If you looked at old photos of me from about ten years ago, back when I was a fresh faced eighteen year old, you'd be hard pushed to say that much has really changed between then and now. Yeah, okay, maybe a few light creases have formed on my face here and there and yep, there's definitely no denying that I now sport a sprinkling of grey hair throughout my locks, but in truth, that's really about it.
What has changed though, is that these days, when I look in the mirror, I genuinely really like what I see. Which sadly hasn't always been the case, especially not in terms of my body weight and shape. Although, if I'm completely honest, I have always quite liked my face, which maybe some people would perceive as vanity, but I don't really see why, 'cause I mean, why should it be a negative thing to admit that you're happy with your physical self? Shouldn't we all be?
Of course, I do still find myself struggling to entirely love everything; like it's hard not to get hung up at times on those pesky fat cells, harbouring at the tops of my thighs, which continually seem intent on tormenting me, or that stubborn patch of cellulite, that cruelly chose to develop far too early on in my teens and now languishes beneath my bottom, occasionally causing a wince (especially under the harshness of a fitting room strobe light), but I have at least now learnt to accept them. Just as I've equally learnt to accept and almost appreciate my 'child bearing' wide set hips, my broad shoulders and my less than pert B cups (that look more like As).
In fact, having generally learnt to appreciate my natural self over the past few years, I've started to strip everything back a little. These days, I probably only wear makeup maybe a handful of times in the month, my hair hasn't seen a colourist in well over two years now and I've even refrained from tweezing my eyebrows (bar a wild straggler or two) for the past few months, in an attempt to regain some of the hair long lost to teenage over-plucking.
After years of looking in the mirror and brutally judging my reflection, I guess I'm simply choosing to spend less time self-loathing and more time trying to nourish, nurture and just love what I've got. This body is after all, the only vessel I've got in this lifetime. So, it's probably in my best interests to keep it going for as long as is possible. Which is why I now prefer to eat pretty clean, having cut out as much processed food and carbonated drinks as is possible. Although, admittedly, I am still a complete chocoholic, despite numerous attempts to quit my addiction. I try to convince myself that if it's organic and 70% dark chocolate, it simply must be packed full of essential antioxidants, B vitamins and happiness boosting, serotonin releasing, sugar laced caffeine. So it's totally fine, right?
Anyway, now that I dedicate my week to six classes of sweat inducing vinyasa yoga, I feel as though it's perfectly justifiable to have at least one vice! I mean, I am a T-total, non-smoking vegan, what more do you want!?
In any case, life is far too short to spend it picking yourself apart, but equally, you have to acknowledge that it's too long not to take care of yourself. So whether you're trim and toned, curvaceous and squishy, flat chested or buxom, male or female, young or old, it's time to simply accept what you can't change and change what you can't accept. Because beauty is in the eye of the beholder and right now, you're the only one looking in the mirror!
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