Ten months later and the last 10lbs of baby weight are stuck fast. My hips, my tummy, my boobs, everywhere is slightly larger than it was, slightly softer. It’s not a bad thing (I know I’m fairly healthy – I exercise regularly, I eat quite well) but my own personal goal is to get back to the post-Nathan, pre-Kittie body, when I was in better shape than I ever have been.
My body has changed, and that’s okay, but my clothes are still a bit tight and that makes me uncomfortable both physically and emotionally. I know we shouldn’t focus on the scales because it can drive us crazy and it’s not necessarily a reflection of health – it’s better to focus on how we feel. But, actually, the scales are a pretty accurate reflection of how I’m feeling and I find them a good way (alongside my clothes) of measuring my ‘safe’ space, health wise.
Weight shouldn’t affect our happiness, but it can and it does. When my scales tell me I’m at the weight that is normal for me I am generally in a better mood, I’m more energetic, my mind is clearer. And that’s because, when I’m at my goal weight, I’m eating good, homemade, unprocessed foods, and there’s less chocolate and cava being consumed (both of which are full of sugar, obviously), and exercise is easier, so I’m performing better. When I’m eating and exercising well I feel happier.
Not only do I feel better physically and mentally when the scales are in the right place, I actually feel more confident because my clothes fit me properly. It might seem shallow and superficial, but it stems from always feeling chubby at school and being bigger than most girls. The ‘pin-ups’ at the time were slender blondes like Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, and I was a slightly chubby girl with brown hair tied up to hide the natural curls. I was curvy before it was cool, when Kate Moss and the waif-like celebs were sexy, which later turned into the lollipop head trend (think Rachel Zoe, Nicole Ritchie, Jennifer Aniston on Atkins). My weight was mentioned frequently during my school years, by boys and other girls, and it left me feeing very self-conscious. Still to this day I am paranoid about my big boobs and big bum but I am grown up, so I am able to rationalise these thoughts and feeling my best helps me do this.
These photos were taken a few weeks ago, in mid-August. I haven’t changed. I feel fine – good – but this dress would fit (and look) better with those extra pounds off. The waist wouldn’t feel as tight and the bust wouldn’t stretch and I would just feel better, less tuggy and self-conscious. That’s a horrible feeling. But I adore this dress (I got it in Zara earlier this summer) so I wasn’t going to let it sit in my wardrobe until next year when I might have lost these extra pounds. I won’t let my scales (or the voices in my mind left over by the meanies at school) tell me when I can wear it. Equally though, I will enjoy wearing it (and many other items in my wardrobe) even more when I feel more like my old self.
Of course, when I’m more comfortable it’s a pleasure to get dressed, a joy to wear clothes. I love clothes and fashion and I get most enjoyment out of them when I feel good wearing in what’s already in my wardrobe. I’m in my late thirties now so I would say that most items in my wardrobe are staple pieces that I wear time and time again – I don’t want to buy them all again in a bigger size. I want to wear the ones I’ve chosen, the ones I’ve already paid for, the ones that I know work for me and my lifestyle, and I want to feel good in them so that I can spend less time fretting about my body – because, I admit, I do – and more time focusing on my family, my friends, and my work.
Dress, Zara (current, but on the ‘last chance to buy’ rail in stores); sunglasses, New Look at ASOS; shoes, Castaner at Net-a-Porter (current); basket, my mother-in-law’s.
Images: Kris Miller.