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Vicky Pattison has opened up about her struggles with body image, urging others not to believe that ‘thin’ is the same as ‘healthy’.
To celebrate National Fitness Day on 23 September, the former reality TV star shared a series of images on Instagram reflecting her health and fitness journey over the years.
In the accompanying caption Pattison, 32, explained that she used to place a lot of importance on being thin.
“I thought if I could be as small as possible I’d be fit and healthy and happy,” she wrote. “But as you can see by these pictures: That wasn’t the case at all.”
She went on to say that health and fitness aren’t actually about your size, shape or weight. She has come to realise that fitness involves respecting your body and feeling the effects of exercise on your wellbeing.
“Exercise should be a celebration of what your body can do - not a punishment for what you’ve eaten - and sometimes we forget that,” she wrote.
The former Geordie Shore star went on to encourage her followers to understand that their shape and size are not necessarily a reflection of their health and fitness level.
“We need to remember that health looks different on everyone and just because you aren’t a size 0 with a six pack doesn’t mean you aren’t fit and well!” her message continued.
“Please please PLEASE ladies: do not confuse ‘thin’ with ‘healthy’.”
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Pattison also urged her followers not to compare their bodies to others.
“Everyone’s bodies are different and there are so many determining factors – genetics, height, natural shape to name but a few,” she continued.
“So do not spend too much time comparing yourself to others and training to extremes in a desperate pursuit of perfection.”
The truly important thing to remember, she added, is that we are all “fabulously flawed and beautiful in our own way”.
Pattison signed off her post by encouraging others to find an activity they love and do more of it.
Since sharing her body positive message, the TV personality has been inundated with comments from Instagram users thanking her for opening up about her personal journey with body acceptance.
“Absolute truth be happy be fit and never say no to a treat,” one user wrote.
“Love [the] honesty and realness,” another agreed.
“You look so much happier now,” another person commented. “I’m pregnant at the moment and for the first time in my life I actually love my body! I regret wasting so much time over the years wishing I was that little bit thinner.”
Pattison also recently admitted that she once became obsessed with weighing herself and admitted this had a knock on impact on her mental health.
Speaking on her The Secret To podcast, she revealed: “I was like super strong, super toned, but looking back, I wasn't healthy. And I don't mean physically. Like, mentally, I was super unwell.”
Pattison went on to reveal that she became “fixated” on weighing herself.
“It was all to do with what that number on the scale said that morning and that would completely dictate my entire day.
“If I was going to have a good day, it would be because there was a loss on that scale.
“And if I was going to have a bad day, if I was going to be stressed out, if it was going to be difficult, it would be because I’d maintained – or heaven forbid – gained weight.”
Pattison’s body confidence post comes after it was revealed earlier this year that we’re actually not that great at judging our own levels of attractiveness.
A study published in Frontiers in Robotics and AI examined the difference between how we think we look and how others perceive us.
Turns out, rather unsurprisingly, that we rate our bodies more negatively than if we were to view the exact same body as another person.