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 Anastasiya, from Anniemotion, who is a young mom of two. Her blog has some incredibly good reads and when she asked to be part of this series, I was elated. When I asked the reason for joining in, she said, “People always tend to think that only overweight people struggle with weight but no one stops to think that underweight people experience problems as well. You can’t believe how difficult it is for some of us to actually PICK UP weight. Throughout my school life, I was teased about being skinny, and I could feel my self-image crushing. After completing high school, I went abroad for a year and while working nightshift, I failed to stick to a healthy lifestyle and ended up picking up almost 20kgs. From a 49kg to a 68kg. At some point, coming back to SA, I couldn’t fit into any of my favorite clothes and I knew I had to make a change. Four months of hard-core exercising, I was able to drop 16kgs and tone to my liking. Finally, I felt normal, in my opinion. It was still not an opinion seen by others. Still, I was teased and shot down by others who claimed I was just skin and bone. I started to wonder, what is normal then? Or at least acceptable?
After my first child was born, my metabolism went into overdrive and I lost 9kgs, bringing me to 43kgs. If I had hated my body before, it was nothing compared to how I felt then. I was ashamed of my body and I hated being trapped inside my own skin. People actually thought I was anorexic and I was doing this to myself. Little did they know that I had no control over my weight…
After having my second child, and almost a year after birth, I feel like I am at the perfect weight and I feel great. I still receive comments here and there about being “skinny” and then overthink my insecurities. I need to constantly remind myself that I am perfect and I am happy the way I am, and if that is how I think and feel about myself, why should the opinions actually matter?”
What does body positivity mean to you?
To me, body positivity means being comfortable in your own skin, being happy with the way you are, and wearing that confidence every day, wherever you go.
Why does body positivity resonate with you and why do you feel it is important?
Even though I am small build, I had a tough primary and high school life with being bullied about being skinny, which took me a good few years to forget and accept my body for the way it was. It resonates with me because it made me realize that sometimes no matter how you look, there will be someone out there putting you down. It also made me realize that however you look, is not their damn business.
What is your favorite part of your body?
My favorite would probably be my eyes. While I still struggle to accept the rest of the flaws on my body, my eyes have never let me down or made me hate myself during my younger days.
What makes you feel confident?
It’s not so much about the “what” as it is the “why”. I ask myself why do I feel confident, I remind myself every day (when I have a weak day) that I am who I am, this is my body and I will love it. I will take care of it to my best ability. Confidence starts with acceptance. It is a choice we need to make, and if you don’t make it, you will never be truly happy with who you are.
Do you have a favorite pair of jeans, a lipstick shade or something special that gives you the confidence to conquer?
I have my headbands. So I have a little obsession with headbands (is owning over 50 headbands considered little?). So I couldn’t really find a dressing style that suited me until I discovered headbands and they just formed my whole wardrobe because they made me feel I was truly me.
Who is your women-crush? (Celebrity, family member, friend, actress, etc.)
I don’t really follow celebrities and famous people so I can’t talk about them and have credibility. My choice would be my mom. Every time. Over the last few years, due to a medical condition, her weight picked up, then dropped and picked up immensely again. Do you think that broke her confidence? Nope, that woman continued to look stylish by changing her style a little, with her bold makeup and jewelry to top her outfits off. Do I think it’s the clothing that makes her beautiful? No, it’s her confidence.
Who inspires you?
I like surrounding myself with happy and cheerful people. As I am prone to falling into the depression wagon, I try to steer away from negative crowds. Inspiration doesn’t come from what people say. It comes from the attitudes they carry with them. Motivated. Passionate. Driven. If I can surround myself with more people that have these characteristics, I might just take over the world.
Thanks Anna for sharing your answers to this week’s body confidence interview and reminding us that there is an entirely different side of the spectrum of weight struggles. I love how you’ve defined your own sense of perfection! 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