Updated: Apr 26
Last year, my trousers split - right down the bum. My favourite pair, after years of rear tension, up, down, round and round action. All over in the blink of a cotton-splitting eye! Oh how I loved them. Did I rationalise this with... RIP dear trews, thank you for your service. Did I heck! I went into a sudden panic regarding the size of my sitting pillows! Because old habits die hard. It didn't last long, I've thankfully upgraded my thinking in that department.
But also... why do we never blame the clothes! Why do we first presume it's our body at fault.
I want to introduce you to another pair of bottoms. These are a pair of Zara jeans, bought approximately eleven years ago, shortly after giving birth to a human. Have you ever done this? Bought clothes to incentivise you to lose weight? What skeletons have you got in your closet? But I loved the jeans, just the perfect colour I was looking for. I loved them... I mean I loved the idea of them.
Because they didn't get near me. For the purposes of this blog I've just tried to get them on and genuinely struggled to get one leg in!
I eventually did get them on with great hilarity - how much weight was I anticipating losing? Or was I just intending to perhaps melt, from the pelvis!
What was I thinking? I can't even get my bum in them!
Remember from last week's blog that I'm at the peak of my physical fitness reader! That I was bigger than this when asked by my surgeon to put on weight for my fat-transfer op.
I have actually worn these out to dinner once. I can only assume I had to unbutton to digest.
Pah! I think these need a new home...
The thing is, maybe I could lose weight, but it wouldn't be self care, it would be an obsession based on thinist ideals. When we reject our own bodies, or the idea that there are a variety healthy body types, we subscribe to thin idealism. It's not real. I'm a working mum and even just from a practical point of view, it would rob me of my precious remaining down time, impact my work/life balance and rob me of food joy, and I'm just not prepared to do it. My body is great!
Try this one, I distinctly remember making the decision to keep this top, even though clearly, following my double mastectomy, it doesn't really fit any more around the boobs, it's really tight, they're not bigger boobs, just less forgiving.
This top literally won't fit me comfortably until I have my implants out - no matter how much weight I lose, these bad girls are staying put! Even before the surgery, I wore it with the buttoned sleeves undone, to accommodate my strong arms! Why is it still in my house? Charity bag!
Here's another one for you. Two years ago we spent a weekend in London celebrating my son's birthday. We visited the Hard Rock Cafe and all got commemorative t-shirts. They didn't have my size. Rather than go without... I bought a size clearly too small and again said to myself great motivation to slim into it!
I wouldn't. I didn't. Know why? Because it doesn't fit me! I wore it the other day. The first time ever in two years... while my kids have grown out of theirs, surprise! I haven't shrunk into mine.
Look at it! How thin are my arms going to have to get for this to comfortably fit? With my body frame and without removing my deltoid muscle, it's just not possible. What was I thinking? I still wore it on Tuesday. I love it actually 😫 Still I assumed in the shop that it was my body that needed to change not the size of the clothes.
Because I was still in the habit of eschewing the reality of my actual body in favour of thin ideals.
And it brings me to another point, when we talk about the ideal body image, we're not just talking about thin bodies, but bodies with all sorts of credentials: tall, great posture and poise... but one that rarely gets any air time is ideal ratio. I have a fairly slim body with broad shoulders and some quite powerful limbs. This can often mean having to go up a size in dresses with sleeves. Know what I mean? Or this...
The lesser-spotted armpit shot...
Spot the hole in this totally natural shot of me staring at the sky in pure whimsey... I love both these dresses. But I have come to accept, it is the dress, or the cut, that doesn't work for my body... not the other way around. And I will stop buying clothes that don't fit. And please don't look too closely at my armpits, because these dresses aren't going anywhere, and maybe not the Hard Rock T-shirt either...