My Relationship With My Body

1 Jul 2019

One's relationship with their own confidence tends to be a rocky one; you can go from loving yourself to not even being able to stand the sight of yourself in a short space of time. Since I remember, I have struggled to accept how I look and be happy with what I see in the mirror. But... this is slowly changing. 

Back in 2017, I wrote a post called "Is it right I feel confident?". This was more about society's ideas with body confidence and how it can really stop someone like me from being happy with how they look. People aren't nice to those who aren't considered "pretty" in high school and, while at the time the validation of others seems like all that's needed to cure my unhealthy relationship with my body, I now realise the only validation I need is my own. But I guess, for a 14-year-old, that's hard to understand. 

Back in high school in the peak of the summer terms, I would always still be wearing tights even in the scorching UK sun. PE was my least favourite subject. Not because of the physical element which I actually loved it was the ordeal of getting changed. I never had my bare legs out, would forever cover my arms like they were something to hide, something to be ashamed of. Back then I was unhappy and unconfident with how I looked. I would buy size 16/18 clothes when I was actually a size 12 because I thought I was bigger than I really was. I was never small but how I saw myself was not the reality of it. 

My relationship with my body intertwined with my relationship to food. I hated to be seen eating in front of people; shamed to be judged about what I was eating and so would choose to eat in the toilets at points (disgusting, I know). At the end of high school, things weren't all that fabulous. 

Flashforward to the first year of university. I'd grown in confidence through sixth form in speaking openly with new people but my body confidence was still not all there. However, throughout the three years at university, I think it has what has really driven a change in how I perceive myself. 

I'd say my first big body confidence accomplishment was summer ball in the first year. For the first time in years, I left the house without a jacket or anything to cover my arms. I felt good at with I was wearing and wasn't worried about people looking at me. This one small spark of confidence was the first step in me gaining a whole new lease of self-confidence.

While the next two years I still covered up and was never really happy in what I was wearing or how I looked, the days that I could stop and look in the mirror became more frequent. My relationship with food changed; I was eating healthier, not worried about people judging what I ate and I enjoyed trying new foods and more vegetarian meals. Over the years, my weight has fluctuated; I lost weight in the first year only to put it back on in second and, while it hurt to know, going into the third year I was happier within myself without looking at the number on the scales. I started to exercise more again; not a lot but still more than I was which definitely made me happier.

With summer approaching, I feel like I am in a good place to be confident with not having to cover up on the warmer days. While there will be times that I don't feel confident and will feel how I used to feel, the more days I have felt positive in my body, the better. 

It's been a long journey but I'm so happy to share with you that things are finally looking positive with my body confidence. There was a time where mirrors were the enemy- I couldn't look in one without finding a flaw. Now, I can look at it, happy with my reflection. 

I've still got a way to go before I'm truly confident with my body but I'm definitely on the right path to having a happy and healthy relationship with how I see myself.

Hope you're doing great, 
Sarah x

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