Body Image


Everyone at one point in their lives has body image issues. If not, then you're a very very lucky person. Body image problems are mostly (in my opinion) paired with thoughts of self-loathing. I also think that a lot of the time people having body image problems is seen as a weak thing, and therefore as a feminine thing. It's important to see that men have these problems too - even if they aren't as widely publicised as having them.

I used to be a nice tubby lil teenager. In high school I looked like a turtle. I have pictures to prove. The summer this picture was taken, I don't really remember caring about how my body looked - I was having a good time with my friends and didn't really think anyone thought much about my body. Looking back now - I reaaaaaally don't understand how I didn't feel weird about it (that sounds quite bad but I looked awful). It was the following Autumn, and then the Summer after that, that I started to struggle with how my body looked.

Don't get me wrong, I've never really had full on issues with how my body looked - because I've always known that if my body was a bit messy then it was my own fault for not taking care of it. And I knew that if I really wanted to I could make it look better. Having said that, it was when i went to Florida for two weeks in October 2012 that I started to feel a bit uncomfortable. I just didn't like to sit by the pool and know everyone could see my bare torso - and so I spent most of my sunbathing time laying on my stomach or with a top on. The end result was me with half a tan on one side of my body and milk white skin on the other side. Not a good look!

As soon as I got back from that holiday I decided I wanted to start getting healthy. I obviously wanted to lose weight but I knew it wasn't that easy - I made the decision that I should get healthier before starting to exercise etc. But, then it was Halloween and then it was Christmas and I couldn't not eat and be merry and enjoy myself rather than torturing myself. So I was at more of a stand still with my body image really. And again, I want to reiterate that I wasn't exactly hateful of my body - I just wasn't comfortable. I understand that there's people who have it a lot worse than I do.

When Spring of 2013 came around I really did jump into getting myself healthier. I started from the outside in this time though. My hygiene got better, I cut the mop of hair I had off and that alone made me feel a lot better. It isn't about looking good for other people, but for yourself - and I feel like this really helped me. The best way for me to kickstart my healthier lifestyle was, in my opinion, a fitness DVD. That way I could do it at home, in my room, alone. Basically, no one would see me flapping around like a sweaty fat tomato. The fitness DVD was actually the first thing I ever bought with my own debit card - and it was the Steps fitness dvd of course. AND it actually helped!

After a good month and a bit of the fitness DVD, I took the next step and joined the gym. By this point I had lost enough weight for me to notice it on my body. I was getting quite impressed with myself! The gym worked well for a good few months, but then I passed out after pushing myself too hard and decided that I could never show my face there again out of pure embarrassment. It was a real Miranda Hart moment it was. Yet again, I was at a stand still with my weight.

I wasn't too fussed about trying much more with my body image because by this point I was almost cocky with how I looked. I know I wasn't the skinniest person - but people started to notice that I had lost a bit of weight and told me I looked good. It isn't about how other people see you but it was a huge boost in confidence. I've been up and down with my weight and body image since then.

Fast forward to this time last year. I had just booked a holiday to Ibiza with my friends, and the fear started to sink in again. I didn't want to feel like I did when I went to America - but I really didn't help myself. Each week I'd set myself fitness goals and not stick to them whatsoever. I'd beat myself up as I got closer and closer to going because my body looked the same as it did when I booked the holiday. It's safe to say I was adamant the holiday was ruined.

BUT, as soon as we got there, and we were sat by the pool - I came to a decision. I could either wallow in self-pity at how my body looked or I could just get over it and try to enjoy myself no matter how I looked. The people sat by the pool didn't know me, they were never going to see me again. I was with two of my best friends - why would they care about how I looked? They weren't that shallow. As soon as I realised this, I let myself get over it. It was a good turning point and lesson for me. I have always been so scared of how people saw my body, and I've stopped myself enjoying things because of it.

Since that holiday I've taken more steps to get more comfortable with myself. I'd say I eat healthier but I either forget to eat or eat too much these days. Blaming that one on student life. If I'm getting a shower, I'll walk to the bathroom with no t-shirt on. I won't dress in shit loads of layers to hide my body - I like to dress in what I think looks good. It's small things but I can actually say I'm comfortable with my body image now. My weight dips in and out and I don't think I'll ever be the skinniest person to grace the earth. But why would I want to be? I'm loved for exactly who I am (as cringe as that may sound). I'm not shallow enough to think my appearance gets me anywhere - cause I have a banging personality I do.

Body image is a difficult one, because everyone will struggle with it in different ways. I will say it again, I've not had it at all in the worst way. Everything I do to my body is my own fault and if I feel shit about myself - it's because of me. I look up to the people who struggle with how they look on the daily but still manage to get out of bed and leave the house, head held high. I know it's hard but one day you're going to come to terms with yourself. Everyone deserves to love themselves.

Apart from Donald Trump - because he is a cunt.

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