Okay so I thought I would reveal the topic that most 20 something girls seem to be ranting on about recently and nevertheless pops up on my Whatsapp girls chat more regularly.’ I’ve got fat’ ‘Help me’ ‘I need to sign up to the gym asap’ ‘No holidays for me this year’…’Wanna go for food, one last binge wont matter will it?’ ‘I’m drinking shakes for the rest of the year’.
That’s not all…
Whilst clearing out my wardrobe the other weekend, I came across a pair of jeans that bizarrely looked a hell of a lot smaller than I remembered. Weird. So obviously, I decided to try them on. Here’s the 411 on these jeans: Topshop Leigh skinny jeans are created to be a little bit tight and not so high-waist, which is exactly why I started to rarely wear them. But now, this time round, I couldn’t even button them up over my stomach. Even the pant dance and lying horizontal on the floor didn’t help, gravity wasn’t saving me this time. The desperate attempt to get those buttons up was like playing a wrestling match and even when I just about buttoned them up I reflected a ‘pig in blanket’, the extra inch or two was showcasing around my hips, the searing guilt I felt for apparently letting myself go and cancelling to many of those gym sessions, resembled the thought of promising myself I will never eat a cheeseburger again.
No deal. These buttons were going nowhere.
Jumper: Zara ( sold out find similar here)
Bag: Mango (sold out find similar here)
Pumps: Kurt Geiger (sold out find similar here)
It confirmed what I had been feeling for a while, what me and my girls have been ranting on about for the past few months. Even a big topic of conversation in the work office recently, both men and women complaining that they have put on a bit of weight in the past three months. Even a shitty day at work on a Monday calls for a cheeky bag of haribo. But seriously who dosen’t put weight on over Christmas time?! (Anyone with me?!) Despite being okay with myself in my reflection and treating myself sometimes (well, more than just sometimes, apparently), all of that was replaced with an almost vomit-inducing feeling of guilt and ‘what the f*ck has happened to me’. Suddenly I wanted to cancel dinner with friends and cancel any future holidays or buying that cute crop top and bikini. Suddenly I’m cursing J.K. Rowling for inventing an invisibility cloak that is only available in the fictional world of Harry Potter and not in my local branch at Topshop. Suddenly, my reflection no longer resembled the happy, 20-something woman with a good career, great friends, awesome family, lovely boyfriend and being a blogger that was standing there all but 5 minutes ago, with a giant slab of greasy pizza shouting GIRL YOU GOT FAT!
Okay so fat is extreme but you get my drift…
When you’re faced with the shitty realisation that you may have let the festive holidays get the better of you (damn you social life, prosecco bottles, pigs in blanket and Christmas left over binges) you begin to question everything: those jeans were really tight, weren’t they? And I don’t think I’ve worn them since I last washed them on a really high temperature and tumble dried them and we all know that makes things shrink, right? Is butter a carb? You have an almost out of body experience when you’re so disgusted that your own skin feels like a foreign object, put under the microscope to scrutinise every tiny (or not so tiny, in this case) flaw. I live in my sweat pants most days, as Regina George once said: Sweat pants are the only thing that fits me right now – who dosen’t love a mean girls quote and I feel you right now Regina as my jeans don’t fit.
Instagram, the general media, ad campaigns, Victoria Secret models (the recent show certainly didn’t help) – they all get a lot of flack for setting unrealistic and unreachable body weights for women. But staring at beautiful women with incredible physiques is not always the reason why we feel so disappointed in our bodies, crushing our self esteem faster than you can nod enthusiastically to the question “would you like fries with that?” DUR, large!?
What if our issues lie closer to home?
Within ourselves? What if it’s not always about the airbrushed models, insta-girls in bikinis, or the ad campaigns, but it’s actually the moment we realise that our bodies have changed, that we’re no longer as in shape as we used to be, and that quite frankly, we’ve grown up a little and with that we’ve grown into ourselves? No super-toned abs of a #cleaneating #insta-goddess can ever make me feel quite as terrible as not being able to fit into my Topshop jeans – and that’s a far more problematic body-related issue to deal with than the glowing bronzed babe with 15,000 likes on her latest bikini picture. You can shut your eyes, ignore the campaigns, vandalise them, or turn your phone off from Instagram, because part of you can always disconnect yourself from it as you know it’s not reality. But you can’t disconnect yourself from yourself. Your slimmer self. Because that was real and that’s not changing unless you do (harsh but true?). You’re weighing yourself up, quite literally, with your own standards rather than someone else’s.
That said I was on a double date last night with my other half and his friend and girlfriend and the topic of conversation was our bodys. One being a body builder, the other girl struggling to put weight on and goes the gym five times a week purely to gain muscle to look more shapely aka Kim K. Then me who was complaining my ass has got to fat. But my boyfriends reaction of ‘ Don’t ever put yourself down I absolutely love your body *squeezes my ass* and says don’t change it (thanks bae). Therefore it’s not the guilt that comes from others setting unattainable body standards. It’s the guilt that comes from letting our own personal, attainable standards slip.
It’s a sick level of punishment that can be very, very difficult to hide from, and thus equally difficult to deal with especially for us 20 something women in this day and age – please someone give us a break! We are all guilty of bathing in the rosy glow of a real-life Instagram filter. But those god damn jeans made me regret everything and with the regret brings on the never ending rants to your girlfriends for a little pick me up.
We are our own harshest critics: it’s time we give ourselves a bit of a break. So we’ve got to remember in this world based on likes and followers, we are still so much more than just our appearances, or a few pounds of weight gain from the festive holidays. Put yourself back into the gym and into a balanced healthy lifestyle. It’s time to stop hiding away from it and do something about it. Focus on yourself and hit those new years resolutions of loosing a bit of weight and feel great about you and get that transform that Instagram filter to a real life constant glowing filter.
P.S I joined back at the gym this week so already feeling motivated and I hope this post gave you a little kick up the butt too and not to feel so bad about yourselves or having a little junk in your trunk.