On girliness and wedding dresses

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Wedding shop in Glasgow

 

It’s kinda hard to express what’s been going on in my head lately.  And I’ve kept quiet here while I’ve tried to work it out and I think keeping it in is a bad idea and I have no idea why I have.

We live in a world of expectations and fairytale movies and I feel like I’m caught up in this wedding industry lately, and it’s hard and weird.

I promised myself and worked really hard on early planning to make sure that I don’t let this wedding get the best of me. I’ve seen brides turn into maniacs; women who are intelligent and mature turn into bridezillas and control freaks.

 

Husband to be

 

Folks ask why I’ve done certain things so early and it’s really just a simple thing – space it out and it won’t freak you out.  There is still a bit of a freak-out going on in my head sometimes, but that’s mainly because I’m so, so far away from everything related to my wedding.  I chose to get married in NZ, because that’s always where I wanted to, but it turns out we have so many friends here that we know won’t make it, and that’s kinda bittersweet.  And all communication with suppliers is over email or through my mother, and that’s never ideal – despite hating the phone, we still don’t always communicate that well with emails. Tone, and all that.

The main thing in my head at the moment, which is making me super sad, is the wedding dress shopping. I started it when my friend Deb was visiting a few weeks back, because I thought after being friends for so long, it’d be a nice way for her to be involved, and it was a ridiculously hot day, so I was sweaty (horrible getting dresses on and off) and didn’t look my best and I felt self-conscious being in my underwear around a stranger, and though I tried on a dress I really liked, I felt less than bridal, and quite homesick.

 

Scotland is beautiful lately

 

I watch a lot of Say Yes to the Dress (I started for ideas, now I just do it to torture myself), and I know that I have always pictured that moment when you get your wedding dress and it’s perfect for you and you have that special feeling of knowing it’s yours and what you’ll look like on your wedding day. I feel like I’m supposed to do this with my bridesmaids and my mother and I’ve been a bit deprived of that.  I never like to dwell on or pity myself for things that I have chosen, and I know I’ve chosen to be here. But it still hurts a bit.

I know we discussed doing it when I was in New Zealand, but I felt so very unattractive and overweight at the time, and it just didn’t really come up. I have put off even looking (other than occasionally online) because I don’t want to be the one who can’t fit a wedding dress sample size, and when I went a few weeks ago, I only really fit one of the dresses. It was a bit sucky and felt a bit deflating and I just feel like I’m missing out.

 

Part of our wedding venue

 

And it’s silly because I know I’ll get that moment when I’m getting ready in the morning of my wedding and my mother and sister and everyone sees me in my dress all ready to go and we get to share that together.  And it’s so very cliche and girly to want to stand on a podium in a bridal shop while everyone oohs and ahhs and tells you it’s “the dress” but.. I want it. I really want to feel special in this and enjoy this.

I’m losing weight and working on that and also working on telling myself that it’s not 100% necessary for me to be the size I want to be before I try things on. If I lose the weight I want and feel body-confident for my wedding, then that’s awesome, but I don’t need to wait to find a dress until I do. I’ve been telling myself that I have to wait for too long and I need to stop getting myself down and just get on with it. Adjustments can be made and dresses can be changed and geez, I’m not enormous. I’m just bigger than I want to be and bigger than I’ve been most of my life and I go into bridal shops and want to yell at everyone I’m not usually this big I assure you like I’m hiding inside a big person’s body or something. And sometimes it feels that way.

 

Me in June

 

So I have appointments again in a few weeks and we’re going to go for a coffee in-between them and have lunch afterwards and a drink or two and really try to enjoy it. I’ve reached out to girlfriends here and asked them to be my replacement family for some upcoming shopping trips, and hopefully some will join us then, but if not, it’ll be a nice morning out with Helen.

I think I’ll feel so much more excited about the wedding once I find my dress, and I think I need to just let go a bit and trust everyone around me that the day will work out how I’ve envisioned it.  These 8 months are going to fly by.

 

…xxx

swhite

On disappointment

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It’s been several months since I wrote this post about my feelings on my body. I’d like to say a lot has changed, but it really hasn’t.

 

canal edinburgh

 

Christmas/the holidays brought with them the requisite amount of eating, and then Hogmanay brought me to the conclusion that I’d start 30 in the best shape I could be.

 

me kat pensive

 

But Brigadoon happened, and you’d think all the dancing and extra activity woulda helped. Nope. And then I tried to return to the gym and put my back out. And I think I’ve emotionally and mentally just given up.

 

blossoms spring edinburgh

 

I can’t say I’m not disappointed that I’m going to be 30 in a few weeks and I’m in the worst shape of my life.  I can’t say I don’t think about it almost constantly.  I can’t say that I’m not worried about what my mother will say when she sees me (she means well, but).

I can say that I want to change. That I want to make the small changes. That I do believe it’s possible. But I can’t do too much at once and run away again.

 

clouds road winter

 

And I honestly think it needs to be a priority. I need to make me a priority.

 

clouds sun spring

 

So I’ll try and keep the blog updated on my progress over 2014 but I just wanted to check in and share. I’m not happy, but I will be.  I’m staying positive. And I have so much to look forward to in the next 6 weeks.  I am so much more than what I look like.

 

me kat couch selfie

 

I like who I am inside (well, most of the time), and that’s the most important.  And I need to stop being such a dick to myself.  I tell myself negative things every day when I really need to be saying to myself, “Okay. This is where you’re at. And this is where you’ll be next year. No rush. Don’t panic. You’re awesome. You can do it.”

People are dicks enough to you without you being a dick to yourself. I should be my best supporter, my biggest cheerleader, a good friend to myself. There’s no way in hell I’d let the people I love feel and say these things about themselves, but I do it to myself every day? I need to change.

It’s okay to be disappointed. But it’s better if you just get up and try.

 

 

…xxx

swhite

Gee thanks, body.

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They say when you lose weight, the first people that notice are strangers and acquaintances. They don’t see you so often, so when they do, the difference is obvious. Even a few pounds may warrant a “Oh hey. You look good. Have you’ve lost some weight?”

The next people that notice are the close ones. The family and friends who squint and cock their head sideways and notice that something has changed. They point out funny things like your collarbone or how taut your back feels when you hug them. “You’re looking thin.. in the face. Or something.”

The last person who will generally notice? you. You look in the mirror so damn often hoping that some pounds have magically fallen off somewhere, that when they finally do it takes you a while to realise that suddenly your trousers fit differently. And that you lose it in bizarre places.

Take me, for the purposes of this argument. I am a small person. I am 5’2 and what the Scots call ‘ickle’. My highest weight and my lowest are 28lb apart (12.7kg). I generally look sick around the lowest, but look chubby and ‘odd’ around the highest. I suit somewhere in the middle and generally look fairly healthy without being uncomfortable in my clothes or looking gaunt. When you’re this low to the ground, a few pounds can make a visible difference.

But my issues have never really related to the scale. Right now I’m hovering around 3-4lb below my highest weight. But obviously, now a lot of that is muscle, so I look a lot smaller and leaner than I did last time I remember being 10lb lighter. It’s weird. I’m still trying to get lower on the scale, but mainly to fit my clothes better and to just be leaner. It’s weird how I feel pretty good at the moment and I’m so close to tipping the scale at an unhappy place.

And come on. I have always had the tiniest of wrists, bony elbows, bony ankles and bony knees. And where am I really noticing this loss? in these bony, bony places. I feel like I must have been starving myself when I touch my knobbly knees, and most people could probably close their thumb and pinky around my wrists. Body. I want to lose weight from this whole, y’know, torso region.

Dave insists that the rest will catch up and yeah, I believe him. But it’s just weird how this whole thing works. I feel I have a pretty good tap on my body and what works and what doesn’t, but the weight vs. size issue has always been a strange phenomenon.

Rawrrr.

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A while back a good friend of mine (my bestest) Sarah-Rose wrote about her experiences with eating “paleo”, which she rather amusingly calls the “dinosaur diet”. You can read about her early thoughts here.

She had a fairly positive experience eating paleo, and at the end of it had also shrunk a little. As I am forever unhappy about my figure and trying to slim down, I figured Dave and I, for the month of October, could go on a little diet change of our own.

Rather than go full dinosaur, we decided we would do something that had proven to be very successful for me in the past and go low carb. Before I moved to Scotland, I spent a few months doing pilates and cut my carbs considerably, and after sticking to these and a few other good habits, dropped a stone before my move (1 stone = 14lb = 6.5kg).

I’m not really looking to lose a lot of weight, to be honest. Over the last few months of gym-going, I’ve toned my legs and arms quite a bit and can run a lot longer/further. I just think a healthier, less-stodgy-foods lifestyle is better for me overall.

And while we cheated a little in the first 10 days or so of October, lately I’ve been sticking to it really well:

* Water water water!
* Gym. I give myself 4 set times to go, and if I fail once a week? no big deal.
* Alternate exercise. On a Sunday I’ll walk with Dave if the weather is good enough, swim, or do some yoga or pilates in the house.
* No pasta, rice, potatoes, noodles, bread!
* Fruit only or low fat yoghurt for snacks.
* Or oat cakes with marmite. But rarely.
* Eating earlier in the evening and smaller portions.
* Soups! Nom. Lucky the weather lately has been horrendous.

I’ve also formed/joined a wee “lunch club” at work. 3 of us meet every day for lunch and just eat big hearty salads. We take turns buying salad greens, peppers, cucumber, avocado, dressings, croutons and a little cheese.

So as of October 17th? I am feeling amazeballs. I just have so much more energy, and for me that’s incredible. I live in a post-meningitis haze of exhaustion 90% of the time. So to have energy in the afternoons at work, and even better, in the evenings, is making a major difference to me. I can’t wait to see how I feel at the end of the month. If I’m still feeling good (and I feel more in shape), I’m probably going to just keep going with it.

And then, maybe? we might go paleo. The idea of not having beans/quinoa/lentils/chickpeas scares me a little, though. And no dairy? eeek. I love my Onken yoghurt (I eat a tub a week) and the very occasional icecream.

One other secret to my success (well, in the past!) is allowing myself a cheat day. On Saturdays I can have a little bread, a little potato, some icecream at the movies. I find that if I tell myself whenever I have a craving “You can just have it Saturday!” I end up waiting… and then not actually having it. It’s very rare that my Saturday calorie count is that much higher than the rest of the week.

I think without it, I’d buckle to chocolate and ruin the whole diet by eating like a slob for days. This keeps me under check, even if it’s just a psychological crutch.

So yeah.. watch this space. If it makes a huge difference, I’ll definitely tell you. I just know we needed a change from our bad habits.

I’m a walking cliche

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When I’ve gone out to town, I’ve had some really surreal experiences over the past few months. And I hate sounding conceited, but I feel like something has changed somewhere.

See, I’ve been going out with this friend. We all have a friend like her. She’s one of those tall, blonde, waify types. She has big eyes. She never wears makeup or works out. When you’re out with her, no matter what you look like, guys usually push past you to talk to her. I’ve been shoulder-charged once.
She hasn’t been single in 4 years, but that doesn’t stop guys being all over.

I’m short, blonde-ish, slender but a little bigger in places than the performing standard. I have biggish eyes, but wear a lot of makeup to make them stand out. I usually get ready an hour before I go anywhere, covering up my red skin and choosing clothes. Guys talk to me in bars, but one eye is always on my friends, seeing which way they’re going to move, who they’re going to talk to next. I’m so used to this now, and nights out have never been about connecting with someone. I know how to have fun and have a close-knit group of guy friends that I dance with often, showing off silly moves.

When I went to my friend’s wedding a few weeks ago, I wore a little dress. It was a pretty little dress, and I don’t wear it often. I call it the magic dress, as it generally hides everything I hate (stomach, thighs) and shows off all the bits I like (shoulders, arms, back). After the wedding, 2 of my friends and I met up in a club. I walked there with one of the guys I’m close to and we were talking and joking like normal.

Suddenly I hear behind me – “Wow.. look at the guy with THAT girl.” – Now usually I’d think, “Woah, look at that girl. Eep. What is she wearing.” But the tone was very much, “Hottie!”
I think my entire body went red. I’d never heard myself being talked about that way. You know those girls at highschool that you always heard guy friends talking about? I’d heard them talk that way. But not about me.

I blamed it on the dress. I’m going to wear it more often.

Back to my friend. We were out together last weekend, just having a few drinks and a bit of a dance. We ran into a few guys who wanted us to kiss their friend as he was getting married. After a few cheek pecks, we continued to talk and drink with the guys. Being single now, I’m fairly chatty with guys in bars, even if I’m not planning on initiating anything with anyone at the moment. I want to make friends and meet some new people. And I found that two of these boys were moving past my friend to talk to me. It was quite a reversed experience. Do these guys have single-radar? Do my friends put off different vibes now that they are taken/married/engaged?

I think I got to a certain point last year where I knew exactly what I do and don’t want. What I hope from people and expect from myself. Who I am. And somewhere along those lines, I must have gained a little more confidence. Maybe confidence in knowing what I want and where I want to go has helped me become more attractive. I haven’t noticed myself being prettier. But I’ve noticed myself feeling prettier.

Maybe that’s what makes the difference.

There’s no business like stress business.

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I hate auditions. Well I love auditions… once they’re over.

Yesterday I had an audition that I’d been dreading since the weekend. Don’t get me wrong, I love my work. I love auditioning and all the nerves that lead you up to it. I love the ID and talking to the casting agents. I love being on set. I love everything that comes with show business.

Just not bikini auditions.

I was so nervous yesterday. It’s so ridiculous – I work myself up into this state where I can’t focus on anything else. I’m a professional: I’m 11 years in.
But this was different. I can handle the standard audition: nerves come and make me excited and a little scared. I sing in the car to push the nerves out, I bounce around.. most casting agents will let you vent a little energy in the room, too, before you start a take. But auditioning only in my bikini?

I’m sure most of you would have a problem jumping around in two little pieces of fabric in front of 2 men, lots of light and 2 cameras. But I’m supposed to relax and go with it. I’m very good at ‘winging it’.. but it’s harder when you’re thinking about whether or not your stomach is wobbling.

Yesterday I was at my office job right up to the audition. I wasn’t really concentrating too well on my work….

Before yesterday’s audition:
My stomach was sore from worry and I had the shakes. This, coupled with my long nails, made typing difficult.

I had to write a note. I was shaking too hard. I had to clap my hands to snap them out of it.

I was edgy. Anything anyone asked of me made me flustered. I had plenty of time to get everything done, but I just felt panic.

I was dressed like a cowgirl. I had a black top with an open salmon pink shirt over it (with designs on it), jeans (the ones that slip down if you bend over) and my cowgirl boots. This would have been ideal had I been auditioning for McLeod’s Daughters. So I had to go home first.

I drove like a maniac home, then all the way into town. You didn’t want to get in my way.

The audition:
Was embarrassing as hell, but as usual was over very fast.

After the audition:
I was calm.

I was bitching myself out for slipping up on one of the questions (I told them I had been in a commercial last year which may still be screening – BAD IDEA).

I realised I’d relaxed so much that I hadn’t watched my posture or stomach the entire time.

The 2nd guy was someone I had never worked with before. So now HE’S seen me in next to nothing.

I drove slowly.

I was completely red in the face.

It still amazes me that these things come up to stump me after all this time. I know I won’t get this role (no pessimism here, it’s just not me) and I knew that before I went in. But you go in anyway, so it looks like you’re active in the business. I feel very unsuccessful as of late, but these things take time. You unfortunately need the right role.

When I know that I’m unlikely for a role (lots of factors tell me this), I start to wonder why the audition happens, in the big scheme of things. Is this day of my life part of any greater purpose? Was I supposed to do this to face one of my fears of wearing next-to-nothing in a room of strangers?

It makes you wonder. You spend 7 hours tapping your feet and chewing almost through a pen beforehand.. then a lot of time criticising yourself afterwards, going over what you did wrong and what you could have done better.

When the bottom line is: they want something in particular. Whether or not you’re amazing doesn’t often factor into it.

If you get it, you get it, you don’t, you don’t. That’s my mantra in this industry. And most of the time, it keeps me sane.