Have I let myself go?
Last night, after another long day of toddler tantrums and teen wars, I dragged my sorry, slightly too large backside off to bed at about 1am. I’d been working since the baby went to bed at about 7pm. Too tired to even brush my teeth, wash my face or take my makeup off – I just flopped into bed and went to sleep.
This has been such a pattern for me as of late. Too tired to really look after myself in the way I was brought up to do. Too busy to eat properly. Too lazy to stick at my gym routine. Too this that and the other. Have I let myself go?
A few years ago, I’d have answered no to that question. I used to be able to get away with this stuff. When I had Zak I was eighteen and I snapped back into shape, my skin was always dewy and fresh whether I took my makeup off or not. In fact I’ve always been told how young I look for my age. Until recently that is.
I knew I’d put on weight but I’d kind of been in denial about how much I’d changed if you know what I mean? When you look at yourself in the mirror every day, it’s harder to spot the subtle changes isn’t it? Well it has been for me anyway.
I think they call it ‘denial’.
Anyway, when I bumped into somebody (ex-boyfriend alert!) in the supermarket recently, I didn’t think I was looking too bad. Ok, so I was rocking the usual mum bun and I had minimal makeup on but I’ve always been able to go bare faced if I’ve wanted. Right?!
I saw myself properly for the first time, reflected in his eyes. In fact, at first he hadn’t even recognised me and then I’m guessing before he realised what he was saying (or maybe not..) he had blurted out
“Omg Fi I didn’t recognise you – what happened, you used to be so skinny?!”
Aside from being mightily glad of my lucky escape from ending up with that tosser, I literally wanted to die. I was so embarrassed. And upset I’m not going to lie.
Of course I laughed it off but it nagged at me behind the scenes. Had I let myself go?
This horrifying incident was unfortunately compounded recently when a relatively new friend saw a picture of me from when I was about 21..
“Omg look how thin you were!” she shrieked.
And I knew it was true. I was so skinny back then. I just hadn’t realised how not-skinny I am now. So have I let myself go?
Nowadays and another child down, I am holding on to at least two extra stone of fried chicken that I certainly don’t need or want. I hate that I’ve stopped taking pride in my appearance. It seems that the only time that I ever make a concerted effort (hair, nails, makeup, outfit) is when I’m on my way to the office. I almost never do it just for me. I just can’t be bothered most days in amongst the chaos of child rearing and holding down two careers.
The thing is though, I’m actually really happy. Happier than I can ever remember being. I’m in such a good and positive place right now but this happiness is sitting at such a juxtaposition with my image. So what do I do?
Do I refocus, re-prioritise and schedule in (because everything has to be scheduled round here) me time. Force myself to stay up for a further twenty minutes at 1am to brush my teeth, cleanse, tone, moisturise and all that jazz? Get up an hour earlier to exercise and sort my mum bun out?
Do I have any more give in me to give to myself? I’m just not sure.
So you see, I’m at a cross roads.
I don’t know whether I need to learn to accept the status quo of my backside as it is now or if I need to give myself a good slap, shave my legs, do some squats and smarten my game up.
Maybe this is just the new me.