Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Body Confidence - The Reality

Body Confidence , two words that probably spark an internal break down for a lot of you, me included. Just those two words together, and what they stand for, ignites a variety of different feelings for me and for a number of different reasons.

  Firstly the term 'Body Confidence' is such a bold statement isn't it. Especially confidence because
as we all know that's not something that comes very easily to a lot of us, again myself included. But recently I've been re-evaluating my whole self and it got me thinking as to what really happened for me, at the age of twenty nine, to be the least confident I've ever been in my life, even though personally I'm at the happiest stage of my entire life.

 Is it because of my age? Are we lured into a false pretence when we are younger and are in fact so 'young and care free' that we literally don't care about anything? Could it be the impact in which social media now has on us? Lets face it, it could be a number of things which cause us to change our habits and the way in which we think throughout our lifetime. And it just so happens that at the age I am now, even though I've chosen a path which takes me to posting images of myself on an enormous platform on a regular basis, that I am now the least confident in my self and body compared to when I was in my late teens and early twenties, in which chasing and posting an image at that time I wouldn't have second thought it all.

  Throughout my late teens and early twenties I was, as many others, at that stage of my life where going out partying (to clubs and on holiday) were everything and every weekend I would be out, wearing what ever I wanted without a doubt in my mind that I would be sharing it on all platforms that I possibly could. (At this time it was most definitely Facebook - which I now couldn't think of anything worse than having-besides to enable me to have a business profile on Instagram) I didn't care if I had a broad shoulders, or my belly showing because I had put on a few extra pounds. Wearing mini skirts and short tight dresses were my thing and no one could tell me any different. I felt confident and amazing in my self and thoroughly enjoyed dressing up.

 Now, fast forward almost ten years and as I creep towards the good ol' age of thirty it couldn't be any more different for me. Short mini skirts and tight mini dresses are not so much my thing and partying? I couldn't think of anything worse quite frankly. And I can honestly say that I am the least confident within my body than i've ever been.

 A few years ago I was diagnosed with severe anxiety and depression which resulted in me not eating properly and working out a lot more than I usually would. Although since my teens I've gone to the gym religiously every week, sometimes 5-7 times I wasn't really an "expert" shall we say and it was more so just a release and a bit of a laugh with my friend. So I never really seen a huge change in me physically, it was more so I was literally burning off the food and alcohol I was consuming and in effect staying the exact same weight and shape. But when I was diagnosed I took the decision to take some time off of work and this was the beginning of a very unhealthy relationship with the gym. It became my escape from reality and the low mood I was constantly feeling and so because I was eating so little and working out so hard I was beginning to see a difference in my body and shape and I was losing weight faster than i'd ever done before. The only thing was, this wasn't good for me either, and although I became the lowest weight i'd ever been in my life I wasn't exactly healthy and I wouldn't recommend this to anyone as the way to go.

 I was also seeking help with a therapist which I continue to do so and will probably share in a later post. So if you have any questions comment below and ill be happy to answer them. 

 This continued for a year or so, and it got to the point where I was even more obsessed with working out. It did however given me confidence and I was beginning to post more and social media and getting amazing comments and likes from people which was an even bigger confidence boost and made me want to continue. Looking back now I would probably say that it was a little bit of 'fake confidence' to be honest as you cant truly be confident with yourself if you're looking for assurance from others. Especially those you don't know personally or have never met.

 Fast forward again to December 2017/January 2018 and I started a relationship back up ( with my one and only love ) and within a few weeks we had moved in to our own place and I was on the mend. Since becoming the happiest I've ever been in life (it's coming up to almost a year in our home ) ♡ I began to gain weight again, you know the one, that 'happy and honeymoon weight gain of blissful life' and it hasn't stopped. Over the last year i've probably gained around a stone and a half which may or may not sound like a lot, but for me it is quite a big difference from that in which I had become accustomed too whilst I was working out practically every day. Oh, I forgot to mention that I began to gain weight not only due to the obvious of eating again, but also because I was no longer working out. I continued for a couple month last year but then due to my health I had to give it up. And of course we all know that without working out, even a little bit, but eating practically everything in sight,  you are bound to start gaining weight. And let me tell you my body has changed so much, my hips and thighs are thicker and wider, I've got a small double chin and my body as a whole isn't as tight as I would like it to be.

 So thinking about this over the weekend was the whole reason we got to this point, me writing this post and sharing my thoughts on body confidence with you guys. And although I may have rambled on for a little bit which i've actually enjoyed fyi there is a point to this.  Over the last ten years my perspective on my body has been a rollercoaster from being confident in my own skin, to that fake confidence social media gave me, to now, my total lack of confidence in my body and self which funnily enough social media also has a part to play in. Because lets face it scrolling through countless photos day after day and seeing bodies to die for in the eyes of some and maybe not to all it does start to have a huge impact on your mental health and opinion on your self. And it's these comparisons that we have started to do against others we don't even know that is really starting to affect us. Especially as we are part of a generation, in fact the generation, of social media. We live in this world where it seems everything is posted and shared hundreds of thousands of times online and we start to question ourselves if we don't seem to 'fit in' to this generic mould.

  I know for a fact that this has had an impact on me and it does account for some of the reasons in which I've not been posting anything online for a substantial amount of time. Because I'm scared of judgement from others as well as feeling very uncomfortable in my own skin. Which honestly, none of us should feel at any time, but is a very common amongst us.

 This leads me on nicely to the point I'm trying to make, which is body confidence does/can affect us all and in many different ways. And recently I haven't been feeling my best and I know deep down it is no ones fault but mine and the decisions in which I've made. But it doesn't mean I can't start to change this, and change the way in which I think about my body. Throughout our lifetime we get only one body, and it is up to us and how we treat it, which impacts how we feel. And although I'm not confident like I used to be in my body, I want to let you all know that that's okay and that it is 'normal' to feel like that. We are allowed to have shit days, shit months but it does get better, and there is a light at the end of tunnel. Trust me when I say that i've been to the darkest of dark places over the last few years and it has only been the last twelve months or so in which I've finally started to find true happiness which has resulted in me having a much better mental health state of mind.

  And although I'm not completely happy with my body as it is right now , I am confident in knowing that I am able to achieve how I want it to look and it is just going to take time. It's a sprint not a marathon at the end of the day and no one can make those changes but you yourself.
This is also the reason I'm sharing this image with you, body confidence is something from within. It is how you feel and no one should tell you any different. Trust in yourself.

Body Confidence can come in all shapes and sizes, don't be defined by the 'norm' in which you constantly see. Be you, Be true, Be different.

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