In my early teens I became aware that people were treated differently in this society depending on their physical appearance.

When I was a little girl I would look in the mirror and be so happy with what I saw. I loved my body, and thought I was perfect just the way I was. It allowed me to do everything I needed - walk, sing, run, laugh and play.

I truly believed I was a princess.

As I grew older, words like, β€˜fat, ugly, disgusting, thunder thighs and useless’ entered my life and I actually began to believe them.

I became conscious of my appearance, I believed I wasn’t good enough, skinny enough, confident enough or pretty enough.

Looking back I can just laugh at the fact I let those words define how I felt about myself, but in all honesty, it took me years to let this go.

Every day when I look in the mirror, I remind myself that I am so lucky to be alive, in a healthy body that gives me energy and is working tirelessly to protect me. Yes, I still have bad days when words other people say get to me. But I have developed a deep appreciation for my body and I know that there is more to life than how I physically appear.

Beauty fades, but a beautiful heart and soul never do.

Please remember that you are that beautiful, free, happy little girl you used to see in the mirror. Be kind to her. Don’t let the words other people say define who you are.

Make the choice every morning to be thankful for the wonderful, unique body you see in front of you. 
Life is too short to value yourself by your physical appearance and the number you see on the scales.

You are so much more than that.