Musings on accepting my body and not always being positive

 

 

I had a casual 1000+ words written out for this post, which was intended to be a light-hearted take on the positives of moving out – I’ve now scrapped that (although I’m sure the same content will pop up at some point this week), opened a new document on Pages and started again.

And the reason I’ve started again, is that there’s something larger that I want to say about this set of photos. I’ve spoken before about feeling uneasy about summer dressing before, and I started the year with a piece which loudly and proudly declared that 2017 was my year of being fat and happy. No holds barred, no treats forbidden, and certainly no late night self-loathing.

Thanks to a combination of contraception, a boyfriend and the fact that I am simply eating more and caring less, I have put on weight. If you’ve kept up with my blog for a while, you’ll probably be able to see the difference, but up until around the last two months, I hadn’t really noticed anything too dramatic. Even now, to be fair, I’m still a size 10, but I can see in photos that my face is rounder, my arms are chubbier, I’m not quite as slim from the side as I was before.

Tee – Brandy Melville (Whistles alternative)
Shorts – Missguided*
Bag – Yonder Living
Sunglasses – Celine via Sunglasses Shop*
Shoes – Zara
Photography: Hannah Gale 

 

 

 

It’s hard to look at photos of yourself sometimes, especially when you can see yourself changing before your eyes. Over the past two months, when reviewing photos, I’ve had various moments of “oh fuck, is that what I really look like?”, followed by whipping my top off and taking a quick once-over in the mirror to see how close to reality it is. Whereas previously I would have spiralled into a pit of self-hatred before, I now try really hard to take a step back, take a deep breath and move on from the thought.

Side note: negative thoughts about your body image or yourself as a person are like tampons. The more they get, the more they soak up and the bigger they become. Let’s just say I’m trying to keep the flow light this year.

Nevertheless, I do have moments where I’m struggling. I look at these photos and I see that my face is chubbier and I see that the sleeves of my t-shirt fall at the widest part of my arm, amplifying what is already a real problem area for me. I see that my legs could only ever dream of a thigh-gap, I see that my knees are, weirdly, fatter than ever and I see that in terms of my body shape, I don’t look like a lot of other bloggers.

And what you guys see in the blog post is the finished result – 10-15 images that have been edited and uploaded as the best of the bunch. I, on the other hand, see 150-200+ of these, and it’s like 200+ reminders of the things that make me feel self-conscious about yourself. Any nugget in my head about the ugliness of my weight is poked and poked 200 times over, backed up by the worry that people look at me and think “she thinks she’s skinnier than she is”.

I guess this post is a mini PSA to say that even those who champion positive body perceptions still have bad body days. Moving past your learned idea of the ‘ideal’ body is a journey (v. soppy, v. cliche but v. true), and sometimes, along the way, you fall down. More than waving a little arm in the air and shouting “hey, I get upset too!”, I wanted to show that even though my Instagram page may be all nice clothes and sassy attitudes, I do still feel bad about my body from time to time. Just because I wrote a post in February that said I wasn’t going to care about my weight anymore, doesn’t mean that change happened in an instant. I’m working towards it, but it’s definitely a process.

I think, though, what I really wanted to reflect on is that we give so much credence to the negative perceptions of our body that one bad element – whether that’s a bad photo, a bad comment, a bad angle – completely overpowers anything good. When I went through these photos this morning, I came close to binning them all and then spent the rest of the day contemplating the gym and which trainers are you supposed to wear there?? and God I really need to stop eating bread! Gone were good feelings I had on Friday thanks to fresh new hair and some relatively clear skin – nope, that was all wiped, thanks to my chubby little arms and tiny sausage fingers.

We all too often roll the red carpet out for the first criticism that pops into our head and let it live rent free, burning away, whilst anything remotely positive gets an instant substitution. Even though I have more good days than bad, still when I see a super slim blogger lounging on the beaches of Bali, I find the question of “am I wasting my best body years?” creeping in and becoming king of the roost.

But I understand that me accepting my weight gain and actually saying “no, I’m not trying to change this” goes against the grain of everything I’ve ever been taught, so the process, unsurprisingly isn’t going to be easy. I just wanted to share with you that I have really shitty days too, to share a little bit of my less-aspirational, haven’t-showered-yet-today human side. This post may well have been a totally jumbled, slightly incomprehensible mixed bag of thoughts, but hopefully you managed to keep up with me and hopefully, even a little bit of it resonated with you.

Until next time lovelies x

SHOP THE LOOK

 

 

 

 

 

  • I really loved reading this – I read your post at the beginning of the year and it inspired me to try and stop criticizing myself – it's super hard when you blog outfits because like you said I go through the photos and get upset over 'unflattering' pictures, when it really shouldn't matter at all. I think it's great you're speaking out about it as it's such an important topic. And I think you look amazing btw. <3
    Holly x
    http://www.thetwinswardrobe.com

  • You are my inspo Chloe x I have a really similar body shape to you and I also gained a few excess pounds. It so hard when we are petite as the slightest weight gain I see it in my face. I to am on a body positive journey but definitely have bad days too when I look back at images. x

    Keep up the fab work on your blog and I am loving you videos too.
    Catherine,
    http://www.daintydressdiaries.com

  • Aw Chloe I LOVED this! I actually found myself nodding along with my peach iced tea in Starbucks like yass girl; but seriously I feel like this constantly! I'm the same height as you and any weight I do put on is just so much more noticeable. I feel so self conscious of the tops of my arms and my legs and it puts me off going forward with my love of fashion and putting fashion content on my blog which such a shame. I wish more bloggers were as unflinchingly honest as you are and that as girls we didn't feel bad about ourselves when we spot a skinny minnie on a beach in Bali but at least we can support each other when we are having a bad body day!
    http://www.phoebetea.co.uk

    P x

  • I definitely think we see ourselves so differently to how everyone else sees us and we're so critical of ourselves. I think you look fabulous and I love those shorts! x

    LuxeStyle

  • Honestly, Chlo, you are SUCH an inspiration! You have such an amazing figure but you remind us all that no one is really happy with how they look 100% of the time. Hope you remember how stunning you are

    http://www.petiteelliee.com

    Ellie xx

  • I definitely understand the struggle your going through even as a person who is considered "kinda skinny" I def feel bad about it all the time, but my relationship with God is teaching me to really appreciate myself and that the outter part of me is not the the main thing.
    NEW POST
    http://www.fashionnnfreedom.com

  • Chloe this is truly inspirational! Thank You! I struggle a great deal with body image and can completely relate to pretty much everything you've said! I love the attitude you have on body image and loved your post back in January, but you're absolutely right the act of loving our body and ignoring negative thoughts is a very hard habit to get into because it's too many of us have been doing the complete opposite for most of our lives!

    I really appreciate the reminder that sometimes successful (and stunningly beautiful I might add!) bloggers feel exactly the way I do sometimes and it's not all sun and roses all the time! And I really admire the way you write about it and the acknowledgment that these thoughts are totally normal and ok but that ignoring them is more than ok too!

    JosieVictoriaa // Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle

  • I love this post. I always start with good intentions for being 'body positive' but negative thoughts quickly take over again and I'm struggling to work out how to combat it!

    I recently wrote a post all about this here: http://badhairandbackpacks.co.uk/being-body-positive/

    I personally think that being body positive has become a pressure now too. If we aren't stick thin then we are now put under pressure to love our bodies and to forget about dieting, and I find I've often been made to feel bad about myself for not feeling this way! I know this is never the intention of the people who advocate body positivity, but it's still how I feel a lot of the time. Like I'm a bad person for wanting to lose a bit of weight or wanting to change my body from as it is now.

    The way I see it, it's OK to have days where you love your body how it is, and it's OK to have days where you don't. It's completely normal so don't worry! xxx

  • You may have gained weight, but you still look amazing.
    Alicia x
    Aesthetic Obsessed

  • I loved reading this post and it came at the perfect time as the other day I was looking through old photos and thinking how much skinnier I looked back then! We definitely need to stop being so harsh on ourselves and you still look gorgeous in these photos x

    https://emmaboughtwhat.blogspot.co.uk

  • What a real, heartfelt post this was for me to read!
    Honestly Chloe, I completely fell in love with your blog, style, and personality and instantly followed you once I came across your site. One of the main things that made me want to follow you was BECAUSE of how different you were from other bloggers. I totally relate and know it must be difficult sometimes to accept ourselves just as we are (chubby, imperfect, or whatever words that harsh inner critic throws at us) and to refrain from comparing ourselves to others. Seeing how confident you are and how you completely SLAY in these photos really do inspire me. I don't see many (or any) bloggers with a different body type other than the typical skinny-supermodel-like bodies. Of course, I'm not shaming them, but if I'm being honest, we can use a bit of diversity and inclusivity.
    Bad body image days happen to everyone, including the best of us. (That tampon anecdote is hilarious and completely true.) I hope you never feel like you're "failing" or letting anyone down, because you're certainly not alone in facing this. I love how brave you are for admitting that yes, you've noticed you're gaining weight, but you're at a place in your life where you're making a conscious decision to let your body be whatever it needs to be at the moment and focus on being happy and enjoying yourself. It was really inspiring and moving for me to read this. Thanks for sharing.
    Have a lovely week xx

    Joanne | Life in Blue Skies

  • I think everybody goes through this thinking once in our lives, no matter which size we are. So it was inspiring to hear this for other people. It was so great reading your post, it made me think about a lot of myself, and how I act when I feel down. So thank you so much for sharing this with us. Have a nice day!
    Steal4Style.com

  • Love the shorts and the bag !

    sara
    http://www.thecrimeofashion.com

  • Such a great post and one of the main reasons I love you and your blog so much – it's all truth and honesty, plus the good with the bad. I think it's what some blogs lack sometimes, it's the relatable aspect.
    I guess it's easy to critisise yourself and measure yourself against others, especially those of 'perfection', whatever that may be, but it's nice, like you have said to know that they do are human, have feelings and deal with things. 🙂
    You are a beautiful person, inside and out, don't forget that.

    Caroline.x
    http://www.carolineelgeywhite.com

  • Neguine

    Preach you girl for being so real. I am not the typical Insta body either and at times it fucking sucks. I love reading this, I actually love reading your whole blog you really bring so much more than the average blogger and it is so so refreshing. Let me tell you, where you see chubby, I see beautiful. I think you are gorgeous inside out, and that not having a thigh gap makes you write raw. Thank god for that because unfortunately, it is lacking in the game. Lots of love!

    http://www.persianbrunette.com


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