Tag Archives: empowerment

Body Confidence Journey.. If I Can, You Can Too.

Before I started writing this blog post, I was trying to think back over the past 5 or 6 years to a time when I felt confident with my body and the way I looked. Genuinely, I couldn’t think of one time! I’ve never been fully confident with my body, ever, and it really dawned on me when I was thinking about how to start this post.
When you are younger, for example, at high school, the way you feel about your body and body confidence isn’t really something that you are constantly thinking about. Well, for me it wasn’t anyway. My main focuses were enjoying my time with my friends, talking about boys and trying to stay out of any drama! I would never wake up and look at myself and think that I was unhappy, even though I probably was. I’d just put my uniform on and get on with my day. When I got to year 11, so I was 16 years old, I lost so much weight. Looking back at pictures of me when I was as small as I was honestly makes me want to cry. I didn’t lose this weight intentionally as my final year of school was probably one of the worst years I’ve had in my life so far, which caused me to lose all the weight. I became ill, the small amount of food that I was actually eating I couldn’t even hold down because every day I was so anxious about the number of things that were going on, my body physically wouldn’t let me swallow! I ended up going down to a size 4-6. I’ve always had curves, the same as my Mum, but I just lost everything. I can’t stand to look at pictures of myself like that, because I know how unhealthy it was.
When I got to college, I was back eating normally again but I still wasn’t happy with the way I looked. I would say that I was probably putting on weight, but definitely not enough. My anxiety over these two years was still through the roof, and the whole two years of college seems like a complete blur to me and not a time that I like to reflect on. At this point of my life, it became clear how much pressure is put on young women to look a certain way. I would go into college and look around me at all the other girls, who dressed up for college, and then I’d go into the bathroom and look at myself in a hoodie and leggings and feel so awful. I didn’t even have the confidence to wear what I wanted, I wasn’t the size I wanted to be and I wasn’t wearing the things I would have loved to wear.
I then moved onto University, where I started to put so much weight back on, but then I put on too much. I felt fat, ugly and disgusting, even though to others they didn’t think that at all. I was unhappy in my first year of University and stopped going to my lectures as I knew I was going to change course and start my first year again, so all I did every single day was stay in bed and eat. I was way too anxious to go out, and the thought of stepping foot in a gym scared me way too much. It was never going to happen. I could feel myself becoming so unhealthy and every time I looked at myself, again, I felt awful. But I couldn’t stop eating! I had nothing else to do during my days, I was literally waiting for the year to be over. So, food was my comfort for making the days’ pass. It wasn’t even healthy food either, I was eating way too much pasta, getting takeaways and chocolate from the shop every other day. I was a complete mess, and even reflecting on this part of my life fills my stomach with knots.
I don’t want this post to be all doom and gloom, but I needed to share my journey with you all. I’m now almost 21, and in my third year of University and I have never felt better.
I’ve gone from being a girl who was too anxious to leave the house, who never felt confident about who she was and what she looked like, a girl who was depressed, to now going to the gym every day and enjoying every minute of it. I’ve gone from wearing baggy clothes in the gym and wanting to cover every inch of me, to now feeling confident enough to wear whatever gym clothes I want, whether they be baggy or tight gym leggings and crop tops. And the best part which I never thought I would say; I’m taking part in a triathlon in a month’s time. I can’t believe it!
The whole point of this blog post is just to share with anyone who has struggled with their body image and feeling body confident, or still is struggling, that things can change so easily and so quickly. Never in a million years did I think that I would be taking part in a big sporting event. Firstly, because I didn’t think I would ever feel confident enough. And secondly, because I never thought I would be fit and healthy enough.
My first bit of advice is that you need to surround yourself with the right people. From my last year at high school and all throughout college, I had nobody around me who was trying to motivate me and empower me, which is what best friends and any kind of relationships are meant to be there for. I was left feeling like I wasn’t good enough for anything or anyone because I was allowing people around me to treat me this way. Moving into different groups and letting go of people who only made me feel worse about myself was the best decision. Even if this means cutting them off, and losing a big group of people who you believed to be your ‘friend
s’. The reality is, if they don’t make you feel great and support you, are they truly meant to be in your life?
Secondly, you have to make yourself feel better, for you and only you. Try not to care what people think of you. I know myself, it’s difficult especially if you’re an over-thinker or suffer with anxiety. I found it hard to go to the gym because I was worried that everyone would be staring at me and judging me. But the reality is, that doesn’t happen! People may look at you once when you walk through the door to see who it is (don’t we all?) but then everyone looks away and carries on with their own thing. You need to do as much or as little to whatever suits you and whatever makes you feel better. Don’t change your body for the approval of others. If you’re unhappy, it’s only you who can do something about it.
I’ve emerged the gym into my daily routine, and I ensure that I eat well because it’s me who does my food shopping. If I don’t buy bad foods, then I can’t eat them! I really can’t believe how far I have come with my body and my confidence, and although I am not quite 100% yet, I am so excited to continue improving my life and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
I also try not to kid myself thinking it’s all going to be easy. There are times when I’ve been feeling unmotivated and have skipped the gym for a week, or maybe even two when everything has been getting on top of me. There have been times when I feel down and can’t even find the energy to make something to eat, so I’ll waste my money and order a takeaway and feel even worse about myself afterwards. But you’ve just got to try and push yourself!
I know that if I can make myself feel better, generally healthier in my body AND my mind from where I started from, then anyone can. I would love to continue sharing my fitness progress through my blog, because anyone can do it.
I know you can! Believe in yourself.

 

Heartbreak.

I thought I would write about quite a deep, sensitive and emotional subject for this week’s blog post. I wanted to talk about something that I myself, have been through and can very much relate too and I hope that you can too. I wanted to talk about heartbreak and relate that to the importance of self-worth and believing in ourselves, even after a relationship breakdown.
When looking back at relationships, it’s easy to feel as though you regret being with that certain person, especially if the relationship ended in a toxic way. It’s hard to feel as though you could ever forgive that person for breaking your heart and hurting you. But I realised a lot of things each time I felt hurt and let down in another relationship, things that I will explain as this blog post goes on.
Feeling heartbroken brings about so many different feelings and emotions. You can feel lost and feel a sense of grief that you’re unable to be with that person anymore. Personally, I sometimes find it difficult to deal with change. I like having the same routine and this is the same for my relationships. I love having the same person there every day to be with, so for me, when that suddenly changes and they aren’t there anymore for whatever the reason may be, I completely struggle to deal with it. Once you have relied on someone for a certain amount of time, you truly believe that that person won’t be going anywhere and when they do, you feel lost and heartbroken.
Even if you are the person in the relationship that hasn’t done wrong, or even if the break up was mutual, you’re still left asking yourself questions; ‘Why wasn’t I good enough?’ ‘What am I going to do now?’ ‘Why didn’t they want me?’ ‘Will I ever find anyone else?’
There have been countless times for me, where a relationship has ended and I have felt totally worthless. The thoughts going around in my head are mad, and each knock back after knock back has made me feel as though I’ll never be good enough for anyone.
Getting over heartbreak is a process, and one that takes time. It’s just like when you’re grieving – grieving and heartbreak come under exactly the same bracket. There’s absolutely no time limit for heartbreak. There is no rule book to tell you how long it should take to get over someone. You need to give yourself time; time to heal, time to get over that person, time to feel emotions again, and time to love yourself.
The initial human reaction after a break up is to start feeling bitter towards that person. You feel as though you hate them, and you use this hatred in order to tell yourself how much you need to get over them. You force yourself to think of all the times they may have upset you and all the hurtful words they may have said to you and this ultimately makes the bitterness worse. I’ve done it myself, I intensify my ‘hatred’ for that person in order to tell myself how awful they are so that I can try to move on. For a long time, I’ve felt like this was the only way to be able to move on.
But I’ve been so, so wrong.
It’s the most freeing feeling to just move on from something and feel genuinely happy. I realised that in order to move on from feeling heartbroken and hurt; you MUST LET GO. You cannot hold onto the hate and hurt and use that in an attempt to move on, it doesn’t work.
It’s important to look at relationships from a different angle. Be thankful for the memories that the relationship gave you without feeling bitter. You enjoyed the time you spent with that person and the way they made you feel for a while, and they became a chapter in your life. Just because that chapter may have ended, doesn’t mean your life is over. I know how worthlessness feels, but I also know how important it is to shake the feeling of it off, and how important it is to continue with your life without that person, focusing on yourself and only yourself.
I found that I was too busy relying on other people, and I was focusing too much on my relationships to make me happy. I was desperate to find someone who could give me the love that I deserve, and who could give me the love that I was able to give to them. Unfortunately, I haven’t found that person yet. But that’s perfectly okay.
I’ve been hurt, but I can use these past relationships to help me find the right one. I’ve learnt a lot about myself, I’ve learnt how strong I am, and that I really don’t give myself enough credit!
I really want to stress how much you cannot let someone else make you feel as though you aren’t good enough. Stop asking yourself the questions I mentioned earlier, because you are enough and you always will be for someone. If a person makes it clear they do not want you – move on and better yourself. There’s no time to be wasted.
I know these words are easy to read but very difficult to do when you’re actually in the situation of a break up. But it’s taken me to feel heartbroken a couple of times to realise that I am worth more than the way I have been treated in the past, and now I know this, I won’t settle for anything less than someone who adores me, and neither should you!
I want you to take away from this post that things will always get better. I want you to learn to appreciate your past relationships, and even though they may not have worked out, they have taught you something. Let go of any bitterness, there’s more to life than feeling anger towards someone. You are worth everything and more, and one day you will find the right person who emphasises your worth every single day.

 

I truly hope you all find the person you’re looking for and have long, happy and successful relationships.

Do More Of What Makes You Happy! Why Didn’t I?

This blog post is all about happiness. The importance of self-happiness, what exactly makes us happy as individuals and the reasons why it’s OK not to always be happy.
Although I may only be 20 years old, I have been through many difficult times, some much worse than others and some that I wasn’t sure I would ever be able to make it out of. It should not matter how old you are, each and every one of us still feel emotions of every kind; love, sadness, happiness, heartbreak, jealousy. Our mental health and emotional state is the most important thing. When thinking about myself, not only did I feel unhappy within myself, but also with the rest of the world.
It really did take me an incredibly long time to realise that time heals absolutely everything. It is impossible for us, as human beings, to be OK, 100% of the time. Everybody has days where they feel as though they can’t get out of bed and they don’t want to socialise with the world. Everybody has days where they feel down and worthless and unmotivated. Some people may just find it easier to hide through a smile. The cheery postman you see each morning; he could be having the worst day of his life. The cashier lady you see in your local shop who always smiles and says hello could be feeling a sense of loneliness that you have never felt before.
But then there’s the flip side! The cheery postman you see could have been through the hardest challenges, but something inbuilt inside of him has told him to wake up each day, do his job and be happy within himself. And that’s the most important point that I would like each and every reader to take from this blog post:
Happiness comes from within yourself.
It’s important to understand that events happen in our lives and we really do have no control over them, I know this is a frustrating thought, but we can’t ever change what could or might happen. And that isn’t the way to live! The knock backs we might face make us human. It does not matter how long it takes, but you will always be OK. We have an inbuilt ability to always find a way out of difficult situations, and to always come out stronger and learn from whatever has happened to us. We need to ensure that we give ourselves time, time to heal, time to move on from something that has hurt us or affected us in any way, time to become as successful as we want to be, and time to be truly happy.
Happiness comes from within yourself – you cannot be happy in your life if you do not love yourself. You need to be confident and proud of everything that you have already achieved, the situations you have been able to come out of and learn from are what makes you, you. You really can get through anything and achieve anything you want too, even though at some points you might not feel as though you can. Everything takes time.
These words are so easy to say, and it took me such a long time to convince myself that there was any truth in them. I realised that I had to take a look at myself and ask, ‘what makes me happy?’ I realised that I had been living my life through other people, and concerning myself with what other people thought and said and relied on them to shape the way my everyday life was going to go, rather than concentrating on myself. By doing this, most of the time unintentionally, I lost all my confidence and any self-worth I once had. I never put myself first in my own life, and when I think about it in that way it sounds so ridiculous. It’s so easy to lose yourself through hard times, but you need to figure out what makes you genuinely happy.
I love being creative, I love writing, reading, colouring, creating random things, and for a very long while I stopped doing all of that. But why shouldn’t I be doing the things that I love? If you love dressing in crazy, colourful, flamboyant clothes, do it! If you love dancing, do it! If your dream is to fly planes around the world, do it! You can do anything you want if you tell yourself you are going to be successful and if it makes you happy. It’s the most important thing to ask yourself what really makes you happy and do something to change it, it may have taken me a few years to realise this, but it truly was the best thing I ever did.
But please remember, it’s OK to not be happy some days. It’s normal, and you’re not alone. Things are always going to get better, even when they feel as though they never will. I know a lot of things you may hear sound so ridiculously hard to believe. But right now you might be in a situation that you think you won’t survive. However, six months ago you were in another situation you thought you wouldn’t survive, but you did. Even two years before that, there was something else going on around you which you thought you wouldn’t survive, but again, you did and you’re still here. Living your life to the fullest. You can always make it through anything, but the only way to do that is to put yourself first and never live your life for other people.
Only you can make your life better in whichever way you want too and once you have that figured out, somebody you love will then come along and complete everything. But until then, don’t ever let anyone try to drag you down, tell you anything different, knock your confidence in any way or stop you from doing the things you love and adore.

 

Each and every one of you deserves to be happy, but it has to start with you and your self-happiness!