Ever since we met, my husband has told me every day that I look beautiful and that I’m awesome. For years I would pull a face at him in response and make a self-deprecating remark about the size of my waist/thighs/bum (insert most-hated-body-part at the time!). For years I tortured myself about the flaws on my face and the shape/size of my body. I had a habit of comparing myself to every woman on the street, there would be a constant internal dialogue of “do my thighs look that big when I wear jeans?…I wish I could wear that outfit but there’s no way I’d look good in it…why doesn’t my hair look like that?”. I dieted, counted points and calories, cut out entire food groups (yes you CARBS die in hell), existed on protein shakes and spinach for months, all in pursuit of the ‘ideal’ figure.
But I now know that ‘ideal’ body will never be mine. And I’m ok with that! Why? Because I’ve realised that life is too short! I’ve started a journey towards body positivity and self-confidence. When I think about it, I realise I am pretty awesome after all. I live with not one but two disabilities, it’s hard sometimes but they don’t stop me. I want to live life! I love jogging and walking, I love that feeling after a run, I love that slightly sore feeling in my legs. I’ve started focusing less on what my body looks like, and more on how it feels. This means eating foods that make me feel healthy and doing exercise because I enjoy it. I don’t care if my legs have got cellulite, because they feel strong! It doesn’t matter about wrinkles, grey hairs, jelly belly – none of these things stop me from enjoying life and having fun. It doesn’t matter to me what the scales say, if I feel good then I’m happy. If I want to eat a brownie, I’m gonna eat that brownie – and I refuse to feel guilty!
I can’t claim to be totally in love with myself every day, and that internal dialogue still pipes up occasionally, but I’m getting good at giving that chick a slap and getting on with my day without any self-judging. And you know what? I feel so much happier! I’m more relaxed! I feel mentally and physically strong!
So now when my husband pays me a compliment I give him a bright smile and say thank you. He loves it and I’ll admit it feels great!
If you want to get off the self-hatred train and gain some body positivity inspiration…look up Taryn Brumfitt and her Body Image Movement. I highly recommend watching her documentary Embrace – I found it very inspiring.
Sophie Thomas, Administration Manager