mental health

BEFORE & AFTER – Gaining Happiness

Times have changed and I know a lot of people are now wanting to gain muscles instead of just getting skinnier or losing weight, which is how I feel like it used to be. If you, as a girl, were working out you just wanted to get a little bit toned and would much more rather loose weight than gain it. I remember I wouldn’t lift any heavier than like a 5kg weight because I didn’t wanna get muscles that were “too big” . Because I was a girl and it wasn’t pretty. Stupid, right? This was before I developed a serious problem with food, weight and my measurements, but I still had that mindset.

That’s loooong gone now and I love lifting heavy weights. I mostly do legs, that’s no lie, and I guess partly how that started was also a result of the world changing around us and what became more “popular”. Now I feel differently. I do love having more curves, but I most importantly have a genuine passion for working out with weights and getting stronger – it gives me a lot more than what just running on a treadmill does. It’s a little break from all the stress around me, just going to the gym and focusing on me and what I’m doing in that exact moment and only that. Working out has always been some sort of therapy for me, no doubt.

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It’s clear to see the difference on the outside, but the changes on the inside are what matters the most. On the left you see a young girl who had actually GAINED weight after being in Athens and then I had arrived in Milan, still extremely skinny and also sick. My body was craving so much because I had been neglecting it from everything for such a long time that I started buying crazy amounts of junk food, going back to the model apartment, eating it all, then not eating anything the next day except for drinking juice because I felt bad. I remember feeling so ashamed, just thinking how in the world I became “that girl”. Truth is: anyone can. As this was going on I was even helping other models struggling, giving them advice and talking to them about their problems with food and their bodies. It’s crazy how much in denial I was.

I remember that later, after Milan, when I started gaining weight because I actually got a inflammation in my stomach as a result of everything I had done (will have to live with that forever) and had to start a medicine that gave me a lot of water weight, my model agent sent me pictures from my Milan trip saying how perfect I was back then. I mean, how does it not mess you up?

Then on the right – you can see me now. Healthier and happier. Strong and in love with both pizza and green tea.

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I will always have a slim figure, it’s just in my genes and I am not trying to show you guys what anyone should look like, or what a transformation should be. This is just mine. That is not what I am trying to shed light on – no body types, no big or small, no thigh gap this or big butt that. It’s the happiness you give yourself when you decide to just let you be you. The healthy version of you. Wether it’s going to the gym just a little bit more, or going a little bit less. Wether it’s to stop letting yourself not eat what you want because of “carbs”, or if it’s adding more vegetables to your dinner instead of eating noodles every day. It’s all about balance. Too much of anything is never good.

I found change in the people around me as well, I started realising what was important – knowing I could not live my life like this. I met Dan and all I started doing was living in the moment. Food was something to enjoy and love was something you couldn’t define by a body or an image. I realised love is real and it doesn’t judge. So I stopped doing that as well. I decided to give love to the real me and everything that comes with doing so.

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Photographs · Thoughts

How Will We Ever Be Happy With Our Bodies?

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the sun and her flowers by rupi kaurĀ 

i reduced my body to aesthetics

forgot the work it did to keep me alive

with every beat and breath

declared it a grand failure for not looking like theirs

searched everywhere for a miracle

foolish enough to not realise

i was already living in one

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Photo: Mila Ritz

Treat your body like you treat someone you love. Someone who loves you back. You should want to take care of it because it takes care of you. Make sure it’s healthy and happy, because that gives you health and happiness.

I’ve been through ups and downs with my body, and at times I’ve treated it very poorly. I went from being happy and healthy to the opposite when I stepped into the modeling industry. You can read more about that story here.

Everyone always seem to blame “society”. Like we don’t realise we’re part of it. Society isn’t “them”, it’s all of us. It’s the comments, the unrealistic goals that’s never real, and the judgement if you ever say you are happy with yourself.

It starts with us. It will always start with us, you and me. Appreciate your body for what it always was supposed to be. A miracle. Amazing in itself, exactly how it is.

You’re here, aren’t you?