I can count on one hand the amount of times that I’ve got my legs out in the last twenty years.
I’ve hidden them under trousers or two pairs of sixty denier tights since I was about fifteen.
I’m sure that I’ve talked about this before. I’m sure that once or twice a year for the last two years, I get my legs out and wonder at my utter bravery.
I started hating my knees at the age of five or six because they had chubby bits. My friends didn’t have chubby knees.
I can count on three fingers, the amount of times that I’ve got my tummy out over the same period of time. My tummy and I have a strange relationship. It’s not a very positive one.
I used to hide my feet too as they are pretty minging as well. They are gigantic and currently have two missing toenails. I didn’t wear sandals for about twenty years.
I wanted delicate, pretty, size four feet. I wanted feet that looked attractive in boho sandals.
I spent much of my teenage and then adult life preoccupied with my imperfections. The saggy bits, the wobbly bits, the thread veins, the bits that were too big, too wonky or too hairy.
My vision is terrible. I’ve spent much of my life, since the age of about eleven, trying to see without my glasses because I thought that I looked like a twat in them. I used to take them off at the end of the road so that my dad wouldn’t know that I was out without them.
My nails are horrible. I used to bite my thumb nails completely off which sounds a bit like self harm. Occasionally somebody would ask me if I’d trapped them in a door.
I’d reply “It’d be a funny fucking door that I trapped both thumbnails in!”
When I first started running, I would run in leggings all year round. I didn’t realise until somebody pointed it out. I was hiding my thread veins.
I spent from the age of twenty five until forty hiding my upper arms because they were wobbly and fat.
I’ve rarely gone out without makeup since I was eleven.
The thing is, that you can end up missing out on life, if you listen to that inner voice that says all those horrible things about the way your body looks.
I see people out and about in the streets wearing black tights, leggings and long sleeved tops when it’s really hot and I wonder if they are boiling hot and then I wonder if they are boiling hot because they are trying to hide their body shape.
I’m sure that there are models with just as many hang ups as I’ve got. They’re probably wishing that they hadn’t got such long, slim limbs and such good cheek bones.
I’m joking, but you know what I mean…everyone sees their own perceived flaws that nobody else notices.
My body is a body. It’s just that! It can walk and run. It’s given life to thee children. I have pain in my hips, I’m not particularly lithe. I’m not long limbed and supple but I’m not that bad for my age.
I have spent too many years looking at it and finding fault with it. Worse than that, I’ve hated bits of it.
It’s now sagging in places and I’ve got wrinkles to add to all the other shit…
Today, I have taken my shit, ugly forty five year old body for a six mile run with no makeup on. I then I came home, showered and went out in some shorts.
Nobody gasped, nobody shouted “look at those fucking thread veins!” Because everyone’s too busy with their own hang ups.
I don’t want to pass on all of my body hang ups to my daughter but I don’t think that anybody passed them on to me. I managed all that by myself because I have a particular talent for self loathing.
So tonight, make peace with your body. For all it’s flaws and imperfections, it’s still fucking amazing!
Have a glass of wine or three tonight and then take it for a run, a walk or to Pilates tomorrow to look after it.
And be kind to it.
And to yourself.
Which is sort of the same thing…
God, I do write some shit sometimes!
Chin, chin up yer bum. I’m having a big glass of wine.