My Top 9 in Twenty Nineteen.
With a whole New Year (and decade) on the horizon, I thought it was time for a re-cap. I did the same thing last year as the Instagram ‘Top 9’s” started doing the rounds so naturally, I thought I’d do the same for 2019.
As the end of the year approaches, our thoughts often drift, we might take time to reflect and look back on the year – almost like a diary entry. I really enjoyed reading my post from last year, and I know this time next year, I’ll no doubt do the same. I think I might actually make it a yearly tradition.
Like every year, 2019 had its ups and downs. And at times, it felt like the best and worst year of my life. Full of change, challenges and new beginnings but, I achieved things I never could have imagined; made some incredible friendships and nourished old ones. It was a year of deep introspection and learning.
I wanted to share my Top 9 again with you all because once again, I found it pretty fascinating. These photos defined my year. Not because of the likes, reach and engagement but because of the significance of each image and post. And unbeknown to me, my Top 9 ended up being things I’m actually super proud of. So, let’s start from the top!
This image and caption was one of the first times I fully opened up about food in more detail. I’ve spoken at length about my eating disorder, but never really about my recovery – this was a turning point . I chose to talk about why I spend time making food in advance. I spoke about under and over-eating which was one of the first times I’d shared it with an audience other than my family. The response I received blew my mind and since then, has given me the confidence to talk about it much more. As I’ve said 1000 times before and will say again, there’s strength in numbers.
2019 was a BIG year for brand partnerships and collaborations – BIG names that wanted to partner with me! And believe me when I say every single one was a real *pinch me* moment. Barebells, Musclefood, Nike, Lidl, Fitbit, dhb, Ren Skincare, Superdrug – writing those names still feels surreal. I never could have imagined that my little corner of the internet would allow me to be in conversation with companies like these. I owe a huge thank you to every single person who has and continues to support me.
The third – turning 25. I was pretty apprehensive about turning 25 because I don’t live the life of your ‘typical 25 year old’. The majority of my friends have long-term boyfriends, are in the process of buying houses and have ‘proper jobs’. I couldn’t be further from that. But I’m okay with it. I’m so proud of where I am – why does it matter that I’m not on the property ladder just yet? I’ll get there when the time is right for me.
A real triumph of the year was completing my first Triathlon. It’s absolutely up there with one of the best moments of 2019. I didn’t think I’d be able to finish it but I did. And I completed it with my sister – name a better victory! I documented my whole journey and felt the biggest sense of achievemnt. It was an irreplaceable feeling.
This picture doesn’t really work without the caption, so I’ll share it again below…
‘Being on this platform writing captions, taking photos, editing, connecting, communicating TAKES TIME. More time than I think people realise. And when you scroll, you’ll often see the perfect ‘after’ edited photo which can make you question a couple things.
1. Why don’t I look like that?
2. How did they edit it so well?
At the body positive event w/ Boots last week, we spoke about compliments and photo edits AT LENGTH.
When you compliment someone, you might say something like ‘I love your skirt’. Immediately, you’re commenting on their appearance and exterior. Nothing about THEM as an individual.
A way to switch that up would be to say something like ‘I love your style’. That way, it’s personal to them & isn’t based purely upon what they look like. An even better compliment IMO would be to say something totally unrelated to their appearance, looks or body – easier said than done I know, but it means so much more. Perhaps their selflessness, strength or courage. Those are the compliments I think we could all do with hearing and saying more often.
SECONDLY, photo edits. A bit of a taboo topic in the SM world. We want to share the best photo and apply the best filter because it’s a highlight reel, right? I will put my hands up and say I edit my photos but I would NEVER alter my body shape. I use IG filters, Lightroom, brightness, contrast etc. This morning however, I’m challenging that and posting this photo which is totally unedited.
Bit nervy to share but, I’m constantly trying to keep it real on here and this is me doing just that. I wanted this post to be a friendly Friday reminder that you are good enough exactly as you are, filtered or unfiltered. You do not need the approval of others to feel good in ‘that skirt’. Pay someone a personal compliment and watch how it has the ability to transform their day’
I don’t think it needs too much of an explanation. But what I will say is that 2019 was the year I really embraced loving my body the way it is – with or without a filter. Going through a tough break-up put so much emphasis on that. I am enough exactly as I am.
Up next – being a guest on a Podcast. Yes! Little old me! I’m still immensely proud of this and will continue to be for a while. It was way out of my comfort zone and I cannot begin to explain how nervous I was, but I did it. It made me realise just how individual ‘success’ is. What is deemed as noteworthy and important to you may seem insignificant to someone else and that’s okay. Be proud of YOUR achievements and don’t be afraid to shout about it!
Project comeback. As I mentored above, 2019 was one of the best but most challenging years and I remember this being a particularly challenging time. My motivation was at an all time low, my confidence took a nose dive and I felt deflated. It took a lot but I realised that being slightly demotivated DOES NOT make you a bad person – it makes you human. People don’t often share their setbacks but as always, I want to keep it real.
Thailand. The trip that temporarily turned my world upside down but, made me the strongest version of myself. I’m not going to go into much detail but what I will say is those of you who helped and stood by me during this time – THANK YOU. So many of my amazing friends lifted me up when I needed it the most and I am forever grateful.
Last but not least, my baby Blog had a birthday! 2018 showed me I was capable. 2019 was the year I backed myself. 2020 is only going to get better.
As with both platforms, I hope that I’ve been able to use them effectively to bring joy, happiness, inspiration, advice and awareness in some way. I’ve published some of my favourite posts to date in 2019 and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading them as much as I’ve enjoyed writing them.
I hope that 2020 brings you health, happiness, joy, success and a whole lot of positivity.
All that’s left to say is HAPPY NEW YEAR!