In a conversation with a friend the other night, we were discussing our childhood and adolescence, being bullied by girls and general bodily awareness, etc. She pointed out something that I had never considered before — that, before a certain point in time, your body was just one whole part. You were you, that’s what you looked like, and that’s just the way it was. Until one day, someone makes a comment about your body, and suddenly your awareness heightens, and you start to question your body and the form that it takes.
After thinking about this, I realised that I can remember a very distinct shift from merely acknowledging that my body looked a certain way, to realising that my actions can cause my body to look different. It’s sad that, once you cross that line, there is no going back. Life used to be, oh, swimming training, ballet classes, run the 800m heats, blah blah, and all was well. Then one day, I realised, it’s all this swimming and ballet that has given me a really lean physique with strong abdominal muscles. That switching these two for hockey then gave me a thicker build, along with hockey thighs. That my gluttony over a few meals will amount to jeans being tighter or beers equating to a gut. And as a woman, these are consequences that are too hard to ignore sometimes.
Even though I don’t really “watch what I eat” and barely try to be moderate about it all, admittedly, one big reason I love hockey season so much is that I can then consume without as much thought as when it’s off-season — because it’s almost guaranteed to burn off. Case in point: in December I bought a beautiful pair of Rag & Bone jeans in New York, and this was right after a season of winter and summer hockey, and I’d walked and walked and walked on my trip. Then I get home, Christmas and New Years happens, with no hockey… and now I can’t fit them anymore. Hopefully if my coach continues her current plan of playing me on the left wing for the first sixty minutes (of a 70 minute game, ouch!) I will definitely be reaping in rewards in the form of muscle gain and fat loss. (Disclosure: I’m weird in that I gain and lose muscle easily so my weight fluctuates not 1-2kg like most females, but more like 4-7kg) But if I were ten again, I would just think, oh yay, I feel a bit fitter and lighter. Not, I lost muscle and put on fat, boo hoo, must reverse this. This body awareness thing was much easier when I only ate what my mum put on the dinner table, and did the amount of sports prescribed.
Also, I’d forgotten about these photos until I stumbled across these scans just before. They were taking during a jazz combo rehearsal at uni last year. Funny how I can forget about these completely, yet now that I’ve found them, I can remember what it felt like at the time, framing these shots in fairly quick succession, then putting the camera away to not be a distraction.
All taken on Kodak Colour Reversal film; Nikon F3.