We recently came across the amazing sisters, Jes & Alyna on their instagram @healthysizeyou and found their stories and messages to be so inspiring and refreshing that we just had to learn more!
What does body positivity mean to you?
Body positivity to us means embracing who you are and embracing your body. It means quitting comparisons and instead looking at your own body and being proud of the journey it has gotten you through so far.
How often do we look in the mirror and say I love this about my body rather than I wish I could get rid of this or I wish I could change this about my body? If you feel healthy, strong and beautiful that is the most important, not what other people's perceptions of beauty or health is, it is about you.
Tell us a bit about your body positivity background. Have you always been body positive or have you grow to adapt a body positive mindset?
Alyna - For me growing up as a ballerina and dancing professionally, I was in an environment obsessed with body image, size and weight. For me, it wasn’t until I stopped dancing that I adopted a more positive body image. I learnt that a specific number on the scale or clothing size didn’t dictate my happiness. It has taken time but i have adopted a better positive mindset. And after having a baby - I realised how amazing your body is and that changed everything.
Jes - I haven't always been body positive - there were years where I did not love what I looked like and thought I needed to be another size to be beautiful. Starting in the industry as a plus size model I was beginning to be surrounded by incredible women who were embracing their own bodies and showing that diversity is beautiful. This changed everything for me. I became a part of the conversation about body positivity and learning from other women's journeys. I began to realise that the perfect size does not exist - someone can feel healthier at a size 12 over a size 8 when at that size they had a unhealthy relationship to food. Knowing there isn't one stock standard size that defines health or beauty changed my mindset and my views of my own body.
How do you feel your best?
We feel our best when we workout, eat healthy and start and finish each day with a positive thought.
Has anything changed since becoming more positive about your body?
Alyna - I definitely feel happier, more relaxed and more confident.
Jes - A lot has changed - I've started to love my body for what it has gotten me through and I am no longer ashamed of my body. I feel like accepting and embracing my body has taken this at times overwhelming pressure off to look like someone else or to be a different size. I am enjoying life more, I'm not letting insecurities I had hold me back - instead of being ashamed and not wanting anyone to see in my swimmers for example, I am going to the beach, I am in my bikini and I feel proud of myself. My self-worth is no longer made up of what I look like.
What 3 tips would you give to someone about embracing the body they have?
Focus on the things you love about yourself Focus on the incredible things your body can do. For me (Jes) my body part I am most self-conscious about are my legs, but I look at my legs and I love that they are strong - that they can squat with a heavy weight. Focus on the amazing things our bodies do for us.
Surround yourself with people who are promoting body positivity - be a part of that conversation, start to realise that you are not alone in the journey of embracing your body.
It's ok to have a body composition goal without hating where you are at right now. By this we mean, you don't have to hate your body to want to reach a goal - whether it is wanting to be stronger or wanting to be more toned in your arms - whatever yet goal is, you do not need to hate your body until you've reached it - it is ok to embrace where your body is at now, knowing that you are going through a journey.
Who would you recommend to follow on social media for body positivity?
Kelsey Wells, Base Body Babes, Steph Claire Smith, Laura Henshaw, Laura Wells, Iskra, Ashley Graham, Bree Warren
Your Instagram inspires so many, how do you remain body positive in the social media age?
There are so many images out there that are showing picture perfect lives. We try to remain true to who we are, that's all that matters - that we be ourselves. We are all beautiful and unique, if you can embrace your own beauty that’s where body positivity begins.
See more from Jes & Alyna on their Instagram @healthysizeyou
For more #EteLove stories read our Q&A with Ete Swimwear Founder Jess
To help support the Positive Body Image movement, we are donating 100% of Profits from the sale of our Be Your Own Kind Of Beautiful T-Shirts to the Butterfly Foundation and ProjectHEAL - Shop the T-Shirts here (as worn by Jes & Alyna)