Let's Talk about Body Confidence
After the amazing messages and comments about my heartbreak post last week, I wanted to keep writing about things that matter to us all. These are important conversations and I’m not scared to be honest with you about them. They’ll be intermittent though so you can still count on your fashion posts! I would love to know what matters to you, and what you’d like me to talk about? Leave me a comment to let me know.
I wanted to write something about body image because unfortunately, it affects most of us at some point in our lives. I’m tall, flat chested, naturally quite lean and I always have been, but this doesn’t equal direct happiness, or unconditional love for my body. Regardless of what some fashion focussed magazines or campaigns might tell you. I used to hate being flat chested, I used to hate being so loooooong, and having to stoop to talk to my friends, I avoided heels and I used to hate my stupid knobbly knees. Now? I embrace them all and love them equally. They make me, me and nobody else.
A few weeks ago I picked up a bacterial stomach infection that lasted 16 days. It started pre Italy road trip, and carried on until after I got home. Antibiotics were the only thing to shift it. Now without going into how much I weigh, because who cares about what anyone weighs, I lost a stone in weight as a result of the stomach bug. Honestly, I have never felt more detached from my body, or more poorly. The body I saw in the mirror was bony and fraught, the clothes I always wear didn’t fit anymore and friends, colleagues and acquaintances even, had an opinion about how “skinny” I was and it felt uncomfortable and shit. I felt as if I had to justify that I didn’t have a “problem” and to explain about the saga of the bug.
For the past couple of years I’ve worked hard to maintain a body that I feel happy in, a body that’s strong and a body that eats a burger dripping in cheese and then maybe a side salad to balance it out. I enjoy working out for many reasons, the main one is that it makes me feel so good mentally- it’s a freeing thing and I think about nothing but how hard I’m working during a class.
I also love food. I have a healthy balance, and would never not eat something because “oh it’s pizza and I have already had pizza this week” nothing comes between me and melted cheese! But then, I still put lots of goodness into my body because it feels good and I enjoy that too. The common theme here is to enjoy it all, and to be doing it for yourself and nobody else.
My relationship with my body has been pretty good these past few years now but it was a very different story at University, during my Dance Degree. I didn’t like myself very much in general during that time, so one of the ways I found I could control something (my weight) was to do so with food intake. This resulted in a short lived disorder. I say disorder lightly here because I never really believe it was, it could have been worse, I knew what I was doing, and I’m not daft. I voiced it to my mum who marched me to the doctors and between them they snapped me out of it pretty quickly. I’m an impulsive person so I think it came and went in the same way: I know it is such a different story for many other people, I think I was lucky in that respect. In essence it was probably more a cry for help to myself, at 18 I was vulnerable and a long way off finding out who I was and what made me happy.
I wanted to write this for anyone that it might have impacted in any way; that friends birthday dinner you were supposed to go to but couldn’t be kind enough to yourself to feel good in what you were wearing. Or the time you cried in a shop when trying on clothes because you hated the way you looked in something. We’ve all been there.
I get so frustrated that young women and men! Are subjected to such a gross perfection-striving culture.
What are we trying to achieve? Who on earth could possibly be better than you? Who could look more beautiful than you do? Why do we want what we haven’t got? Let me assure you that people look at you the way you look at them and have the exact same thoughts “I wish I had your hair” “I wish I had beautiful skin like yours”.
Be kind to yourself, be kind to your body and be kind about other people’s body’s. You only get one. Write some things down that you love about your body.
If you need to talk to someone, book an appointment with your GP.
Thank you so much for reading, and I hope this has been helpful to some of you. See you back here on Friday! Xx