When it comes to our bodies, we can be many things... #bodyobsessed #bodyconscious #bodyconfident...but are any of us #bodyaware? I have always had a healthy relationship with my body image, usual hang ups of course, but I have respect for my body, particularly since it has produced three children! I used to think this confidence was because of my dancing days, changing in front of other girls from a young age...none of it ever phased me...if you had a two minute 'quick change' in the wings that's how it was! But perhaps now I think of it more reflectively, it was the way (whether my parents realised it or not) I was brought up. My parents lead healthy lifestyles, and we were an active family and bodies just weren't a 'thing' in our household. Something that I am very keen to repeat bringing up my own family. And to never take anything, especially your health, for granted. Five years ago, I learnt how true that was. When my mum was 'out of the blue' diagnosed with Advanced Ovarian Cancer. My world changed forever. This is not a blog post about that time as there are MANY things that went on during those initial months and there is too much to say on it all for now, but a huge shift happened in me and my outlook on life, perhaps without releasing it, and has become something I have been trying to champion ever since.
My mum was and still is the centre of our whole family. Only now, as a mother myself, do I truly understand the 'sacrifices' she made to raise four children. Ovarian Cancer has no routine testing and the symptoms can be masked or mistaken for so many other female 'ailments' and unfortunately this was the case for my mum. And this is the crux of my campaign. The reason we need to tune in with our bodies...what is the norm, so we know when it feels different....
...how are you feeling?...how are you sleeping?....how's your skin?....how's your digestion?...how's your memory?...how's your energy?.....most of these things are driven by lifestyle choices, hormones(!), diet and exercise, therefore if any of them are 'out' then we can do something about it! Yay! And you SHOULD do something about it...don’t just 'get by', because there is so much you can do to feel better. However, we need to be in tune with all of that to notice if and when it CHANGES. And changes of course will happen, but being aware of continual change that doesn't seem 'right' needs to be addressed.
And I am not just talking about us looking out for serious diseases such as Cancer, because 90% of the time it is going to be anything other than that...but that doesn't mean that you need to live with feeling miserable if something is getting you down....
Of course, our children will come first in everything we do, BUT if we don't look out for ourselves then how can we ever be the best version of ourselves for them?
You know the saying “you have to learn to love yourself before you love others” I feel this is the same for looking after yourself…. Looking after number one HAS to be a key priority.
Be in tune with yourself. Be kind to yourself. Be #bodyaware.
By Sasha Brooke-Williams 2021