You may remember a while back I mentioned I was doing the crop top challenge for Race For Life in June. In the end, because of family commitments, I couldn’t take part. The method in my madness was that it would give me a super good incentive to get in shape. I’d need some serious confidence to pull off a crop top. At the time my self-esteem about my body was incredibly low. I felt I needed to get super fit to look good. Being really fit is, of course, a good thing, but doing it because you think it will make you feel better about yourself is flawed thinking. It won’t, but deep down, even then I knew that.
Thankfully my body confidence has improved massively over the last 3 months. So much so that I even did a body confidence post which I’m so proud of.
My fitness hasn’t improved much over the last couple of months, I’m still working on making exercise a habit. It’s a work in progress shall we say. The only thing that has changed is my way of thinking, I don’t feel I need to change my body to wear a crop top. I used to compare myself to Instagram models with washboard tummies, the ones that sit down and still look good. The ones that are toned from top to bottom and without an overhang of belly rolls when in a seated position. I don’t have this stomach and that’s OK. In the spirit of fully learning the true meaning of body confidence, I decided I’d still do the crop top challenge. Obviously, I haven’t done Race For Life, but that doesn’t mean I can’t get my midsection out. So I did.
It was weird, I felt like people were looking at me. My ego said people were saying “why is she wearing that, she can’t pull that off” and you know what, maybe they were. Or perhaps they weren’t, maybe I was just being paranoid. Maybe they were thinking nice things. Maybe they weren’t thinking anything at all and not paying any attention. Why would they be? It’s more likely they were thinking about their own stuff. It really doesn’t matter what they were thinking anyway.
My belly is fine as it is. I can’t say I don’t wish the bottom was more toned and that I didn’t have the rolls when I sit down, but I can say I’m learning to love myself as I am. Whatever your shape or size you should love yourself. The more I embrace myself as I am, the happier I feel for it. I also eat better. The more I love myself, the more I want to look after myself. You can’t wait around for a ‘good’ body to give yourself permission to like the way you look, it’s never going to happen. You’ll only make yourself miserable. No matter how much you change your body, you’ll always be able to find flaws. ‘Flaws’ are the easy bits to find. The hardest part is embracing the so-called flaws and finding parts to love about yourself.
I’m on that mission. I have a daughter who I want to fully own her body and know it’s beautiful. That starts with the example I set her. So I’m going to love myself as I am. I’m going to tell myself I’m beautiful every day. Reunite that inner goddess that we all have. I know people think it’s wrong or weird to love yourself. That it’s big-headed or arrogant. It’s not. It’s sad that we can even think like that. It’s heartbreaking that you possibly don’t love yourself. You weren’t born to hate yourself or belittle yourself. No single human was created to be mediocre. The Universe/ God (whatever you believe) doesn’t make crap. Why would it? You were born to be great. Greatness starts with your opinion of yourself.
Be loving to you x
It Did Do Harm – An open Letter to Grandparents & Those With Adult Children
(Blog post on generational trauma)