Goal: I want to love how my body looks all of the time.
Problem: I just don’t always see it that way. Gah!
I had two central thoughts this morning. One getting ready to leave the house. One en route to Hackney Overground.
Thought one - “You really need to start eating less Karen.”
Thought two - “You really need to start loving and feeling comfortable in how you look naked.”
I mean, why have one personality when you can have two!
I’ve agonised over both thoughts a lot during the past year. In my 32nd year I just can’t eat the volumes I used be able to. It’s bloody annoying and I feel ill equipped to handle this change. Anyone who’s witnessed me eat copious amounts of lardo at P. Franco on a Saturday afternoon between lunch and dinner will understand my burden.
I hate negative feelings lurking around me all day so in a bid to make my day more productive I decided to get my kit off as soon as I arrived at my stop. Exiting Oxford Circus (after missing it by two stops earlier because I was trying to meditate but kept daydreaming off to how I was going to fix my body problem!) I made a beeline for & Other Stories. I grabbed one item of clothing I wouldn’t normally wear (a tight pair of dungarees), a dress with a neckline I know doesn’t suit me and the classic baggy jumper. The changing rooms in & Other Stories are great because you can perfectly see your whole back in the mirrors. Back, bum, thighs, shoulders, waist, neckline, back of your upper arms, back of your head, your wonky hair length you didn’t realise you had - it’s a fun game! So there I was the brave lioness that I am breathing in, yanking off my jumper, followed by awkwardly pulling my shirt up and over so as not to get tinted moisturiser on the collar before ripping off my jamie jeans.
Stood with my socks still on (I’m not crazy! It’s bloody cold today!) I first noticed the tag in my bra popping up annoyingly obstructing the initial view. So I rectified that by tucking it behind the bra clasp and finally got to take in the shape and look of ..well…everything!
My ass is bigger. That’s a basic fact and since I’ve stopped boxing it’s less perkier. Gah! I can’t work out if I’ve cellulite or not on the back of my upper thighs so I reason I probably have. I am today the owner of much fuller thighs. I knew this anyway as I’ve gotten into the habit of squeezing them when sitting down. That part I’m weirdly comfortable with. It makes me feel more woman. Oh hello there personality two!
I have always hated the backs of my upper arms and how broad my shoulders look from the back and I’ve wanted a longer neck since that became a fundamental part of modern day beauty. I’ve had lovely comments on my waist so I don’t critique that. A sweet miracle in the midst of my current psyche.
Then I turn to the danger zone - my tummy! It’s a lot fuller than it has been but it looks strong I convince myself. I’m absolutely not prepared to give it a third thought.
Then I stand there and just look at my posture, my body shape as a whole. My back really curves in. It always has done and therefore my tummy is kind of pushed out. Sticks out. In yoga and pilates I’ve always struggled with the “tuck your tummy in” position because my back just doesn’t allow it.
So there I am, my ass sticking out one way, my tummy the other, my back a crescent shape and I realise that in grappling with the ultimate changes in my body ageing, it’s not stressing out over eating I need to be doing! Just like I eat differently to perhaps the norm, I also need to dress differently. I need to dress me and all the curves peculiar to me.
The dress sticks out at the bum for obvious reasons but I like that now. I wish it had sleeves for the backs of my upper arms as then it would compliment my body shape. I actually really like the dungarees as they fit well and really show off my body shape but I’m just not sure the world is ready to see that. The baggy jumper is horrendous!
Getting dressed I squeeze the shirt at my waist and yearn to find clothes with shapes that really suit me! Tops that show the shape of my back and waist and make my new ass more of an asset and a sign of maturity and womanhood.
Sitting here writing this my tummy is rolling a bit like it always does (no matter what I weigh) but I feel kind of jubilant! Elated at the opportunity to shop better and dress my food up with an outfit that doesn’t require a new way of eating. I love my food! And after years struggling to eat right for my gut type I’m not ready to eat less of that food.
I used get so many comments on my size for the amount I was able to eat I almost feel bad about having put on weight. Oh hello identity crisis!
I am not a drama queen. I’m making my new weight sound like an extravagant amount. What’s happened is that things that have happened have changed me. I’m seeking inspiration and support for this changing time in my life and the frustration that comes with that is getting dumped on my body. I'm disappointed with myself for allowing that to happen.
Honestly I wish I was wearing those tight black denim dungarees now with my ass and tummy doing what they want to.
My feeling is that a lot of us do this. Push the weights of our worlds onto the entities processing it all.
So here’s to working through what’s actually going on with us rather than dumping everything on how we look. Our bodies are complex with the inner organ relationships still to be fully explored. I’m going to fairly distribute the weight of my thoughts going forward rather than black sacking them all in one place.
Hello Karen 3.0