The inspiration for the name of my blog ‘So Much More To’ came partly from being asked what my favourite part of my body is. I thought to myself there’s more to me than my body and I don’t want to compartmentalise too much. There’s also more in life that I want to see/do/discover/experience…….
I wrote this blog post in early January 2014 from my teeny tiny room in a village in Southern Sri Lanka. I was sat on my bed, totally alone and feeling completely relaxed to write freely. Promptly after jotting down my thoughts my laptop decided it didn’t fancy working anymore. I have just salvaged the article so here it is, enjoy.
When I entered Star in a Bra last year I never could I have imagined what an incredible experience it would be. The excitement of being picked for the top thirty was only just the beginning. When I refreshed that button awaiting the top ten results and saw my photo I literally jumped out of my seat with joy. The little girl inside me who had always wanted to be that pretty model having her hair and make-up done finally would be getting a professional make-over. The day of the top ten photo-shoot was so much fun. You could feel the surges of positivity towards everyone and their individual stories about their bodies. I met so many wonderful women that day. The team at Curvy Kate are a cracking bunch who make everyone moment enjoyable. It’s not that often that you can feel the backbone of a brand which has integrity and a desire to empower women to feel better about themselves.
It’s only been since speaking at Bournemouth University last February about my recovery from Anorexia that I realised how important it is for me to be open about it as I had so much feedback from people that it was helpful. Sitting in front of a room of strangers talking about my past was much more emotionally challenging than I could have realised (there were tears). I remember vividly not caring if I died when I was ill, how awful is that? Now that is a thought I could never possibly entertain. However it stood me in good stead for dealing with the flurry of news stories that followed from my Curvy Kate adventure. Interviews with The Huffington Post and newspapers such as The Daily Mail online were beyond my wildest expectations of what would ever come from such a horrible period in my life. But that’s when it made me realise its important to turn a negative into a positive. Too often men and women are detrimental to themselves over their looks or their size. Body confidence is a term which has so many facets. I wouldn’t say I am 100% body confident, there will always be parts I feel good/bad/indifferent about. But no longer do I let those thoughts prevent me from doing things or eating this and drinking that. Life is for living, not for spending your time worrying over 5 pounds.
Recently someone suggested to me that perhaps I could lose 5kgs (this was in relation to some pain I had been having in my foot). Now if this had been a few years ago I may have been very upset about their comments. Instead I explained to them that the time I was 5 kilos lighter in recent years was due to having Dengue fever in Bali and being in hospital and bed ridden for three weeks. My weight is stable and my body is happy at the size I am. Now I am surfing every day and doing yoga more frequently I have seen changes which is great because its a sign I am fitter and stronger, not skinnier.
Last July I was invited do to a nude photoshoot with Cosmopolitan magazine. Standing there totally in the nuddy with a very sweet photographer was probably one of the most surreal moments of my life. After my initial “ohhhhhmmmmmyyygawd’ in my head I got into the ‘swing’ of it and loved every second. All I kept thinking was how lucky am I to have an experience like this?? Again it was a huge boost to my confidence and empowerment. The picture came out better than I expected (of course I was nervous about how I would look to the world). Now I have a collection of tasteful shots that if I am lucky enough to have kids they will be hugely embarrassed to see!
I’ve been thinking about tips I can suggest for feeling body confident, some mentally and some physically, so here goes:
1. Knowing your value as a person doesn’t come from your body size/shape
2. Enjoying what life has to offer, there’s more tummy in my bikini these days but it doesn’t stop me wearing one!
3. Putting things into perspective, do people really care that much about how I look day to day? Probably not. I don’t sweat the small stuff when it comes to what others think about me
4. Wear glitter (I swear it makes me feel good)
5. Wear some Curvy Kate underwear, I always feel great in it
6. Give people compliments, energy follows thought so spread positive thoughts and your energy will be better
7. Focus on your good points, don’t dwell on the negative
8. Embrace the body you have. I’m lucky to be busty so I may as well enjoy them, a little cleavage never hurt anyone
9. Having negative thoughts about how you look/feel or someone else has no benefits to either person, keep negative comments to yourself and try to re – work those thought processes
10. Get outside and sweat! I feel best when I have been exercising, be it a run, the gym, yoga or a surf.
If you are reading this (thanks for reading) I hope it helps you to love your body more and embrace life! Say yes to everything and don’t worry about things that aren’t important. Remember energy follows thought.