Confessions Of An Insecure Girl

Hey Readers…

So I remember writing this post back in April of what was 2018 , however something prevented me from posting this , but i thought its’s a new year and why let things get in the way of posting your great work and effort … so it’s not an easy post but it i’m sure it would motivate someone who may read this :

So, let’s take a trip down to memory lane… maybe around secondary school times. The early stages of puberty have just kicked in and you see yourself developing in various ways. Ways that maybe you didn’t quite understand. As unsolicited cushions of fatty tissue, unattractive blemishes and wild pubic hair begin to invade your body.

Then the social construct of insecurities comes along, and you start to realise that as your body changes, the images you’re faced with in a daily basis don’t. The covers of Vogue, Grazia and even page 3 of the Sun, look nothing like you. And before you know it, you’re out of the game. You tick none of the boxes when it comes to the world’s perspective of conventional beauty.

When it comes to insecurities, the thought of the body comes to mind, doesn’t it ? Don’t get me wrong, body image- the major player that men and women of all ages have to battle, even as we mature and emotional uncertainties about our bodies tend to remain forever young. This can range from height and weight, right down to awkward physical assets such as boobs or maybe deeper issues such as skin tone. It has been stated that by as young as 13, at least 50% of girls are significantly unhappy about their physical appearance. Upon reading this admittedly, I fell into the 50%.

University intensified this for me. Stepping into a new place where you barely know anyone and first impressions are imperative to making your mark. The first nights out are always the great ones meeting people and making close friends. However, it stood out to me that I was insecure about my appearance when I wouldn’ even wear certain clothes because it exposed certain things about my body . E.g weight gain. I feel like this was the case for many young men who aspire to be extremely built #Gains and women who want the cole bottle curves.

I guess it became quite serious when I was at the point if virtually starving myself, just to get the look that I wanted. The look that “society” deemed to be perfect. Now dieting is completely fine, and it is considered healthy- only when you are doing it the right way and for the right reasons though. Now, I can admit that I was doing it for my appearance and definitely doing the most unadvisable way. I would have frequent periods of simply not eating ; describing it as my way of “fasting” and adding my ideal body weight to my short lost of prayer points.

I fell deep into the dark side of social media and created a new goal for my weight gain.

Approximately 91% of women are unhappy with their bodies and resort to dieting to achieve their ideal body shape which is mostly influenced by social media. I mean amazing bodies are literally glorified all over timelines and explore pages, and while this virtual fit-fam may seem motivating to one individual, it is a detrimental reminder of a constant insecurity to the other.

With around 800 million people using Instagram daily, it is inevitable to be influenced by the photos posted on the platform and not develop insecurities about it. Especially for a young adult in this generation, you are more or less likely to have at least one type of social media platform you use, whether it be Instagram, Snapchat or even Facebook. So you are bound to have encounters of public figures or celebrities with ideal body types which can be discouraging at times to the viewer.

I really got hit with anxiety with my self when it came to social media. I was constantly checking my weight, my appearance in the mirror, how my makeup looked whenever I was out and constantly reapplying that Fenty glow believing it would magically mask how I truly felt. I was so bothered by how others perceived me and would review old selfies to remind myself of the times I felt I was THE actual sauce. It took me a while to realise that it was in this constant cycle of feeling unfulfilled about myself and how uncomfortable I was to be in my own body. I knew I had to control this urge of wanting to improve something with my appearance, even when there was nothing to work on.

So here are some thing i’ve started to note to ease this feeling of not appreciating myself:

Written affirmations : I would write down my best assets and things that I value about myself and read them over and over again until I started to appreciate these things for their true worth.

My Faith: Being a Christian, I turned to God for help and I found out that Psalm 193:14 really aided me in struggling times, but after a while I started to overcome my insecurities with his help! I started to be honest with him about my insecurities and I started to realise that God has definitely made me the way he is for a reason.

So to end it here , I hope this motivated you to accept yourself for the way you are. This was a long one so thanks if you made it to the end ūüėā,

Thanks for reading and see you on my next post !

#ESSENCEINTERVIEWS 1

Hey Readers!

So I’m back with something exciting and new, since September I’ve been pondering on this new segment called ESSENCE INTERVIEWS, where I interview successful people on tips to do with motivation and their journey to get to where they are now. It wasn’t until the beginning of October that I put this plan into action, and by the beginning of November, this planned was birthed into reality !

So I start off this segment with a very dear friend of mine, someone I’ve known since I was like 4 years old and someone who inspires me more than ever- Desiree Henry. Desiree is a British sprinter from North London who competes in the 100 and 200 meters races. So far she’s acquired an amazing bronze medal in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games and a silver medal in the 4 x 100m relay in the World Athletic Championships in 2017. Amongst these many achievements, she is an Adidas ambassador and lover of photography ! It was such an honour to catch up with her since I haven’t seen her for over 7, maybe more years ! I’m glad that I got the chance to start off my new segment with her, and I look forward to continuing with this with more great people to interview! Check out the interview here :

  • So Desiree, how did you know you had a passion for athletics ?

    I feel that my passion for athletics began when I attended multiple competitions and just found that I was winning ! Of course everyone wants to be the best, everyone likes to win and feel successful and have their moment, and after winning a few races, I just wanted to do everything in my power to maintain this and be successful, become an athlete and be successful at it, so I believe my passion started from there.

  • Do you feel pressure to stand out amongst thousands of athletes that are around the same age as you, if so, how do you deal with this pressure?

    Most¬†definitely ,¬†in terms of the pressure¬†I have to realise that, yes athletics is an individual sport, and the¬†competitiveness is extremely high in the UK, but¬†I think¬†what puts things into perspective is when¬†I went to America, and found that not only are there girls my age running¬†just as fast as me, working¬†just as hard as me, but it was the numbers. I’m sure that there are 100 girls that could do what¬†I do, and that could knock peoples confidence. But that could make me think how am¬†I¬†going to make myself feel even more special,¬†I just think to myself my drive is¬†completely different to their drive, it’s just remembering who¬†I am, remembering the work¬†I have put throughout the years and not discrediting it and just giving myself a pat on the back and realising that all my efforts¬†haven’t been for nothing, and¬†I’m¬†going to be¬†successful regardless, even if it means¬†I’m my own cheerleader you could say.

  • What is your favourite thing about being an athlete ?

    Hmm, my favourite thing¬†about being an athlete would¬†definitely¬†be the¬†travelling aspect of it, being an athlete has opened up my eyes to so many cultural experiences, and not only cultural experiences but being able to experience it through¬†travelling and going to different countries, a big thing for me when¬†I started off being young, was travelling around the UK. I thought¬†that was the greatest thing, but now athletics has brought me to places such as South Africa, China, The Bahamas, America etc. It’s just incredible that¬†I’ve had these opportunities to go to these places ,so that’s not only comepetition experiences but life experiences, that have been amazing and have been able to achieve¬†through athletics.

  • Do you feel that the sporting community is lacking in black females, form diverse areas e.g London ?

    To an¬†extent, yes.¬†I am lucky in the sense of ¬†the generation of sprinters we have are top female sprinters , that are London sprinters, so¬†I feel like we have the¬†representation¬†there. Of course we have to think about the future, what are the future generation looking like for upcoming sprinters ? and¬†I wouldn’t¬†say¬†a lot of them are from London, but¬†I think we are lucky for the support and for me to do my job which is to represent London the best¬†I can, even if that means winning a medal. Just giving the younger¬†generation, hope and a future. Then¬†I would also look at a wider scale, London is partially represented in out sport, but on the grand¬†scale, are¬†black women represented in sport in general ? If it just means that¬†I¬†can do my role and get my face out¬†there as much as¬†I can, then¬†I’m doing a great thing, we are on the¬†right path of having well represented black female athlete.

  • What makes you gain confidence in times of anxiety, for example when you have a huge race coming up or a big interview etc ?

    Well for me, when it comes to races,¬†I’m at the stage where¬†I’m¬†running against my¬†heroes, my idols and all that kind of stuff. It’s really easy to crumble and get sucked in and forget¬†all he hard work you’ve put in, but now¬†I’ve been able to train my brain, that when¬†I’m standing¬†there on the line, those days of sweat,blood and tears that¬†I’ve put in at training, it’s going to be for a reason. This is the moment that it’s all been worth it for, and¬†I think it only takes me a few seconds to simply realise that and once¬†I believe that all the work that¬†I’ve put in has¬†been¬†worth it, and all the work is going to help me with my performances,¬†I just feel unstoppable! I can look to my left and to my right and be like ” right, let’s go, bring it on!” because¬†I’m confident in my work.

  • In terms of motivation, what would you tell your younger self ?

    I¬†would tell my younger self, the hard work that¬†you’re putting in right now, maintain it. It’s going to define you as a character and¬†separate¬†you from not just¬†being an average sprinter but being one of the best in the world and a world class British athlete, so¬†I would¬†commend myself on that, on my¬†perseverance¬†and¬†determination.¬†I would also say- enjoy the journey !¬†You are¬†going to experience¬†a lot and in experiencing alot, take a moment to¬†just¬†appreciate every single opportunity.¬†Whether that’s going to a new country and racing there- take a moment to walk around and explore the country because¬†another¬†thing is, you’re gonna¬†travel the¬†world¬†a lot, but just¬†make sure you get the real experience and not just see the tracks, the hotels and repeat that cycle but try and get that experience in.¬†

  • What would you say to someone who wants to follow in your footsteps and gain exposure for their career e.g boosting themselves on social media ?

    I¬†would start to think how can¬†I help myself, and¬†I would start with¬†things such as charity¬†events. That way¬†you are doing a selfless act,¬†something that is not going to bring financial gain out of it but to gain¬†experience and communicate with people, that could be an¬†amazing thing. So by charity events, this could be giving away old clothes or speaking at schools etc. Because it¬†ultimately helps you to build your own character and it gets you think to think from another perspective, so if you’re going to a school and you are going to speak to people from another¬†generation, if you’re an¬†individual or an athlete, everyone has had life¬†experiences, and everyone can learn from a moment and if you¬†can share those experiences and what you’ve learnt to to a younger generation, again¬†through that you¬†have done a selfless act-¬†share it on social media! It’s not a problem at all. And yes people can say, “oh well, you’re only doing it for social media clout” but also you did something¬†amazing, you took time out of your day, not getting paid by it, but taking time to help others, I feel like that is a ¬†major important thing. It’s important to build yourself first, build your own self¬†confidence and to get to a place where, you don’t feel as well that you need outsiders to tell you are great or amazing, but simply spending time and building on your own self confidence it the best thing.¬†

  • And girlllll, I need some fitness tips so, what are the essential/starter-kit basic things to getting that body in shape

    Right, we are getting right in there ! When we say “fit body”¬†people have to remember, it is not going to happen overnight. If you are going to the gym,¬†I’m telling you don’t look in the¬†mirror the¬†next day, thinking you’ve made an improvement –¬†because you haven’t. But this¬†shouldn’t¬†discourage you, but¬†I think the number one thing is – brace yourselves- CARBS !
    As much as we love our rice, bread,¬†pasta etc, that is the number one thing¬†I would reduce on my list. I personally don’t have any carbs, but for someone that isn’t an athlete¬†and they are doing their day to day things,¬†I would¬†reduce the amount. By this¬†I mean having 1-2 carb dishes a week, eventually progressing to having no carbs at all. I tell you that is where¬†a lot of fat comes from.
    Tip¬†number 2 –¬†everyone loves a good ab¬†circuit workout. and if you can implement at¬†least three ab workouts a week, roughly 10¬†exercises for each of them =,¬†I feel¬†like that’s an¬†amazing foundation for you, just to introduce¬†exercises into your body. Nothing too strenuous, something easy,¬†maybe if you are watching a Netflix show or just chilling, something that is not¬†taking major time or is taking out time from your busy day. I believe those two, would be my top 2 things, if you want to start your journey to a healthy and fitter lifestyle.

  • Any lasting things you would like to say..

    I used this quote the other day “dreams¬†don’t work unless you do” and this can be applied in every aspect of your life. How¬†I relate that to me- if¬†I don’t go to training, if¬†I don’t put in the work and effort, how am¬†I¬†going to be successful ? You or anyone else can¬†apply that by¬†making sure your going to lectures, going to seminars guarantees you graduating or getting the grade that you want,¬†whether your a¬†teacher or¬†something, going to work inspires the¬†next generation and helps them too. So that has been my quote for the day, – ” dreams don’t work,¬†unless you do.”¬†

So that’s the first post of this new segment completed ! I’m so excited for starting this and can’t wait to see what come out of this. I would like to thank Desiree for contributing to this and you can find her on :

Instagram : desiree_lh
Twitter: @DesireeLHenry
Facebook: Desireehenryfanpage
Youtube: Desiree Henry

Thanks for reading !

 

 

 

#ESSENCETALKS 1

Hey readers, I recently mentioned on my Instagram stories ( if your not following me on there then really, what are you doing ? @essenceofefe) that I wanted to talk about my opinion on some controversial topics that I think about but do not really discuss. Weird fact about me is that I love debating on topic’s surrounding politics, race, gender etc. I guess it brings out the sociology side out of me (not that I studied it anyway lool). So my first segment of Essence Talks is about a question posed by one of my followers:

“Why do you think the rate of teenage pregnancy/pre-marital pregnancy is pretty much the same between atheists and Christian Women ?”

My initial reaction to this was, hmm interesting viewpoint, something that I hadn’t considered before, so I decided to delve into this topic and give my opinion, the perspective of a young adult who is also a Christian woman.

My first thought to this was, well we are in 2018, almost going into 2019 and as we know times have definitely changed from the traditional viewpoint of relationships, or let’s say the cultural viewpoint of relationships (as I am from an African background) you know the normal, go to school, go to university, graduate, get a job, find a boyfriend, start dating, get married, live together, start a family, and the list goes on from there. It’s not knew to think that times have changed from the conservative way of planning out life. As a 19 year old girl, I know of so many people who are parents or in a serious relationship at my age. And whilst my parents may be shocked to know about it, I don’t really see it as a shock to me. Women are either having babies ¬†really early, or really late and it has completely become the norm.

 

Now as a Christian, I’m sure we have all become familiar with verses such as “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” or ” Because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband” ¬†which pretty much explains the instructions about pre-marital sex. However, I believe that in this generation, sexual freedom is out in the open. Whether it’s through movies, music, media, or friends it is a common topic in comparison to years back when it was such a taboo for girls to start having children before being wed. But in reality, as we progress on to a new year, the topic has been exposed and it is not uncommon for young women to be involved in relations, even before marriage. Let’s just say that girls are expressing their right to their sexual freedom. They are just getting… jiggy.

(Sorry, I just had to add the GIF, spice up the blog, they’ve been too dry lately lool )

Moving onto teenage pregnancy, this year hasn’t been so bad. According to the BBC, there were about 23 conceptions per 1,000 15-17 year old girls in 2014 compared to a high of 55 in 1971. So in reality, we are doing pretty well. Doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not still happening. This is why some may say the rate between teenagers and older women who are married are the same. And yet, this reason can mainly be attributed towards changing times. Hey, who thought in 2018 that the LQBTQ+ community would gain such large prominence in the public eye ? Times are moving on and we just have to learn to adjust to these changes. I guess we are not so strict on the rules and guidelines of the Bible, or we have just moved out of the ways of the Old Testament. I like to see it as, since God gave us the opportunity of free will, we are choosing to exercise this right, if not I guess many people wouldn’t be in this situation or in others such as getting tattoos, smoking or even drinking alcohol. It’s something that happens and its accepted socially, no matter what religious background you are from.

I could go on forever about this topic, but to save myself from rambling , I guess I will stop just here. So far this piece has been really interesting to write about, and I have enjoyed it as I can express my truest opinion on controversial topics ( I like a bit of controversy, yes I do) hope to do more post like these in the near future and I hope to whoever is reading this, you find this interesting !

Remain Blessed !

February: Month of Self Love

Hello February !!

So as we have commenced into the new month, I am just in so much high spirit, not because this is the month of Valentines, but because I am challenging myself to Loving myself

Self-love can be defined as a want for your own well-being and happiness

Now this may sound self-centred, but it really isn’t. I think it is essential to have some time to devote all the love and care to yourself for once and to really enjoy your worth and your own company

Taking this in, this month I decided to treat myself to the fullest, whether it be eating my favourite foods, or going to my favourite places. As well as reinforcing happiness into my life by assuring myself of the amazing qualities I possess

Sometimes, we can be so focused on other people’s well being ( which isn’t bad all the time) that we start to neglect ourselves and start to neglect loving ourselves, so since this is the month famously known for love, I challenged myself and I hope to challenge others to really set time aside and to encourage everyone to take this month as a self-devotion month , it can even be done not just in February but in other months too.

Happy Self-love Month !x