I was getting ready for work one morning last week when I realised that I haven’t had negative body image for quite a while. Despite many things in my life being difficult & taking up a lot of mental space, my body is not one of those things I really dwell on at the moment, and it’s really quite freeing once you realise it.
Even on the approach to my last competition, when I usually fret for weeks about my weight and/or how I’m going to look in my singlet, I quite blithely drifted up to competition day without too much worry about my weight – until the last couple of days, at least (and even then I wasn’t too worried). Which was good, because I had a lot of other things to worry about – like the travel, the hotel and refereeing.
Back when I started this blog, one of the main themes I wrote about was this struggle I had between being happy with who I am and what I look like; and the pressure you get in lifting to be leaner, sexier, eat “right” etc. I’m not sure what changed or when, but I’m feeling a lot more zen about it all at the moment.
This weekend I ate more cake than I think I’ve ever eaten in one sitting, at my mum’s birthday celebration. We went to one of those posh hotel afternoon teas, where you pay a small fortune and they keep bringing cake until you explode. I thought I might feel guilty after eating so much (and not going to the gym) but I just…don’t? I don’t even feel the need to be all “Tee hee I was so naughty!” because cake has no moral value, it’s just cake.
I’m also toying with the idea of throwing all my (very expensive) protein powder out because I can’t remember the last time I had a protein shake. I think everyone who starts lifting goes through this stage where they try to eat a ton of protein & buy loads of powders & mixes etc, but almost all the older masters lifters I know don’t bother with them. I guess I’ve reached that stage!
I definitely think that stopping reading lifting blogs, and surrounding myself with positive role models, has helped. I very occasionally pop back in to lifting “spaces” online; but then I read something about abs being better than boobs or counting macros, and I pop out again.
Of course, all this might go to shit, and in a few months time I might be back to doubting myself, tying myself in knots about carrying so much bodyfat and how big my stomach looks from the side. But it’s nice to remember that right now, I am very happy in my body.