Before I started my fitness journey back in Jun 2016. My body confidence was non existent. I was unhealthy and the weight had piled on.
There came a point where I knew I had to do something. June 2016 was when I started The Body Coach Plan. It look me a little longer than the 90 days as I enjoyed my weekends and went away for my birthday. In total it took me 6 months to complete. There were many ups and downs along the way, where I didn’t feel any change in my body. This was disappointing, however as soon as I did my comparison photos every 30 days I could notice the change.
I started my Instagram page in June, this was to help me along my journey, to join in the growing community of the #90daysssplan. However during my first few months I would compared myself to others. I would compare myself to their progress pictures, or models I followed on Instagram who had aesthetics which were appealing, flat stomach on a beach looking glamorous!
This was damaging, although at the time I didn’t realise it. I then stumbled across Zanna van Dijk’s profile on Instagram. Now she also had beautiful pictures but hers were different, her captions were different. Her captions spoke about self love, body confidence and balance. After a few weeks of following Zanna I started to watch her YouTube channels. She spoke about a movement which she co-founded called #girlgains. The movement was created by herself, Tally Rye and Victoria Spence. Three girls who’s passion for health, fitness, self love and balance developed into a community. Her videos were so inspiring and completely different to what I had expected. I then followed @thegirlgains.
Their Instagram was so powerful and so different to what I had been following for the past 6/7 months! It was about loving yourself, being confident and find balance. It didn’t matter if you were a size 6 or 26. That’s when it really got me thinking and realising, athletically I would never have a flat stomach and abs, for the following reasons 1) they are unsustainable, 2) I wouldn’t put my body through the insurance to get them and 3) I just wasn’t born with them!
I slowly realised that I had been comparing myself to others on a different journey path. That actually this was my journey to a healthier and happier me. Why did I want abs I kept asking myself? Would they make me feel better? no? Would they define me as a person? No not at all.
What started to change? Well my mindset started to change. My mindset moved from comparison to reality!
I think we all do it, we all compare ourselves to someone at some point, we all see social media as a negative impact. Social media did have a huge part to play in my journey, however in a positive way. It showed me and allowed me to understand about self love and body confidence. That feeling confident in your own skin is powerful, that although I don’t have abs or even a toned stomach – that was okay. I wasn’t defined by the way I look. It was far from that. I was so indulged in other peoples journeys I forgot about mine. Now a much happier version of myself and much much healthier I have also discovered balance! That there’s a life to be lived outside of ‘eating clean’.
Don’t get me wrong being on this journey has taken time. It takes time for your mindset to change and to learn to love yourself. Loving yourself isn’t big headed, it isn’t arrogant. It’s about embracing your flaws. It’s about looking at yourself in the mirror and realising that everyone has flaws, that no one is perfect, that actually you’re beautifully imperfect.
In January 2017, I chased an opportunity to become a #GirlGains ambassador in Essex, something that I am so passionate about. The movement helped me so I wanted to help others. I wanted so desperately to bring women together to embrace health, fitness and balance. This was so important to me because I wanted others to understand that it’s okay to be imperfect!
I held my first event in March which was a huge success and I was so proud to be part of the movement. The second event sold out within 12 hours which will take place in June.
I’m so pleased that I am able to share this movement to others around Essex to help them understand and develope.
It’s been a journey but a journey in which I have found my way to happy.
1) unfollow all those rubbish Instagram accounts your following
2) do it for you and realise it’s your journey
3) realise that we are all unique and individuals no two people are the same
4) photo shop is used A LOT! Don’t believe everything you see or read
5) live a happy, balanced lifestyle, enjoy it because you only have one shot!
As always if you want to get in touch email is below!
Instagram – @healthier_leila