Over the Christmas holidays, I had a dream that my boyfriend only found me 32% attractive. "Don't be so ridiculous," he replied when I filled him in on the alarming inner workings of my subconscious the next morning. "It's at least 48%."
I blame cheese - in more ways than one. I'd basically eaten an entire wheel of brie to myself the night before, which had manifested itself twofold. One: everyone knows cheese gives you nightmares (in all fairness, a man who calculates your appeal in percentage terms certainly falls into this category), and two: I'd clearly shovelled enough of it into my face to go to sleep panicking about what it was going to do to my bum overnight. (Also, three: I'm an idiot. But more on that later).
A few days later, after the cheese guilt (and cheese sweats) had faded somewhat, I found a list I'd made titled, "Things to have achieved by the end of 2005" - the year I was to turn 21 (please don't do the maths), develop a secret crush on Kevin Federline that never really went away, graduate, join Facebook and use Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey as a dubious benchmark for all my relationships 'til approx. 2013.
At the very top of that list, with an embarrassingly flagrant lack of camouflage as to its importance in my life, was this: "Have lost (and kept off) half a stone. i.e: Be 8.5 stone or less."
It hit me like a wheel of brie. For 14 years I'd put this first. For 14 years I'd been making the same stupid, pointless resolution. And for 14 years I'd been setting myself up to fail, berating my healthy, lucky body that has got me this far, held me up and pushed me forward, survived heartbreak and homesickness, and, quite simply, just got me out of bed in the morning - all for not being smaller. And for 14 years I've felt consistently crap about it.
So here we are, at the promising new start of 2019 and I'm calling it: this is the year I stop obsessing about my weight. I vow to stop writing about body positivity but not applying it to myself. Instead, this is the year I look at the list that my 21-year-old self made and remind her of all the things on it that she has achieved, rather than the ones she hasn't. Retrospective resolutions. A reverse bucket list. Celebrating achievements and high-fiving myself for just doing the best I can. Feel free to join me.
Photos: Unsplash and supplied