Please excuse my radio silence for the last couple of weeks, I've been rushed off my feet with no real time to sit down and edit photos, fight with my MacBook for storage space and find the emotional energy to actually delve deep, open up and write an article worth reading. A poor excuse for a blogger, I know. But without further waffling, I want to launch into today's topic: body confidence - and more specifically, blogging and body confidence.
So I've gained weight. Where I once had slight abdominal definition, I now have a muffin top and love handles. Those once-lean runner's legs? They now look a lot like mashed potato. And don't even get me started on my bingo wings. The thing is, I've always been an emotional eater. At the slightest sign of sadness, the kitchen is where I find comfort - I "eat my feelings" if you like. And that, combined with the fact that for various reasons I wasn't able to exercise for 2 months, has left me bursting out of my clothes and feeling anything but body confident. And why am I telling you this?
Imagine this: imagine that you wake up in the morning with a bloated stomach, a puffy face and the acknowledgment that today is a "fat day". No matter what your shape or size, we all have them. We just want to throw on a bin bag and hide until the day is out. But then imagine, that on one of those days, you have 2-3 different outfits to shoot, a couple of detail shots for social media and potentially a whole batch of photos to send over for a brand's approval. Because if you don't? You don't make any money that day. Imagine that.
I'll be the first to tell you that I love my job but this one thing, this one body confidence issue has been bugging for me some time now. I don't want to stand around taking 200 selfies of my waist when I resemble the Michelin Man and my only saving grace is that my wonderful photographer is now 100% in tune with my style, my mood and knows how to nail a series of shots in less than 10 minutes. Without her? I'd be lost.
But I need to work on me too.
I'm not being hard on myself, in fact I'm being pretty damn good to myself in terms of acceptance and understanding. I'm not overly stressed, it's all a process and I'll be fit and healthy again soon enough. I love working out, I always have - it's my therapy. And eating well? It makes my skin glow, it gives me energy and it gives me confidence too. What's not to love? I'm just on a bit of a slippery slope at the moment.
But with regards to my job - two very important people in my life recently said something similar on separate occasions. They introduced the concept of my body confidence as a key factor in my career - and how I should use that to maintain the best version of myself. Take this as an example: earlier this year, I had the opportunity to work with Elle Sport and style their latest collection, as they had recognised a passion for health and fitness on my social pages. It was a privilege to work with them and I still adore their sportswear to this day. Had I not been so open in expressing the importance of exercise in my life, I would never have had that opportunity. Because when I look after myself - eating right and exercising regularly - I work better; I'm happier, I'm more confident and considerably less stressed. So when I let my healthy routine slip? I'm only letting myself down.
It sounds whiney and I know, a little silly too. But unfortunately I can't just plonk myself down behind a desk and hide a bloated belly (although you watch me try some days). So it did strike a chord when I was told to think of body confidence as a key part of my job, a 'tool of the trade' if you like. It's how I'm able to hold my head high and nail those shots, without frantically running to my wardrobe in search of The Potato Sack Dress (which FYI, has been my hero in the last month or so). It's an investment - in myself.
And you best believe I'm ready to make that investment. Starting from ... now.