Finding Body Confidence

Recently, Beth Roach Photography spent a Saturday transforming my little bedroom into a studio. The reason? Beth had mentioned that she would like to do a body confidence shoot one day and I thought, well, I need the confidence, so let’s do it. Knowing my insecurities, I think it’s fair to say that she wasn’t sure how I’d feel about it, but she said yes and immediately got to planning.

I’ve always been pretty vocal with how I feel about my body and have spent the past 2 or 3 years going from terribly skinny to a bit plump. On the whole I’m really happy with the way I look now. I look at pictures of me from high school and university and I can’t believe the size of my waist or how I ever had those moments where I thought I was fat. For the most part, I spent that time trying to put on weight, but as soon as it started to pile on I began to feel bad about myself. Letting go of something so ingrained for so long was a lot harder than I had anticipated. (Below are some photos taken over the years).

The trouble is that gaining weight doesn’t just happen in the areas you want it to. I love my body and my curves, but my biggest pain point was the suddenly podgy tummy that had been non-existent for most of my life. I became really focused on it and as the clothes in my wardrobe began to feel tighter and tighter, I got more down about the way I looked.

Image taken by Beth Roach Photography

So I started running. I signed up to run a marathon, because clearly that’s the smart option when you want to tone up (not – but it’s certainly a good motivator). I used to run before university but had stopped because of a recurring injury (which I later discovered was due to a bad pair of trainers). I met up with a friend after a couple of months without seeing her and she said three words to me, that were like a wake up call.

You’ve lost weight.

My gut reaction to her words was glee. I feel ashamed to admit it, but I was over the moon. I said thank you. And then, I realised that I had become the kind of person who dwells on their weight, to the point where it becomes a negative thing. It dawned on me that every conversation I had with someone was about my weight, about how much I wanted to lose or how my jeans were feeling looser. I was actively bringing it up. It makes me really sad, because I never wanted to become obsessed with something like that. I realised that it wasn’t anyone else’s decision but my own and that I should stop focusing on the negatives and instead learn to love what I’ve got.

Image taken by Beth Roach Photography

My stomach is still there, a bit podgy. I don’t love it but I feel like I’ve accepted it a little more, which means I’m getting there. Stripping down to my underwear and posing in front of Beth was a nerve-wracking thought, but one I didn’t want to let defeat me.

Image taken by Beth Roach Photography

And I was really surprised at how confident I felt. Once the camera was clicking away, I loosened up and just let Beth work her magic. She was great with directing me and making me feel comfortable considering I was practically naked. Her suggestion for the shoot to take place in my own bedroom helped massively too, as I didn’t have to get used to a new space.

Image taken by Beth Roach Photography

Beth was really open to my ideas and reminded me that I was getting just as much out of the shoot as she was. She wanted me to be happy with the shots, which meant I had to explain what I did and didn’t like about myself too. On the back of that, she picked the angles that would accentuate my favourite parts. Her friendliness was really comforting as I felt I could talk to her about these things, while sitting there in my Calvin Kleins (deliberately chosen for the event, of course).

Image taken by Beth Roach Photography

I totally adore these photos and am learning to embrace each and every imperfection on my body. Beth has helped me come a long way with this and I can’t wait to see what’s next. Take a look below for the rest of the photos from the shoot!

Image taken by Beth Roach Photography
Image taken by Beth Roach Photography
Image taken by Beth Roach Photography
Image taken by Beth Roach Photography
Image taken by Beth Roach Photography
Image taken by Beth Roach Photography
Image taken by Beth Roach Photography
Image taken by Beth Roach Photography

A massive thank you to Beth for taking these photos and reminding me that there is so much to love about myself! Check her out, she’s pretty darn good.

8 Replies to “Finding Body Confidence”

  1. Speaking as someone who hides behind other people during group shots, it’s mind boggling to me that you had these photos taken and then posted them on line. Of course, my doctor is on my case about my A1C levels, so I have medical reasons as well aesthetic ones for losing weight.

    When I was teaching in China, among the twenty women in the class, only one was over weight but 2/3 of them wanted to lose weight. We did some polling, and they were surprised that none of the boys in class thought they needed to lose weight.

    I did read an interesting study on this issue, in which people were shown pictures of other people and asked to rate them by attractiveness. As it turns out, most people are more critical of their own gender than of the opposite gender, by an average ten pound difference.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow – that’s so interesting but in a way not entirely unsurprising. It’s a real shame that this is the way girls in particular are taught to think, (though equally sad for all genders). I try to build up other people’s confidence in themselves, hopefully by showing that I can face a big fear and post pictures of my body online is enough to encourage others to do likewise!

      Liked by 1 person

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