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Does your weight affect your confidence?

I can't say that I ever had a serious issue with my weight in my teenage years. I was always an average sized young girl with a small to medium body frame. A few individuals I came across said I was quite athletic, but in saying that, I was doing ballet and tap from the age of 4 and by the age of 17, I was a black black in TYKI Karate.

I was never one for wearing dresses, or playing with my hair. But, I guess it was because I wasn't your typical girlie girl, who went round with frills and bows.

I was the girl who had fights with boys, stood up for myself, loved to dance and was very confident in every new social environment I was put in.

By 15, the opposite sex would comment on my physique, but I usually laughed it off because I had no interest in what guys had to say. It was only until I was blessed with my very first relationship that I actually paid attention. I had my first boyfriend at 16 and we met at the same karate club. Initially, I had never given him a glance, because we were very good friends. But, when he asked me to be his girl, I just said yes.

Only then at 16, was I conscious about my appearance and the way others viewed me, especially, the friends of my first love.

By 18, I wore slim fit dresses, because I could. I walked in the skinniest of heels and had my hair curly permed every couple of months.

My weight meant nothing, because I had never worried about what people thought about me. To be honest, at that age, I didn't care. I was a confident young lady who was determined to succeed in life.

By 24, I became pregnant with my first son. Putting on three stones didn't phase me because I knew I was that size for a reason. My son was getting all the nutrients he needed and I was very excited to meet my bundle of joy. My face swelled, my nose spread and my hair became thin. But, I still felt beautiful, because I was going to become a mother.

After having my first son, I suffered with severe depression, due to the lack of support. I was a single mother living on my own in a city far away from family. I was low in weight and I wasn't eating well, which meant I had to stop breast feeding and put my son on formula.

I wouldn't look in the mirror because I didn't feel good within myself and the fact that I was constantly being told by an ex that I was fat, ugly and less of a woman than his new partner, didn't help.

Me and my first born son August 2006

I have no idea why I let this ex fill my head with things that were not true, but when you're raising a child alone and your self-esteem is already low, you don't actually consider the fact that everyone has an opinion, but your belief in yourself is what counts.

No person should let anyone define who they are especially if they are happy with themselves.

If you are happy with your weight and feel confident at the same time, then why is it an issue to anyone else? I know a few women who are heavy boned, but still look good. They dress accordingly, go out and socialise like any other size 6 woman out there.

I know women out there who idolise other women who are bigger than themselves, but find it difficult to put on the weight because their metabolism is high. Either way, it should be all about loving you.

I always say wear your skin with pride, but today I am going to say, embrace your weight and smile. If changing your weight will make you feel better, then go ahead and make that change. Only you, should be able to determine the level of your happiness about yourself.

By 30, I was pregnant with my second son and I have to say I was a fair weight. I carried the pregnancy well and looked good, as much as I was going through a difficult time. I didn't care about how much I weighed. Neither did I care about peoples comments on how big my bump was at such an early stage.

I found that people always had so much to say when it came to my appearance and how much weight I had put on. Like, I had not noticed myself.

Anyway, after my son was born. I quickly went back to my original size in clothes and my weight dropped back down to 10 stone 11. Getting back to a size 10 wasn't an issue, but I struggled with motherhood. The busy lifestyle as a single mother held my weight down because | was constantly active and always on the go. I still got attention from men and I was always complimented about how well I looked for my age, so I guess it never made me question how happy I was.

Last year I weighed 79kg(12 stone 5) and unbelievably I was wearing size 16 clothes. I never realised how much weight I had gained until my size 16 trousers started to get tight. My friends were surprised by the size of my clothes, mainly because I carried the weight so well.

But, I found it harder to run at running events that I participated in because I was always tired not long after starting.

I never realised over the years, how much my weight contributed to the way I felt in myself. It didn't affect my confidence as such, but it affected my energy, my spirit and my ability to do more. I lacked the passion I needed to fulfil certain things that I had planned for the future. I was ambitious, but not with the drive I had many years ago.

Today, I am six months away from turning 40 and I actually feel great. I could easily pass as a 25 year old and that is saying something.

I currently weigh 68kg(10 stone 7) and I have made it my priority to look and feel good for 2019. I eat healthy, watch my calories and get involved in more physical activity. I just hope one day, I can share all this happiness with someone who will appreciate it.

I didn't realise that losing so much weight would make me feel so happy. I feel like I have a spring in my step. I am loving how I look and I definitely don't feel shy in front of the camera.

I know that I am an amazing woman with great strength and losing weight has done me such a great favour.

I am keeping up with my boys activities. I have made so many plans to do things on my bucket list. I am constantly smiling and I feel so much more hopeful. I am positive, open to change and welcoming to experiences.

I haven't lost weight for anyone and I certainly haven't done it for attention. I have solely done it for me. The only way I am going to embrace a life that doesn't rely on anyone, is to only rely on myself.

Once I am happy with who I am, in and out, only positive people will be allowed into my circle.

Hopefully, this will also bless me with an amazing and prosperous future.

I look forward to a life full of blessings and if I keep loving myself, so much love will come in my direction.

Don't let your weight determine your confidence. Let it be the stepping stone to your progression and better living.

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