"When I was in Grade 11, I lost an incredible amount of weight through no fault of my own. I was teased, ridiculed and mocked for being too skinny and I remember hurting for days and weeks. Years later, I am a lot healthier, in tune with my body and I don't let other people's opinions of me bring me down. I am now a body positive blogger and believe that it’s time we learnt how to empower ourselves and the women around us to put an end to body shaming and embrace the skin we are in.
Knowing that you can make a positive change to an individual's approach to health and wellness is truly what keeps me going. I find that it’s not the big things that drive me but the smaller goals and the little things that really count. I love hearing from my readers when they comment on a blog post or write emails to me asking me for wellness retreat recommendations.
I learnt a while ago that it is tiring and impossible to take on the task of making everyone happy. No matter what you do, there will be someone who will not be happy. I try and stay authentic and true to my work and not worry about the rest.
Fitness is extremely important to me because I love being active and moving around on a daily basis. I approach fitness in a more holistic and intuitive way. I don't punish my body by overdoing workouts and I allow my body at least two days off to rest, heal and recuperate. I love kickboxing, crossfit and swimming because they help build lean muscle, torch your metabolism and make you stronger and more agile. Exercise is a great way to get your daily dose of endorphins and beat everyday stressors to the curb.
I think, women are supposed to support each other but instead we fixate on silly things, engage in negative body banter and focus entirely on the exterior. A lot of this can change if we make a conscious effort to compliment the woman standing next to us. Let this become a movement and see how quickly it transforms our lives.
I believe in always staying true to myself. I try to stay authentic and endeavor to be consistent with my social media posts and blogging and am very careful about the brands I endorse and recommend so that I stay true to my ideals. I have learnt to become very discerning with my projects.
Girls, if there’s anything I could tell you from what I learnt in the last few years. It would be to listen to your body and treat it well. Nourish it with good food, rest it out and don't punish it by burning the candle at both ends. Be consistent with your work and don't worry if you aren't seeing results in the beginning. Your persistence will pay off and you will definitely be reaping the rewards soon. Life’s too bloody short to compare yourself. So go ahead, put on that swimsuit and embrace that body. I’m going to start by being #bodypositive and I hope you’ll join me."
Jia Singh is a travel, wellness and body positivity blogger.
* In association with Puma.