I don’t know about you… but I’ve spent waaaaay too damn long making sure I have the perfect summer body. Or more tragically, the perfect body in general.
No more half crying, half cringing at myself whilst ironically listening to LIZZO in the gym (sweating to death) two weeks before a holiday. I resent being annoyed that I’m not as skinny as I’d imagined when booking those dirt cheap tickets. That’s not very body-positive of me.
After booking a girls trip to Lisbon with my closest friends from secondary school, it suddenly occurred to me as we discussed in our group chat (other convos from which CANNOT EVER be disclosed this easily) about bikinis and other… boring wInK wink things… that I wasn’t feeling so hot about my body.
Really though. It’s Portugal and I’m a slice, so I was always gonna be hot (literally and physically!) But I’m getting ahead of myself.
So you know what I did?
Dramatic as EVER, I got home and cancelled my gym membership (for the first time in like 6 years) but for good this time.
And then I sulked a bit more.
My biggest issue with this whole situation is that everything I read, see, hear and write even, points me to the ‘love yourself, love your body’ attitude. And whilst I hand on heart believe this should be the case, sometimes I do feel less Jameela Jamil and more 12-year-old sad angsty Dani then half punish myself for not being a good feminist, a classic cliché // or whatever.
Whilst cancelling my gym membership was a statement and my bank account definitely needed that leftover $$$, it’s probably not gonna make those feelings go away.
There’s a few things you can do to help yourself enjoy travelling without worrying about your lovely little, big, everything in between, beautiful bodies…
How To Be Happy (ish) With Your Body
Soak up all that material (and the sun)
It’s a current movement at the min to treat your Instagram as if it’s a magazine filled with loads of content you actually wanna see instead of moodily wishing you’re an Insta model who’s going for overpriced coffee on the daily.
I’d recommend following @bodyposipanda, @scarrednotscared, @iweigh, @jameelajamil @thevagaggle and always @lizzo to name a few. There are so many more wonderful women and men out there promoting being body happy. It takes a quick search and the content is always 100000000%.
Talk about it
Gah, I’ve been avoiding writing this for too long because I didn’t want people to know that I felt this way about my weight. I brought up the subject with my friends on holiday and they revealed they felt EXACTLY the same and were conscious to go to the beach etc. It definitely helps to know you’re not totally alone in it.
Look at how beautiful the beach is
When the beach is this beautiful it’s hard to fixate on your body as much. Get in the water, splash your friends, grab a pint, dry in the sun for 0.3 seconds whilst reading your book. And repeat.
Dance it off
Nothing heals the body blues like a fun night out with your friends; dancing to local pop music trying to drunkenly order your 5th round of shots never forgetting to say ‘thank you’ badly in the local language.
Have the best food.
The book ‘Eat Up’ by Ruby Tandoh completely changed mine and my housemates’ outlook on eating food. Ruby talks about food not being good or bad, but just food. Every food has cultural value and it’s too simplistic to describe pizza as just ‘BAD’.
As long as there is love and care, you should eat what you want and enjoy every bite. It’s become a running joke with me and my housemate whenever we’re talking about eating takeaway or chocolate or anything ‘bad’ we just say ‘Ruby Tandoh eat up!’ with a straight face and go ahead and eat it anyways.
‘The way you feel about food sits hand in hand with the way you feel about yourself, and if you eat happily and wholeheartedly, food will make you strong.’ -Ruby Tandoh,
and also me after having a pastel de nata with a side of ice cream every day without fail in Lisbon.
Know it’s okay to sulk (sometimes!)
It’s mostly justified and usually helps to get it all out.
But… remember how blessed you are
No doubt you’ve walked 20,000 steps today going from one tourist attraction to the next. Even though it’s tough and you feel like your legs are 90% pure jelly, it’s worth being thankful for the fact you’re able to walk so far with such ease.
When you’re old and grey, it may not be so easy and teleportation might be a better bet, so for now… stop hating your legs cause they are ‘chubby’ whatever that means, love them because they take you to such cool locations, like the top of beautiful hills and rooftop bars.
Of course, for some it’s not as easy as dancing a little bit to shake off the body blues away. But by making an active effort into genuinely liking yourself and body, we can have more fun.
And listen to Lizzo less ironically.