The end of my second year of university brought along a very unwanted growth spurt. If someone told me that some girls could have a growth spurt at 19 I would have thought BOOBS, waaaheeey bring it on, but that wasn’t what happened to myself. Instead my body frame grew outwards! I had always had a petite frame with a little waist, but when I grew out I realised how tiny I was before and how my shape had changed so fast. My first thought was that perhaps university life was taking over, because well most people put on weight at uni, however, my diet hadn’t changed, nor the amount I exercised and if anything I was doing more than before, surely to change this fast was a bit bizarre! I genuinely thought I had somehow got ‘fat’ overnight, and for the first time ever I rang my mother to tell her how shit I felt about myself because I was no longer ‘skinny’ like I used to be and that I must have been doing something wrong. This was when my mum told me that, NEWS FLASH, you aren’t doing anything wrong, you are simply growing. Growing, you say!! Well please, reverse yourself.

I should be my own biggest fan

Since then I have struggled and debated with how I feel about myself. Before I would have never gave off about my body, I had a good shape, I was small and I fitted in size 6/8 clothes. I mean why would you complain about that? I was now a solid 10 and this made me feel awful about myself, I felt awful that I was a healthy, curvy 10. Some people will read this and think, that I may be crazy for thinking a 10 was too big and being curvy is sexy. Heck, even I tried to tell myself that! The sad thing is that at the time I was seriously lacking the inner self confidence to believe that this change was natural and beautiful.  After all great hips and a good bum was something that ran through my family, and something I admired about my older sister and mum. Go ahead the Bridget genes! So why couldn’t I fully embrace it? In my mind even though I thought others who were bigger than me looked amazing I still couldn’t be happy within myself. I was able to love the bodies of others but not mine,  when at the end of the day I should be my own biggest fan!

Since then I have somewhat accepted the shape I am and I try to own it as much as I can but I still fluctuate between feeling good and not. I think yes I am confident, I feel great and then I will stand beside someone who is taller and skinnier than me and think, crap! (Or when I am putting on jeans and have to get a size bigger just to fit my ass and hips only to have them loose everywhere else.) Ehh hello people, why is there not multi sized clothing by the way!?

I am not one to give off about our skinny media frenzy society because the inner marketer in me feds off it, however I can’t help but think that as a young girl living in this type of society that it has rubbed off on me. On Instagram I follow dozens of girls that post daily their beautiful bodies showing not a glitch in their skin, not a spot on their face and not a crease on their sides. Don't even start me on their body shape! I would spend hours just scrolling down these girls pages saying I wished I looked like that, God this is depressing, deffo starting a diet tomorrow, going to look like them, want to look like them. ANYTHING ELSE BUT ME!

HOLLAH to not being insta perfect

I will never be the size of those girls I see because my body shape wouldn't allow it. Even when I work out I just end up getting bigger and toned.  I do feel that it is ridiculously sad that I feel that my shape now is not good enough. If you compared the image I see in the mirror to the models and the celebs, I would probably put myself at the bottom of the list, and I have no doubt that many other girls would do the same. I know that because I take a scroll down Facebook and see my friends, and girls I know, who are even younger than me post pictures of these type of ‘insta worthy’ girls on their pages saying “Goals” and “Please”.

I run 3 times a week, take a total body toning class every Thursday, cycle 30 mins a day and walk ridiculous amounts of miles a week! I eat relatively well, but of course I may be a little bit of an over indulger sometimes but when I do end up going a little over indulgent I tell myself to get back on the narrower squiggly line. I am healthy, managed to get rid of nearly all of my eczema, and my overall energy and lifestyle has improved loads. I could probably work out more, be stricter on my eating, drink less wine, spend money I don’t have on a gym and maybe just maybe then I will feel better about myself or accept that I will never be that tiny girl I see everywhere. The point that I want to make here is that I shouldn’t have to do that. I shouldn’t have to feel that the amount I do above is not enough, or that I need to be the shapeless girl I was before because that's what is deemed better. I urge all girls including myself to love themselves and love all of themselves! As cliché as it may sound, we should love the bumps, the spots, the creases and our weird shapes. We do not need to look like these girls we see because they are smaller and tighter than us. Everyone is different, and we should answer to how our bodies feel not how the media tells us to be.  It is one of the hardest things for me to accept, and I will probably go back and forth feeling amazing one day and like a heffer the next but if I really sit back and think about it then I would say AMEN to curves and HOLLAH to not being insta perfect, I am my own perfect!!

Kate Winslet - I stand in front of the mirror and say to [my daughter] Mia, 'We are so lucky we have a shape. We're so lucky we're curvy. We're so lucky that we've got good bums.' And she'll say, 'Mummy, I know, thank God.' It's paying off.'

Lots of Love





Published by Rachel