Image Is Everything……Right?


Do you ever do that really annoying thing where you get in the bath or have a shower, do what you need to do, go to get out………and there’s no bloody towel. Urgh… I have to do the naked sprint around the house in search for a towel, dodging all mirrors and going into SAS mode to avoid any windows just in case there’s kids walking past outside. Towel found, coffee done, look at the tip that is my house and sit down to write.

So that immensely enjoyable towel hunt has me thinking about our bodies, I don’t know what a Dad Bod looks like but I’m probably somewhere close to that category. There’s lots out there in the media and society in general that makes people feel quite self conscious about their bodies. Over the years I’ve been  all sorts of different sizes. As a teen and into my early 20’s I was in good shape, toned stomach, physically fit and the fastest runner out of my group of mates. All this and on more than one occasion I definitely ate a whole chocolate gateau to myself, indulged in many a king size Mars bar (50p back then) and ate all sorts of other crap too. I get into a relationship and my diet gets a little better, I still eat a fair amount of rubbish but there’s a bit more balance at least. Then pregnancy comes into play, game over my friend. I definitely ate more as she did, and I probably moved less and at a slower pace. After H was born I was probably at my heaviest but that was only around 13 stone, I’m not a big build so this was big for me. I have a photo somewhere in a pub beer garden, eating an ice lolly of some description with my belly just trying to escape from behind my top.

Thing is that picture doesn’t bother me. I was in the sunshine with two beautiful babies. H was really small and just rolling around on a blanket on the grass, probably being sick. A was wearing her dungarees and toddling around touching everything she shouldn’t be touching but looked adorable (I bought that outfit, I have great taste). I knew I wasn’t in great shape but didn’t care. Fast forward a couple of years and I’ve become single again, thought about dating, thought about my circumstances and how others will perceive me when deciding if I’m dating material and I started to worry. “A 30 year old chap with two under 5s isn’t at the top of many women’s dream men list, so I’d better at least look as good as I can to give myself a chance”. This was how I was thinking back then so I joined the gym, lost a couple of stone and got pretty fit again. I try to run often and I’ve done Tough Mudder too, it was great fun! Looking back though I don’t like that I thought getting in shape was so important. Don’t get me wrong I feel a lot better for it but if being in shape was going to be the thing that made a woman give me a chance she’s unlikely to be someone for the long term. This is starting to cross over into dating now which I don’t want, I need copious amounts of alcohol and half a day to go over all that.

So I guess the point of this post is just to say that image really isn’t everything. You need to be happy in yourself yes, but you shouldn’t change yourself because you think others expect you to be a certain way. This goes for both women and men, as long as you are happy with you, fuck what others think. I do think it’s good to try and live healthily, and stay active so I’ll be encouraging my kids to do the same but I’m not going to ban biscuits and crisps or sign them up to a kids boot camp to keep them trim. They like to be active anyway, they like fruit & veg plus other healthier options, but they also like sitting in front of the TV eating monster munch (as do I) which I’m ok with. I want my kids to grow up confident with no complex around their size or shape and if they point out I have a big belly like Daddy Pig I’ll take it on the chin, because it’s probably true! To be fair they didn’t point that out, they’re not that mean, I said it and they just agreed and started slapping it…..thanks kids! There is a lot more to people than how they look, we’re complex and confusing creatures but it keeps things interesting. Everybody has physical preferences when looking for potential partners, of course we do but a relationship with someone who just looks good and has little else to offer doesn’t do it for me. I’m fully aware it’s not easy to feel positive and confident all the time nowadays, we all have good and bad days but let’s hope we can all have more good ones over bad.

Right I have a house to clean. Sorry that was a long one! Happy Saturday 🙂

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