Last week, Jack and I decided to start making healthy food swaps with the goal of dropping a few pounds before our holiday in December. Now, restricting foods and ‘dieting’ is dangerous territory for me – you might’ve read this post about my experience with disordered eating, which explains things a bit more. By working toward the goal of weight loss, I have to be really careful not to let my old obsessive mindset kick back in and take over. However, we decided not to do anything drastic – just healthier meals, healthier snacks and if we really want something, we have it!
We had healthy but delicious meals all week and both really enjoyed the way it was making us feel. We weren’t as bloated, felt happier, had more energy/motivation and by mid-week we were both 2lbs down – it was easy to stick to with each other’s support. But then… Friday comes around with all it’s wonderful Friday feels and Jack suggested we go for a few drinks/dinner in town. Most people wouldn’t even think twice about this offer of a cutey couples night out. I mean, who doesn’t want to go on a date night with their other half and get fuzzy? But this was seriously problematic for me. We’d been so good all week and we already had plans to go out on Saturday – wouldn’t a weekend of drinking undo all of our hard work? Probably.
I spent all afternoon fretting. My heart obviously wanted to go out and get merry with my love. My head though, really wants to look like an utter babe on our holiday. So I did what I do when I need someone to intervene and give me some perspective – I asked the work girls. This always pays off. Because deep down, I know what I am going to decide – I just need someone to kind of justify it for me and give me the final push. These were the two comments that did it for me:
‘Are you really not going to enjoy 4 months of your life just to look good for 10 days of your holiday?’
‘Why would you turn down an evening of fun with the person you love? You could die tomorrow. What’s more important?’
It’s true. Thank you Emma & Kirsten – you’re always right and it’s because of you that I threw caution to the wind. We had cocktails at Oliver’s (and more cocktails and more cocktails…) and though we had plans for a delish Simply Italian (our fav restaurant in Rochester) the cocktails got the better of us. Soon it was 10.30pm, we’d not eaten since lunch time and by 11pm (amateurs!) we found ourselves cuddled up on the sofa, tres drunk with McDonalds. I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
Back in the day, this would’ve resulted in a Saturday meltdown. I’d have been sad, disappointed and panicked that I’d have to restrict my food for the next couple days. Luckily, my mind is a different place since my therapy. I don’t feel like I’ve instantly put on 10lbs as soon as I’ve eaten something ‘bad’ – I don’t feel guilty whatsoever. If I’ve had an incredible time, it’s all worth it.
The same went for Saturday night – we went to the most wonderful, beautiful, awe-inspiring event called The Secret Woods. It’s run by Sus4 Sessions and was at The Dreys in Sittingbourne, Kent; a stunning wedding venue in the woods with glamping and log cabins and beds around a campfire and omgIwanttogetmarriedthere. We set up our tent (you can camp, glamp or just come for the eve) and walked through the lit-up path through the woods where we watched three wonderful bands amongst the trees – including our friends The Grand Merci who did us proud as always. The trees swayed in the wind and looked like they were dancing along, it was all fabulously magic!
After, we went to the log cabin/bar where 2 more bands performed and we danced around and ate noodles from the pop-up asian food stall. The rum flowed, we sat around the fire – I saw 2 shooting stars!!! – and had crazy deep talks with some mad but brilliant strangers. It really was my idea of a perfect evening…minus the terrible night’s sleep in the noisy campsite!
The reason I’m telling you all this is beforehand, at the height of my problem with food, I probably wouldn’t have gone out on Friday night knowing I was out Saturday…too many calories involved. I wouldn’t have had the delicious noodles from the friendly food vendor. I’d have chosen fruit instead of the fried breakfast included in the camping package. And I certainly wouldn’t have had the Indian takeaway we ordered on Sunday evening as we were both exhausted from the weekend’s eventfulness! Past Siân would’ve missed out on so much.
Making memories, having fun and living in the moment is so much more important than the way you want your body to be perceived in a bikini. Saying YES to the things that will make you truly happy now is more satisfying than any future ‘size 8’ goals or flat stomach ever could be. Sometimes you just need to stick a middle finger up to diet culture, to your head, to your shallow ideals and listen to your heart. This year has been the best year of my life so far because I’m learning how to quiet the voice in my head that echoes the standards society expects of us. I’m learning to choose happiness in the moment…and it feels so good.
I hope this post fills you with the courage to do the same!
Love, Siân x