My daughter took this photo of me yesterday at the opticians and I was horrified. She’d sent it out on Instagram.
Don’t get me wrong, I know I’m no Barbie, Elle McPherson, or any of the other images of perfection the media tell me I could be. If I swallowed all the weight loss diet clichés the advertising industry fed to me (pun intended), I could supposedly look perfect. Not only would I be a size 8, I’d also have flawless skin, salon-finished hair, a perfect family, and silky-smooth legs. Which -as one friend quite regularly publicises – is not really me:
So what is me? Well plainly, it is the above photo, much as I hate to admit it. This is how I look, to most people, most of the time – minus the weird facial decoration, obviously, although now I think of it, an appointment with the electrolysis lady is long overdue… However, I also look like this:
Weight loss diet clichés are not normal
All of these pictures were taken in the last year. In all of them I weigh more or less the same as I do today. The same as I did yesterday, when my cheeky child shared an unflattering image of me with the world. I am middle-aged. I am a writer. I am an award-winner. I am successful in my work. I am a mother. I am a normal woman, with a normal weight. I like to drink wine, eat good food, and laugh with friends. Sometimes I look good to myself in the mirror. Sometimes I look bloody awful. All of this is normal.
So is it time I stopped worrying about my weight? Is it time to accept that all that, up there, is what I am? What I always have been (if you don’t count that year at University after my first love dumped me and I briefly looked like Keira Knightly – *sigh*), and who I always will be, assuming I have health, enough money for wine and roast pork, and friends with whom to enjoy them?
I hereby resolve – today, this evening – to stop mithering over those women in adverts, whose swishy dresses skim hips achieved through hours of misery and deprivation. My kids need me healthy for at least 15 more years. I plan to achieve that by eating good food, home cooked food, slow food, with my family, and consuming good wine at the weekends. I plan to teach my daughter to love her blossoming body, to take care of it with good fuel, good energy, and good friends. I want to let my son know that a curvy woman is probably more fun than Keira Knightly, as long as she respects her body, enjoys the fruit of nature and keeps treats for treats.
I will tell you now that this is a sponsored post. I often say no to sponsored posts, but when I saw the video below by Kerry Low Low cheese I loved it so much that everything I wrote up there came to me very quickly. Do have a watch – hopefully it will give you a giggle, and maybe it will change the way you look at yourself… By the way, my husband makes a mean Mojito, and I didn’t feel the slightest bit guilty when I drank one tonight. Followed by another 😉
I’m linking this to Mummy Barrow’s Ranty Friday this week, because – let’s face it – this is an issue that affects lots of people!
Disclosure: I was compensated for this post.