The blog seems to have taken a positivity immunisation recently, so let’s inject a lil’ more love n light into it on this sunny Madrid day.
I’m normally not really into the whole ‘letters to my former self thing’ but the beauty of our incessant documentation and date stamping of everything tells me that it’s now a year to the day that I had my pre-holiday, pre-giving up the diet, pre-getting my life back breakdown and started the slow realisation that perhaps my ‘super-healthy’ diet and lifestyle were actually making me super-unhealthy. So let’s indulge in a healthy portion of nostalgia, shall we?
When I had that little (read: huge), mascara-stained, teary breakdown, brought on by the fact that a loliday we'd planned would heavily feature pizza, pasta and pesto and thus would force me to break my ultra-restrictive diet, my long-suffering, eternally and unconditionally understanding boyfriend, soothed my worries and told me that everything would be OK.
Of course, at the time, I questioned whether he had undergone a spur of the moment lobotomy and had his brain replaced with a Kinder Egg but whaddyaknow, a few months later I gave up dieting completely and really, along with a fare share of ups n downs en route, everything has been pretty much OK. The magic of hindsight would’ve been brill back then and here’s some of the things I wish I’d known were coming…
You will go on that holiday and eat pizza and pasta and panettone and you will be OK.
You will have a good few more months of struggling, wrangling with the diet and spending hours in the gym and obsessing over grams of carbs and willing yourself to be smaller and smaller and smaller, and hell it even happens now, but soon enough you’ll find a better, healthier way to live and you’ll be OK.
You’ll have carbs outside of the 24 hour cheat day window and be OK.
You’ll miss workouts because friends pull an impromptu falafel date out of the hat and you’ll be OK. In fact, you won’t even get a gym membership in Madrid and you’ll still be OK.
You’ll go on another holiday a few months down the line, and you will eat multiple portions of fried potato and mead and pancakes and you’ll even get in a bikini and people won’t shield their children’s eyes or request your immediate deportation due to lack of abs and you’ll splash about in the sea and it will be OK.
Your tummy will get softer, your face will get rounder, your jeans will fit snugger, but that’s OK too.
You’ll go home at Christmas, having put on some weight and it will be OK. Your family won’t call you a Cait impostor and sign up for a spot on Jeremy Kyle to solicit a DNA test. You will eat a guilt-free Chrimbo dinner with all the trimmings and you won’t attempt to ‘make up for it’ with squats on the Boxing Day walk like you did last year and you will still be OK.
You’ll go running because it feels nice, but you won’t go when you’re too tired or don’t have the time, and, surprise surprise, that’s OK too.
You won’t eat until you explode. You won’t become a human dustbin. You won’t sit at home all day bemoaning the fact that there’s no such thing as a robotic third arm that deposits Kettle Chips directly into your mouth at 30-second intervals. Everything will be OK.
And really, relatively little will change. The man who loves you with a lower body fat percentage will still love you when that changes. Hell, he might even love you a little more now you don’t threaten to break up with him every time he mentions having rice with dinner or push the agenda that running 9 miles every time you see him is just a cool couples thing that all couples do. The friends you have now will still be your friends whether you go up a dress size or not and will maybe even appreciate the fact that you don’t whitter on about diets 99% of the time and bring salads to social events. Your nephew will still laugh at your jokes. People will still tag you in Facebook memes (thank GOD). Few people will notice a physical change in you, and even if they do, you will care less and less.
If anything, stuff gets better than OK. You develop a more intuitive relationship with your body. You get your hunger and fullness signals back. You won’t feel consistently hungry or eat until you’re sick or be fearful of social events or hold on to weird food rules and that is super-amazing-congratuwelldone-OK! You won’t think twice about going out for dinner or trying new foods or burning excess calories. Food will be fuel, food will be nutritious, food will be a source of pleasure and connection and it will no longer be served with a side of guilt, shame and regret. Sure, you’ll eat more chocolate and crisps and butter and biscuits, but your clever old body knows what it needs to be OK, so you eat bananas and broccoli and apples and aubergines, too. You become more accepting of your body as it changes, your chunkier thighs and softer tum aren’t as scary as they once seemed and you make friends with all your new chin-pals that appear when you laugh. You are more confident, despite the fact that society tells you this only comes with the territory of being thin. You are happier. You are more rational. You have more space in your brain. You are kinder to yourself.
You are totally, 100% (hmm, most of the time) OK.