I hemmed and hawed, as I tried to close the gap in the fabric. Sweat beads started to form on my forehead and my biceps (what little there were), protesting under the strain. I breathed in one last breath as I tugged the fabric, until finally giving up and slumping onto the bed.
That was it. They didn’t fit. My favourite pair of jeans could no longer be my favourite. I threw them in the corner and walked away angrily. Any woman (or man) knows that moment when a piece of clothing doesn’t fit: it is very demoralizing.
We all have hit that time in our lives when, after months (or some years) of eating whatever we wanted has finally caught up to us. Some people are hit harder than others, some never experience it all. It, honestly, never really crossed my mind that I would be one of those women, or that it would hit me so young. I always thought it would happen after I had children and I told myself that was a long way off.
By no means a large woman, I noticed my body started to change in my mid-twenties. I never had to work out and always maintained a thin frame, so I ensured I ate well (three square meals a day as much as possible) and portion-controlled when I saw fit. By 25, however, I noticed that I couldn’t have that burger and fries (an occasional treat), the occasional beer and wine started to make my stomach bloat more than usual, and I noticed my slight frame getting softer as the months went by.
Noticing your body changing is one thing. Trying to get back to what you used to look like is very different. And most importantly, when working in the fashion industry where your body is scrutinized every which way (by what you are wearing at events, on camera, etc), it is even harder on your self-esteem.
A whole new world opened up to me: exercise, diet regimens, learning how my body reacted to different foods and more. When I started to ask friends for advice, the standard “What do you have to worry about? You’re so thin!” was what I often heard. “But I don’t’ feel right,” I told them. “I feel slow and sluggish, and as if I’m dragging my feet.”
Even after doing some research, I noticed that I would more often than not slip. You would definitely not call me “militant” in my discipline. The odd chocolate bar was had, the (favourite) glass of wine did not help either. Nights of sampling beers at new, local breweries, though an enjoyable evening, did not help.
I also tried out new and interesting exercises. Adding cardio or a few sessions of hot yoga also helped (and relieved stress). Again, however, I noticed I would slip and not always do the full 30 minutes of cardio, instead I would sit, relax and read e-mails.
Taking account of these slips, I am by no means saying I should feel sorry for myself. I recognize the problem and am trying to actively counteract it. Even with these slips, however, I am slowly accepting that my body will no longer be the way that it was and I am learning how to dress the new curves. A hard lesson is sometimes, you can only go with the flow. And to be honest, with the delicious food served during the recent holiday season, that was the last thing on my mind.
With New Year’s come and gone, I thought long and hard about the attitude I wanted to bring into 2015. It is often said, how you feel or the motivation you have as you ring in 2015 will be carried throughout the year. Not one for New Year’s Resolutions, however, I decided that I would give it a go and opted for something broader: “Be happy at least once a day”. I believe that this is something I can do.
Happy 2015, FAJO readers, and may your resolutions be equally as achievable!