Sunday, 13 March 2016

Body confidence is something I've struggled with as I've grown older. As any woman goes through their teens and into their 20s they begin to notice changes in their body. For me those changes were short legs with an ever increasing waist size and bum.

In school I was the lanky one for a while. I started my period at the age of 10, which is quite early considering the average age is 12/13. From then on I grew boobs and my figure started becoming more womanly. I still had a small shape up until the point I went on the pill for my bad acne at 14. With the pill you often gain weight so I went from a size 8 to a 12.

Enter my university days, where drinking all night and ready meals were my diet. I became quite skinny during this time, only to put it all back on when I graduated and was treated to my mum's cooking once again.

Now, my figure is much more womanly, as it should be. I've grown love handles and bigger thighs and bottom. This isn't a bad thing - I embrace these parts of my body. However, it's taken me a while to get to this point.

There is NO perfect size. I work in a clothes shop and I see a variety of shapes every single day. These women will look in the mirror and pick out what they think is their ugliest feature. There is no better feeling than helping a woman, who thinks she has no curves, find that dress that hugs her figure and gives her a curvier shape. Or even helping an older lady who has long given up on jeans find that great pair that skims her legs perfectly, This is my favourite part of my job: giving women the confidence they lack.

'You can tell who the strong women are, they're the ones building each other up not tearing each other down'

It's hard being so saturated with social media. You see before and after photos on Instagram on a daily basis, the Kardashians showing their amazing figures (like seriously, Khloe is so hot) and endless bikini photos (apologies for this one). It's easy to compare yourself. I know my brain automatically compares my body to someone else's, regardless of their weeks/years of exercise and healthy eating.

As I've started to grow more conscious of my fitness and my body, I've become aware that my body, with its flabby bits and cellulite, was never this unsightly thing I used to think it was. It was almost like a work in progress as I've worked to tone it and improve my fitness level, which I've realised is important as you get older.

Dan is always telling me how much he loves my bum (sorry if this is total TMI) but I used to see it as ugly because of my stretch marks and cellulite. I pick it out as a bad feature but someone else sees it as my best.

How we view ourselves is a funny thing. But sometimes you need to just look in the mirror and pick out your good parts before you look at the 'bad'. Everyone is beautiful in their own way, and there isn't a 'perfect body' no matter what the media or the self conscious part of your brain tells you.


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