Our inaugural BODY LOVE BABE Chloe is a powerful force, an English born Cancerian, a mother of two young sons. She lives with her husband and children in the leafy North-Eastern suburbs of Melbourne.

She embodies a woman who has her shit together, a successful career woman, a modern conscious parent, wife, creative, actress and entrepreneur. And, importantly she is also unafraid to fall apart, ask for help, and be real about life's every-day challenges.

She loves nature, dressing-up, bathing and tea - her cupboards are filled with hundreds of varieties. She is passionate about full expression for everyone through creativity, art, music and theatre.

How have societal body standards impacted you?

Growing up I felt that my body wasn’t up to standard. I carried an attitude that I didn’t care, but underneath I was confused as to why my body seemed to be so different to other women in my family and this sometimes made me feel like an outsider.

It didn’t help that societal body standards expected clothing to fit only certain body types.

Being a teenager in the 90’s, I was surrounded by crop tops and short pleated skirts and hip hugging jeans, non of which suited my figure and none of which were available in my size.

Shops would making clothing sizes appear smaller to increase self worth and sales, but this led to me being deeply confused as to what size I was and sometimes crying in cubicles thinking I wasn’t enough.

Although this was not a great time for my teenage self, this circumstance did help me to develop my own unique style, which had little to do with current trends.

I loved expressing myself through my clothes and wearing what felt good on my body and made my body look good. Most mainstream clothes were unavailable to me, so I developed my own style and have continued to evolve that through all my body changes.

Has the way you felt about your body changed over time?

I used to feel that my body was like a naughty child because I reacted badly to some foods, I couldn't handle hangovers, and I would often feel low in energy or sluggish.

It took me a long time to realise that my body was trying to tell me something and to start to work with it, rather than against it and usually this meant just some simple changes in my routine or habits.

When I first became pregnant, I miscarried and later when I did fall pregnant, I had a rare pregnancy condition which meant I would need an early c-section to deliver my baby.

I spent too much time blaming my body for not behaving as it ‘should’ in pregnancy and birth and this only worsened, when breastfeeding also became a issue, eventually I was diagnosed with post-natal depression.

During my recovery, I grew to love my body by approaching my body with gratitude and greater self care.

I realised just how amazing my body was to deliver and feed a baby and gradually I started to see how my body was asking me to take greater care of myself and be more curious about what was right for my body.

My belief in my body and myself improved so much, that in my second pregnancy, I delivered a healthy baby full term and completely naturally. This was a transformational experience for me, bringing me much more trust and pride for my body.

How do you connect to your body, and connect with your body's needs?

The ways I connect to my body is through dancing and a simple daily practice, where I close my eyes, place my hand on my heart and breathe. I ask myself what I need right now and my body always knows what to do next, an amazing source of wisdom.

What would you say to women who feel like they can never love their bodies?

If you ever felt like you couldn’t ever love your body, I would ask you to start making a list of all the amazing things your body does for you each and every day with very little effort. When you look at the thousands of jobs your body does, it is hard not to be grateful - even sickness is a form of protection.

Our bodies hold so much for us and if we can just listen a bit more closely to what they need, we will start to see the benefits. My body is often reminding me to drink more water, get more rest and breathe more deeply - these simple acts make a world of difference to the way I feel and behave day to day.

What is the greatest gift you have received from loving your body?

The greatest gift I have from loving my body and myself, is a strong inner guidance that will not be clouded by other people’s expectations, wants and desires. I am a woman who knows what she wants and this is because I listen to my body.

What is your definition of a BODY LOVE BABE?

You’ll know if you’ve met a Body Love Babe, because she will be the person happily supporting and assisting people with ease and grace, because she is listening to her body, always meeting her own needs first and giving from her fullest cup.

Follow Chloe on Instagram @chloe.hild

Image Credit - Bea Maz (@beashotthis)

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