Thank you for joining us again for my guest series ‘My body is beautiful because…‘
My wonderful friend Becky from Bringing up the Berneys is sharing her story with us today. I absolutely love her attitude to her body and how it has grown and evolved over the years. She has a really powerful message about how our thoughts can change over time which really resonated with me – I hope you find it as inspiring as I did!
Take it away Becky:
I have lots of reasons to love my body, and I’m proud to say that I have finally found common ground with myself and accepted my body for what it is and, for the most part, I am OK with my extra rolls and double chins. *(I still have the odd day when no outfit looks good on, or I just feel that unloving feeling towards myself, but I think we all do!)*
I haven’t always loved it. As the youngest of 5, I had three sisters to look up to and I aspired to look like them and borrow/swap their clothes like they did *(whether they did that with or without permission!) *But I was a rather tall, chunky child. Not obese or fat, just chubby, and my sisters weren’t. I wasn’t able to swap clothes with them because mine were 2 sizes bigger than theirs!
Throughout primary school I was one of the tallest in the class, and I had chipmunk cheeks – you know, the ones that look like they’ve stuffed their cheeks full of nuts? That. I had to wear boys school shoes as my feet were too big and wide to fit any of the nice girly shoes. Initially, I quite liked being the tallest in the class, until some started to make comments on it and I became quite self-conscious about it and slowly started to despise being tall.
Heading into my teenage years and high school, I still maintained the chipmunk cheeks and height, and the much awaited prospect of boobs came around. I hoped as I was rather different from my sisters already, I would excel in the department of breasts…but it wasn’t to be. (*damn it!) *Suddenly getting changed for PE turned into a competition for who had bigger boobs and discussions of bra sizes. And there I was, standing 5ft 8in with a tyre waist, chubby cheeks and pathetic B-Cup boobs.
I learned to accept that I wasn’t destined for a butt like J-Lo or a rack like Kim Kardashian. But for a long time, I struggled to accept my height. I finally stopped growing dead on 6ft, and throughout my growing years, I was the tallest of my friends, taller than my siblings and taller than *a lot* of boys. I knew I wasn’t exactly “the catch” guys looked for at school, but I was very adamant I wouldn’t be taller than a potential boyfriend – and being taller than 3/4 of the boys at school, made this pretty awkward. (*And the ones who were taller than me were a**holes!)* I wanted to change how I looked, to fit in with the other girls. I tried all kinds of diets but I could never stick to them for long. I grew quick too, which resulted in stretch marks down my thighs, hips and boobs that I hated for years!
So, fast forward to the present day, and I have never loved my body more. I’m proud to stand 6ft tall. I’m proud to be a UK size 16. My body had endured the physical changes of carrying a baby twice over, and I have stretch marks to remind me of that, alongside the previous stretch marks from growing. But I love them now, they’re a part of me. They remind me that my thoughts aren’t set in stone, I have the potential to change how I think, and what could initially seem ugly or unappealing to one could actually be the most beautiful thing in the world to someone else. I love my ‘love handles’ and *sometimes I like my tummy – in time perhaps I’d like to shape up a little and maybe cut down from 6 rolls to 4! *(We’ll see how the motivation on that goes though!)*
I’ve learned to love my body for me. This is who I am and I wouldn’t change myself for anyone *but me.* I worried for years that no one would love me for my looks or who I was, but along came my partner who embraced every stretch mark, every roll, every blemish/imperfection – and still called me beautiful.
So, my body is beautiful because it is mine. It is who I am, and it’s how I want it to be. My body is beautiful because I have learned to accept and embrace the parts we’re taught to alter and change to ‘look good.’ My body is beautiful because I am happy with it.
Thank you so much Becky – you truly are a beautiful person inside and out! Growing up can be so difficult, especially as a young girl with body anxieties, but you are proof that our past way of thinking doesn’t have to dictate our future. An amazingly positive message.
If you’ve got a “My body is beautiful because” story to share and would love to be featured, then I’d love to have you. Get in touch and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for some more information.