Well, what a wonderful week in Lanzarote we’ve just had. It was relaxing and fun, two things I needed after the year I had at work. Waking up to sunshine certainly sets you up for the day, as did the delicious breakfast I had every morning! It was perfect to just have a week with no commitments or arrangements. We made our way to the pool in our own time (luckily, the race for beds was not something that happened at Hotel Playa Dorada). We spent our days swimming and walking (I failed to get to the gym at all as it was shut). I re-read To Kill and a Mockingbird (perfection) and Go Set a Watchman (slightly disappointing). It’s been ages since I’ve spent hours reading, so this was wonderful for me. Noah enjoyed his time swimming and running, although he did have the odd “moment”, but that’s to be expected taking a toddler to a place that’s alien to them. I ate too much and drank too much, gaining 6lbs. My god, it was worth it! It was a family experience we won’t be forgetting in a hurry.
One thing I was wary of when going on holiday was the fact that I’m not, by the standards of some, “beach ready”! Yep, I’ve lost a lot of weight since last September, but that’s resulted in sagging skin (sexy, I know), cellulite and stretch marks reappearing. And I’m still bigger than a lot of my peers, so I’m not reaching for super model status just yet. I’m smaller than I was twelve months ago, but I still have a long way to go and a lot to hide! Flaunting it all in a bikini was scary, but I did it. I started in a modest tankini, which had a lot of “control” panels in it. After a day in this, I realised that nobody was looking at me! Every woman around the pool or on the beach was too busy either worrying about their own problem areas, or flaunting what they’ve got. Hats off to both types of girls! By the end of the week I was happily strutting around in my little pink bikini (paired with high waisted bottoms, may I add? I’m not that brave)! I’ve seen all kinds of body shapes and types, and to me each one was wonderful, beautiful and inspiring. From the young to the old, the skinny to the fat, the toned, the saggy, the flabby. Pasty, pale or tanned. What impressed me was the way women didn’t give a shit (at least not outwardly anyway). Excuse the profanities, but fuck beach ready! What made me beach ready in the end? I wore whatever I felt happiest in and went to the beach (alongside some pre-holiday primping, preening, shaving and exfoliating, naturally). It was freedom!
For me, it’s not about being beach ready. It’s about being comfortable in my own skin and learning to love who I am! As a wonderful friend recently said to me when I was having moments of self-doubt, “You have gusto like all the good leading ladies”…
I knew I had to get straight back into my fitness regime if I were to re-gain it at all. Had I had a lazy day yesterday, I think the entire holidays would’ve turned lazy! I slept for only three hours yesterday, but forced myself to eat well, go on a three mile walk and spend 45 minutes at the gym doing cardio and kettles. I felt it this morning, but my mindset is thankful for the determination. I’m too often lacking in will power, so I really needed to get myself working hard. Last year, the summer holidays crippled me and I gained loads of weight. I’m determined to go back to work in September weighing less than I did at the end of term in July. I’m already facing a 6lb disadvantage, so I’ve got to work hard.
Something that has also spurred me on lately is Khloe Kardashian’s Complex shoot. To summarise, Khloe discusses how hard she works, and why she has overhauled her body. In my opinion, Khloe has always been gorgeous, and never “fat”, but now she’s strong, healthy and incredibly sexy! For me, she’s a role model. If it takes me another year to get to where I want to be body wise, then so be it! I want to build the best home for my mind and soul- a body to last. Okay, okay. So celebrities have personal trainers and hours of free time to spend sculpting themselves into their idea of perfection. I get that. But, at the same time, I’m still going to use Khloe’s background, personal battles and ethos as inspiration for myself.
Why are the media constantly subjecting men and women alike to unrealistic ideals? It won’t change- they’ve been taking liberties like this for years. But I think that people are starting to notice. Stupid campaigns, such as “Are you beach ready?” don’t help the impressionable, but rather than getting worked up about it, just ignore it. Be you and be beautiful.