- Three days before Christmas…
The tree finally went up, after I slept in following the end of a crazy term in my new school. All week I have been faced with a gauntlet of chocolates, mince pies and many other forms of sweet / Christmas based foods. I’m generally a ‘no go’ for sweet foods, but somehow the energy was needed to ensure survival to the end of term. Our house is currently in disarray due to renovations but I was determined that somehow, someway Christmas was coming to The Munki Household. So I busted out the tree and decorated it with all the skulls, birds and hula Orang-utans I could lay my hands on. Satisfied with my efforts I set my sights on worrying about what my Christmas outfit was going to look like, will it fit? should I try it on and check? what if I can’t get it on? what if it looks shit? …. I know, I will leave that for another day… until then, pass me the prosecco….
Two Days before Christmas….
I decided that a pre-Christmas gym visit was in order. I was really delighted to find the gym was blissfully empty and I was feeling so delighted with myself for getting my butt there. I imagine that this is the last time the gym will be so empty for a while as there will no doubt be the New Year burst of ‘Resolutioners’ starting their journeys.
We also had a table booked for a family lunch and pre-Christmas drinks at a lovely cosy pub in Greenwich. An opportunity to get a little bit festive and dress up. I nearly tried on that Christmas day outfit, but was still too nervous. However, I busted out one of my favourite Christmassy numbers which is a sequin pencil skirt and cashmere jumper. Cute and cosy! However, I still had that niggling suspicion that I did not look nice enough, I spent at least a good half hour looking in the mirror thinking BELLY, BELLY, BELLY!
I posted on my secret girl gang group and the resounding response was to wear the skirt. In fact one lady said “Life is too short to worry about belly. Wear the skirt!”. It was kind of a little wake up call, I NEEDED TO WEAR THE SKIRT. Should I punish the sparkly skirt of beauty and leave it in a wardrobe, unworn???! It would not fulfil its purpose of making the world a little shinier and who am I to stand in its way? And, as I supped on my Candy Cane Cosmo, feeling fabulous and glamorous I noticed that my belly didn’t seem to matter.
I woke up feeling like a Christmas Ninja…. I was going to tackle Christmas Eve and get my house ‘double pretty’ for Christmas day. We had a list of must-dos and a list of might-dos…. one of those Must-do was cake pop making, then I had a thought… I hate cake pops, I only make them for the sake of my brothers, and I promptly decided that my mental health did not need to deserve to be compromised by making a dessert I hate! So it got bumped to the ‘Might-do’ list and then promptly binned off all together. The relief was palpable… it’s amazing the unnecessary pressure we put on ourselves to make Christmas ‘perfect’…. now for anyone who knows me personally, know that my Christmasses can be far from perfect and one day I will chronicle those too (there was ‘Shitty Christmas’ and ‘Chihuahua-Gate Christmas’, not forgetting the ‘C-Bomb’ incident to name but a few!). So, I decided this Christmas would be about being good enough, not ‘perfect’. It was about to get off to a great start. The thud of the post on the Christmas Eve doormat caught my attention and I just had a feeling that what was going to be alongside the pizza menus and Barclay card letters was the results from my colposcopy that I had had three weeks previously. As soon as I saw the letters ‘N.H.S’, my heart skipped a beat. This was it, this letter had the ability to make my Christmas so much better or sooooo much worse. I almost did not want to read it. Turns out it was the best case scenario and the results proved negative, so I will have to return in 12 months for a check up. I will never leave my smear test to run so much overdue again, that’s for sure! So, Christmas was already looking to be a ‘winner!’.
As we unwrapped our brand new sofas like giant presents to ourselves, the doorbell went and my Bestie and her fiancé appeared. We welcomed them in for drinks and they were revered with the ‘first sit on our new sofas’. I was looking total shite, hair scragged back in a pony tail, joggers on and not a bit of make up. Did Gem care? did she fuck, she was just happy to throw her arms around me and drink the prosecco! Gem, I’m sure she won’t mind me saying, has lost weight, cut her hair and looks fab. She radiates happiness. In my bedraggled state it’s sometimes too easy for me to immediately look at her and see myself as a massive failure, but that’s just not right is it? I am determined to not see other people’s successes as my failures, I try to make sure when those thoughts enter my head, I say to myself, look at how happy she is, celebrate it, don’t envy it. I have my own successes to focus on, a new job, a wonderful house and husband, comparing is pointless. However, celebrating is not. So Gem, you look fucking smashing and I am delighted to see you so blissfully happy. You totally fucking deserve it.
That night we went for our yearly ‘Christmas Eve Curry’ (it stops us from parting ’til all hours and having horrendous Crimbo Day hangovers), which was chilled and we felt happy and relaxed, except I still hadn’t tried that fucking dress on…
I cannot express how delighted I was to be having Christmas in my own home, we’ve never been able to do it before as our front room was too small… my solution… knock two rooms together and get a HUGE expensive sofa. Mum was so excited to have Christmas taken off her hands, that I didn’t even finish the sentence when asking her….and then my poor Stepdad had to bust a gut trying to have the front room useable! So it was finally here, the day of reckoning…. Would I wear that fucking dress or not!? My Sister-in-Law bought me the cutest skirt for Christmas and it turns out I was so excited at the prospect of wearing it, the other dress didn’t stand a chance! I was delighted, it looked perfect, it felt perfect and I got to wear flats. I was comfortable in my skin that day and that was just what I needed. The pressure I can put on myself is insane and then in an instant I can take it all away by just doing something else, wear something else, and change my plans!
The day went swimmingly and I got one of those awesome generational photos of me, my Mum and my Nan, which I am stoked with. We all drank too much, played stupid games and took a myriad of awful photos using the instax camera. It was glorious and it was perfectly imperfect. We forgot the Yorkshires and some of the presents, and no one ate the mince pies, we didn’t even get to see ‘Queenie’ doing her thang, but it was perfect for us.
Boxing day and beyond…
After Christmas Day everything seems to merge into a blur of cheese and biscuits, cold meats, mash potato….and the smell of Quality Street. I genuinely had no idea of what day it was. There’s also a meme doing the round, in fact there’s a ton of them, that jokes just that “confused, full of cheese and unsure of the day of week”… This made me laugh, but there always seems to be the FAT element. “What did I get for Christmas? FAT, I got FAT” and similar. It just irks me a little. The festive period is a time when, if we are lucky enough to have indulgences and treats, we should enjoy them. Otherwise, what is the point?…And then there’s the flurry of adverts encouraging us to lose the Christmas bulge and get to the gym. I think most of us know we won’t be going into the New Year on a diet of ‘Baileys’ and ‘Heroes’. As my friend Lorna stated on her Facebook, “28th of December and my feed is a mine field of weight loss adverts. Oh do fuck off. Let people enjoy things”.
Amen sister, Amen.
Then I was fat shamed by a member of my own family….
The thing is… I’m just saddened by the fact they’d rather have this conversation with me than talk about my achievements… and people wonder why I don’t value myself.
I was sat around my lovely Nan’s house in my gym kit. This is virtually the equivalent of being stark naked in terms of vulnerability for me!! Fitness leggings, hair scragged back and no make up. The conversation focused around me and my chiropractor, who has been a saviour, but was promptly followed up by forementioned family member starting a sentence like this “Well you two (meaning me and my beautiful mother) aren’t going to like what I’m about to say…”
This is where I should have stopped the conversation. It’s like saying “No offense but…”
Well, you know you are going to cause offense, so just STOP!!! It was everything I didn’t want to talk about. No, I don’t want to discuss this and ‘No Thanks’ to all your “helpfulness”. Would you discuss this exact topic with your other family members??? Like fuck. Why couldn’t you actually ask me about my marriage? My house? My job??? Why does it ALWAYS come down to my weight??? I’m 40 years old and was made to feel like a sulky teenager in a matter of minutes. All of those phrases I taught myself to rebut the “helpful” people who want to rescue me from my fat-self, just completely left my head, and then I cried for the rest of the day …. so thanks for the advice but ‘no thanks!’.
Unless you want to advise me on anything else other than the ONE thing that I really triggers me, can we just stick to small talk? Ta!?!?
Not so ”New Me”… my plan this year is to spend it trying to love the Existing Me. Treat myself with respect, both mind and body. I saw New Year in with those I love and what better way to start! Surrounded by love and support. I’m not setting myself any other resolutions, I think that one is enough.
So I challenge us all… Celebrate your successes, and remember that other people’s successes are also worthy of equal celebration…but they do NOT mean failure for you.
Happy New Year my lovelies and by the way did I tell you…?
You are already a much bigger success than you think.