TW: This post references eating disorders and body dysmorphia
My body has changed in the last few years, and I’ve gone from barely thinking twice about how I looked, to thinking about it quite a bit. Whilst I’ve only put on a stone or so, I carry a lot of that around my tummy and my thighs. I’ve got stretch marks I never used to have and my jeans are a size bigger, clinging in all the wrong places. It’s not the end of the world, but for some reason it’s really got to me, and with weight loss shoved in our faces at every turn, it’s been one more thing nagging at the back of my mind.
I’ve been struggling with body confidence over the last year or so, but this summer really took a toll on me. The combination of a wardrobe declutter and an upcoming beach holiday bought my weight to the forefront of my mind and it was a real battle to look at myself positively. I struggled to find summer clothes that I felt comfortable in with a slightly chubbier stomach and stretch-mark covered thighs, wishing that crop tops and mini skirts were as easy to chuck on as they had been in years before.
When you’re used to looking a certain way, change can be a shock. I barely noticed I was putting on weight, assuming I was just shrinking more jeans in the wash than before, when in reality the perils of office life were finally catching up with me.
For someone who has never felt this way before, it’s been a battle. I know I’m lucky to have largely glossed over weight insecurities; my woes when I was younger were around being too slim, having been labelled as anorexic by a ‘friend’ on one occasion, and not being eligible to give blood due to being ‘underweight’. I’m glad I’m not in that position anymore, but my new squishiness doesn’t fill me with joy either.
Whilst there’s bigger problems in life than a number on a scale or on a tag in a pair of jeans, I’ve been in a bit of a rut recently with my online space and I thought I may as well use it to share what’s actually going on in my life.
The photos in this post were taken at the start of the year, and whilst I shared a few snaps on Instagram, this outfit in particular highlighted my body in a way I wasn’t so keen to share. Looking back on them now I don’t really know what I was worried about, but I guess it shows that I’m a bit too critical of myself and the way I look.
I’ve no doubt that I’ll get over my body woes as we creep towards winter – I’ve always been more comfortable in chunky jumpers and jeans than dresses and crop tops anyway – but I’m also hoping to have a healthier relationship with my body by the time next summer rolls around.
I do want to start eating better and exercising more, but aside from that I just want to cut myself a bit of slack. At the end of the day I’m a healthy weight for my size, I don’t eat too badly and I do go to the gym semi-regularly so there’s really no need for me to be so hard on myself.
I feel like I should have a nice conclusion for this post, but I don’t really. My body positivity is a work in progress and I don’t have all the answers, but it’s been therapeutic to get this off my chest – even if it has taken me over three months to work up the courage to publish it. Let me know in the comments if body positivity is something you’ve struggled with in your twenties, and how you overcame it if you’ve made positive steps in that direction.