Thursday, 28 April 2011

Besides which you see, I have confidence in me!

I appear to be awake at that awful hour of the morning that prompts introspection and a need for chamomile tea. In truth the seeds of this post have been puttering around my head for a while, I've just not been able to phrase them coherently of late (nor in any fit state to do so.) This isn't a rant however, this is a post in support, and praise, uncharacteristically, of myself. No! No! Don't run away now, I haven't abandoned cupcakes, and casseroles permanently, and this links in heavily to my thoughts, feelings and the way I write about food.

This week I posted about having a healthy week in the pantry. In truth, for the first time in a very long time I recently began a formal diet. I've felt rotten over the last month or so, chubby, out of shape and just a bit... sluggish I suppose. My energy levels have been shocking and I've been relying on caffeine and sugar to get me through the day at work. So, on reading around and speaking to friends, real and t'interwebs varieties. I decided that I needed to make some changes. As regular readers know I've just moved into a flat by myself so saw this as an ideal time to do just that - out with the old! However, in doing so it was as though I turned a spotlight on myself and suddenly, flaws which had always been tiny things were becoming huge; I hated my tummy, my boobs were too big, why do I always get a double chin when I smile? And my attitude to food started to change, I had a strangely gung-ho attitude towards this diet, but in doing so was shunning fruit, some (well, many it felt like) vegetables as well as eating more healthily. I didn't want food that didn't fit in with the diet in the house, I worried about eating normally with M, I worried about having bread in the house for his packed lunches. Seriously, I was worried about bread? For the love of god! And then I got sick. Again. Yes, I know - no change there then, but this wasn't epilepsy. This was an acute migraine which for 5 days as an inpatient in hospital was possibly anything from a bleed on the brain to meningitis. Scary stuff. Actually genuinely cry yourself to sleep, scary stuff. Anyway, it was this special type of migraine (thankfully, normally a one-off) and I'm back at home, sleeping a lot, taking a lot of painkillers (two weeks on, I still have a shocking headache), some new meds and I've cut out caffeine. Without trying. interesting. However, on trying to re-summon my motivation for the diet it seems to have evaporated. I've re-read the literature, I've tried to re-embrace the start out, detox standpoint. And I was missing cooking and eating freely - I wanted to make the Brownies Royal wedding cupcakes for our party, but didn't feel I could because of the temptation of the sugar, M and I are going on a picnic on Friday and no word of a lie, I was panicing over what to take that I could eat. And then I woke up after a bad dream an hour or so ago and decided; you know what, being well, seems so much more important. And what's worse, I feel like a hypocrite.

I am curvy, I am soft, squishy, gentle, zaftig. A Brownie once described me as 'lovely to hug.' I don't think any diet is going to change that essence of myself. I have been skinny. I was not happy, I have been curvier I was happy. I have been curvier still and unhappy. For me, clearly there's a happy medium. I love food, I love to cook, to bake, to share. If I love you, I'll cook for you. I am also an active person, I run around with kids, I pitch tents, I do activities, in the rain, in the cold, outside. I sing, I dance, I make a bit of a pratt of myself sometimes, but I love every second of it.

See what I mean about looking like a pratt?!

I read something recently about women who 'dress like they hate their body' and this week I've been reading some fashion and beauty websites, and one has stuck in my mind. I keep popping back and reading old posts, looking at pictures and thinking, you know what? I could do that, I could be happy with who I am, dress like I love myself, and stop stressing. So Lilli from Frocks and Frou Frou, thank you very much for your part in restoring this British girl's faith in herself. I think after a week in pyjamas, hospital gowns, and yoga pants I need to put on a skirt and a smile.

I've also been reading beauty blogs (thank you Modesty Brown & Lady of the Lane) and have come to the conclusion, that a new hairstyle and a focus on making myself feel lovely would also not go amiss, so some exfoliation, moisturiser, a bit of fake tan and some mascara and lippy are also called for. Today I painted my nails, they're a bit of a mess (I'm still having trouble seeing) but they're teal and I love them a lot.

I'm not going to abandon my stance from earlier this week about being healthy, but I think I'm going to do it in a more measured way. I like the low carb principles of the plan, and I'm going to keep that in the main, I'm going to add back in my fruit, and the veg I've been missing, and my Greek yoghurt for breakfast. I'm going to continue with my vitamins, and ring up about the yoga class I'm on the waiting list for and when I'm well enough I'll be back walking again.

And tomorrow, I'm going to bake the Brownies Royal Wedding cupcakes.

None of these photos are mine, as I'm in them all. Credits to Mark Reader, Lauren Lalor and Jennifer Hill


Wren said...

Just wanted to say how fab I think you are. Sending huge hugs. Hope the headache fades quickly and that you feel happy with yourself soon. You have such a way with words and I love to read your blog but never been drawn to comment before. Please be gentle with yourself - why are we always so unforgiving with ourselves and yet we can forgive others in an instant?

Hugs xx

Seren said...

Hi there,

Visited your blog after seeing your link on Mrs M's meal planning and just wanted to say hello. And also that this post rang a lot of bells with me - as a devoted foodie who spends a lot of time trying to balance "healthy enough to lose a few pounds eating" (I hate the word diet) with the fact that I love to cook and I love to eat.

For what it's worth, I think you look beautiful in your picture. And I hope you find the balance you are looking for - I think you're right that self love and acceptance are a mahoosive piece of the puzzle.

Looking forward to reading of your continuing exploits :)


Pen said...

Thanks Wren, it means a lot really it does.

And thanks so much Seren that's such a thoughtful comment. It's a hard balance beetween loving to cook and wanting to cook or bake things that are blogable, and feeling like it would help to live on salad!



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