You'll never hear a bunch of women stand around and say positive things about their body. It's always derogatory comments about the size of our thighs/stomach/bums. Why do we do this? Is it a natural way of protecting yourself in case someone else rudely points out your "flaws'. Maybe. Maybe it's because women generally compare themselves to other women, "She has amazing legs", "Wish I had her bum". Will we ever stop slating ourselves and focusing on bits we don't like. Why don't we stand around and celebrate us as heathly, strong, intelligent women.
This blog post was a difficult one to write, it reminded me of memories and times that I put in a special place in my mind, not to be revisited, ever. But I felt like I was coming across instances of body shaming everywhere I seemed to be, forums, Twitter, Instagram, and not just online, I overheard 2 people making derogatory comments about someones figure while I was doing my weekly shop in Asda. I knew that I had to put pen to paper and tell my story. I have changed and edited it beyond belief but no matter how many edits of this I write I still believe in the message behind this post.
Just to give you some background. I was a professional dancer and worked in the entertainment world for 15 years, it shouldn’t be relevant to the story but it is.
It's taken me pretty much 14 years for me to come to terms with my body. Naturally, I'm a size 8. I've spent my life not having to work at staying slim. I was naturally slim and toned. I always had a good diet but never 'dieted' in the traditional sense. Depending on what dance contract I was on I would fluctuate between a size 6 to a size 10. My Dad used to tell me that one day I wouldn't be able to get away with eating what I wanted without putting on weight. I used to laugh and think "Whatever"!
The minute I hit 33 my whole body slowed down. Metabolism, energy and my weight slowly started to creep up to a shock-horror a size 10 to 12. Now, some of you reading this will be like, oh piss off. But bear with me. Maybe it was because I was slowing down my dancing and I wasn't burning as much away as I was used to. Maybe I was eating a bit too much of the wrong things or maybe it was because finally, I was actually happy.
In total, I must have spent around 20 odd years in a ballet leotard and tights, staring at myself in the mirror. That's definitely had more of an effect on me than I'll ever fully realise. I've had problems with food and eating disorders in the past, but this isn't the time or place to dive into that. I don't think I will ever be able to write about it fully. I'm too scared of delving back into that mindset.
Anyways, let's get back on track. With me slowing down my dancing, my new life took over. A 9 to 5 job came along, which did nothing to help the weight gain, my dancing finally gave way as I quit performing full time in the UK and I also slowed down my gigs with a show that I was part of.
And I got bigger.
I've found my natural transition to my new size really difficult. I'm not blind. I could see that I was getting bigger. I'm well aware that my clothes were getting slightly tighter and my bum getting bigger. Something happened to me during this time which baffled me. I was involved in a 'delicate' situation about my weight. It was a horrible time. I was reduced to tears. I spent a week on the sofa in the foulest mood, I wallowed in wine and gin and if it wasn't for my husband and my friends I would still be sat on that sofa surrounded by pizza boxes. I tried not to let it bother me and I replied with as calm and collected a response that I could muster, but inside I was raging. Looking back, I wish I had let rip as I feel that it would have helped my anger. But I took the high road.
It’s such a difficult time when you realise you don’t look the way you think you look in your head! I thought I was my usual size 8, it wasn’t until I saw photographs of myself and this situation happened that I got the shock of my life. Realising you have put weight on and accepting it when you have spent your life being a certain size is hard going. But accepting your current size is even harder, I’m still not fully accepting that I’m longer my old size, I may get there, I may not! But one thing that I don’t care about is how people see me. That has been the biggest lesson, to actually stop caring what other people think of me. It was such a relief when I realised this, I felt like I could breathe again, literally, I finally stopped breathing in when Adam would spoon me in bed. I used to panic that he would feel my tummy, now I don't care! If I want a large portion of something I order it. If I want the wine, I have the wine! Life is too short, be happy and carefree!
Seriously though, I am in the process of losing weight. Not because of what happened to me, but because I've been smaller and I've been bigger and I definitely prefer me when I'm smaller but that's MY CHOICE and MY DECISION.
Like your Mum used to say, "If you've got nothing nice to say then don't say anything at all"
Let's all just be nice eh?
Let's spread love and happiness, go and tell someone they look nice. It will make their day ❤️
Thanks for reading,