Disabled model Samanta Bullock on how to love your body

Model and para-athlete Samanta Bullock shares her blog post about why all disabled people should learn to love their bodies, no matter what. Read on for her tips to help you get to know and appreciate yours.

Hello, my gorgeous friends.

For many years now, I have championed the idea that we all need to love and respect our bodies. After all, it is our bodies that give us a platform to live our lives and perform at our best in this world, no matter what lumps, bumps or differences they may have.

So self-care and building your confidence is vitally important.

I hate the concept that we need all be ‘the same’. The magazines sell a prototype of a skinny, white, young person. But why is that the only form of beauty? It’s important that we move away from this and celebrate difference.

So, as a wheelchair user, I am going to tell you about my experiences and the things I do to not only love my body but also myself.

Taking a bath

If you’re disabled, the lack of feeling in a limb or limbs can sometimes make us ignore and neglect that part of our body. I often do this with my leg, which is numb as a result of my spinal cord injury. But there are things you can do to ensure you pay attention to it.

As you may know, if you follow me on social media, I love to have a bath every day (when it’s possible). There, I will massage, soap, and try to somehow interact with my leg.

Samanta Bullock in the bath with roses
Image by Anakphotography

Have a massage

I also find that massage is a great way to love your body. I know that budgets can be tight, and massages are not the cheapest thing in the world. But, if you can stretch to it, I really recommend it.

You could also have a shared massage to make it cheaper, or buy a massage book and learn to do some on yourself. Or, what about massaging a friend, a partner, your mum etc, so that they do it back? It is also a nice way to have and develop contact with other people, as well as yourself.

Be positive when you look in the mirror

I know my leg is thin and that bothers me sometimes. But there nothing I can do about it, apart from trying to move it as much I can. I also look at myself in the mirror and say in a loud voice:

‘I love you, I respect you and I will do all I can for you to have a good and long life. I love you!” I look straight into my eyes and also at my legs, making the point that they are part of me and I love them the way they are.

Be as active as you can and eat healthily

Another form of showing love for your body is caring for it. So I try to move my legs as much as I can. Cycling, swimming and yoga are activities that I can do to make sure my legs are ‘alive’.

I’ve also always been keen to eat healthily, to get the most out of my body. A body full of energy is certainly a great goal for all of us in these days of fast-food, lack of sleep and not moving much around. 

Consider taking supplements

Supplements can also help to keep your body well. Calcium is a good one, particularly if you are a woman and over the age of 40 – after that point, calcium levels go down considerably.

I have calcium supplements, as well as Vitamin D, which we naturally get from the sun. It’s useful in the winter or if you live somewhere that is not the sunniest place in the world. Where I live in London, there isn’t often the opportunity to sunbathe!

Samanta Bullock in wheelchair in just bra and knickers
Image by Sophie Mayanne

Relax and meditate

I try to have a nightly routine, where I apply creams, light a nice candle and burn some oil to relax with a nice cup tea – or occasionally a glass of wine (why not?!). I also love Kombucha, a fermented fizzy drink that claims to also have health benefits. 

I also like ‘meditate’ (pray) 10 minutes before going to bed. It helps me to be in contact with my inner self. I try to remember that this life, after all, is a play, and we won’t be in it for long.

So I don’t judge myself and I try to understand that everyone is on their own path, trying to be happy somehow. So laughing and enjoying the moment is a must-do every day.

By Samanta Bullock

To read more of Samanta’s blog posts, visit her website, Samanta Bullock.

Share your ideas for how you love yourself and your body. Leave your comments below, message us on Facebook or tweet us @DHorizons.

UPDATE DECEMBER 2019: We’ve teamed up with Samanta to run a competition on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, giving you the chance to win an adapted underwear set from Samanta’s clothing range – the perfect treat for Christmas. Competition ends on 25th December at 6 pm.

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