Aaaaand we’re back, this time joined by Mackenzie Glanville of Reflections From Me , a blog full of beautifully inspiring posts bursting with positivity and warmth (and a stunning Instagram feed guaranteed to give you a warm fuzzy feeling inside.) Enjoy!
Name 3 parts of your body that you love and tell us why they’re so fabulous?
My hands, because let’s face it they are the thing that helps me to get my words onto paper! From the time I was a little girl and had stories bursting out of my mind that i just ‘had to” write down my hands helped me do this. Now we can dictate, but still writing has always been my biggest passion and my hands help me fulfil that dream! It was my hands that wrote my first novel (yet to published), and my hands that typed my very first blog post. They continue type me blog everyday, and give me the freedom to express all the things I am passionate about that I share with my readers.
On a more personal note they are also they are also how I get to hold hands with my 3 precious children and that’s pretty awesome!
Secondly I think my ‘women parts’ yes ‘all of them’ are pretty fabulous! The reason being I am sure is obvious, to carry a baby in my womb, to give birth, and to feed my babies was such a blessing. (Now don’t get me wrong those things were not something that came easily to me and you can read more about that in a question below.)
Thirdly I have give my arms a mention, because I love hugs, hugging my children is the best feeling in the world!!!
Share a memory of when you felt particularly good about yourself.
One moment that flashes into my mind is my honeymoon in Vanuatu. I remember lying on the beach and feeling so loved and happy, which made me feel really beautiful.
Has your relationship with your body changed over time?
Absolutely, how could it not? From feeling like a chubby little girl who was told how “cute” she was, I developed into a teenager who lacked body confidence. I was always told I was pretty and got lots of attention from boys. I was one of the so called ‘popular girls’ who people automatically assume is snobby and confident, but I wasn’t! I felt overweight, short and like I didn’t like my body at all.
After dating boys at school who seemed to only be into me for my looks, rather than my mind I lost all confidence in myself and felt like I had nothing to offer, no surprise then I ended up in a very bad relationship with a guy who treated me like I was a possession who no other man was allowed to look at. The situation became dark, dangerous and isolating. Somewhere deep down I had to learn to love myself and to respect myself enough to escape.
Escaping that relationship was the beginning of me changing my life. I was suddenly no longer that scared girl, and I didn’t need a man to make me whole. It was a long journey though, but I was determined to not let my past define or control me. I had to learn to stop seeing my body as something shameful, or as someone else’s property and start seeing it as my own. I and only I have control over who touches my body, I am no ones property. (Though on a lighter note, as any mums out there would agree, our children seem to believe we are their own personal climbing gym lol).
When I met my husband I was at a point where I had respect for myself and my body. But after miscarriages and then my body stopped ovulating I began to feel bad about my body again. I felt like a failure. I had to learn to stop blaming my body and nurture it. Finally I got pregnant and I was so happy, yet terrified, and after giving birth to my little girl I was more grateful to my body than ever before. I struggled to breast feed, my milk never came in fully, no matter how many things, both medical and natural I tried I always had to top her up with formula. It was the same for all three of my babies. Yes my breasts stayed looking awesome, but I felt let down, I mean they (my breasts) weren’t there to look fabulous they were there to feed my children. Again I had to learn to not be so hard on my body, and see it as beautiful and powerful.
So yes my relationship with my body has been up and down, but I can sit here now and say I am so proud of everything my body does for me!!
If you are a parent (or have little people in your life), has this changed how you perceive or discuss healthy body image?
Most definitely, I am now a role model. As a child my mum was always putting herself down and it had a huge effect on the way I saw my own body image. I was determined, and am still determined to never put myself down in front of my children! With two girls who have very different body make ups I am careful to not make comments that would make them feel it is better to be a certain body shape. I have one daughter who is curvy and fit, and the other who is model thin. I want both of them to see their bodies as perfect, powerful, beautiful, and strong. I also want my son to respect a woman’s body, and also respect his own body.
What advice would you give to your teenage self on the subject of body image?
Loving yourself is a good thing! It is not selfish to put your needs first, to voice your opinions, and respect your mind and body. This is your life and your body, so embrace it and love it!
What’s the best thing you’ve ever done for your body?
Learning to love it, and to see things I thought were faults as my gifts. Make friends with the mirror.
Share one confidence boosting trick for days when you’re feeling a bit ‘meh’.
Have a coffee with a girlfriend who totally makes me giggle, and if all else fails put on red lippy!
Who in the public eye do you admire for celebrating natural body shape?
To be honest I don’t know. I am not a big celeb follower. Although I wrote a post on Kate Winslet a while ago where I spoke about being disappointed with one of her comments on body image. I think all women, celebrities or not, are beautiful when they are embracing their true selves. Although I do admire Charlie for promoting positive body image in women on this blog, she’s totally fab!
Give us your best body positive quote or mantra.
You’re gorgeous, so go out there and rock!
I pledge to love myself a little more today by…
smiling at the girl in the mirror, and telling her I love her!
Thanks so much Charlie. You really are awesome!
Thanks to Mackenzie for taking part in the series, I hope you found it an enjoyable experience!
If you are reading and fancy taking part in 2017 please get in touch, I’d love to hear from you!