Last week I tugged on a pair of leggings and turned round to look in the mirror. And I realised that, lately, I haven't been using the mirror as an instrument of torture. I've been using it to check out and crush on my figure.
I think I'd always accepted before that there were always going to be things I didn't like about my body: And I have always dwelt on that - my chunky thighs, my round belly, my weedy arms, my tiny boobs. (My god, what a list - that's pretty much every part of me!)
Then, a few months ago I started trying out some classes at my local gym in a bid to get fitter as I edge ever closer to 30. In the past couple of months, I've been going to Pilates and Spinning and am now scanning the timetable for more classes to try. And in the past couple of weeks I've been, well, checking myself out.
Where I used to look in the mirror and suck my belly in ("What would I look like if I was slimmer?") or hide my 'saddle-bags' behind my hands ("That's what my legs should look like") I now give myself the old once-over with a smile. I find myself these days admiring how strong my legs feel, watching the process of my burgeoning abs and crowing over the shape of my arms.
The weird thing is that even though I've wanted to change my shape for years, now that I am doing that, I'm not so interested in the fact that I'm slimmer and more toned. What's making me giggle with delight is the evidence of my own fitness.
Why aren't we encouraged to do more of that?! Why are all these magazines circling wobbly bits and highlighting cellulite instead of pointing their big sparkly arrows at things we can actually learn to be proud of?
Falling in love with your own backside is one of the best feelings in the world and if I wasn't so busy checking mine out then I'd be sad that it's taken me this long to realise it.