My Crazy Journey to Health: Body Confidence

G’day my friends and welcome to a new blog and a new year!!

I hope you all had a great holiday if you celebrate, or even just enjoying time with those who mean the most!

To kick off this year, I thought it would be awesome to tell you about my little journey of body confidence, especially when it comes to exercise and mental health. Perfectly timed right, since 99% of us usually set New Year resolutions surrounding health or fitness.

So without further-a-do, lets get cracking with the first blog post of 2022!!

Please bear in mind though body image, food and exercise will be discussed, so if this is triggering for you feel free to check out my older posts 🙂

As usual, story time.

4 people going on a hike through mountain ranges. their backs are facing the camera and are walking in single file
Photo by Eric Sanman from Pexels

Growing up, I was never really involved too much in the health and fitness scene. Sure, I swam multiple times a week, and would participate in school sport (oh the horrors), but working out or eating well? Not a chance.

Like most kids, I gravitated towards all the junk food and hated anything green and leafy. I hated anything that was meat and vege for dinner, and longed for the takeaway night or pasta. Carbs were my happy place. Surely nearly everyone can still relate to this right?!

Being disabled I always thought exercise was out of the realm and so I would usually stay clear from it, unless I felt the need to go for a walk (like when I failed my contracts class dismally and needed to walk so I didn’t end up in a mess on the floor).

Sure there were times when I literally decided ‘today is the day’ and I would ‘smash’ out a workout DVD and think that would kick start me… But oh no the muscle aches the next day would turn me off instantly! Excuses Excuses right?!

The real culprit, I came to discover later in life, was my body confidence. Shocker I know!!

My body confidence

A photo of me when i was 19. my hair is down, i am wearing a high neck pink shirt with floral details and a black skirt. my hand is resting across my stomach. Pic is a selfie style in front of the bathroom mirror. This was when my body confidence was pretty low.
circa 2018 – 2 year of Uni

We are all the same in the judgmental department. We are our worse critics! Constantly judging what we are doing or how we look. Being disabled is no different, if anything the judgmental thoughts are more common.

For years and years, I hated the way I looked. The sway back, the impressive overbite, my bent arms, and the way I walked. I could not dare to watch home movies of myself because I could not handle watching myself run or walk. However, i am sure all of us cringe when the photo album or home movies come out of hiding at a family dinner!

So, you can say I didn’t like what I saw in the mirror which then reflected on my clothing and food choices. My body confidence was at an all time low. I ate to comfort myself, and I wore clothes that were a size or so too big so it was easier to put on, but also because I believed I was that size.

The peak was around year 12, and the first year of Uni. I didn’t prioritise my mental health, and thanks to bullying throughout my school years, I didn’t value me as a person. However, I did drama for 10 years, so I was good at hiding how I felt, most of the time. However the drama lessons did not pay off when it comes to playing a game of poker on New Years Eve!

The Spark!

a more confident me in 2021. Selfie style pic. my hair is up and am in a black sports bra, black exercise pants and my hand is on my hip. I finally have a faint line of abs and am enjoying the healthy life. Body confidence is improving slowly.
2021 – more happier but still a work in progress.

However my body confidence began to change in 2019 when we were gifted the incredible gift of a family cruise. I wanted to feel and look my best on the pool deck so I started watching what I ate and started to workout regularly. In twelve months I lost 6kg and got down to my goal weight by the cruise in January 2020. I felt strong, confident and proud of myself. I finally started loving what I saw in the mirror, and I realised my thought process needed some clarifying.

More and more, I embraced the active lifestyle and I couldn’t imagine anything else. Don’t get me wrong though, the physical benefits are good, but I now workout for my mental health. Given times currently are still rocky, it pays to be a little extra gentle with yourself and your mind right?

Don’t get me wrong though! since 2019, I have fallen off the bandwagon plenty of times. And I still do eat carbs. I will never give up a bowl of pasta or hot chips on a rainy day! At the end of the day I am human, and still lack motivation at times and that is ok!

I am at a place where I no longer judge myself for not doing a yoga class in its entirety or feel guilty for modifying workouts. In fact, I enjoy changing things up, listening to my body while also pushing myself. modifying and doing things for you is empowering in a way!

However, what I am most proud of is that I now love exercising, I love making healthier meals, I am listening more to my body. Most of all, I am treating it with respect and kindness. I am still very much a work in progress but that is ok. I am slowly reaching a point now where I truly do love myself, and can look at photos of myself and smile. It is safe to say my body confidence meter is on the rise!

Why am I telling you all this?

Well, for the simple reason to say you aren’t alone! Whether we are disabled or not, we constantly pick ourselves to pieces. Social media, film, television, Runway, Magazines even mannequins in a shop all contribute to body image issues.

We need to start treating ourselves with a little extra love, care and start moving more. We are beautiful in our own unique way, and we should celebrate the little victories in life. You owe it to yourself to love what you see in the mirror, and leave the house (if the world situation permits) with a little swagger!

Even if you are physically unable to move, spending time meditating is better than nothing. Being disabled doesn’t completely limit or confine you. It comes down to modifying and doing the things that feel right for you! (not an expert here but that is how i view my workouts). We need to get out of this stigma that health and fitness doesn’t align with disability, I believe it is more important than ever especially now. It just has to be done differently, but that is the beauty about health. You just have to start!

Our body goes through so much for us, isn’t it time to show it a little TLC? Are you using 2022 to prioritise mental and physical health?? Let me know!

-Rhi 🙂

p.s Let me know also what you want me to write about next? goals for 2022? more study related? another disabled how-to? the sky is the limit!

5 thoughts on “My Crazy Journey to Health: Body Confidence”

  1. Your journey to body confidence and prioritizing mental and physical health is inspiring. It’s a powerful reminder that self-love and acceptance are essential, regardless of our circumstances or challenges. Thank you for sharing your story and encouraging others to embrace their uniqueness with love and care.

  2. What an inspiring journey to health and body confidence! Your story resonates deeply, reminding us all of the power of resilience and self-love. Thank you for sharing!

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