Throughout our August issue, we focus on designing your body by using various workouts and fitness tips from professionals. Before you can chase your dream body though, you have to accept the one you already have. Sure, you might want bigger biceps, a chiselled chest and killer abs; but your reason for those goals shouldn’t be for getting likes on Instagram. You should strive to make yourself proud first. We recruited the help of former Miss SA and Miss World Rolene Strauss for some advice on self-confidence, body positivity and healthy living.

Be Imperfect – Proudly

With the world watching her since she was crowned Miss World back in 2014, Rolene has learnt that the public eye isn’t always the kindest place to be. After enduring a lot of body shaming, she realised that she didn’t have to be perfect; she just had to accept who she was, and she encourages others to do the same.

“I think that’s something that a lot of women and men go through, and it steals their self- confidence,” she says. “If you measure yourself against perfect, you’ll always come short. Once you start working towards feeling good from the inside out and wanting to live a rejuvenating life, that makes a big difference.”

Don’t Live For The Likes

“I think that social media can be a double-edged sword,” says Rolene. Which is true. Social media is a great way to grow your business and keep in touch with friends and family, but there are numerous studies that show social platforms can also be bad for your mental health.

“These online social spaces are often used by women and men to look at others and tell themselves that ‘I want to look like that’, which can impact them in a bad way. I think one of the reasons for that is because we measure ourselves according to what we believe is ’perfect’. And what we believe we should look like. Once you free yourself from that, it’s easy to let go and just be you.”

Look Beyond The Visuals

Becoming a mom changed Rolene’s mindset concerning her body. It was no longer about the aesthetics, because she had a greater purpose: parenthood.

“I think the biggest thing that helped me was to realise that it’s not about what I look like, but how healthy I am. And especially when I became a mother – I realised that I want to be healthy, because I want to be the best mom that I can be.”

Focusing more on the functional aspects of your body and not just on its appearance can help you develop more self-belief and spend less time comparing yourself to the people around you. “I think that once I made that shift, I started exercising and eating more healthily for my health, and not for the way it looked or would make me look.

“The visual will follow automatically when you live healthily. That mindset change was the best.”

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