Words by Frou Williams.
Not quite your average transformation photo but a dear friend of mine reminded me of an adventure around Southern India we went on 4 years ago today and it served as a wonderful reminder of not only what was a beautiful trip but also how often we focus so much on the end results that we often lose sight of how far we've come. These two photos taken 4 years apart - aside from the obvious of learning how to use a make up brush and obtaining a tan 😂🤔🙋🏼 - there are two totally different humans staring back at that camera.
I thought if I could learn how to 'fix' myself, figure out how the body worked, how to train it, what to feed it then everything would fall into place and I'd be 'happy'. For as long as I can remember I have always felt uncomfortable in my skin. I remember thinking at the time that I was fat when the photo on the left was taken. Now there is nothing wrong with either photo, I believe in promoting body positive in the female form in whichever light you may deem that - that's simply not the point of this post - but I look at the girl on the left, knowing her sad lost eyes, not quite knowing or trusting herself yet and I think, "man I wish I could give you a hug, a chocolate biscuit and tell you everything is going to be okay. That you are perfect just as you are." 👯🍪🙋🏼
We often tell ourselves things we would never dream of saying to a friend or loved one. We let our *inemy (inner me often confused with enemy 😬) run wild with imagination, often stopping us from showing up as our best selves or putting ourselves out there in a vulnerable or revealing way in fear of rejection or even being 'seen'. After years of trying to quieten my inemy, instead now I chose to acknowledge when she has something to say, invite her to the table to hear her plea but kindly remind her whilst she's entitled to her opinion she can make herself useful and help me lift this next set. 🏋🏼♀️
Some days she shouts louder than others, some days I give her pizza and some days I give her kale but on the whole, we're a team these days. Of course I still have days where I feel like a humpback🐋, days where I've eaten an entire packet of biscuits and inhaled my weight in gin (ahh good times 😋) but I try to bring my focus back to my mindset, training and remind myself that I have built a strong, healthy body which supports and enables me to do the things that I love each and every day without me asking anything from it. Now how amazing is that?
Ive spent the last few years acting as a sponge soaking up as much knowledge as my brain would allow, studying at FIAFitnation, Beautiful You, The Institute for the Psychology of Eating, not to mention a host of incredible mentors along the way, Life in Full Flight - Jenny Orenstein and I can hand on my heart tell you that all those of years of uncertainty, pain and confusion were worth it because without it I wouldn't be me. And without that, I wouldn't be helping women today to feel and look better in their skin or helping them achieve 'girl boss' status in their own lives and to me, that is hands down the best feeling in this world.
Isn't it amazing how much context often lies beneath a photograph?