British fitness influencer Chessie King is known for her realistic views on health, fitness, and body positivity. What does that mean exactly? Well, you're never going to see her recommend doing a detox or completely cutting out a particular type of food from your diet to lose weight—because who has time for that?! (This healthy eating pro has more to say on the old-school diet fads that need to go away.) While Chessie's 200K+ Instagram followers know and love her for her ability to talk candidly about how to love your body and work toward a goal at the same time, one of her recent posts showed that King has traveled a long road to get where she is now. (FYI, here's the truth about detox teas.)
3 different bikinis, 3 different weights, 3 different states of mind. Same height (just under 6ft/180cm) Body confidence comes from experience. Years of building up a relationship between your mind & your body. Years of learning what works for YOU. Do you hate working out? Do you hate eating 'healthy'? Do you give up on 'being good' after a week? Stop looking at exercising & eating well as a chore, stop telling yourself you 'have to'. You don't 'have to', you 'want to'. You WANT to feel good when now but more importantly, you want to feel good when you're 50. I've been through so much with my body, I've now found such a happy & caring friendship with it. I don't force myself to do ANYTHING, I have just learnt exactly what works for me. It's taken a while, but now it's something I'll have with me for life. The understanding & knowledge we have of our bodies is invaluable. STOP doing these 2 week no carbs, stop doing these 3 day 'detoxes'... START learning what your body needs, try different ways of training, moving & eating. Do it for YOU now & for the rest of your life
"Three different bikinis, three different weights, three different states of mind," Chessie captioned a photo collage that shows her at three different weights. "I've been through so much with my body. I've now found such a happy and caring friendship with it. I don't force myself to do ANYTHING, I have just learned exactly what works for me," she continued.
Left photo: Favourited out of the 8 taken & posted. Right photo: Immediately deleted & forgotten about. Both photos unedited & seconds between them. I do so many of these but this one is my scariest & most exposing so far. I was going through my recently deleted folder ready to 'delete all' but saw the right photo & recovered it. I felt this sense of guilt that I'd deleted it & posted the left one. A year ago I would've been left feeling so unhappy by how I look on the right & deleted it forever like it never happened but it was a huge reminder for me today that Instagram can be such a 'perfection trap'. I'm clearly super happy in the right one after @brontekingg had cracked a hilarious joke, I don't hate it but the lighting isn't 'flattering' nor is the way I'm holding my body or the angle of it but it's ME. Both of the photos are me I am proud of how I feel about my body looking at these photos. I feel like I look healthy in both & look after myself but also live without controlling myself like I have done in the past. So your Monday Motivation all the way from Singapore: People post the best photo out of a bunch taken... I know it's said a lot these days but it helps me a huge amount too. If you see a photo of yourself in 'bad' lighting or an 'unflattering angle' just remind yourself how beautiful you are & that you're ALLOWED to look like that. We were not made to be Barbie dolls who LOOK insanely good 24/7, we were made to be humans who FEEL insanely good 24/7
For Chessie, the key to becoming comfortable and confident in her skin was to get as much information as possible about wellness. (Read: not dieting.) "The difference in getting to where I am now is experience and educating myself," she tells Shape exclusively. "I love learning about my body and the muscles I'm using when I work out. I also love knowing what food does to me."
More than anything, she says she uses her own journey as an opportunity to encourage others not to go to extremes to look a certain way or hit a specific number on the scale. "Stop doing these two-week[s of] no carbs, stop doing these three-day 'detoxes'... Start learning what your body needs," she wrote in the Instagram caption. "Try different ways of training, moving, and eating."
"I want to look good for summer" "I want my bikini body back" SURE... but whyyyyy don't you want to look good for winter too? For Father Christmas? How about FEELING good for life? FEELING like a superwoman the whole year round? Yes '8 week transformations' are amazing to get you going & if you're learning from them AMAZING... but if you just stop there after the 8 weeks, your body isn't going to stay like that forever AND you may have changed your body but not your mindset. I can change my body in 2 seconds, from the left photo to the right & in both, I feel good. I know I train consistently, I know I fuel myself well, I know it's okay to let my belly out when I'm sitting down next to the pool. SO... long term/life plan: Educate yourself, that doesn't mean doing a personal training course, that means learning about yourself, how to train & how to eat. Do your own research, your own body is your best friend, explore it Find a class you love & look forward to, find a PT that works you hard but looks after you, find a friend that gives you that little boost of motivation when you need it... find things that work for YOU! So tonight, do one thing for me & let your belly release, embrace it, give it a little jiggle
In fact, King is a subscriber to the idea that any fitness or diet changes you make should be for life. In another recent post, she explained the drawbacks of the ever-popular fitness transformation and "bikini body" phenomenon. "Yes, 'eight week transformations' are amazing to get you going and if you're learning from them, AMAZING. But if you just stop there after the eight weeks, your body isn't going to stay like that forever and you may have changed your body, but not your mindset," she said in her caption. (Related: This Fitness Blogger Is Making an Important Point About How We Measure Weight Loss Success)
We've got to say, she has a point. Feeling comfortable with your body is important, but being healthy for the long haul? That definitely takes precedence.
Because our bodies are badass and feeling strong, healthy, and confident is for everyone! Help us spread the body love and be a part of our #LoveMyShape body confidence movement: Post a photo or video on social sharing why you love your shape. And check out Movemeant Foundation, our partner in empowering women and girls to be body positive.