I’ve had this post in my mind for so long now and finally have the time to write it. It’s about the variety of body shapes and why I felt more confident after one week with hundred girls than on my holiday with my boyfriend.
(For those who struggle with their body image: you may find this hard to read/triggering. Also these are personal perceptions and experiences that are not supposed to bodyshame or offend anyone. This is supposed to be about positivity and learning/practising self-love. Everybody’s fighting their own battles whether you think they are justified or not, so please show them your support because often it is much needed! xx)
Everyone of us as something that we don’t like, maybe even hate, about ourselves. So the one thing I hate the most on me is my lower belly and my hips. I feel like they are more chunky than the rest of my body and they look even worse because I’m only about 1,60 m tall. I never feel confident in figure hugging dresses or bikinis or any piece of clothing bit that’s too tight and emphasize my hips. Don’t get me wrong, I’m also wearing tighter things, but only when it’s possible to conceal my „problem zone“. It’s possible for me in high waist jeans or skirts or normal dresses. I also suck in my belly 24/7 when I’m walking, I never walk without tensing up my belly muscles which I guess nobody will ever find out, didn’t even tell anybody of this habit before. I know this is weird but that’s the only way I can walk around without feeling big which I think I’m not? I’m wearing a size 34 (I think that’s UK size 6) for dresses and tops and a size 36 (UK size 8 maybe) for my skirts and trousers. So obviously I’m not big at all but I’m feeling so (For all those people out there who start complaining why I am complaining just keep on reading, I’m giving my best to explain it properly, but it’s a little bit difficult). So long story short: I’m hating my wobbly hips and my lower belly since I can remember. So that’s why I never feel confident in a bikini or in figure hugging dresses for example. If you’re now asking yourself “But why doesn’t she try running or doing sports or eating healthy?“ The answer is: I at least try to go on one run per week. I’m doing two to three workouts a week with the fitbit coach and I got the fitbit charge 2 to control my workouts and see how much calories I have burnt. I try to eat healthily as good as I can but sometimes I need to treat myself to a piece of cake or a little something. I’m paying attention to working out the same day I ate something sweet to burn the calories instantly. But it doesn’t work that much. I still feel uncomfortable certain times with how my body looks. I think one reason why it doesn’t work that much is that I’m on the pill but expecting a baby would even make me feel more worse at my age 😀 I’m always feeling much less confident when I’m on my period butat’s quite normal I guess 😉 I would never tell you guys I am fat and ugly, I just wanted to explain how I’ve felt about myself a couple of years now! Until I did a week of sports with 100 other girls.
For my study as a teacher I had to take a one week sport lesson to be allowed teaching pupils PE at school but so had 99 other girls in the sports hall. 99 different girls. 99 different body shapes and sizes. I’m one of those girls walking around looking at other girls thinking “Wow she is so beautiful. I like her style. This outfit looks so cute on her, where can I get it. …“ But I also think “Why has she got such trained legs? Why is her belly so flat? How does she do this?“ Maybe I’m just one of those girls who always admires other girls and try to figure out how I can change my style to look like her but that’s ok, I’m just searching for inspirations I guess. I think this is at least something everyone of us does, even if it’s only a little bit. I’m doing the same with body shapes. I always find something about someone I admire. There was one girl in the gym which honestly had the nicest hourglass shape you can imagine. So I instantly thought why don’t I look like this? And for the first time ever I imagined me with her shape and then wasn’t sure if I would like to have her figure because she obviously had that kind of figure I don’t like on myself. Slightest wider hips. Small. Not that much boobs. So I was just like: WHY do I like it on her but not on me?! Why do I find her still so stunning, but not myself if I had her shape?! Now I was confused… Looking for another girl with a really nice body shape I would like to have, imagined it on myself, didn’t like it and was confused again. I don’t get it. Are these shapes not what I always wanted? Obviously not, when I don’t even like them on me. Maybe the body shape I would like to have does not exist or maybe it’s just myself I’ll never feel confident with. The answer is: It is myself and I don’t know what body shape I would like to have anymore. And suddenly I didn’t struggle that much with my hips anymore. There are so many other girls I still find beautiful, but I won’t find their figure as beautiful on me as on them. So it was more okay for me to look how I look. It was more okay to have chunkier hips. It was more okay to be small and not having such thin thighs. It was more okay to be me and I started to like myself a little bit more. I was a little bit more confident in myself, felt a little bit better to be me and to look how I look. I was still working out and taking runs, but not with the pressure I had before.
Unless I got on holiday (I’m sorry that this post is so long and won’t stop at this point, but feelings are hard to explain. Will shorten it a bit down for you now). So on holiday I had to wear a bikini, walked past the mirror in our room, saw myself and every single piece of me not struggling with my figure that much anymore was gone in one second. So there I was, standing with the same thoughts about myself which I had before my sports week at uni. I didn’t want to ruin my holiday because it just had started and I rejoiced over it so much, so I tried to push these thoughts away and have a good time. But I didn’t feel confident in a bikini this week, I sucked my belly in more again and didn’t felt that confident about myself when I came back from a holiday full of sporty activities which is a contradiction itself I guess.
So the reason why I’m writing this is maybe find one other person with similar struggles and make her think about the figure they admire on others maybe not being the one they would like to have. Not being the one they will feel confident with. Maybe it’s just you you’re struggling with sometimes, but all in all you like how you are a lot. So do I. At least the most part of the day. I like who I am and so should you also do with yourself. “Problem zones“ can be worked on even when it’s a never ending story like mine. S. read this post first, sending me an 8 minutes voicemail to tell me that it’s okay how I feel which never ever someone did before. It’s okay to struggle with yourself, it’s okay to feel like this, “you have the right to feel this way” was something she said to me. I am sooooo thankful she did because I always felt stupid about having these thoughts sometimes or sucking in my belly. I always thought I don’t have the right to have thoughts like this when I got a size 6/8, when other people out there really struggling to lose weight. That’s why I never told someone about this before. So as she was telling me, I’m now telling you that you’re right, too, to feel this way about yourself. To have something to struggle with is okay and writing this down makes it even easier to deal with for me. So if you have something you don’t like about yourself and feel not right to feel this way, you are! Just because you feel like this, it doesn’t necessarily reflect what others see; you are your own strictest critic! Find a (healthy & safe) way to make your situation better as I try to make it with sports and food even if it takes a long time, you’re at least working on it which is showing that you are trying your best. And trying to be the best version of yourself is always the greatest success you can have 🙂
Love all you lots!
Joanie 🙂 xx
The featured image was created by us with Canva for the purpose of this post.
Update: I wrote this post in October/November last year and my life has changed a little bit since then. I’m still struggling with my body but not that much as I did before. I changed my workout routine and started to train harder and more efficient than last year and now I can finally see and feel the results. I’m feeling now a bit more confident about myself, but I have to admit I still won’t by myself a figure hugging dress and a new bikini but that’s ok, at least I’m working out to be a better version of myself than I was the year before and that’s all that counts to me. 🙂
Even the smallest results are still results.