A little while ago, I asked you to start sharing your stories in hopes of us learning to empower one another. The world can seem ridiculously lonely, especially when the voice inside your head keeps telling you that you can’t. The #BMKBucketList is my way of taking control of my insecurities and changing my biggest “I can’t” to “I will.” But now, I’d like to chat about you and what your experience with body positivity is. Starting this conversation proves that we all have a war going on inside our heads but with a little motivation, we can roar back at the negativity and learn to love and embrace our bodies.
This week, we’re chatting to Sam who I am grateful to have met through Twitter. Putting together her story gave me so much emotions and I really can’t wait to share everything about her, so without too much dragging, here’s a bit about Sam’s story, “My mother has always battled with her weight and body issues which naturally transferred to me especially in high school when I really started to compare myself to my more slender peers. I couldn’t understand why I used to battle to stay lean when I was so active and involved in sport. Fast forward many years and there I was married, and hoping for a honeymoon baby. What transpired was seven years of infertility. Seven years of tests (I have PCOS). Seven years of invasive surgeries (six of them), seven years of needles, injections, heartbreak and pain. Countless fertility treatments both western and holistic. Seven IVF’s. Seven years of learning how to hate my body because it wouldn’t do what it was “made” to do – create a life. Seven years of over eating and over drinking, seven years of punishment. Then 37 weeks of learning to love my body, being in awe of it for doing the very thing I needed and longed for it to do.
After my son was born, I was massively overweight from all the years of treatment and indulgence. When he turned one I decided to forgive my body for those seven years of betrayal, I got healthy again and lost 23kg of punishment. I learned to live healthy, eat clean, exercise consistently and through this process I learned to love my body again, warts and all.”
What does body positivity mean to you?
Body positivity to me, is about appreciating my body for what it is ABLE to do. To be thankful and grateful for a body that allows me to run, express myself through dance with my kids, a body that while not perfect by society’s standards is healthy and active and WORKS. For too long I HATED my body and the fact that it would not do what it was “made” to do. To have overcome that feeling is the essence of body positivity to me.
Why does body positivity resonate with you and why do you feel it is important?
More now than ever I feel so strongly about this, because I have children who are growing up in an imperfect world. A world that IS going to judge them on so called “perfect” body standards. I want them to understand that bodies are all different, that bodies come in many shapes and sizes and the fact that one has a body that works, makes your body perfect FOR YOU. That the body you have been given is to be celebrated, even when there are parts of it that you might not like.
What is your favourite part of your body?
My eyes, I have greeny bluey eyes that change colour as my mood changes. I love that the windows to my soul truly give the essence of “me” away to those who care to look deep enough. I also really like my calves and ankles.
What makes you feel confident?
Being around people who get my warped sense of humour, who choose to spend time with me makes me feel confident in myself.
Do you have a favourite pair of jeans, a lipstick shade or something special that gives you the confidence to conquer?
My skinny jeans paired with my teal shirt. Always makes me feel like I am ready to take on the world! I have a way of making up my eyes as well that helps me feel super confident.
Who is your women-crush? (Celebrity, family member, friend, actress, etc.)
Hmmmm. This is a hard one because there isn’t like one person who I can say “Oh my gosh she is the most amazing thing ever”. I guess I am more on the fly kind of woman crush material… when I see it I am like “oh you are amazing” or “you have excellent style” and then I move on… that said I do respect Kate Middleton for her ability to make being a royal mother look so easy and sophisticated at the same time.
Who inspires you?
My mom. Whilst some of my body issues stem from her own body issues, I look at her and think “you are one amazing woman”. I often say that if I can be half the mother, half the woman she is, I will be winning at life.
Is there anything that you wish you’d known, growing up, about self-love?
Oh gosh yes! I wish I had known to appreciate my young, naturally athletic self a lot more! That the things I was able to do while growing up would be so much harder, and hurt more when I was older so I could really relish being able to just DO what I wanted, how I wanted without worry of injury.
I wish that I had known that while it’s ok to not like certain parts of oneself (because this is real life after all) it is not ok to let those parts DEFINE your whole, to place your entire self-worth into those parts.
Thanks Sam for sharing your answers to this week’s body confidence interview and showing us that after years of hating our bodies, we can learn to love and treat it well! If you’d like to share your own story and answer the body positive questionnaire, then drop me a line at:editor[at]bymegankelly[dot]co[dot]za