Accepting My Size & Embracing The Body Positive Movement

Friday, 14 June 2019

There's only one time in my life where I have been confident in the way I looked, and that was when I was around 16-18 years old and I lost 3 stone. I was receiving so many compliments out of the blue, I had horrible "boys" telling me I looked so much better now I was thin, and for some reason I actually took it all as a compliment. I absolutely enjoyed every second of it, as it was the first time in my life that I had received so much positive attention, sadly.

I have never been a thin girl. 

Throughout my early years and childhood I always had "puppy fat", as people liked to tell me, and they all just assumed I would lose it one day. I was never 'fat'. Looking back, during school years when I felt huge I was realistically a size 12-14 at best, but to my peers I was the biggest one and I stuck out like an enormous sore thumb. They were all size 6-8's and shared clothes when we were getting ready for parties and I obviously couldn't join in. I acquired nicknames like the "BFG" but F stood for fat instead of friendly, and I used to cry about this at some point every day after school. I promise I am not trying to build a sob story here, I just want to give you a bit of context.

I also shot to around 5 foot 10 when I was 14 and that inevitably added to my growing self doubt. I was a larger body size and generally taller than most people around me, the boys, my own parents and even some of my adult male teachers. School is a horrible place for building insecurities, truly.

So when I decided to crash diet and it got me compliments, it instilled that little part of me that always believed that being thin was the goal and if you're bigger, you are invisible and worthless.

I think I have subconsciously carried that ideology with me throughout my life so far, and if you let it, it gradually wears you down more and more. Whenever Anthony has taken pictures of me, I have immediately looked at myself to see how big I look. It is the first thing I comment on "oh my god, did you have to take it from that angle? you can see all of my chins". When you are insecure, you just can't help it. You look for your insecurities and how noticeable they are constantly. It means that you have barely any pictures because you just can't bare to see yourself.

Obviously now, after 2 kids, 2 emergency c-sections, a 5 stone weight gain and a whole lotta' stretch marks, I can't exactly expect to be rocking a body like the 16 year old version of myself that I once was, and only recently have I started to accept that this is who I am.

Thanks to Instagram, we are seeing a growing popularity in bodies that are the 'unconventional' beauty type. Of course, I am not saying being thin is a bad thing though. I think whatever size people feel comfortable at is the size they should be, and they should feel happy being that size no matter who says what. I feel like the plus size community is starting to be increasingly represented on Instagram though, and it truly helps people like me who has always felt ashamed and had comments about my weight throughout my whole life.

I have spent so many of my precious days on this earth worrying about how many calories I am eating, or whether I should join slimming world again, or if I should really eat that extra bit of pizza that I really want. It becomes a torturous mindset that you can never escape from in a healthy way, and who wants to live like that? Life. Is. Too. Short.

It's taken me until now to realise that the size of my body does not define who I am as a person, and my worth is not measured by any number, whether that be on the scales, my BMI or a measuring tape. To truly not care and to accept who you are for what you are is the only way to move forward.

If something dreadful happened to me tomorrow, I would be devastated that I hadn't lived my life properly, worrying about if I look too big, and spending years hiding myself under oversized clothes feeling worthless - well, if I came back to haunt those horrible people who told me I looked so much better when I lost weight, anyway.

I also have so much admiration for people who are body confident regardless, and I think people who embrace their bodies look so beautiful no matter what they look like. It reminds me of my favourite Roald Dahl quote "A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely."

If that isn't a quote to live by I don't know what is.

I took this photo when I started slimming world a few months ago as a progress picture. I kept thinking "if I could just lose weight off my arms I could wear t-shirts", "If I didn't have rolls on my back, I would look so much better in tighter clothes". I feel really nervous adding that to this post, as I have never showed myself in this way before. I always breathe in, choose a deceptive angle or crop the 'bad' bits out.

Don't get me wrong, I am not going to wake up tomorrow immediately willing to show off my over-hang, my rolls and my arms that flap in the wind, but I am making a promise to myself that I will make positive changes every day to see myself in a more accepting light.

To top this post off, I just want to share with you some of my favourite body positive Instagram accounts that I have come across recently:

- BodyPosiPanda
- MollyJForbes
- TheBirdsPapaya
- EffinItUpFaye
- FullerFigureFullerBust
- LifeWithIvyCoco

If you want to follow me, you can here:

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