In a critical society, battling with insecurities about the way we look has become quite normal. As much as there is a standard for beauty, there's also a standard for how bodies should look like. With people touting hourglass figures with very tiny waists as the ideal, it can be hard to look in the mirror and be satisfied when you see yourself not fitting the mould.
Lucky for us, there are people who prove that realising our beauty is not about the shape we see but how we feel about the parts that make us whole. And we're happy to have been able to speak to Star Clozetter Shayne Naydas about her journey of discovery, self-love and finding the unique beauty of her body.
"Growing up I was always a bit bigger than my friends. Most of them were petite while I was curvy," Shayne recalled. "I was mostly okay with this until I became overweight. I was diagnosed with a lot of illnesses that contributed to my weight gain. I was so ashamed and insecure about my body that I avoided people — old friends and even strangers. I didn't want to be seen in public or even on social media 'cos I was afraid that people who will see me will judge me for how I looked."
Before things were easy, they were incredibly tough. And most of the time, it's tough because our minds are the ones we contend with. Speaking of the challenges she faced about how she views her body, Shayne said, "It was challenging to change the negative mindsets I had about myself. It took a lot of self-encouragement and counselling for me to slowly learn how to accept my imperfections and limitations."
It was not just the mental game that was tough on Shayne. She also had a bout with physical things. "My spine condition limits exercises I can do, PCOS and Hypothyroidism make my metabolism slow, and clinical depression and anxiety make it hard to go to the gym."
With all the conditions she faced, it would've been easy to just let things go and not try. But Shayne did the opposite. "I made a mood board in my head of how my 'improved self' would look like after I achieved my goals," she said. "I imagined the clothes I'd love to wear and take OOTDs with, the new hobbies I wanted to try (blogging and YouTube), and how my body will get stronger and make it easier for it to deal with my sickness. This mood board became my source of motivation for myself."
The new routine
With the decision to change came the commitment to a new life. Shayne shared that she now follows a routine that makes sure she's on top of her game. "I go to the gym thrice a week with a physical therapist or a trainer to do light exercises. I only do five minutes of cardio to warm up; most of my time there is spent doing floor exercises and weightlifting. I also follow a healthy diet and keep a food journal. I don't eat rice and bread. I eat mostly fish, chicken, and vegetables. But I do allow myself to indulge on cheat meals/desserts (in small portions) once in awhile."
The change has also rippled down to a change in how she views herself and her body. "I feel a lot more confident with my body," she said. "Part of it is because I've lost around 30 pounds and I’m within my ideal body weight now. A huge part of it is also 'cos weight loss didn't come easy for me. It took me years to change my body and lifestyle so it feels like I've accomplished and earned something big for myself. And that makes me feel stronger as a person."
If you're having trouble dealing with how you view your body, Shayne shared a few words: "Have a healthy relationship with yourself by appreciating your body's positive traits and strengths. Consider the things you want to improve on, not so you'll feel discouraged, but so you can determine exactly what you need to work on to be stronger. Get into fitness and eat healthy because you love your body and you want to take care of it, not because you hate it."
The continuous learning
The journey doesn't stop there, of course. Getting inspired and continuously improving is all part of the process, and Shayne said she looks up to and gets a lot of inspiration from people who live healthily. "[I get inspired] whether it's a famous YouTuber I can relate to (like Coco Lili), a friend, or even the women I meet at the gym," Shayne said. "I once met a woman in her 50s who was lifting heavier weights and had a more toned body than me. I hope I'll be as fitness-motivated as her when I reach that age."
Inspired to start our own journey, we just had to ask Shayne what her gym and fitness essentials are to keep us inspired and motivated. "Three things I always bring with me at the gym are my yoga mat, which I use daily at home and at the gym, my pink iPod 'cos music helps pass the time and it helps me focus on my workout, and a cute gym outfit," she said.