This week I have really laid myself bare, not in a naked way (well almost), but in a way of being publicly open and honest about who I am and the way I feel as a woman, not once but twice. If someone said to me 3 or 4 years ago this is where you would be mentally, I would have told them they were deluded, yet this is exactly where I find myself.
When I started blogging almost 2 years ago, I wanted my blog to be positive, charting my style and love of fashion, the fun I have, travel experiences and the simplicity of a healthy vegan & gluten free eating – while being a wheelchair user. Showing there is more to me than my wheelchair, and that it is not an extension of me as a being.
In doing so I have become more comfortable in myself, growing more and more as a person. While doing this and living my true life I have learnt a lot about myself that I didn’t think was possible.
Firstly, I posted a photo of myself on my Instagram and Facebook page in my underwear. It wasn’t about showing off my body in a ‘sex sells’ kind of way it, but about Body Positivity and loving the body you are in. This is a challenging task in an era of social media, where comparing oneself to others, self-judgement an unworthiness is becoming the norm. So, I decided to put this photo up with this honest and heart felt message.
This is me stripped bare in my first lingerie photo shoot. In an era of social media, it is hard to be body confident and it is easy to compare yourself to others. I think it is so important to embrace & love the body you are in and promote body positivity. When I was younger and before I came a wheelchair user I was a size UK10, yet I was so unhappy and had very low self-esteem. However, things have changed, I am now a full-time wheelchair user and a size UK12. I have more self-confidence and I am the happiest I have ever been. I have learned to love myself which was not easy as I adjusted to life as a wheelchair user, but I did and stopped comparing myself to others. So, my message to you is don’t compare yourself to others, be the happiest you can, love yourself and the body you are in because life is too short not to… Have a fabulous day
Now this could have gone one of two ways, I could have been trolled or I could have been supported in the message I was sending. Thankfully I received the latter and was told how inspiring and motivating my message was. This was also inspirational for me too, knowing I was doing something positive about being myself, by saying this is who am I and I am ok with it. so be happy and love yourself.
Secondly, on Thursday (5th April 2018) my first open and honest interview about my journey was published in Chat magazine (12th April issue). In this I talked about life before I became a wheelchair user, how I became a wheelchair user, my partner, the journey of self-discovery, starting this blog, to being spotted and signed to Zebedee modelling and management agency.
I am grateful for the amazing opportunity to have my story told in a national magazine for all to read. I hope people will find my story helpfully and inspire them on their journey, to see that the possibilities are endless.
It has certainly been a week of self-discovery & reflection on the woman I have become and the blessing I have received.
Photos by @ched53 and @simonestoryphotograpy