In a time of beauty and fashion bloggers, YouTubers, selfie's and gym adverts surrounding us - how comfortable are we in our own skin? There is a theory that suggests that you have such a vague perception of what you really look like, through "flaws", that if you were to pass yourself in the street - you wouldn't recognise it was you. That got me thinking... How do individuals really see themselves? In the mirror or mentally? How many flaws do we actually see in ourselves? Do we all have an overwhelming desire to look or appear a particular way? (The point of this blog isn't to wallow in self pity, it's to encourage you!)

The summer holidays are just around the corner and a lot of my friends and family are off on holiday, including myself! And honestly, about half of those people have talked about having a "Bikini/Beach Body"! Whaaaaat?!?!

Throughout my life, I've had a constant battle with my weight and self image. It's been a mental and physical battle from the age of about 13, up until now. At 13, I was a size 6/8 dress, big bum, no bust and weighed 9 stone. I was constantly told I was too thin for my height/age and that made me very self conscious and hate my body. At my heaviest (~18 years old), I was nearly 13 stone and a size 14/16. Now, I was being told I looked a bit big and should think about doing something about it. So, again, I hated my body and hated the way I looked. I've battled constantly with the way I look and feel - not tall enough but have long, chunky legs, big bum, big hips, not busty enough, spotty, wearing glasses, how my hair looked, not pretty enough, comparing myself to everyone I saw... I began to want to change EVERYTHING! I became very insecure, self conscious and anxious/paranoid about how I looked (and about other things too!).

Until recently... It came to me. Why should I care about what other people think? Usually, the people pointing out my problems are the ones avoiding their own! Don't get me wrong, I'm not 100% happy with how I look. But anything I do, I'm doing for ME! No one else! Me! I've been wearing different clothes, changing my hair, got a new piercing... But all of these changes are because I want them! These days, when someone says "you look really well", I don't know if they're saying I look like I've gained or lost weight because I can change so rapidly! My close friends will know that I often use the line "I ain't no Victoria Secret model!"... And no, I'm not. But I'm me, and if you don't like it then you know where the door is! Anyway, I'd rather enjoy a piece of chocolate fudge cake than spend my whole day in the gym! (Good on you if you do spend all day in the gym, I just don't have the will power!)

My mum said to me recently "anyone can desire to be a given weight or dress size, but if their build isn't made for that then they'll never achieve it". How true?! She says that her GP thinks she should be a size 8 and weigh about 9 stone. But guess what? To me, she's perfect. She wouldn't be my mum if she wasn't how she is now! She's beautiful, confident, and the best mother ever! Anyway, she couldn't be a size 8... Big hips/bums/legs run in our family!

So guess what ladies (and gentlemen, if you're here), I'm going to go to Toronto, I'm going to go to a pool party, AND I'm going to wear a bikini! SHOCK HORROR Okay, yes... I'll be very aware of myself, and the self conscious thoughts may cause a bit of anxiety. But what the heck, I'm 21 and it's time for adventures to start! At the end of the day, no one is perfect! (Whatever perfect is supposed to be!)

For anyone else who is totally self conscious and hates the way they look... Don't! I love you just the way you are! And anyone who truly loves you will too! Don't worry about everyone else, be yourself - everyone else is taken! Everything comes in different shapes and sizes... Especially beauty! You decide what your perfect is!

The number on the scales just tells you the relationship you have with gravity, not how beautiful you are! Beauty is both on the outside AND the inside! It's your personality, your character, your kind heart!

So, I don't care how - just go out there and flaunt what your momma gave you!