I’ve got this feeling some of you are thinking of not going to the Christmas Party. Because fat. Fat. Fat. Fat. Fat. And Hippos.
STOP RIGHT THERE SISTER. Let’s do a rethink.
There’s three ways this party can go right now.
1) You’ve got this outfit you’ve ALREADY decided you look crap in
You spend the day of the party wondering if you can come up with an excellent excuse that is perfectly reasonable and everyone will buy into, without everyone thinking that you are in fact Christmas Scrooge and always bail out at the last minute.
You fail to come up with one. And that voice that tells you you are fat has now been befriended by the one that hates letting people down and somehow they are both driving the car now.
So here you are, not wanting to go, but going anyway. Putting on the dress that YOU JUST KNOW YOU LOOK CRAP IN. Examining yourself from every angle in the mirror, just to confirm said crapness.
Off you go to the party. Knowing without any shadow of a doubt that the first thing everyone is thinking is, ‘My, she looks crap in that dress. And fat. Wonder why she showed up.’
And then, alcohol, and lots of it, and misery. Or just misery. But not the kind anyone notices, because you, sister, have mastered the art of smiling cheerily whilst chanting FAT FAT FAT in your head.
Oh lady, this is a rubbish party, let’s not go to this one.
2) Not going to the party
How lovely would that feel? Snuggled up watching dull telly eating microwave cardboard whilst all friends are at said party having a lovely time not being fat and telling stories about it for days to come.
Checking Facebook regularly to see if there are any photos and studiously avoiding all the texts that say, ‘COME! We miss you!’ and feeling more than a little guilty that the story about your sick dog is not even remotely true and even he is looking at you ruefully as if to say, ‘Why aren’t you at the party having fun?’
BECAUSE I DON’T KNOW HOW TO HAVE FUN RIGHT NOW THAT’S WHY.
3) Here’s another way it could go.
That brain of yours is currently set to a zero out of ten evening. So let’s start moving the numbers at the dial, so it ALREADY FEELS LIKE FUN before you get there.
And no, we don’t mean necking back a bottle of vodka before you get there. You’ve progressed from puking in your handbag mostly these days right?
Here’s your getting ready ROUTINE…
– Get some great pumpy music on. One of my favourites is Sia and Chandelier (I loved her on Carpool Karaoke). Sing. Why? Because SINGING. Move those hips a bit. Remind your body just how much you enjoy a good party. Have a glass of wine if you need to relax and you’re not driving. Just the one (you know why…).
– Start with your underwear. Decent underwear please ladies. Big Spanxy things if you must and ONLY if they don’t cut you in half. Name of the game tonight is to not spend the whole evening only being able to stand in one slightly odd position…Because NOT FUN. Also, hoik up those bra straps (you should be doing this every day). Amazing what changes when you take advantage of that uplift system…
– Give up all your nonsense about ‘I can’t wear that outfit I feel most comfy in because they’ve seen it before’ and get on the thing in your wardrobe that is going to make you feel as good as you can. Because NO-ONE REMEMBERS OR CARES what you are wearing (more on that to come). Put on something that you know you will relax and be able to have fun in. Maybe not your onesie Smartypants. You know what we mean…
– Just before you look in the mirror, replace the ‘This is going to look crap’ statement in your head with five repeats (aloud preferably) of, ‘I am beautiful, just the way I am’, or ‘I’m ROCKING it tonight’ (whatever takes your fancy) and THEN look. As you look, do your biggest, bestest, smile. Let Crazy Lady know she’s not ruining all the fun. What’s this one about then? All the science says smiling tells the brain to be happy. How’s that for an easy win?
– On arrival at the party, make a massive effort to really notice how people react when they see you. The big smiles on their faces and how they bring you into the chat straight away. The way they want to be with you.
You see, when your voices are shouting the ‘everyone thinks you’re fat’ chant in your head, you lose sight of reality. You don’t notice the warmth and delight of the people around you. You definitely don’t notice that every man in the room has been PROGRAMMED to tell you that you look lovely and in fact isn’t even looking at all (it’s a beautiful thing they do here ladies, when you step back to watch it, they absolutely KNOW what we need to hear and yet they don’t actually give a monkeys. They’re just pleased you’re there and that there is beer).
You also don’t notice that all of the women (many of who are feeling pretty much the same as you) are also smiling and encouraging you. And that they would love to get off the topic of what everyone looks like and get on with the being together and having fun.
– Accept the compliments with your very best, ‘thank you so much!’. Resist the urge to say anything along the lines of ‘you must be kidding’ or ‘I had to drag myself here’ or any other message that dilutes what people are saying to you. Choose to believe they mean it.
And then pay it forward. Decide that every woman who walks in the room is beautiful (because they are). Especially decide that the lady who you would normally have to have a bit of a chat about because she has got it SO wrong, does not need your judgement tonight. Because inside she might be feeling just like you.
Brene Brown (more about her in our book recommendations) says we shame others in the area we most feel shame. We think it dilutes our own shame.
From this night onwards, you know FOR SURE that no woman needs your comments on how she looks. Even if she can’t hear them. Because that’s the very thing you’re dreading will happen to you.And that absolute stunner of a girl? Drop your assumption she has life nailed (because you’re doing that comparing of your insides to somebody else’s outsides again) and send her your very best vibes too.
– Stand tall. Walk proud. That walk you do when you’re feeling 10 out of 10? Tonight it’s one of your best tools to lift your mood. And if those pointy shoes you’ve got are really hurting, have no qualms about taking them off, especially for the dancing – who needs self inflicted pain in all of this? You’ve already done your grand entrance. Now it’s time to have fun.
– Find your dancing moves and get on that floor. There’s nothing better than feeling your body move to music. You know how to do it. Just get up there.
– Be in conscious charge of your choices. You decide when you go home. You decide what you’re drinking and eating. And whatever you choose, choose to enjoy it. Cake tastes rubbish if you’re doing The Guilty Song while you eat it.
And then, give yourself a big old pat on the back. You made it to the ball Cinderella!
Seriously, GO. You need it. For the connection and the fun and the joy. You need to remember how to access it again.
No more waiting for Skinny. What if it never comes?
Danielle and Nic x
PS Share this with your friends – you know who they are.