15 October 2015

On being unhappy with my body - not feeling I'm the right size for me.

I've written about getting on and falling off the exercise wagon a few times now. Before I met Adam I was really enjoying it. I was committed - getting up early to use the elliptical trainer at the gym, and I loved the changes to my body. I made modifications to suit my skin. And I was glowing.

But then I found myself without a car, with little time, the endorphins I got through pushing the pain barrier replaced by endorphins of love. Then I went overseas. And I ate. I came back and I ate some more.

I fell deeper in love, content to sit on the couch. I've written more - that never takes place on a treadmill - always in bed!

I got really sore. Last year was one of the sorest of my life.

Since early 2014, I've been to the gym more times to use the shower when mine was broken than to use the equipment. And that shower made my feet sore - I picked up some nasty from the communal recess.

So many excuses (and legitimate reasons) not to move. My metabolism has changed since hitting 30.

And lately, I've felt fat.

I look in the mirror, unhappy with my body, not feeling I'm the right size for me. I've never had this issue until now. I've always been ok with my size and shape.

My skin hurts as it presses against bulging fastenings. My arms wobble and my tummy is far from the toned pride I had in my early 20s.

Fat hasn't been a way I've ever described myself. And I know worth is not determined by dress size or body shape. So with feeling fat, I feel guilty, because I am aware I have thin privilege.

Most sadly, I've been looking at other women and comparing myself - thinking I'm not as slim/toned/gorgeous as them. Which is completely stupid of me because that's not what I'm about. I'm about loving my body and appearance and encouraging others to do the same. I guess I have the same vanity as everyone else.

I've never compared my appearance or been concerned about my size because I thought that was trivial when I had health issues to manage. Plus, I feel comfortable with unconventional beauty. And I feel it's an expectation I am happy with myself, considering I label myself an appearance activist. But now I catch sight of a tummy roll in photos and I want that conventional ideal. Again, the guilt nibbles.

As the reality of fitting into a wedding dress has drawn closer (less than six months!), I know I've got work to do.

All of this negative self talk aside, it's for my own comfort that I need to tone up.

So I've been gently easing back into exercise and eating better. Not back at the gym yet, but once I settle back into my new job and manage my time better, I'll go. I will. I want to feel that rush again, to kick those goals of running through songs and for my skin to glow. I want to have more energy for life. Because burning energy gives me more energy.

This last month I've been on long walks, short runs in my neighbourhood, done lunges and squats in the park and skipped like it was 1989 when I did jump rope for heart. In my previous job, I walked to and from work each day. And I've done incidental exercise, walking to get groceries instead of driving there.

I feel better. Happier about my body, even.

Not liking my body is out of character. I want to look in the mirror and see what my body can do, see tauter skin, and see what Adam loves about it.

I've stocked up on cute active wear - it makes me want to move. Proof looking good can make us feel better about ourselves.

I took a cheeky selfie in my active wear recently, and liked what I saw. My skin was clear and my body felt good - more toned and on the verge of a glow. It's a start.




  1. Carly....
    You go, girl!! I've been exercising since December 31st, 2014.... I hip sway/dance/work out to Bruce Springsteen about six days a week!! It is so much fun!! I excitedly look forward to hip swaying/dancing/working out as Bruce's music rocks in my CD player!! I do not even need a gym membership.... Just his albums and my closed-door bedroom!! I love, love, love the adrenaline/endorphin rush that Bruce gives me!! As resulted? I have more energy and I am no longer clumsy!! Score!! Today is actually Born In The USA Wednesday!! {When I hip sway/dance/work out to that album!!} I cannot wait!! Keep it up!! ;-D
    Love you later, Raelyn

  2. Hey carly
    Another great article. I think we can all relate to this feeling. Lots of fitness articles suggest exercising with a friend to stay on track. Maybe that will help. Good luck.

  3. I enjoyed reading your post. I really enjoy your writing. When I got to this part... 'I feel guilty, because I am aware I have thin privilege", I felt I wanted to share.

    There is no 'privilege' which comes with being too skinny. There does exist 'normative' perceptions of ideal body sizes; but fitting into a size 6 pair of jeans, brings with it no privilege. I just stick out like a stick insect.

    As I am also a woman who was born with obvious physical differences, my least favorite comment about my body is, "You're lucky that you're pretty & skinny, so your disability isn't so obvious". The inference being that my disability is inherently 'wrong' in some way; that apart from that, I am aesthetically pleasing.

    I'm often maligned by other women about my body size, eg: "I wish we could swap bodies so I was your size". To those women I say, "Sure, but you get my disability & thyroid disease in the swap".

    It's a daily battle to take on just enough 'healthy' calories to keep me nourished. I can absolutely understand the reverse & that it must be a daily battle for people like yourself to do same; when trying to shed body weight. I wish you the best with it. You're a determined person & I'm certain of your success.

    If you used the voice record function on your phone, you could write while on your treadmill :-)

    I live with Graves Disease...http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/graves-disease/basics/definition/con-20025811

  4. I don't understand this line, 'So with feeling fat, I feel guilty, because I am aware I have thin privilege.'
    I'm confused, what is thin privilege and how do you have it? I've never heard this term before.
    The only thing being thin gets me is the inability to buy pants that fit.

    1. Sorry for the confusion. Thin privilege, for me, means that I don't feel I can say I feel fat because I'm on the petite-average side of size.

    2. Ah, I understand that. I'm 'fat' for my body type when I hit a size 10 but I can't really complain that I'm fat when it's rally pretty small...
      I googled 'thin privilege' to see if it was a thing a found a bunch of nonsense ranting on various feminist websites. Seems that regular size privilege is more of a real thing,.
      Good luck with the training! I went back to the gym this week after not going all winter and am in a world of pain!

  5. Preach it sister. Body positivity is such a daily struggle for me, but the good days are so so worth it.


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