Sunday, January 18, 2015

#UnconditionalBodyBeautiful - Part 1 - My Body and I

Hello everyone!
I'm back to my regular schedule today after a lovely holiday and I am starting a new blogging challenge called Unconditional Body Beautiful, which is a monthly post with each theme surrounding body love and the journey we are on. January is about how I came to love myself, and this has been a post that I have been thinking about a lot as it's hard to put something this big and important into words. 

Me, at one of my dance recitals - I loved dancing but really had trouble remembering the routines on stage.
Let me start by saying that I haven't always been a big fan of me - I was one of those uncomfortable and awkward 12 year old girls who hit puberty before my friends, was horrified to undress in the locker room for gym because I didn't want others to know that I had to wear a bra and would slink back in photos because I felt too big and out of place. I wish I could have told myself then that I was missing out on so much by shying away, but these are lessons we learn later on. 
When I turned 17 and went away to university, I felt like I had been set free, and I no longer had to be the person people had come to know me as in high school, and with this came a new confidence of my body. Although it was still a couple of years before I really wanted to talk about it, my love of fashion and makeup exploded, filling my closet with lots of lovely things and my head with big ideas that wanted out. 

This is the first outfit post on my blog, from 2010.
Fast forward to age 21, and I had started my travel and fashion blog and was leaving Canada to move to Paris. My blog was my way of processing how I interpreted my body. Instead of looking in the mirror and feeling  awful about what I saw, I was starting to understand that I had to find things that I liked about myself and with each passing day, I would find something new. It was a conscious act but one that forced me to know my body.
Recently, in the last 3 years I had my thighs tattooed and I was so surprised, that by placing art that I had thought about and really loved on a part of my body that I wasn't totally in love with before made me come to love it. My once bumpy thighs that stayed hidden, now get out whenever they can - I get compliments on my tattoos all the time and it reminds me that in all honesty, people are not staring at your bumps and lumps, nor do they really care. If someone has the need to point out something like that, it speaks volumes about their own lack of confidence and not yours.
I still have days where I hate my arms or I get frustrated because they don't look they way I would like,  or that I get annoyed because I wish something fit that doesn't, but for every bad day, I always have many more good days and for that I am grateful.
Anytime that I have lost faith in myself, I try and remember the things that my body has allowed me to do. Every time someone implies or assumes that I can't do something because of my weight or they way I look, I know they are wrong. I have travelled the world, walked 800 kilometres in Spain and now live on a boat - all things that require both mental and physical strength and determination. 
I still want to work hard on my body, and do good things for it, like exercise more and fill it with better fuel, but I am learning that I need to give myself time. 

700 kms done, 100 kms to my final destination (you try walking 800 kms without socks and sandals and then we can talk about this fashion choice.)

It's taken over 2/3 of my lifetime to find peace and love within the body that I have, and anything else I want to do with it will take time too.
So tomorrow when I wake up and get dressed, I might feel great but I might also be frustrated about something that I am feeling sensitive about, but I know that by the time midday roles around I will have seen the light and pushed passed it.
Here's to getting your arms out, jiggling your thighs and wearing a bikini.... life only happens once and I don't want to waste anymore time in a cardigan.

Enjoying the blogger life at Simply Be
I would love to hear all about your journey to body love, leave me a comment below!
Also, be sure to check out the other entries below - there are some really fabulous posts.

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