I think this post has been a long time coming.
When I first moved down to London, I made a couple of promises to myself. I wanted to get fitter, eat healthier and, I am admitting this only now, lose a bit of weight. I saw the summer that had past as one of indulgence and something that had to be undone, and living alone in a new city seemed the perfect opportunity to implement these changes. And, for the first few weeks, I definitely succeeded. All meals freshly cooked and barely any treats, training really hard and in all honesty, loving it. My body was changing and I gained that self-righteous air of superiority one can only get from a diet of fresh vegetables and leaving the gym a sweaty mess of endorphin induced joy.
Then it started to get a bit harder. Long hours at work, meals out and nowhere near enough time to train as much as i’d like to meant that my priorities shifted a little. I became more partial to raiding my chocolate drawer at night. I had to eat way more to fuel the long days at both TOPSHOP and university and quite often I would get home exhausted, with the gym the last thing on my mind.
However, I am starting to realise this is not a bad thing. Don’t get me wrong, the meals I was preparing for the day were still healthy and nutritious, I was still exercising more than the average person but I was also giving myself a break once in a while. If I couldn’t fit it in – fine. If chocolate was more appealing to me than berries – fine.
I am starting to realise that the summer was not a period of indulgence as I had once seen it, but a period of being fucking normal. When I told someone recently that the five weeks I spent in America this year was the longest I had gone without exercise in over two years, their face said it all. And the question “did your body even change that much?” hit me kind of hard. Because the truth was; it hadn’t. I was maybe a bit fluffier (a word I am truly starting to truly hate after social media’s exuberant use of it after one bad meal), my fitness not quite as up to scratch, but I still had some muscle tone and my clothes still all fit, albeit a bit tighter. Something that was quite easily adjusted once I got back to my “normal” routine (note: my normal, definitely not everyone else’s).
Eating healthy makes me happy. Exercising makes me happy. I will not give these up any time soon. However, being so much more relaxed with my eating and workout habits has also shifted a change in my mindset that I could not have predicted. I am at a point in my life where fitness is important, but other things more so. And yet, I have not felt this comfortable in my skin in a very long time. Because I am not training so hard, I have put less pressure on myself to look a certain way because I do not expect it, and so I am much more accepting of my body. I’m living in the most exciting and busy city in the UK and I do not want to waste it in a bubble of tupperware boxes and the gym changing room. I want to be able to eat Katsu Curry at 10pm at night, and explore all the Christmas markets and have to be rolled home… I want Taiwanese hot sticky buns with my brother and walks along the thames as my only exercise for that day. If that means I don’t have the ripped body that I sometimes fantasise about then FINE. I prefer it this way anyway.