This month's issue of IMAGE magazine is The Confidence Issue, full of ?Ireland's leading female voices?on our relationships with our bodies.?
One of modern life's holy grails is achieving a state of acceptance about our bodies. When?Olympian Natalya Coyle, writer Anne Gildea, Paralympics swimmer Ellen Keane?and many more incredible Irish women shared with?Claire O?Mahony?the moment they discovered their body confidence for July issue, you'll see that these moments had nothing to do with how they looked in the mirror.
Here, from the July issue, Amanda Byram speaks candidly on what she's learned after years of fad diets and jeopardising her health.
My passion for all things healthy came after years of pushing myself to the limit whilst I was modelling and being 'skinny? was the only thing I cared about.
I wasted years planning how I would stay slim, every minute of every day, thinking of what my next meal would - or wouldn't - be. I tried every fad diet that ever existed, not realising I was jeopardising my health, both physical and mental, and ultimately my happiness.
I firmly believe now that mental health is the key to physical health, ultimate success and happiness. I became interested in proper nutrition and exercise when preparing for a shoot years ago in LA in my early thirties. I wanted to ready my body the good old fashioned way - with hard work and good nutrition and no airbrushing.
I trained hard and ate well - in essence, I found balance.
Now that I am a student of nutrition, I cannot believe I existed on such a low-carb, low-fat diet for so long. As I turn 44, I am now so mindful of my precious time on this earth, and I know that I would rather be healthy, which ultimately leads to being the correct body shape anyway, but irrespective of that - be happy.
Amanda's Body by Byram sportswear range is available from September.
For The Confidence Issue,?IMAGE Digital Director Ellie Balfe?wrote how?warrior thoughts helped her on her long road to body confidence.?
IMAGE Junior Social Editor and Content Creator Niamh O'Donoghue?paid tribute to her body for enduring?three life-threatening illnesses and seven surgeries before the age of 22.?
IMAGE Editor Rosaleen McMeel?made a valid point?on the issue of the ?bikini body?: once ?you have a ?body? and you put it in a ?bikini?, there's little more to say on that subject.?
Triona McCarthy'spoke candidly on how her sister's death made her?question why we put so much emphasis on our exterior, and really put body confidence into perspective for us. We keep going back to read Triona's piece again and again. You can read it?here.??Harry Potter actress?Evanna Lynch spoke powerfully on the moment she realised she didn't want to define herself by her body anymore - while she was in treatment for an eating disorder. ?You can read her piece?here.