Summer is a daunting time. You got to the beach take of your top and dive into the waves. For a lot of people this is probably something they don’t think twice about but for some people it’s the dreaded moment of summer. This summer is the same as every other summer at the beginning of last year I thought this would be the year I got in shape… Safe to say that didn’t happen… chances are it won’t happen this year either. In saying that I do think I am slowly beginning to love the skin that I am in. It is such a cliche but I really do feel I care less about what people think about me. I would rather spend my time spreading kindness than worrying what I look like. In saying that it hasn’t always been easy. A lot of people don’t believe that I was chubby as a kid. Whether it was just my body preparing to grow or I actually was fat I don’t really know and to be honest I probably never will but one thing that is certain are the names that I was called day in and day out. I don’t think I will ever forget those names. I don’t think there will ever be a time where I go to eat a chocolate bar and think “I shouldn’t eat this it might make me fat.” It’s hard to change the voices in your head. It’s hard to convince yourself that you’re doing ok when the voices are still so loud. But I am here to remind you that it is possible. You are a lot stronger than you think.
I haven’t ever been super proud of my body. If you follow me on social media even a year ago I wouldn’t have posted a shirtless photo. It’s not that I am embraced about my body because there really isn’t anything wrong with it. I just didn’t feel comfortable having a photo like that on the internet. Fast forward a year and I am in worse shape than I was this time last year but for what ever reason I feel more confident in myself. I think I have genuinely reached a point in my life where I am not so worried what people think about me. I have realised that my body is that. My body. I don’t have to look a particular way for someone else. I don’t have to be anything for anyone else. I posted a photo on instagram the other day wearing speedos. For me it was a big deal. I wasn’t sure if I should post it. But the more I thought about it the more I wanted to post it. There are enough instagram models filling our newsfeeds it’s important we see real people with real bodies. Yeah I work out when I can and try and exercise regularly but I have a busy schedule with work and it means I can’t always exercise when I want to. It’s taken a long time to get to the point where I am comfortable enough to post a photo like that. To put things in perspective I’ve been in relationships where I’ve been told that I “need to lose a bit of weight.” The funniest part of the whole situation is that I was the lightest I have been when heard those words. I’m not going to lie at the time it was pretty soul destroying. Through these words I learned some pretty important life lessons. The more I have experienced life the more I have realised that numbers don’t mean much. It’s not about a dial on a scale. It’s about being healthy. It’s about working out and living a healthy lifestyle. Yeah it’s good to set goals but don’t focus so much on the numbers. I don’t know about you but I always hated math. I would rather focus on the feeling of eating healthy and exercising regularly to me that is so much better than the feeling of watching numbers on a scale. Muscle weighs more than fat and if you’re wanting to get stronger chances are you will increase in weight. I wish I could tell my younger self to not worry so much about how much I weighed and focused more on getting stronger. If there has ever been a person that has tried to tell you to change your appearance quietly pretend to listen to what they’re saying and walk in the opposite direction. Honestly someone who is that controlling isn’t going to make a good partner or friend for that matter. You deserve someone who is going to build you up and remind you to love yourself as much as you love them.
I used to hide my age… I don’t really know why I guess it’s because I didn’t want to get older and if nobody knew how old I was I was free to like what ever and nobody could judge me. I am 27 years old. 27 years on this earth and counting. While 27 years doesn’t seem like that many I feel like I’ve experienced a lot in that time. Each year that I live I realise that age most definitely is just a number. Yes I have been alive for 27 years but I don’t feel 27. Yeah I might be getting some lines and wrinkles but for every line and wrinkle I get there are the beautiful memories that I’ve made with the wonderful people that grace my life. You might see people on social media getting botox or lip fillers. If that is something you want to do then go for it. No regrets, don’t look back. I want you to know that you don’t have to do that stuff to fit in. Our bodies were designed go get old. Our skin is supposed to sag. I do believe in a good skincare regime don’t get me wrong but remember you can age gracefully and still look stunning. Embrace the imperfections you have. They might not be your idea of perfection but remember perfection is an idea and your idea of perfection is different to the idea that your friends and family have.
I guess what I am trying to say is look after yourself. Exercise regularly. Be kind to yourself. Allow yourself the time to heal from the words people have said and the thoughts you’ve had about yourself. Remember how powerful your mind is. If you put yourself down all the time you will start believing the negative thoughts. Turn the negatives into positives. You don’t need to get skinny. You should aim to be healthy. Whether its taking a 20 minute walk each day, running or doing F-45 find the work out that works for you. Find the exercise that fits into your lifestyle. Running isn’t for everyone and nor is group fitness you just have to try it and find out what feels right. The most important thing is to enjoy every minute. We are only here for a short time. We spend so much time thinking I wish I had that or looked more like that but be present. I can guarantee you’re pulling apart your imperfections but take a photo today and look back at in a year from now and you will tell yourself how great you looked.
If there is only one thing you take away from this post let it be this. Today is a moment. It’s your decision what you do with it, how you think about it and ultimately how you feel about it. As is your body, think positively, be kind and embrace everything that you are, the good and the bad. We all have our things that we are working on but your canvas is already beautiful.