Sunday, 3 January 2016

What I Loved About My Body in 2015: A Group Effort

This time of year can be exhausting can't it? With TV adverts, magazines, people on social media and even your favourite brands telling you that you should be improving your body. It's January so it's the time of the year when we vow to be smaller, fitter, move more, do more etc. 

Instead of this I wanted to concentrate on what our bodies are already good at. I asked a bunch of people what they loved about their body in 2015 and here's what they had to say!

** There are a couple of mentions of weight loss and dieting in this post, but only with positive endings and context **

Lottie L'amour

In 2015, I learned that my stomach is beautiful. I already thought I had BANGIN' boobs and hips but this year, I fell in love with my tummy. Me from a few years ago hated the way it jiggles, but now I love it! I love how soft it is and how shapely it is and how it balances my frame. So for me 2015 = the year of the belly!
Sarah Paddock
2015 was the year I started to appreciate my body for what it could do, rather than obsessing over how it looked. I took up running after entering a charity event and over 6 months I realised just how incredible my body (esp my legs) were- it's a powerhouse which will keep going as long as my mind encourages it! When I run I don't care about how I look, just how happy I feel and thanks to my body running me around more I have just had my first Christmas anxiety-free. What a bonus.

Bethany Rickenburg

My body has taught me a great deal about self acceptance. The media tells me if you don't have the body of a Kardashian then there's lots of useless diets I can go on (nine times out of ten diets advertised in the media for having a skinny celebrity on the front cover). I'm 2015 I learnt to accept my awkward hourglass figure which makes me two sizes bigger on my thighs than my top, I learnt to love the fact I can eat cakes because I'm not worrying about calories, I learnt that I do not have to change to be this idea of beautiful that the media have created and most importantly I learnt that I am perfect in my own way and that is what makes me, me.

Laura Gentles

I love my big hips and thighs so I can fill out my favourite bodycon dresses. My short 28 inch legs used to be one of my most hated body parts, now I love them. Even the wobbly bits on my inner thighs! My legs may not be 33 inches long or perfectly toned, but they get me up and out every single day of my life and for that I'm thankful. 
I fell in love with my body for the first time over the past few years, and 2015 saw me walking my fat body proudly through London Town at MY pace, to MY beat, to some of my favourite places!
Lindsay from Norfolk
I've been on a real journey this year and I'm really learning to love my body. Why?? Because its amazing. It is what it is and carry's me about. Which I've realised is pretty cool. Plus it allows me to cuddle my daughter!! Always a bonus!
In 2015, my awesome body took up burlesque dancing and I'm brilliant at it. I've performed twice in public with my dance group and it's fantastic. My alter ego has been born!
I've learnt how to love and accept my body, to care for it and be positive about every inch of myself. 2015 was a body changing year for me because it's when I started dressing for the body I have. I braved my worries and stresses, showed my arms, wore dresses and also learnt that the world didn't end. As soon as I started accepting myself for who I was I realised I was happier which is why going into 2016 I'm looking forward to continuing to love the body I have and experimenting with fashion and different styles to suit me. 
In the past year, I have learnt that my body is my own. That there is no changing it, nor do I need to change it either. This might sound ridiculous, but there's always been a part of me that has looked at my 'flaws' and said to myself "well, that's alright because I can get it changed when I'm older". If from 13 I'm already thinking about cosmetic surgery, then something's not  right and I decided at 17/18 I needed to change that. So in the last year, I have learnt that my  body is my own and there is nothing wrong with that. There aren't any flaws, or anything wrong with it. For the first time in 18 years, I can say that I'm comfortable with myself and that I actually like myself and my body. I may be covered in scars, stretchmarks and all the rest, but that doesn't define what me and my body are capable of.

I'm normally only a size 8-10 & I do have some body hang ups as I don't treat it the best to be honest but this year I learned that my body is absolutely wonderful as I experienced 30 weeks pregnancy for the most part! I saw my body change shape, size and do some incredible things. All of the stretching, dropping of my boobs and my bum becoming so huge my partner tells me ALL the time is all for our little miracle. And it truly is remarkable! I've loved pregnancy & even right now as I'm starting to feel the struggles through the third trimester, I'm so pleased that my body could create such a wonderful home for our little one
For years I would only allow people to take my pictures from the shoulders up. Or hide in family photos. In 2015 I promised myself that I would allow my beautiful light to shine! I'm now a budding fashion and beauty blogger. I can't believe my own self sometimes. 
What I loved about my body in 2015 is how I gave it some freedom. It wasn't covered up & forced to hideaway. I wore bikinis, short dresses, had my arms out and felt pretty awesome. My body only has the rules I give it.
In 2014, I basically destroyed my knee through way too much running and not enough stretching/warming up. I was basically punishing my body through exercise, because I felt ashamed of my weight and the way that I looked. I spent the rest of the year in agony every time I moved, even just walking down the street! I started 2015 thinking that I would never be able to walk long distances, let alone run, ever again. However slowly, I started to change my attitude towards myself and exercise. I focused on what made me feel good, rather than what I thought I should be doing. Slowly my knee started to recover, as I was working out to build my strength, rather than pushing myself to the limit chasing the "perfect" body.  So cutting a long story short, 2015 was the year in which I was astounded by my body's ability to heal itself and learned to love it for the strong fabulous thing it is!
Last year I learnt that there was a way to treat my chronic pain, so thanks to my bodies reaction to Botox, I can live a normal life and have pain free days! 

Becky Brown

In 2015, MY size 22 body completed a 5k muddy obstacle course and helped raise £1000 for cancer research

Barbara Tong

I've never talked to anyone about the way I feel about my body but here goes. I'm 71 years old had a fantastic career , great marriage , lovely family ...but.... I have always felt ugly and I am fat.Last year 2015 for the first time ever I realised that I am loved and respected and beautiful. This is in part due to you and others like you who have appeared miraculously on my face book looking radiant big and proud and now that's me!


2015 marked the first year that I decided to live unapologetically.  I have spent a lifetime loathing my body, starving it and damaging both my physical and mental health because I never felt like my body was something to be ashamed of.  So I had a choice, I could spend another year lusting after the clothes I wanted but was too fat to wear or I could just wear the damn clothes.  You know what happened when as a fat girl I wore clothing I loved? I fell even more in love with my body. I didn't look in the mirror and scowl any more, I smiled- cause when you look good you can't help but smile. It didn't happen overnight but the horrible thoughts and the gremlins in my head started melting away.  My only regret? I didn't ignore the nonsense, just buy the clothes I wanted, and love my body so much sooner. 
Melly Em

In 2015 my body showed me that I don't have to trap myself within the confinements of 'flattering' and traditionally feminine clothing that plus size women are 'supposed' to wear. My body taught me that we look pretty cute in plaid shirts and skinny jeans too! Stepping away from what you think you should wear and simply embracing clothes you love is a valuable lesson I learned from my bod this year!

Sophie from Busy Little Fee

In 2015 I looked fabulous as a size 26 bride. I was comfy in my dress and still managed to look amazing! My fat legs walked me down the aisle confidently. My heart was full of love. My eyes and smile shone on that day, my body filled my dress perfectly and instead of trying to 'hide' or 'minimise' my weight I made the most of every inch of myself.

Dom Clark

(c) Boutonniere Photography
I came to terms with my body a little while ago. I liked how I looked and I liked how I dressed, and whilst I had my off days, I was a positive guy when it came to this body. However I never thought other people cared about me and, whilst I know other people's approval isn't needed, but I felt very isolated in my positivity. It wasn't until a chance interaction with Bad Rhino and their competition to be their brand ambassador that I started putting myself out there and you know what...everyone was lovely! People smiled and said lovely things and I was welcomed into a community of the sweetest kindest people I've ever had the pleasure to know! So what part of my body did I come to terms with in 2016? All of it! I learnt that so long as I'm happy everyone will support me...and that's just lovely!

Lottie Flynn

I used to really not like my body but over the last year I really have come to love it. From my double chin to my boobs and my belly they are part of me and I love them FINALLY!!!!

Sarah Stanley

A year ago my brother challenged me to complete the great north swim. It wasn't to lose weight, it wasn't to beat each other, it wasn't even about getting fit, it was just to achieve something together that we both enjoy. It was definitely a challenge though, as a size 20/22 woman I did have my doubts about completing a mile open water swim and to be honest how I would look in a neoprene wetsuit but it was only me that cared about how I looked and I soon realised that it didn't matter one bit, I had to focus on my body as it was and to make it capable of swimming that mile. My body size did not change from the training but I felt stronger and more confident in it. It proved to me it can be pushed and do great things no matter what it's size, I just needed a reminder of how it was ok and important to proud of it and now I'm challenging it to do more this year and can't wait to see if and how I, my body and my attitude towards it changes with it. But no matter what happens I can hold my head high knowing me and my body can do things I never thought I'd even attempt.

Leigh Wharton

The last year I loved my whole body. For the first time in years I took a full length picture of myself and I literally jumped for joy. I felt so liberated. I am my own kind of beautiful! 


I like to think of 2015 as the year I finished falling in love with my body. I had bits I loved like my boobs, and bits I didn't love like the dark hair on my arms. At the beginning of 2015 I loved almost all of my body and I finished falling in love with it when I realised that other people like it as it is. 2015 was the year I wore crop tops, unashamedly showing off my fat belly, much to the dismay of others, but you know what, my belly is awesome! As is the back fat you'll see when you walk behind me. All of my body is fabulous, I can stand naked in front of the mirror and struggle to pick out something I don't like!Katt MartinI spent years hating my body and it's ever changing state. Different sizes through the years but I could still never bring myself to be confident or love my body. Two years ago I finally started to snap out of that vicious cycle of self hate and doubt. I began to love myself more and care what people thought less. Last year was the best year for my confidence, I met all the amazing plus sized babes and bloggers, started blogging myself and helped others realise that you should love your body and not fight against it! Oh, my favourite part of my body.. Would be all of it. I can't pick a favourite because all of it is awesome, it's sexy, fat and bloody amazing. Lucy Earnshaw
This for me sums up my thoughts on my body for 2015. This was the first holiday this year where I was proud to wear a bikini and show off my body in all its glory. As I shared this particular photo with my Instagram world to represent the new #curvee hashtag I didn't expect for it to become the feature image in the Metro online for talking about the #curvee movement! My realisation that I was proud of this and proud to share it with people I know, my family, my workmates not just my blog readership was the point I realised I loved my body wholly. 
For me, I like my legs the best. I'm not one for dieting at all, I'm not strict enough and to be honest it bores me. I have been bullied and belittled most of my life about my weight, yes that has upset me but over the years I've learnt to like me and I've never been one to feel I should conform to other people's views. I am me and I like me. 
Kat Henry
I love every inch of my body, after all it's the only one I've got. This body has achieved many things and it's capable of doing great things still.  My body has been through illnesses, self loathing, lack of care and still come out fighting. Parts I adore the most are; my smile, my curves, my strong thighs, my eyes and my hair.  I made a promise to my body to show it how much I love it and since then I refuse to talk negatively about it, if there is a part of it that I am not happy about, I figure out what I dislike and I work to change it. My body has scars and it's far from societies ideals of perfection, but it's perfect to me. Me and this body are on a journey for the rest of my days and together we plan to live happily ever after :)
Wendy Eves
I have a lovely smile and eyes that people want to look into for hours 
I come from a family of skinny Asian girls, and I've spent too much of my adult life focussing on how I fit into clothes rather than what my body can actually do. It's a shame really, because my body can do loads of incredible things!  I've been a skier for as long as I can remember, and last year I skied the glacier at Whistler - an advanced off piste run I never thought I would be capable of. I wore my aching muscles like a badge of honour the next day, and for me that was a much sweeter feeling than fitting into a pair of jeans I owned as a teenager.
Becky Sheraton-Nash
This year I learnt that my body is mine. I lost weight that bothered me in 2014 and while doing so I learnt that not only did I not love myself more but my husband didn't love me more for it either. This year I learnt to accept me for me. This year I didn't diet, I just did what made me happy. This year I was the happiest I have ever been. For the first time ever the before picture didn't 'bother' me.

Sam from Fatty Boom Tatty
So 2015 was the year that my body got moving. This is not some tangent about exercise or shaming, this is my body, with its lumps and rolls, that has been pushed to get more active. Why until now? Because I was too ashamed to be sweaty in public. Because I was ashamed of a red face. Because my fat might wobble around and the people could gasp and shriek with disgust. (They didn't!) I put some mega blinkers on and got on with it. Instead of focussing on some negative, hard to reach achievement, I went to a class and danced and had fun. I swam and jiggled and yes, I had fun! Anyone can be fat AND active. Most importantly, I dropped the issues in my mind and focused on what my body is capable of.
Joanna Calixte
I used to have issues with my arms, I wore long baggy sleeves to cover up my "bingo wings". My auntie with Dementia only remembered who I was by touching my arms and it clicked that I was her niece because of our families staple big arms. I stopped caring what people thought and embraced my arms and I'm confident and love myself enough to wear whatever I feel comfortable in. 
Lindsay M
In 2015, I found body positivity. It was something I knew I wanted for years but didn't know how to achieve or even define it. I actually made my first full body photo post after finding the hashtag #wearethethey. It taught me that all bodies and beautiful. I loved what I saw there and wanted to finally join in with loving my body. Everyone was rocking their own unique style and they all had such positive attitudes towards their bodies. My first photo was a maxi dress that barely showed my actual figure but after six months of surrounding myself with so many IG based bopo warriors I am finally loving every inch and curve of my body. I used to really struggle with loving my fat tummy and that is why I am including this specific photo. I can't believe I am actually confident enough to walk around like this when I am home alone, let alone to post a photo on a public account. It's true when they say that body positivity can do so much more for your happiness than any diet ever can.
Umber Phoenix
"I learnt my body and mind is more powerful than i could ever imagine. I proved myself wrong, hit my targets and pushed through boundaries. I learnt not to fear what I thought was impossible but let my body do what it was made for: Shine. During 2015 i overcame many obstacles from comments in the street right through to death threats because I was proud of my body and all its curvy glory. My body is mine, and forever will be mine and im glad that in 2015 i was able to expand my mind to further accept what Is possible without the fear of outside influence. Our bodys are not to be shunned and sneared at for having it how we want it. I choose to look how i do, and im damn proud that every day me and my body can walk in harmony"

Debz - Wannabe Princess

For me, I learnt that loving your body is infectious. We're all on different stages of this body love journey and that is OK. I learnt that by talking about my body and all that we achieve together I can help others to love their body too. I learnt that it is important to let others know that they're body is fine just the way that it is - and that people are willing to listen!

What do you love about your body? What did it bring you in 2015? Share your stories on social media and tag them #LovedMyBody2015 so I can read them!
Debz xx
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