"Oh why?!" I said to myself as I winced in frustration as I tried to button up my skinny jeans. I knew it. I knew it was going to catch up with me. All the nonchalant indulging in Sainsbury's Taste The Difference triple chocolate cookies and takeaways to make myself feel better and the lack of motivation and energy to get up and go to the gym had finally caught up with me.
It's okay. It's fine. For once, this sudden weight gain wasn't entirely my fault. After struggling with a relapse into depression in the last few months (which isn't exactly a straight road to get off) and changing medications and suffering the complications of this, bullying myself for gaining weight was hardly needed. I couldn't expect myself to look like a champion athlete when I was going through stuff that was out my control. That wasn't fair, and this was the post-depression period.
I've been trying to take it with the same attitude as if this was a post-pregnancy period. If I'd just given birth I wouldn't be harsh on myself for not slipping into a bodycon dress as I formerly could 9 months prior so why do the same after I was struggling with an illness?
I've learnt to be more accepting of my body. The truth is, I'm a woman. Which means you go through several periods of life where your body will change depending on what's going on in your life - pregnancy, bereavement, new relationship, break ups, training for a race, when you're on holiday, etc. And it's normal. It's called life. None of us expect ourselves to be on top form with work or our personal lives 24/7 so why should that be the same with our bodies?
In this period of new self acceptance, I realised another thing. I need to stop wearing sh*t that is incredibly uncomfortable but it 'looks good'.
Back when I was at my peak physique, hitting the gym everyday during the summer it would be a sense of credit if I could finally wear something fashionable that I could pull off. For example, I bought tight, size 10 white midi bodycon dress with side cut outs last year.
It was a sense of achievement I could fit into a size 10 but the truth is, I didn't like wearing it then because the restriction of walking less than two feet apart, the paranoia if my stretch marks were showing and the nightmare of going to the toilet was enough stress. And honestly, you end up realising you don't feel confident. Yeah, you may look good but you don't feel confident in your own skin to enter a room and feel like "I've got this.".
Punishing myself to wear clothes that don't fit me anymore to prove a point and try and have that as motivation to lose weight only drags my self esteem down. I need to learn how to feel confident at any size. So now I've been wearing skater dresses and panel leggings because yes, they're hiding the weight gain pretty well and they're all that fits well right now but they're a lot more comfortable and I feel more confident in my own skin. And at my slimmest I was a lot more comfortable in them anyways.
I've also taken steps to not focus on my whole pressure of the physical aspect. I try not to undress in front of mirrors anymore as that would get me picking away at my flaws first thing in the morning.
At the gym, I try not to train in front of mirrors or wear tight clothing to lessen the paranoia of "Omg everyone is probably staring at my rolls thinking I'm so overweight". Which has helped me focus on what I'm capable of doing and building strength and realise "I'm here for my health. I'm here to feel good about myself. I'm here to get myself back on track."
I know I'll get the weight off eventually and I may not look as good as I did before and feel as confident when I look in the mirror but I'm more than enough. I'm trying to embrace I just look a bit more curvier and bottom heavy right now. I'm still worthy of self love, acceptance and to still feel truly content within even I'm a few pounds heavier that doesn't take away my worth. And it shouldn't take away yours either.