We all know by now, that a considerable part of John’s Road to Volunteering is about volunteering. It’s in the title.
On the other hand, more and more of my posts over the last few months have been personal insights into my life and what makes me, me.
The cheeky guy with a beautiful head of hair, and a Gandalf like beard I wish I had, but on a serious note, despite the fact volunteering is in the title of the blog, I want to add something new to the blog this year.
Something that I’ve already started, but want to go in deeper with. I want to talk about me. I want to talk about the parts of my life that have brought John’s Road to Volunteering to life and the thoughts I have had, but not many people know about.
Starting today with body image…
If you talk to me in a chat, you’d think ‘WOW! He’s one confident guy’. I like to think I am, NOW! I never used to be.
The days I’d wake up look in the mirror, to see an underweight beanpole, with nothing to give to the world. I really thought this.
I’d go out looking like Peter Crouch, with minimal fat on my body, without a sense of care what people thought, go do what I needed to do and go home again.
Some of that is a lie. I hated who I was! What I wore! What I looked like! I hated everything about me.
I was not a confident person and in retrospect my childhood played a part. I didn’t want to talk about how my childhood impacted my early stages of body image, but more so the blogging community.
Time and time again, you’ll read someone’s tweet indicating they’re not happy with their body or they don’t know who they are, and it is one thing the blogging world can play a part in.
When I first started blogging, I had no clue what I was doing, had no friends in the community or even knew there even was a community.
You might be wandering where I’m going with this, but as soon as you join the community, your images are everywhere.
If I was old me and looked at these photos, I’d remember why I lacked confidence. There are some incredible good looking chaps in the blogging world and what do I see? A stick.
We get all caught up in what the media says and what stereotypes are around, but seeing pictures of other bloggers, also can set us off.
It’s amazing to see the support we give one another and we compliment someone on their picture, but in the back of our minds, we’re one jealous prick!
We see someone with a cracking body, and we take a step back, and we fall back to the same mind-set we’ve always had…being our biggest critic.
That’s what life is about and body image being our biggest critic. It doesn’t matter what the media says, what another blogger looks like, we should be proud of who we are and embrace what we’ve been given.
I see a guy in this photo that started to believe in himself. A guy that, yes, still had issues with his body image and the fact he looked like a stick insect, but I was happy. I was happy with the adventure I was living.
This leather jacket I picked up in House of Fraser…bloody hell, even saying that store earlier in my life would have been a joke.
Do you remember the time when you’d look at yourself and think, wow, I can’t go in there, look at how stunning everyone is?! House of Fraser, well any stylish shop would have made me feel like this!
But something changed… I grew up.
I started to learn that body image wasn’t that important, that your happiness did.
Whether I look at myself or not in a confident fashion is no longer relevant, as I’m relevant.
I started to learn that facial expressions tell a big story. That the story has its ups and downs, and those down days are fine. Body image no matter how you’re feeling will always be a part of your life. It’s a huge talking point in today society and there’s no hiding awake from the discussions, but we have control of our thoughts.
Whether a blogger looks amazing or not, we shouldn’t let this be the point we judge ourselves. We should embrace it!
The fact I talk about my hair in chats, and there I am standing in front of a lamppost, showing my head has a better reflection or the pictures below of me now being comfortable wearing Tommy Hilfiger (reflective pic) and Diesel (looking happy next to a tiny letterbox), proves a point, that every action has a purpose, but it’s our minds that start the action being delivered.
We need to stand tall (not sure being taller than 6’1 will help) and be proud of who we are, the features we have and what the future holds.
My future definitely has more personal posts like this in it, but that doesn’t mean I won’t judge myself in the meantime.
Whether you look at yourself or not, it is ok to judge yourself. We all do it! But remember that someone’s body isn’t yours, their mind isn’t your mind and your future isn’t their future.
Make your life about you and do the same about your image. I’ve learned growing up, that yes, clothes do help with your body image, but you’re the one who buys them in the first place. That’s confidence in itself.