Hello everyone, I was really unsure as to whether I would post this or not – it’s been sat in my drafts for days now because I was too scared to click publish. But, if you’re reading this, it means I have published it and I hope that it might help one of you. Let’s chat body positivity.
I am completely honest in this post, I am telling you things that I never thought I would share on the internet. But I’ve created this space, this little corner of the internet for me to write whatever I want. And that is what I am going to do.
I’ve been trying to lose weight for little over 3 years now, with no luck. There have been times where I’ve lost up to 1 stone, but that has quickly gone back on as soon as my ME/CFS flares up. I’ve tried Weightwatchers, MyFitnessPal, doing it myself with my own knowledge of food and fitness. I’ve gone to plenty of gym classes, including BodyPump, Zumba, stretch classes, as well as making my own sessions in the gym. But I never seem to succeed.
I’m not perfect, I’ve never claimed to be perfect. I’ve not eaten 100% clean for the past 3 years, and I’ve not exercised consistently in that time either. But I’ve tried. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried and failed and tried again. I can’t tell you how many break downs I’ve had about this, wishing my attempts to lose weight would work, questioning why it hasn’t and still persevering and pushing for that unachievable goal.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked in the mirror and hated what I saw.
In my New Years Resolutions post, I said I was going to try and be more body positive and focus less on my weight. Guess what? That hasn’t happened. I stupidly weighed myself in January and realised that I was the heaviest I had been in my whole life. I am the biggest I have ever been.
Do you know how depressing and disheartening that is? When you’ve worked so hard to lose weight, get fitter, be healthier, and all that has happened is weight gain. The complete OPPOSITE to what was supposed to happen. I know it wasn’t going to be easy, but I didn’t expect it to be this hard.
I’m ready to give up, I’m so close to just forgetting the whole thing and stop working towards my goals. What’s the point? It’s clearly not working, so I might as well not bother.
People might think I’m confident. That I am full of body positivity. I act confident. I look confident. But I don’t feel confident. I preach body positivity but I don’t believe it.
Whenever I’m out in public, I am constantly second guessing myself. Worrying about what I’m wearing, does it flatter my figure or do I just look fat and frumpy? What are people thinking when they look at me? I convince myself that they just see an overweight, lazy girl who can’t be bothered to go to the gym and eats too many McDonalds.
When I go to the shops I get so anxious about what people think. When I buy chocolate will they judge me? If I’m shopping for clothes will people judge me? In the gym, do people judge me if I wear a vest top and leggings? Will they assume I don’t know what I’m doing just because I’m overweight?
All of these thoughts are daily occurrences. I can’t prevent them and they won’t stop popping in my head. I always assume people will think the worse of me and will judge me. All of this happens while I’m smiling and acting confident. No one realises the torture that goes on in my mind.
It’s hard to practice body positivity when there are so many aspects of my body that I despise.
I hate the rolls in my tummy and when I’m sitting down, I always have to pull my top straight so it’s not caught in the rolls. I only feel semi-comfortable wearing high-waisted trousers, anything else my tummy finds its way out to hang over the waistband. I hate my legs, especially my thunder thighs, so I avoid wearing short skirts, and if I do, I wear thick black tights to try and hide them. I hate my bingo wings. I’ve gone from wearing cute little vest tops in the gym to only wanting to wear t-shirts and jumpers. I don’t even like wearing cropped gym leggings anymore, I feel much more comfortable in my full length ones.
I’m trying so hard to love myself and love my body, but it’s so hard when you’ve spent years trying to change what you look like. Body positivity is hard when you’ve convinced yourself that you need to lose weight. I know it’s not healthy. I know losing weight isn’t magically going to fix everything. I know it’s not going to bring happiness and allow me to love my body, yet, I still put so much pressure on myself to lose weight.
I told myself at the beginning of this year that I wasn’t going to let my weight define me, yet here I am, letting it define me. I need to forget all this negativity, and focus on the things I do love about myself. Maybe if I learn to focus on the good parts of my body I’ll find it easier to love it?
I like my skin, when it’s not dry and flaky, but I’ve been told I have a really nice complexion. I get so many compliments on my red cheeks (I’ll never understand) and on my long lashes. I also like my eyebrows – it’s taken me a while to like them, but I do. I have a lovely arch in them which a lot of people would love to have. I’m lucky in that I actually do feel confident going makeup-free. When I put makeup on it’s because I genuinely want to, not because I feel I have to. So that’s something to celebrate, right?
I also love how tiny my waist is – YES, you can have a tiny waist but still be overweight. Somebody told me last month how she would die for my figure, the tiny waist and big bum, and you know what? She’s right!
There was no body positivity whilst taking the above pictures. I didn’t want to take my jacket off because I was too self-conscious of my arms and tummy. But I shouldn’t have been. You can clearly see my tummy in the first picture, how big my bum is in the second, you can see my chunky calves, but you know what? I still look good. I look happy.
When I look at these pictures, I feel confident, I feel positive, I feel good. And that’s the feeling that I want to stay with me. I no longer want my weight to define me. I no longer want to look in the mirror and hate what I see. Each day I want to learn to accept my flaws and love my body for what it looks like now.
I feel incredibly vulnerable and exposed writing this post, but I also feel liberated, like a weight has been lifted (no pun intended!). I needed to be open about this, for myself, and for anyone else reading this who feels the same way. Writing this wasn’t for sympathy or pity, it was to help me acknowledge and accept how I’m feeling, and to help me learn to love my body. Initially I had no intentions of posting it, it was purely for me. But, my blog is to share my story, so I felt that it was only right to share it. I hope you agree.
When I saw that I was at my heaviest weight, I was heart broken. I felt deflated and miserable. But on reflection, it maybe wasn’t the worst thing. It has made me realise that my own happiness is not defined by what size I am. It has allowed me to really embrace my body as it is and learn to love and accept it. It has allowed me to take the pressure off losing weight, and actually focus on my overall health, rather than a number on the scale.
That does not mean I am going to give up with my healthy eating. But I’m not going to pressure myself either. And if I want to go to the gym, and am well enough to go to the gym, then I’ll go! If I don’t want to go, or know I shouldn’t go, then I won’t. My physical and mental health are far more important than what I look like.
Love the body you have, not the body you want.
Until next time,