If you look at my Instagram you can see my photos are often very similar, I have positioned myself in certain ways, I have filtered some things, I make sure the best bits are highlighted and I have a way of making sure any bad bits, parts I don’t like, are either not in the shot or are strategically covered. It’s the same with my Facebook and Twitter, Snapchat can often see me taking several shots before I post one that I like for others to see. The amount of photo’s on my actual camera that do not make the cut is quite mental to be honest, unless I can pass them off as me being pissed in them, or actually posting them when I am pissed. Not that this occurs often of course……. hahahaha yeah, OK!
My Instagram is very much my story of my journey from fat to fit, of my most recent fight with Depression, of my fitness achievements, with the odd motivational quote and shots of friends and family. A lot do go unfiltered, a lot of my transformation pictures include pictures which I hate have seen the light of day, but that tell quite a story for me. I am flattered I have followers, I love to get likes – who doesn’t? I post them mainly for myself though. To be able to look back on my journey, to see my weak points, to see my high points, to see the good and the bad times. The thing is though, I am still always very careful what I post. I still subconsciously post for acknowledgement though. I would be completely lying if I said I didn’t. I like when I get praised and complimented for my achievements. I like to be told I look good, whether I believe it myself or not. I am completely shit at accepting compliments but doesn’t mean it doesn’t make me feel a teeny bit, OK a lot, good hearing them. Does this make me shallow? Vain? An attention seeker? I am sure many people are sitting there nodding their head. I am sure many of even my closest friends and family have said those exact things. But I ask you this, please introduce me to a single person in this world who does not need some sort of validation in some way. If you can, I toff my cap to you, but I’ll tell you it’s a pile of bullshit!
I follow A LOT of social media fitness pages, fitness models, PT’s and sports people as well as slimming pages. Women’s Health magazine is my new Bible, I read it cover to cover every month. I watch shite TV with “good looking” people, wishing I had their stomach, boobs, lips etc. You cant help it. That is the society we live in now. Plain and simple. However, I am starting to take much more interest in the story behind these photo’s, stories and people. As my daughter gets older I becoming much more aware of the pressures that are on her lovely shoulders. I know how conscious I was about how I looked when I was a teenager and all we had was peoples actual comments. I can not imagine being overtaken with dickhead hormones whilst looking at women with thigh gaps, an 8 pack, DD boobs with a 28 inch waist and hair that would put a genuine mermaid to shame! To be honest, I am 32 and these things put a lot of pressure on me! Especially with the likes of Davina McCall, Jennifer Aniston (I admit, I may have a MASSIVE crush on her) and as annoying as she is, Gwyneth Paltrow. These women are over 10 years older than me with the bodies of women 10 years younger!
Do you know what though? I wont take away how hard they work and how much they work out. I am sure a lot of what they have achieved is perfectly achievable for the average lass. I bet it is a damn sight easier with lot of money, endless endorsement deals and some of the best people in the game wanting to help you.
What I want is my daughter, my children, to be fit and healthy. I don’t want them to focus on what they look like to the point that it is detrimental to their health. To the point that it is the main focus of their day to day life. To the point that their achievements are all rated against superficial ranking systems. I want them to be fit in a strong sense. I want them to exercise because it is good for their physical and mental health. I want them to enjoy doing it. I want them to eat good food, try new foods but I want them to have the knowledge of nutrition so they can enjoy everything they want to but have the awareness of what overeating the wrong choices can do.
My daughter has grown up watching me weigh myself daily, try new “fad” diets every other week, give up on exercise when things got too hard. She has seen me at my biggest and most miserable, she has seen me at my thinnest and most miserable. Now though, I am proud she is seeing what positive changes I am making and I am hoping I am starting to influence her in a good way instead of an obsessive, unhealthy way. She is one of the fussiest people I know when it comes to food so healthy eating will always be a bit of a task but I am proud that she has awareness of what is and isn’t good for her. I might have fucked up big style with myself but at least I have tried to get it right with her. She loves all fruit and veg, will pick yoghurts over sweets. I just hope what she has seen that I thought I was hiding well, does not have the adverse effect on her. I will do anything I can to ensure it hasn’t.
She has shown interest in running with me which made my day! We walked in the other day and she was doing yoga! I was so proud! She had got up and done this off her own back (thank you YouTube, you can be a massive plus point when you want!). So it shows me that I am starting to make a difference, one tiny step at a time. Being at senior school is also having its influences, but as long as they are positive ones I will encourage them as much as I possibly can.
I have agreed that when she turns 13 she can have social media like Facebook and Instagram. I wont lie, I am absolutely bricking it! I know I have been very strict about it and to a point she has been so accepting. I do get the odd comment or backlash from being so adamant but as a bit of a soft touch at times it was the one thing I refused to back down on. In these last few months before a part of me dies inside, I need to get my act together and make sure she knows how gorgeous she is and that she is clued up on all the reality of it. Today, I did a big thing, for me. I posted a true and honest picture of myself. Of the worst part in my opinion of me, which you can see attached to this blog post. My belly, stretch marks and rolls the lot. No filter, no camera angle magic, just me, sat normal in front of my mirror. I cringed like mad but at the same time I felt an air of brave for posting it. I have worked damn hard to get where I am, why the fuck should I not be happy with where I am? I have a way to go which I accept, but you know what, I am kind of looking forward to the rest of the journey. I want to bring my family along for the ride.
After all – STRONG IS THE NEW SKINNY.
Now, on that note I’m off to the gym 😀