If I asked what you thought of your bod and your life, what would you say?
There was a time in my life where I really didn’t like the look of my body – I lacked confidence and self-esteem. I was in my early twenties and was still coming to terms with the fact that I had an auto-immune disease called Vitiligo. Before my diagnosis, I never even heard of it. After googling the condition I found out that Michael Jackson had it as well as supermodel, Winnie Harlow (who btw is absolutely gorg). However as nobody I knew personally lived with the condition, I wasn’t ready to word them up as I felt they wouldn’t understand.
What is Vitiligo?
You see, Vitiligo affects the skin; it’s when the pigment is lost in certain areas causing whitish patches, and often with no clear cause.
I was diagnosed whilst studying at uni and at the time only a small area of my skin was affected and in most cases, I was able to hide it. However as I got older the Vitiligo spread to many more areas including my hands, therefore becoming difficult to hide. This is where things got interesting.
Confidence and Self-Esteem
I remember going to a day spa with two of my close friends. We organised to have massages as part of our girls day out. We each had our own massage therapist, and before my appointment commenced I outlined in my treatment form that I had Vitiligo. And just in case my therapist didn’t know what it was, I explained that it wasn’t contagious, therefore not affecting her or me in any way. I had a number of massages before the day and it’s never been an issue, nor should it be. Unfortunately the massage therapist didn’t believe me when I said it wasn’t contagious and so she barely even touched my skin during the massage.
To be completely honest and open, as the treatment came to a close I felt incredibly flat, ashamed and ugly. But despite how how I felt, I really didn’t want to cause a fuss, so at the end of my treatment I smiled and simply paid for it, like everything was ok. But of course it wasn’t. Only once we left the day spa did I explain to my friends what had happened to me, as we were all in separate treatment rooms. Being their beautiful selves, they felt terribly sorry for me and wished that I spoke up.
There have been quite a number of times over the years where I have felt to be made different, especially since living with Vitiligo. Because of this, it took me a long time to understand and appreciate that I am still beautiful in my own unique way, just like we all are.
Isn’t It Romantic
Earlier last month, right before my event, Let’s Flamingle, I watched the then newly released Netflix film, Isn’t It Romantic featuring Rebel Wilson as the lead. Not sure if you’ve had a chance to see it but it’s a great movie with a powerful message.
Rebel Wilson’s character, Natalie was a 30-something-year-old architect and she loved her job. But we soon learnt that she despised her body and felt that nobody would love her as she is. Throughout the movie she experiences a whole range of emotions – from self-doubt to confidence and everything in between (hence all the emojis! hehe). By the end of the rom-com she learns that before anybody can love her, she first had to love herself. No knight in shining armour could do that for her, only she could. Once she came to this realisation, she could then be open to more love, new experiences and abundant joy.
I loved Isn’t It Romantic so much that I even referred to it during my talk at Let’s Flamingle. In fact, it played quite a large role! Since the event I have watched it several times and every time I’ve seen it, I still leave feel empowered.
I am super passionate about spreading the message that loving your body (and even your brain!) is most definitely attainable and should be embraced despite our insecurities. I can genuinely say that when I look into the mirror I love my body and the person I am – my values, my work, my marriage – everything. As you know I didn’t always feel this way, but overtime I have learnt how to embrace me for being just ME. It didn’t happen overnight but by me being kind to myself, keeping a journal and implementing some key tools have all helped me become the person I am today. And my goal is to help you feel the same way. We can do it!
If you’d love to learn more about my story, you can do so by heading here.
PS. Did you know that I am launching one-on-one coaching packages soon?! One of my programs is all about confidence and self-esteem! Woohoo! If you’re keen to find out more, simply register your interest to stay in the loop by clicking on this link.