Melanie Sykes - Down Days and Insecurities

Down Days & Insecurities

By nature I’m a happy bunny, this is actually my status on WhatsApp, because really most of the time I am.

I wake up feeling happy, I just have a sunny disposition. Really, the only time I feel angry is in the car, terrible road rage. The air is blue in my little Fiat 500c, thank God it’s a convertible to let the steam out! Just recently I was on the school run and someone was in my way, not indicating and true to form, I started getting narked and swearing at the other driver. When I realised it was a friend of mine he was instantly forgiven and it actually made me laugh.

Sometimes I surprise myself at the vile things that I can say in the car, when I hear myself it really cracks me up!

My down days, thankfully, are not the norm but of course I have them. It may be hormonal, at times I might be feeling lonely. I could just be rundown or I might just be having an insecure day. It happens to is all.

I think a lot of women’s insecurities can mainly be body issues. I am often asked which bits of my body I don’t like and the answer is, I know I am a healthy person, so I do think I am lucky. I do look alright and most importantly, everything works. But, yes of course no one looks at themselves and thinks perfection. I will never have a J-Lo bottom, mine is as flat as a pancake and no matter how many squats, donkey kicks and lunges I may do in the gym it does remain flat.

My thighs have a tendency to be heavy and bulky, so I have to be careful whilst building my bottom, that I don’t build my thighs in the process. Cellulite, again is another demon for women and of course I have some. I have my scrubs and contraptions for using in the shower to smooth out the thighs and all the detox products, which do help to reduce it, but you do have to do it religiously and sometimes there’s just not enough hours in the day.

The only thing I have cosmetically changed is my boobs. I breastfed both my boys and when they were a bit older around eight and 10 years old, I started training and going to the gym and getting really fit. My body started to look quite athletic and the boobs were just looking worse and worse, and not in keeping with my new found shape. So, I made the big decision to get them done. They are a little bigger than the originals and a damn sight perkier. I went to a surgeon recommended by a mate, his name is Adam Searle, and he really is fantastic. I have never regretted them. But I digress.

The fact is, regardless of how many shoots I do, I always want to look great and not rely heavily on retouching. So when I have a shoot coming up for a magazine, I do take a little bit more care of myself in the run up and although I am always pretty much on top of my fitness and the way I look, I would absolutely hate to rely on the retouches. I want to stand on set feeling my absolute best.

Unfortunately, on my last shoot, I’d had a mini operation on my eyelid two weeks before and then went on holiday and swam every day, instead of my usual gym workouts. So I did look different, much softer than I usually do. There’s nothing like a shoot and being half naked in front a roomful of people to make you feel insecure and all I could focus on was “do my thighs look to big for this outfit”. When you do a shoot, the clothes are generally very small sample sizes. I always feel so exposed on set and I never get used to it in all these years.

So, of course I have my down days and insecure days, I have my baggy top days, probably a few times a month. I have my low confidence days and low-energy days where I don’t want meet up with people. Sometimes I feel pale, tired or spotty and when people expect you to look $1 million all the time, of course I have those days where I don’t feel I can possibly live up to it.

Here are my troubleshooters for down days:

  1. Have a moan to a friend about how you’re feeling and they are always guaranteed to make you laugh and set you straight.
  2. Have a bloody good cry!
  3. Do something that always makes you feel good. Buy yourself some flowers, go for a walk, have a beauty treatment or get your nails done. I always do something like that and to be honest, getting fresh air and going for a walk is probably one of the most grounding things you can do as a human being. It just makes you realise what’s important and I highly recommend that.

And remember, we all have down days. It’s part of life and that’s what makes us human.

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