There’s a red dress in my wardrobe. It’s been there for years. It hasn’t moved from the wardrobe in years because it does not fit me. There, I said it.
It barely fit me when I bought it if I’m being completely honest. My actual size was sold out so I told myself the age old lie of “I’ll just buy a size too small and lose some weight then it will fit perfectly”.
I’ve done many a wardrobe clean out since I discovered it really doesn’t fit me and yet I can never seem to throw it away. “One day it will fit me again.” “One day I’ll be that skinny.”
I’ve finally realised that if that ‘one day’ ever comes I’ll probably need to be hospitalised.
Last month was a huge month for me. I spent 4 days on Waiheke Island with my best friends for my hens do. 4 days of being surrounded by 10 amazing women. I found myself constantly looking at every one of them and thinking how much I love each and every one of them. They are beautiful people, inside and out. We are all so different and yet each one of them is so unbelievably wonderful in their own individual way. If even one of them hadn’t been there it wouldn’t have been the same.
We drank and we ate and we laughed and we complimented each other constantly. When someone did their make up we would tell them how beautiful it looked, when someone put on a new dress we all gushed over how amazing it was on them. Hair styles were complimented, jewellery choices were praised. Not a bad word was said once.
Coming back on the plane I found myself sitting normally for the first time in a long time. Just sitting, not sucking my tummy in because the seatbelt was giving me a pot belly, not poking at my thighs thinking they looked awful. It hit me then how powerful female friendships are. How amazing it feels when we build each other up. How different we all are and how beautiful that is.
I had one day to rest when I got home before I was off again. This next trip was the complete opposite of the hens do. I spent 4 days hiking the Milford track with 6 girls who I had just met. I went from luxury, wineries and pretty dresses to wilderness, sandflies and torrential rain. We hiked 60km in 4 days up and over a mountain pass staying in huts along the way.
It was physically and mentally one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I found out pretty fast that my waterproof rain jacket was in no way waterproof. I was soaked to the bone 20 minutes into a seven hour hike in the rain. No electricity, no reception, no showers. And yet I survived. My ‘awful’ thighs carried me over a mountain. My heavy pack bruised my love handles and yet I was still able to carry it for 4 days. My tired arms pulled me over fallen trees on the path. I was helped along by 6 women who didn’t even know me and yet they helped me with my pack, they gave me extra food when I was feeling weak. In turn I helped them whenever I could too. Strangers turned friends in the wilderness. Women supporting women.
In a world where it feels like women get constantly torn down I got to spend 8 days with the most amazingly supportive women. It changed me. It changed me completely. Why are we so quick to judge other women? Why are we constantly competing with each other?
Women are strong and they are beautiful and when you have strong women supporting you you feel like you can take on the world. Or hike a mountain, or give yourself a break for not being a ridiculous standard of ‘perfect’.
I’m going to throw away my red dress. I’m never going to fit into it and I don’t even want to anymore. I’d much rather be having cheese and wine with my friends anyway.
Tell the women in your life how amazing they are. Then turn to a mirror and tell the woman in it the exact same thing. It feels damn good. Oh and if you have your own version of my red dress, throw it out!
Check out my YouTube vlog of these trips at:
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