Urgh, right now it feels like greater pressure- on top of weight pressures- to not be able to actually admit I’m feeling down about my weight going up!
Yes, I’m all for promoting positive body image and not feeling limited or confined to any sort of ‘ideal’ but I also want to be forthright and honest and say RIGHT NOW, right now, I’m not happy with my body, my weight and the way I look- and more so, the way this weight gain makes me feel.
I wasn’t sure whether to blog about how I feel but I don’t want anyone to feel they can’t be open or admit to not being happy with their weight for fear of others silencing their concerns. It’s not truthful or realistic to be positive about your body 24/7 and while yes we must work on self-confidence and not let body and perceived standards of beauty influence us, they inevitably will and do.
…OK so I’m not overweight probably (I don’t go in for that BMI nonsense so haven’t actually checked) but I do know that instead of being a usual UK 10 (6 in the US)-my ideal size for my build, I’m a size 12-I know it’s no biggie (pun intended) but size and weight is relative isn’t it and down to what feels right for the individual and having excess weight on my tummy (which never truly recovered from 2 sections) along with bigger arms and thighs makes me feel uncomfortable.
My clothes are tight and some of my most loved pieces just won’t fit-hello skinny jeans whose zip likes to keep zipping itself down. Nice.
My legs- my calves never seem to put weight on but in all honesty I’d much rather my arms stayed slimmed as they’re far harder to disguise in photographs. #Bloggerproblems hey.
We all have reasons why our weight fluctuates. Pregnancy, stress, illness, water retention, food intolerances and more. I’ve personally put on weight over these last few months due to a family member being ill- and I’m an emotional eater so biscuits, in the short term helped.
I won’t go into it as it’s not my story to tell but my whole family have had a tough time lately and eating what the hell I liked- topped with sciatica from dancing to Bieber with my kids (I know, shush)! put a stop to a lot of aerobic exercise for me which led to approx 9 lbs of weight gain and feeling a lit bit s***.
What has made me feel a little better was reading an interview with the gifted and truly exquisite Amanda Seyfried in Red Magazine this month where she admitted to her own body issues, ‘I’d like to say I have a healthy perspective on my body but I don’t. I know what too thin is, but I get really upset if I overeat or feel I’ve gained some weight. I know a lot of girls are like that, but they don’t talk about it’.
Wise words- and pretending we’re OK just makes everything worse in my opinion. I need to get it out on paper/the blog, chat to my husband about how I feel, have a cry- and then spur myself on to take action….
It’s not easy and while I love food as those who follow this blog know, I have had a tangled relationship with it over the years.
A skinny child, the puppy fat years came as a shock and were not kind (when are they) meaning I spent the ages between 10 and 12 pretty much HATING myself-mix that in with a cocktail of being at an all girls school and eyebrows like Carpet World samples and you end up with a self-hating young woman (which breaks my heart all over again admitting and is far from who I am now).
I must add that attitude aged 10 came about despite having feminist parents who never had ‘weight issues’ themselves or who placed any emphasis on how I nor my brother, looked. Oh and it was all pre-instagram days too. Silver linings and all that.
I hit 13 I became taller, slimmer and happier. Boys started to notice me and by the time I went off to uni at 19 I’d spent a good few years mostly feeling good in my skin.
Being on the pill during uni and discovering I had PCOS at 19 meant years of yo-yoing and the latter part of my first year at uni saw me struggle with an eating disorder if I’m entirely honest-binging (yet too scared to make myself sick) some days, then eating nothing on others.
Awful and something I hid so well from friends and family.
I spent a lot of my early twenties veering from one diet to the next and it was only when I met my then boyfriend, now husband, Peter, that I started to truly respect and value myself. I wish I could say it came from within but it was a lot to do with falling in love with my best friend and then myself.
He made me feel beautiful at any size- at my slimmest when I couldn’t eat properly for months due to tonsillitis then scarily, quincy- to my biggest post-babies. My obsession with weight really did fade over those years and take me to, today.
I’ve made peace with the fact PCOS makes me put on weight easily, that I will always have to watch what I eat. Water-retention in PMT is a nightmare too and can mean I put on 5 lbs or more pre-menstruation but I’ve had a long time to get used to this.
My consultant told me aged 19 that it would take me twice the effort to lose weight than someone without the PCOS so I should stick to a low GI diet and exercise my ass off (literally) and that’s what I’ve done for the majority of the time.
The pressure is still there to keep my weight consistent- more so I suppose because I’m public-facing as a blogger and vlogger (and stints on telly that add 10 lbs don’t help matters) but I know I have to work on being kinder to myself.
A perfectionist in my work, I want to try and look my best where possible. I embrace being imperfectly perfect but I don’t want to feel unhealthy or carry excess weight. No one does if they’re honest.
But you know what, even if I didn’t share my life and image right here, I’d still feel as bad about my body as I do right now, I know I would.
My number one priority is my health, to manage my PCOS- and feel fit for my kids as well as myself and YES I do want to look *whispers* my best because I want to feel CONFIDENT and HAPPY and rightly or wrongly, the way I look contributes to that. It really shouldn’t be a crime to feel or to admit that.
So I’m eating healthily, no fad diets, just a sustainably, mostly Mediterranean low GI or GL way of eating which isn’t too carb-heavy as advised to me by doctor and I’ve also started working out with a personal trainer-someone who can really push me on the exercise front. Thanks to my great pal Leigh from Headspace Perspective for inspiring me to start with a PT after many years of not working with one.
I don’t have crazy targets but losing half a stone in a month or so would be AMAZING.
Working with my trainer Louise at the start of the week really helps me to stick to eating well and also encourages me to work out solo more, throughout the week.
I refuse to feel crap about myself for one more minute so I’m taking control. We all deserve to feel our positive about ourselves- and I can’t pretend I do right now.
Thanks for reading, it feels good to have gotten this off my chest.