Perhaps, it’s just me.
It’s a constant worry.
I suspect I am not alone in my manly insecurities. It’s hard to tell, because let’s face it, blokes (in general) don’t talk about their feelings.
I have struggled with body image for a long time – not a struggle with an illness or a disorder, but instead a complete helplessness about my size, shape and general wobbliness.
The high street has battered me down, shopping trip after shopping trip, until I have forgotten what it’s like to look into a mirror and think… you look alright, Wayne.
Like many others, I detest how I look. Marathon training and a sharp eye for fashion haven’t helped one iota. Still my little pouch of belly fat, the fold of neck flab protruding awkwardly atop my work shirt collar, and moobs that cannot be perceived as pecs unless I’m wearing a T-shirt in winter, all obstruct my confidence and lead me to the family-sized bags of crisps!
It therefore, took me by surprise to discover that I had recently lost some weight. I was standing in front of the mirror in some @boxmenswear pants that arrived and I thought 💭
“D’you know what, Wayne my boy – there’s less of you than last time”.
This was especially disarming as I had made no effort whatsoever to lose weight. No diets, no gym sessions, no nothing! Now don’t get it twisted, David Gandy or some other modern Adonis was not staring back at me either. This is not a Segway into a sales pitch for a diet pill! It was just me, but I didn’t 100% hate the creature staring back at me.
Over the coming weeks I was preparing for a friend’s wedding and discovered I had dropped a good 3 inches from my waist. I forgot my work shirt and bought a replacement… my size no longer had 2 x’s in front of it (or one x for that matter).
My confidence had peaked and I thoroughly enjoyed the amazing wedding, feeling as great as the atmosphere in the room.
Feeling fabulous in a room full of fabulous people is not something I have ever experienced!
A few days later (having recovered from a partial hangover) I decided to go through some of the pics that had been taken by me and some of my friends…
Hang on a minute… I was fat again!
I hated how I looked in almost all of them. My friends all looked like ballers. Trim figures, smiles on show and this beautiful glow around them. But I was just a stomach.
I am so angry with my own mind. Why can’t I look back at this incredible day and not be so self – obsessed – self-loathing is such an insular way to feel.
I choose to say “not this time”.
I am training my brain to accept how I look and also embrace that what I think are imperfections, could be part of what makes me… well, ME.
How funny that in the mirror I felt like a million dollars, but a couple of pictures have sent me wobbling on a knife-edge. I try not to judge other people, but perhaps it’s time I offered myself the same courtesy.
Perhaps, it’s just me.
But as RUPaUL says:
If you don’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else… Can I get an amen up in here? 🙏