Latest posts by Michelle Hopewell (see all)
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There was definitely a point in my body confidence and acceptance journey that I assumed that once I loved myself all of my body confidence issues would miraculously melt away. I thought I would live the rest of my life out of the reach of the issues that had once pushed me so far into self loathing I could not see a world in which I didn’t view myself than less than.
I longed for the fairy tale ending of being the princess that not only chose the prince but gosh darn it, chose herself; and her perfect porcelain body with long flowing locks, sea foam eyes, socially acceptable ideals and opinions, brimming with confidence and with a glamorous bank account to match.
Only one problem: I wasn’t any of those things and nor would I ever be. The illusion was shattered and I was left looking at myself, which at the time was a busted Cinderella with braids, no confidence, an expensive degree and low key adoration for the arts that maybe didn’t adore me back.
I know what you’re thinking: how can you get to the place where you love yourself, but admit there were and sometimes are still times when you look to the girl to the left of you and don’t see a clown, but in fact a glory of womanhood you long to be? When exactly will what you are be enough for you to live a full life?
Honey, these are all excellent questions to be perfectly honest and the truth is the point of a body confidence journey is that it doesn’t always have an immediate end of destination. The travelling may take days or it might take weeks or months…or years and its difficult to think that along the road we might have moments where our resolutions slips but that is the truth of the human condition. Our perfect imperfections means that sometimes we have a bit of a struggle, but when we have hope and when we have faith – that’s when we can push on.
That being said.
Let’s admit a few things first.
- We look at the grass and it does in fact seem greener in somebody else’s garden. Let’s be real, what are you going through right now? Financial instability, family troubles, mental health issues, pressure from work or school, failing or failed relationships, commitment phobias…the list goes on. All or some of these things are littering your own grass and you crane your neck over to see your neighbours but from your angle their garden looks clear and you’re like, HOW CAN I GET THE SAME ORDER IN MY OWN DANG GARDEN. When the truth is from your limited angle you don’t see that their garden isn’t clean but they have in fact just pushed all of the same issues you’re struggling to the back or side of their garden. So take care of your own garden even though its hard work and the temperature might seem too high or the rain and wind might seem too much. This is the only garden you’ve got and it deserves your full attention.
- Sometimes we don’t feel that deep resounding love for ourselves. Sometimes we look at ourselves on our low confidence days and think: basic. You know what? There’s nothing wrong with being basic. How can we be this untouchable entity at all times? We simply cannot. There will be times when your crown might slip, but what matters most is how you put that crown back into place.
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- FOMO will literally stop you from living your best life. Wait, what’s FOMO? Fear of missing out! It’s basically the same idea of the grass being greener, except instead you punish yourself for the idea that you are going to miss your chance to live a good life. This just isn’t the case! You are never going to be the same as everyone, nor will your experiences be. We are all united in the fact that our paths are unique but emphatically connected in the desire to live fully!
- You’re not always going to be moved by body positive content. You know when you eat your favourite cookie all the time and then you start to get a bit sick of it? The same goes for pretty much everything we expose ourselves to on a regular basis – except pizza. I will never get sick of pizza. Sometimes we have chased the perfect quote or the ideal tips so hard and so desperately that the meaning of those helpful and positive things become meaningless to us. We desensitize ourselves to the things that challenge us the most as a way of self preservation, but instead of giving up, take more time to sit down and really digest things.
- When you talk smack about yourself and you self depreciate you just prolong the process – but we still do it anyway. We find small ways to put ourselves down because to an extent we are programmed to believe that this our normal; and so after a while our default might be to throw in a little insult because how can it be okay to be so okay with yourself for so long, but actually it really is okay to be digging what you’ve got going on!
Truthfully, body confidence is a process and it is individual. It will be joyous but it will also have moments of bitterness and exhaustion because those things come hand in hand with being a human being. You are not defined by the moments where you find it hard and you struggle, but you are going to be stronger for the moments you spend fighting despite the struggles.
No matter where you are on the journey, whether it’s full blown self love affair or honeymoon phase over, you are alive and enough and you deserve to keep exploring and growing to be the best you can be.
Regardless there is a whole a community of people who are rooting for you. They love you. We love you. I love you.
You’ve got this!