A journey worth taking
Body Positivity is a journey, not a destination.
This was an important thing to realise.
Most people think they are bigger than they actually are. My mum for example, always buys her outfits 1-2 sizes larger than she is because that is her comfort zone. Experiments have been done where they show a woman a line-up of other women, and ask her to place herself where she thinks she fits size wise. On almost every occasion, she places herself on the heavier end, only to be surprised to find that she looks like the women who she thought were much smaller than she was.
I’ve always had the opposite problem.
I feel like I look amazing, and then I look in the mirror and I’m confused, because I think I’m so much smaller than I am! It’s a funny problem to have.
I’m not saying I think I look bad, I just think the mirror doesn’t accurately reflect how awesome I feel, and that’s why I spend less time in front of the mirror these days!
If I’m being honest, the last few days I’ve struggled a little bit in my mind. I had an incident last weekend in the change room with my daughter that I wrote a blog about, which ended in my husband questioning me and my honesty.
You see when someone close to you finds out that you’ve lived secretly with a 20-year eating disorder right under their nose, they’re bound to question your honesty at times.
In the blog last weekend, I wrote about the cellulite I was shocked to see under the blue, fluorescent lights in the changing room when I was trying on shorts. After reading my blog, my husband questioned me. He sees how often I work out, he sees that I mostly eat really well, yet here I am writing about how bad I thought I looked under the fluoro lights. To him, the equation didn’t work out. How could I be exercising regularly, eating well, yet not be slimmer? He confronted me about it and suggested that if anything, I look like I’m gaining weight, which came as a total shock.
And no, I didn’t kill him.
This conversation threw me for a loop because I was feeling so strong and fabulous. I was really quite shocked and surprised, but I get it. He felt liked he’d been deceived when I spoke my truth last year, it’s normal that he would question me if he had concerns that perhaps I’d gone back to secretly eating. I get it.
The way I see it, this is part of the problem with society and diet culture; we have been conditioned to exercise and eat well for weight loss. I however, am not on a diet, nor will I ever be on one again. My life is about conscious decisions and choices. I can eat anything I choose if that happens to be what I want. My focus shifted monumentally from weight to health, and as a result, I’ve allowed my body to find its comfortable place. I’m stronger and fitter than ever, yet my body isn’t tiny and toned but that’s ok. We need to move on from the idea that we can tell all about a person based on their size.
Then as the week went on, the weather heated up and I found myself standing before my wintery wardrobe, a wardrobe whose long sleeves I couldn’t hide behind in the stinking heat.
Seeing myself in Summer clothes made me doubt myself. I didn’t like what was being reflected back at me, I longed for the days when I could go on a diet and make it all better (even though we all know that diets don’t work long term) and then I saw the most wonderful post on Facebook, from Beauty Redefined, and it reminded me that body positivity wasn’t about believing my body looked good, but about knowing that my body IS good, regardless of how it looks.
So, what did I do?
I posted a photo of myself in bikinis on Facebook and Instagram! Some people keep things inside, I on the other hand, let them out. Why? Because I know I’m not alone, and I know that when we see ourselves reflected in the world, it normalises us.
I am normal. I am completely and utterly normal.
Here’s to staying true to ourselves! I don’t need to be less to be more!
You can read my blog about the changing rooms here.
Have you read my book? Check it out here!