How I Learned To Love My Body In Bali

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If someone told me I’d be posting a picture of my tummy in all its realness (rolls and all) before I went to Bali I would have laughed. I’ve never really been comfortable in my own skin. In fact, the only time I truly loved my body was when I was nine months pregnant and tipping the scales at almost 100kgs. The rest of the time I’ve managed to pick fault with just about every part of it. But that was before I was encouraged by the gorgeous and incredibly inspiring Makaia Carr to post a pic of the real me to Instagram. Makaia, Leah Light and I had all traveled to Bail to experience a week of wellness at the new Escape Haven luxury retreat in Uluwatu, Bali.  Makaia has been practicing #selflove and #bodypositivity for sometime on Facebook and Instagram and I’ve always been inspired by what she does. But when she suggested I do the same my initial reaction was to run and hide. It struck me as kind of strange that I could be totally inspired by someone else showing their true self to the world but yet I was terrified to do the same. I suppose my real fear was that I’d be judged. Not unfairly judged but simply judged negatively for just being me. I think most of us regularly don’t feel good enough in general, so to front foot it to the world with a picture of the real you is pretty damn confronting – well at least for me it was. Makaia also challenged our partner in crime on the trip Leah Light to do exactly the same.  After a few deep breathes a little too-ing and fro-ing we both took a few deep breaths and posted our pics. Like me, I’m pretty sure Leah also feared being judged but also like me she received nothing but positivity and support. But hey, if there was any negativity we were ready for it. We’d decided (and I truly believe this) that negative comments say more about the person they are coming from than what they say about us.

But I suppose posting this picture (above) has made me realise that I am who I am. We will get judged in life no matter what we do and to date I haven’t had one negative comment on my picture. In fact, it’s my most liked picture on my Instagram feed EVER! What does that say? I’m not really sure but I’d like to think it means that it was well received. I know I love seeing “real” pictures on social media. They make me feel “normal”. They also remind me that social media is often not real. It’s generally people’s most manicured moments. The showreel of their life – the best bits that they want to show to the world. I’m as guilty as the next person of doing this. But I’ve realised more than ever how important it is to be fully aware that what I see on social media is not the sum total of someone’s life. And that’s why I think showing the bits that are more normal, the real bits, the less than perfect bits, helps us to find peace with our own “flaws”.

Above: Makaia showing us how to really feel at peace with our bodies.

 

At the end of the day none of us are perfect and a relentless quest for perfection will only make us feel like we’ve somehow failed. So after my trip to Bali I’m not going to strive for perfection anymore. Instead I’m going to strive to be the healthiest and happiest version of me. I’m going to try and stop comparing myself to others because after all, comparison truly is the thief of joy. I’m also not going to verbalise anything negative about myself. What Mak, Leah and I realised while we were away is that most of us are too quick to verbalise our own flaws. “My arse is huge, I hate my fat stomach, I’m looking so ugly today”. But verbalising these things actually gives them power. While we were away, the three of us made a pact to not fuel this negative speak. If we caught each other putting ourselves down (which we did) we’d pick each other up on it. We decided at the end of our week in Bali that our minds may think these things but that is where those thoughts need to stay. And you know what? The less we actually verbalised the horrible stuff we sometimes thought about ourselves, the less we actually thought it. Truly! Not allowing myself to verbalise these thoughts is possibly the most powerful #selflove tool I’ve taken away with me from my trip. After all, you can’t just flick a switch and change a lifetime of habits over night but you can work on accepting and loving who you are and that’s exactly what I plan to do from here on in.

Above: Before going to Bali I was worried about even getting into a swimsuit.

Above: My journey to self acceptance may have only just begun but it sure feels good.

 

Watch the short video below to see what else I got up to in Bali.

 

How do you feel about your body? I’d love to hear your thoughts on body image, self love and body positivity in the comments below.