Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Body Positivity: The Bad Days

This post is going to be quite different from the ones you've seen from me over the past few months.

If you've followed my blog for a while you'll know that this year, after a lifetime of loathing everything about my physical appearance from my crooked stained teeth to my ever-fluctuating weight, I embarked on a journey of embracing the body positivity movement.

And overall, it's been wonderful for me.

I've seen an increase in my confidence like I've never known before, and even other people have commented on it too.

As somebody who has always been the quiet nervous one in most groups, it's unheard of for me to ever feel or be described as confident. It's been quite a novelty, really.

And don't get me wrong with what I'm about to talk about...I'm not abandoning that journey.

But the past few weeks, I've had a wobble with it all.

Not just a little stumble either, but a massive clattering fall down to earth with a bang.

Tomorrow I'm going on a cruise holiday.

There will be formal evenings. People will be rocking their finest evening gowns and tuxedos, glamming up and dressing to impress.

And I love the formal evenings. I'm a girly-girl at heart and a chance to feel like a Princess in a long flowing gown is too good an opportunity to turn down.

So I tried on my formal gowns. Of which I own quite a few, having collected them over the years since I started cruising.

Trying on one after the other, I stood in front of the mirror...I cast my eyes over my size 22 figure and frowned at my various lumps and bumps...noticing the outline of my rounded tummy showing through the fabric of my pretty dresses, and then -  in each dress - I turned to view myself from the side. And directed my eyes straight to my stomach.

My big, round, forever-pregnant looking stomach.

Then my gaze went to my shoulders.

And my inner voice did it's usual thing of throwing insults around "You look you're due to give birth any day now. And look at those manly shoulders....You look like the honey monster. God you're so disgusting..."

I hear that inner mean voice less often these days, and I often find it easier to shrug off and ignore than I used to....but not tonight.

Tonight, the words rang in my ears as I sat in the bath afterwards and cried...big heavy self-loathing tears splashing down into the water.

And I remembered every time I'd ever heard those words spoken to me by real people....because I have. Every one of the insults my inner voice throws at me have been uttered to me by others in the past.

And they stick. No matter how much you try to forget them or shake them off, they stick.

I wonder if the people who sent them my way realise that their thoughtless, careless words are still reverberating in my brain so many years later...doing so much damage to my self-image and my mental state.

I wonder if they'd care.

Because let's be honest...the world doesn't REALLY care about fat people at all, does it.

We're a burden on the NHS. We're disgusting to look at. Everyone would much rather we didn't exist, that we do everything in our power to change ourselves and make ourselves more acceptable to society.

Even in body positivity circles, only the very smallest and most conventionally attractive of body positive influencers are ever really given the biggest platforms - only the ones who's curves fall in the best places, the ones who can be considered shapely and curvaceous rather than flabby and sporting back rolls. The ones who are below a size 20. The ones with a traditionally "Pretty face".

Even in plus-size clothing ranges - women are so often only catered for up to a size 22...occasionally a size 28 or 30, like nobody past that size even exists.

Even other fat people are rarely our allies - in fact they can often be the cruelest of all.

Forever using derogatory language and dismissing their own appearances, or often their former appearances after a weight loss effort, as disgusting...which really does sting when you're bigger than them. If they think that about themselves, then what are they thinking about you?!

I could even be accused of this myself in this very post...sharing the words my inner mean voice directs my way is only going to make those who are the same size as me or bigger feel bad.

But the reason I'm talking about it is this....

Since embracing body positivity I hear so many women tell me on a daily basis "I wish I had your confidence!"...."I wish I could feel good about my body!"...as though I've swallowed some kind of magic pill and cured all of the bad thoughts and all of the bad days.

But believe me...those thoughts and those bad days are still here.

As much as I've loved this body positivity journey I've been on, and as much as I will be making every effort to get back to that state of mind...let's not pretend that it's always an easy path to walk, because it isn't.

Those hard days are less frequent than before...but when they come around, boy do they hit like a tonne of bricks.

I wish I had a magic wand to wave to make them disappear, but I don't...the truth is, we have two options. We can either give in to society and spend our lives trying to fit the beauty ideals forced on to us, or we can decide to stop playing that game and just get on with trying our very best to be happy as we are.

I choose the latter. And I'll just have to take the rough with the smooth.

But please don't ever think that it's as easy as posing in a bikini and sharing some body positive quotes and photos on Instagram to beat years of self-loathing and low self esteem because it really isn't.

There are no quick fixes with this.

Accepting yourself and trying hard to love yourself despite the messages society sends you is a conscious choice you have to make and work at each and every day.

And it can be exhausting at times.

So if it's something you're struggling with, you're not doing anything wrong. Keep pushing on.

You'll get there in the end. And so will I.

If you enjoy my blog, please consider following me on Bloglovin'
Blogger Template by pipdig