found me repulsive, and was quickly reminded of tiny ears in situ, when Ciara said, ‘No, you beautiful mummy!’ And there is the reality, she doesn’t give a shit that I’m 3st overweight, more if you went by BMI. She doesn’t care that I wake up and see a foreign version of myself in the mirror, because I am her version. She doesn’t want her mummy to change, she doesn’t need her to, because she loves me wholly as I am today. I do worry that I’ll pass on bad habits to Ciara. As despite my best efforts to offer a varied diet, she lives on chips and toast. I want her to love herself even when she doesn’t feel very loveable, but how can I teach this when I don’t feel it about myself? How can I tell her beauty isn’t skin deep when I won’t post a pool pic of me and my daughter for fear of people I know saying ‘she’s put on a lot of weight.’
I don’t blame society for my unhealthy weight gain, or my body-negativity on Love Islanders parading their teeny selves on screen. I don’t blame anyone else because it’s me that controls what goes in my mouth. It’s me that decides when and if I exercise. It’s me that can change how I feel and embrace the process, and it’s also me who’s in charge of letting my little girl know she isn’t a worse person because she eats chips and bread, but it’s not healthy and these are conflicting ideals. I’m struggling with them.
I want to get on board with big is beautiful too, but first I need to get on board with healthy. I’m not a healthy weight and my friends will tell you I moan constantly about my weight then bail even before the first hurdle at diet and exercise. I don’t know if I’ll come back after this holiday and find the motivation to be better, but I know I need to accept not defeat, but each day as is. I need to post the shit pics too because that’s what I look like, but I’m still me. I’m still fiery, loyal, caring and loving. I’m still a good mother. I’m still a good friend. And whilst yes I could be vilified for my weight gain I refuse to let anyone make me feel less than I am because of how I look, yes I’m fatter but I’m also stronger mentally, I’m also kinder, more caring and empathetic than I’ve ever been, and I’ll take that over looking like a love islander any day of the week.
It takes time to improve ourselves both mentally and physically and whilst I’ve been concentrating on the mental I’ve neglected the physical, but I can’t, (and you can’t) do everything at once.
So here’s to me making small but meaningful changes and trying to tip the scales towards the positive for Ciara if nothing else but hopefully for me too, baby steps.