An Interview with Ellie Haines of Loving Ellie's Belly
Ellie Haines is better known as Loving Ellie’s Belly on social media.
She’s a beautiful, honest and hilarious woman who is taking centre stage as a body love and empowerment queen to help women love themselves, no matter their size or shape.
An inspiration to so many women, her approach to life is so fresh and so different to what we’re used to seeing.
And I had the pleasure of interviewing her…
Tell us a little bit about your journey of self-love and confidence. Where did it start? What have been the major moments? What has led you to now?
I have always struggled with my weight, and by struggled I mean it literally would kill a lot of joy from things when I was younger, I grew boobs when I was 11 and hair under my armpits at 10.
None of my friends had even hit puberty so it was so hard to feel different. I used to let it really get to me, but then I started being proud of my difference and carried on being a crazy, outspoken "fat funny girl" I liked to call myself (hahah).
I grew up watching my beautiful mum be so insecure, always talking so negatively about herself, not going to certain events as she felt like she looked 'fat', so watching my mum feel that way about herself when i would look at her and admire her was confusing! So I started doing the same thing, not going out because I felt gross, speaking negatively about myself, and not focusing on the beautiful things about me.
I ended up in some crappy relationships where I allowed those boys to walk all over me, simply because I felt like I didn't deserve/wouldn't get any better. I was a yo-yo dieter, lost weight then put it back on - repeat over and over BUT the one thing I realised was that no matter what size I was, I was always had the same mentality and mindset over my body.
This is where I knew that even if I was a size 6 I wasn't going to talk nicely to my body. I then decided to focus on bigger & better things, be healthier (not worry about weight loss), my friends & family and my glow and happiness outshone any weight loss I had previously achieved.
Why did you decide to publicly share your journey and your story?
At first I started a blog site where I shared my 'weight loss journey' and I got obsessed with it. I was always weighing myself and sharing the results which yes, it could have been inspiring and motivating to some, but I didnt like the way I went about it.
Saying things like "Yuck look how I looked in my before" (very selfish) and not realising there is beautiful women/men out there who were at the size I was talking about. I then looked at my insights and saw how young some girls were that were following me and it got me thinking.
I then went to watch a live viewing of a documentary 'Embrace' and its the most empowering documentary (you must watch). After the event, I got to meet Taryn and we got chatting away for yonks, and I then walked away from that wanting to change my page name from "LOOSING Ellie’s Belly" to "LOVING Ellie’s Belly".
So from that day forward I changed my mind set, my message and I wanted to promote self love in ALL forms, so no matter who was following my journey I was helping.
A lot of girls feel the need to photoshop their photos before posting them on social media. What gives you the confidence and the drive to post real photos of yourself?
I don't know how too... haha kidding! I of course use filters, change lighting etc to brighten things up but would never touch, try edit out, change my natural beauty marks, rolls, scrolls, dimps & pimps. My page is one to inspire and help others, imagine if I edited them WHAT A LIAR I WOULD BE!
Why do you think it is so important to show the real you on social media? And why do you think it’s so important for women to empower each other?
Two reasons, I truly believe that you can only lie to yourself and those around you for a short time - so why try and make your life portray differently to what it really is. How confusing would that be? I have always been that redic class clown who says things as they are, very loud, very very loud, will say things that people are thinking and will stand proud and tall. I have always loved helping people, LOVE to make people laugh and love to relate to those around me!
I think as women its SUPER important for us to empower each other, as we often are the ones so fast to attack and be cruel to each other. I mean let’s be honest, when we get dressed up we do it to show off to other women as men don't care AM I RIGHT? If a women pays a compliment to another women it truly sticks and makes you smile - so let’s do it more gals!
What is your ‘go-to’ when you have a moment where your self-love and confidence slips… what re-energises that love for who you are?
Bucket of KFC ... KIDDING! hahah imagine. I always have my days where I get flat, it's completely normal to have those days. When I do I just listen to what I preach, I try and talk nicely to myself and then I seek a million compliments from my partner hahaha
What is it that you love most about yourself?
I love my energy and passion to help others! And my boobs are quite mint…
If a woman approached you and opened up about her struggles with self-love and body positivity, what would you say to her?
Girl, you are not alone!
The amount of messages I get from women (and some men) from all around the world saying their struggles with their body, self love has truly made me realise that we literally are all in this together.
I offer them advice that my dad always says "walk past that mirror every morning, stop, double look at yourself, wink, and say MAN IM GOOD LOOKING"... Hes just as odd as me!
And finally, what are your top three tips for women on a journey of self-love and body confidence?
1. Ask yourself, would you talk to your friends the way you talk to your body?
2. If you really want to feel better about your body, focus on it more as a healthy exercise, not a weight loss mission. Do not focus on those stupid scales (I like to call them Susans) and be proud of every single small step you make.
3. Be kind to yourself, we are so mean to ourselves! Realise your worth, how freakin epic you are and follow people who truly inspire you and uplight you.
Ellie is unlike anyone else out there. She’s hilariously honest and such a breath of fresh air. If you’ve not had the pleasure of coming across her Instagram, it’s a must-follow.
Jump HERE to go straight there!