by Scarlett Sykes
Recently I have been surrounded by women picking apart their bodies, talking about the parts they hate or saying they aren’t eating because they need to look slimmer or lose X amount of KGs. I have to be honest; it’s becoming a bit heartbreaking to hear. These are people that I look up to; be it a supermum holding down a full-time job while trying to be a mum and wife let alone, a good friend. An empowering female business owner who is a force to be reckoned with or someone who I always thought had no body issues and was entirely happy with themselves. These women are regularly putting themselves down, which to me is beyond sad, because that is in no way the person I see on a daily or weekly basis.
Before I continue, I am often one of these women too. I have certainly been heard moaning about my body or complaining that I ‘just can’t lose the last bit of mum tum’ and I am in no way saying that we should all become entirely in love with ourselves, that’s a step too hippy for me, but we could do with seeing the glass a little more…half full?
When was the last time you looked at a good friend and questioned the way they look? Would your friendship be better if they lost a bit of weight or had that Botox they keep saying they need? No, it wouldn’t, because you love them for them. So why don’t we love us for, us?
I strongly believe that who you surround yourself with is very important when it comes to self love. In the past, I’ve had what I can only describe as ‘toxic’ relationships with friends which has a huge effect on your overall feeling about yourself and also the direction you take in your life. When I shifted my focus and decided what I wanted from friendships along with starting to put myself first a little more my friendship groups change and so did my relationship with myself.
So what can we do to remind ourselves what really matters and try to be a little kinder to our bodies..
Change your mindset – spend a week only focusing on the things you like about yourself. You can do this. Every morning tell yourself, or out loud, 3 things that you like about YOU!
Practice what you preach – You don’t like your legs, you want to lose weight, you feel like your bum sags…then do something about it. Go to a class or join a gym. No one is saying you need to go every day but at least try it once a week and see where you go from there. Not only will you see changes in the parts you deem ‘not okay’ but it will also help with mental health and your overall look on life.
Get perspective – who you were in your 20’s is most certainly not who you are in your 30’s or 40’s. The pre-baby you is not coming back in its full form. Once you realise that you will adjust the way you look at yourself and focus on what is realistically achievable. That washboard tummy isn’t coming back after multiple kids, talking from experience, but that is not to say you can’t tone and get close to it again.
Surround yourself with good people - unfollow toxic people (both on social media and in real life) and tell the people you love how fab they are. Do it now!