A look at the week that was and a little insight into the #bloglife, sharing things I just can’t share anywhere else!
What’s on my mind this week…
This week I filmed my Q & A Vlog, answering questions from people who read or follow Little Grey Box and one, in particular, stood out. It was sent to me by a young woman and went something along the lines of, “I can tell you’re comfortable in your own body and I think you look great. I love the way you eat your food and always say how delicious it is. How do you feel so confident in your own body?” This lovely young lady then went on to describe how she had been on holiday and felt uncomfortable getting into a swimsuit and had, at times, felt guilty and conflicted about eating yummy food like fries.
It took a lot of courage to be vulnerable and share her thoughts so openly and honestly like that. It also broke my heart – I wanted to run up to her with a big bowl of fries and sit around in our bikinis together, belly’s hanging out and eat the whole lot!
I haven’t always been body confident. Like a lot of women, I’ve felt the pressure to have a slim, toned, athletic body with no cellulite, ripped abs and a perfectly pert bum. When that pressure, self-doubt and feelings of insecurity start to creep in they can take over and before you know it, you’re looking at photos of Victoria’s Secret Angels online, comparing them to your own body and hating yourself. It’s an awful feeling.
It’s taken a lot of work on myself but now I’m in a place where I’m not just accepting of my body, I’m thankful for it and proud of it.
I used to be embarrassed by the way I eat. In social situations, especially around men, I’d feel too uncomfortable to eat my food how I wanted. Instead, I’d take tiny little nibbles and eat really slowly, because I thought it would look unattractive otherwise. Last year I made a decision to stop that and, instead, started eating my food exactly how I want to. I eat with my hands and I put big forkfuls in my mouth if I feel like it and, you know what, I enjoy every meal so much more. It’s taught me to love and enjoy my food and it gave me freedom. Heck, I even ate a huge burrito before going swimsuit shopping last night. It was great!
Instagram was a source of anguish for me. I followed girls with beautiful bodies; toned and tanned to perfection. At first, I told myself it was for ‘thin-spiration’ but it was really a way for me to punish myself for not being good enough. Every time I would see one of their photos I would think about my own body and how inadequate it was in comparison. I decided I didn’t want or need to go through that anymore and, if it didn’t feel good, I didn’t want it in my life. So, I unfollowed all of them. It immediately removed that negativity from my life and now, if I do follow Instagram models, they’re usually African-American girls with beautiful curves that make me appreciative of my own. They make me feel empowered and unashamed because there’s nothing more powerful than seeing another woman love her body.
Trying to find my own style and stay up with fashion trends, I found myself wearing clothes I never normally would. I guess I put pressure on myself to be fashionable because my photos are seen by quite a few people. I would feel awfully uncomfortable in outfits, fidgeting and adjusting, trying to assess if my butt looked too big or my arms too fat. Then, I decided to stop dressing for fashion or to stay relevant and, instead, started dressing to feel comfortable. That’s why I wear so many pre-loved skirts and rolled-up men’s t-shirts, they’re comfortable for me and, when I feel comfortable, I feel beautiful and confident.
I used to get out of the shower and when I’d catch a glimpse of my body in the mirror, I would look at my thighs and sigh, my shoulders slumping. I’d grab them with my hands, hating them, and think something like, ‘My thighs are so disgusting. I’ve got so much cellulite, it’s gross. I hate my thighs.’ These awful thoughts extended to my entire body, I would assess and hate each part. Those kinds of thoughts will destroy you from the inside out. I decided to stop. Instead, each time I saw myself, I would stop the negative thought and say something, out loud, like ‘My thighs look great. I’m thankful for them.’ Eventually, it became a habit to think something nice instead of something mean and I began to like what I saw in the mirror.
Each of those things has led to something really important, an even bigger change. I’m happy and happiness leads to feeling beautiful and confident. I didn’t find happiness by changing my body, I found it by changing my mindset. It took a lot of work and I still have days of doubt, of course, but I enjoy my life so much more. I enjoy my food now, every last bite, I enjoy looking at social media because it’s a source of empowerment rather than shame, I enjoy choosing my outfits each day because they make me feel good and I love going to the beach and swimming all day without any shame or guilt.
If you don’t feel good about your body, take a moment to think about why. Identify those sources of negativity and eliminate them from your life one by one. When you replace them with positivity and self-love, the confidence in you will grow. From confidence comes happiness and, honestly, there’s nothing sexier or more beautiful than a happy person smiling. To the beautiful girl who asked me the question, I feel confident in my body because I always eat the fries.
News and updates
Matt and I are flying to Sydney today then onto Hanoi for an amazing week in Vietnam. The weather forecast is a little sketchy over there with lots of rain on the horizon, so I’m hoping we’ll find a few breaks in the weather to get some great video and photos to share with you. Bad weather may actually make for a hilarious Vlog episode! Speaking of which, there’s a brand new Vlog episode coming on Monday! Also, I booked a job this week over to Singapore in early November with Singapore Airlines. My family lives in Singapore so I’m staying a few days after the work part of the trip wraps up to hang with them and I’m really looking forward to it.
I also just want to give a shout-out to Spicers Clovelly. They invited Matt and me to their dessert degustation last weekend and it was amazing! I’ve put a few photos below but they don’t even come close to doing this food justice. We indulged in five exceptional dessert courses and loved every bite. Matt pretty much had to roll me out of there because my core muscles were replaced with chocolate, sugar and all kinds of other delicious things. Thank you so much for having us, we had the best time, Spicers.
Watch the brand new video up on our YouTube channel this week!
You can visit our channel, if you feel like it, by clicking here. No pressure, mate – do what ya feel!
Phoebe Lee is a travel writer and award-winning blogger with a love for storytelling. Phoebe creates practical, fun and engaging written content designed to inspire and energise travel-lovers and dreamers. Follow her and Matt’s adventures at home and around the world, right here on Little Grey Box and through Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.