Finding my body beautiful.

By Hildy Harland

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I have struggled my whole life with how I look. I have always had issues with my weight, my face, size of my head, how much body hair I sprout, having an uneven upper lip, having skin tags, dark skin pigmentation and so much more. I have spent years letting these imperfections and insecurities keep me down, but recently I have become more aware that in not embracing what I am naturally, I am holding myself back. This is MY body and I am responsible for it and the way I feel about it, so I made the conscious decision to stop hating it and decided to try and love it instead. I’m not saying I always feel great about myself because I definitely don’t but allowing myself to accept my imperfections and embrace them as a part of who I am, has honestly changed my life.

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I feel like I have been on this quest for so long, I tried to change myself so many times to  fit in with what the world sees as general beauty. As a performer and in particular a dancer, society tells me I should be thin and traditionally good looking, often tanned skin and definitely make up clad and I shouldn’t have body hair (or much of it at least). With these standards set for us how are we ever supposed to just enjoy what we are and be who we are? It’s difficult to override the standards and expectations that have been imposed on us by society and start to enjoy and appreciate our bodies for what they are. There is always a bit of a backlash to people being “proud” of certain aspects of their body, so let me be clear that I am not talking of pride in appearance but more of an acceptance, love and above all care. I have found in being an overweight person almost my whole life that hating myself and what I look like has got me nowhere and in fact has made my situation worse. In dark times of self hatred I have began to not care about myself and that is where things deteriorated both mentally and physically.

What I propose is that as a collective (in particular women but men are not excluded) we begin acceptance and re-focus our efforts on how we make ourselves feel and how we treat our bodies, trying to align with ourselves and our natural strengths rather than focussing on how weak, bad and wrong we think we might be. Positivity if shared can be an amazing travelling gift which I am hoping to pass on to you today in writing this blog

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My journey to finding myself beautiful has meant changes but not the changes I always thought they would be such as weight loss, hair removal, permanent make-up or keeping the perfect beauty regime. It has been a change within me to accept what I am and decide to care for it and love it, stop telling it that it looks wrong, stop thinking it is bad and stop using it as an excuse not to enjoy my life to it’s absolute fullest.

 I wanted to write this particular blog to emphasis the strength of accepting your body and yourself as they are, because as I have witnessed first hand within myself, it is only after that acceptance that you can start to move on to truly be our best self. So if there is anything other than a spot of self indulgence you can take from this b post, please let it be this, don’t waste time hating your body and how you look, it’s not worth it, don’t let it stand in the way of anything you want to do, it might be hard and scary but you can honestly make a difference not only to yourself and your own life but those around you.

Let’s be brave together and please do feel free to use this post to start conversations with myself an others!

Hildy’s Health Adventure: Hypnosis with HUMMINGBIRD Mind Therapy.

I have been having a bit of a life overhaul of late. Trying to figure out how I can make everything work together, work-life-money balance is something that I have always struggled with as an adult. Because I am so passionate about my work it seems to often take over my life and at the moment the ‘sitting in front of my laptop’ side of things has really had a negative effect on me. I have been stuck doing so much admin and social media trying to get Dance Culture North East up and running that I have hardly had time to train and be the physical person that I once was. Over the past few months I have realised how much this has made me unhappy with my body and that is now effecting my confidence as a performer. It can’t be good for my health either. 

So I have decided to set myself a little quest over the next four months I will endeavour to change my bad habits and lead a healthier life. Not just looking at diet and fitness, but delving into my mind to discover how I can make realistic and positive changes that will stick. “But Hildy” I hear you cry “I thought you were a body positivity promoter and believe that you don’t have to be skinny etc to be happy”. Well, yes I do believe that, but when you aren’t looking after yourself  properly and your health, both mental and physical is effected it’s really time to make changes! I didn’t want to be alone on this journey, so I thought I would blog about it and bring you all along for what I’m sure will be a bit of a roller coaster ride! Over the next four months (May-August) I will be exploring different therapies, workouts, nutritional advice, classes and workshops to try and find my work-life balance and generally improve my health, happiness and wellbeing.  

Hypnosis with HUMMINGBIRD Mind Therapy

I Began my journey on 1st May with a session at Humming bird Mind Therapy . I opted for the Wellbeing Package which consists of three sessions that I will be attending weekly. I must admit my main aim for these sessions are some self control where food is concerned, I want my diet to give me more energy setting me up for those really busy weeks, address some confidence issues as well as break some really bad (hard to banish) emotional eating habits to gain some self control and strength. 

Before we started my first session we did a short video to introduce what Hypnosis is all about! Want to know how it all went and if it worked? Come back on MONDAY to find out………..

 

My cabaret debut!

I have been performing my whole life and performed many different genres of dance on a lot of formal stages since I was 4 years old, however because of my weight and probably, just being a big ol’ scaredy-cat, I had never tried my hand at dancing in a cabaret format. Something about being alone on a small stage and the audience being within sniffing distance made me very nervous! But all my life I have idolised cabaret performers and the sort of art they make, cheeky, quirky, funny; Cabaret can be anything you want it to be, and that’s why lot’s of people love it!

So when I was asked if I would to do a commissioned choreography and performance at a bar called Can Can, how could I resist?

So here it is, my debut at Can Can bar enjoy!!

P.s Please subscribe to my channel if you haven’t already!

 

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Fat girl vs Film-my adventure into public nudity for the sake of body positivity (part 1)

Hi guys and dolls,

So as per my last post ‘Girl meets cake’ I have very much sunk myself into this project and only gone and got myself a job getting naked in a short film! The film takes a look into body positivity and is called ‘Made of Glass’, brought about by a lovely group of people who go under the name of ‘Abnormal Exit’ its part of a triology of short films looking at some issues faced by women.

So my body was picked from thousands of candidates or maybe that’s just what my lovely director Abbey Scargill told me.😉

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My first day on location was yesterday and we had an amazing day frolicking in the forest (fully clothed) I met the whole crew and had some giggles trying to win everyone over before I showed them my worst enemy (my naked form)! I felt really good yesterday focussing on my performance and the technicalities of filming, however as the day went on I was increasingly aware these people I barely know and am not planning on sleeping with will be seeing me in all my glory the next day and focusing on that for the majority of an evening/afternoon which made me increasingly nervous and anxious. I felt and still can’t help but think that I will be dissapointing, or too entertaining (as in laughed at rather than laughed with), there is also an element of potential disgust going round in my brain, I am basically thinking of every bad reaction scenario that the people who see me may have, this is also bizarrely quite comforting as it is me kind of preparing for the worst.

This morning I have made a little video after making every inch of my being ready for the trauma it was about to go through.

So here it is………..

I am currently in waiting to be called to set so until my next post I will simply say………..to be continued……….