"You Are Not Just A Body" - Body Acceptance

Confidence is a scary thing, and sometimes we can find it hard to love ourselves. I know I have. It's taken me a long time to accept and love me for who I am. I think it is really important to feel confident in yourself.

I remember since I was a young teenager I never really felt confident in myself. I know I wanted to be liked by people, and as humans we desire this feeling to be liked by one another. We crave acceptance and to fit in with others that surround us. Body image has never been a strong point for me either. I had always wanted to be skinnier that what I actually was and constantly comparing myself to others. I think having comments about my body image when I was younger, did not help either. One comment that predominantly stood out for me was when I was around nine or ten, and yes I was a little on the chubby side. At that age we go through things such as puppy fat, as our bodies are changing and evolving. For me, I had a fair bit of puppy fat! I remember being looked up and down by someone and being asked "how many packets of crisps do you eat a week?". I felt confused. Why did this person want to know how many packets I ate a week and looking back, what did that information actually give them? It stuck with me for a long time and as a child after hearing that comment, I was always conscious how many I did eat a week and if a certain number exceeded "a bad amount".

In more recent times I have become a far more positive person than I ever was. I like to see the good in things, find the positives out of bad situations and lift people up the best I can. I don't believe you can have a totally negative situation without finding some sort of positivity in it. Most recently, I have found confidence. Now being confident can be hard. It can be hard to love something that perhaps you're a little conscious of. Don't get me wrong, I am still very much conscious of my body, but lately I have grown to embrace it and love it. Because I have told myself, I am me, I can be sexy and I can be amazing. I think it is important for us to recognise that we ALL can be confident and beautiful in our own unique ways.

  • Ignore the Narrative that you should be like someone else, or look a certain way to make you happier

Firstly, ask yourself, "why do I want to look different?" More times than not, it's because you want people to like you or you want to look a certain way to fit in with a certain group. Unfortunately, in life, we are sold this certain fantasy that if we look a certain way, we will be accepted more into society, impress people, attract more people and have people's respect. But there is so many ways you can do that by just being yourself. People will like you more for the person that you are. Take a good look in the mirror and repeat "I am me, and I love who I am". Try and adopt a new way of thinking that you are who you are. Every human is unique and no one looks the same, because we are all made as individuals and that's what makes each and every one of us, special.

  • Ensure your focus is to be healthier, not skinner

It is really important for us to be healthy. Think of food as your fuel. Like a car, if you're putting the wrong fuel in your car won't run! So if you're putting the wrong foods in your body, imagine how your body feels - it won't work or run as well! It needs good, nutritious foods to keep it going. But that does not mean you need to focus on becoming skinner! Being healthy and being skinny are two very different things. You can still be curvy and be healthy. I have a curvy body and always have done. Just because I am not skinny, doesn't mean I healthy and that's to also so that if you have a skinner body, doesn't mean you are unhealthy either. All bodies are different, which is a beautiful thing, but it's the lifestyle and food that we put into us that is key. Good food = happy body, good skin, good mood.

Don't think about your body shape or how much you weigh. Think about all the amazing things it can really do!

  • Surround yourself with positivity

There is nothing better than surrounding yourself with a positive energy. If we engage with this power of positivity, we tend to feel more happier and confident in ourselves. Unfortunately, there can be negative posts and messages on the internet about our body image, which sometimes, can get the better of us. It's important to have that strength inside of us to rise above it and ignore it. Most people who send horrible messages you'll find are actually just jealous!

  • Focus on the things you love about yourself

We all have features on our bodies that we dislike. Things we class as "imperfections". But they are all "NATURAL". Social media starts portray things such as skin tags, cellulite and stretch marks to be a bad thing, but I think they are unique and that we should honour them. I cannot count the amount of stretch marks I have on my body, but it's normal - IT IS NOT A BAD THING!!

To help, if you find a negative thought coming in to your mind about your body, counter it with something positive. Do you feel empowered? I was never too keen on my curves, but I've now been told to embrace them - they are sexy! It's very normal for us to find the fault in our bodies, but if we tell ourselves something we love about ourselves everyday, we can beat out this negative trait!

  • Take in body positive messages!

HAPPINESS DOES NOT COME IN A SIZE! There is a lot of body positive people in the world. A good source to follow is The Body Positive Mum on Instagram; she demonstrates that she can feel confident and sexy whatever her body looks like! Plus complimenting others is also a great way to start. If you feel more confident in yourself, you may hear some of your compliments returning!

  • You are not just a body!

Our bodies do not define us, they are just a part of us. What matters is inside. How you feel. How you see the world. Treat others how you would want to be treated. Seek a positive mindset. If we carry on with these amazing positive attitudes on ourselves and encourage others, not only will it help them, but it will also improve their own way of thinking and mental health

I am me. And I love who I am. No one can take that away from me, because I have learnt over time I am beautiful and feel confident in myself. Others should too. We possess a beautiful uniqueness that no one can take away from us. I am Ella.

It is important that we emphasise the importance of loving who we are. Take this away with you today. What do you love about yourself? Tell it to yourself! Compliment others. Spread happiness. Taking these photos of my self was not about being "posey". Because those who know me know that I am not that sort of person. Truthfully, they made me feel good about myself. I felt beautiful. I liked the makeup I was wearing today. If you feel good, take a photo of yourself! You are absolutely amazing!

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