I know that I’ve come a long way on my journey to ditch the body hate. I’m pretty far down the path now and, without trying to sound like a wanker, not tying in my weight with my worth has been life changing. One of my favorite bits is how it’s changed my experience of going away on holidays.
I grew up on Queensland’s beautiful Gold Coast. I moved here to Melbourne in 2001 when I was in my early 20’s and still wearing a size L or XL. I had quite a few years of body hate under my belt already and I’d lost and gained 15kg a couple of times too. I was playing the shame game well.
I moved to Melbourne in autumn and spent the next 6 months feeling cold like I had never felt before. I did a lot of crying about missing my family and about the ridiculous (to me) weather. I spent a lot of time inside so I wouldn’t have to put 5 layers on. When I did go out (other than to go to work) it was to go with my boyfriend to see a band or go to a bar and drink booze. I discovered the joy of huge bowls of warm warm delicious pasta. Also coffee.
You can see where I’m going with this-I put on some weight.
So I spent the lead up to my first trip home not feeling super excited about catching up with my family, but stressing about having put on weight since I’s seen everyone last. Because gaining weight is failure, right? For the next trip I was ready and instead of looking forward to catching up with friends and family, I tried to drop a dress size.
Trips home went on like this for years-Buy a ticket, count down the weeks until I’d be leaving, calculate amount of possible kilos I could shed, go on a diet, fail at diet, recalculate weeks and possible weight drop, try again, hate myself for not losing 10 kilos in 6 weeks, feel self conscious that people would think I was just getting fat in Melbourne, put on the measly couple of kgs a dropped on the first week on holidays, be disgusted with myself for lack of willpower, and so on and so on.
The years rolled (lolrolled) on down here in Melbourne. My boyfriend became my fiance, we got married and had Tannah. Still fat. Still dreading being fat on holidays. We moved back to QLD and had Willow. Still fat. Then I dieted again and lost a HEAP of weight. I did it basically by being constantly hungry while breastfeeding-no medal required. We moved back to Melbourne and I got pregnant with Harper and the weight-pregnancy and otherwise came back. And after Harper was born I was back to being fat again. Self-loathing was at an all time high and when I took her back home for the first time at 6 months old I was so upset.
I knew everyone would remember what I looked like when I’d left to move back Melbourne the second time. I had been so much smaller. I felt so ashamed of myself. Disgusted even. Instead of my main focus being on showing off my third daughter I was worried about my weight. As usual.
It was that year I decided hating my body was no way to live.
This time next week I’ll be at my Mum and Dad’s house with the kiddos. The lead up to this holiday has not been filled with starving myself or worrying about how fat I am or feeling like a failure because I “let myself go” after having kids-haters gonna hate. I’ve not seen the weeks as a huge countdown clock to needing to be smaller. I know that being fat doesn’t make me a failure.
I’m packing my swimmers, downloading a couple of new books and I cannot wait to catch up with my family and friends.
Who knew going home for a holiday could be so easy?