Happy Wednesday folks, how are you? So after a couple of days break, I now have the time and energy to do some of those ideas I’d been battling with justice, and today I want to tackle something that throughout my life has always been a topic I’ve wrestled with in one way or another.
Over the past couple of months I’ve wittered on about going vegan and how full of life it has made me feel. I’ve more energy, my skin is better and my mood is improved. There are a whole bunch of benefits that I would list before this next one. Ones that focus on being happy and healthy… Something that for me, this next benefit has a complicated relationship with.
I’ve lost weight. Around a stone. And I would be lying if I didn’t say I am chuffed about that.
When I was in my dark and twisty patch before Christmas, a lot of the things I was getting upset about came back to my body confidence, or rather my lack of it. Despite the fact that my parents have always called me ‘vain squirrel’ I have always had a shakey relationship with my appearance. I might be looking in the mirror, but 9 times out of 10 my thoughts and feelings are far from vain. Body confidence and vanity, are often tarred with a simmilar superficial brush. ‘What’s on the inside is what counts.’ I KNOW that I have much more to offer the world than my looks, and I KNOW that if I take a step back, I am lucky to have the body I have, and look the way I do.
These things I KNOW, but they are not always things that I feel.
So I have lost a little bit of weight, and I have found my body confidence. On the surface it is as simple as that. At the moment I can revel in that being a good thing. However, I also know that, loosing weight isn’t a concrete answer to body issues.
Right now, I am super happy with the way I look. I’m not even that fussed about loosing much more, which for me is AMAZING, because if you’d asked me three months ago, how much weight I wanted to banish from my hips, my thighs, my chin, I would have told you at least twice as much as I’ve currently lost. I couldn’t imagine being this weight and being this confident. That is a positive step forward.
That’s a step forward that actually hasn’t anything to do with loosing weight.
In changing my diet, I changed many things. I changed the unhealthy routines I’d gotten into, I changed the unhealthy things I put into my body, and I changed the unhealthy mindset I had slipped into. I gradually started to see the light seep in, and with that I felt less dark and twisty. I stopped linking the way I looked to the things that were making me unhappy, and gradually even those things in themselves stopped having all that much power over me.
Case in point: I’m not single because I’m unloveable, and I probably won’t die alone. I’m single because I refuse to settle for less. I was alone because I locked myself away in my flat with just a chocolate bar for company, but now I won’t settle for that either. Now I have the energy to do more on an evening, to go out to meet people, to increase my chances.
Changing my diet, changed the number on the scales, and on the surface that has brought my body confidence back. But if that number had gone down, but my unhealthy thoughts hadn’t lifted, then I would be no more confident or happy now than I was then.
Body confidence is a complicated thing. It’s something people often mistake as being linked to how we look. Change how we look, we’ll change how we feel. But that isn’t always the way, you don’t necessarily report a pound or two missing, only to retrieve your body confidence from the lost and found box. Changing your diet and your life shouldn’t be done with the single goal of reaching a target weight. That’s too narrow a picture, the truth is, I could have changed my diet, and not seen any change in my weight, but making that change, made me feel empowered, it gave me back some control, it made me look at all those other aspects that were getting me down in a different light, and that change would have come about regardless of weight loss. That’s the change that really brought my body confidence running back to me.
I will always have issues with body confidence. It is not necessarily something that will ever go away, but the more I ‘deal’ with it, the more I learn about it, the less I see it as being about weight gain, or the size of my nose, or my posture… or one of the many other things, my darker twistier side could list. Having body confidence, the confidence, to really LIVE in the body you have is more about how much you believe in your own ability to take on the life you have. Never pin your happiness, or your unhappiness on a single thing, that’s too fragile a way to live. In life a quick fix is very rarely a long term answer. Take a step back see the bigger picture, put things into perspective, because you might put your unhappiness down to you feeling ‘big’ but in the grand scheme of it, that is probably only a very small part of it. A small part that is very intrinsically linked to the whole.
Live life & look after yourself and every bit of you, inside and out x