Back in 2013 I had a killer year – I landed a great new job, started kickboxing, met Joe and dropped a dress size. I was the fittest I’d ever been and for the first time I felt amazing in my body and proud of it in every way. Over the past two years my weight has gone up and down and I’ve put on about 2 stone. My body shape is completely different now to what it was and sometimes it’s hard to come to terms with. Unfortunately there’s no excuse – I’ve just not been exercising as much and I’ve been eating a lot more. I’m comfortable, I’m really happy and sometimes that comes with a few extra lbs. I’m not one to be unhealthy although I do enjoy a cheat meal and a glass of wine. It’s just at the moment those cheat meals and wine have become a lot more frequent…which has caused the weight gain. There’s no magic formula and no other excuse.
When the time comes to strip off and slip on a bikini it can be quite stressful if you’re not 100% happy with your body. As I’m writing this, it’s a week before my next holiday (as you read this I’ll already be there – piccies on instagram @xameliax – The margaritas are on me!) and I’m sat here waiting for a load of bikinis ordered from ASOS because I don’t fit into any of my old ones. When I tried them all on at the start of January after booking our hols I was really disheartened (not only because I’ve got some beautiful bikinis I can’t wear!) but because when I tried them on, and they didn’t do up at the back or dug into my hips I felt like a failure. I looked back at all these old photos and I really felt sad that I’d let myself go. But 6 weeks down the line I’ve taken charge of my fitness and my body once again and had a bit of an epiphany.
Your body WILL change. After you have a baby, as your lifestyle changes or as you get older and gravity takes it toll – It’s so hard not to look back at old photographs with longing eyes and vow to yourself that ‘the diet starts tomorrow’. Forever chasing that body you had before is unhealthy. It won’t do you any good. Back in 2013 I was single, living at home and had a lot more time on my hands. Now I have my own business to run, I have a house to clean and keep tidy, a dog to look after and a relationship to maintain – it’s hard. Life changes, you change and so does your body.
So instead of staring at those pictures and cursing yourself for the extra padding you have now, make some small changes that will help you towards a body goal that fits with your lifestyle NOW not then. Don’t think ‘Well I used to spend three hours a day at the gym‘ if it’s not possible now. Give yourself half an hour and do a Kayla workout, or go for a long walk – try to fit exercise into your life in other ways that don’t require hours and hours on the cross trainer.
But most of all don’t beat yourself up. Every day look in that mirror and say out loud one thing you love about your new body. Swap the ‘I hate how my muffin top hangs over my jeans’ to ‘I love how amazing my bigger bust looks in that v-neck top‘. CONFESSION: I really don’t like the me in that photo below snapped of me on a blogger trip last summer – it took a lot of guts to post it here. My tummy looks terrible hanging over those high-waisted bikini pants – and there were some even more unflattering snaps too. Now you might be looking at my photo thinking ‘There’s nothing wrong with her tummy’, but I see it. In fact, for a very long time that’s all I saw. Understand that most of the time you are your own harshest critic and it’s this mindset we must change. Instead of hating on my not so perfect belly I’ve tried to focus on the fact that you know what? I’ve actually got pretty hot legs that go on for daaaaays *high-five ladies*. If you can’t find a positive point about your body then ask a girl friend or your partner to pick one and roll with that – I guarantee they won’t just stop at one either.
We need to learn to love ourselves, because those extra few lbs DO NOT change who you are inside and sometimes you can even look a little better with a bit more weight on dem bones! I loved how I felt back in 2013 but I’ve come to realise now (and it’s taken a while trust me) that those feelings of empowerment and confidence didn’t stem from my weight loss or my size 8 skirts, they came from the fact that for the first time I felt like a strong young woman taking on the world, no matter what size my clothes said.
We all have a breaking point where we start to feel a little uncomfortable, I get that, I reached mine at the start of January – two dress sizes and 4 cup sizes bigger than my lightest – and so I bit the bullet and joined a new gym and FORCED myself to go. I made time for me and I started right back at the beginning; eating healthily, keeping my cheat meals to a cheat meal not a cheat day or cheat weekend and struggling to keep up at the back of that exercise class. So far I’ve lost 12lbs in 6 weeks and I’m starting to feel like me again. Not because I’m lighter on the scales but because I’m taking control, pushing myself, getting stronger physically and mentally and using my body again.
This morning I tried on my old bikinis again and guess what? They still didn’t fit…not even close! However I didn’t feel that same regret as I did at the start of the year, I somehow still felt amazing, even better than I did on past holidays a stone lighter. It’s not about the number on those scales, it’s about how you feel. It’s an overrated phrase but beauty really does come from within – you just need to find that something to give you the confidence with the body shape you have now. I remember feeling huge around the pool on some of those holidays in the past (yes, really) yet when I look back now I’d love to be that size again and I can’t believe how I ever slated myself. Remember this and know that in 5 years time when you look back on the you that exists now, you’ll be jealous of that tighter, smoother younger skin, thinner thighs and perkier boobies! But don’t let that Jealousy consume you – understand that life moves forward, bodies change and as long as you’re healthy and happy that’s all that matters. Use that jealousy and longing for a better you to push you forward not hold you back.
I’m thinking of putting together a blog post on my new fitness journey for those interested – what I eat, what exercise I do, progress pictures etc – so if you’d like to see that then do let me know in the comments! It’s been a real eye opener for me mentally more than physically on how much better I feel within myself and also in the mirror, even though I’m still not that size 8 person from 2013. For me building up fitness is less for the vanity (although of course it feels great to look better on the outside) and more for the positive mind it brings me
It’s never going to be easy to change a mindset and you’re never going to love your body all the time (if you do, give us your secret!) but if you can find that balance between comfortable and confident you’re on to a winner.
You got this girls….go get ’em.
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