I had a few massive wake-up calls that lead me to work in this field. You see, there was a time when I didn’t like my body. The honest truth is that I had a lot of hang-ups. I didn’t love my face or body. I wanted to lose weight from the age of 10 until my mid-twenties. On top of that my bite was crooked which meant that my face was far from symmetrical. I had to wear a brace for 4 years and at the age of 20 I had to have my jaw broken and realigned. (Fun fact, I have permanent screws in my face).
So basically… I spent my teens and early 20s feeling like I wasn’t beautiful. Which of course wasn’t true, I was a little cutie (still am).
I survived the crooked face comments and managed to avoid photos like nobody’s business. In my head, it was all ok because someday I would lose weight, have my jaw operation and magically transform. But my own issues with my weight often felt suffocating. From the age of 10 I became aware of my weight. My boobs and hips came in with such brutal force that I was covered in angry red stretch marks. Early puberty arrived with a bang and my classmates were quick to call me fat. It was considered good to be thin and bad to be anything else. I felt like thinness was celebrated everywhere. Even at home, the beautiful curvy ladies in my family were always on diets.
When I was 20, I went on a huge diet and lost a lot of weight. Later that year I had my jaw realignment surgery. My dreams had come true… I was finally going to live a life that was shinier, happier, and 10x more fabulous… but guess what? I didn’t feel different after the operation. My aligned jaw and the weight loss didn’t change the way I felt. It became clear to me that everything had just been in my head. I realised that I had wasted so much brain power disliking myself for no real reason. I’d put off so many things. I’d wasted a lot of time just waiting to have this operation that I thought would change my life.
I became aware of where all these pressures to “look good” had come from. I started to see how the media, my peers, and my family had shaped my view of myself. But what was my opinion and what did I think of myself?
At this time in my life I was studying journalism and working in the media. I started to do lots of my own research into body confidence, body positivity, body neutrality etc. I turned my back on diet culture and pressures from the beauty industry. I gave away my weighing scales and recycled all my old diet books. I gave myself back all of the emotional and mental energy that I had been putting into changing myself. I instead starting making friends with that mirror, mirror on the wall. I focused on what I did like and learned to accept the things that I was less thrilled about. I became my own biggest cheerleader and learned how to validate myself with my own kinds words.
Over time I started to see a confident woman looking back at me in the mirror. I started to actually like the way I looked! I began wearing whatever I wanted (that includes a bikini), I stopped being afraid of the camera, and I finally felt that shiny happy feeling I thought I would feel once I lost weight and had the surgery to fix my jaw… and guess what… it turns out that I didn’t need to change myself to get that feeling, I just had to change my relationship with myself.
Fast forward seven years, I’d moved my curvy confident self to Paris and was working in a fancy job as an International Social Media Consultant. I loved my personal life, but my work life was overwhelming, and I knew that I needed to change career. I decided to retrain as a life coach and started my diploma. I stopped working in my old field and started a business as an expat coach (I’ve lived in Ireland, the US, Italy, and France). After some time, I realised that all my clients were coming to be about body confidence issues. I realised that “hey, I’ve been there and overcome that, I kinda know a thing or two”. My work started to naturally keep moving in the direction of body confidence and I eventually decided that it was time to step into my “ditch your inner bitch” shoes.
Now I help people from all over the world to accept their bodies. My goal is to help as many people as possible to discover the freedom of body acceptance and benefit from the confidence that comes along with it.