When I was younger I tried most of the diets going – from the 5:2 to eating only chicken and rice to replacing meals with shakes and smoothies, much to the disappointment of my body who really only wanted feeding a decent meal. My weight yoyoed whilst I was at school from being slightly larger than the rest of my classmates to unrecognisable the year after. It was unhealthy, but at the time I was so heavily influenced by what everyone else was doing and how they looked alongside the media, that I was crippled with the need to compare myself to others.
It’s only since I’ve become slightly older that I’ve realised that I deserve to feel confident in myself too, and that starts from within. When I used to look at myself in the mirror I would be horrified with what I saw – the remnants of stretch marks, a flabby tummy, legs that were ‘too big’ – but now when I look at my body I see something that has overcome all of these trial and tribulations, kept me alive through the years and has come out the other end even stronger. I have grown to love the way I look and I have become confident in my own skin which is a place I didn’t think I would ever get to.
Body positivity has been around for years, but it has only really been apparent to my life in the past 12 months, mainly through meeting people in the blogging world, either fitness bloggers or those advocating an overall healthy lifestyle.
It’s true what they say, that we’re all our own worst critics, and I have constantly been the one to put myself down over the years, but since being in my mid-twenties, I have found a whole new lease of life when it comes to body positivity, and it has been so refreshing.
When we’re younger, we are programmed to believe that if we think of ourselves in a positive manner or believe that we are beautiful or sexy, it is self-obsessed or big-headed, which is the completely wrong message we should be teaching our younger generations. Every girl (and boy for that matter) is completely unique and they should all be encouraged to feel positive about their appearance and never feel ashamed for believing they are gorgeous, inside and out.
It’s no secret that I enjoy food – eating out is one of my favourite things to do, and I’m even spending more time in the kitchen, and since I have been able to love my body, I have enjoyed food in a new and exciting way because I don’t restrict myself. Yes there are times where all I want to do is sit on the sofa with a packet of biscuits and surround myself with chocolate, and let’s face it, from time to time, we all deserve a bit of a break – but now I know that there’s nothing wrong with having days like that as long as you’re living a balanced and healthy lifestyle the majority of the time.
Once you feel confident on the inside, it starts to show on the outside. I see this when I chose clothes I usually never would have, from the fear that they wouldn’t look right, but now I believe that as long as I am comfortable in what I’m wearing then the positivity shines through. This is also true for choosing underwear that maybe you would usually shy away from, but it is something that can give you so much confidence without even being seen.
I am a complete advocate of body positivity, and although there are still things that I would like to change about my appearance, I no longer let them get me down in the way they would have 5 years ago. There may be little things that I’d like to tweak, but as long as I am leading a happy and healthy lifestyle, then everything else will fall into place.
What is your stance on body positivity?