With the weather getting warmer (and warmer and warmer….) here in Australia, clothes are getting smaller and skin more exposed. For anyone with insecurities, this time of year is always met with apprehension. There’s the old ‘to wear a bikini or not to wear a bikini’ debate, cellulite worries, wobbly arm fears, and that’s just scratching the surface.
I genuinely believe that no one is immune from feeling these worries to some extent, especially with things such as Time Hop showing you that four summers ago you looked completely different to how you do now.
A few weeks ago, my Time Hop showed me memories from a trip to Ibiza I took with my friends. Aside from having a great time, one of the things I remember most about that holiday was how cripplingly insecure I was. I couldn’t stop worrying about my weight. I didn’t want to wear a bikini, didn’t want to wear shorts, didn’t want to be seen.
What struck me when I looked back through the photos was how CRAZY I was to be upset about the way I looked. My holiday wardrobe was killer, I was having a brilliant time and I was probably the thinnest I’d ever been.
I want to say that my immediate reaction to those photos was to think ‘see, it’s never been about the way you look or the size you are – insecurities are just in your head’, but to be honest my first thought was ‘if you were worried about how you looked then, imagine if Ibiza you could see you now’.
Whoever we are and whatever stage we are at on our confidence journey, there will be knockbacks. That was one of mine.
After a few days of not very nice self talk, I started to realise that those photos were taken years ago -YEARS AGO. Who doesn’t change in years, especially when their life now is completely different to their life back then?
Back then I was on the pill which for me suppressed my appetite and my PCOS symptoms. I had disordered eating patterns. I was always, always doing something – self care didn’t really exist in my life. I didn’t spend a few days a week at home sat in front of a computer writing like I do now. Plus, with being as insecure as I was and going on a holiday, I had probably half starved myself before I got on the plane. Of course I was going to look different!
I think that something we don’t realise is that our 20-something bodies are not meant to look the same as our teenage bodies.
We put how we used to look on a pedestal, but realistically we won’t ever get back there. Our bodies aren’t meant to. Our hormone levels change, our hips widen, our metabolism slows down. Even in different seasons we change.
What I am trying to realise is that the body I have now is the body I am living in in this moment. It is the one that allows me to travel (COVID permitting!), to go to work, to be a good partner and friend. This is MY body and instead of wishing it was like it used to be, I should be thankful for how it is now and the things it allows me to do.
Honestly, this isn’t an easy mindset switch and please don’t let this post fool you into thinking I am fully there with this thought process, but I’m getting there. I hope you get there, too.
For updates on my Aussie life and more positive self talk posts like this, you can follow me on @jesskitchingwrites