|Dress: Vestique, Shoes: F21, Earrings: Lotus, Bag: H&M, Watch: Michael Kors|
The person in that picture does not look happy/healthy/energetic/confident. Or worse... maybe she "looks" like all those things, but does not actually feel that way inside. And I am not talking about 1 or 2 bad pics because of an unflattering angle or outfit. I'm talking... you see a series of photos and it is as if you are seeing yourself as the rest of the world sees you. There is no denying it. That's just how you look.
The subject of body image is a touchy one, because it is SO freakin' personal. There is no "right or wrong" body type. Women who are skinny may want to be curvy. Flat women want boobs, some bootylicious women would trade their buhdunkadunk for a smaller tush and hips. Some like long and lean, some prefer petite and thick. Sick women simply want to be healthy, and healthy women take their bodies for granted obsessing over a 3lb weight fluctuation... and so on and so forth.
But... regardless of your individual shape and size, we all have the best version of ourselves. The version we are most at peace with. Most happy with. The version that gives us the confidence to live life to the fullest.
I saw this quote some time last year, and it stuck with me.
When you don't treat your body right, you don't LIVE as loudly as you could. You're embarrassed. You stay in. You're sick. Ashamed. Pissedthefukoff. You dodge pictures, or crop them. You use humor to deflect everything. You get bitchy. Mean. You start to judge others who are living a fit lifestyle. "Oh... I wish I had the time, luxury, money, freedom, natural build, a personal chef, a trainer, etc. It's all bullshit. We may not have the luxury of a trainer or personal chef, but we all have the ability to make choices.
I had a big AH-HA moment last year around this time. It was Style Night Out. I wore a long white dress (with Spanx - the 2nd time in my life I have worn them. They are the Worst. Kill me.). It was miserable. I started to see pictures filter in the next morning on social media and I was shocked. That's me? How did that happen? When did that happen? Is that how I looked? That's not how I want to walk around in my life.
I've got a bigger frame. You know... I'm pretty tall, I've got wide shoulders, big meaty thighs. I wasn't delusional. I knew I wasn't a small girl (which I am 1000% cool with), but I didn't realize that I had let my physical self "go". I was eating what I wanted for the most part. I was sick to my stomach ALL of the time. I was not exercising regularly. I was drinking pretty frequently, and it showed.
I was pissed. I was pissed at myself. Pissed at women who don't have to "try". I was all like... "this shit isn't fair... blah blah blah". It's like going through the stages of grief. Denial and Isolation. Anger. Bargaining. Depression. Acceptance. Only... this is different than grief that comes from loss, there is a sixth stage (if you want there to be one). Change.
I did not want to live my life in that body. I knew change wasn't going to happen quickly. I didn't put the weight on quickly. So...I cut the shit and make some changes. No fad diets. No shakes. No pills. No 500 calories a day. No 5AM and 7PM Crossfit 2-a days, skipping dinner, skipping parties, eating zero carbs bullshit. Just slow, small changes that take a lot of time. The work you do for yourself when no one is looking. The changes that make you feel more comfortable in your own skin.
I'm a year from my AH-HA moment. I've had good days and bad, but I'm much happier in my skin these days.
I'm not really writing this for the people who are happy with their bodies. I'm also not writing this for the people who are going to be assholes and brush this off as narcissism on my part. I'm writing it for the few of you who are at the point I was at last year... the tipping point.
Most of you won't get anything from this post, you won't "get" it. Why would she put a transformation picture of herself up? She ain't all that?? Well, no shit. I didn't go from 300lbs to 130lbs. This isn't a Biggest Loser kind of transformation, it's just a real one. A slow one, a day by day one. And I'm sharing because I've been asked about it recently.... a lot.
So... here's what is working for me. Eating less processed crap. Eating lots of fruits and veggies. Water. Moving. A lot more. I have fallen in love with Pilates, but there are hundreds of ways you can move. Just find one you don't hate, and do it. Often. Regularly. It's not rocket science. And, truth... it sucks some days. But you know what sucks more... being an angry bitch. I'm not sitting here saying that "skinny" is happy. Hell, I have no desire to be skinny. I happen to love my big, meaty thighs. I just want to be happy. Confident. Strong. I am happiest when I feel good about myself. So whatever that means to you, start working towards it. Hell, the time is going to pass anyway.
Don't waste anymore time being unhappy, and ignore all the quick fix shit you can't possibly sustain long term. It's a waste of money and time and you feel like a failure when it doesn't last. But... you're not a failure. Quick fixes are not designed to last. That's how they stay in business. Fitness and health is big business, but the irony is that it is free. You have to eat, so eat real food (my real food still includes wine and lots of fresh mozzarella cheese). You can workout in your house, no equipment, no cost. Use your body weigh. It can be done.
And for those of you who don't have these issues, consider yourself fortunate. For the rest of us, the struggle is real.
Here is me a year ago doing a blog post, and last week. The other picture is me on stage at Style Night Out a year ago, and again, last week.