Growing up, I never had a particularly healthy relationship with my body. I always overate and ended up much bigger than all of my friends, then finding myself focused on losing as much as possible and tettering on the edge of an eating disorder; at neither end of the spectrum was I any happier, because it’s not about the size of your clothes or the weight on the scales, but how you feel inside. For most of my life I’ve dabbled with diets and lifestyle choices aimed at satifying my need to fit into the societal norm, but the results were only ever temporary – as soon as I started eating normally again, or stopped going to the gym to burn off what I’d eaten for lunch that day, I found myself back to square one and feeling all the worse for putting myself through it. My twenties were spent pretending to love myself but actually loathing what I saw pretty much every time I looked in the mirror, but when I hit the big 3-0 something clicked inside me and I really started not to care.
A cliche I’m sure, but as your third decade creeps up on you it seems all those issues, concerns and worries you had as a teen or twenty-something seem to fade away – being replaced with rediscovered confidence and respect for all your body does for you on a daily basis. I stopped being concerned with what other people thought of me, I stopped caring about the label inside of my clothes and I stopped worrying about whether or not I should eat the cake. (The answer is always eat the cake!) With age undoubtedly comes the ability to gain perspective, to appreciate the wider issues in the world and to celebrate our own uniqueness; complaining about having a wobbly bum, bingo wings or a tummy that sticks out over the top of your jeans seems nothing in comparison to losing loved ones, seeing the country’s economy go down the toilet or dictators coming into power.
Happiness is a choice, and I made that choice for myself and my wellbeing.
Don’t get me wrong, I would love to have a longer pair of legs, boobs
that have seen better days and hips that actually fit into dresses, but
that doesn’t stop me being grateful for what I do have and realising
that diversity is what makes our world so beautiful. I’ve learned to
dress for my body shape (and my age) without sacrificing style, sticking
to a few key looks that I know work for me and allow me to feel good –
rather than self concious or worrying about the fact a garment doesn’t
quite fit. Gone are the days when I’d buy something just because it was
cool or on-trend that season, instead reaching for cuts and colours work
for me; and if that means swapping Topshop and New Look for a lot of
Next and Marks & Spencer then I’m totally there for it.
What I’ve found fascianting about the last few years is how my body is changing; I’ve been gaining a little extra cushioning in certain areas that were never historically a problem, and seeing parts of me that were once my fave evolve into areas I’d rather keep covered up. (Bingo wings, I’m looking at you!) It’s medical fact that your metabolism starts to slow in your thirties and we find ourselves tackling issues that we never even considered in the decade before, but for me that’s brought with it an increasing ‘f*ck it’ attitude to love the body I’m in and look after it in every way I know how.
I’m never going to be super skinny, just like I’m never going to be
5ft 8, but I do make an effort to go to the gym a couple times a week
and ensure I have a balanced diet; my downfalls may be coffee, diet coke
and sweets, but I counteract that by eating a tonne of fruit and veg
alongside water and supplements to ensure I’ve got all the minerals I
need. It’s about a heathy balance and finding happiness alongside
respect for your body – because it keeps you breathing, moving and
enjoying life without you having to think about it.
I guess what I’m trying to say is this: my body has changed a lot in
the last few years, and definitely not for the better, but I’m ok with
that. I’m ok with it because I’m thankful for what it does for me, I’m
happy with the curves I have and how I feel walking down the street, and
I couldn’t really give a toss about what anyone else has to say about
it. I’ve earned my right to live my life the way I want to, and if that
way is having a slice of cake and a glass of prosecco at the expense of
my growing waistline every so often – so be it.
My body, my choice.
Pictures taken by Kaye Ford
BooHoo Embroidered Boho Dress | £25.00 | SIMILAR HERE
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