What Does Body Image Mean to Me?

What Does Body Image Mean To Me? We are covering body image on The IBD & Ostomy Support Show. Everyone’s responses regardless of being in the positive or negative are extremely good to see. People are actually talking about it which is brilliant.

What Does Body Image Mean To Me?

Body image to me is something that is forced onto others as an unobtainable version of what people are meant to look like. I don’t read celebrity magazines or take notice of what I’m meant to look like as I can only be what I am.

Reasons why I dont use filters

Reasons why I don’t use filters

Everything is so photoshopped and edited in life and images. I myself am guilty in using the odd filter on Instagram. But the filter always stops at the black & white one. I can’t portray myself as being honest and life like if it’s all cropped and filtered.

My own body image is to embrace what I now have to see as perfect . I will never be perfect, I have stretch marks, I have scars and I have a permanent ileostomy.

To someone, I will be their version of perfect. I have that with my boyfriend. I’m his version of beautiful even if I don’t always feel it.

Body image to me means embracing your own body and rolling with it.

My struggles with body image

I have struggled with my body image a lot in the last 14 years. As a Crohnie, I don’t have control over my body due to the way this illness behaves. I’ve gone from being healthy and having no problems about how I look, to being extremely underweight, to being extremely overweight. The steroids cause me to get fat and gain countless stretch marks. My tummy and hips look like the local A-Z map that my Grandad used to use.

I used to cry every time I gained weight or lost weight as it wasn’t in my control. Half the reason I have tattoos is because it’s cathartic having them done and I’m in control.

My mental wellbeing has also taken a beating with the body image as well. When you’ve been a size 6-8 for close to 3 years and then get diagnosed and put onto steroids and go up to a size 14 within 3 months, your brain doesn’t always compute with your body.

I’ve had open wounds and hernias to contend with over the years. I’ve changed the way I dress so many times now, I lost who I was along the way.

I was told back in 2016 that I was having Bertha my permanent ileostomy formed. When this was decided, I researched and Googled images of other ostomates and this re-directed me to Instagram.

When Im feeling close to perfect

When I’m feeling close to perfect

Seeing other people that are going to be what I’m going to look like in the near future gave me hope & admiration. It also gave me the balls to start documenting my life for other people to then gain the same or relate to me.

My body image now

My body image now is extremely good and healthy for me. I don’t care as to how others perceive me. I have a permanent stoma, scars & stretch marks. They are now my life history and war wounds I wear with pride. It’s like my tattoos but with a better story.

I’ve also learnt to embrace my body image as I have a 7-year-old daughter. I’m raising her to have the mindset that she is perfect just the way she is. I don’t want her criticising herself in adult life because she’s seen me do it to myself.


I personally think to all of you reading this that you are perfect!! There is always going to be someone that loves you for you. We all have our own version of perfect. So embrace your body and tell others you are you and that will never change.

Please feel free to leave any comments in the box below

Thank you for reading.


  1. Love this! Since starting my blog I have posted some photos I never would have before to accompany my writing. It was hard for me. But I have a man, 2 small boys and family and friends who love me the way I am, pred face, freckles, wobbly bits and all so if they can, I should! I still love a play about with a Snapchat filter though ha ha xx

    • Thanks Natalie for taking the time to read. I think snap chat is highly amusing, I don’t understand it though lol. You should always love yourself for you. Quoting Bridget Jones, You are PERFECT just the Way you are/ Heres to using fewer filters lol
      Louise xxx

  2. Great Article, having a positive body image is a problem at the best of times let alone having to deal with the added bonus of chronic illness. It took me years to come to terms with having an ostomy but it has made me braver and a stronger person. I’ve gone from crying in the mirror daily to hanging my bag out at the gym and posting openly bags out pictures to help others gain confidence. It’s amazing the changes we go through. xx

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