Thursday, 16 June 2016

Project Acceptance

One of the hardest parts of trying to deal with emotional eating and learning how to properly eat intuitively, has been getting to grips with the concept of needing to love myself.

What I’ve come to realise is that I barely even accept myself, never mind having affectionate feelings towards little old me, which isn’t really an ideal place to be starting from.

One of the books I was reading gave an analogy which I rather liked: you need to accept where you are in order to make progress; otherwise it’s rather like wanting to make a journey from Boston to LA, but you’re not in Boston, you’re in New York.  You cannot possibly make the journey you want to without acknowledging first where you are actually starting from and planning to go from there.

I sort of thought I was cool with that and had acknowledged my starting point, but turns out I was wrong.  I realised as I was walking home last night, just how much I refuse to accept my current self.  And the catalyst for that realisation?  My wardrobe.

Let me explain.  Like a lot of people, my weight has fluctuated over time;  I’ve been bigger and I’ve been smaller.  Influenced by what is “socially acceptable”, whenever I have lost weight I’ve tended to celebrate and throw out my bigger clothes as soon as possible – “I’m not going back there obviously!”  But when my weight has gone up a bit, I’ve clung to my smaller clothes.  Oh, I have an entire wardrobe stashed under my bed that belongs to my much smaller self and has realistically been put away for another day, but I also have quite a bit in my current wardrobe that belongs to my slightly smaller self and doesn’t really fit comfortably.  The result of this is that when I stand in front of my wardrobe trying to find something to wear, there appears to be a lot in there but quite a chunk of it doesn’t fit or feel right.  That is not a situation that is engineered to make me feel good!

Here’s the kicker:  what this comes down to can be summed up perfectly by a pair of long denim shorts I own – they are a style I love, but they are a bit too small – they just about do up but are really uncomfortably tight.  Rather than buy some more in my current size, I think to myself that it’s not worth it, I’ll just wait until the ones I own fit again.  I am basically telling myself that at this size I am not worth some new shorts.  I don’t deserve them.  I don’t accept my current size as anything other than some kind of temporary blip.   And that is a terrible message to be sending myself.

Last night, I felt like enough was enough.  I can’t go round thinking of myself like that.  I am not accepting me for me.  I am judging my worth based on my current weight – do I deserve some clothes that make me feel comfortable and confident?  Yes!!  But the way I’ve been acting has been telegraphing “no” and effectively punishing myself by not getting a few new clothes that fit. Ridiculous!

My weight has not changed significantly in the past year (which is actually a pretty positive thing when you consider that I stopped dieting last September and didn’t automatically put weight back on), and I’m around a solid size bigger than I was at my lowest weight a few years ago – some stuff still fits and other things don’t, but I think it’s about time I stopped punishing myself for putting on some weight and allow myself things that make me feel good.  After all, as one friend said last night in response to me commenting that I’m not as small as I was, “no, you’re more awesome now”.

Project Acceptance starts here.

Friday Favourites

1)      House shopping – I love looking at all the possibilities and considering the options.  I seriously need to sit down and write out the list of what I want, as the more I look at the slightly further out areas and the houses I could  have instead of a little one bed flat, the more it looks tempting, but I think I’d regret being that far out away from my friends at the moment.  I’m quite good, I think, at seeing the possibilities in a property rather than just what it is right now, and I’ve started dreaming of house decorating and home improvements already.  Heart eyes emojis over having a little nest of my own.

2)      Planning summer adventures – last night was the summer planning session for the Explorers Connect group and we came up with loads of potential ideas to keep us entertained over the summer, starting with maybe a bit of wild-swimming next weekend.  

3)      Pimm’s – you can’t beat the feeling of summer that comes with drinking cold Pimm’s in the warm sunshine .... definitely when accompanied by a punnet of strawberries.  Living the quintessential British dream last weekend on a picnic blanket by the Thames with my book.

4)      Busted (and Wheatus!) – last Saturday night was like a trip down a very cheesy memory lane.  We saw the bands at the sold out O2 Arena in London, and it was awesome.  And if I’m honest even – so much better than I was expecting.  I thought it was going to be cheesy hits and nostalgic, but potentially not the best quality singing ever nor the most tuneful – just a bit manic.  Well.  That was me proven wrong.  Both bands blew my socks off in terms of raw talent and the performances were electric.  It was a hell of a lot of fun and my friend and I danced the whole way through.  We were pretty lucky with our seating as well, as we were close enough to be watching in person, rather than on the big screens, and they came down to do a section on a central stage that was literally about 10m away from us.  All in all, it was fabulous.

5)      Sunny pub walks – again from last weekend, myself and two friends set off for a walk along the Thames with the aim of a specific pub because we knew they did awesome cheesecake (who needs lunch; skip straight to dessert!), and the weather was so lovely, that some 6 or 7 miles later we finally staggered home via another 2 pubs in the sun.  It was catch up chat, summery drinks and admiring the drool-worthy property on that section of the river (shout out to Chiswick Village and it’s random picture-perfect country cottages and manor houses by the river).

6)      New sandals – since summer is basically here, and knowing good ol’ Blighty will probably last for approximately 3 more days this year) I’m taking advantage of sandal-wearing weather.  My pair from last summer look sadly tatty and worn now (which is fair since they cost about £7 from New Look) so I  fell in love with this gorgeous pair of blue ones from White Stuff when I accidentally fell into the shop on the way home on evening this week.  They fit like gloves and give a colourful little boost to my outfits.  They’re a necessity right?  I just have to keep telling myself (and my budget) that.