Laying in bed the other night, it occurred to me that it had been quite a while since I had looked in the mirror while naked or changing into ‘going out’ clothes and insulted myself.
And sitting here writing this and attempting to eat a chorizo bap, thinking about it, I honestly believe it’s been a couple of months since I’ve looked at my reflection and been somewhat disgusted at what I was seeing.
I can’t pin point the exact moment that I decided not to hate my body anymore, I don’t even know if I made a conscious decision at all, it just happened.
I felt a surge of confidence, a sense of self awareness and suddenly I wanted to show off who I am with my sense of style, my personality and my writing. I truly felt I was holding myself back believing that there were things I couldn’t do just because of the way my body is shaped.
These days, when I look in the mirror, I revel in every curve my body has. I may not be societies version of beautiful, but as Nik brings his arms around my waist and runs his hands across my tummy, caressing every stretch mark I have, I am filled with a new found confidence which has taken years to achieve.
Oh how those scars used to fill me with dread. Summer time was haunted by trying to find a bathing suit to hide my stretch marks. Sitting under the umbrella absolutely terrified that I would be judged if I walked to the sea shore for a paddle.
I missed out on summers at the beach with my children due to the feeling of pure and utter shame.
I came to terms with them much sooner than the rolls and curves, after all, how was I ever going to be rid of them? My body carried three babies to term, stretching my skin as the months went on.
They are my tiger stripes, my marks, my scars. I will call them for what they are and remind myself that each and every one of them proved to me how strong my body was when I needed it to be the most.
For years I have lived in this body which society flags as ‘flawed’ or ‘fat.’
Tagged by the number on my clothing as ‘plus sized.’
Told by the dozens that worth should attach itself to a dress size. A small dress size.
I refuse to allow anyone base my worth on how my body is shaped.
I will not base my worth on how I perceive my body.
Feeling positive about my body is the acceptance of my shape, my rolls when I lean over, the arch of my back where my big bum starts.
This self love is encompassing and is about appreciating my body whatever it looks like at any given time.
My size 14 body does not need to reach anyone else’s standard of what beauty is.
Fuck standards, screw beauty ideals. No one will ever shame me into believing I am less of a person just because I have a little extra body fat.
Much more than that, I will not shame myself into believing I am less just because my tummy is a little rounder, my thighs thicker so they rub together, my breasts a little bigger and my bum much larger.
For years I believed that I had to be a certain body type to be worthy of any self love. Little did I know that self love does not start with accepting what you look like. It starts with the realisation that you are worthy no matter your body type. That you can be confident in your own skin because it all comes from within.
To achieve body confidence, you need to build up your mind confidence first and love yourself for the things your body does for you, not for the way it looks.
I will be happy in a world full of judgements and miserable criticism.
I deserve to be able to feel a positive connection with my body.
We all do.