5 Reasons To Love Your Body

5 Reasons To Love Your Body
I know from my own experience body positivity isn’t as simple as saying “You should just love your body!” It’s not an easy problem to solve. Personally I’ve struggled between loving and loathing my body for as long as I can remember. Bouts of anxiety trigger binge eating, which sees my body balloon several dress sizes leaving me feeling terribly insecure and frumpy. And yes, my body has broken down and failed me. In the last year I’ve suffered from more episodes of tonsillitis than Breaking Bad and have had a tonsillectomy and appendectomy. Ailments aside, it’s easy to forget all the amazing things about our bodies that make us beautiful. And blanket statements this post is not. It’s more a reminder to love the skin I'm in and become more accepting of myself.  

Living in a media-saturated world body shape is a never-ending debate. For years I believed the ‘perfect body’ was to be seriously slender with porcelain skin; like the girls who graced the front pages of my favourite glossy mags. These images and expectations were a constant pervasive taint in my teens. But in reality they were neither realistic, or healthy. Not many woman fit into that description, but even those who do are still exposed to body shaming. I’ve seen images of what I used to perceive as the ‘perfect body’ slammed with an onslaught of negative body image comments like “Anorexic”, “You’re too skinny”, “Ew your collar bone”. Body shaming in all forms is inexcusable. Even the likes of Kylie Jenner masterfully edits her photos to get that ‘perfect selfie’. But perfection is an elusive thing. Cellulite is reality, scars, wobbly bottoms, hip dips, stretch marks are a reality, spots, flat chests and big chests are reality. Don’t let the dogma trap you. Society can kiss my fat ass!

My boyfriend has always said, “It really doesn't matter what anyone thinks.” And he’s right (in this instance). When it comes to my life, the opinion of others should matter very little, but in the past I’ve become hung up on other people’s opinions. Sure comments made by family and close friends shouldn’t be disregarded, but off hand comments made by strangers? Fuck ‘em. Unpleasant things people say often stem from their own insecurities, or jealousy. And one of the healthiest things you can do for yourself is to cut off the people who make you feel crap about who you are. Your opinion is King. Be true to yourself, as the only way to make yourself feel better is to change your opinion of you. What do you want? What's important to you? How do you get there? 

We take for granted the wonderful things our bodies do. I could reel off a long list, but as an example, did you know our heart beats 115,200 times a day – amazing, huh? I used to be so darn critical of my own body; it’s true when they say we’re our own worst enemy. Growing up I had the chest of a ten-year-old and although I’ve blossomed since, I’ve become grateful for my not-so-big-bust when I tie up my trainers and head out for a run. I don’t have a thigh gap, or a tiny waist. But so what? I can squat like there’s no tomorrow and run for miles all thanks to my thunder thighs. Yes, I would love to have someone else’s long legs and feminine fingers, but I can recognize the beauty of someone else's body and appreciate it, while also loving what I’ve got.

Worrying is simply a waste of time and hating your body is exhausting. A few years back I became more aware of my body than ever before and how I held a little more weight than my friends. I didn’t feel pretty or desirable and seeing myself naked was unsettling. I spent 2 years attempting to ‘fix’ my body. I was constantly wrapped up calorie counting, weighing myself, exercising and reading ‘how-to’ guides. I don’t regret this period of my life, as I now understand my body a little better. But I missed out on trips, backed out of dinner plans and spent an obsessive amount of time dissecting my body. Although I lost 3.5 stone it didn’t necessarily make me feel more comfortable and happy and I realised loving my body wasn’t just physical, it was mental. Sure I still get caught up in the areas I’d like to improve, but I don’t need the added stress in my life. I need to learn to love my body now and get out there and live my life. Heck, I want to eat a Five Guys without spending the following 48HRS in complete desolation on the tightness of my waistband!

I’m still on the path towards loving my body but I truly believe caring for yourself is one of the most important things you can do. I work out and I love it. It makes me feel good, energetic, confident and more comfortable with my forever-changing body. I think most people underestimate just how liberating liking yourself can be, but I feel stronger, both physically and mentally. Having a positive attitude attracts positive attitudes and you may be setting an example for someone else without even realising it. So it won’t just be your saving grace, it could be someone else’s too. We may be submerged among slender women in glossy mags, but we’re also surrounded by freakin’ empowering women from fictional Mrs Potss, Tiana and Elsa, to bloggers Georgina GroganLaura Ferry and YouTubers Brogan Tate, Jordan Bone, Zoe Sugg, xAmeliax and Rosanna Pierce

What's one thing you love about your body?
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