Like most women I have always struggled with body image and my weight in particular. Growing up I was tall and skinny, could eat whatever I wanted and not put on any weight, ‘where does she put it?’ People would say ‘she must have hollow legs’.
At around 20 my body changed considerably, I developed hips, boobs and a bum and suddenly I could no longer just eat non stop without consequence. Since then I think I have tried almost every diet going, permanently had a calorie counting app on my phone and went through phases of loathing myself and my body.
Before I had Ted I could regularly be found in tears before a party or an event because I felt that I looked hideous in everything, I had nothing to wear despite having a wardrobe full of clothes.
When I was pregnant I was very sick with HG and worried about keeping my baby healthy. There was still a voice in the back of my head telling me that at least I wasn’t putting on weight, I wouldn’t have so much to lose after the baby. I mentioned this to my husband and he looked at me like I was insane. It struck me then that really should have been the least of my concerns, not only that but I didn’t want my child to grow up with the message they they are worth more if they are slim.
I started to follow women on social media who advocated body positivity, women who had bodies that looked like mine and looked wonderful in clothes that I could actually wear. I booked a personal shopping session with a stylist and confidence coach who helped me to start looking past the size labels in clothes and choose thing that made me feel great. (Read about this in my guest blog post for Esther Coren Here).
Being positive about my body doesn’t come easily to me and I still feel the buzz if I can fit into a size smaller than I’m used to or fit into clothes that I couldn’t before. I’m working on this and I’m getting better at not feeling totally disheartened if I see an unflattering picture of me or my jeans are too tight. I’m not going to deprive myself of food I love and I’ve deleted the calorie counting app. I’m exercising because I enjoy the way it makes my body feel and to be healthy for my son rather than to lose weight and I’m starting to feel free.
I read somewhere that ‘At your funeral no one is going to say “oh it’s such a shame, she was so thin”‘ and this really resonated with me. I love the people I love regardless of their weight and I hope they feel the same about me. I wish I’d looked into body positivity years ago as it would have saved hours of self loathing and stress. I hope I can pass on a positive mindset to my children and ensure they know that they are worth so much more than the numbers on a scale, labels in their clothes or the size of their body.
Photo credit: Myra Fotografie.
My Family, who love me unconditionally.
Do you find it difficult to be positive about your body? Do you have any favourite social media follows who help you feel good about your body?