Coming back from a summer holiday (did I mention that?!); seeing people wearing less clothes than we’re used to on a day to day basis, you kind of realise even more so that people come in all shapes and sizes.
I have to admit that, before I went away, I was feeling pretty annoyed with myself for not losing any weight and not looking the way I wanted to in a bikini. I still felt that way when I arrived and even more so by the time I got home (a week of food, booze and lethargy takes it’s toll on a girl!)
But then, when I rationalise it, it’s pretty daft to:
a) restrict myself and enjoy life less for the weeks or months leading up to a holiday, just to fit a beauty ideal
b) think that other people are looking at me and judging me
The truth is, my body looks how it does because of the life I lead. I enjoy life. I enjoy food. I enjoy drinking. I don’t enjoy exercise!
When I was in my late teens and early 20s I was blessed with a high metabolism. I didn’t gain weight, whatever I ate or drank. I looked great in a bikini!
Now I’m in my late 30s (bleugh!) my metabolism has slowed down and I look less great in a bikini!
But you know what? I’m happier now than I ever was when I was younger. Not physically – I’d rather look the way I did then, if possible! But mentally and emotionally I’m content. And that’s way more important than a change in my body weight. It’s to do with mental strength, life experiences and feeling settled.
In my 20s I was single, riddled with insecurities, coming to terms with mental health issues and wondering where my life was going. Now I’m happily married which comes with the addition of eating out with my husband, takeaways with my husband, drinks with my husband (sense a theme?!) I have more financial security which affords me more holidays (which means more eating and drinking!) I know my own limitations and try not to beat myself up over things. I’ve also experienced life stuff like redundancy and my Dad’s illness which sometimes makes me think “fuck it, life’s too short not to indulge in the good stuff”.
I haven’t quite bounced back from the holiday mind set of eat, drink and be merry. I’ve already made excuses for not going to the gym (the weather’s nice; bad drive home from work; I just don’t want to!). So it’s no wonder the pounds aren’t retreating!
We’re conditioned to think that a beautiful body looks a certain way. Magazines perpetuate the myth that larger women or older women shouldn’t wear bikinis. Yet, in Greece, I saw older ladies, bigger ladies and everything in between wearing a bikini with pride. And why shouldn’t they? It’s hot, you need less clothes and comfort is important. I bloody hate swimsuits; they’re icky and sticky and you can’t tan your tum. If someone doesn’t like how you look in beach wear, they can bloody well look the other way.
I’m as bad as anyone for judging people. I think that’s just the way we’re conditioned. But I’m trying to change that about myself. Instead of looking at an overweight person and thinking they shouldn’t be wearing something, I’m teaching myself to squash that thought and replace it with “good for them”. Because if they’re ok with it then it really isn’t anyone else’s business.
I think I’ve reached the end of my meandering now. I’m not even sure there is an end! And I know I’m a hypocrite, because I’m still sitting here thinking I’d like to shrink my tummy. But I do know that, as I get older, trying to look after my body for strength and longevity becomes as important as weight loss. I want to look and feel more healthy.
But, of course, looking great in a bikini would be a bonus!
I’d love to hear your thoughts; hit me up in the comments.
Thanks, as always, for reading! x
9 thoughts on “Bodies change, and we need to get over it!”
Such an interesting topic, I’m in my mid thirties and have struggled with my body image for over 15 years now, I am definitely going to try and follow your ethos! X
Well, I wouldn’t say it’s an ethos; I’m not that far along! But changing my mindset to appreciate my body for being more than just decoration is a small step. My 20 year old arms don’t look strong enough to hold a large glass of wine, and that’s way more important! 😉
First of all, you DO look great in a bikini. So you’re not super skinny – so what? Like you said, it’s best to enjoy life. And starving yourself or forcing yourself to go to the gym when you don’t want to is definitely not enjoying life. 🙂
Thank you. Let me say this wasn’t a post so that I’d get positive comments. If I was *that* unhappy I wouldn’t have worn a bikini or posted that pic. It’s more to say “look, this is life, your body will change but it’s not the end of the world”.
Our bodies are worth so much more than being appraised on their appearance. They get us out of bed in the morning, enable us to work, enable us to walk, and give hugs. All those good things that happen regardless of what you look like!
I know your posts aren’t written for the purpose of attracting likes and compliments. 🙂
I fully agree with what you said. I always say a body is like a shell. A working shell. A body functions. It lets you do the things you need to do – eat, sleep, sweat and so on – no matter if you’re big or small, short or tall…
I too suffer from “Oooh she shouldn’t be wearing that/but who cares and good for her!!”…or him…i find it comforting going on holiday and suddenly realising NO-ONE CARES!! They only care about themselves! So you can be (sort of) free to just go about your life thinking more about cocktails than calories!!
Then again…I could stand to lose some lbs (around 42 of them! Sounds like such a small number!!) and will continue to have an internalised debate…”I love that outfit that will look terrible on me…but cake!”
Ah, but who said you need to lose X amount of pounds? And will you be satisfied when you get there?
Last time we went to LA I did a lot of cardio exercise, lived on SlimFast for 4 months, cut out takeaways, didn’t drink on Friday nights or sometimes all weekend. I got down to the weight I thought I wanted to be at, but I still didn’t look how I wanted to or, more realistically, how I thought I would look at that weight.
And 4 months is a long time to end up being not quite as happy as you thought you’d be!
Health “experts” would suggest that my BMI is too high and the 41lbs would get it down to “healthy”…but then I went out last night and had a DONUT BURGER. Who’s the expert now!?!?!?!? ?
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