Recently I trialled a non invasive cosmetic procedure at a local beauty therapy establishment. By non-invasive I mean that I didn’t have liposuction, and I didn’t have breast augmentation, I didn’t even have fillers, but did consider it momentarily (just a couple of units in the upper lip?!?), and there is nothing wrong with any or all of those being a part of your self love journey.
The point is, I wasn’t there for cosmetic surgery, I was there to trial a new machine from Switzerland (via Australia), and the Australian (male) consultant demonstrating the machine was asking me some personal questions;
“How much do you weigh?”
“I don’t know”
All six eyes in the room are on me…
“What do you mean you don’t know? Of course you know. Take a guess”
I was actually weighed the night before, but I didn’t look at the number, I asked Coach to write it on the back of the paper so that I couldn’t see it. That number is a major head eff, and my head is effed enough.
I said: “Judging by the way my clothes fit (or don’t fit as is more often the case), I’m probably about 62.7kg”
“Right, and what’s your goal weight?”
Remember, this isn’t Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig’s, this isn’t even a consultation with a personal trainer or a nutritionist, this is a routine chat at the beauty therapy place before a procedure that they called and asked me to volunteer for.
I have a magic number. It’s 57. I think the last time the scales read the magic number would be about 2006. Aaaand maybe once since then, for about two days after a serious bout of gastro.
“57kg, my goal weight is 57kg”
“5kg less than you are now? You think that you have 5kg to lose? Where would you lose 5kg from? I think that you would look faaaaar too skinny if you were 5kg lighter, you have a lovely figure, why would you want to lose weight?”
Technically it’s 5.7kg, but I don’t want to lose weight. That’s a lie, I totally want to lose weight, but I want to eat potato chips and cheese and crackers and white bread with peanut butter, and I can only do one or the other. But you asked me the question, and I answered it.
So then we move into the consultation room, and I’m in my bra and knicks…in front of three people: Trinny, Susannah, and a large strawberry blonde Gok Wan. No word of a lie, Gok Wan says to me “look in the mirror and tell me what you don’t like about yourself”.
I looked at him with what I can only imagine was a “are you serious right now?!?” look on my face, and he said:
“If you could change anything about yourself what would it be?”
This isn’t Extreme Makeover, I am not a contestant on The Swan, and you are not my Fairy Godmother mate.
I said: “It took me 15 years to stop looking in the mirror and wishing that I could change what I saw. I’m not going to start again now.”
I eat differently now, and I exercise more, but the only way I will ever have a perfectly flat stomach and #boxgap is if I double up on the control top pantyhose. Thank goodness for the “fit is the new skinny” movement, because I’ve got quads, calves and deltoids galore, which were definitely not desirable during the “heroin chic” movement of my teens and early 20’s.
Self love and positive body image seem to be “buzz words” on the interweb these days. Everyone’s doing it and it’s great. I think the most pivotal part of my self love journey was when I stopped going out with guys, with a preferred body type that is not mine. There were more Ralph and FHM posters than wallpaper, and my feelings of inadequacy peaked during these relationships. No matter how hard I try, I will never, ever, ever be a tall, thin, brunette. So being with someone who would really like me to be a tall, thin brunette is only going to end in tears. And it did. Several times.
I don’t weigh myself. Well sometimes I do, but when it happens I remember why I hate doing it. If I decide I’m “getting back on the wagon” after some binging (never purging, just straight binging), I’ll weigh myself as a starting point, but then the focus is on the number, and a week later when I swear my jeans are slightly looser, I’ll weigh again and the number hasn’t changed and so being on the wagon is pointless and I might as well get back on the peanut butter buzz.
I don’t look in the mirror and think about all the things I don’t love and I wish I could change, and I don’t look in the mirror and think about the things I love about myself, because they’re not reflected there anyway.
I’m not sure what the moral of this story is. Stay away from large, strawberry blonde Gok Wan’s with physical characteristics that reek of steroid use? Do away with the scales? Focus on the things you love about yourself? Eat peanut butter on white bread in moderation?
I’ll tell you who gives good, honest advice about this stuff: Zoe Marshall. Last year I read her blog Detoxing Social Media, about cleaning up the people that you “follow” on Instagram that make you feel like shit about yourself. So I “unfollowed” the perfectly toned, perfectly tanned, perfectly polished humans (except my genuine friends), that were making me feel jealous and imperfect and not good enough.
No more bikini models, no more people posing in nothing (who takes all those pics anyway?!?!), no more excessive selfies. This might sound a little contradictory, because this is about self love, and right they are to love themselves, but the constant comparison was affecting my own self love journey.
Zoe wrote another great blog: Fitspo, Inspo, Thinspo, Bullshitspo, which is bang on the money when it comes to the lifestyle of these people. No amount of low carb, no carb, no sugar, green smoothie, protein only dieting is going to get me a #fitspo body. If I trained hard enough I could have a #girlswholift body, but I don’t want one.
I have a real life #fitspo, she lives with Coach, and she plays sport professionally, and the girl has the sort of body that I would love to have. But the girl trains up to five hours a day, and the girl is committed, focussed and has amazing will power and self control. The difference between non-self-loving me, and self-loving me, is that I look at her and admire her, and think “you deserve that bod girlfriend”. And this girl, she hasn’t posted on Instagram for 115 weeks, she’s just going around being #fitisthenewskinny and #lean and #trainmeaneatclean in the real world, and getting paid for it!
Is it time that you started your self love journey? Do you have a magic number? How long since you’ve been your magic number? How many bikini models do you need to unfollow on Instagram? Put down the peanut butter sammy and leave me a comment x