In my last outfit of the day post I discussed how my body has been changing over the past few years and this has caused me to take stock of how I wear clothes. Continuing on that theme I want to talk about body confidence and whether it can exist if you are at odds with cultural perceptions of beauty.
These photos today nearly ended up in the trash folder.
When I first saw them all I could see were the lumps and bumps that *should* be smooth and toned if they are going on the internet. This is a public space. I’m sharing photos of an outfit. I am essentially ‘modelling’ here. But I don’t look like a model. I am not svelte or lean. I am lumpy and bumpy.
My body shape has changed significantly from the one that was, surprisingly and luckily, pretty much the same for about 10-12 years. Now I am a bulging belly, wobbly arms, a double chin when I laugh and my thighs are wider. It’s a shape I’m still not entirely comfortable with, and to be honest don’t feel too healthy about.
Yet, and this is a big yet! When I look at those photos again… I am happy. I am so extremely unbelievably happy. I am having fun, not taking life too seriously, and living in the moment. I am enjoying the sun going down after 9pm on summer solstice. I am laughing with my fiancé as I attempt to get the jumping shot. I am at peace just being outdoors on a glorious summer’s evening.
So what if my belly could do with toning up? So what if my arms could do with being a little more svelte? So what if my face is rounder than before? In the grand scheme of things I choose happiness first.
That being said, I am prioritising health and wellbeing in my life at the moment. But instead on fixating on shape or size, I am focusing on nourishment of mind and body.
As a freelance digital busybody (taking on a few more clients at the moment if you’re interested) I do spend the majority of my time hunched over my laptop. Over just a few years this has had significant impact on my body as the masseuse told me recently (I wrote about that here). My shoulders are rounded, my tummy muscles weakened and my eyes are blurry. Darn it.
No matter how necessary it is for my business to be glued to a screen at every waking moment I HAVE to make space for movement.
One of my absolute favourite things to do to get every part of my body moving is yoga. I don’t get to as many classes as I’d like and I’m working on fixing that. Just the simplest of yoga stretches can make all the difference to posture, core and mindset. I really do find yoga to be nourishing in so many ways. I guess that’s why yoga has been practised for 2500 years in India!
Whether I’m the least stretchy person in the room or not, I have been taking the time to celebrate my body. And who knows, maybe if I spend enough time on it that svelte-ness might reappear one day?
I am wearing the most deliciously soft yoga gear in this post from a brand called Asquith. They produce organic cotton and bamboo activewear and I’m a huge convert already.
The yoga trousers fold down over the bum and hips for extra coverage and comfort which works well for someone with a slight tummy like me. The vest has in-built support so you can enjoy your exercise without a sports bra. And the wrap is utterly gorgeous isn’t it?! Depending on the level of movement I sometimes like to keep covered up during practice, otherwise this makes for a great alternative for a hoody to wear down to the gym.
Now, I may or may not sometimes wear this outfit on work-from-home days. I know it’s not meant to be loungewear but the fabrics are just so softy and comfy that I can resist it!
Am I alone in this? Has the sight of your own wobbly bits stopped you from sharing photos of yourself?