With Spring now in full swing, I’ve had to dig my Spring/Summer wardrobe from an old suitcase and scramble to find dresses that still fit. I was totally unprepared for the heatwave that has welcomed us into Spring recently but it’s got me feeling all kinds of happiness and motivation.
I’ve been thinking a lot about my body image now that it’s no tights weather and honestly, this is the first time I’ve ever sat down and decided to write about my complex thoughts on the subject. I want to lose weight though. Mentally I’ve never been happier and I love the life I’ve created with my partner but, I hate my psychical appearance these days and I don’t want this feeling to last.
Everyone has their own reasons to why they might have put on weight and it’s important not to judge ourselves or others too harshly. Maybe it’s a moment in your life when something unexpected happened, a break up, a spout of depression, a new love for a certain takeaway, weight gain following the birth of your baby and the list goes on. Whatever it is, we all need to acknowledge the story, embrace it and realise the personal changes you need to make.
I’ve been a size 8 and ashamed of my body and now a size 12 but, feeling like a size 20. I’m currently at my heaviest but I’m also the happiest I’ve ever been and yet, I think about my weight constantly. It’s reached the point where I hate all photos that people take of me. I pretty much only approve of the ones I’ve taken of myself where I can hide my bad bits.
Even at my skinniest aged 19 I wanted to be skinnier. I had a real confidence issue and anxiety about having my legs or arms out in public. Now I look back and feel like a real idiot. I see photos of myself with my tiny frame and long blonde hair and I wonder what was going through my head. I don’t know where the lack of confidence came from but it was totally unnecessary and it makes me feel sad now. Sad that I didn’t enjoy my youth enough because of a totally irrational state of mind.
I’m 25 now and the most confident I have ever felt, despite being 2 stone heavier than my 2016 self. I’m still incredibly insecure and desperately want my old body back but, I’m not nervous to leave the house anymore. I’m still disappointed when I don’t fit into my favourite dress or when I feel like I can’t sit in a bikini on a warm day at the beach however, I’m not going let that ruin my day like I might have before.
I began putting on weight when I met my boyfriend. Apparently, everyone gains a little when they enter a new relationship because you’re going on more dates, treating each other to good food and making dinner time a romantic experience. I love eating/cooking/food shopping, there’s no denying that and after 2 years of being in a relationship my weight keeps on going up and up. I just love spoiling my loved ones, cooking new dishes and testing out classic (rich and probably unhealthy) recipes in my own kitchen. This is something I don’t want to stop but maybe a little exercise on my days off wouldn’t hurt?
My job is really demanding and psychical so, at the moment on my days off it’s hard to find motivation. I just want to chill out and relax on the sofa or in bed. I fully understand that need to find a way to incorporate exercise into my routine though. I don’t want to keep gaining weight and I’m well aware of the health implications of continuing with my current lifestyle.
I’m thinking yoga or weights might be the way forward. I have small weights and a yoga mat in my wardrobe but they are totally untouched. I purchased them with the best intentions but the motivation was short lived. I think the problem I have is trying to be disciplined with myself. Not strict but, finding a routine that’ll make me get out of bed in the morning. Finding something that’ll lift my spirits for the rest of the day. It’s harder than it seems apparently but I want to try again.
So, I have some advice for me and for anyone else going through the same battle. It’s not going to be easy but it’ll get easier as time goes on (I hope). If you want to lose weight you need to do it because you’re ready and prepared to make scarifies to improve your life (e.g. not ordering pizza every Friday night). It’s okay to have a treat day occasionally but in order to lose weight you might have to change your relationship with food.
It’s important to remember just because your friends are working out and dieting doesn’t mean that you should let them pressure you either. Whatever weight loss routine works for them might not work for you, so don’t beat yourself and compare progress.
Your goal is to lose weight but it’s important to maintain a healthy balanced lifestyle. Don’t live at the gym and constantly worry about what you’re eating. Too much control isn’t a good thing either. You can be confident and healthy no matter what you weigh and it’s about quality of life. Your health comes first and you can be a healthy size 8 or size 18. It’s all about changing your perception of beauty and finding confidence again.
Remember to set realistic targets. Find a meal plan and work out routine that works for you. You don’t have to join a gym or a weight loss group to do so either. Research tips from the comfort of your own home and don’t panic.
FYI, I’m still trying to find what works for me. I’ve tried the gym several times but could never motivate myself to commit. I always find that after a couple weeks the routine slips and I can’t pick it up again. I’m thinking of trying Slimming World recipes at home because many of my friends have had great success with them but, I’m a little set in my ways I suppose. I love the recipes I already have for many meals and it’s difficult to make changes and follow a new recipe.
All we can do is keep trying for a happier healthier life. It’s so important to nurture our bodies inside and out. Mental health plays a huge part on how we perceive ourselves and just because we might feel negatively about our image doesn’t mean that the rest of the world sees that. It’s a battle that we can all break through and if you’re suffering from a mental health condition and want to seek help contact your GP who can refer you. Taking the decision to reach out is a huge step in the right direction and shouldn’t be seen as a negative thing, so please don’t sit in silence if you think your weight gain is more complex than just having a big apetite.
Stay strong. Stay positive. Stay motivated.
Cheat every now and again but always keep your goal in mind.
The words I hope to live by for the rest of 2018.