Welcome! If you have landed on this first blog post about my own body confidence journey, then you will discover how I have been struggling with my body image and body confidence for almost all my life. Every Sunday, I will publish a piece of my journey and you may either see yourself in it or just discover something new about yourself. Sharing my journey with you will allow me to set myself free from all the thoughts which were going on inside of my head for years.
My biological father has walked out on me before I was even born…
When I wasn’t even born my biological father has walked out on my mum and me, literally a week before they were supposed to get married and whilst my mum was pregnant with me. My mum was a single mum for a very long time before meeting my stepdad, who in fact is my dad in my eyes. He brought me up and I have such huge respect for him. As you can see some of my body confidence triggers may have been linked with what has happened to me when I wasn’t even born.
Let’s give you a bit of a background to start with. I grew up in a small town/village back in the Czech Republic, called Podivin. This was/is a place where everyone knows everyone. It was a lovely place, but certain things which have happened there, I have been trying to escape for years.
My body started changing
Let’s however fast forward a few years and talk about when I was around thirteen years of age, my body started changing, I have slowly started getting some breakouts which were a sign of some hormonal changes happening inside of my body. Then my body started developing in shape, my breast started growing and of course, boys have started noticing. I always used to look much bigger compared to the other girls around me and the comparison has already started at this early age. I didn’t like my body shape, my skin, the way I look and was always trying to change it. Then, I have started receiving nasty comments from boys (I am sure they were thinking that it was just innocent jokes back then) which were not received very well by me. I have been called fat, sumo, and so on. These comments were really taken on board and when my acne has developed and the weight gain occurred, my confidence was declining even more. Every morning before I used to go to school, I used to look at myself in a mirror and cry because I felt so disgusted with myself. I wanted to have smooth skin, be skinny and just purely be popular at school with boys and girls. And remember, back then, there were no such things as social media (thankfully).
I felt like I wasn’t worthy of love
Between the age of thirteen and fifteen, I have been dating a few boys, back then it felt great to be in a relationship ?. However, looking back, I was the one who always used to make the effort, I was always the one who needed to look good in order to be loved by someone, as otherwise, I felt like I wasn’t worthy of love. Most of the time these relationships have ended up in disaster and I always ended up broken-hearted. I know what you are saying, first love and it’s normal, but believe me things which were said and happened in our past, may well impact who we are in the future.
The turning point was when I turned fifteen
The turning point was when I turned fifteen and I was supposed to change the school. As the education system in the Czech Republic is slightly different compared to the one in the UK, you finish what we call Primary School at the age of fifteen and then move onto the Secondary School. I was then meant to be moving onto the secondary school, as a next step in the whole growing up phase of life. At the age of fifteen, you need to decide what you really want to study and how you want to progress in life. Well, back then, I always used to love acting and dancing when I did these two things, I felt so safe and free and was able to pretend that I am whoever I wanted it to be. However, in our family, it felt like I always used to get compared to my cousin who was supposed to be a role model to me and her brother (my other cousin). Of course, my cousin was studying Economics and what was suggested to me was, why not go and study economics also, as apparently acting and dancing isn’t a real job. At the age of fifteen, I felt like what is the point of talking to my parents about what I really want, as they won’t listen, so I ended up studying Economics for 4 years. I can surely tell you that it was the most boring subject and I seriously only did it because I had to.
Here is one of my old pictures from the era of 15/16 – so come on, would you really recognise me there? Also, I used to barely smile on pictures, and you can so tell that I was forcing this NATURAL smile ?? lol.
If this story resonated with you then tune in next Sunday, as another piece of the puzzle of my Body Confidence Journey will be shared with you and this time, I will dive into my first love, how I developed bulimia and how living away from home affected me.