I Can Be Body Positive While Still Wanting to Change Mine

2017 has been a huge year for body positivity. Its been at the forefront of a lot of brand campaigns, its been discussed a great deal more in the media and I’ve seen so many more people I know talking about it on social media and embracing it.

I think every girl knows what its like to hate their body. From a young age we’re faced with pressure to comply to certain body standards, and made to feel awful about ourselves if we don’t fit in. I actually remember lying about my weight when I was in primary school. That’s right, I was no older than 10 or 11 the first time I lied about my weight because I knew I weighed more than the other girls in my class and I didn’t want them to make fun of me.

I remember being nervous about going shopping with my friends when I started secondary school because I didn’t want them to see me picking up clothes that were sized larger than my age, and I remember one time, when I was finally passing my real chunky phase, feeling so happy that when my friends said I should try on a dress that I actually fit into my age/size. I wore t-shirts over bikinis at the beach when I was a teenager, especially if there were going to be boys around, and I’d always make sure I was behind the camera to ensure I was never caught in any photos.

Let’s just say, body positivity has never come easily for me, but I have never judged anyone else on their body. If I see any girl of any size doing her thing I’m like YASS GIRLLL OWN IT; I love seeing body positivity in others, and even if that person isn’t particularly body positive themselves, I’ll happily be their cheerleader.

Over the last few years, however, I have been learning to own my body. My confidence has been growing courtesy of going to the gym, getting fitter and eating better, and seeing the changes that has come from these actions. You see, I’m still trying to change my body to make it look how I’d like it to look, but that doesn’t make me any less positive. The changes that I’d like to see in my body are purely for me, because I want to feel healthier, but also because I want to love my body a little bit more, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be body positive now.

This year, for the first time ever, I posted a photo of myself in a bikini on social media. Hell, I even stood up in front of a whole bunch of people in said bikini for that photo to be taken. I’m wearing clothes I never thought I could wear because I’m more confident with my body. Yes, I’d like to be a little less squishy round the edges, but the fact is I’d be perfectly happy if my size didn’t change at all. I am body positive now, and I think you are all beautiful too.

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram

A Bloody Shame

Normally I would start a post like this apologising for the content. I’m not going to do that today because this is something that I don’t think I should be sorry for talking about. PS I will apologise for the awful pun of a title.

Two hours into my shift on Saturday, I realised that despite being fully prepared given the situation, I had bled through my pants and my trousers. I realised this while I was stood at the desk of one of my team leaders asking for advice on a situation with a customer, and I was mortified. I quickly adjusted how I was stood, rushed the conversation and dashed to the toilets, where I promptly burst into tears in a cubicle.

Two minutes of hormone and embarrassment fuelled sobbing later, I pulled myself together enough to attempt to think clearly. Despite all the team leaders in being women, which is a wonderfully rare occurrence, I couldn’t bring myself to tell anyone what had happened. I wanted to go home, but there was no way I was going to admit the reason for needing to leave, so instead I cleaned myself up as best I could, and thanked my lucky stars that I was wearing loose trousers with a fairly jazzy pattern so the patch of red on my crotch wasn’t visible unless someone was paying close attention to it. I wrapped my big cardigan around myself and went on with the rest of my day.

As the day went on, and with every time I had to leave my desk for whatever reason, only to be very careful of how my cardigan was hanging and if I was walking quick enough that no one would be able to focus on me long enough to potentially spot my red spot, I couldn’t help feeling ashamed on more than one level.

Why could I not just admit to someone at work what was going on? I could have gone home, changed and been back within 15 minutes, but the fear of having someone that I work with know about my little ‘accident’ meant I sat and spent my day on edge. But on the other side I couldn’t stop thinking: why should I be ashamed?

Periods are a natural and normal part of life for women, yet for as long as I can remember, I’ve been made to feel embarrassed by them. It was embarrassing learning about them at school, and embarrassing when you had to miss swimming because of them, or when you had to ask around to see if anyone had a spare pad or tampon when you got caught out.

And don’t get me wrong, I’m not really ever embarrassed to be on my period. I’ll tell my friends if I’m having really bad cramps, and have no issue asking for supplies from people in the office these days, but that’s not what this is about. Its not to do with how we see our own periods, but how other people do. While no one at work seemed to notice my stain today, I would have almost liked to see how different people reacted. Would I be met with pity and support, or would there be whispers when I walk away? I shouldn’t have to question this. I was too ashamed to share my problem with someone else, and that’s not ok.

No its not ideal having a patch of blood on your trousers but also why should it be a problem if you do? Its not your fault if Mother Nature calls early, or you’ve sat awkwardly and therefore a leak has occurred. Its not by choice, its just life and I’m so done with people being judgemental about it.

Let’s end this stigma.

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram

Viva la Comfy Bra!

Putting myself out there with something a little different today!

You see, I’m 22 now, and in the last few months I’ve had somewhat of an epiphany that has lead me to believe that I’m actually growing up: I just want bras to be comfortable.

Thistle and Spire Fine Lines

I don’t know at what point during our teen years that it happens, but somehow we seem to be programmed to believe that we need super-push-up, extra padded and wired nonsense for our boobs to be happy. Well given that taking our bra off at the end of the day is considered to be a huge relief, this clearly isn’t true.

As a teenager, if it wasn’t wired, I wasn’t interested – how could anything without an underwire keep my boobs in check, right? – and this mentality has stuck with me into my twenties, but no more.

I took a chance on a cute little Thistle and Spire set I stumbled across on Asos, and from the moment I tried it on I felt something change; not only was I comfortable, I felt supported, and not in the way a sports bra squeezes everything together, it felt more natural. Of course I do still have a draw full of wired bras, but I’ve ditched the belief that they are the be all and end all, and when I’m in a bit of a bad mood or want a bit of comfort, there’s nothing quite like the feel of a comfy soft cup or bralet to make everything feel better.

So why have I decided to ramble on about my bra feelings today? Well, I wanted to talk about something that not everyone is comfortable discussing: breast cancer. Someone who used to be a big part of my life is currently going through treatment, and while she was very lucky to have caught it in the early stages, not everyone does.

If you do one thing with your day today, let it be this: check out this guide for checking yourself, and tell someone else in your life to do the same. Its not a big deal, and it could save a live.

Thank you

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram

#YearOfFit – Meal Prep 101

Be honest with yourself now, how many times a week/month/year do you say or think the words ‘ok, I’ll start eating better again tomorrow!’? Mmhm.. We’ve all been there.

SONY DSC

In reality, the trick to successfully maintaining healthy eating is all in the preparation. Just taking a few hours out of your week to get yourself organised will save you so much time, stress and slip ups, and you’ll feel like a superhero for being so on top of things!

1. Sort yourself out with the right containers

The right container can be different for different people. My collection of lunchboxes is incredibly varied, but are generally all cute and quirky because that makes me excited to use them. For some people, having matching containers is more important. Design is really a preference thing, but what matters is that they do the job!

There are also a bunch of really nifty lunchbox hacks – for example, I use silicone cupcake cases to split up my lunch!

2. Know your portion sizes

The most common mistake people make with healthy eating is incorrect portion sizes. Yes, you can eat veggies until your heart’s content, but sometimes there is such a thing as too much of a good thing! You can find so many portion guides on the internet.

3. Work with variations

Sure, a lot of people see meal prep as making a big batch of one thing for several days worth of meals, but I guarantee it won’t take long before you get seriously bored of your regular chicken and rice dish. Instead of doing this, I generally make batches of meal components, eg grilling chicken pieces, and then I can mix up my meals by using different sauces, a different salad mix, making a wrap etc. This way you can look forward to your lunch everyday, rather than feeling a bit blah.

I do, however, have my favourite meals that I could eat all day every day, so I generally throw them in every now and then!

4. Think about reheating

The dangers of reheating certain food items are fairly well known, but be sure to look up anything you’re unsure about – rice is a surprise high risk item!

5. Freezers are your friend!

I don’t know why a lot of people are so anti-frozen food; its such a good way to preserve food without additives! Supermarkets offer so many frozen products that you can just microwave now, making them ideal meal-prep ingredients!

Are you a meal prep pro?

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram