After “decades of absolutely pointless self-loathing”, Nadia Sawalha has finally shred her insecurities and overcome her demons to embrace her body, all in the name of inspiring her daughter and other women to love the skin they’re in.
Loose Women’s Nadia, 52, has struggled with body confidence her entire life, a worrying similarity she now shares with her teenage daughter. Seeing her daughter’s insecurities gradually build because of social media and peer pressures, Nadia was determined to face her own demons to do something about it.
Coming from a self-confessed ‘foodie family’ that not only enjoyed food but sought comfort in eating too, the mother-of-two reveals that constant yo-yo dieting left her overweight and unhappy.
“It’s been quite a rocky road for me because I was made very body conscious when I went to a stage school” she explained to the Metro.
Nadia is currently part of the Loose Women ‘Body Stories’ campaign which promotes body confidence at any age. Although the thought of being part of the campaign – which involved a stripped down, unedited photo of all the women – may have once filled Nadia with dread, she explains she was determined to take part to inspire her daughter and other women.
“I said to my boss I wouldn’t do this if it wasn’t for my daughter who’s 14 and is under all the pressures of social media. I’m constantly saying to her to accept her body and not make the same mistakes.”
Nadia explains that her concerns for her daughter and other young people has motivated her to promote the campaign and do all she can, “Numbers of eating disorders are going to increase, body dysmorphia is at its highest rate, suicides in young people, depression and anxiety are high.”
Aspects of her body which may once have left the star feeling self-conscious, she now embraces, “The stretch marks mean I was able to give life. I got some when I went into puberty too. They all tell a story and show a time when we were learning.”
(Nadia Sawalha daughter Maddie on Loose Women earlier this year)
“Every single part of my body does have a story and instead of being angry with it and hating it, I accept it as a story of my life.”
“As a woman in her 50s, I’m saying enjoy your 50s because when you’re in your 60s, you’ll look back at photos and say, “Oh my god, you were rocking it”.
Although Nadia has finally accept herself as she is and embraces her body with a new sense of self-worth, the star admits that she wishes she had found this new lease of life sooner.
“I know one is not supposed to have any regrets but I wish that I had found acceptance thirty years ago. I’ve had really exhausting times with it. I’ve shied away from taking big opportunities, from all kinds of things because I haven’y felt confident.”
However, instead of dwelling on what might have been, Nadia is now firmly looking towards the future, not only helping her daughter Maddie but helping others too. The main lesson she wants others to learn?
“Our imperfections are what make us perfect” she says.
“And if you take the word apart – I’m perfect – that’s what imperfect says: I’m perfect.”