How to love your body
"To me beauty is about being comfortable in your own skin. It's about knowing and accepting who you are" - Ellen Degeneres.
I began hating my body which resulted in disordered eating and unhealthy habits when I was sixteen. I received a very exciting phone call to say that I had been selected to sign with a model agency in Paris. This was the happiest moment of my life knowing I had achieved a dream that felt so out of reach. I would meet with my Parisian agent twice a week and each time I was told I needed to lose weight. I was just a sixteen year old girl! I was already tiny, frail and under the healthy BMI range.
To give you an idea, these were my measurements (Isn't it sad that I remember my measurements so well?)
Bust- 83cm, Waist- 63cm, Hips- 89cm, Height- 172cm, 50kg.
As I moved model houses a few times I started to notice some unhealthy habits the models were facing, including myself. I began eating just celery sticks, or drinking coffee instead of proper meals. I remember looking in the mirror daily and pinching the 'fat' on my arms and waist to check if I was able to lose more weight. One of my roommates was even filling her stomach with cotton balls just to feel full (DO NOT do this. It is so incredibly dangerous!). I returned home unsatisfied and disappointed in myself for not conforming to the standard that this agency would expect. After a year of disordered eating I met with an agent from China that wanted me on their books, but I had to lose 7cm from my waist. Something about this moment helped me realise that no matter how much weight I lose I would never be good enough. I knew I would just be told to continue losing weight.
I wanted to start nourishing my body which is what eventually lead me to complete my Personal Training certificate. I have trained clients with many different body shapes and sizes. It's crazy that even someone who has the most perfect body would criticise themselves. This started to put things into perspective. No one is ever going to be completely happy with their body! There will always be something that's not good enough to that individual that other people probably wouldn't even notice.
When I started a healthy exercise routine and ate healthy, I began to love my body. Not necessarily for how it looked but how it felt. I had energy and I was no longer depressed. I would be lying to you if I said I was completely happy with my body, but I know there will always be something I would want to change! What's the point in being upset with something so minor about your body. If you start living a healthy lifestyle you will soon see the impact this has on your mental health. You will begin to love your body and be a happier, healthier you.
Please don't ever listen to someone who say's you're not good enough. Don't change your body because someone told you to. Don't think you have a 'bad body' because everyone will always have a different opinion on what the 'perfect body' is. Most importantly please don't starve yourself to 'fit in' as this is incredibly dangerous and can lead to long term problems. I know I'm not perfect but I have learnt to accept and love myself unconditionally. As Ellen Degeneres's quote say's, "beauty is about being comfortable in your own skin, its about knowing and accepting who you are". Once you start to accept yourself, even if it's just taking small steps your whole life will change.
Everyone should find what works for them. These were my steps:
1. Collecting quotes: This has become a hobby of mine. Reading positive quotes daily (e.g. the Ellen Degeneres quote) has encouraged me to be more positive.
2. Makeup: I stopped wearing makeup every time I would leave the house. I understand this isn't necessarily about accepting your body but its the first step to accepting yourself.
3. Social Media: When I first started learning to accept myself I would rarely go on social media. Instagram can be so unrealistic and only shows the best parts of someones life and their bodies.
4. I know it sounds crazy but DO WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY: I previously would not go to dinner with my friends simply because I wanted to be 'healthy'. Your mental health is just as important so go eat that damned burger. Obviously it's about balance. Eat healthy at home but allow yourself to have fun!
5. Create an exercise routine: By finding a form of exercise that I love (F45) it encouraged me to workout and it makes me feel so good! You love how your body feels after a workout so why not exercise at least a few times a week? Do it because you want to not because you feel like you have to.
I have become obsessed with being a woman comfortable in her own skin. Please remember that your weight does not define your worth and its not about how you look, its about how you feel.