I used to think that a good trainer or coach would look just like a fitness model, slim, toned, vascular, six pack abs – the full works. It never occurred to me that this ‘image’ is what they spend weeks working towards for one day, and that the likelihood is they rebound hard. I didn’t have a desire to look like this, I just wanted to be thinner, I didn’t want my thighs to touch, I wanted to be able to wear certain clothes.
I would look at other women, and think ‘I wish I had that body…’
One of the biggest mistakes we make is comparing ourselves to others and wanting to change certain parts of our body through the manipulation of calories, without realizing that this will not change our genetics.
This was something that contributed towards my self confidence, I realised that I had to accept the parts of my body which I couldn’t change and focus on improving what I have. I have learnt to appreciate someone else’s qualities, without having to compare myself to them. I realised that if I spend all my time ripping my body apart, picking at the flaws, and only seeing the negative in myself, then that is how other people will see me. Confidence breeds confidence.
When I was younger I didn’t fit in with any particular crowd at school, I wasn’t sporty, academic or popular. In high school I would navigate between groups of people, being friends with them for a period of time, never finding real friends. I didn’t fall out with these groups, a new term or year would come and I would somehow end up with a new group of friends. I think I was 13 the first time I tried to change who I was to fit in. For some reason the ‘popular girls’ wanted to be my friends, and they invited me to their sleepovers. I remember they were into air kissing, something that was completely new to me, every time we saw each other there we were pretending to be grown up and air kissing. My dad mocked me at the time, because it just wasn’t me. This friendship was short lived, and I always wondered what they achieved from having me in their group.
I never knew who I was, I always felt like I was different to my peers. Everyone else seemed to fit in a group at that time, and I just didn’t want to conform to other peoples expectations. I liked being different, my dad encouraged me to create my own path in life and not follow everyone else. The earliest memory I have of this is when he bought me my first pair of trainers, they were neon orange, and I loved them. When I realised I would have to wear these to school I started to panic, they were bright and different, I was going to be judged for wearing them. My dad realised this and told me ‘create your own fashion sense, you will stand out, when you are older you will understand…’
He was right, as I got older I embraced my differences, I embraced the fact that university wasn’t for me, I embraced my taste in music and fashion, all of this has left me with a very open mind.
I no longer need to change who I am to make someone else comfortable, they have a choice and they can make it without any judgement from me.