I’ve always had boobs and a bum and they are the first things to go up and down in size when my weight changes!
There’s all this talk nowadays about having a ‘positive body image’ and embracing your curves – plus of course there are now models like Ashley Graham who are kind of revolutionising the model world.
People say it’s important to be beautiful on the inside, and of course that is true, but I’m sorry – call me shallow if you like – but quite honestly, for me personally, there’s no getting away from the fact that if I put on weight, am feeling sluggish and all my favourite clothes are tight, I feel rubbish and it definitely affects my self esteem!
However, being too thin can have just as negative an effect – as I found out….
My weight has always yo-yo’d to a certain extent and I would say that for my height (short!) and body type (hourglass), I feel and look my best at around a UK size 12 – i.e I’m eating healthily but can still have the odd treat!
The biggest I’ve ever been was a size 16, about six years ago when I was miserable in my job and comfort eating at my desk all the time. I suppose I still felt fairly attractive and I could still buy nice clothes, but I was aware I wasn’t a very healthy weight for someone of my height and build and I didn’t really feel like ‘me’.
I will always remember one of the Journalists at the radio station I was working at referring to me as a ‘big girl’ which is just ridiculous because size 16 is the national average, but I was mortified and his comment made me feel really negatively about myself.
That woke me up to the way I was eating and I started a healthier food regime with some gentle exercise. I started to lose weight, get back to my normal shape and that’s when I realised my confidence had been a little low.
Ironically, just as I had got back down to a size 12, I had to have a routine tummy operation which went wrong and I became extremely ill, very quickly shrinking to a size 6.
I’m never going to forget when I came out of hospital a month later and saw myself in the full-length mirror in our bedroom – I’d completely lost my boobs, hips and bum and my legs that I had always moaned were too big were like little bony sticks!
I actually felt far worse about myself than when I had been at my heaviest, I felt boyish and unattractive and I promised myself I would never moan about putting on weight again.
Some people can be a size 6 or 8, look great and feel healthy – equally I have friends who are a size 16/18 who look fantastic, which shows what an individual and personal thing weight and body shape is and really highlights why I believe women must try not to compare themselves to others and just focus on their own physical well-being.
Trust me I know that is difficult, especially with the way the media is nowadays – you’ve only got to look at my instagram to see how often I put a full body shot on there, err pretty much never, because being in a world of glamorous bloggers can be intimidating at times – but I think in any aspect of life, as soon as you start comparing yourself to others you have a recipe for insecurity and self-doubt.
I don’t believe we should feel, or be made to feel, the need to be perfect and what I aim for is to be a healthy version of myself. I know I’m pretty happy being a size 12 and dressing to suit my shape…. so at times when I feel my clothes are tight and things are wobbling a bit, I try to work harder to look after myself rather than mentally beating myself up.
I also try to style my wardrobe so that it’s flattering to my shape, however big or small that may be…. and I really think that’s something which is key – being aware of what is flattering on your body and not buying things just because they are on trend – if the shape isn’t the best for you, find something else!
Recently a fellow blogger has been working on a big project relating to body image and I was asked to contribute, writing about how I stay positive about my body – it was really interesting to see all the other girl’s responses. You can find the post here.
I know there are always going to be times when I will feel down about myself, there are always going to be people with better legs, better boobs – whatever!…… I believe we must try to stay positive about our bodies, look after our well-being and if things aren’t quite as firm or slim as we would like them to be, keep it in perspective as there truly are far worse things in life that we may/do have to worry about.
So when we aren’t feeling our best, we have to just try to take a few little positive steps to take extra care of our bodies and remember to be kind to ourselves!