How many times have you thought you need to wait to do something till you've lost weight, like wear that outfit, have a family photo or go out to a fancy restaurant?
If the last year has taught us anything it's that life is too short, there's always going to be a challenge to why we shouldn't do something whether it's being on lockdown so we can't travel or not having enough money because work has been hard to come by during the pandemic.Those are challenges, but don't let an excuse like what you look like stop you from living your life.
The reason why you don't feel able to do the list of things you want to do until you're 'skinny' is because you see people on social media going on adventures, wearing those fabulous outfits and having those perfect family portraits and to you they all look perfect but they're not real life, you can't see beyond the screen. When someone posts a picture of their holiday you can't see the emotional roller coaster she's been through, when you see a video of someone twirling in a gorgeous outfit you can't see how she beat herself up in between each take for having her rolls over hanging, you can't see the stress and arguments behind the picture perfect family.
There is so much that goes on beneath the surface of each human being, every worry, guilt and pressure that you feel most of the population will be sharing one of those with you. After the challenges we have all faced during the global pandemic, I like many others turned to food for comfort, to fill the hole inside me that 'staying home' brought, I have put on weight and I haven't mentally adapted to how I look now.
We went away this weekend for our first anniversary (a last minute pandemic wedding after postponing from June) and I set up my camera to take some photos of us on Cheddar Gorge and when I looked at them I instantly thought "Oh wow I look fat" even after years of work to feel comfortable in my own skin, I still had that initial sinking feeling but you see self love isn't a destination, it's a journey. I know that because I spend a lot of time around social media where most people have smaller bodies than me I am not used to seeing my own larger body.
You see what we surround ourselves with is what we become, our minds get comfortable with what we see continuously, so if we are following a lot of people with smaller bodies than ourselves when we see that photo or catch a glimpse of ourselves in a full length mirror we are going to feel disconnected from our bodies. We spend more time connected to what society leads us to believe is the 'ideal body' because it's what we see air brushed, photoshopped or filtered on our feeds than we do connected to our own bodies which is where the disconnect comes.
We need to change this because being connected to an 'ideal body' that is impossible to achieve leads us to self loathing, which knocks our confidence, which knocks are positive mental attitude, it can lead to being more snappy to our loved ones when we're triggered and it can stop us from making memories with our family and friends because we feel as if we need to wait until we have lost weight.
To start with I suggest unfollowing or muting people who make you feel bad about your body and find new accounts of women who are celebrating their bodies in all shapes and sizes. Then start reconnecting with your own body, buy yourself a lush smelling moisturiser and after you've washed or before bed just take time to smother your body and for each part of your body think how grateful you are and what it's done for you in life. We are all on this earth for a reason, it's time to stop waiting for the perfect time or the perfect body and time to start finding joy and making memories everyday.
With love & gratitude,
Ana Louise Bonasera, mum of 4 boys, girl power enthusiast.