A thigh gap is not the change I want to see

I’ve arisen on a Sunday morning at 8:30 am, which is early for me. I usually try and stay in bed with my cosy looking husband, but for some reason, I just couldn’t sleep.

I had this burning desire to do something. Write, plan, research, I wasn’t sure. I came across yet another post on Facebook about someone’s desire to be thin and I realised that I needed to write this.

I’m a 31-year-old woman who is technically ‘overweight’ and I can no longer be fucked crying about it. Not because I’m letting myself go, becoming a quitter or because I don’t respect my body. It’s because I’m sick of wasting my precious, gifted and healthy life worrying.

Every single day since I can remember I’ve had this need to be thin programmed into my brain. This toxic way of thinking is a by-product of the kind of environment I grew up in, which is an obvious reflection of society as a whole.

But I don’t need to tell you that. We all know that our weight and overall appearance stems from an ideal we are fed by media, societal expectations and history repeating itself.

I’ve actually been losing weight recently. Want to know my secret? Not being on a diet. And I don’t mean bullshit clean eating, whereby you tell yourself it’s not a diet but secretly you’re hoping you wake up tomorrow with the body of a green juice drinking yogi. I’ve been there and done that and it worsened my relationship with weight loss and food.

I’m not on a diet and I’m not trying to be thin. I’m just looking after myself, listening to my bodies needs and being reasonable. One month I might lose a few pounds and the next I might have put some on, but the world doesn’t come crashing down around me when I do.

We’re all wasting too much time crying over spilt Weight Watchers milkshake.

Our bodies aren’t an Instagram hashtag, a strict regime or an eight-week meal plan app.

When we’re lying in our deathbeds staring the grim reaper in the face, I highly doubt we’ll be proclaiming, “I just wish I’d lost that extra ten pounds.” or “but I never fit into a size eight!” to our loved ones.

I wonder if my current attitude to this weight business (because it is a business) is down to my age. Yet, that can’t be true because I see so many women my age and older who are in a constant panic stricken state surrounding their dress size.

Nobody needs to have a butt like Beyonce, a stomach like Britney or legs like Taylor Swift. It’s just not going to happen. We’re never going to look like one of those manufactured and air-brushed celebrities because they are simply that. Manufactured. They spend millions on their appearance, with a brigade of specialists and strict, unrealistic regimes which only make sense if your body is a product to sell.

britney taylor swift beyonce

All of the time we spend being upset about our weight is so wasteful and painful to watch. All of the mental space we occupy with feelings of sadness, worthlessness or paranoia. We should be celebrating our life achievements and being grateful for the fact we have a family, food in our cupboards and a bed to sleep in at night.

I’m not thin and I’ll never be thin. I’m never going to fit into a size eight or go to the gym five times a week. Frankly, I’ve got better things to do with my life. The size of my arse in a pair of jeans or my muffin top is not inspiration enough to dedicate my brain power to such a superficial cause.

I want to help others, laugh with friends, sing on stage, dance around like an idiot, go on adventures and be free from societies shackles. Because when I’m fixated on my weight, I can’t do any of it.

If I focus too much on my weight life becomes a series of excuses and I keep telling myself, “I’ll do it when I loose weight” but life isn’t so patient. We can make excuses forever and then wake up one day and realise we can’t do those things we’d planned because life has thrown a curve ball, health concern, family crisis or some other unpredictable shit our way. This is the reality of living.

I might sound cocksure, but I’m still self-conscious. I’m still staring down at my legs while I type this feeling as though they’re too chunky. A lifetime of negative thought patterns is hard to eradicate, but it’s time to grow up and concentrate on real issues. Such as taking care of my family, building a future with my husband and making a difference in the world.

As Gandhi said, “be the change you want to see in the world” and for me, a thigh gap’s not it.

 

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