I’ve written quite a lot recently about trying to change my weight and my shape and how I feel about myself. Six months on and 1/6 of my body weight down, having overcome a huge hurdle in terms of how I think about food, I’m so much happier about myself. In truth, the change in weight and shape matters only as much as how I feel about taking control. It’s the achievement over that which counts the most, I only said to Max last night that I’ve got used enough to my new shape and size that I’m beginning to feel fat again. I’m beginning to want to head into exercise and toning to make myself fitter not slimmer. That seems like a good new goal though. The weight change, coupled with having felt useful and productive at work of late, has lifted my spirits enormously, changed how I feel about my place in the world. Coupled with my sense of survivorship (I made that word up) – surviving a troubled and painful 7 years, keeping the business running, recovering from significant and paralysing birth trauma and most of all surviving the death of my son – I do feel different. Remarkable sometimes.
Seeing myself look different in photos is still the most amazing thing. Knowing I can probably effect bigger changes if I want to over the next year and feeling like I have the strength to do so is even greater than that.
This video starts with the phrase “If I could go back one day…” oh, what an emotive thought. If I could? What would I say? Would I tell the 18 year old grieving her friend what was coming? No, of course not. She always knew, in her bones, anyway. She didn’t need to really know. Would I tell the young mother waking up from nightmares about operating theatres and callous midwives that one day she would wish for those nights of misery, because there was a baby tucked up safe and sound beside her and there would not always be that distraction from the dementors? No I wouldn’t. She only survived losing him because of those nights. Would I tell her about the choices she would make and the costs they would have? No.
But if I could go back to the girl who never believed she had friends, thought she would never be loved, didn’t wear patterns or outrageous make up or crazy shoes in case people looked at her, if I could tell her that each of those crippling moments of doubt and shame sent her to the chocolate bars that made her fatter, which made her sadder, which made her fatter – would I go back? What would I say?
I’d say – you will be one of the first to marry and to an amazing man at that. I’d say you will grow up, properly grow up, surrounded by incredible friends of all shapes and sizes who love you (mostly) whoever you are. I’d say that one day you’ll wear purple boots and bright red tops and not give a stuff and neither will anyone else. And I’d say that the days you spent knowing you were too unfit and too fat and too lazy to fix it empowered you to teach your children to know better – and they were amazing for it.
That’s what I’d say.
And I’d stop worrying about looking silly in short skirts on too wide hips.
Simply Be create beautiful clothes for size 12-32 which are for sale in 9 shops and online, with a further16 stores planned soon. Their mission is to help women feel wonderful about themselves no matter what their size or shape and to encourage them to feel good about themselves for who they are and how they feel, not just how they look to others. You can find out more on their Facebook page.
If you went back, what would you say?
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Simply Be – all thoughts are our own.