Body positivity is incredibly important, especially in the modern world of social media. We all need to learn to love our bodies and approach weight gain and loss in the most positive, healthy way. People may come in different shapes and sizes, but we must remember that we are all beautiful.
As someone who has tried to gain weight, tried to lose weight, and generally has had a love-hate relationship with her own body, I’m here to tell the story of how I overcame my negativity and learned to love each and every part of myself.
As a teenager, my body began to develop slightly later than everyone else. Which meant I was still flat-chested when everyone else was buying their first bras. I didn’t have an issue with that – I knew I was just small. Not only was I only 4ft 11 in height (and I haven’t grown since then), but I was naturally quite thin too.
I didn’t start to become insecure about my body until others pointed it out. I was asked on more than one occasion if I was anorexic or bulimic, something I found incredibly insulting. Others would compliment me on my weight, saying things like, ‘Wow, you are so skinny! I wish I looked like that’. Even though they were being nice, I was uncomfortable with this and confused too, because I didn’t think I was any different to anyone else.
I’ve always been a big eater, with an absolute love of food, but due to having a high metabolism and being a competitive freestyle dancer – I would practice twice a week, most likely burning off anything I’d eaten – I didn’t gain weight easily.
That all changed however, as I ventured into adulthood. My relationship with my body image reversed from negative feelings towards my small frame, to feeling I was overweight.
After a traumatic experience at 20, I began to comfort eat. As mentioned before, I’ve always been a big eater, but this was a new level. The pounds started to pile on, and due to my height, it showed instantly. I started to hate myself.Holly Ellis Allton
I decided I needed to be thin again. After being a size 6 for so long, it was such a shock to the system to be a size 16. I started ridiculous diet plans, that would always result in a bingeing session, as I was being so strict with myself that I was unhappy and quite frankly, hungry.
Soon though, I realised that this negativity towards my body was unhealthy and even having a detrimental impact on my mental health too. I also started to see body positivity and self-love being spoken about openly on social media and on TV – from celebrities, influencers, clothing brands and everyday normal people. It made me realise that I need to love myself, love my body and embrace my “flaws”. I changed my style to dress for my figure and focused on showing off my best features.
Going forward, all I want is to be healthy. I want to do more exercise and have a good nutrition plan, but I’m not going to punish myself for eating a slice of cake with a cup of coffee. I’ve learnt to accept that my weight may fluctuate, but I am who I am.Holly Ellis Allton
Looking after your mind is just as important as looking after your body, and since I’ve learned to love the parts of me that I previously hated, I am a much happier person.
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