I used to love throwing myself a good pity party every now and then. These usually coincided with the moments of terror when my favourite jeans ripped or broke because it meant one thing: jeans shopping. Shopping for jeans and bikinis are two things that are guaranteed to end up as a pity party.
I can’t even begin to count how many times I’ve cried in the Topshop changing rooms whilst trying to pull a pair of size 12 Leigh skinny jeans past my knees. I always tried to tell myself ‘oh Topshop sizes are notoriously smaller’ but no it’s not the jeans, it’s me.
A tiny pinch of self-loathing can be good for you; no one likes being ‘the arrogant one’. But after a while, crying after jeans shopping and leaving Topshop in tears swearing to yourself that it’s all going to be about rice cakes and soup from now on, never turns out that way. The good resolution nearly always ends with a quick stop in the shop later to pick up a chocolate bar to cheer yourself up. Been there, done that. I’d buy copious amounts of chocolate and other bad snacks, cry and then eat them in bed watching America’s Next Top Model.
But so with starts the vicious circle: you eat because you’re sad, you’re sad because you’ve eaten, you’ve eaten so feel guilty so you eat some more. Repeat cycle.
My seemingly endless pity party cycle was going quite well for me until I stepped onto the scales at Christmas and realised that I was the heaviest I'd ever been. This is not a post where I want to criticise weight, I just know that for me, my weight was a symptom of a much bigger problem: being unhappy and doing nothing about it. So after Christmas I decided enough was enough and I finally decided to do something about being miserable. I joined a gym and got a personal trainer. It’s not always fun; my trainer makes me jog and do squats with an eight kilo kettle bell, I hate the gym with a passion but I’m finally doing something about the misery and self loathing that has been snapping at my heels for far too long.
Two days ago in Gap I tried a pair of trousers on and for the first time in as long as I can remember I’m back to being a single dress size. Hard work pays off. I still have bad days, but those days are becoming less frequent. I will let myself wallow in self-pity if I’ve had a bad day; I’m only human after all. But when it comes down to the crunch I’d rather do something about my misery rather than letting it control my life. I don’t want the best years of my life being wasted on feeling worthless and being unhappy with myself. Life’s too short for that.