‘A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms.’ – Anon
It has been quite some time since I wrote a blog post but it has been a refreshing break. Previously, and still now to some extent, I have struggled with my weight, my looks, my body in every aspect to be totally honest. I have had this problem throughout my entire teenage and adult life so far. It has been a rough roller coaster of emotions that has left me often, in a state of bitter exhaustion. It’s tiring to look in the mirror every day and be unsatisfied by what you see. I know a number of people who struggle with this like I do.
I’m trying to get better. I’ve followed some fantastic body positive Instagram accounts that remind me every day that it is OK to have a bit of fat here and there, it’s life. It’s a real body. Self Love Clubb and BodyPosiPanda bring a smile to my face and make me feel like I can get up and get dressed in any clothes I want to, and not feel ashamed of how it makes me look.
On some days this has been my saviour, I look at pictures of people smiling in their underwear and examine their rolls and realise that they look like I do. Some days that has brought me away from the anxiety cloud that sits over my head waiting for me to panic.
Other days it’s harder. Other days I don’t feel inspired by these happy pictures. Instead I feel bloated and fat and hate inches of my body that disappoint me so thoroughly. Days like this I do one of two things: I either restrict my eating to only healthy things, spend the whole day hungry and grumpy and still don’t feel better by the end of the day; or I go into a self-deprecating mope and eat everything I set my eyes on. It’s impossible to know which way it’s going to go.
But as time has gone on, I have tried to shape my habits and thoughts to fight these anxiety filled miserable moments. I’ve tried to allow myself to eat normally – don’t go overboard on the snacking and don’t go overboard on the restricting. If I don’t do too great one day, then I can just try better the next.
I’ve found that since joining Instagram for this blog, I have forced myself to take the occasional selfie and not feel like rubbish, criticising every inch of the image that stares at me from my phone saying ‘you thought your face looked good in the mirror this morning, guess what, you were wrong’.
I’ve also joined an aqua aerobics class one evening every week. I’ve found it to be the right kind of exercise for me – I can’t handle the stress of exercising in public, like a gym, because of the people around me, I become extremely self conscious and quite frankly terrified. There are other women there, but the majority of the lovely ladies I have met in this class are older women and are slightly heavier than me, I’ve found that I don’t feel self conscious around these women, they aren’t my age and so I don’t feel threatened by them, I don’t feel like they are secretly judging me. I’ve also found that with it being late evening, nobody is around when the class is over and I walk out to the car in a hoody and jogging bottoms with no make up on.
Whilst I’ve still got a long way to go before I feel I will be confident in my own skin, I can already feel the difference all of this has made. I’m able to get dressed (most) mornings without having an anxiety attack about looking fat in front of my friends or people that don’t know me. I’m hoping that this is the first step to making a huge difference in my life.