I wrote this post at 3am when I was unable to sleep. It documents the contrasting elements of my past skinny ideologies inflicting my desire to stay healthy.
I’ve lost a lot of weight. Not the ‘healthy’ kind I promote where I believe in self-love, exercise and plant-based living. I’ve lost the ‘I’m not eating enough and overdoing cardio workouts’. Unintentionally, fat has melted off my body and secretly I have taken pleasure.
It’s the same self-absorbed celebrating I found myself addicted to as a teenager. Only, it’s not self-absorbed. It’s a feeling of control.
With my focus currently emphasised on goal ticking and dream chasing, my mind has forgotten that I suffer from anxiety. This fact mixed in with constant work and stress, has led to food forgetfulness.
It’s a sin that you’re not suppose to indulge. From a non-fitness view, slimming down is hardly a problem. What a boastful dilemma.
From a wellness perspective, I’m suppose to represent ‘strong not skinny’. How possibly could I forget to eat?
As a teenager, I quickly discovered the enjoyment in withholding meals. ‘Let’s just go a few more hours,’ I would say to myself. Pleasing to my brain; it was a satisfying achievement that I was doing what others couldn’t face.
Deeply, it was a topic to fixate on. For a moment it blurred my reality. Giving up my dieting has been the change leading to happiness. No longer waking up and stepping on scales; I have energy, good digestion and mental strength. I have documented my before and after photos from my transformation here.
Unfortunately, there’s still a spying thinspiration blithering encouragement as I recognise my rib outlining.
My Instagram grew as a fitness account. I didn’t consider myself fit and I wasn’t working out at gyms and taking selfies. But luckily, ignoring a couple of ignorant comments, I received heaps of praise and support when uploading my progress shots.
An insecurity still presents itself.
Even more as I recognise my stalk arms and non-ab sculpted stomach. Do I look like I belong in a fitness group or should I wake up to reality?
Attending a gym waiting for my sister’s lesson to end, an instructor asked me why didn’t I join? And although innocent in remark, I spent the next few days pondering if he meant – you look like you need to go.
Last year I reached my strongest in fitness, with my most defined stomach. Someone commented that they could see abs.
I’m in a bubble wrap situation. I want to pop all the bubbles with gratification, whilst also not wanting no more bubbles to pop left. Meaning I’m at a war with my teenage self complementing my shrinking size and my adult self telling me to wake up and do what I believe in.
The lifting and strong trend has been revolutionary for women. Whether curvaceous, pear, banana, papaya (why not), you can get in shape and be an inspiration. It’s not an exclusive club. But what shoots up always contains a dose of side effects.
The questioning of what health and fitness means to you if you don’t embody the image. Social-media fitness can be cliquey with body goals celebrated on those who look the part. I’ve always placed myself as an outsider, despite acknowledging that I love fitness and hypocritically taking part in the body selfies.
I didn’t look how I appear now when I started. I used to post my before photos quite blissfully.
Although I love the Instagram health community because it was my influence, when people discuss their progress, there’s not much admittance in ‘falling off the wagon’ once having progressed.
It’s not so much that I’ve fallen – I eat healthy meals and exercise; it’s the past voice whispering that I am better ‘skinny’. So forcing myself to eat properly and welcome correct toning – no matter how popular a trend, cannot discourage all echos.
It’s a fighting battle that’s rarely talked about.
I think that we have to power all forms of health. Not just the six-pack abs and world’s largest derrière.
We have to motivate fitness positivity in itself. You shouldn’t have to physically represent a type.
When society’s body goals modify again (they always do), you don’t want to latch on for the sake of it.
In addition, own up to the less than perfect transitions. You can be a healthy person with minor setbacks. It’s truly a journey with you. Whether you’re losing, gaining or doing both (losing weight – gaining muscle), do not allow society to inhale guilt, or your remaining negativity to exhale doubt.
Skinny thoughts can plagued those who have suffered forms of obsession over diet. And my wish is for them and me to always remain that much more in love with health.
Can you relate to these contrasting ideals?