So I’m back from my holiday in Spain now and it feels like Summer has officially ended, but I always get excited about this time of year as the shops are full of new season product, it feels like a new beginning when switching my wardrobe round to my winter one (always a great fun weekend job, no I’m being serious!) and the lead up to Christmas is always so exciting and London just has this buzz all around. So it’s not the blues really!
I wanted to write about something I had mentioned on my Instagram last week while on holiday…
The first day of my holiday last week, we went to the beach, it was fantastically sunny and hot and meant to be relaxing but I couldn’t relax. I tried reading my book, listening to music, listening to a podcast, lying down with my eyes shut not listening to anything and going swimming. Nothing was making me feel relaxed. I’d noticed that week leading up to my holiday that I was grinding my teeth which is horrible and a clear sign of stress, but when lying down on the beach with nothing to do (in a good way!) I was still grinding my teeth. I couldn’t really identify what was making me feel like this at the time, I just knew something was up with me. We went back to our hotel for dinner and had so much gorgeous food like special Spanish cured meat and tomato bread (another Spanish special), lobster risotto, red wine and lots more – it was all VERY delicious!
But then the next day I woke up feeling anxious and self conscious because I knew I’d eaten loads the night before and suddenly felt really fat and like I’d put loads of weight on over night. This was absolutely not true because that is not how our bodies work (obviously) but I couldn’t help shaking the feeling that I felt really fat in my bikini all day. It didn’t help that I went on Instagram (as one does every day) and saw lots of beautiful women also on holiday looking fabulously toned in their bikinis while I’m sat here with a bloated tummy from eating lots the night before and wobbly thick thighs that jiggle every time I walk around in a bikini (as Bridget Jones once said, ‘I don’t want you to see my wobbly bits’). But then as I was scrolling past all those models, I stumbled upon Bryony Gordon’s Instagram post of her on holiday having a great time and not giving a F**K about posing in the right way or what she looks like in a bikini. It helped me get out of my funk and I had stern words with myself to…
1) GET A GRIP AND STOP BEING PATHETIC, you are ruining your own holiday, nobody else is ruining it and you’re the only person who can stop yourself feeling this way.
2). You know matter of factly that you have already lost weight and that you have maintained a happy comfortable size for a while now which you need to give yourself credit for because you worked hard to get to that. Also, people have told you recently that you look skinny, so stop complaining. (To put this into perspective, I went from 11 stone at the end of 2017 to 9 stone in 2018 and so far have managed to stay at around 9 stone which is good, happy and healthy for me).
3). Then finally, if you want to eat lots of delicious carbs and meats and red wine on your holiday then go for it, you should not feel guilty for doing that or worrying about how you are going to look in the morning if you do so. That is NOT what life is about.
So, that’s what I told myself and it did make me feel better, I started to relax more, got into my book, listened to a great podcast by Oprah Winfrey (her super soul conversations podcast series, you need to give it a listen!) and had fun in the pool/the sea without caring how much my thighs and ass wobble when I walk over to the sea from my sun lounger haha! I also did quite well with a tan and managing to not burn which is a HUGE success for me.
Now I need to mention that I am not simply advocating for ‘body positivity’. I agree with people in that ‘body positivity’ is a load of sh*t when you honestly don’t feel good about yourself. It should not be a reason to not care about your body at all. Some people are not actually living with health and well being in mind which after all is the most important thing. It’s the fine line between…
A). Constantly feeling uncomfortable and miserable about your body, acknowledging why that is and deciding to do something about it. That could be seeking advice, doing some research, potentially cutting down (not necessarily out) on something you are eating. Maybe it’s tuning into ‘intuitive eating’ where you listen to your body and stop when it tells you it’s full or perhaps it’s getting into a good healthy exercise routine.
B). Or it’s about trying to accept your body for what it is and being at some what peace with that. We could try all of the above but we’re never going to be 6 foot with the longest legs on Instagram or are we going to change our natural body shape because that is who we are.
I have been both A and B and they are very different. When I was 11 stone, I knew I had gained weight, I knew I wasn’t happy with that and it took me some time to decide to do something about it (helped by the fact that I came home for Christmas and my parents immediately pointed out that I had gained weight which you can imagine went down extremely well, haha!) My life had become hectic in the lead up to Christmas at the time and my work had become so consuming that I didn’t have time to stop and think about how I was feeling.
But then now I am B and still struggling to accept my body at times. I am always going to be an hourglass figure, I am always going to have curves, I am always going to have thick thighs and a huge bottom no matter how much I weigh and how much I exercise and eat healthily, I am always going to have ‘wobbly bits’ because let’s be honest, who doesn’t!
So this is me not posing, not lying down awkwardly with my legs just slightly raised on the sun lounger like sausage legs to make my thighs look thinner, not sucking my tummy in or any other stupid way of lying down. This is me not realising a picture is being taken and naturally lying down on the sun lounger with my wobbly thighs splayed out and having a great time. Although I’m probably on Instagram looking at models I follow (like Emma Louise Connolly) and letting that sub-consciously enter my brain and sit with me next time I stuff my face with bread, but who cares about that because I BLOODY LOVE BREAD.
Lots of love to all you girls and all our wobbly bits 💖 xxxxx