Wednesday, 10 August 2016

I Went Swimming

I feel like I have recently fell into the trap of blogging about beauty. And whilst this is a popular area to choose and many people enjoy reading about it, it’s not what I want the main theme of my blog to be. I would like to write more lifestyle style posts, which basically will involve me rambling about possibly mundane thoughts or experiences I have.

So to kick this off I’m going to talk about something I did this week that I have not done in many years. I went swimming. Now for some this may seem like a boring occurrence (hey, I did warn you) but for me it was a big step. First off, I absolutely love swimming. When I was a little girl I was at the swimming baths most weekends, I swam for my primary school swim team and the only way you could tempt me out of the sea on holiday was with the promise of a Mr Whippy. And what little girl didn’t at one point dream of being Ariel?

However, as time ticked on and I became increasingly more aware of my body, I started to shy away from the swimming pool. Wearing a two piece in front of strangers was not the one. But last week I was scrolling through o2 priority moments and they currently have a 2 week free trial at Nuffield Health Gym, which only has a blooming swimming pool. The little girl in me just couldn’t resist diving in. So on Monday morning I packed my bikini, put on my brave face and headed to the gym.

And as I stood in the changing room it suddenly dawned on me…holy shit I’m going to be practically naked in a room full of strangers. What on earth have I got myself into? I even contemplated just sitting in reception and waiting for my boyfriend to realise I wasn’t turning up. I’m sure he’d have figured it out eventually. But looking around the changing room I saw how many other women were unashamedly stripping down and I thought, eff this. If they can do it, so can I. So I quickly changed in a private changing room (baby steps), wrapped myself in a towel and sauntered on over to the pool.

I stared at the towel hangers or a couple of minutes before I bravely hung mine up. Taking a few deep breaths I walked around the corner praying to god no one was looking my way. I had not been this naked in front of this many people in a really long time. I quickly climbed down the swimming pool ladder and then, I suddenly began to relax. I did around 20 laps with many little breaks to natter and regain some strength, swimming is much harder than I remembered and I had just done a run on the treadmill. I realised no one cared what I looked like and I did not care what they thought anyway. I was able to forget about my body hang ups and have a fun for a little while.

Now, I’m not saying I’m fully over my body images issues. Will any of us ever be 100% completely happy with ourselves? But I do feel it was a significant step in the right direction. I know a lot of my bad body image comes from how I think other people perceive me. I always assume they think I’m some ginormous beast. So letting all of that go, even for just half an hour on a Monday evening, was just what I needed. I also remembered how much I loved swimming and I was happy to be back in the water. What a stress relief!

Hope you liked my lifestyle styled post, let me know your thoughts in the comments section below. Do you have any body hang ups? What do you do to overcome them?

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