What do you like about your body? That’s opening a whole can of worms isn’t it?
I watched a video earlier made by a young woman who had lost 147lbs and who then went on to have a tummy tuck – something I’ve been researching, you know … just in case. And she asked her viewers to look in the mirror and say to themselves, “I want to be your friend.”
It really touched a nerve. I wouldn’t say I’ve been at war with my body all my life, but there has never been a time when I’ve been at peace with it. There has always been something ‘wrong’ with it. Boobs too big, thighs too thick, arms too wobbly … always something. And even now I’ve lost a bit of weight, you’d think I would look in the mirror every day and only see the improvements. Yeah, that isn’t the case AT ALL.
Take this photo I took yesterday:
I was trying out a new bright pink, long-sleeved, ever-so tight top at the gym. I was a little nervous at being so in-your-face, but when I saw it in the shops (H&M by the way), I just thought the colour was pretty, so I bought it. Now when I tried it on, it felt good – tight, but good-tight, and although I was a little nervous about wearing it out in public, I thought sod it. Why not? (I actually thought the gym would be quiet – it really wasn’t!)
I took that photo, feeling good, and then I saw it. The roll of fat above my waist, slightly overhanging the waistband. So I immediately went from feeling bloody fancy in my new pink top to feeling, well, just a bit shit. “I’ve lost nearly 3 ½ stones and look at that revolting roll of fat I’ve still got!”
What a twat. I mean seriously. That’s me that said that, no-one else. I put myself down in that moment and it annoyed me. Don’t get me wrong, I can see the progress and I’m really happy with how much better I look (and, more importantly, feel), but STILL I can look at a stronger bicep only to see how much looser it’s made the skin underneath. And I can feel the muscles in my stomach re-engaging again, only to notice how wrinkly the skin is becoming because it’s not stretched so much.
Now you know me, or at least a bit, and I’d say I’m a pretty positive person, annoyingly so at times, but I’m also a realist. I see my imperfections, I’m not blind. But I’m trying really hard not to let them sabotage what I’m trying to achieve in the long run, and I mustn’t let them rule me. We all have positive and negative voices in our head, and it’s up to us as to which voice prevails.
The latter part of my last relationship was spent living with a man that I really don’t think liked me very much, let alone loved me, and consequently, I ended up hating myself. I felt worthless, a ‘no-one would miss me if I wasn’t here’ worthless. He did that, and, I guess, I let him. It wasn’t my fault, I know that now, but I just feel like I’VE WASTED SO MUCH TIME! When you’ve been that low, a few stretchmarks and flabby skin really isn’t important.
I would imagine that a lot of you reading this struggle with the positive vs. negative thoughts in your head, just like I do, so this is just a reminder … to me as much as you, that we are amazing people, no matter what others tell us/have told us. I will never again let anyone (I’m not going to be twee and say ‘dull my sparkle’), but that’s what I mean. Only I can make myself happy – it’s no-one else’s job, and if that means looking in the mirror and telling my body, “I want to be your friend,” and feeling like an absolute tool, then I’m going to do it.
Here’s the rest of the saying. I can’t type it out without crying:
“And I said to my body softly, I want to be your friend.”
It took a long breath and replied: “I’ve waited my whole life for this.”
So I stood in front of the mirror this morning and said those words. I looked ranked, I mean insofar as I hadn’t been up long, it was the first time I’d been woken by an alarm in weeks, and I was stressed out because Dexter couldn’t find the clean blazer I’d put in his room, even after telling him in minute detail exactly where it was.
Anyway, I stood there and the negative voice immediately got in there first, the dickhead. It said, “Jesus woman, those roots!” And, “Nice spot just above your top lip.” And then I punched the negative voice in the head and said, “Roots are being done Thursday, the spot is on the way out THANKS, and I reckon my face looks slimmer today than it did yesterday. I love my crazy eyebrows, full lips and my eyes have that sparkle back. So piss off.”
I didn’t actually say all of that out loud, but that conversation played out in my head.
So the next time your negative voice rears its ugly head, kick it in the goolies. (Dear Diedre should watch her back!)