I’m not really sure how to start this post, not because I don’t know what to say, but because there are so many places where I could start. As it’s now summer time, or at least it is here in the UK (supposedly), I’ve been swimming in the sea for the past three days because the weather has been pretty decent.
I’ve been swimming for a long time, but when I first got to the beach (with my swimming costume under my clothes because I was not prepared to fully strip in public thank you very much) I realised how self conscious I was of my body in front of people I had never swum with before. And there were also people who I didn’t even know who would see me.
I’m used to wearing one of those knee-length swimming costumes for swimming training, and that’s pretty much all I’ve worn for the past five years. I don’t own a bikini, so when I say “swimming costume” I mean one of those one-piece ones. To be honest, I think I would be more self conscious in a bikini, because it would just be like walking around in public wearing underwear and I don’t know how I feel about that just yet!
As much as I try not to be, I am very conscious of what I look like, and I’m sure many of you are too. There are parts of my body which I would alter slightly (I don’t know if I’d go as far to say I would completely change), and I think that’s normal. For example, if I was to dye my hair I would dye it slightly darker brown, but then I get too scared in case it doesn’t suit me, and I also don’t want the hassle of having to re-dye the roots every few weeks.
But then there are weird things about me which I consider to be a “good weird”. For example, the scar on my left ankle from when I had an operation to straighten my foot out when I was four months old. I have a weaker leg muscle from the knee down, and if you look really closely you can see that the outline of my calves aren’t symmetrical. My left foot is also half a size smaller than my right, which makes shoe shopping slightly awkward, but it makes for a great way for people to be freaked out when they see the size difference! Finally, my arms are somewhat hairy and are covered in freckles, and I get more freckles in the sun than I do anywhere else. I don’t even tan. I either burn, or get freckles.
But I love those things about me! It makes me different, and it makes me stand out that little bit more. We all have our quirks, whether it’s personality based or in our physical appearance. I think that the only way you can change your mind about yourself, good or bad, is all based on how you think. If you’re struggling with self confidence, try and think of at least three good things about yourself when you look in the mirror. Or why not increase that number to five good things?
There was a time fairly recently where I was worrying about putting on weight, because I haven’t been doing as much exercise this year as I normally do, but when I was at the beach for the first time a few days ago, my sister said “you have a really nice build”! I guess I have all my years of swimming training to thank for that, but the compliment was well received. And that’s the other thing- when people give you a compliment, thank them for it. Don’t push it away, and don’t think they’re joking. They’re not joking. You take that compliment and work it.
It’s hard to do these things, and look at yourself in a positive light, especially if there are things that you don’t like about yourself. There is a song lyric from the band Alter Bridge, which says “how can you love someone, but not yourself?” (or something along those lines) and that really struck me, because it’s so true. How can one person give another compliments, but they can’t accept compliments towards themselves? How can you think one person is beautiful but you can’t see the beauty in your quirks?
So my challenge for you is to write a post similar to mine. Title it “Love Yourself”, and talk about the things that you love about yourself, and you can be as open and as honest as you want to be. If you don’t want to write a whole post, then you are more than welcome to leave a comment down below! And if you see someone has written a post, then go and like it! Go and support them! Go and tell them that despite their weirdness, or their flaws, they are a beautiful human being! We need to spread more body positivity and if I can help by writing this post, then I can go on and know that I have done some kind of good.