Friday, 13 February 2015

Let's Talk About Size

I have been thinking for a little while about writing some more personal posts on the blog, you know, something a little more in depth than just ‘look at my sweet op shopped dress/shoes/jacket’ (although they are good too!). The post I wrote about skin care wasn’t particularly  deep but it was a little different to my usual posts and got some great feedback, so I thought I’d try to write a few more. I was really inspired/kicked in to action when I read this post by Carrie from Wishwishwish. Body image and weight and diet and dress size are all very personal issues, but if I’m taking a million selfies and plastering them across the internet, then I should be comfortable enough to talk about those personal issues. So here it goes, let’s talk about size…

I’m 178cm tall and weigh 75 kilos. There it is, out there for all the world to see. I usually wear a size 14, but given I buy my clothing from op shops, the number on the tag can vary greatly. I’ve weighed 75 kilos (give or take a few) for over ten years now, but it’s only been in the last 12 months or so that I’ve actually come to terms with it and felt truly happy with my body. If my weight has stayed the same for over 10 years, then I’m pretty confident that’s just the way it’s meant to be.

Growing up I was never particularly bothered by my body. My best friend and I were the tallest girls in our grade from year 8 to year 12, but while she was a string bean (and still is) I had hips and boobs and a tummy (and still do). I used to wish I was shorter, mostly because I towered over all the boys my age and I desperately wanted a boyfriend, but I’ve definitely grown to love my height (and very much enjoy towering over people now!)

I can’t pin point the moment I started being self-conscious of my larger body, but it must have happened around the time I turned 17. I remember thinking I wish I could just re-size myself in Paint or something, I knew I was well proportioned, but I just hated being bigger than everyone else. This feeling stuck with me for a long time, it was never so intense that I did any real damage to myself, but I definitely tried a myriad of wacky diets and exercise routines over the years. I went through a gym-going phase, a running phase, I started swimming laps every day, attending pump classes, group fitness classes, boxing sessions, gradually everything new I tried grew boring and tedious. But then something miraculous happened, I joined a volleyball club and for the first time in my life I was playing a competitive team sport, and loving it. Going to training and attending games wasn’t a chore, it was never tedious, it was something I looked forward to every week. I’d run around, sweating and laughing, jumping, sliding and passing for two hours straight and not even notice the time fly. I didn’t really lose any weight, but I felt awesome. I stopped weighing myself daily, stopped measuring my hips and waist every week (yeh, I did that) and just came to terms with my appearance.

picture taken by Derek Scales (thank you!!)

Things really hit home when I started playing beach volleyball last summer. For my first real competition I refused to wear the traditional uniform of a crop top and bikini bottoms, opting instead for a singlet and shorts. When my partner and I rocked up at the beach we were the only people not wearing a bikini. Literally every other team was wearing one. There were bodies of all shapes and sizes, from lanky string beans with no hips, to short girls with soft bellies to tall athletic women with rippling six packs and broad shoulders. No one cared, they were there to play sport and they were awesome. I’ve worn a crop and bikini bottoms for every competition since and even though my abs don’t ripple and my butt is dimply I haven’t felt bad about myself once.


I don’t have particularly great self-control especially when it comes to delicious food, so while I do play a lot of sport, I definitely eat too much not-so-great stuff. I love baking (and eating) cakes, I have carbs with every meal, my boyfriend and I order pizza almost once a week and I can never resist a good burger and fries. Twelve months ago I would still eat all  that stuff, but afterwards I’d be so down on myself and go to bed feeling guilty for eating ice cream or bread or cheese. Now I don’t let that happen. I enjoy delicious naughty food and then get on with my life. Sure I could probably lose 10 kilos if I stopped drinking wine every night and swapped pasta for quinoa , but I don’t think being a size 8 is worth it (for me). Good for you if you can survive and enjoy your life on a paleo, organic, gluten free or vegan diet. I can’t and I’m perfectly happy that way.


In saying all this I can promise you that although I generally feel pretty great about the way I look, I definitely have fat days (or bad hair days, awful skin days, I-have-nothing-to-wear days), just like every other girl who ever walked the earth. I don’t ever feel 100% amazing in a bikini, but I’m not going to let that ruin my day in the sun. I’m going to continue to eat cake three times a week and be grateful that my 75 kilo body can run and jump and dance (poorly) and is pretty good at hitting a volleyball.



I’d love to hear your thoughts/comments/feedback on this post. Is it something you enjoyed reading?

13 comments:

  1. Hi Hannah, great post! I know that some people don't like hearing other people's "numbers", but I do! I find it really difficult to know what my body actually looks like so I tend to assume that I'm hugely massive and then when I see someone who is the same size as me I go, "well, they look amazing, so maybe I look ok?" (Which is also really strange, actually, because I have seen some gorgeous people who are much bigger than me!) That said, although we're about the same weight and dress size, I'm a shorty, only just making it to 160cm! My younger brothers are both over 180cm so I held out hope for a while, but I think this is as tall as I'm going to get ~___^ I really felt what you said about joining a sport and suddenly not having to count the minutes; I thought I hated exercise, because the gym bored me to tears and all the sports I'd done at school were exercises in pain and sometimes humiliation (being a nerd can be tough ~___^) but then I found fencing (sword fighting, not building!) and skating and I love them. I've still got thick thighs and a wobbly tummy but I'm grateful that my body can lunge and run and squat for hours and do slides and jumps and cross-overs. And my big butt even comes in handy for when I fall over! ^____^

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  2. Hi Lisa, WOW thank you so much for your kind words! I totally agree with you, in the world of picture perfect blogs, photo shop and over-filtered social media it's easy to forget what your body actually looks like and get caught up in how perfect everyone else's is. I must admit I take about 70 outfit pictures in order to find 5 or 6 which are good enough for the blog. I really believe we should be focussing on and be grateful for all the awesome stuff our bodies can do rather than get down about a wobbly bum or not-so-perky boobs. It's such a fantastic feeling when you find a form of exercise which doesn't feel like a chore. I'm so happy to hear you discovered a love of fencing and skating, that sounds so bad ass! x H

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  3. What a wonderful post! And great pictures!

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  4. Thanks so much for this post. I am almost the same numbers and you and I also have a hard time knowing what I look like...and I think you are gorgeous so it really helps put things into perspective, I think we can often have a really distorted view of ourselves. Thank you for reminding me to ENJOY life and physical activities that are fun rather than obsess about size. Your happiness shines through and is part of what makes you so beautiful!

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    1. wow thank you Jessica! It's very easy to have a warped view of your own body, especially with so many picture-perfect lives being shoved down our throats via social media. It's so important to remember that even though we might not have a 'box gap' or 'bikini bridge' our bodies still allow us to do so many awesome things, so we need to be grateful for those! x H

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  5. I had to come back and comment on this post - I think you look fantastic; stylish, healthy and happy! A great post to read and thanks for being so honest and open.

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  6. I had to come back and comment on this post - I think you look fantastic; stylish, healthy and happy! A great post to read and thanks for being so honest and open.

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  7. Hi,
    I have been following your blog for a while, I got here from MyEdit, or WeSoThrifty I think, one of them had you in their favorite list. I have been going through your archives to find out whether you ever wore high-wasted pants and how you styled them... and came across this post again. So I decided to comment and tell you: It just makes me happy to read it, and I think I have read it three times so far. I am more or less skinny, but with very wide hip-bones, round hips and the bum that accompanies them. So today I bought the high wasted pants, and then stood there fore fifteen minutes, looking at my bum in the mirror debating over whether I could actually wear them....
    And now I read this post again and AGAIN I simply couldn't believe that you had EVER not loved your body, and then I felt really silly over all my mirror-gazing. So thank you. You made my day better, and heightened my pants-confidence.

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    1. Wow thank you so much for your comment! Writing this post was quite scary but I have received such wonderful feedback from so many different people, it’s definitely made me realise more than ever that everyone has body hang ups. I hope you wore your high waisted pants. If you love something then you should wear it, who cares if it’s not the most flattering thing for your body shape! High waisted pants haven’t featured on my blog a lot, but I do have a few pairs that I should wear more often, you’ve inspired me to whip them out again :) Thanks again for your comment it really made my day! Xx Hannah

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  8. Hi Hanna, just found this post - thank you for articulating how these tiny hang-ups can slowly erode our confidence until we realise that we are so much more than just these "imperfections". Missing your presence already!

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