My New Body - EBONI + IVORY

My New Body

All images by Shermin Hassan

What is body confidence?

That's a question I've been asking myself a lot recently. 

Since November 2015, I have dropped 3 (nearly 4) dress sizes. My body has changed. This is how it has affected me and how I am coping...
Right now, my body image is something that is ever-changing. Some people say that by my age, you should be comfortable in your skin, be at the peak of your youth and health and generally be living your best life! 

In November 2015 I was a size 16/18. I had just finished a year travelling for work, from Ukraine to Italy to California. I wasn't feeling particularly self-conscious about my body, in-fact, I was pretty confident in the worlds of fashion, dating and selfies! 
It was when I got a part in a huge London show, where I would be singing and dancing for a good 4 months, that I started noticing my weight loss...
I loved noticing the positive changes I saw in the mirror, I liked it even more when other people noticed my shrinking. It wasn't something I was purposefully doing. I was having so much fun and making barely any changes in my diet (other than a lot of extra water during rehearsals). 

When the show was over and I had dropped to a size 14, I worried that I may end up putting back on the weight- and that terrified me! All those people who had commented on how great I looked would see me back to my old self and mentally retract their comments "that didn't last long" - I was afraid of feeling embarrassed. 
But I was also motivated. The initial loss spurred me on to loose some more, just as i had always told myself I would (but never did!)
 I found little ways to change my lifestyle in order to keep up my progress!

I got an exercise bike....

(and gave away my exercise bike...)

I found a new love for beetroot...

I started trying Holland & Barrett Fat Metaboliser supplements...

I had to buy a bunch of new clothes to replace the clothes that didn't fit me anymore...

I had to re-learn my body. 


Things I learnt:

1. Don't expect overnight miracles - As you can imagine, it is a slow process that takes time and effort before any changes can be seen. Stick it out and think long-term. 

2. Finding pleasure in exercise - I found I am more motivated to exercise when I enjoy what I'm doing. Dancing is fun as well as walking around a new place. I loved taking long walks in Italy. I also enjoy doing short 10 minute YouTube exercises such as abs or squats. 

3. Found my fav fresh food goodies- As I mentioned before, I found I have a bit of an obsession with beetroot! I also love mushrooms and sweet potato. I found I could make some really tasty, healthy meals.

4. Don't deny my body treats once in a while!- Following on from number 3, I found that denying myself sweets and treats would only increase my cravings and temptations. Allowing myself small amounts of things in moderation and limiting how many times I eat out etc, makes for a great balance. 

5. Shopping for my new body-  Choosing clothes isn't always easy and even now, I have to pick up two sizes to see which one fits better and when online shopping it's even harder! I like to experiment with different styles to see what works. 

6. Not to worry if I feel alienated from my body- I sometimes feel as though I can't keep up. What size am I, are those really my legs? Wow I can see my collar bones! It can be disorientating. especially seeing pictures or film of myself. I know I won't feel like this forever. 
I'm sure I'm not the only person whose self-confidence can literally peak and pitfall within 24 hours. I'm not sure why one day I will feel like the sexiest human alive and the very next day I will feel completely gross!


I ended up dropping another dress size...

The most surprising thing I found about loosing weight, was my confidence. You would expect that after spending most of my life wondering and wishing to be a smaller size, my confidence would have peaked. But I found that, because of the drastic change, I no longer knew my body. I was unsure and uncertain. The comments people made about me shrinking no longer made me happy but made me feel uncomfortable. The clothes I always wanted to wear and finally felt comfortable to, made me nervous. I was (and sometimes still feel) mentally the same size as before, and was the most aware of it than I had ever been. 

Ironically, what has helped me through this, is social media. I love to follow the Instagram and Twitter accounts of beautiful, confident, sexy, curvy women who promote body positivity and inspire me to love myself no matter what size I happen to be. 

Some Badass Beauties:

I had been putting off this post for a while. I had the idea a while back but every now and again I had second thoughts or little voices of doubt creeping around in the back of my mind, worrying about the consequences of such an intimate, personal post. 

In the end, I decided that not only do I hope that this post will be relatable in some way and hopefully inspire or be helpful to someone, but I also wanted to inspire myself and do something that pushes me out of my comfort zone- talking about a subject that used to embarrass me and posting images of myself that show the parts of my body that may not be "perfect", but that I love anyway!

I collaborated with Curvy Kate for this post. Curvy Kate is an underwear company who are amazing at empowering women of all shapes and sizes. They have gorgeous lingerie and swimwear in a great range of sizes. I love that they use models with natural and beautiful bodies of all sizes. In today's world, that is rare!

Please let me know what you though about this post by leaving a comment or tweet me @ebonidixon.

Eb x