I’m getting so very organised with my blogging schedule, this morning it came to me that a) my site tagline should be changed to ‘Poetry & Positivity‘ (from ‘Poetry & Life’) and b) I should have a good self-esteem boosting positivity post – leading to the birth of Transformation Tuesday!
This post is about more than running, it’s about change and progress.
It’s about how we can sometimes drown ourselves in negative self-talk.
And about how we can override it.
(contains discussion of weight and diet)
I have never been a large person but with my height bordering on ‘petite’ I always felt I should weigh less, be slimmer, wear a smaller clothes size. I don’t think my thoughts were particularly unusual, I imagine many of us beat ourselves up about weight/body size.
Even at school I felt too short, too fat… but why? How does a 13 year old in the 1980s develop this level of self-criticism and discontent with one’s body image? Life was different back then, children could be children without this constant push to be older than their years, without social media’s unrealistic pressure to be perfect (hark at me going on about the olden days).
As an adult I’ve maintained this desire to be slimmer but despite my best efforts have almost always stayed between 10st and 10st 7lbs (63 – 67 kg).
How many of us wander into the kitchen around 9pm looking for a snack for no other reason than boredom? Or eat a packet of crisps every day with lunch out of habit? Or a mid-afternoon chocolate bar? It’s incredibly hard to break such habits and for me the only way was to be very strict. Implement rules that I don’t eat crisps or biscuits, no chocolate before lunch time, and no raiding the cupboards at 9pm!
But even with such rules in place my weight didn’t really change, my body was still the same shape, my clothes would still feel tight on occasion… until I started running. And with running I became more aware of what I was fuelling my body with, more aware of how much I actually needed to eat, and more aware of choosing nutritious food. As I started to tone up I became less focused on my weight. I could see my clothes were too big, I could see the changes to my body, slimmer face, more muscle definition. And I didn’t want to eat the high sugar foods, I didn’t need chocolate every day or cakes and puddings (although ice cream still has a special place in my heart).
This was more than just about running, or diet, or rules.
This was about acceptance and confidence.
I no longer condemn myself about not being thin enough, smart enough, organised enough. I still know what I weigh, but don’t have ridiculous ideals of how things should be. I am content with my body. I have accepted my limitations. I celebrate my achievements. And I have a confidence surrounding my body image that I have never possessed before.
To me having a positive body image is not about weight or clothes size.
It’s about being healthy and happy.