"I love my shape because it makes me feel really powerful and like I can accomplish anything," said Allyson Felix
Great Britain’s Olympic rugby team is naked and proud in Women’s Health U.K.‘s .
Five of the team members stripped down and spoke to the magazine about learning to love their bodies.
“I’ll always remember trying on my prom dress and being upset at how broad and muscular I was,” full back Danielle Waterman, 31, told Women’s Health U.K., according to Mashable. “It was my brother who pointed out that my build was the very thing that would help me achieve my dreams of playing pro rugby for England. It changed my mindset and I hold onto it still.”
The Naked issue also features model Iskra Lawrence, who admitted that she once went to extremes to try to lose weight before accepting her curvy figure.
“When I was 18, I spent four miserable years desperately trying to make my body into what I thought was ‘perfect,’ ” Lawrence, now 25, told the mag, according to Cosmopolitan. “I’d begun modeling at 13, but my tall, skinny size 8 frame [size 4 in the U.S.] started developing curves. I cut my daily calories to just 800 and was exercising until I passed out.”
The model eventually stopped fighting her body, and accepted it as is.
“I finally came to the realization that I was beautiful as I was,” she said. “I didn’t need to change – attitudes did.”
Several U.S. Olympic athletes have also recently spoken out about self-confidence and what they love about their bodies.
“I love my shape because it makes me feel really powerful and like I can accomplish anything,” Allyson Felix, 30, Olympic 200-meter gold medalist, told SHAPE. “I’m proud of my really long legs. Growing up they always seemed so awkward, but now they’re what’s gotten me here.”
Mariel Zagunis, two-time Olympic gold medalist and world fencing champion, also spoke to SHAPE about feeling self-conscious about her legs when she was younger.
“I remember those awkward middle school years when I would look at other girls and think, ‘I wish my legs were skinny like hers,’ ” recalled Zagunis, 31. “If I could, I would go back and tell my younger self to really embrace it because athleticism is beautiful.”
“I’m proud of my entire body because it does what I need it to do, and it’s gotten me where I need to be,” Simone Biles, 19, three-time world all-around gymnastics champion, told the mag. “I know I was built with this body shape for a reason, and I put it to good use.”
“I love my arms,” said Carli Lloyd, 34, a two-time Olympic gold medalist for soccer. “I’ve worked really hard with my upper body doing a lot of push-ups, TRX and ropes, and have gotten them really strong. Some women maybe wouldn’t want muscles in their arms, but I think it’s awesome and embrace it.”