I can’t quite believe that this is my one hundredth blog post! It blows me away just how quickly time has passed and how much I’ve seen, grown, changed over a period of 18 months or so. And I want to spend a few moments exploring the changes that have taken place with you, dear one.
I was prompted to start this blog whilst taking part in the Local Government Challenge, a work competition that turned me upside down and inside out. Competing taught me so many things about standing firm in who I am, stepping into leadership and challenged my view of success (from success = winning to success = doing my best and all I can from the process). From there I galloped onwards, standing firm in the value I bring to work. I managed to successfully negotiate a pay rise (something I would have been too timid to ask for in the past) and secured what, at the moment, is turning out to be the job of my dreams.
It has taken hard work, perseverance and a lot of soul searching but I’m living definition of success – giving my best and getting all I can from work each and every day.
I’m not sure the me of 18 months ago would recognise the woman I am now. I look back on the early posts where I worried so heavily about what you would think of me, lovely friend, for writing things about myself that were in any way positive, confident, complimentary.
Sure, I know I’m not perfect. I can be moody, insecure, shy, but I now proudly own all that I am and don’t mind sharing my self-love with you! I own both that which I love – my optimism, my generosity, my imagination – along with that which is not so great.
I also own those facets of myself which I feel aren’t desirable in society. What I mean by this is what someone described as my ‘core of steel’. I look (and am) soft, gentle and compliant but there’s a strength in me, a determination, a power that will not be shaken. And I have strong views which I used to lock away for fear of being rejected, but now I let out. I don’t believe in the bullshit of pretending all is perfect – I own and speak up about my battles. These things may not be ‘acceptable’ but it’s who I am and I own it.
Positive body image has been an issue for me in the past. I’ve struggled to accept that my body isn’t curve or fat free. I was trapped in a spiral of comfort eating and couldn’t find a balance between eating only the amount I needed to function (and not a morsel more) or free-fall binge eating.
I know my journey to full body acceptance isn’t over yet. Sometimes when Gregg touches me on the stomach or hips, I want to fling his hand away as these are the areas that I can find, on a bad day, ugly, wanting, fat.
And yes, sometimes I still comfort eat. But much less than before and when I do, it doesn’t hang over me like a cloud for the days that follow.
I suppose the main change over these months is that worries about my body take up less head space, and that I know that these struggles don’t define me. They’re not the whole me.
The whole me is someone who has body parts I love – my legs, boobs, height, bottom, cheekbones, skin. The whole me knows that my body isn’t the most important part of who I am. The whole me may not have the ‘perfect’ body, but would rather spend time doing that which lights me up rather than working on getting to physical perfection.
These are the thoughts and reflections that I want to share with you on my 100th blog post. I know I’ve come so far and I can wait to see where I’ll be when I get to blog number 200.