Serena Williams: 'I learned to be proud of my curves'
In many ways, tennis champion Serena Williams seems just like a regular girl.
In this month's issue of Fitness magazine, she talks about her struggles to stay fit, to stay on track with her diet, and to feel healthy and happy in her own skin.
"I feel as if I can do better and be smaller, which I think is just a natural thing for women to feel," Williams said. "We’re taught that we have to look a certain way."
As a younger girl, Williams said she thought she ought to look more like an athlete ("long and lean – not with a womanly figure"), but her body acceptance grew as fans started to convey how much they loved the way she looked.
"They could relate to me," she said. "That was really motivating. So I learned to be proud of my curves and to embrace my large boobs and my butt."
'Diet' a 'bad word,' Williams says
Like most professional athletes, Williams has to be careful about eating right and training properly. Surprisingly, however, she says that "diet" is a bad word.
"I always say it's a lifestyle change, because if you call it that, you won't want those fried hush puppies," she said. "Clearly I haven't completed my lifestyle change. But I'm trying, I'm really trying."
Claiming that she can't take "cheat" days because they become cheat months, Williams also says she grapples with body image issues unless she's eating very healthy. In the end, however, she says she's learned to cultivate a fair amount of self-acceptance.
"It's all about loving who you are and realizing that you're beautiful."
Photo credit: Edwin Martinez/Wikimedia Commons