OH HELLO, IT'S HANNAH

UK Beauty, Fashion & Lifestyle Blog

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Body Confidence & Learning To Love Myself

Body confidence is something I've struggled with on and off throughout my life, in both my childhood and teenage years. It's something a lot of people struggle with, both men and women, and it's not something to be ashamed of at all. Everyone has those little things that they don't like about themselves, and that's okay, it's completely natural. I don't really know where I'm going with this post, I just want to sit here and write. It's something that I've wanted to write about for a while, and I hope my story and my thoughts/feelings surrounding the topic are interesting to read or perhaps even helpful if you can relate to anything I discuss.

When I was about the age of nine, I put on weight. It sounds strange, but this wasn't to do with eating an unhealthy diet or anything, suddenly I just started to appear bigger. It was just really the 'puppy fat' stage that some children go through. Plus, I am very short now at only 5ft, thus was an even shorter child at probably just above 4ft, which therefore made me look even more dumpy. It was something that I was a little aware of at the time, but being a child this wasn't really my biggest worry. I didn't really get bullied, however I remember a time in year seven when I kind of fancied a boy in my class and then was told that he didn't fancy me back (middle school romance struggles). As the news spread to my classmates, I overheard one of his friends call me 'fat'. Year seven was the time when I started to become self-conscious about the way I looked, so that comment hurt me a lot. I used to stand in the mirror and ask my Mum when my belly would 'go away'. 

At the end of year eight, so when I was nearly thirteen, the puppy fat seemed to fall off almost all at once. I had a growth spurt, and it was as if my height and weight had evened out - think of it as a squashed Coke can, shorter and wider, stretched up again to become taller (only a little) and thinner. No crazy healthy eating and exercise plan, just bam and it fell off, haha. My Mum said it was hard at the time to notice that I did look different in terms of my weight, however when we look back on old photos, we realise how much of a difference in my weight there really was. So many people noticed - my school friends, family and my dance friends. I would get compliments about how good I looked and as a newly turned teenager this made me feel so good about myself. 

My weight has been a bit up and down ever since. Nothing as physically noticeable as the puppy fat stage. It was more of a case of looking back on old photos and noticing that I looked slightly different, and the whole fitting into clothes one year, not fitting into them the next and then fitting into them again the year after kinda thing. My slight weight changes do revolve around eating habits and my anxiety. There have been times in my life when I have been really ill, most recently last year, where my anxiety was so bad that I didn't eat properly and I threw up at almost every social event I went to. It was truly awful. However, it was at this time when I felt like I was happy with my body, which is quite sad when you think about it really. At one point, I did get a bit too thin, and it wasn't healthy, especially when I look back on certain photos. Now I'm so much happier, I've controlled the sickness and I just generally feel so much better in myself. I can't thank Aaron enough for how much he supports me, and he makes me realise that I can do what I want to do and that my anxiety doesn't define me. 

Since I've been a lot better, I've been eating properly, and occasionally eating maybe a bit too much crap here and there. So, I have put on a little bit of weight. I notice it most around my tummy because I don't have much going on in the boob area so I find my tummy is the main focus of my body. I've always felt a little self-conscious about my boobs, but I'm learning to accept and be proud of my small boobs and feel womanly and comfortable in my own skin. At the end of the day, I've got a boyfriend who loves them and the rest of my body, which makes me love myself for who I am too. I've also learnt on my own that even with putting on a bit of weight, that it's just life, and it's going to happen sometimes. I'm not going to stay as little as I once was, but what I tell myself is that I was so so unwell when I looked like that. I can't have everything, and I know I'd much rather put on a few pounds than be in the bad place that I was just last year. I try to wear things that I feel comfortable in and that make me feel sexy and womanly. Curves and lumps and bumps are natural and we all come in different shapes and sizes. 

I'm slowly learning to love myself for who I am and it feels kinda great. I am determined to tone up a bit, but right now I'm pretty happy because my anxiety isn't giving me too much grief. Occasionally yes, I do look back on old photos and wish that I was as toned as I once was, but then I realise that it's just silly, because there was a reason, and not a good one, as to why I was that thin. A happier and healthier state of mind is so much more important than a slight change in the appearance of my body. I've grown as a person so much in the past year and I'm doing things that I never would have done before, one step at a time. My anxiety is a part of who I am, and no matter how annoying and upsetting it can be at times, I'm getting there and I'm accepting and loving myself for who I am. And same goes with my body. It gets me down sometimes, but it's mine, and learning to love it is something I am working on for sure.

I hope this was interesting to read, despite it being a bit rambly and long, so if you're still with me then I really appreciate it. Let me know what you think and if you like, feel free to share something about your journey through body confidence and learning to love yourself.
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26 comments

  1. What a beautiful post Hannah!
    Morgan | www.justmorgs.com

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    1. Thank you so much Morgan, that's so kind! xo

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    2. Just tagged you in a post by the way lovely!
      http://www.justmorgs.com/2016/06/get-to-know-me-31-random-questions.html
      Morgan x

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  2. This a beautifully honest post. I can't help but feel glad that you're controlling you're anxiety more now, and that you're in a better place body confidence wise - although we are all always learning to love ourselves more!

    I've had some body confidence issues this year - after getting into a relationship and starting to take the pill (eventually stopped when I realised it was altering my mood) I've put on more weight than I'm comfortable with!

    Luckily I also have a supportive partner and we are starting to be a bit healthier together!

    I really enjoyed reading this :)

    Becky | www.bkyrouncefield.co.uk

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    1. That's so kind of you Becky, thank you so much. Yes definitely, it's a constant learning curve. I'm sorry to hear that, but it's so important and good news that your moods are better without the pill :) So glad to hear you've got someone lovely supporting you too, and that sounds great! I think my boyfriend and I might attempt to go running together this summer to get a bit fitter! :) So glad you enjoyed the post, it means so much xo

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  3. This was so interesting to read about, I love it when people do these honest posts as it gives you an insight into the real human being which is behind the blog! Learning to love your body does take time so don't be unhappy!
    Charlotte // www.charlottespicks.com

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    1. So glad you enjoyed it Charlotte, and thank you for your lovely comment. I love reading chatty honest posts too, it's great to get to know bloggers more through personal posts :) xo

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  4. Aw Hannah this was so honest and brave of you to write!! I'm so glad you're in a much better place now. You got through it and you should be super proud of yourself. I think we all have body confidence issues, it's human nature to not be 100% happy with the way we look, but once we learn to love ourselves and have confidence, we always feel so much better afterwards. I don't love my body, there's thing's I would change, but I don't hate it. There's part of it I do quite like and other's I don't. But hey it's a balance!xx

    Lauren | itslaurenvictoria.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Thank you so much Lauren, that means so much to me! Yeah definitely, it's totally natural and everyone goes through their ups and downs with the way they feel about themselves, it's just the way it goes I suppose. But yes having those times of feeling confident and becoming more accepting of who you are is so amazing! :) Yes definitely lovely! A balance is great and completely natural xo

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  5. This is so beautifully written. So personal & brave of you to write so openly about your personal feelings.

    Katie | Words By Katie

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    1. Thank you so so much, that's so lovely of you to say Katie. Thank you for reading :) xo

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  6. Lovely to read as always Hannah - last year I also went through an awful stage with my anxiety where it was the worst its ever been. Just like you I got to a very unhealthy weight and was quite badly underweight and I felt sick most of the time, no matter what I did. Luckily its got better this year and I've learnt to cope a bit better, and it seems you have too. Its nice to be able to relate somewhat to this, and I hope your anxiety continues to get better even if it is a part of you now (its a part of me as well and thats okay) much love x

    Lucy | Forever September

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    1. So glad you enjoyed reading Lucy. I'm so sorry to hear that, I can totally relate to you, it's a truly horrible feeling isn't it. I hope reading this helped you see that you're never alone and I am always here if you want to talk about anything like this :) I'm so glad you're feeling better this year though, bad times are always followed by the good times. Thank you so much lovely, and I really hope the same for you, hang in there! Much love to you too xo

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  7. I feel like this is something many people have struggled with, you describe it really well! I had a really similar middle school experience and developed some really bad eating habits as a result. Now that I'm older what I'm struggling with most is staying fit! Thanks for sharing and best of luck on your body positivity journey xx

    www.beautyfromkatie.blogspot.com

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    1. Aw thank you so much Katie! Sorry to hear about your experience, but I hope being able to relate to my similar situation is reassuring :) Me too! I get demotivated pretty quickly, but with my boyfriend home for the summer I'm hoping I can work out with him so we can motivate each other! Thank you so much and you too! xo

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  8. Lovely post. x

    www.themakeupaficionado.com

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  9. This is great to hear that you are starting to become more comfortable in your own skin. Lack of body confidence/ eating disorders are nothing to be ashamed off! Going going lovely, you are doing great xx

    Thrifty vintage fashion

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    1. Thank you so much! That's so nice of you :) xo

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  10. It is actually SO...comforting isn't the right word, but I can completely relate to so much of what you wrote! I am a shortie too and I always get so annoyed that as soon as we put on a little weight we start looking so stocky :/ It's so crazy to me you would feel that way though, you're gorgeous, but I am also so aware that it's just something we all struggle with! BUT, that all being said, I have totally always been of the mindset that I would rather be happy and healthy, and whatever body shape that results in, I'm fine with it - and I love that you're feeling that way too!

    Raashi
    reflectionswithraa.blogspot.com.au

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    1. Aw thank you so much Raashi, that's so kind of you! But yes, of course! We all have those things that we're not so keen on about ourselves :) And yeah I definitely think your own personal happiness is so important. Thanks so much, I'm so glad you can relate to this post :) xo

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  11. Hey, I spotted you on Allison's blog and decided to come and say hi! I have been enjoying reading your blog. Check out mine if you have any spare time! shoppingobsessive.blogspot.com
    Interested in any collabs?
    Good luck!

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  12. This is a really sweet post, thanks for sharing! I think your blog is lovely also, let me know if you want to follow each other! x

    adelelydia.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you so much Adele! Glad you enjoyed it. Aw that's very kind of you, I am already following you on Bloglovin :) xo

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  13. I must say after finding your blog i honestly love it. Being only 5ft myself and strugging with a lot of body issues, i found a lot of this very relatable and it was refreshing to read. I'm so glad you are finding the body confidence you deserve.

    the-finerthingsinlife.blogspot.com

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