Sunday, 15 March 2015

This Girl Can

I never wanted to be the girl who let a break up break her. Unfortunately it happens to the best of us and despite my best intentions I let a break up break me. My self esteem has always been on shaky ground and quite frankly I can't ever remember a time when I've particularly liked what I saw in the mirror. The break up was very tough on me, I'd put myself out there and fell head over heels in love with somebody, who as it turns out did not feel the same way. One of my biggest weaknesses is that I define my self worth on my partner or relationship. This is also called codependency and is incredibly dangerous. After the break up I found myself suddenly alone for the first time in over 4 and a half years. I'd always had a boyfriend to act as my crutch and suddenly I was reluctantly alone.

My confidence took a nose dive. If the person I loved didn't want to be with me and didn't like me, why should I like and care about myself? I wallowed in the throes of self pity and low self esteem for 6 months. At times under eating and at times over eating. There were lots of tears. It was messy. As a person who has been 3 years self harm free (see here and here) it was a very difficult and challenging time for me and brought up some feelings I thought I'd worked through.

So after Christmas and some harsh words from my mother, I decided to do something about it. I signed up for a gym membership and spent an eye watering sum of money on a personal trainer.

I've always had a fear of the gym and judgement. 5 weeks ago I couldn't even run for a minute (not an understatement at all) and the thought of people watching me and laughing at my wobbly bum was too much for my poor little self esteem to handle. However, enter This Girl Can. I think we as women have a hard deal. We're expected to look perfect and be perfect, but god forbid we wobble and sweat in the process. It always feels like everyone else is doing and being better than you and the fear of judgement can hold you back.

As hard and horrible as the gym can be, it's given me something productive to occupy my time with. It's given me a purpose and it's become part of my routine, something I am loath to ignore. Every day when I make it to the gym and get that little bit faster and stronger, is a successful day for me.

I've had to learn the hard way, that 'self love' is just that. You have to learn to accept and love yourself, nobody else can do that for you. So the gym for me is about doing something for myself and finding some sort of acceptance with the only body I have. If I lose some pounds (preferably stones) along the road to self acceptance then that's a benefit too. I accept that I'm going to be slow, but I'm already faster than I was when I was sat on the couch. And to quote This Girl Can - I jiggle therefore I am.

It's not been easy, but my ex boyfriend's favourite saying was 'if it was easy then everybody would be doing it' so at least I have him to thank for that motto. That and when I run on the treadmill I imagine I'm running over the bodies of all the boys who ever wronged me because this girl certainly can.

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  1. Last September, after giving my heart away and finding out that the other person was…well, not quite prepared to take care of it, shall we say, I wrote a post in my sorrow induced insomnia and someone I thought I was 'friends' with, pretty much accused me of having a 'little girl' complex - always looking for validation in men. I was really hurt by it, especially as it really wasn't true, at least not in this instance. I think it's human nature to want companionship and to feel love, why the heck wouldn't you! I mean really! I don't think there's any weakness in feeling pained by a breakup and these things take time, 'cause if it was a two minute fix up job, then the relationship would surely have never meant anything! The hardest lesson in life is truly self-acceptance, being able to love yourself and therefore give your love freely without condition. It's fucking hard and anyone who says it isn't is a God damn liar! So be proud of yourself, that you may have been broken, but that you were able to find a way to mend. THAT takes real courage and real strength! x

  2. Woooow you go girl! I'm so happy for you and thrilled you've made these changes and they're starting to make you feel better!
    As someone that's met you in person and spoke to you for awhile the impression I got was your beautiful inside and out. You don't need a man. You are your own hero x

  3. LOVE this post. I absolutely know the 'break up breaking you' feeling, and I'm glad that you're on the road to self love now. I'm a long way off but hope to get there one day xx


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