What ditching the scales taught me about body image


On 12th February, Kendall Jenner sent social media wild with selfies at a Skims photoshoot looking undeniably PHENOM.

What was an incredible reception for Kendall and her super-model bod, was a moment of self-loathing and anxiety for millions of other women. My Instagram feed was filled with reposts of the picture alongside crying emojis with an outpouring of admiration for Kendall in one breath, and an admission of self-hatred in the next. It made me sad.

Beautiful women, whose pictures I see on Instagram and think are full of confidence and feel content with their appearance, were suddenly feeling so vulnerable and insecure at the sight of another beautiful woman.

I then went on Twitter and the first tweet I saw, was the opening quote to this post. I think we can assume (or at the very least, hope) that the author was exaggerating. But exaggerating or not, the tweet brings to life the very real problem that us women have of feeling constantly inferior to other women when it comes to how we look.

Body image and self-love has always been a touchy subject for me. Like any woman, I’ve grown up in a world where you’re constantly reminded what beautiful looks like, and that you don’t quite fit the mould. You’re either too skinny, or not skinny enough. ‘Too short to ever be a model’ or too tall and manly. Too black, too hairy, too athletic, too old. We are all just too…. Used to accepting the characteristics that make us who we are and different to everybody else, as flaws.

Last year, I made the decision to stop weighing myself. I was sick and tired of the weekly cycle of stepping onto the scales and letting my self-worth be determined by the number that came up. I didn’t realise how unhealthy my relationship with my body was until I ditched the scales. And at the time, I didn’t realise how much this decision was going to change my entire mindset.

But here we are, over a year later and I’ve learnt a lot…

Once I dropped one insecurity (my weight), I found it easier to drop all of the others too. It was a chain reaction where I’d given myself a taste of contentment, and it wasn’t enough. I wanted to immerse myself in it.

My years of cruelty towards myself transformed into kindness and I suddenly felt at peace with my body for the very first time. Something I never thought possible.

It wasn’t easy to go from always knowing how much I weighed to having no clue whatsoever. But I’m so glad I stuck with it and I feel mentally stronger for it. For the first time ever, I feel confident and self-assured, and proud that I’ve managed to detach myself from a mindset that I let consume me for so long.