I hate diets. I hate the diet industry. I hate the body shaming culture that surrounds us. I hate products that promise a ‘quick fix’ for anyone who wants to lose a bit of weight. I have always had a relatively positive body image. I’m short (5’2″). I have a bum that is bigger than it needs to be. I wear glasses. I have bags under my eyes. I have hair that quite often has a mind of its own. I have plenty to ‘work on’ before I’m Hollywood perfect. But I normally don’t care. I don’t actually WANT to be Hollywood perfect. It’s not normal and it’s not natural.
So why did I spend Saturday morning hating myself, hating my body and generally wishing I could curl up under the duvet and never be seen again? I wish I had an answer to that. Yes, I’ve put on a bit of weight, in fact I’m probably around the heaviest I’ve ever been (perhaps excluding when I was very pregnant). But normally I’m quite comfortable with that. I half-imagine that I’ll do something about it one day, for health reasons, but the truth is I like cake and I like chocolate and I like wine. Those things alone outweigh (pardon the pun) my desire to be the stick-thin. However, on Saturday I was in tears. Lots of tears. I couldn’t find anything to wear that I felt comfortable in. All I could see was this huge belly sticking out over the waist band of too-tight trousers or bulging out of a skirt. And it made me feel awful.
I think I was hankering after the days when I did have a skinny body. I used to be a size 8-10. It was ‘perfect’ for my frame and I loved it. But that was a long time ago, when I was working 12 hour days, was on my feet all day and barely had time to eat. It’s hardly surprising that I’m slightly bigger now! So it dawned on me that despite my proclamations of not buying in to the ‘everyone must be perfect’ culture, it still manages to creep in to my head and make me feel shit about myself. I was judging myself, and I fell short. Fell short of whose standards, I’m not quite sure.
I am a 30*cough* year-old woman. I am a person. I am a human being with good bits and bad bits just like every other human on this planet. I don’t deserve to feel horrible because of how I look.
And now I’m not sure what my point was when I started writing this.
Am I part of the problem? Does the fact the I judge myself so harshly sometimes make me as bad as the people who write for trashy magazines slagging off a minor celeb for going out without make-up? (Oh, I don’t wear make-up either.) I hope not. I don’t think I’m that shallow.
Maybe I do need to write that exercise plan. After all, if I am actually doing something about the little bit of extra weight I’m carrying, then I can’t feel bad about it, can I? That didn’t work too well when I tried the 5:2 diet. That just made me feel REALLY awful about myself, but that was more about my moods on fasting days – I wasn’t pleasant to be around! Or is drawing up the exercise plan and trying to do something about my weight just buying-in to the very thing I hate? It all so complicated!
I’ll think about it a bit more after this lovely bar of chocolate 😉