Monday, 1 September 2014

It turns out recovery is hard...

My feelings over the last couple of months have gone something like this:

"Oh my God life's freaking awesome and I'm eating and not thinking about calories and wow food and eating is amazing"

"Yeah so I'm not eating that healthily, and yeah, I'm not as toned as before, but heck, who cares - imperfections make us who we are"
"Woah, there nelly, I've got as much blubber as a walrus"

Photos were the catalyst of this last one. I knew I was piling on a bit of extra fat (well, duh, I'm eating more) but my Mum put some photos up on Facebook of some recent family events (just for the record, family events that I LOVED because I was able to join in, not care about eating or drinking, and for once be relaxed and enjoy the event). However the photos made me cry, shudder, and immediately contemplate fasting, juice cleansing, restricting, food group elimination, excessive exercising...the usual.

These were some of the photo culprits:

My initial thoughts on these photos:
Image on the left: Well hello there thunder thighs, and wow your arm's looking chunky
Image on the top right: Your hips are humongous and, erm, are you pregnant?!
Image on the bottom right: Are you hoarding food in those hamster cheeks? Oh, and by the way, your arm's obese.

Talk about some self-loathing.

Let's take another look. Firstly, I AM NOT OBESE. After the initial shock of looking so much bigger than I was, I realised I was not fat. Hell, I know some people work there backsides off to get down to this weight.

Image on the left: this is not a flattering photo. You did not know it was being taken. Those are your muscular runner's legs, those are your legs that can make you feel like you're flying. They're also in jeans that are now too small, and too tight clothes are never looking flattering. Maybe let's splash out on some new clothes to suit my curvier, healthier body yes? Oh, and how about looking at your other arm which is at a slightly less unflattering angle?
Image on the top right: again, that shadowing is not flattering. And yeah, you're tummy's a bit chunkier. But some of that is muscle from all those sit-ups you do. You also messed up your digestion from all that restrictive eating, so sometimes you get bloated. Eating more's the only way to cure this. (And look at that genuinely happy smile on your face - you're loving life right there).
Image on the bottom right: remember those push ups you do every day...that might have something to do with your arm size. Also remember how much you love feeling strong. As for your cheeks, unfortunately you weren't blessed with strong cheek bones and dimples - you're going to have to learn those cheeks.

And remember how happy you felt in each and every one of those photos. That's worth every extra inch of fat on your body in those photos.

So yeah, it turns out recovery is hard. But you've just got to remember to dig out that voice of self-love when it gets a bit dark. You're stronger than those negative thoughts.

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