At the grand old age of 22 I have finally come to terms with the fact I am not actually fat. I have believed that I am fat, and for a brief while obese, for as long as I can remember. It probably has something to do with the fact that I come from an exercise obsessed family who are borderline addicted. Actually, are addicted to whatever their chosen sport is.
My parents both compete internationally for their age group in triathlon. My middle brother has competed internationally at judo, and now drops weight whenever he fancies to improve his power to weight ratio so that he can climb better – madness. He is very thin at the moment and is struggling to put on weight… how I WISH I had that issue. And my youngest brother used to play a lot of rugby but now fancies himself a body builder. When he wasn’t crippled by glandular fever he was on the right track to becoming very buff, he’s on “the bulk” now whatever that means.
That leaves me. I took alternative sports simply so I wouldn’t have to compete with them all. I sailed, skied and swam. But always at a very leisurely pace, I like to pootle you see. This however, left me with a jelly belly, large thighs or what I call a second bottom I foresee no way of ever getting rid of. Puberty decided I was to be blessed with a 34G chest and hips to match. In during my early teenage years, I was also lucky enough to go to private school where our lunch was a constant buffet. Having no self-control when it comes to food, I ate like I was never going to eat again. Which quite frankly probably did not help my jelly belly. The self-control thing is still an issue, and I really don’t see it being rectified anytime soon. One other thing, I have the biggest sweet tooth of anyone I’ve ever met. The only puddings I won’t eat are trifle, bread and butter pudding and anything someone has put custard all over. Anything else and I’ll fight you for it!
So, when compared to my fitness fanatic family I suddenly felt very large. Like I took up too much space. However, I’m not actually fat! I’m not quite sure how this realisation came about, but probably something to do with the fact I found my ribs and my abs all in one day! My body is just a very different shape to my mother’s, who by the way resembles a pole whilst I channel more of a figure of eight. That’s what I tell myself anyway!
My point is whilst I have always felt fat, too big for the space I inhabit in the world, I’m actually not. The way we perceive ourselves and the way we actually are, is often so very different. So, let’s take a look in the mirror and actually see what is there, because feeling good about your body begins with realising the truth – not the perception you have about yourself.