07 May A woman who is
Hands up, who is eating the entire earth right now? Same fam, same. I wish that most of my snacks consisted of veggies or fruit but do you know what my snacks are? Crisps. Crisps have become my absolute main love right now. If there was a shortage on crisps like bog roll gate it would be my fault.
I usually must be in the mood for a crisp and I am mostly a ready salted walkers gal. It’s the only thing I am vanilla in but I’m eating all of them. My favourite are these halloumi and chilli tortilla rolls even better dipped in houmous. Oh god I am SALIVATING.
I have also cheered the Easter Bunny up by eating all the eggs he bravely dropped to the house in the pandemic. He risked his life to bring them to us, he may have coronavirus now who knows so the very least I could do is to eat the damn confectionary.
A downside to all this snacking? Well we are stuck inside. I’m out for my daily walks sometimes a run if I am feeling extra but the amount of exercise, I have been doing for the last 18 months and now my motivation is lower than Flo’rida.
I am struggling to do any dancing whilst my mental health sits on this on this rollercoaster cart. The times I am at the peak just before the drop I am busting out all my moves, twerking in the garden, slut dropping in the kitchen, body rolls in the living room then as soon I plummet down the drop the climb back is slow.
So – obviously – with a combination of never-ending snacking and hardly any exercise compared to usual to no one’s surprise I have gained weight. I do not weigh myself I don’t think we even own scales I go by jeans and man are they snug. I have put the weight back on all those hard to shift areas the hips and thighs and I have had a bit of a crisis about it.
If you have read my blogs over time you know that I have a never-ending battle with liking my outer shell. I have a million insecurities and have been desperately trying to work through them. I had reached a point last year where I looked at my body naked in the mirror for a while and felt happy and peaceful. Things were looking up in my life and I had gained confidence and I started to see my body differently. Instead of scrutinizing the wobble to the stomach I relished in the fact that it held two beautiful babies safe and snug for nine months. Instead of wishing my stretch marks would disappear I traced them with my finger and saw the size 14/16 girl in that got told she was too fat to be a ballerina. I loved the fact that 35 years round the sun and two kids still have not ruined the plumpness of my boobs. I will not ever apologise for the fact that I love them they were ridiculously big when I was younger and now, they are just a gorgeous handful and I am on borrowed time of them being like this.
Over the last few days, the insecurities have been creeping back.
My anxiety has not been too bad all things considering but I have been having severe cases of imposter syndrome. I have been questioning everything I do being shit compared to everyone else. The other instructors of Turn’d up are phenomenal. I have been watching them post picture after picture of their ripped bodies, drastic transformations and just ache for a body like them. I have been watching their videos and looking at mine and thinking how gangly my legs are, how much learning I still have to do to be at their level and the more I saw the more I doubted myself.
Even stupid thoughts I had not had for a long time like how much my knees resemble an old man or a baby when I am stood up. The fact that no matter how many squats I do my ass stays “flat like a pancake” as my beloved 9-year-old so graciously pointed out.
The biggest problem? My smile. I do not know how honest I am about just how embarrassed and self-conscious I am about my teeth. I don’t talk about it as I do not want to draw unnecessary attention to them. Although, I know that everyone can see how shit they are. Every instructor has the most gorgeous smile and If you scroll through my Instagram if I am ever smiling with my teeth showing its far away or I am looking down. I cover my mouth when I laugh. I worry when I meet new people that they stare at them. When I watch my dancing videos back, I cringe at how much they are on show when I am not thinking about them.
My biggest incentive to starting teaching after building other peoples confidence was to earn money to get my teeth fixed I’ve been quoted thousands but it will completely change my life and now I cant teach my classes and my wages have gone down from my ordinary job its set me back months. The thought spirals that go with this is never ending. I was convinced the other day that I was not getting new followers because I am so ugly in comparison.
The fact that I am brand new to this does not cross my mind. Its my looks. The anxious thoughts always put it down to looks.
I ordered myself some underwear last week and when it arrived, I cried my eyes out. The high waisted pants dug into my hips and created muffin top and you could see the very edges of my caesarean scar. There was nothing I liked about myself.
This morning I woke up dark, I haven’t slept well the last few nights obviously due to my stress levels but I got dressed and I did nearly two hours of dancing and without showering I went in my room and looked at my after dance glow and there I was that girl that I had fallen in love with all those months ago. I stripped off, go that underwear back on put a little bit of make up on and just looked at myself.
The fact that I call myself fat when I am a size 10 is embarrassing. My ass is flat but my boobs are big – I cannot have it all. My teeth in time will be fixed as will the ridiculous roots that are taking over my head but what I saw today in the mirror was a woman. A strong woman. A woman who had two babies when she was told she couldn’t have any. A woman who has had three round of heart surgery. A woman who has had pre-cancerous cysts removed twice. A woman who now dances and (sometimes) runs even though I was told I cannot do cardiovascular. A woman who is kind. A woman who is funny. A woman who is brave. A woman who is broken but is working on stitching up all her gaping wounds.
So, I had a photoshoot. Me and my tripod had a whale of a time and although I still needed a bit of encouragement from my best friend on whether it was okay to post these pics that’s only because Neggy Nelly was still perched on my shoulder. I dusted her off and here they are. Not to be up myself, not for all the likes but for me. To remind myself that I really am all of those things. I am all those songs that Lizzo sings. I am all those inspo quotes that the cast of Queer eye say so truthfully and endearingly.
Your body does not define you. Your heart does. Your soul does and there is nothing more beautiful.