December 29, 2021

Why I’m saying “NO” to New Year, New You

Let's drop the "New Year, new you" narrative.

I’ve already lost count of how many “join my diet” club invites I’ve had literally since Christmas Day morning along with those “New Year, New You” messages.

How about ...You are enough...just as you are...right now!

After years and years of forcing myself to try every diet going I came to realise that they don’t work for me and my mental well-being.

I need to be happy in my own body and to me that means enjoying my life without the punishing diet mentality. I am healthy, love moving and finding joy in being outdoors and that’s enough for me!

I’m all for growth and people deciding to make changes for themselves but this direct hit straight after Christmas can lead to so many women feeling under pressure to change just because we’re bombarded by adverts telling us we need to. Obviously we all want to be the best version of ourselves , especially as we age but that means something different to every individual. The danger is that post Christmas becomes a weapon for those in the diet industry to prey on those feeling most insecure about their bodies. This can lead to even more negative thoughts about our bodies as we are left feeling inadequate for society standards.

A survey carried out by Second Nature showed that 90% of people give up on their new year diet just 12 days into January, with 83% going on to gain back more weight than they lost, leaving people feeling worse about themselves than when they started.

If you’re struggling with the post Christmas pressure try and focus on the things that keep your head in a good space, protect your boundaries.

Here's a few ideas that might help-

  • Getting outside for a long walk, fresh air and nature always give me a boost
  • Spend time with those friends that always leave you feeling happier
  • Switch off from social media
  • Get lost in a book.
  • Keep a journal
  • Meditation, even just for 10 minutes every morning can really help
  • Focus on the activities that you love
  • Be kind to yourself, we don't have to be self improving every day. It's ok to have a down day and allow it pass.

What works for you?

Just remember “You are enough.. just as you are…right now!” ❤️

#embraceyourbody #youareenough#ditchthedietrules #bodyconfidence#newyearsameawesomeme#midlifewomen #confidenceandcurves#lifeafter50 #fiftyandfabulous#loveyourcurves @bridgemodels 📸 @jamesmelia

Rachel Peru model- James Melia photography

You are enough..just as you are..right now

June 10, 2020

The Impact of Lockdown Life On Body Confidence

How to love your body during lockdown.

I hope everyone has been surviving lockdown and managing to keep well. I am sure I’m not the only that has found this experience to be a real rollercoaster of emotions but what I hadn’t anticipated was the effect it would have on my body confidence.

In normal circumstances I consider myself to be very body confident, it’s something I’ve worked hard on and I guess it’s become part of my personal branding. I’ve modelled swimwear with Ashely Graham and represented older women in several lingerie campaigns, so I’d like to think I had the body confidence issue covered!

During the first few weeks I found myself joining every online exercise class that was thrown at me, some of which I really enjoyed, others began to feel like a chore. After a few weeks, life settled into a new normal routine and I’ve thrown myself into working on projects and recording Out of the Bubble podcasts, so I've had less time available. That’s when the guilt set in, I started feeling bad about myself because I wasn’t doing as much exercise or healthy living as friends and others on social media seemed to be. The saying “Comparison is the thief of joy’ is so true and this was another reminder of that.

I’ve continued to shoot from home and recently completed my first paid home shoot since lockdown began, for a lingerie brand. Whilst I am really happy with the final images it took much longer to shoot as I found myself being super critical and really harsh about my body and the fact that I’d put a few pounds on. For the first time in years I even weighed myself. In normal circumstances I wouldn’t have stressed about this but during lockdown it’s caught me off guard and I admit to having a small meltdown about it. I quickly remembered it's ok not to love your body every single day but you have to accept it, that's much more manageable and realistic.

I am happy to say this blip didn’t last long and I managed to get myself out of those negative thoughts, but it did stop me in my tracks and make me analyse why I reacted this way.

We have been bombarded by social media posts and advertising selling exercise classes and telling us that we should be all improving our lives during lockdown. How many times have you heard someone tell you’ve they’re learning a new language or attending every yoga class they can find? Whilst all this self-improvement is amazing if that is right for you how about those people that are just trying to survive and get through each day in their own way. There is no right or wrong way. Add this to the glib remarks added to articles and posts about weight gain it’s no wonder peoples' body confidence can be knocked.

Here are some tips that have helped me.

Unfollow/Mute accounts that have made you feel negative about yourself. Social media can be such a positive place if you carefully curate it to suit you and can be changed depending on your own state of mind.

If you are wanting to be more active, make sure you do the activities that you genuinely enjoy. I’ve started dance classes with The School of Strutt which I love and it doesn’t feel like exercise.

Don’t be camera shy. Start taking selfies and really look at yourself. Look at your face and recognise the person looking back at you. I found this really therapeutic and it was like reuniting with a stranger. It makes you stop and remember who you are and what you’ve achieved to get to this point, it helps put life and body insecurities into perspective.

Start a gratitude diary. I’ve used this lots of times over the years and began it again during lockdown, it helps remind you of all the positive, often small things each day to be grateful for.

Start the day thinking of one thing that you like about your body and make it your daily mantra, one of mine is ‘I love my smile’ other examples could be “I love how strong my legs feel’ or “I love the colour of my eyes’.

Keep repeating it to yourself throughout the day and you will be surprised how quickly it can make a positive difference. Once it becomes a routine you can then add more body parts and keep adding to your list.

Lastly, be kind to yourself and accept that your body is a vessel that has carried you through so many different experiences in life and is always there for you, so it deserves your love. We don't have to love our bodies every single moment of the day but body acceptance is much more important and realistic. Once we gain acceptance it frees up space in our minds to get on with life and keeps everything in perspective.

Keep being fabulous x

 

 

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