This long summer of sun has done wonders for me. It started with our holiday abroad where I really had a lovely rejuvenating rest. That sunshine just seemed to wash away those worries and a digital detox helped me to refocus on the important things. Then we’ve been lucky enough to experience such amazing weather in the UK this summer. I do believe I have a little bit of a summer tan (yes I have used sun-cream and been sensible).
That summer glow has really helped me to feel good and embrace my body a little more.
I’m older, wrinklier, fatter and happier than ever before! And no, I’m not body-shaming myself, I am body-embracing myself. I’m embracing it just as it is. This summer is the first summer in a long time I’ve worn shorts in company and not hid in disgrace. This year I’ve flaunted my figure on holiday and even worn a bikini in the garden. The veiny legs, the stretch marks and the wobbly bits have been on show. I’ve not been embarrassed – for the first time in a long time. I’m not saying that I could bare all, but I’ve certainly dressed for the weather and for comfort and not for aesthetics.
Like many people, I’m sick of feeling under pressure to cover up those not-so-nice bits. I’m fed up with all these unattainable perfect bodies all around me in the media. What an absolute load of rubbish it all is! It’s a veil of lies which is held together with photo-shopping, makeup and good lighting! It is very disheartening to compare yourself to these unrealistic images. So I refuse to hide the not-so-nice bits if I don’t want to. Mainly to save my sanity, and also as part of my promise to myself to work on being a more positive person. My negative body image just doesn’t fit in with a positive outlook.
And when I hear my son saying “mammy look at my fat tummy”, my heart sinks. He might not know what it means right now, but if he keeps hearing or repeating negative connotations about his body, then eventually he could believe them. He might body shame himself in the future and that would make me really sad.
I don’t want him to grow up with me constantly moaning about myself. So I’m going to stop and make the effort to embrace my body more.
Mindset is everything
I’m a great believer that mind over matter really does work. So all those negative body thoughts are being banished by me. I’m trying very hard to keep them under control and back in their box were they belong. I keep telling myself that in reality (forgetting any horrible people and the media), the only person making me feel bad about my own body is me. The only person reinforcing the notion that I need to hide it away is me.
So I’m also working on changing my mindset about my own body.
There’s nothing wrong with me, so I’m accepting my body as it is and embracing it.
If I think back to how I felt about my body in my teen years and twenties I must have lacked self-esteem. I didn’t have that all important confidence in my body and I was in a constant spiral of body shaming myself. I literally can’t believe I had such a negative view of my body when I was young, slim and full of energy. Self esteem is so important in embracing your body. I feel 100% happier about my body now after having a baby, being a bigger size and having increasing numbers of imperfections. I’m older and have more confidence and self-esteem. That has to be the main reason why.
Bringing on the positivity
Being positive is a big part of feeling good and building self-esteem. I have so many brilliant reasons to love my body. I have my health and a body that works great. I can smile and laugh, and listen to the world around me. Most importantly, I have arms that can cuddle my son tight and wipe away those tears if needed. I’m so grateful I have a body with the ability to do these things.
I can scrub up well with a bit of makeup and a nice frock! That’ll do me just fine. I don’t need to hide the not-so-nice bits to look good. I’m full of positive vibes!
I’m not saying I’m magically less self-conscious or that I don’t have those body insecurities. Of course I do. In bucket loads! If I could flatten my tummy a little more I would ( N.B. Spanx is a wonderful thing). I think I’m just at the stage where I have other things to worry about. I give less of a sh*t about my imperfections.
I still want to look and feel the best I can to feel nice. I still love getting pampered, wearing nice clothes that fit me, and putting on my makeup for the day ahead.
I haven’t given up on myself or anything. I will still try to get healthier, do more exercise and eat better. But it’s not the end of the world if I’m heavier than I’d like to be or if my skin is too blotchy. It’s not going to stop me enjoying my life.
I am who I am.
I am embracing my body (before I get really old) and it’s too late. I am determined to use this year as a starting point to keep up that positive self-image. I want to be an example to my son so he grows up feeling good about himself.
And yes, I’m still probably going to sit at work stuffing a Greggs pasty into my mouth, whilst complaining that my trousers are too tight!