My Instagram account is just a collage of food photos. One of the reasons I started ‘Green Food and Running Shoes’ was to help people make better choices in their diet and eat healthier, more wholesome food. Diet is just as important, if not more important, than staying active. Every now and then, I like to share a photo of my weight loss progress and my muscle gain. This journey is about body transformation, inside and out, and I want to show people that you can go from fat to fit, without undergoing surgery or any extreme diets or shortcuts. On Monday 17th August, I posted a photo on my Facebook and Instagram pages which showed me in a pink bikini (pictured above). Upon sharing the photos, I received a spectacular variety of messages from friends and loved ones. Some told me to take them down, some warned me of what employers might think, and others told me I looked damn fabulous, and that they were happy for me. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am super thankful to have people in my life who genuinely care about me. I take advice on board, when I feel it is coming from a good place and I am by no means stubborn or arrogant. Part of this blog as about me sharing my story and being honest without sugar-coating anything. So, to anyone and everyone who judged me for sharing those photos, deemed them to be inappropriate, or thought I should take them down, I would like you to read this post and then seriously reflect on whether you still feel the same way afterwards. Here are the reasons why I posted those photos:
- Bikini Confidence is something that many women, of all shapes and sizes, rarely or never experience. Wearing clothing that reveals every inch of your body, every little ounce of cellulite, every jiggle, every stretch mark, every blemish, and every imperfection, is extremely nerve-wracking for many women. For the first time in my entire life, I feel like I might be able to wear my bikini on holiday (30 days and counting) and actually feel somewhat comfortable. Not even ‘amazing’ or ‘sexy,’ just ‘OK.’
- High School Bullies taunted me for my weight from the age of 11 until the age of 18. In fact, it destroyed my self-esteem to the point where I would literally avoid pool parties or pretend that I was on my period so that I did not have to strip down to my bikini. Any trips to the beach and I wore one of those hideous ‘Tankini’ sets or shorts and a bikini top to try and cover myself up as much as possible.
- 8 Months of Hard Work is what it has taken to transform my body into what it is today. Or, if you count the time I have spent on my weight loss journey since my fattest point, that would be 6 years. Yes, that is correct, six whole years.
- Vacation Photos of me in a bikini are non-existent. Why? Because I hid my body and only let people take photos of me from specific angles. If there were photos of me where I believed I looked fat, I deleted them or begged the photographer to remove them from existence. How sad is that? All those memories that were captured were then deleted because of how much I hated how I looked.
- General Body Confidence is something I have genuinely never experienced. In fact, I will tell you that I used to wear my dad’s shirts in high school just to hide all of my curves and flabby bits. Then, I tried an alternative strategy, and wore jeans that were SO tight, they ripped in the crotch, because I thought it concealed my fat by sucking it all into uncomfortably-tight denim.
- To Motivate Others has genuinely been my primary goal throughout this entire journey since I started ‘Green Food and Running Shoes.’ There was nobody to help me lose the weight, or give me nutritional advice, or help me make better choices, or give me exercise tips. I had to learn everything on my own using magazines, online blogs and articles, and Google. Losing weight and getting fit is damn hard, and I want to show people that I am no fake; I am real and my weight loss and muscle gain is 100% authentic. Photos help me show my authenticity.
If you know me, you will know that I am not one of those vain, self-obsessed, arrogant, obnoxious girls whose entire social media profile is a collection of selfies that would rival that of Kim Kardashian. Even now, after repairing much of the damage I did to my body, I am still repairing the damage that others inflicted on my mind. My body photos are not shared for the purpose of gaining ‘likes’ or attention. They are shared for the purpose of showing others that their goals are not out of reach, and I am living proof of that. If you follow me regularly, you will know that I only share photos of myself once a month, if that. Most of my posts are food and fitness-related. My goal is not to show off; it has always been to offer encouragement, create motivation, and inspire strength. Forgive me if I share a photo of my body once in a while, but it is something that I am gradually learning to be proud of, rather than feeling ashamed. Thank you to those who read this. Next week, I have a recipe to share with you guys, as well as some tips for changing up your work-out routine. Have a great week!