As I’m currently writing this it’s Sunday and I’ve just got back home after visiting my boyfriend for the weekend, the train journey was a long trek of roughly three and a half hours.
When I got home it felt about 40 degrees despite it being baltic outside, the last thing I wanted to put on was my fluffy pyjama bottoms. I dug out a pair of thin shorts from the back of my wardrobe, the same pair I remember wearing a few summers ago in Portugal with a crop top. This pair of shorts were a size 8, they now clung to my thighs and were uncomfortably tight around my waist; it was in that moment that I looked down at myself and thought wow my figure isn’t the same anymore. My body has changed and developed into a woman, it’s important to remember that is supposed to happen, it’s not realistic or healthy to try and maintain the body of a 14 year old at Twenty.
I think I’m finally starting to realise that. What I did next showed that, I pulled out a pair of cosy shorts and put them on, why’s this such a big deal? I’ll tell you. I didn’t stare in the mirror and say I want to be thinner and I didn’t think about starving myself on some stupidly low calorie diet, I didn’t think about downloading exercise apps or doing 200 sit ups every night, I just carried on with life. This I’m proud of. This acceptance of who I am made me so much happier and prouder than being a size eight ever did.
I’m not saying I’ve gained loads and loads of weight either, it’s the mentality change. I no longer desire to have the body of a model, like the ones you always saw on tumblr as a young teen, that clearly negativity influenced your mind. I was content enough with myself in that moment to walk away and make a cup of tea instead of binning all the packs of biscuits I have in the cupboards.
If you can tell from the paragraph above, I used to have some issues with food during my late teens. I did all sorts of stupid diets, endlessly counted calories to the point I was eating so little my body was struggling. I lost weight, yes but I also lost myself. I was constantly miserable, I cried many evenings because I was so unhappy with myself, I was never good enough for myself, I never could be. My goal was something that was so unreachable, it was to gain acceptance of my body however at that point I hadn’t realised that you couldn’t do that by constantly criticising and putting yourself down.
I never want to experience this negative mindset again, it was a dark place that I’m so pleased to be out of.
I’ve learnt that food is something that your body needs; it needs to be nourished and cared for. I now laugh way more than I ever used to, I defiantly cry way less, I feel like a totally different person. I love who I am today and if being a size 10/12 makes me that cheerful person than so be it, it’s just a number. It’s so important not to listen to the people who are still narrow minded and comment things like ‘do you realise how many calories are in the cake you are eating?’ because y’know what it doesn’t bother me. I’m going to carry on eating my cake because it tastes bloody good and you should too!
If you’re currently struggling with issues around body image or food intake, please try and get some help, I know it can be scary to do but you’ll thank yourself in the long run. Taking good care of your body is vital, self-care and self-love are the key.