Thursday, 26 July 2018

My Body & Me featuring Bio-Oil

Ever since I was a child, my main focus when it comes to my body has been around everything that I perceived to be "wrong" with it.

I've never really been able to pinpoint when or why that started, all I know is that had you asked me at any point in my life beyond the age of 6 to list things I liked and disliked about my body....the dislike list would be much longer.

A few days ago, I was chatting to an old friend online and he showed me some old photos of us from our early 20s...I barely recognised myself in them.

I weighed a good 7 stone less back then, and I was about 6 dress sizes skin was smoother, I had no stretch marks or scars to speak of...but I was miserable in my body. So miserable.

Infact I remember the way I felt on the day those photos had been taken. How long I'd spent agonising over outfit choices, how I'd stood in the mirror and picked every inch of myself apart...How I'd scolded myself for choosing an outfit that showed my "manly arms".

I was forever telling myself that true happiness was waiting for me in a smaller dress size, or that if I could just get my teeth fixed I'd finally feel more confident.

I wish I'd known that none of that was true. That the answer to true happiness and confidence had nothing to do with my physical appearance, and everything to do with my inner voice.

But that knowledge didn't come to me quickly.

I fell pregnant with my first child at the age of 30 and even then, I wasn't any happier in my own skin.

The appearance of stretch marks on my stomach and breasts only added to my insecurities, and with each of my 3 babies - my body changed more. My boobs got bigger from nourishing 3 little people, my tummy got rounder and saggier following 3 C section recoveries, and even my feet grew larger. I felt as though everything about my body had changed.

Finally, at the start of this year, I stumbled across the concept of body acceptance and body positivity. And the more I read about it, the more it spoke to me.

I poured over photographs of people whose bodies spanned every shape, size, race and gender you can think of - and all of them were full of so much beauty and so much character.

I read books and watched videos from people who'd stopped seeing the changes in their bodies over the years as flaws, but instead started to learn how to appreciate the stories our bodies tell of the lives we've lived and the beauty they hold.

And finally, after a life time of feeling nothing but negativity towards myself, I started to feel differently.

My body has allowed me to grow 3 beautiful boys, it allows me to see them and speak to them, to cuddle them and kiss them, to run with them and to play with them. It allows me to think freely and express myself, it allows me to explore and experience new places. My body is a wonderful thing.

And it's more than OK that the life it's lived shows on its my wrinkles, my stretchmarks, my laughter lines, and the scars I have which speak of the adventures and mishaps I've had throughout the years. It is more than Ok. It's an honour.

If life has left you with scars and knocks, stretchmarks and changes... it's's normal! It's part of living and it happens to everyone. No matter how much seemingly flawless skin you see on social media, there's not a body or face in the world that doesn't have it's little "imperfections" (if you can even call them that).  Some people rely on airbrushing for a little reassurance, personally I use Bio-Oil to give a little TLC after life's little bumps and scrapes, particularly after a nasty bout of shingles left me with a pretty prominent scar on my nose last year.

But remember, nothing about the way your body looks is wrong. Real bodies come in all shapes and sizes, all colours and genders, all ability and health levels, and all of them get a little weathered over the years.

It's normal!

*With thanks to Bio-Oil for partnering with me on this post - #ForYourHardKnockLife

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