Last week I pulled a pair of forgotten jeans that I dug out from the back of my wardrobe. I only keep a few things that don’t fit me, things I really love and in my mind I will get back into when I lose a little weight. Most are pre baby and that’s ok, I’m not a big believer in holding onto clothes, or seeing them in the wardrobe if they don’t fit, its such a negative start to your day and being faced with them is only going to start your day badly.

Anyway, last week I decided to retrieve this pair of jeans from the back of the wardrobe and give them a once over with the iron so I could wear them – I was excited as I know I have lost a little weight recently and in my mind paired, as I had pictured so beautifully in my head, with an blue jumper from H&M, some heeled ankle boots and my brown M&S animal print coat.

And then I put them on.

I pulled them over my toes and ankles and shins and knees. I felt that familiar strain over my thighs. They needed extra power to go all the way up, a bit of a grunt and an awkward lunge. I breathed in thinking I can do this as I forced the button to pop through the hole.

And then I stood up straight and took in just how unfamiliar the jeans felt on my body. How tight. How uncomfortable. How restrictive. I noted the way they dug into my tummy and how different they were to the memory in my head of when I last wore them.

And in that moment and in the breath that followed, my mind went into a wild, untameable overdrive. The voice that lives insides all us…

It told me I was overweight, that I had lost that sexy swag I used to own, that my value as a person had decreased. I felt gross and lazy and undesirable. In panic wondered how I could lose the weight – would I just stop eating breakfast? Try and jump back on the fitness bandwagon? Or Slimming World?

And then my conscious trail of thought caught up with my spiralling subconscious voice of poison.

It reminded me that I am nice person, beautiful and a worthy human regardless of whether the damned jeans fit, and whether I have to order a size 12, 14 or 16, or whether I look smaller or bigger than expected in photos taken of me. That I’m ok with myself, and I feel pretty good!

It reminded me that absolutely nothing about me is defined by my weight.

You see, I am comfortable in my skin, I have made peace with my body. Accepted every lump, curve and dimple as part of me. I no longer consider myself as less for having a body that doesn’t align with the way I grew up expecting to look, for having a body that differs from the socially accepted version of beautiful we have all spent most of our lives believing we should aspire to. My body has been through loads, especially over the past 10 years and its given me my precious thing ever – my son.

BUT like most women I haven’t quite learned how to accept weight gain quite so easily.

I learn to love my body as I am, but when it changes, it makes me feel vulnerable and out of control, it leaves me questioning myself. Something I hear my clients hear all too often, and I hear myself saying you look amazing. Focus on all the areas you love.

In those first few seconds after my jeans went on, my mind raced with ridiculous thoughts. The kind that I’ve been programmed into thinking over the past forty years. The real Natasha the one whose voice I can control, knows better. She is stronger and more accepting of herself and loves herself whole-heartedly.

But I’m still working on training that other voice, the one that lies dormant in unvisited areas of my brain, ready to creep up and whisper vile nothings in my ear when I least expect it. The difference is now I feel confident in my colours, my style and the way I look and yes that has taken time and in my case training.

That voice in our heads is the worst part of us, but one day it will be completely gone and when that day comes, like you I will be the most powerful, strong and unstoppable I have ever been.

Dedicated to all the women who want to accept their weight and body!