I am not going to lie, this has been the hardest thing to write. I don’t often struggle with writing these posts, but this isn’t just any post. It isn’t a recipe, it isn’t about cake or cookies or anything that I intended this blog to be about. It’s about self awareness, a topic that is so very close to my heart and also something I’ve been very concious of recently regarding myself and plenty of others.
There isn’t a day that passes where I don’t read an article in a magazine, see a documentary on tv, advertisements, overhear conversations between friends and family about how we should live our lives. According to popular media I need to look like a super-toned, highly bronzed, long-legged supermodel that wears a size zero, eats micro salads and drinks the latest trend setting kale smoothies. I also need to spend 20% of my time working my ass off at the gym, do yoga in my spare time, practise mindfulness and have washboard abs.
I have always had a problem with ‘fitspo’s’, personally they’re no better than a ‘thinspo’ which is something I spent a long time secretly lusting after. There was a year in my life where I was made to feel worthless, I was second best and after being constantly told that I wasn’t good enough and that I needed to look more like so-and-so, and that I needed to dye my hair this colour, and lose a few pounds I finally caved in and thus started my obsession with losing weight and counting the calories.
I’m not the only person to go through this, BEAT suggest here that up to 1.6 million people in the UK are somewhat affected by disordered eating. In fact I only need to scroll through my instagram feed to see that many folk are struggling with their appearance and it’s a problem that completely breaks my heart. There are no words to describe what it is to feel the things I feel, or what I felt not too long ago. Food became a game of numbers, and instead of looking forward to meals I dreaded them and as my calorie intake tottered slowly up for the day so did my fear of gaining any kind of weight. I’d spend my days under my duvet crying over the last bite I had to eat, and seclude myself from my friends and family.
I’m glad to say that I am past that moment now, and I am slowly moving on with my life. Although I am not fully accepting of my body, I have a much more positive attitude towards food. It may not seem like much, but this year I had my first chocolate bar in over 3 years and snacked on ice cream, sweets and cake which is something I wouldn’t dream of touching before. I can’t quite tell you what it was that made me see the light, but I know that finally confiding in my parents helped me buckets loads. I have never felt so much relief, a complete weight off my shoulders, when I poured out all of the sick thoughts from my head and although It wasn’t immediately mended I opened up a new chapter in my life
I am not a super model, I am not toned, and I don’t eat a raw, vegan and sugar free diet. Nor am I a bag of bones, all limbs and no shape. I am a 5 foot 3, ever so slightly pot-bellied, 21 year old ginger. I eat a giant breakfast every day, sometimes I even eat 2 giant breakfasts a day. I have an unhealthy addiction to pick and mix, pizza and pretzels but I also like to eat relatively healthy for the rest of the week. I lose weight in the most ugliest of places, which mean my ribs and spine stick out whilst I retain the rest of my weight around my tummy, bum and thighs and whilst I’ll always cherish the beyonce booty I still struggle with the sight of my stomach. It’s something I’m still working on, but it’s mine and it just means there’s more of me to love.
I have spent years of my life totally wasting what could of been happy memories and it pains me to know that so many others are depriving themselves too. Love yourself because you are good enough and you are beautiful. I am beautiful, I am a real woman, and I am proud for pushing myself to get better. If you want that double stack burger and extra fries go and fucking order it because that is what you want and that is what life is about. I’m not going to say I don’t still feel the guilt after ordering that piece of cake, but I know in 50 years time when I look back it won’t matter because I’ve experienced the things I wanted to experience.
I am grateful for my legs that are strong from the 5 miles of walking I do a day, I am grateful for my 30DD chest because even if they get in the way and sometimes give me back ache everyone still loves a bit of boob, I am grateful for my wild set of locks, I am grateful for my ever-slighty-too-big-for-me booty because it looks fab in a pair of jeans, I am grateful for my stupidly small fairy hands and for all of my unique scars and bumps that all have their own stories. Like the time I got stabbed with a pencil in year 1 (my fave story).
If there’s ever a time when you’re feeling low (note to self), remind yourself that you are the person you are and that people love you for that, no matter what you look like. You deserve life. You also deserve that pizza you’ve been dreaming of for the past week so go and call the little man that delivers it for you and have yourself a nice evening.
Be happy with yourself, you are your own best friend, and don’t forget to enjoy life to its fullest.