“One day I decided that I was beautiful, and so I carried out my life as if I was a beautiful girl. I wear colours that I really like, I wear makeup that makes me feel pretty, and it really helps. It doesn’t have anything to do with how the world perceives you. What matters is what you see.”–Gabourey Sidibe
Sorry guys this is one of those ranting blog posts with no real direction and by about midway through makes zero sense but I had a long think, perhaps even more of a conversation with myself about this while driving home from Wales, driving time is always my best thinking time.
If you have been reading my blog for a while now you will know that I have a very love hate relationship with my body and although I feel slightly heavy at the moment our relationship is definitely the healthiest it has ever been. I have spent years overeating, followed by years of starving myself. I have missed so many opportunities from adventures with friends to relationships because I was too scared of how my body would be judged. I travelled around Europe during one of the starving stages in my twenties and when I think back to that trip I don’t remember all the beautiful things I saw or the amazing people I met, I think of all the times I made myself throw up after eating. I think of all the times I was hungry or walked extra miles to burn more calories.
In fact when I look back at my life its always the way I looked that I remember which saddens me no end but I try and stay positive, I feel lucky that I have discovered this about myself now before I wasted another second of my life worrying about my wobbly bits. I had a little mental break down last weekend because after treating myself for the last 18 months I realised just how much weight I have put on (about two stone) this little breakdown happened while I was stuck trying to get into a dress I had worn last summer. I eventually calmed down, found a bigger dress and went out only to be utterly shocked when I tried taking a selfie of myself and to be hit again with the same realisation that yep, in fact, I had definitely put on weight and it wasn’t that all my clothes had shrunk!
And this is where the thinking had all started, I know I have put on weight, I have put it on in ways and places I haven’t before but until this very moment, I had been very happy with my weight gain. For the first time in my life, I felt womanly, I felt like a sexy empowered woman. My hips have widened, my tummy rounded and my boobs have literally doubled in size. For the last few months, I have been feeling sexy, I have been feeling powerful. And then this happened, it knocked that feeling of being sexy, it knocked all the positive thoughts I had been having out of my mind. All of a sudden I didn’t feel sexy, I felt like a double chin with a body!
I am here to say “what the actual fuck” I am serious what is it in my mind that makes it OK for me to bash myself, to make myself feel worthless! Then it hit me like a tonne of bricks. I have early memories of family members calling me awful names about my weight which was then backed up by the names I was called on the playground. This created a vicious circle of self-loathing which in turn, turned me to the wrong kind of friends and partners in my life. I spent my teens and twenties looking for validation from other people instead of myself. I wasted years listening to other people. The reason people say “you will look back at old pictures of yourself and realise how skinny you were” is because with age comes wisdom and knowledge. With age also comes acceptable of yourself.
The truth is and always will be that you don’t wake up one day hating your body or appearance you are taught to hate it. You are taught that you are too thin or fat, to girly, too much of a tomboy. Your hair is too short, the wrong colour. Your nose is too big or your eyes too small. We can no longer blame the media, if anything the rise of social media has taught us there are millions of women in this world that all look different, celebrities are even changing opinions from Rihanna’s makeup range that caters for more skin colours then any other. To runways using models of all shapes and sizes.
This negativity is coming from everyday people, it’s coming from flippant comments by the opposite sex, not so funny jokes by friends and families to strangers who still think trolling is acceptable in 2019. All of which is a form a body shaming so I say no my body does not need a filter, your mouth needs a filter because the shit that is coming out of it is nasty. I am no angel in this either I am sure over the years in the heat of the moment I have called people fat cows or made some flippant comment which I am sure I thought was funny. But the truth is one hurtful comment can stay with a person for a whole lifetime, there is always one hurtful moment that triggers an eating disorder, there can be a hurtful/nasty comment that pushes a person to suicide.
We all need to filter the things that come out of our mouths because we don’t know what kind of relationship a person has with themselves and this just doesn’t go for an appearance this goes for every aspect of another person. Who are we to judge, words spoken from other kids and people who were meant to love me have not only stuck with me but have done long term damage to my mental health and I bet if I was to confront those people now, they wouldn’t remember, why would they to them it meant nothing but to me it meant the whole world, I meant what I felt about myself for the next twenty years.
Today for the first time in my life I wore high waisted trousers with my top tucked in, no cardigan or jumper hiding my rounded tummy or my little pouch that hangs down. I could say my body isn’t perfect but actually yes it is, it is perfect because I say it is. It is perfect because it keeps working to keep me alive. My body is perfect because it is one of a kind. I have a list of thing I want to do and clothes I want to wear that I have shyed away from in the past because of the fear of other peoples judgement, this is the year I do and wear it all, while maintaining my health. I am currently going to the gym because some of my life goals involve fitness not because I need to lose weight, those are two very different things.
My body may not be perfect to others but it is to me and next time I hear a negative comment about myself or I overhear one about someone else I will be rising my voice like a woman possessed!!