I can remember feeling like I was fat from the age of 10. I always felt like I was the biggest one in my group of friends, which when I look back now, couldn’t have been further from the truth. We were all pretty much the same size, which means I was the average weight for my age but I didn’t see or feel it back then.
It got worse as I got older and reached a very serious peak when I discovered my first set of stretchmarks at the age of 13. At the time I cried, I hated myself, I hated that this had happened to me. I couldn’t recover from it so at the vulnerable age of 13 I attempted the first of many weight loss stints. I lost a significant amount of weight but low and behold the stretchmarks didn’t disappear.
I struggled throughout high school which held me back from a lot.
At 18 when I finished high school I had a period of grace, where I was happy with my weight. Not my body because there were still those “disgusting” marks and it was still so imperfect, but I could deal with the number on the scale.
But as time went on my weight started fluctuating and I put on quite a bit which set off years of dieting. From extremes such as Duromine and weighing every thing before putting it in my mouth to the healthy way – eating the good stuff and exercising. But through all of this, no matter how much I lost, no matter how big the difference in before and after photos was, I couldn’t find the self love and happiness that I thought I would.
In 2017 I started my last diet, I lost 15 kilograms and everyone could see it. The difference in the before and after photos was very evident but I still didn’t find what I was looking for – comfort in my own skin.
After 6 months of restricting myself to the point of turning down invites to dinners with friends and never wanting to put a drop of alcohol in my mouth, including at my oldest friends hens party, I gave up. It wasn’t only the social side it was also just that I couldn’t carry on, I couldn’t carry on limiting myself daily. I couldn’t keep prepping 500 meals a week that I dreaded eating. I enjoy food, and I actually enjoy a lot of healthy food but when you are eating salad day in and day out because that was what got the best results, you get pretty sick of it and don’t want to eat at all.
I was SO obsessed with the scale and portion sizes and spending money on all the latest superfoods and shakes and pills. I just wanted to lose weight and not even for my health, I just wanted to fit into a mold that I had made up in my mind. It was never ever about anything other than looking a certain way.
Towards the end of 2017 I had the moment. The moment that literally changed my entire life and everything I had ever known. I decided to take time out to look after myself, I did a lot of soul searching. I stared in the mirror, I dug deep and I decided to let go of that self hatred I had held onto for so long.
It started off with small changes (that is really all you need) such as stopping myself from having bad thoughts about my body and taking photos of myself when I felt good. I then started an Instagram account to document this journey to self love and confidence. Choosing to be a part of the body positivity community was the best decision I ever made.
Here are a few of the things I did and that can get you started on your own journey;
- Practice self care
- Treat yourself the way you would treat your best friend, or sister, or someone that you care about deeply.
- Move more, it doesn’t have to be 2 hours at the gym, just find something you genuinely enjoy doing. I like dancing around the house while cleaning and that means I am moving.
- Experiment with your look, try wearing something you wouldn’t normally, get a hair cut, play with makeup. This doesn’t mean you are changing yourself, you are just stepping out of your comfort zone which if you’re honest isn’t all that comfortable right now is it?
- STOP COMPARING
- Learn to say no
- Keep a journal
- Stop believing everything you see, those women you see everywhere have cellulite too.
- If you’re a social media addict then follow positive accounts, instead of ones that make you feel insecure about yourself.
Since doing all of this I haven’t looked back. I choose self love every day. This is not to say I don’t have difficult days but I don’t let them consume me and if I really need to then I go read some quotes or read others stories which always inspires me.
For many of us the hardest thing to wear is our skin but when you learn to appreciate everything that you are, your life will change.