A Journey In Body Positivity

by - 10:00

In light of the new year, I want to talk about something we all have in common...our bodies - or more importantly, how we feel about them. New years comes with a common change of mindset (new year, new me and all that) and while some of us use this time positively to grow as a person, others may use this time, subconsciously, more negatively. I want to talk about my body confidence in this post. My journey throughout puberty, my struggles and challenges, how I feel about it now and, most importantly, my tips and advice for you to feel more #BodyPositive in 2018!


I like many have majorly struggled with my body confidence. When puberty began I was all of a sudden aware of my body, how it was changing and how everyone else was changing in comparison. From the age of 12 I became very self-conscious. I've always been tall and thin, sometimes a little too thin - because of being tall, my body fat is naturally stretched out more so I appear thinner. Many people might think this is a blessing, but sometimes it isn't. I was lucky that people rarely made comments about my body, but unlucky in the fact that when they did it was something deflating like "you're like a twig!". I mean who in their right mind sees being compared to a twig a compliment?

Due to my build, growing up wasn't the easiest. I saw every girl around me all of a sudden developing more shape - they had hips, boobs, bums, all of which I didn't have and it frustrated me. P.E. lessons were always the worst, especially in the dance hall where there was literally an entire wall of mirrors. I mean getting changed in front of these amazing, beautiful girls is bad enough without being forced to look at myself next to them for an hour. I always tried to keep myself to the back, 1. so I wouldn't have to look at myself in the mirror and 2. so they wouldn't have to look at me either.

My BMI was always too low, I was constantly told that I was underweight and that I should try and change that. But me being a young teen with absolutely no knowledge of proper health & nutrition, the only way I thought about gaining weight was to eat terribly. I ate foods that had high sugar, salt & fat and for some reason hoped that would work. Obviously it didn't. I ended up gaining weight, but a lot of it was just unwanted fat in the wrong places. By the time I left school, I had gone to the opposite side of the spectrum. I had gone to hating my body for being too thin, to hating my body for being too big (just for clarity, I wasn't too big, I was not fat at all, but I did gain a lot of fat in places that made me feel extremely uncomfortable. It wasn't what I intended to happen).

All this time I remember never wanting to look at myself in the mirror, but sometimes I would do it to punish myself. I would stare at my body and just cry. By this point my mental health had started to go pretty haywire so my body image was just another thing constantly bringing me down.

Now, at the age of 19, I'm finally starting to gain some confidence. I've worked extremely hard over the past couple of years not only to educate myself on food and exercise, but to also train my mind into bringing myself up rather than down. I strongly believe that self-esteem and confidence comes from having the right mentality, teaching yourself to be kind to yourself. I've learnt to accept my body for what it is - I know I'm never going to have the biggest or roundest hips, I'm never going to have average sized/bigger boobs and I'm okay with it. Something I read online was "focus on being strong, not skinny" and I really think they're words to live by. As long as you're mentally strong and healthy confidence and happiness will come.

I decided to do a little bit of research while writing this post, I asked my Twitter followers to take part in a poll and answering "do you feel confident in your body?" Out of 43 votes, only 33% said yes. I find it so sad that in 2018 there are still so many people with confidence issues. Here are a few things that I've learnt (my tips and advice) to feeling happy in your own skin.

1. Accept that everyone is different - my body type is possibly different to yours, and your body type is possibly different to your best friends, it's just how we are. We're all built differently and the quicker you learn to notice how your body is, the quicker you'll learn to love it too.

2. Unfollow negative people on social media - comparison is one of the biggest confidence killers, I'm still guilty of comparing myself to others every now and then, but one way to beat this is to simply cut the negatives out of your life. During the summer I had a HUGE unfollowing spree on my Instagram, I unfollowed everyone who I constantly compared myself to (making me feel like shit), I unfollowed people who generally had a negative 'vibe' and I also unfollowed people who simply weren't adding anything to my feed. The internet can be a dark and negative place, but the beauty is that the power lies with you. You have the chance to shape your social media to how you want it to be. Focus on the positive, uplifting people and you'll start to feel better in no time.

3. Find an exercise that you enjoy - not everyone loves going to the gym, so if you want to get fitter I suggest finding a form of exercise that you genuinely love. You can go swimming, bike riding, hiking, running, join a dance class...whatever you like! So not only will you be getting in shape, you'll be having fun at the same time.

4. Be naked! - this might sound like a silly one, but I've found that being naked makes you feel great. Before I mentioned that I used to completely avoid looking at myself in the mirror, well now I don't. I will happily stare at my nude body in the mirror and admire it for what it is. It's easy to hide behind clothes, but your body is your home and you need to familiarise yourself with it. Also, sleeping naked is supposed to be beneficial for you, so give it a shot.

5. Fill your body with the right food - food is fuel and you're not going to get anywhere filling yourself with bad fuel. I'm not saying that you have to eat perfectly healthy and only eat salads, I'm saying your mood & energy will most likely be determined on whatever food you eat. I know that whenever I have a bad day and eat shit, I feel like shit. Try and make small, little changes to your diet and I swear to you it will make a difference to your mood.



I really hope this helped a least one person. If you have anymore tips and advice yourself, feel free to share them in the comments. Let 2018 be the year of #BodyPositivity! Check out my other posts and remember to sign up to my email subscription to make sure that you don't miss a post! Thank you.

You can find all of my social media links here:
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | Email: caityloux@gmail.com

Caitlin x

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3 comments

  1. This is such a great post! Thank you for sharing your story!
    I've struggled with body confidence too, especially when I was in school. I used to think that I was fat even when I wasn't, and I was really afraid that pimples on my face will never go away. But at some point I just accepted that I'll never be a model from a shiny magazine, cause it's just not how my body works, and my hair will never be thick because it's not a thing to choose and so on.
    There also was that tv series called My Mad Fat Diary, that helped me a lot to realize it all, and I can't stop recommending it to everyone :D

    Daria | wayinspire.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I LOVE my mad fat diary, I’ve rewatched it countless times! Thank you so much for your comment x

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  2. I love this! I have a big tummy that looks like its not going anywhere. For someone who hates exercise, it is very difficult looking for a solution. Having to deal with questions about whether you're pregnant didn't help as well.

    Well, I decided to love me, big tummy and all. Started dance classes and swimming. Cut down on my food portions, and generally try to live a healthy and positive life.

    www.onyixtus.com

    ReplyDelete