Tag Archives: size

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.

 

SIZE DOES NOT DEFINE BEAUTY.

Hello, hello, hello! So, a couple of hours ago, as I was sweating and spluttering on the treadmill trying to run off the chocolate bar I’d eaten at lunch, I was thinking about another idea for a post to do with health, fitness, and lifestyle. Recently, as Christmas and the New Year is approaching us, I’ve been trying my best to get fit and attempt to lose a small bit of weight. My logic is that if I can achieve this before Christmas then I can eat all the chocolate, cake and Christmas pudding that I want, to treat myself for the hard work I’ve done in the gym. Sounds fair, right?

I really enjoy exercising because I know of all the positive affects it has on your overall health and well being, and I do feel great after I’ve motivated myself to do a long workout. But sometimes, it takes a hell of a lot for me to get myself up and even walk through the doors of the gym. As soon as I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirrors that are stuck up on every wall of the gym, I always feel a sense of embarrassment, thinking that people will be staring at me in the gym. It sounds so ridiculous, because I know that the reality is 100% of the time people do their own thing and don’t bat an eyelid. But it’s hard, to feel completely confident enough with yourself to stand in front of that mirror in the gym or at home and love what you see.
These feelings prompted me to write a post, addressing the big issue of body confidence and why we should try to learn to be happy with ourselves, no matter what size we are!
I have been fluctuating between sizes 8-12 all my life. I can’t say that I feel totally happy with my body, but I think that’s just the normal human reaction when we look at ourselves in the mirror. My body is complete different shapes and sizes; I’m small in height (5’2 to be exact), but have long arms, big hips and thighs, and small legs – I’m totally out of proportion.
I know that the things I see online aren’t always reality, but it’s true that we can’t help letting the things we see affect us. The rise of social media has warped the way we view ourselves. When we’re scrolling on Instagram and see all of the pretty and skinny models, we sit and wish that we looked like them. When we watch television and see the adverts, 99% of the women used for different adverts and campaigns are size zero models. It leaves us feeling miserable about seeing these types of models, and frustrated that we aren’t seeing normal, everyday women on our TV and phone screens. We start to tell ourselves we need to aspire to look like these models, so we break our backs trying to work out, paying over the odds for gym memberships and healthy eating recipes. 
But why? Why can’t we be happy with our own bodies? Why can’t we work out for ourselves, instead of doing it to become someone else?
A while back, my friend told me that a guy made it clear he didn’t want any communication with her anymore and his reason for this was disgusting. He said she was ‘too big’ and he wasn’t into that kind of ‘thing’. 
Comments just like this should never be targeted at anyone, and it made me sick to my stomach that he had an opinion of this kind. Body confidence is probably one of the most difficult things to feel and it makes it harder when people have these kinds of attitudes, and I am so glad that some companies are now beginning to use models of all different shapes, including plus size, to show small-minded people who have these opinions that being any size is BEAUTIFUL. 
It’s so difficult not to compare what we look like to others. We’re always trying to look better, and feel better. But I have one thing I’ve started to tell myself and I hope you can do the same no matter what size you are;
I LOVE MY BODY.
We are beautiful in every way! If I want to go to the gym and eat healthily, I’m doing it for myself. Nobody else. I’m tired of looking online and feeling te
rrible after comparing myself to people who I will probably never meet in real life. We have begun to have such a distorted view of what is actually reality. The things people post online are what they want us to see. Women’s bodies are being photo-shopped in every aspect so that they look the way the model wants to be presented, in order to get the most ‘likes’.
I’m trying my hardest not to consume myself in the social media bubble that is so easy to get pulled into, because I’m tired of comparing myself!
It does take a lot of time, but I’m learning to love the way I look. I’m learning that it doesn’t matter how different your body may look compared to somebody else’s, because we are all different, unique and special in our own way. And we are all beautiful.
It doesn’t matter what size you are, what shape you are, or even what hair colour you are. You can wear whatever you want, work out as much or as little as you want, eat whatever you want as long as you are happy in your own skin and feel confident.
As we’re living in the 21st century, and we know that the rise of technology, social media and advertising is going to continue to rise and take over every single aspect of our lives. Which is amazing, because social media is wonderful for so many different things. However, we need to ensure that we do not let the posts we see of other people affect the reality we are living. An image of a pretty, tiny, size 6 model DOES NOT DEFINE BEAUTY. Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes, and the greatest beauty you can portray is CONFIDENCE.
Social comparison is unhealthy but is felt by everybody, it’s hard not to. But once we learn to love the way we look, we can appreciate others who we see online, but know that we don’t have to compare ourselves to them, or moreover, aspire to be them.
We are all beautiful!