Over the last 7/8 months, I have embarked on a body overhaul. Gone are the days where a size 26inch waist and XXS had to be purchased. It hasn’t been easy and for a lot of people they may not see much of a change, but I have and it’s something that’s completely changed the way I feel and look at myself.
The mirror is no longer my enemy.
I’ve struggled a lot in the past with my body image and how I see myself. “A survey in the U.K. found that four out of five men confess to being unhappy about their body. Thirty-five percent of respondents said they would trade a year of their life to achieve their ideal body weight or shape” As far back as I can remember, I would always look in the mirror and think how much I hated the way I look. How I would change so much to make myself feel better about myself, to give me the chance to feel good. Growing up this didn’t change. Fashion was the only thing I felt like I was good at and so I made sure I put my effort into that. When I looked in a mirror with a really good outfit for that split second I wouldn’t think about how my face or body looked. I would just see a really good outfit and feel good that I put it together. Back when I was a teenager, a lot of the time, I wouldn’t even want to look in the mirror because of fear of hating myself even more than I did. This with serve acne, school was tough. Braces, acne, crippling anxiety and the feeling of never feeling good about myself, I never felt I was good enough for anything. I always made sure my hair was really long so it hid parts of my face. This is where eating became a problem for me. I was scared to put on weight but at the same time, I wanted to put on weight because I hated being so child like skinny. Many days I wouldn’t eat because I hated the feeling of putting on weight. Which made it worse. I felt like I was down a dark hole trying to get out but it was just getting deeper and deeper. This was an on and off problem all the way through my teenage and through my early 20’s. When things got tough I completely lost my appetite and my body would suffer from it. Growing up all these feelings never went away. Even when I started my Fashion blog and YouTube, putting myself out there was one of the scariest things I have ever done. Showing the world my face and how I dress was nerve racking for me because of the way I felt. Regardless of how many photos I did for my fashion blog or YouTube videos I did, the feeling still remained and never went away. Every photo I would go through I would sit there and pick fault at my face or how skinny and child like my body was. Even going on holiday I would hate to take my top off because I hated the way my body was so skinny. The picture on the left is me on holiday last year (2016) in Venice. It consumed everything I did. It was always on my mind. Enough was enough.
It wasn’t till I suffered a break up that it made me realise, I don’t want to feel like this anymore. I wanted to completely re-invent myself. First of all, I dyed my hair a completely different colour to my own. Dark brown. It was the darkest I have ever been before, so that was a huge shock and something that took a very long time to adjust to. After doing this and I got Christmas out of the way. I joined a gym, somewhere I would never have even imagined myself to be. I was always scared that people would laugh at my because of how skinny I was and how pathetic I looked lifting or doing other gym related things. But with my best friend Ellen we joined a gym not far from our work. If it wasn’t for her I wouldn’t be where I am today. She’s played a crucial part in me re-inventing myself. From being there when my relationship fell apart to being my little gym buddy. I couldn’t imagine what I would have done without her. Fast forward another couple of months and Ellen told me to grow a beard. Something that I never thought would suit me because of this “child like” image I had. But, being a trooper I said to her I promise I wouldn’t shave for a few days to see what it would look like. Fast forward to now and the beard is a keeper. Today, when I look in the mirror I can’t recognise the 14-year-old boy who couldn’t eat and hated the way he looks. Having been on holiday in the last couple of weeks, I never imagined I would ever look the way I did on the beach there. After Ellen taking a couple of photos on the beach I was actually shocked that it was me. For the first time in my life, I felt good about the way I looked. I felt content in how I felt when I looked in the mirror. Not every day has this happened but it’s happened a lot more than when I used to hate the way I look. Some people might not think a great change has happened, but for me, I feel like a completely different person and I love the way I feel. I wish I could go back and tell my younger self that everything, one day you will be okay. You won’t feel that you’re not good enough and you will completely re-invent yourself. You will feel good for the first time in your life. To anyone out there that suffers the same, you’re not alone. You are strong and keep fighting it because in the end it’s worth every last second!