Fix it or get over it
This year I set myself only one New Year’s Resolution. If something was bothering me, I had two choices — either fix it, or get over it.
I pretended this was a grand, sweeping, all inclusive statement about work, friends, life in general. But I’ll confess right now, it wasn’t. It was about my body image.
At 20, I hated 15-year-old Lucy for obsessing about her flat chest and pokey out ribs. At 25, I hated 20-year-old Lucy for thinking she was too fat for the beach. By 28, I hated myself for hating myself. It was time to stop.
I realised that for as many days as I could remember, I’d thought about my weight. I couldn’t think of one day in my life where I hadn’t been disappointed in who I was.
About five years ago, my body image issues developed from an annoying habit to a full blown anxiety. I had a new boyfriend, and he was the one. He took me to meet his friends and while sitting around the table at lunch, I overhead the conversation across from me.
“Urgh. She’s got one of those fold-over-your-jeans stomachs.”
Naturally I looked down to see if in fact, my stomach was folded over my jeans. It was, and I gave my t-shirt a little tug to cover it up.
“Well done. Now she knows you were talking about her.”
Well now I knew they were talking about me and my lunch nearly reappeared on the table. I turned to my new BF and asked if we could leave. He heard the desperation in my voice and we quickly exited the restaurant before I burst into tears.
Turns out, he wasn’t the one, and this wasn’t the last time I had to meet a new boyfriend’s friends. Funnily enough, meeting new boyfriend’s friends has been a huge anxiety trigger, which kindly extended to just meeting new people in general.
It’s hard to accept you live in world where people care if your tummy pokes out over your pants or not, and I do like to think these two particular precious souls are a minority, but that anxiety became incredibly real for me.
It peaked December 31st 2012, when I couldn’t attend a NYE party because I couldn’t find an outfit I felt confident enough in. I burst into tears, had a panic attack and a few hours later welcomed in the New Year watching fireworks on the TV.
Shit Lucy, you turn thirty in two years. Wanna raise a family to fear their own body like this? Wanna skip out on social functions for the rest of time? Or, it is perhaps time to sort this out?
It was time. And while I spent three more months trying really hard to “get over it” — I failed. By April I’d set my challenge to fix it.
To me, “fix it” meant a few things:
- Yep, lose a little weight. You won’t be comfortable in your skin until you do.
- Find a way to make *exercise* part of your lifestyle. Find the things you enjoy to do, like yoga, and incorporate it into a practical solution.
- Talk to people about your anxiety. It won’t just disappear on it’s own.
- Be kinder to yourself. You may be chubby, but you’re also nice, and that’s way more important to everyone else in your life than your weight.
- Never compromise your values for anything. Be who you are, stand for what you believe in. Find synergy.
That’s why I’m not on a weight loss kick, I’m on a quest for health & vitality. I’m going outside my cosy Brunswick apartment and trying new things. And that includes running.
“We must bear in mind that we belong to nature, we are born in nature and have to work with nature in order to live life to the full with plenty of health and vitality.”
This is the first blog in my new collection “Lucy Clark’s Quest for Health & Vitality”. It’s going to be a fun adventure.