As I write this I’m on the plane ride back from Ben and I’s summer holiday to Cape Verde. I’m sweating in my jeans and tee as it’s 33 degrees and I was worried about ‘being cold on the flight’, eating a bag of Cheetos and fighting over the armrest with the man sitting next to me.
Ben and I decided to go back to Cape Verde as we were so devastated to come home last year, so we’ve done it all again. Meaning that the second we checked in the layers were stripped off and serious sunbathing could commence as we settled straight back into it. (We even got the exact same room as last year).
Now. Last year when I came I was going to the gym glasses 3 times a week, eating healthily (for me) for weeks and weeks commencing our holiday. Why? Because I didn’t want to look like stuffed sausage in my bikini. Turns out, regardless of how much work I put in, how great I felt in my bikini in my bedroom, the second it came time for the grand unveiling around the pool. I still wasn’t happy. I still felt chubby, my tummy still wasn’t flat enough, my thighs were still too big, my arms were still too flabby. I was still unhappy.
And I did the same before this holiday, 3 months before the holiday deadline loomed and I started upping my spin classes, I started watching what I ate and I started to panic. What if I still don’t look good? What exercises can I do to combat my bra rolls? Why in God’s name are my calves STILL the same size after eating all this green shit?
I was stressing out so much about what other people thought of my body. What other people would see when they saw me. What I should look like. I should have a flat tummy. I should have a thigh gap. I should be toned and athletic looking.
Well shocker, I’m not athletic. I’m not someone who loves exercise or ‘an active lifestyle’. I am however someone who loves cookies, pizza, binge watching box sets with Ben, and not stressing about squishing my butt into a size 8 skirt. So why I am going to deprive myself of the things I love for a few months to please people who I’ll never see again after the holiday?
Why am I going to completely change my lifestyle for a few months to look a certain way? Knowing the second the wheels touch down at Gatwick I’m gagging for a pizza and spent the next 2 weeks putting a funnel into my mouth to shovel in as much junk as humanly possible.
I placed other people‘s approval of my body over my own happiness. I put more emphasis on other people loving my body, than me loving my body.
Surely it’s better to just be happy, do the things I love doing and maintain an achieve standard of health. Regardless of what event maybe pressing. Surely it’s better for me to actually accept that my body shape isn’t one that is naturally able to achieve a thigh gap and a 24 inch waist. It’s just not the way I’m made up, it’s just not how my body works. So why on Earth would I punish it, dare I say hate it, for not being able to achieve something completely out of the realms of possibility?
Accepting that my body is what it is, that it keeps my healthy, it’s able to go to the gym albeit it sweats before the classes actually start and it can tolerate the amount of pizza I consume is pretty fucking great. And this has without a shadow of a doubt been the best revelation of 2018.
So no, I’ll never be a size 8. And in all honesty, that’s a-okay with me.