So, in the almost 5 days that I’ve been home I’ve been planning what to write in my epic ‘post Sydney’ post. I was thinking of writing about some behind the scenes news on my Woman’s Day photo-shoot, the hilariously fun fashion parade I modelled in for One Active, my awesome finale dress, the great night out I had with the girls and the million other things I loved about being away.
But I didn’t write that post. I kept holding off. I kept finding excuses.
Something about the trip to Sydney has really freaked me out.
I have no idea what I look like.
It snuck up on me. At the photoshoot for Woman’s Day on the Friday, the amazing photographer George (http://fetting.com.au/) regularly let me check the monitors and of course the girls and I were selfie-photo mad. So I saw lots of images of myself. I looked fit. Active. Healthy. And in my wildly active imagination, my natty red, white and blue outfit made me look like a member of the US Olympic swim team. And that’s exactly how I felt.
I didn’t feel like a supermodel, or anything special. But I did feel like it was an accurate capturing of where I am. And I loved that. I got the same feeling at the workout the next day. Even in the quick snapshots on the day, I was happy. Fit, healthy, smaller than I feel in my head – but that’s great.
I had an AMAZING time at the finale. As a member of the top 20, I got to be up on stage and wave to everyone. And I won ‘blogger of the round’ which is super lovely and a real honour. I LOVED meeting so many people and felt uber glamorous. Until I saw some of the photos. People would snap a photo and show me the screen and each time I would feel a little weirder.
It’s not that I didn’t like the way I looked. The person in the photos looked great. But my head couldn’t in any way reconcile that it was me. It was confusing. So I ignored it. But for people playing the ‘has she lost her mind’ game at home, it was photos like these:
I tried desperately not to think about it until I got home. Living in the travel bubble, it’s easy to hide from the internet if you want to.
Something hasn’t been sitting right in my head since I got home. Part of it is the ‘come-down’ of a MASSIVE weekend. It’s seriously hard to imagine how busy/awesome/refreshing/challenging it is to hang out with some of my favorite people while getting to/from photo-shoots, fashion parades, in and out of hair and make-up sessions, dinners and breakfasts out. To come back to my normal life is both blissful and disruptively ‘normal’.
But where the freakout truly is is in those finale photos. In that weird mental break where I realise undoubtedly that I still have quite a skewed perspective of how I look. It’s not that ‘wow, I didn’t realise I was so pretty!’ surprise. It’s a complete mental inability to realise that person in the photos is me.
As someone who has struggled with body image and body dysmorphia my whole life, knowing that I am still not on top of this worries me. It means that there is scope for me to not be in control.
So I need to learn who I am all over again. While I’m still training with the aim of continuing to change and improve my body. This becomes the opposite of Operation Short Term, Hard Core. This becomes Operation Rest of my Life.
And I’m not quite sure on a plan of attack right now. So when in doubt, I go back to my default plan. For two days there that was wine and a lot of processed foods. Enough now. I know what I need to do while I get my head straight.
Eat clean, move my ass, repeat.
Love (and thanks as always for listening to the rants of a Sailor Vee adrift)