30 Yr Old Glow-Up? Maybe

Hi there.

I meant to start this project yesterday. Which is nice and ironic. But also it’s an excellent lesson in not giving up when you hit a smol mistake. Or judging yourself too harshly. And thus: my blog.

A 30-Year-Old Attempts to Glow-Up After Graduating an MFA Program Post-Pandemic

or

I’m A Brick House, and I’m Putting Myself in Order

or

Mondays w/ Maggie

…the title is still being workshopped.

Ok so anytime I say the words “glow-up” or “cottagecore” my boyfriend is like “i don’t know what that means” and I say “well cottagecore is an aesthtic or sense of style – very visual. Glowing-up is basically the same concept as leveling-up, but usually with a focus on beauty or physical attributes.” And like. Good job me. That MFA in theatre really came in handy with comprehension and communication skillz. So I was bopping around on the social media sphere and was like “I want to try…what could I try?” And then I was like “oh a glow-up” but then I was like “wait I’m already pretty and also do I WANT to like go on a weight-loss journey aren’t I a body positivity queen wait wait wait” and thus the existential spiral commenced.

Weight as a topic generally feels really loaded and tense for me to confront critically. It was one of the things my first-ever boyfriend helped me realize: that I was bigger but still sexy, still desirable. That “but” didn’t turn in to an “and” for me until 5 years later at 29, after unchecked years of deep, subconscious self-loathing and an unfortunate anonymous rape that sent me spiraling and certainly landed me at my heaviest-ever weight (no numbers from that time to confirm, but the pics say my face was rounder and the bod was padded and it was DEFINITELY because I ate a pork burger nearly every day for like 4 months….typing it out loud makes me p sad, but ya know: truth is truth and vulnerability will set me free.

I am also not my current boyfriend’s ideal figure of femininity, either. We’ve been friends for a number of years, and a few summers back this revelation sent me spiraling into a few months of self-hate and refusal to wear shorts through the sticky end of an East Coast summer. When we were discussing the possibility of dating this time around, this opinion came up again and is more a challenge we’ve agreed to work on together, from opposite perspectives (he’s doing internal work to dismantle ‘ideal’ while i really consider what kind of habits are contributing to my overall health and this body / beauty).

This obviously comes with its own set of issues and tough days, but we talk regularly about healthy-for-my-brain goals that are adjacent to weight loss and generally encompass it as a side-effect: eating choices, more regular exercise, energy level and sleep, physical health goals as the scaffolding for progress rather than body weight numbers, etc. I say frequently that I may *not* lose weight…this could be what he gets, and he’s quite a lovely partner in those moments. He encourages me in my health goals AND helps me know he finds me sexy (in spite of not being an ideal *facepalm).

And so when I think about a ‘glow-up’ and watch through a couple YouTube videos of really beautiful women giving other women advice on how to glow-up in their 30s, I’m a little like ‘…I’ve already got a savings account. I’ve already got a therapist. I am already invested in my skincare. I am already pretty darn social. I already more or less like myself. ‘ … It really seems like this sphere of the internet, focused on self-examination and advice-giving, is in a “grow-up” vein rather than “glow-up.” Like…I want to get to polishing this gal that I got rather that starting from relative scratch.

Besides. Every large endeavor usually feels like you’re starting from scratch (insert facepalm emoji).

All this to say: I think I will try documenting progress here in blog form and MAYBE get a vlog-format going? We’ll try. One of the big things I’m trying to glow-up is my consistency and commitment to personal projects. So here is where I will list some goals, and you can maybe check back to read about them if you have time and desire:

  1. Lift some impressive amount of weight (tbd with help from boyfriend) by end of summer
  2. Run 1 mile by end of summer
  3. 10 push-ups by end of summer
  4. Yoga for 30 days during July
  5. Eat a plant-based diet for weekdays during July

I’m sure there are non-health / physical fitness goals to be added, but let’s start here shall we? ❤

mmk, thanks for listening, and lylas:
Maggie

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