One of the hardest things I have ever done. No kidding. No matter how you look, what size or gender you are there is one thing you MUST do, and that is to learn to love yourself. You need to learn to love yourself how you are, not just tell yourself you will love how you will look one day.
Even when I was at my best physical condition I still saw flaws in my body, the stretch marks from puberty, the slightly sagging skin on my belly from having two children, the gauntness in my face from being so lean. Winning back to back World Championships opened my eyes to how amazing my body actually was. To me I was not perfect on either competition day. But I presented it as if it was, In a sport where you are judged on what looks best on the particular day it is very difficult to return to ‘normal’ without being even more judgemental.
I am a person who holds a lot of fluid, genetically my family has fluid retention problems. On any given week my weight can vary by 5kg, depending on many things including electrolyte balances, climate and altitude. My body awareness post competition is high, not only do I deal with my normal fluid issues but I also need to deal with the increase in body fat. I look very different on an everyday basis compared to what I look like on a competition stage. Although I found this hard to deal with at first I learnt to see my body as the wonder it is.
Not only have I managed to produce two beautiful children but I can also run, jump, lift weights and even do backflips… all of which are amazing when you think about it. I have learnt that no matter how my body looks, what is important is how it performs.