Clothing sizes, social media followers, calories, steps – my life at the moment seems to revolve around numbers. Calculating calories, counting the number of steps I’ve taken and watching my social following are all just a part of an average day. But what happens when a norm turns into an obsession? Becoming obsessive with numbers, for me, can be rather dangerous and can lead to a lot of guilt and negativity, which is what I’ve been feeling these past couple of weeks. This is why I’ve decided to shake things up. My plan? Ditch the numbers, or at least try my best to not focus on them.
I knew I had to do something when I started fixating on my weight, which is something I haven’t done since I was a teenager. I have a balanced diet and I exercise regularly, but I’ve realised my body has changed. I’m no longer my 18-year-old self, who was a size six and could eat anything I wanted. No. I’m a woman now (god that makes me sound so old) and my body is totally different. In addition to the curves I now have, I’ve put on a little weight. Since moving out my diet and eating habits have completely changed, which has resulted in me putting on a few pounds and not being able to fit into my clothes comfortably. It’s obviously not the end of the world, but I’m not happy about it and for weeks now I’ve been obsessing with what size clothes I fit into.
What we think about our bodies and the way we feel about them is so personal. It’s one of those things where no matter what others tell you, your own opinions will always remain supreme. Instead of setting unrealistic goals of losing a silly amount of weight, I’m doing my best to ignore what the labels say and focus on how I feel in the the clothes. Confidence isn’t measured in numbers, but the emotions we feel when we’re happy and comfortable in ourselves. This is what I’m trying to focus on.
Following on from my weight and clothing sizes is exercise. Does anyone else feel guilty when they miss a workout, or don’t hit their calorie burn for the day? I do. Don’t get me wrong I love my Fitbit and think it’s an excellence way of tracking and improving my health, but I’ve found if I don’t reach my daily goals I get this overwhelming feeling that I’ve let myself down.
When I scroll through my tracking if I don’t see green ticks against my calories and steps, I somehow feel terrible about myself. I stress about gaining weight and suddenly hate what I see in the mirror just because I didn’t reach a certain number. It’s weird how gulit and negative thoughts can make you feel. So, instead of fixating on numbers and letting them define my workout, I’ve ditched by Fitbit and I’m going to listen to my body instead. I’m going to lift weights until my body aches, run until I can’t run anymore, and let me body tell me when my workout is finished.
Now, I know I’m not the only one who’s follower counting these days. Watching my followers on Instagram is probably the biggest obsession I have with numbers at the moment. It’s frustrating, annoying and can be a little toxic if you’re in the wrong frame of mind. It’s so hard not to compare yourself to others on Instagram and on the days where you gain a follower and lose six you ask yourself what the hell you’re doing wrong? I didn’t join Instagram to have loads of followers, I joined for the fun of it, so that’s what I plan to do. I plan to fuck the numbers and inject some fun back into posting. Capturing images that retain fun memories and sharing them is what Insta is all about, and what’s the point in doing something if it’s not fun? So, I’m focusing on just having fun with it again and stop taking it so seriously, while trying to build a strong sense of self, so that I don’t compare myself to others in the future.
Do you have an obsession with numbers? What do you obsess about?
Sarah Jayne x
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