Isn’t body confidence great? When you feel great in your skin, your clothes, your being. It took me a long time to get to a point where I was happy with myself and started celebrating me. I don’t think I’m fully there, always a work in progress but far further than where I was a few years ago. Occasionally I even seem to inspire one or two of you to believe that you are beautiful and just fine the way you are too. Which makes me speechless every time I get a message, email or DM. We’re not here for anyone else, so what people think doesn’t matter.
Well, the other day I had a blip on an otherwise relatively stable road. I was suddenly overcome with the fear of being judged. Putting myself in the public spotlight to openly being judged on my physical appearance. At first, I thought hey… no problem. I’m on my self acceptance journey, I’m fully integrated into the #effyourbeautystandards and #honormycurves hashtags, I post pictures of myself on the internet and I shout about body confidence. I totally have this. Nothing new. Nothing to worry about.
Slowly, tiny thoughts crept in. Would I look stupid? Would they make me out to look like a freak show? But my stretch marks… my dimpled thighs… double chin. I’m not in control. They don’t know my selfie pose! They don’t know what I’m still working on accepting! Once these thoughts came in I started to feel like a FRAUD. Here I am everyday, saying that plus size is just as beautiful as any other size, every one should feel beautiful and accepted, size doesn’t matter, love yourself, be confident… etc.…. and then I’m here pooing my pants thinking the opposite. Really! I felt like my conscious was fighting with my self-confidence. It was scary. I felt like a failure.
So I spoke to my best friend. I explained all of the above and somehow ended up in tears. The feeling I’d fought so hard to feel, that self-acceptance, that ‘I feel good about myself and I don’t give a damn what others think’ feeling. It almost felt fake for that moment in time. Like everything I thought I had achieved was a mask. It hurt and I felt confused. Even thinking about it now makes me feel emotional because those thoughts and feelings in the past had me opt for fast and failing diets, social exclusion and mega comfort eating. But she said something to me that rang true. EVEN if you’re body confident, a body positive warrior, a fashion blogger, a woman, a man, a person – anything… you are allowed to not feel OK.
You are allowed to have down days, sad days, crap days, days when every outfit feels wrong, days when the thought of a bikini scares the living daylights out of you and days when stretch marks give you feelings of regret. It doesn’t make you less of a person, it doesn’t change your journey and it isn’t a reflection of how you feel about yourself or how others see you. I guess it’s a bit like a storm. It can’t and won’t thunder for ever. Eventually it passes and the grass keeps going and the flowers keep blooming. If anything they are a little more refreshed after the storm because they’ve missed the sun and they’ve been hydrated.
The thing is, unless I had a supportive friend at that time I could have soaked up that negative energy for days or weeks and it’s a horrible feeling. So I’m grateful for those words of – It’s OK to not be OK. We all have crappy days but we don’t all have the most understanding people on standby for an open ear or words of motivation and kindness when you need it. I put a shout out to some of my Body Positive Babes for their words of wisdom for those times when your confidence takes a step back. Use them as you wish but remember they are always here. – I’ve also linked to their blog and / or social media so you can get some more positive vibes!
Pick Me Up’s – from some of my fave people…
Michaela – I always think tomorrow is a new day. I distract myself with some self care, climb in to bed and get an early night and it helps me wake up the next day with a clearer view.
Shali – I also hit the gym until I’m all sweaty and I’ve exorcized all kinds of negativity. Oh! And I cook something really nice for myself – either something new I’ve wanted to try or an old comfort recipe like chicken potpie or pretty much any Indian recipe.
Ratna – Nothing like what a good sleep will do for you, I try to make a clean meal, cuddle with my dog, take him for a walk and meditate or watch something nice on TV, and I’ll stay away from my phone.
Ingrid – It’s a bad day, not a bad life.
Katie – It’s important to remember that we have bad days to remind us of how wonderful it is to have good days. On my bad days, I think of outfits or things that I did during a time that I felt great and try and put myself into that frame of mind. Spend time on you and talk through your thoughts with a friend or someone close – sometimes those blips are just stressful thoughts that need to be released into the open. The most important thing to do though, is to take it easy on yourself, allow yourself to dip, so you can feel yourself come back up again. No one exists on only good days; it’s ok to not be ok. 🙂
Cynthia -On my bad days, I always feel better when I slap on a coat of face paint and take some really great selfies! It sounds silly, but I swear it works!!! Something about seeing myself looking hot in pictures reminds me that can be too hard on myself, when it comes to my appearance. We need those little reminders once in a while, to snap us back to the reality that we are worthy of loving ourselves and feeling confident! Those little blips happen to the best of us!
Betty – When I feel like my warrior goddess has gone AWOL I take a big old break from social media, spend some time reading, listening to music and catching up with people who I know are “good folk” I also remind myself that its perfectly OK to feel less than awesome. I’m not Boudicca forming an uprising against the occupying forces of the Roman Empire, I’m just a girl, standing in front of a boy, oh hang on I became Julia Roberts for a moment.
Nikki – When I get like that I find Tumblr to be my savior as it is filled with unapologetic amazing women who make me realise we are all beautiful.
Me – It’s OK not to be OK. Give yourself a break.