Over the past five years, I’ve put on weight. A lot of it in fact.
Although I’ve dabbled with fitness over the years, nothing has ever quite outweighed my love of cheese, Pringles, McDonald’s fries, or wine.
At first, I didn’t recognise my new body as it grew and became softer. I hated it, crying for hours after catching sight of myself in the mirror. I wore leggings and baggy tops in dark colours, swearing I’d buy fun clothes once I lost the weight. Once I deserved them.
Well, my wardrobe is no longer filled with boring basics. There are bright colours, crop tops, and tightly fitted trousers.
Is it because I got down to my ‘goal weight’? Not even close. I’m currently the fattest I’ve ever been, squishier than ever, with more stretch marks than I’ve had before. But do I hate my body anymore? Not even one bit.
No matter how your body has changed, you deserve to wake up every day and love it. It’s taken me a little while to get there, but I want to share with you just a few things I do to be confident with my new body.
Look at it
I avoided mirrors and pictures of myself for far too long which created distance between myself and my body, meaning it felt like a stranger once I finally looked at it.
Now I look at myself in the mirror every single day. It doesn’t have to be for long and it depends on what’s new about your body. For me, I know that it’s technically my ‘own fault’ that my body changed. For you, it may be something completely out of your control, so just do what feels good for you.
But, by facing yourself more regularly, you can take ownership of your body and get to know the new you.
Give yourself a hug
I avoided touching my body, especially my stomach, because I didn’t want to accept it was there.
Now I treat it with the respect it deserves. I hold it, stroke it, squish it and you can do the same.
Not sure where to start? Wrap your arms around your body and squeeze, or whatever you can do to show love to yourself. If you’re feeling particularly good, tell your body you love it, how much you appreciate it, and apologise for the unkind words you said before.
Move your booty
As we all know too well, the fitness and diet industry often gatekeep exercise and movement. It’s reserved for able-bodied, fit, beautiful people and you have to do all or nothing.
This simply isn’t true.
Show your body some love by moving it in whatever way makes you happy. Dancing in the kitchen, walking the dog, climbing a mountain. Treating your new body to movement and exercise without the promise of weight loss or improved fitness is liberating.
I run sometimes and I love yoga. I hate circuits, HIIT classes, and anything with the word ‘attack’ in it, so I don’t do it.
Would I lose weight if I did? Sure. But would it be sustainable? Absolutely not.
Wear the damn crop top
Or whatever you’ve told yourself you can’t do because of your new body. If the only reason you’re not doing it is that you’re worried what others will say, fucking do it.
Life really is too short to wait until X to do Y. Don’t get me wrong, people will judge you. Hopefully silently, but it’ll happen. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it.
I thought I could only be creative with fashion if I lost weight and I lost a few years of being fun with my looks. I decided to just do it anyway and I can’t tell you how many compliments I’ve had for an outfit I’d have avoided a few years ago.