Love - actually?

Had an interesting exchange with Melissa-Leigh of "never was a cornflake girl" on Twitter last night (NZ time). Some photos had been posted on Facebook of my participation in the Dove Pink Star Walk for Breast Cancer. I had been wearing a new jumper that I thought looked gorgeous only to see every single bump and lump show up in photos. The speed in which I detagged myself from photos stunned even SB - he knows how hard I'm working to get in shape and realised how much this upset me. I'm not one of those pleasantly plump girls who get a little round pot belly; I realise that those who are don't like it either. My excess stomach fat sits in rolls and you could see every single one in the photos.

As you can see, this made (and still makes) me upset. It makes me want to change the way I look. It makes me want to get on the treadmill and walk until I collapse. I love to power-walk - that and dance are the types of exercises I really enjoy. ML's tweet really made me think.

I'm not mad at my body - as such. There are parts I really love. I love having a big bosom and long legs. I love being an hourglass even though it makes pants impossible to find. The manicurist last week told me that I had beautiful hands. I can see these things in myself and appreciate them.

What I am mad at is how far I am from what I would class as my best "me". I can't even identify where exactly I fell off the rails. I was never what would be classed as "skinny" (well, at least any time after puberty) but I was fit, healthy and relatively streamlined up into my last year of school. In the years after that I battled illness (eventually diagnosed as PCOS and later as lactose intolerance) and depression - both of which could be partially blamed for my weight gain but other people have been through these experiences and either not blimped out or lost the weight.

If I'm being perfectly honest, at some point I think I just gave up on myself. I had too many other issues to deal with so I chose to ignore my weight. Was unsure my degree was what I wanted to do, ended up with a bigger commute in my first job than expected, felt underappreciated at my second job, relationship issues, loneliness, mum got cancer, uni was hard.... excuses and more excuses. Blaming the PCOS for being overweight. With a feeling of internal unworthiness I let my exterior reflect that.

Things changed last year when I met SB and when I completed my teacher training. Suddenly life felt right, I felt right. I guess that in the end, I ran out of excuses. I have a boyfriend who loves my curves but also wants me to be around forever and is concerned that if I don't get fit, I won't be. He doesn't care if I never get skinnier than what I am but he wants to be able to go hiking and bush-walking and it's hard for us to do that at the moment when I can only stick to easy, relatively flat tracks. I'm left feeling angry that I let myself get this fat and unfit - it doesn't show a lot of love and respect for my body.

Time to make changes people.

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step"

7 comments:

  1. I'm excited for you and enormously happy for you but also want to remind you how EXTREMELY gorgeous you are! (And ha! I've seen you in person! I can verify that! :D )

    ReplyDelete
  2. I totally get how you feel. I've had some crazy years myself and only now have I decided that I need to do something about overhauling my mind, body and spirit!
    Just focus on your health and fitness and the rest will follow (even if it feels like it's a slooooow process - I'm impatient too)!
    xox

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi honey!
    I just wanted to stop by and say I hope you know that my comment to you was meant out of a spirit of love and "sisterhood", so to speak :) I've been writing a lot of pieces about love, acceptance, and body image lately, and thinking SO much about the topic. For the past few weeks it's been a knee-jerk reaction for me to emphatically state to any woman in the vicinity who is upset with how she looks just how GORGEOUS AND FOXY she really is. I think I just want to play whatever role I can in helping bring other women up and not tear them down, including you! The media, people around us, and even our own messed up minds can hurt us a lot, and I think as women it's important for us to show one another support in those moments of doubt or pain.

    That being said, I realize that my comment definitely could have come across as flip or "polyanna"-esque in tone, and I deeply apologize if that was the case at all for you. I realize these things aren't like taking a magic self-esteem pill and BAM! all better :) There are many wonderful and valid reasons to take up exercise or any other health regimen that I obviously support and celebrate, and I don't pretend to understand what goes on in your head any more than I understand what is up in my own ;) Thank you for taking it good-naturedly and assuming I had pure intentions, as I did.

    I think each of us has a really personal journey that only we can chart re: our health, weight, appearance, acceptance, body image, etc. And if taking steps to get in tip top shape is a positive move along the continuum for you, I am cheering you on, sister! I just hope you know that I've been reading your blog and following you on twitter for at least a couple of years now, and I think no matter what that you are a gorgeous, smart, amazing gal.


    All my love.

    ML

    ReplyDelete
  4. I think each of us has a really personal journey that only we can chart re: our health, weight, appearance, acceptance, body image, etc. And if taking steps to get in tip top shape is a positive move along the continuum for you, I am cheering you on, sister! I just hope you know that I've been reading your blog and following you on twitter for at least a couple of years now, and I think no matter what that you are a gorgeous, smart, amazing gal.


    All my love.

    ML

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Love

    As you know I am pretty much in the same boat as you, but with Endo instead of PCOS. Since I have been in Oz I joined the Biggest Loser club online and have lost 7kg - and even though exercise is very important - diet is even more important. Weight loss is 80% diet and 20% exercise. The exercise will get you fit but eating regularily (not just when you are hungry) is so important to realign your metabolism and keep it going, even if you are not feeling hungry eating even an apple will help keep it going. Limit you bread, keeps saturated fats down, buy a "portion plate" - http://www.thedietplate.com/vmchk/Diet-Plate-Range/Female-Plate.html. This is so important to get your portions under control to make sure you are sticking within your calorie limit - you should be aiming for about 2000 calories a day to keep your energy and metabolism up. If there are any regualr foods you eat let me know and I will let you know the calorie intake of those foods/combinations. Congrats on doing this, it is hard but achieveable. Set a mini goal - like 10kg or 20cm overall off your body and stick to those - 10 kg seemed so far away for me but in 6 weeks I only have 3kg to go before I hit it - I feel like I have been successful and will be ready to set my 2nd goal in a few weeks. I am happy to help where I can. xxxx

    ReplyDelete
  6. I don't think there are many people who exercise because they "love" doing it. As long as you're doing it to be or just look healthier, then that's a fair enough reason in my opinion.

    I know I'm fussy with how I look (well, that was before I had a baby and now I'm pregnant again so I'm letting myself go for now) and I would exercise because I knew I needed it to be fit and also be happier with how I looked - I never once loved exercising though!

    ReplyDelete