Feeling Body Conscious

Warning: This is a very personal post today and it has taken me a long time to get it perfect. Even now I’m not sure it’s exactly how I want it to be but I wanted this to be out there because I wanted to talk about it as I’m sure other people will be in a similar boat to me.

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My life feels like it’s falling apart again. This happened last November, and in March, and in May. And it’s happening again now. Let’s be honest, I’m a total mess. My room is a mess, my kitchen is a mess and my mind is a mess. But for a different reason to normal. Usually I’m having panic attacks or crying for no real reason but it’s been a little different recently.

Towards the end of 2015 and at the start of this month, I felt something that I’d never really felt before. Ashamed. Ashamed of my body. Sure, I’ve never had the flattest stomach or collar bones to die for or that coveted thigh gap, but I’ve always found clothes that fit and I feel comfortable in. I’ve usually covered up parts of me that I don’t like (I’ve not been caught in a bikini for well over a decade and you will never catch me in a crop top or a skirt only just covering my bum), but more recently I’ve been feeling extremely body conscious.

And you want to know what’s made it hard? My boyfriend saying there is nothing wrong with it. I know that he finds me attractive; I believe him when he tells me, but I find it very hard to see it myself, and he doesn’t get it. This isn’t me getting down on him, but I think this is the easiest way to explain it. Other people (my friends and family) think my body is fine, and I believe them that they believe this. But they don’t have to live with the body and mentality that I’ve got.

I’m covered in stretch marks from when I stopped dancing 4 days a week but didn’t stop the carb loading that went along with it. And I see so many plus-sized bloggers online really owning their body, being happy in their skin and being proud of who they are, but I just can’t. I really wish I could because I don’t see anything wrong with their bodies, just my own.

I’ve read endless blog posts about how to become more positive about your body and how to overcome your distastes, but nothing is helping. At the minute, I feel like throwing all my food away and sitting in the dark and not worrying about food. But then I get bored and want it all back. I eat when I’m bored.

Unfortunately, I get into a vicious cycle due to the fact that I am definitely one to eat my feelings. I feel down so I binge but then feel worse about myself so I eat more. It isn’t like I don’t like healthy food or don’t enjoy exercising either, I just like the ease of chocolate and netflix more. And through my injuries and mental health difficulties where I physically can’t get out of bed, crisps and book reading are my safe haven, deepening the cycle.

After my exams and deadlines are out of the way next week (aka when I stop stress crying and have time for me again), my boyfriend and I are joining the gym and we’re going to really think about what we eat. We find it very difficult to eat healthily because he doesn’t like a lot of foods, but he’s promised me that he’s going to try harder to stop eating pizza and southern fried chicken. I really hope that just losing a few pounds and a couple of inches off my waist will make me feel a little more body positive. And if that doesn’t work then I’m just going to have to find another way to feel better about myself.

If you have any advice on how I can deal with the issue I am giving you 100% of my attention because this is making me feel awful.

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  • Hi Sophie, I totally relate to what you’re saying here and I know it’s difficult to do but you should try and give yourself a break. It’s ok to feel all these things, and it’s ok not to be ok for a little while 😘 especially if you have an education to focus on.
    Once you get into better habits (exercise, nutritional diet etc) things should start to brighten up for you and positive thoughts will be on the up! Good luck xx

  • Everyone has insecurities about themselves and that is normal. I too have issues with the way I look. People tell me that I am wrong because I am ‘pretty’ but I just don’t believe it, nor so I see it. I totally understand what you are saying.

  • Thanks for this awesome and honest post! I’m sharing my eating disorder recovery journey on Monday. Getting over body issues takes a really long time. I guess my only advice is rather crappy: forget about it. Life is too short to worry about an inch or two on your waist. That’s awful, isn’t it? And so hard to actually do but if you remind yourself of it CONSTANTLY, you can get into a happier head-space and stop adding up calories in your head as a hobby. Good luck!!

  • What a wonderful and honest post, I can totally relate to this! I literally look in the mirror sometimes and feel so embarrassed and ashamed at my reflection but my boyfriend tells me that I’m so beautiful and he’s incredibly lucky and I’m like ‘are you blind!’. Insecurities can really ruin our lives so please don’t let this get to you. You are so beautiful whatever size you are, the most important thing is being healthy and happy xxx

  • Such a brave and honest post Sophie. I myself have been in the same position and it’s such a horrible place to be in. I found it really hard when I was at Uni too as I constantly felt like things were getting on top of me, but it will get easier I assure you. Xxx

  • Grace wood

    This post is so brave, well written and relatable. I completely understand how you feel, I think the majority of people have hang ups about their body but there’s definitely a difference between feeling a bit conscious and it effecting your life (and I can definitely relate to the latter). Joining the gym definitely sounds like it will help you to feel better but it won’t completely ‘fix’ how you feel. Try looking in the mirror and telling yourself things you like about yourself or asking your friends to tell you what they like maybe? And maybe search for people that have similar body types to you and see how they dress. (I always seek out really tall actresses to make myself feel less awkward!) Sorry you feel this way cxxx

    • Unfortunately all the petite actresses are both petite height wise and in the horizontal. I already feel better just 30 hours into my new lifestyle so hopefully it’ll just keep improving from there! x

  • Thank you so much for this post. This describes exactly how I felt for years and years of my life, especially from the age of around 11 to maybe eighteen months ago when I was 18. It’s one of the worst feelings in the world, and it’s ridiculous that we live in a society that places so much more importance on what we look like than what we think and what we do.
    ‘My boyfriend saying there is nothing wrong with it. I know that he finds me attractive; I believe him when he tells me, but I find it very hard to see it myself, and he doesn’t get it.’ – This really resonated with me. My boyfriend tells me all the time how attractive he finds me etc, but it’s hard for him to understand that whilst I believe that he finds me attractive (even if I don’t understand it sometimes), that doesn’t mean I like how I look.
    I can’t pinpoint what changed in the last year or so but my body image has been completely overhauled. Although I always knew that the things I said and did and thought were more important than what I looked like, it took over eighteen years for it to actually click for me.
    I spent time counting calories and going to the gym and I definitely felt healthier and better about myself, but the biggest change for me actually happened when I took a step back from the gym and started just spending time with myself, thinking about what like about my body and how I look. I also worked really hard to stop judging other people – if I walked around I’d catch myself seeing other people and making comments, often negative, in my mind about their bodies. Even if it was a positive comment – “wow, she’s so slim!” – it was detrimental to me; what I really mean by that comment was “she’s so much slimmer than me”, so I’d be putting myself down. Catching myself every time I made those judgements was really interesting, and then I started replacing those comments with purely positive ones – “I love her shoes”, “her hair is lovely”, “she looks so professional”.
    This is a pretty rambly essay of a comment but I hope there’s something in here to at least show you that although this feels so lonely, you really aren’t and there is another side. I’m planning on writing a longer post about all of this too at some point, so thank you for giving me some ideas.
    Be sure to keep focusing on what you do in your life that you love, the things that you’re good at and the things you enjoy. If you’re enjoying what you’re doing, that’s so much more important than what you look like when you’re doing it – but I know that’s so, so much easier said than done.
    Lx
    http://lucyeyf.co.uk

    • I’m so glad that this post has been so positive for people. As much as it hurts my heart a bit that other people feel the same, I love knowing that I’m not alone and that everybody has these thoughts x

      • It can definitely be helpful to know there are other people out there who understand, and to have a space you can use as an outlet for it is even better, especially within a community which is so supportive 🙂 x

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  • This is such a beautifu post, so brave too! You’re boyfriend sounds like such an amazing person and you’re sooo lucky to have a guy like him 🙂
    I hope your exams and the gym goes well for you xxxx

    Lovely post,
    Daizy |www.ZyaandDaizy.wordpress.com
    p.s i’m really loving your blog and i think it’s so amazing!

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