Please do not feed the diet monster

It’s only been two years since I started trying to break out of the whole mainstream fatphobic diet mentality thing, and I already have far, far more good days than bad. I learned to love my body and my self no matter what size or shape, I can recognise damaging talk when I hear it, I will never go on another diet as long as I live.

But earlier this week I made a mistake. I had a meeting after work, and traffic was bad so I only had a few minutes at home to change out of my work clothes. I threw on some jeans and a hoodie and ran out the door.

Fifteen minutes later, when I knew I would make the meeting on time and had calmed down enough to notice, I realised that my jeans didn’t fit. At all. What should have been boot cut was now super skinny, I couldn’t bend my knees fully, and even when I was standing the waistband dug into my stomach.

I was stuck in those jeans for 5 hours. Aside from the physical discomfort, I noticed some thoughts sneaking in as the night went on. Thoughts like

This is just because of the injury. Once I start exercising again I’ll get smaller.

If I use my kettlebells, that’ll have an effect faster.

These used to fit me, how did I let myself get so much bigger?

And hundreds of variations on that theme.

I had forgotten how ingrained fatphobia was. Here I was thinking I had beaten it, but less than an hour in some tight trousers was enough to push me a huge step backwards and get me planning and plotting to make myself smaller.

What’s even worse is that the effect didn’t go away when I took the jeans off. It’s days later now and I’ve got my first salsa class since before my injury; I know I’m bigger than last time most of the salsa scene saw me, and I’m afraid of what they will think of me. There’s a small part of me that is actually seriously considering not going.

All this because of ONE PAIR OF FREAKING JEANS!

Of course I’m going to salsa. That nasty voice in my head is still trying to stop me, but I’ve had two years practice at throwing my shoulders back, lifting my chin and doing it anyway. And then the second I have enough free time, I’m going through every item of clothing I own and getting rid of anything and everything that doesn’t fit me. If I then need to go and buy bigger clothes, so be it. Clothing sizes are just numbers and not one of them is better than another.

My body is perfectly fine exactly as it is. My body (and my mind) deserves clothes that fit well and that make me feel fabulous, not like a sausage about to burst its skin.

Open smile

#‎BodyLoveChallenge2016‬ ‪#‎SmileChallenge

Today I’m smiling because I had my first chat with my Open University tutor, Lisa, and she’s lovely.

I thought I was floundering a bit, but it turns out I’m actually ahead of where she expected me to be. I will take that.

Now I’m super excited to get going and learn all the things!

html smile

#BodyLoveChallenge2016 #SmileChallenge

 

I have decided to learn some new languages this year, starting with html.

Having got my head round the basics I put my knowledge into practice today and made possibly the most basic web page ever.

third website

Today I’m smiling because, despite its basic-ness, I’m super proud of this web page. I wrote it all out without checking my notes and got everything right first time, including the bold command that I had never used before. Plus I actually found I enjoyed it. This stuff is fun!

New year. Same me. Still awesome.

happy new year
Check out these HD graphics.

Welcome to 2016!

I hope everyone had a good night (apparently greasy food is the answer to a hangover. You’re welcome.) and you’re all ready for a brand new year.

I’m not going to do a big review of 2015, mostly because I can’t remember a lot of it. I’m just going to say it was a good year; I jumped straight into body positivity, learned a lot, and changed a lot. I’m super proud of the person I am today.

So, on to 2016.

For (I think) only the second year running I am not resolving to starve my body into eating itself smaller. A moment of silence for every younger me who believed she had to do that.

Instead my resolutions are all about adding to myself. Because no matter how amazing I am, there are always chances to be better.

  1. Start learning again – I’ve signed up for an OU course in a completely different area to my degrees, because my curiosity is never sated.
  2. Grow even more confidence – doing more things I thought I couldn’t, more positive self-talk, more challenges overcome. It’s gonna be so much fun!
  3. Share more love – this could be commenting on blogs, giving compliments, buying gifts, hugs, or anything else that can brighten someone else’s day. The more love you give out the more you get back, so this one’s win-win!

They’re pretty simple, but I know even simple things can lead to huge changes.

Time to get going on the best year yet!

Strong enough to cry

Finding yourself crying on the floor in the toilets does not mean that you made a bad decision.

Let me explain – about 5 months ago I left my old job and started a new one. Since starting, this job has made me cry twice. Twice in five months might sound like a lot, if you don’t know how very little it takes to make my eyes leak. Maybe it actually is a lot. But compare it to the old job, where I went home and cried almost every night.

There seems to be this massive bundle of negativity around the act of crying. People who cry are weak, only babies should cry, crying in public is embarrassing. But actually, crying can be really useful.

The first time I cried at the old job was the day I went on the job sites and started applying for new ones. Getting puffy eyes every night motivated me to keep applying, even after more than a year of nothing except two “thanks but no thanks” emails.

And it paid off! Eventually.

My first weepy session at the new place taught me to never just walk into the meeting rooms, because you never know when the big boss man might be in there with every high heejin in the whole company.

Today’s incident in the toilets has taught that I have got to stop being so timid.

I was crying because the Head of the Alliance (yes, that is his actual job title) was angry because I had not completed a report he wanted yesterday. I could make excuses and say I only had a week to build this report from scratch and populate it. Because I did. But I know the real reason it wasn’t ready on time is because I was too afraid to go and ask for the information.

See, out in the everyday world I am stubborn, outspoken, getting towards being sickeningly confident, and full to the brim with self-esteem. But that’s not me at work. At work I am a little girl playing Secretary, dressing in grown-ups clothes, hoping and praying nobody will figure out that I don’t belong there.  I can’t ask these people for figures, they’re far too busy with real, important work. They don’t need silly little me interrupting them!

Finding yourself crying on the floor in the toilets does not mean that you made a bad decision. It was the right decision to apply for this job, and it was the right decision to accept the job offer when it came. Finding myself crying in the toilets showed me that I have to work harder and get over this feeling of inferiority if I want to keep the job. Which I do.

Luckily this is a monthly report, so in just a few weeks I will have chance to do it again and do it right. Next time there will be no crying, because I have already learned my lesson from it.