Over the past year I have been trying mighty hard to change. It started out as wanting to change how I looked, I figured just joining a gym would be the answer to everything. I mean what could go wrong? It’s assumed isn’t it that when you work out you can just eat what you want cus you’re exercising yeah? I mean eating shit is cancelled out by going to the gym…. This was my thought process for almost eight months. At first I did lose a little weight, but eventually my excuses for not changing my lifestyle or awareness of certain dietary choices were wearing thin. When I began working out I simply wanted to lose weight, there was no other motivation behind it. I had recently been dumped, feeling shit, hating my body and just wanting something to change. My entire self worth and value was centred around how I looked. I wanted nothing more than to fit into that old pair of denim shorts I refused to throw out… They were a size 8… please getting back to that would be impossible at the rate and attitude I was travelling with. Eventually I decided finally on just biting the bullet and going hard with changing my diet. I didn’t just go on a fad diet that would last a month and then wear off, I changed everything. Something in me finally clicked and I realised, maybe my body just wasn’t doing what I wanted it to cus my brain wasn’t in tune with what it needed. My body didn’t need half arsed exercise and eating shit, it needed regular full body work and food that nourished. I needed to change my perception of beauty and what that meant to me. Being thin wasn’t enough, being healthy is what I really needed. I needed to alter my perception of fit and healthy. Feeling fit, feeling healthy, feeling confident in my appearance was something I needed. No matter what we say, everyone at some point in their life has a moment where they hate their body. Our bodies are so important. We wouldn’t be who we are without our body. We wouldn’t be able to grow and develop without our body’s carrying us.
People blame modern society on a woman’s self worth. And while yes the media and the internet haven’t helped, but let’s be honest unrealistic expectations of women’s bodies have been around for centuries. They’re put on us because we keep the species going so men need to feel attracted to us, like they want to create life with us. I mean a man invented heels to make a woman’s chest seem larger and her stomach smaller. The trick is not letting these expectations rule you, you need find what you want and why you want to look that way. Just look back at the 50’s. Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Ava Gardner… these women were beautiful, even by today’s so called standards. Models and actresses are beautiful and wanted because they’re beauty is symmetrical. This idea hasn’t changed. The only change is that the body type has become more and more unrealistic. However even still, Monroe at her largest was a size 12 (AUS) which is not big and she was actually pregnant and then suffering a miscarriage so the weight was emotionally unhealthy. But to be honest her usual size was an 8 AUS, which is a 4 US so she was actually pretty damn small. People have romanticised the 50’s as being some sort of magical era of women with curves and waifs non-existent, but that’s just not true. Screen sirens and models of the 50’s were under extreme pressure to have tiny waists, womanly hips and large breasts. To many that body type would be unrealistic. Even all the way back in the Victorian Era, women were cinched at the waist to make them seem smaller. Either having their breasts pushed down into obscurity or pushed up beyond belief. No matter the era in time, women are expected to look a certain way.
Being small is something I wanted. I didn’t know why I needed to look that way. Maybe I thought if I were thin then all my problems would magically disappear. Maybe if I fit some sort of mould then I would be happy. But it just didn’t happen overnight, and it didn’t happen because I exercised beyond belief and starved myself. Eventually our excuses for avoiding actually making a decent change wear thin. People feel the need to justify why they can’t change something about themselves. Even though someone thinks going on a soup diet will help them drop ten kgs in a matter of weeks, once it’s over the weight comes back and the excuses return. Changing involves consciously admitting you are the problem. My entire self worth centred on my body and it wasn’t changing because I only wanted to be thin, I didn’t want to be healthy. Feeling fit, feeling healthy, feeling strong is different from wanting to be thin, from wanting to be fit. My body didn’t change until my attitude changed. My body image is something I’ve struggled with all my life. I doubt I’ll ever feel 100% comfortable in my own skin, but I’m trying my darnedest to change my attitude. Eventually the mind has to nurture the body. Eventually we need to realise our body is a gift.