On Saturday morning I was up at 5:30 and for once it wasn’t because of the baby! I was up bright and early to travel to London for Blogfest16.
For me, comfortable trumps trend and so I pulled on my trusty jeans, new stripy jumper (so en trend The Unmumsy Mum was wearing stripes don’t you know!) and slipped my foot into my knee high boot. My shiny ‘kinky’ PVC boots. I pulled up the zipper and the boot slipped nicely into place. Wait a minute. The boot fit? Yes. In true Cinderella style the zip happily travelled to its destination and fit like a glove.
These are the boots that I bought two years ago and have never been able to fit my healthy calves into. And now they fit!
I have been on the Slimming World Food Optimising Plan for two months and suddenly I am starting to feel the difference. I have lost 1 1/2 stone and I am feeling good.
I’ve not been properly on a diet for five years. I’ve had a few fad weeks here and there on various milkshake diets but I haven’t committed to a full change of lifestyle for a long time.
My weight has yo-yoed for years. In the last five years it has steadily increased and since having the baby (despite losing weight when pregnant) I had reached my all time highest weight and dress size. But I didn’t care. I was happy within myself and let’s face it I was trying to survive motherhood and the reflux demon and so Kit-Kats became a staple and the ultimate low was pizza for breakfast – not left over – I actually cooked a pizza at 7am. Bad times.
For years I was the fat friend. My friends never called me this, but the feeling was palpable. I was always aware on holidays and nights out that I was the fat one. Lads always chatted up my mates and I would never have true confidence to set my sights on someone and say, ‘He’s mine.’ I laughed and smiled and had fun. But I always felt it. Yes I had my fair share of flings, snogs, one night stands and boyfriends yet I never felt that I was good enough because of my size. The compliments get forgotten but the negatives live on.
I was single on and off for seven years. And always ended up single at Christmas. Seven single Christmases. Decorating the tree alone. Watching ‘The Holiday’ and fantasising about a wild romance. I always had amazing friends and family but my body image always had a shadow over me and I think was a massive part of why I was single for so long.
In 2008 I lost weight. I felt amazing. I was a trim size 14. No size 0 but I was VERY happy in that body. My body image changed. I was more confident.
I don’t think it’s fair to say that you have to be slim to be confident; I know people who are tiny and have rock bottom self confidence and negative body images. But for me losing the weight changed my mindset. Along with a change in hair colour I set out to find out if indeed Red heads have more fun.
Fast forward six months and I had put most of the weight back on. He spent most of his time in the pub and so I’d joined a world of weekend binges on pints, rugby and takeaways. I thought I was happy. Looking back I wasn’t. I was yearning for it to be right. I wanted to meet the one and I made the great mistake of spending way too much time with him and in order to do that sacrificing time with my friends.
That year I was turning 30. Perhaps a midlife crisis. I went to NYC with three friends and we basically played out ‘Sex and the City’ for the week. Whilst I was there I bought an amazing new dress. But I needed to lose weight for my party. I crash dieted for three weeks and lost 10lb. I fit into the dress and felt fabulous.
He didn’t compliment me once.
I looked amazing but I let his lack of a compliment affect my confidence.
A few months later the weight was back on. We were sat in a pub half cut and ready for takeaway, taxi and home. I can’t say that I can fully remember the conversation but somehow we ended up rowing in the stupid, drunken way that you do. He looked at me with disgust and called me, ‘A fat bitch.’
My Achilles heel being used against me by the one I claimed to love.
He called me fat several times. Would allude to my weight and mention it more than he should. Eventually I took control of my life and my own self worth and ended the relationship.
Now at the age of 37 I have a different view. Almost to the extreme. For years I wanted to be slim to meet someone. But then I met someone who loved me for me; who loved my body. I became complacent. I was so happy with my body image and felt empowered, yet there was still part of me that wanted to change it.
This year we went on a family holiday with a large group. There were lots of girls who were very slim and all much slimmer than me. I didn’t lose a pound in the lead up to the holiday. The baby was 8 months old and I was carrying a paunch but I wore a bikini and I was happy. To begin with a felt a little self conscious but soon I didn’t care.
So why now? Why lose weight now? Because now is the right time for me. I am not doing it for anyone else. It’s not for a holiday or a partner or to go on the pull it is for me. To try and improve the longevity of my life with my little girl, to ease the aches and pains in my knees and ankles and let’s face it a night away from tea time and bed time once a week is well worth a fiver!
So in response to the Be Real Body Image campaign I say be who you are for you. Be happy in your own skin and if you are not, then only consult yourself in that decision; doing it for other people won’t make you happy and more than likely won’t last!
On Saturday at Blogfest, I met loads of fabulous and inspiring women of all shapes and sizes. The overriding theme of the day for me was confidence and the power that blogging can give to you.
Meeting the lovely people from Dove and looking at myself in the long mirror made me realise just how happy I am in my own skin now. I have a baby, I’m approaching 40 and I still want to lose more weight, but I am strong, confident and I like who I see in the mirror.
So I said cheers to that with lots of free cocktails and prosecco and somehow still lost 3lb that week!