I'm currently sat at almost 2.5 stones heavier than when I was the lightest weight I'd ever been in my adult life. Back then I was hitting the gym for 5 hours a week, limiting my portions, avoiding all sugary food, oh and smoking like a chimney (something I quit around 7 years ago). But even at that point I still felt that I was fat, and hated what I saw in the mirror.
I was a size 8 and I will never forget the day my dad plucked up the courage to ask me if I was making myself sick after meals as I had lost so much weight. To my wonderful, loving parents I wasn't looking healthy and they were worried I have developed an eating disorder. To me, I felt I could lose at least another half a stone and look 'better'. No matter what I did, I never felt confident in my appearance and still to this day find it hard to list the things I like about my body.
Our social media fuelled world means we’re confronted with images of perfect bodies day in and day out. But one woman's idea of perfect can be miles away from another's. I know of friends who are desperate for some booty gains, when I would happily trade half my ass in for some perkier boobs and a flatter stomach. Recent surveys suggest that over 70% of us are unhappy with our bodies, with over 60% feeling depressed about their weight on a regular basis (the majority of people surveyed were also deemed as having a healthy/’normal’ weight).
While our bodies might change from day to day and month to month, it's important to remind ourselves that what we think we see isn't necessarily how other people view us. That dimple you've always hated might be the thing that your boyfriend loves, or the tiny waist on a pear shaped girl is something others can only dream of.
I've been a size 8 and I've been a size 16 and I wasn't ever happy with myself at either. Don't tell yourself you'll do certain things or wear certain outfits when you hit a specific size, instead concentrate on building your confidence from within and own it now. I've wasted years not wearing outfits I love for fear that my gut will poke out. And let me tell you, life is too short for that shit - you'll never get today back, so make the most of it while it's here.
Practise telling yourself that you're beautiful, remind yourself of all the qualities you have that are positive. Because you need to love yourself on the inside before you realise that the outside is just a really good shell to hold it all in. Life is about so much more than a physical appearance, but it’s how we feel about ourselves that can have a huge impact on the things we do and the things we enjoy. Don’t wait until you’re ‘back in your skinny jeans’ or have lost half a stone to get out there any enjoy life. I promise you you’ll look back in 10 years and won’t remember your tummy poking out on the beach – you’ll be remembering the icy cold cocktails, the warm sand and the happy memories instead.