Who likes short, shorts?

You bet I freegin’ don’t.

A weekend of basking in the Great British weather and we’ve seen more leg, gun and bad cases of farmer tan sprawled across the screens of our electronic devices in the last two days, than we’ll probably ever see again in 2017. I’m only too convinced we’ve already now had our summer dose of vitamin D and we can all now submerge back into the depths of our white skinned egg shells and live the rest of 2017 as a hermit crab again.

So well done if you did actually manage to find a seat in a pub garden this weekend, or a large enough patch of grass in Clapham Common that you weren’t in the background of all manner of hopeless sunglasses selfies. Though for the mere few, like me, that were not a part in said British activity, fortunately didn’t have to tackle such first world problems. Nothing wrong with a back garden anyway… There’s always space (maybe a stash of beer if you’re lucky) and top end selfie potential, that you can epitomise to your hearts content until you’ve got the right angle, with no further judgement from other London onlookers. 

You’d have thought as a runner that at any sign of heat increase, I’d be straight out that door; kitted out in clothing that in this type of weather, has practically become a small triangular band to cover ones genitals and some top half crop top that does less of a job covering your bits than what nipple stickers would do. This is actually what’s considered pretty standard attire for a female runner, nowadays. How they stand the honking horns without wanting to shoot the god damn driver of the vehicle, I’ll never know. However for me, though still exceptionally keen to still sprint out of the door towards the sun, it becomes more of a grade A organisation plan with too much thought having gone into it than I care to admit. 

Such a plan involves tactically deciding what time of the day to run, to ensure I match a temperature slot that means I won’t actually die from dehydration and sun stroke as well as the time of the day where there are fewer people about. All because I’m too god dam afraid to swap my leggings in exchange for shorts – something which would certainly help minimise the above issues of potential death by running.

Shorts would of course be the most sensible and practical option but with the saggy, undefined skin that sits under my bum, the stretch marks and the wobbly cellulite that is slowly itching its way down the side of my legs again (I’m told it’s age, but I disagree), I’d have no energy left to run anyway because I’ve just spent it all mentally picking myself up from all the utter deflation that came with seeing myself in a pair. It’s all too easy to just conceal problems with a nice pair of black leggings that fool definition at every corner. Hence why running at 06:30 poses no problem at all – the time I chose to go running. Leggings are more than fitting for the temperature occasion and no god forsaken person is generally alive at this hour anyway. 

To think as an u20 track and field athlete, so full of Lycra dreams, you wouldn’t find me in any other clothing that wasn’t another pair of Adidas’s black swimming bottoms that we’d all pass off as running shorts. Now I can barely stand the sight of the things. At least on me, anyway. You other girls carry on rocking it. Though I can practically see the inside of your butt cheeks in such attire, you at least have the balls to do it and hey, kudos to you and your butt. 

In an ideal world, we’d have sun like this every day, I could go out running in shorts at any time of the day and just hope that people have no eyes for the hour or so I’m out running. I’m well aware that people have better things to do and don’t actually take any notice, but that idea seems to just go over my head where I feel like any person passing, just sees a chunky wannabe runner that doesn’t exactly fit the bill. 

Then again if we are asking for things, I’d probably just like a pair of legs that I feel comfortable enough to flaunt around on the streets of London. Perhaps that’s still further down the recovery line for now!  

Sorry I was late…

You’d have thought after a few weeks that the novelty of the London commute would’ve worn off by now and it’s only upon reflection do I question why it hasn’t yet. Apart from the people that insist waiting an extra minute for the next Victoria line train is far too long, so decide to squeeze in to the already rammed carriage and ignore all warning of the closing doors, or the passengers that lack a serious concept of urgency (or general lack of fitness), that can’t move any faster for people like me that insist I WILL make it to the overground with 3 seconds to spare, I really actually don’t mind the commute. So much so, that I was still planning to have my birthday on an actual tube… except it’s not really a tube, it’s called Cahoots and it’s a restaurant and it’s just designed like a tube.

Embarking on the commute comes with having started a new internship in recent weeks. Commute aside, I’ve had to take on several other new challenges: the hardest being to try and overcome the anxiety that has aroused when eating lunch around new people followed by the awkward explanation to the mass of confused expressions of why I’m not indulging in the mouth-watering pizza that everyone else is eating in the office. I’m fooling no one when I say that my banana is more appetizing.

Food aside, I’ve also faced the almighty challenge that has come with deciding what outfit to wear each morning. Though I could undoubtedly rock up in just a pair of jeans and a baggy sweatshirt due to the nature of my office, if I’m going to blend in with the general persona of Knightsbridge, you bet I’m going to strut my stuff in Primark’s latest office wear collection.

Where I’ve been so used to wearing a uniform that is as unflattering as ever, having worked in a leisure centre before this internship, I’ve long forgotten what it’s like to have to ensure you’re looking at your clothing best every day. This hit me at its worse last week, where the eating disorder desire to constantly hit perfection and not have a shred of evidence that I have any fat anywhere on my body and I was late for work.

Though I blamed it on train delays – which if you’re travelling on the London Overground, it pretty much guarantees you aren’t lying anyway – I was in fact rushing around the nearest clothing retailer looking for clothes. I felt so fat and so hideous in what I’d chosen to wear that day, that I’d almost considered turning around and going home after almost breaking down in tears on the train.

Perhaps I looked fine in what I was wearing, perhaps there wasn’t really that much excess back fat hanging over the side of my bra and perhaps my arms didn’t look like someone had attached a hammock to my tricep and was swinging merrily in the wind.

The point being that an eating disorder can still creep up on you at times where you still just don’t expect it. When I thought my confidence was on an up-turn, you’re taken 100 steps back because anorexia says you’ve gotten too fat. Sod you!

“Knock, Knock”

… Well it’s not confidence waiting there.

If you’re looking to divulge into the personal lives of those around you without risking playing the ‘stalker’ card, participating in “Never Have I Ever” is a good way to go about it. A few questions and half a bottle of vodka later, you’re telling them about the mum you mistook for a younger model and accidentally kissed at the bar last year – which could be embarrassing, or just gained you a huge amount of lad points amongst your new circle of university friends.

Only up until a year ago, “Never have I ever… worn foundation” left me in a relatively confident position to avoiding having to take a sip of my drink, while also being able to make the stereotypical assumption that I could smugly watch the remainder of the girls be forced to down one fingers worth of drink. I by no means boast flawless skin at all, but I’d simply never felt compelled to wear foundation for one reason or another. Could again be that desire to be different…

While scrambling through old belongings in search for a big enough make-up bag to house the array of cosmetics I’ve now managed to hoard, I questioned when this sudden change had occured. I’ve gone from the lone mascara and no foundation, alongside minimal knowledge of all things contour, to now wondering whether the Clinique Ivory 03 concealer-come-foundation I’m testing, matches my skin tone well enough, or just makes me look like a walking tangerine.

It is simply confidence.

Not only did/does my eating disorder leave me feeling hungry (though lesser now), but it has also stripped every bit of confidence I once used to carry. It took my assets, it took my spark and it has now indirectly taken my money, as I’m now ploughing ridiculous amounts into finding the best colour match, non-greasy, full coverage, long lasting foundation… Money might not buy you love and happiness, but it helps towards a bit of bloody confidence! I never knew such a lack of body confidence could have such an overwhelming and detrimental effect to so many other aspects of my life: Work, love, happiness.

I don’t know who or what is responsible for such a sudden loss of self-confidence and the unwillingness to accept that perhaps I am good enough or I am smart enough, or I am pretty enough. But I certainly hate them for it and you can be as sure as hell I’m going to get it back. Because it really isn’t worth holding back on things that could potentially be great because I deem myself unworthy of it and lacking the body stability to ooze enough confidence for it.