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My Work

The body you are in...


Hey everyone! Happy Friday! How has your week been? Mine has been ok... I say ok not because anything inherently bad has happened but because I've spent most of the week just feeling a bit... meh. You know? That way you do, when it's a certain time of the month, and you've had too little sleep and too much coffee.

I know when I have these weeks, I'm not at my best. I'm distracted, I'm lathargic, and I generally see the world and myself through a slightly duller pair of rose tinted glasses. I know that these weeks and the meh will pass, but I also know, that one feeling that's been particularly present this week, has been hanging around like an unwanted guest, for a bit longer than just this week. And in the nature of unwanted guests, is probably going to stick around for far longer than it is welcome.

That feeling, as you may have guessed from the title of this post, is insecurity.

Or body consciousness.

Whichever fits - or in my current outlook, doesn't fit, because nothing fits.

If you've read this blog for any amount of time, you'll know that I, like most women human beings, struggle with insecurity around my looks and my weight. It probably started somewhere in my teenage years, like most of these things do, but it wasn't until after Uni, in my early twenties that it really started to bother me.

My weight fluctuated quite dramatically when I moved to Manchester. Which now when I look back on my mental health, and how lost I felt, and the way and the where I was living, is hardly surprising. But it did come as a surprise to me, and I pinned everything that was going wrong in my life on my body and the state it was in. I blamed my body instead of myself because some how the two seemed disconnected.

In the years that have passed since then, I lost the weight, fixed my life, put the weight back on, realised this was because while my life was in much better shape there were still things missing, lost the weight again, this time really working on my mental health too, and then stayed at that weight happily for the best part of the last two years.

Sure in those two years I've thought it would be nice to loose a couple more pounds but generally speaking, it's the stablest my weight, and my attitude towards it (and myself) have ever been.

So to be sat here typing up this post feels pretty crappy. Because I thought this little demon had been house trained.

I thought I had a really healthy perspective on this kind of thing.

But that healthy perspective has slipped all because a couple of pounds.

And I hate that. I almost wish that it was a couple of stone. That my healthy perspective on my body was so strong it would take a wrecking ball of a couple of stone to knock it down. But it hasn't, it's taken a couple of pounds to knock me back.

A couple of pounds that are a product of having a really good fun summer with friends and Young Man and family and food and drink. A couple of pounds that are a physical memory of a good time, but that have tipped my scales from happy to unhappy.

Which all sounds a little dramatic, doesn't it?

I am not in the darkest place I've ever been. Far from it. I'm just freaking out because I now know the warning signs. Those tiny moments that used to go unnoticed that I now see as great big red flashing lights screaming at me:

"SOMETHING IS BOTHERING YOU, AND YOUR BLAMING YOUR BODY."

And as meh, as this week has been, I'm glad it's come now. I'm glad I can see that warning sign, ten miles before the cliff edge, and I can pull the breaks, stop and do something about it.

And when I say do something about it, I don't just mean run and diet, and work at getting those pounds off. I mean, stop, and think, and write it out, and work out what else might be bothering me. Because I know that just doing the running and loosing those tiny few pounds isn't enough.

Because I blame my body and the way I look when other things in my life aren't where I want them to be, when really I should praise my body for getting me this far in the first place.

I am lucky, and should be grateful, that my body has never betrayed me with any sort of life threatening illness. My body has never put me in danger. My body has carried me through 26 years on this planet and it has survived.

This is the body that has let me do some pretty amazing stuff. This is the body I was in when I performed to 200 people. It's the body I was in when I interviewed for the job I'm now at. It's the body that is typing these words to you, that graduated, that fell in love, that laughs when things are funny, and that while occasionally bruising like a peach, has got me through life, relatively, unscathed.

My body is me, it isn't separate to me, and it isn't something I should only blame the bad time on.

A lot of people talk about changing your inner monologue, and I guess that is what this post is me trying to do.

Because the body I am in, it's mine, and it shouldn't be blamed for the bad times, just because it gained a pound or two, it should be praised for the good times.

The good times, that may or may not have involved the food, and the drink, and the memories that led to that extra pound. Or two.

Writing this post isn't going to kick insecurity out of the door. I'm British, and polite, and could never ask a guest to leave. So instead I'll entertain insecurity for a little bit longer. I'll engage it in conversation and work out why it's here, and I'll let it leave when it realises it no longer has a place here. I'll gradually show it to the door, where it will see my running trainers, and my smile, and it will look around and see's all my friends and loved ones and achievements and it will know.

Insecurity doesn't belong here.

And if when insecurity leaves me, it comes to your door. Hear it out. But hear the doorbell, that warning ping, and hear it out on the doorstep rather than letting it sneak in unnoticed.

Have a lovely weekend x

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