I started The Body Image Diaries as part of my journey to learn to love my own body, and out of a hope that I can help inspire others to do the same.
I have a passion for fashion, but I also have a difficult body shape so what's in vogue doesn't always work for me, and it's difficult and confronting.
I'm a loyal lover of celebrity stylist and How To Look Good Naked guru Gok Wan, and watching his many shows addressing the issue of body confidence in women and men has helped me remarkably in beginning to not only accept my body, but maybe one day even love it. If he ever starts a religion, I'm in!
I have also grown up watching the likes of Trinny and Susannah on the box, and have taken bits and pieces of their advice and applied it to myself, finding that most of the time it works! Their Body Shape Bible has helped me realise that while I may not be built the way I wish I was, the way some of my friends are, I've got assets they'll never have, and can carry of styles that they would look ridiculous in.
I have always been a chubby lass, and even at my fittest when swimming 7-14km per day, 7 days a week, I still had that spare tyre tummy, and big upper arms. It was never easy growing up looking at pictures of my mother at whatever age I then was, and seeing a 5'10" hourglass shaped, super lean, would be supermodel, especially when I looked in the mirror at my 5'2" goblet. I always thought that since she was my mother I would eventually look like her, but by the time I was 18 it became apparent that it wasn't going to happen. It was also difficult hearing my mother constantly criticising me, poking me and prodding me, asking me if I 'really should be eating that', and buying me clothes 4 sizes bigger than I actually was.
Then I had children. Twins to be precise. They are now 1 and while I lost my baby weight immediately after having them, my body has changed yet again, and what precious little confidence I had in what I saw in the mirror has been shattered. I am the same weight I was pre-pregnancy, yet none of my clothes from that time fit. The hips I thought would finally appear once I had a baby are still completely non-existent, and not only can I hold a pencil under my breasts, I can hold a 12 pack of pencils. Every time I look in the mirror, my heart breaks.
But I know I'm not alone. I am only one of millions of women and men in the world who need a body confidence butt kicking. We aren't all lucky enough to have the help of the Goks, Trinnys, and Susannahs of the world, but that doesn't mean we can't get the same results.
We've just got to have a little self faith.