Feeling Like Me Again

Over the past six months or so, I’ve been battling with the worst self-image issues I’ve encountered in my life. I’ve felt out of shape, unattractive and just generally really crap about myself.

There was a time when I was one of those really annoying girls who could eat whatever she wanted, do no exercise whatsoever and remain a perfect size 8 (I think the fact that I didn’t really hit puberty until I was 17 may have helped with this somewhat). Well, not any more! I have a shape. A shape that has become increasingly hard to maintain and be happy with.

I’ll be the first to admit that my diet could be better. I’m lactose intolerant but often completely ignore it, and then I’m surprised when I feel bloated and lumpy. I know bread is my nemesis, but sometimes I just cant help eating eleven slices of it as a snack. It got to the point in August when I would look in the mirror and feel disgusted. And I laugh and joke about it, but to look in the mirror and actually feel repulsed by your own body is truly devastating.

Around the same time, something wonderful happened. My sister’s fiancé started a personal training course, and I volunteered to be his guinea pig. So in September 2016, I finally started to take ownership of the state I had let my body get into, and do something about it. I train with him twice a week, and try to fit in an extra cardio session or two on my own. We’ve discovered that I’ll do anything to get out of doing a plank, but that I have freakishly strong hamstrings.

When you start training, you always have a ‘problem area’ or two that you really want to focus on. Mine were my upper arms and the old love handles/back fat. My housemate commented to me a couple of weeks ago that my arms had halved in size, and I genuinely could not stop smiling. I dug out a pair of jeans over Christmas that I haven’t been able to wear in over a year, and found that they actually fit again. Plus, there’s the added bonus of my butt. I have a butt. An actual, nicely-shaped, kind of peachy butt. I never had one before!

Now annoyingly, I didn’t take a photo of myself right at the beginning of the process. But here’s a photo of me taken at the end of October next to one taken three weeks later (and half a stone lighter):

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Seriously. My trainer is an actual magician.

I’m still working at it, but this morning after months of telling my sister that I don’t want to shop for Maid of Honour dresses for her wedding until I’m happy with my body, I told her that I wanted to start looking. It might seem small, but that’s a huge fucking deal for me.

I’ll be taking another progress photo and updating you all in a couple of weeks when my soon-to-be brother-in-law’s exam is, to see exactly how far I’ve come while he’s been training to qualify as a PT. But for now, I’m off to stare at my butt in workout pants.

If any of you are interested in a training plan tailored to your lifestyle, or you’re Devon-based and want some one-on-one training sessions with an incredibly patient man, then you can get in touch with Ben Gilbert on Instagram @realbengilbert If he can train me, he can train anyone.

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I’m A Walking Cliché

Okay, I admit it: I’ve made some New Year’s Resolutions. New year, new me and all that. But in all honesty, I made a list of resolutions last year, and I realised recently that without really thinking about it, I had achieved every single one of them. Granted, they were things I knew were going to happen (pass my driving test, get a car, move etc.), but isn’t that the point? To set yourself achievable goals? What is the point in making this long list of far-fetched ideas that you know in the back of your mind aren’t realistically going to happen.

So this time around, my resolutions revolve around my mental and physical well-being.

  1. Learn to cope. My last blog post was about my struggles with GAD, and in it I mentioned my desire to find coping mechanisms to help ease my anxiety. 2016 is the year I take my mental health seriously. If you want to know more about it then head over to my previous blog post. 🙂
  2. Be healthier. I’m all too aware that in the past few months, my once pretty healthy eating habits have changed, mainly because of my working hours. I can’t remember the last time I had my ‘five-a-day’, done exercise that wasn’t emptying the glass wash at work, and I’ve been really bad at keeping myself hydrated with anything other than tea. Lots and lots of tea. I’m also really bad at staying away from dairy, which is a problem when you’re lactose intolerant. And yes, part of me wanting to be healthier is out of vanity. I’ve put on a bit of weight, I’m not as toned as I once was, and my chins are so prolific that my family have named them.
  3. Indulge my creativity. I am constantly making excuses for why I haven’t read a play, practised my keyboard or just messed around on my guitar for a while, when really the time I spend justifying not doing things to myself could be used actually doing them. I’m particularly keen to start writing music, something which I’ve found to be a challenge in the past. And I want to read more. I can’t actually remember the last time I got through a book.
  4. Be a better friend. The past few months, I’ve been a bit crap. I’ve been rubbish at keeping in touch with a lot of my friends from school and uni, again making the excuse that ‘I’m always working’. But it’s not good enough. My life doesn’t revolve around work, and I’m the kind of person who really values friends and family over anything else. I really need to start showing that more.
  5. Go to the cinema/theatre at least once a month. I’m an actor. It’s what I do. So why is it that I can’t actually remember the last time I went to see a film or a play? I’m literally sitting here straining to think of what it was. No idea. Not a clue. First on the list: The Danish Girl.
  6. Grow my hair. I want to be a princess, okay?
  7. Blog more. That goes without saying really. I’ve not been the best at posting on here, and I have so many ideas about things I want to write about that it seems silly not to make this a resolution.
  8. Get a tattoo. Sorry mum. But I’m warning you now: it’s going to happen this year. And I’m so excited.

I’ll probably add to this list, but for now, I have a few things that I want to achieve, and that more importantly, I know I can achieve. I think it’s good for a person to set themselves goals. It gives you something to strive for. So if you think I’m a cliché, well… I’m okay with that. 😉 I also  fucking love making lists.

Jessica xXx