Oh the irony. Trying desperately to find something to wear and feeling totally hiddious in everything … to go to the Body Confidence Awards this Thursday. Yes. I know.
I’ve been putting off the wardrobe hunt and instead have been dealing with the inward toils and torments… I am such a hypocrite and do not deserve to go. Yesterday I even tried to justify these feelings to myself and found my brain trying this line… “Technically you’re off work… so you don’t actually good self esteem, or body confidence for another 3 months.” Yes. I really know.
However – today is ‘Get a Grip Tuesday’ (this has not caught on all over the world as- yet but I quite needed to make it up) and I’ve decided to stop being quite so harsh on myself.
I’ve had a frustrating few months. I’ve never been obsessed with my weight – and until recently I’ve never really even monitored it but since giving birth 6 months ago I’m pretty sure I’ve gained quite a lot. Google has made this worse. Last time I had babies I didn’t own a smart phone so there was no googling in the middle of the night… and I’ve come away from the past 6 months of late night baby related googling with the concept that noone else IN THE WORLD seems to have gained weight AFTER giving birth- just me. Mainly, I don’t understand it. I’ve been eating really well. I’ve been exercising, I’ve had my thyroid checked and bloods tested and it remains a mystery. It’s not really getting me down… but I’d be lying if I said it hasn’t confused me. Anyhoo… the fact remains that I’ve got an extra 2 stone added on right now…and self esteem aside – most of my clothes just don’t fit me. Fact. I dont need to feel guilty about not being happy with that… if they wont go on, zip up, stay on… then they’re not quite right for me at the moment.
As nice as it would be to go shopping and lovingly embrace the extra curves I have right now, I also am on maternity pay and with Christmas for 3 children, bills exceeding the salaries and a greater need generally for day time clothes to be puked on, rather than party dresses, the shopping trip is just out of the question. Which leaves me back at square 1 – I just need to face the wardrobe and have one of those evenings of trying everything on and hoping something will surprise me.
In the meantime though I’ve decided I need to set my mind on some real body confidence and focus on the achievements of this body – rather than just the bit that stops a dress zipping up. So here is my top 5…
1. This body just made a person. Not just one, but its 3rd whole person so far. Not only is it totally clever that it has carried, pushed out (with a cup of tea and a neurofen for pain relief) producing a little baby who is just learning to hold things, shout, sit up and eat food… but the other 2 people this body produced earlier are now capable of long division, entertaining audiences in drama productions, techical ballet exam pieces, making nutritionally balanced packed lunches and baking healthy breakfast muffins, reading the biggest Harry Potter books, creating epic lego sculptures and paper oysters (todays wet play activity of choice). They can make people laugh, talk to each other for hours and hours and play games and design countries… and they are capable to look out for people, see their needs, build them up and encourage. They are self esteem builders. My body did good.
2. This body is active. It can be woken 15 times in the night. It can prioritise holding a teething little person instead of resting when the lights are out. It can still wake at 7, shower, make porridge and walk through the rain on the school run having made sure 3 little people have all they need for the day and will be warm and dry enough. It can even still go to a gym class, run, do pilates, lift a few weights and have a chat and a laugh with friends and then take a baby swimming to discover water. It is capable of getting through the gym turnstyles to the car carrying 7 bags, an empty milk bottle, half a (cold) costa, gym pass, car keys, snow suit and a baby without dropping anything.
3. This body can fight illness. It withstands being sneezed on, puked on, coughed on, being scratched, having hair pulled out and all surviving on the afore mentioned lack of sleep.
4. This body is valued. Yes, it picks out clothes, prepares and cooks the food to nourish these little poeple who depend on me. It also can give a cuddle or deliver the words that are the exact thing needed to comfort sadness, fear, anger or lonliness. Thats quite a powerful skill it has.
5. It can ‘be there’. It can sit with a friend in need, drinking a herbal tea and giving the gift of time and understanding. It can do what it takes to put someone else first and make them feel a bit more confident about who they are.
I wouldn’t even consider swapping any of these things my body can do for a nice dress (not even that really beautiful white shirt dress in the All Saints sale…Nope.) I don’t need to be so hard on myself – I’m body confindent enough to rely on my body for all this and so much more. I DO have a wonderful pair of dungarees that fit me perfectly – I might just have to confinentally turn up in those (and hide in the corner)
Very well done to ‘Team Digger’ as we received news that Golddigger Trust has been shortlisted for the Body Confidence Awards in Education though. Being put alongside the Self Esteem Team is a huge credit to us – they are fab!