Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger, Chubbier.

It was my bday a couple of weeks ago.

Despite the post-Chrimbo lull and the onslaught of diet ads that the beginning of the year always brings (uuugh), I actually really like having my birthday in the gloomy depths of January. The three week interlude between January 1st and my bday always gives me some more time to think about what I want to get my arse in gear for during the next 12 months and allows a little further period of reflection on the year that we've just waved ciao to.

And so that's what this vvvv self-indulgent blogpost is about: the difference a year makes.

This time last year, I was so effin' scared of my birthday. I wasn't scared of getting older, nor the impending existential crisis, nor of the look of glee I would have to force when my Grandma inevitably presented me with a gift similar to a second-hand, navy blue, size small, long-sleeved gymnastics leotard (2 all you doubters: this has happened), but of all the food that a bday brings with it. The panic totally ruled the weekend. Here's a little run down of how the bday festivities went:

  • I was so bloody scared of how much I would eat. I knew that this birthday I would be lucky enough (or, at the time, I considered it UNlucky enough) to have four separate birthday celebrations, and thus four separate occasions in which I would be obliged to live up to my name of Cakelin. I would thus put on 71 pounds, go up 14 dress sizes and develop diabetes on the Sunday. And as society luvs to remind us, being fat is litro the worst thing that can happen to you. Ever. 
  • I was arsey with my boyfriend because he wanted to take me somewhere nice for lunch. I argued the planned location was too far away, not because it was, but because that if we went there, I wouldn't have time to fit in a workout to compensate for all the 'bad' bday grub I'd be having.
  • I was arsey to my boyfriend because he didn't buy the right birthday cake. Weird, I know, what with being so scared of the amount of food I was going to eat, but when you restrict yourself so heavily 90% of the time, the 10% in which you deem cake 'acceptable' has to be filled with the right type of cake. 
  • I was arsey with my boyfriend because my name is Caitlin Meredith and I am arsey.
  • At lunch I had lentils whilst BZ devoured some kinda beaut lookin' pumpkin macaroni cheese ting, which was what I really wanted. The lentils were good, sure, but I didn't eat them because I wanted them, I had them because they were 'on plan' (soz just been sick in my mouth) and low carb.
  • The big bday celebration day came and I killed myself at the gym, only to end up properly, hugely, massively bingeing on chocolate cake at my birthday party. I snuck into the kitchen at any point possible when my guests weren't looking to sneak another slice. I felt like such a failure, so bloody ashamed and it was so bloody horrible.
  • I ended the weekend not feeling elated by spending time with everyone I love, not feeling accomplished for having held a pretty brill murder mystery party (if I do say so myself), not feeling happy to start a new year but feeling so, so guilty. I felt so ashamed every time I let a crisp or a cake crumb or any carb slip into my mouth. I vowed that 23 would be the year I took control of my diet, I would be fitter, thinner and happier than ever.

This year could not have been more different. And It was exactly what I wanted:

  • We went out for a huge brunch and wondered around Madrid and woke up late. 
  • We drank beers. We had bread and tortilla and potato croquettes. I ate as much as I wanted, whenever I wanted.
  • We went for a long run because I wanted to.
  • We had a slices of cake and when the second servings came, I didn't want one; I was full and knew that I could have cake literally whenever I wanted. Embarrassingly, I think the remains of the cake still remain in the fridge. Past me would've eaten 'til fit to burst, present day CM goes by Marie Antoinette's advice (icon) and lets herself eat cake whenevs.
  • I didn't feel guilty at all during the weekend.I didn't make any resolutions to 'make up for it tomorrow' or to cut out carbs for the rest of the week.
  • I was nice to my boyfriend because he bought me a cactus (the tru way to my heart. Along with bagels). I was nice to my boyfriend because he is brill. I was nice to my boyfriend because my brain and body aren't so starved of carbs and sugar anymore that 90% of the time now I can actually behave like a sane, rational person.

So my 23rd year wasn't exactly what I thought it would be. I don't think I'm any fitter, I'm certainly not thinner, but I did start to take control. I started to take control of all the shitty thoughts that made me think I was 'failing' and 'cheating' whenever I had a piece of toast. Took control of the guilt that made me exercise when I just wanted to sit on the sofa watching repeats of Come Dine With Me. Took control of the social media I consumed, the 'gurus' I followed and all the shit I believed about your worth being attached to your weight. Like the Daft Punk song goes, this year I am Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger. And Chubbier and Saner and so, so much Happier.

It's an ongoing, slow process, but I'm gettin' there one bagel at a time.