I spent the Easter holiday weekend travelling around seeing my parents, my boyfriend’s parents, having some really great quality family time but on Easter Sunday I went into a bad head place which was triggered by social media. I know, not exactly a sensational first, but hear me out.
My Sunday funk was triggered by Instagram. I woke up, after having a huge meal out the night before and I clicked onto the platform where I saw a whole bunch of fitness professionals who were at the gym or had been working out. They were showing off proudly their rippling torsos in this weird Easter heatwave we’re experiencing, all while I was still lying in bed.
I was suffering with a slight hangover and most definitley still full from the huge Italian meal my in-laws had kindly treated us too the previous evening, so I felt a bit like crap. I felt like heavy crap. And seeing these people on Instagram made me feel like low heavy crap.
Sure, I knew exactly what I’d done. I’d instantly compared myself to these people when I shouldn’t have. It’s hard not too. It’s REALLY hard not too. When I was a columnist at Gay Times magazine I used to write back to people saying the exact same thing – “don’t compare yourself to others, hun” but it’s hard. Why wasn’t I out there in the sunshine or at the gym working out as well? The truth, I had over-indulged the night before, but I had a great time…right? Why was it now hard to forget that? And let this feeling of inadequacy rule? I started to feel out of control, which sounds more dramatic than it actually was but I analysed my situation – I was at my in-laws with no gym kit or actual gym or anything! And I was away from home so I needed to be social! I couldn’t be a guest in someone else’s house who just goes “sorry I need to just..” then do a handstand against their good china cabinet. So I did the next best thing, and went into a huge mood.
I started to hate myself for it. It was ruining my day, my precious day off and surely it was going to ruin my boyfriend’s day too because I just couldn’t come out of this hole I’d successfully put myself in. Another factor that deepened this feeling was that we were to have a BBQ and a ton more booze. Thinking of all those calories made me spin out of control. Damn the abs I saw on Instagram!
I realise, writing this, how “silly” it can seem especially if you have no way of relating to this feeling, but do you know what? It’s not silly. It’s important. So many of us have low self-esteem or minor body dysmorphia issues and not even realise what sets us off. I told myself “it’s okay to have a day off” from exercising. It’s okay to enjoy yourself, let go and relax every now and again. It’s okay to indulge! I don’t do it everyday! I know that as soon as I’m back into my weekly routine, I’d be dying for a day of relaxation or a beer in a pub garden, and you know what? That is ok. It’s not everyday!
We owe it to ourselves to relax. It’s okay and actually important, to take a day off to recover. Our time is too important to be consumed with these thoughts. You know what I did for the rest of the day? I turned my phone off,
Now, I feel like I’ve earned my relaxation by writing a ranting blog post about it!
Photo by Leo Holden