I recently was part of a really sad conversation amongst some close friends. They were chatting about another friends weight, discussing that they thought that she had put on weight and that she looked bigger. I said, to try and squash the conversation, “do you notice these things?, I really don’t with my friends” but they didn’t get the hint and they said they always do.
My heart sank, not just sank, I felt hurt and a little ashamed because I have put on weight over the years, having children, and being in a happy relationship. I used to be a real gym bunny, and constantly dancing and I was always watching every morsel that passed my lips. After living like this for years I thought that I’m just going to enjoy myself for a while. Anyway the first thing that came to my mind was, “if they are talking about her like this, they must of been talking about me the same way”. In fact they must of had a real gossip with the weight I put on during my pregnancies, and that night I cried to my husband with the unhappy thought that my close friends would talk about our friend and probably me in such a way.
I had just the day before watched a YouTuber, who I love called Maddie. She made a video which is all on body confidence, and it resinated with me so much. If just made so much sense. It was one of those videos that makes you feel good inside and I advise you all go and check it out. I then picked up my very old copy of Catlin Moran How To Be A Woman and started re-reading it.
The way women look at each others bodies in society makes me feel sad. I appreciate a good body, and I love training hard, but I’m wise enough now to know the difference between imagery I see in the media, to whats real life. I understand that life gets in the way of fitness goals, and its unrealistic that you should lose all our pregnancy weight in 6 weeks, and that sometimes, some people just don’t care if they fit into size 10 skinny jeans.
What I found crazy about that conversation with my friends was that you can meet up with a friend that you may not have seen for a while, and all you can take away from that conversation is, “haven’t they put on weight?” Surely we are more than that? Im not friends with my friends because they have great legs or a fantastic behind. I’m there because of what we can give each other emotionally and intellectually. They are people that I can trust and talk to, who will never judge me or make judgments about me or my family. Everyone has flaws, so why do we still do this to each other?
I’m also a mother to a daughter and of course I think she is beautiful. Almost everyday someone we meet in the street says so as well but I let her know she is more than that. I want her to see more than beauty in others too, so I never discuss weight in front of her, I want her to grow up loving herself and others around her. I also have a son, who I want to teach to respect women and see them as more than just bodies, weight and looks. I try hard not to let my insecurities effect my children’s outlook on themselves and others as even at a young age children pick up on they way you talk about things like food, and image… its frightening.
It’s taken me a long time to get to a place where I can say, I’m more that just what people see which is so stupid in itself, and in that moment when I was talking to my friends I felt so small, stripped back to just my appearance and left wondering what my friends really think of me. You should never be made to feel this way by anyone, let alone your friends and it has left me thinking about what sort of people I want around me and my children.
We have so many obstacles in our way as women (and this applies to men as well) that we should be supporting each other, building each other up, not competing but praising one another. You are more than just your body, you are your soul and you can choose to have a beautiful soul or an ugly one, and when all the superficial things are gone, you need to be able to love yourself and the person you have become. Try and see further than your friends weight but see the weight of riches they bring into your life.