Spotlight on YOU: Alysse's story

Spotlight on YOU: Alysse's story
Alysse's story
I am UK size 20 and wear a G cup. I have always been the ‘curvy’ one and started developing quite early, so I had a lot of attention from older boys at school and even more attention from the older girls. The girls used to make fun of my body, calling me names and helping me to create the narrative in my head that I was 1) fat and 2) unworthy. I stood up for myself on the outside but on the inside, I felt so disgusting. I left school and adopted this new external attitude that I didn’t care what I looked like and tried to play with fashion as much as I could but the reality was that I was putting more weight on - fast - and I felt even worse.
After a few years, I lost quite a lot of weight and met my husband. Shortly after the weight came back but I didn’t care as much. I had everything I wanted… until I was struggling to conceive. Everything was telling me that it was my weight that was the problem so I tried to lose weight but struggled. After a while, I fell pregnant and enjoyed my body for the first time in my life. I ate without judgement, I exercised weekly and enjoyed doing so and for the first time since I was 18, I didn’t feel like I needed to be on a diet! 
 During my maternity leave, the diet guilt came creeping back in and I started to panic about losing weight; my sister-in-law had her baby just a few months after me and she was back to her flat tummy and gym routine in no time.
Later that year, I got married and with a new baby and last name, I never felt more lost. I felt like I had no idea of what I like to wear or how I like to do my make-up. I felt so plain. On the flight on the way back from our honeymoon, I bought myself a box of 12 Rimmel lipsticks and told myself that I would wear lipstick every single day no matter what. That small gesture completely changed my life.
I began making time for myself and making an effort to feel good about myself, even if it was just the lipstick that day. Since then, I‘ve ditched the diet groups that were ruining my relationship with food and making me feel like I wasn’t allowed to love myself unless I was losing. I still have days where I am tough on myself but I appreciate me more. I am worthy and beautiful and even sexy! 
I started an Instagram account in the hope that I would inspire other women to love themselves too and have since worked on a campaign with Dorothy Perkins along with lots of other brands.
I think as I get older, I realise the only real thing that has the ability to help or hinder my journey is me. If I am feeling down about myself because I saw something in a magazine, it’s on me (don’t get me wrong I don’t think that media outlets shouldn’t be able to print some of the things they do but I control my response) and sometimes I need to give my head a wobble, allow myself some rest and then chose to get rid of the negative thoughts and move myself into a positive space.
 I would tell my younger to stop wasting time being hard on myself and just live! Take the opportunities that arise and don’t look back! And also, if you wouldn’t say it to your best friend, don’t say it to yourself!!
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