Thursday, 17 May 2012

A Weighty Issue - Body Love.

I think it's about time, we, the women (and men) of 2012, accepted our bodies the way they currently are.

I'm 22 years old and 5'9 . A UK size 14. A US size 12. 'Large'. Whichever way you want to put it. 
(16 sometimes, depending on shops that assume women don't have boobs).

I'll say it loud & proud because I'm not actually ashamed of my size nor my weight* -shock horror- and so, as I see numerous people on diets, ridiculous 'health' plans and generally starving themselves for this so called 'Summer / Ideal Body', I have to ask, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?

I've just touched upon the pandoras box of all things weight here - of which I could go on about for quite a while; to save your eyeballs, I wont. But as a female in a modern society where your average woman & her body on the cover of a magazine are Photoshoped within an inch of their life to attract larger sales, you can imagine that I have certain things to say.

I'll just break it down:

  • Pet hate : the phrase 'summer body' - please, please, please stop saying this.

It is a marketing trap. Magazines favourite phrase. Stop. You have your body for life, not for one Summer. If you're thinking about your health seriously you would not just up the ante on your exercise or your protein shakes for a couple of months of the whole year. It is anything but healthy. I'm aware people show more flesh in Summer and you may want to feel more comfortable, trust me, I understand, but this is not the way about it. Magazines are hitting the market running for young females who, due to their pressure, feel the need to constantly change their body for summer, and it is just not right.

  • Diets : NEWFLASH. They do not work.

They make you pay for them because they know you will quit. It may not be that their plan/scheme/calorie counting ways won't help you lose weight, I'm damn sure it will, but they make their money knowing you will never be able to keep it up for LIFE.

You will quit and come back to it. Have a weekend off, then dive head first into all the 'low fat' options you can get your hands on. Let go at Christmas? Come back running to renew your membership afterwards. Again, this is not a healthy way to live, and it really saddens me to so many people turning to them. Unless you can honestly, hand on heart say that counting every gram of fat, calorie or checking your plan pre eating your meal is enjoyable and you can do so for the rest of your days? I say you stop now and realise there's no shame in it.

I'm not advocating everybody eat hamburgers for every meal, not at all. I'm saying there are many other ways to lead a healthy lifestyle that would result in a 'lifestyle change' and not a one off to help you shed a couple of lbs in a week. The first is more likely to stick and therefore you are more likely to succeed. If losing weight is what would make you feel more comfortable -go for it! But make small changes, focus on HEALTH not WEIGHT and I guarantee the lbs will come off in time and you will feel like a winner - if that is what you want.

  • The ideal body : You are born with one.

You're living, breathing and functioning. Your body is doing its job. Yes, you only have one. Yes, you should take care of it and most importantly love it, but having a warped ideal of perfect being shoved down our throats daily, it is difficult not to try and conform. The woman on a magazine with no cellulite, no lumps, bumps and/or a rack to die for, is not going to help. STEP AWAY FROM THE MAGAZINE! *capitals necessary*

Unfortunately we live in a time where there are barely any un-edited images left. You will never know what that picture looked like pre-photoshop and I can bet you that model has a spot on her chin and bump on her ass that has been liquidised. (click to read PrettyFit's 'F*ck Photoshop' article).

Take a look in the mirror and see that what you have is unique, not to be ashamed of, nor needs to be changed to fit the non-existent 'ideal'. This all goes both ways, whether you are of a slimmer build or bigger framed - enjoy what you've got!

It is natural, as the saying goes; to want what you can't have. As a lady with big thighs and an ample chest you can bet I've looked at bandeau tops, mini skirts and those tops that have no real structure (read: hang off my chest like a table cloth) and I've wished I could pull them off, but I can't - no really, hah. But on the other hand, I can wear figure hugging, structured pieces and I'm happy with that. *glares at all the pretty mini skirts*
What I'm trying to say is : be happy with the body you're in.

There is no one like you out there and what you have now should be perfect to you, love your body and let that confidence shine. Like what you put in and enjoy the results that come out. From small & petite all the way through to big & curvaceous, your body is who you are and that in itself is something to shout about.

I eat what I want, I exercise when I like, I will feel confident in Summer - all because I accept who I am and how I am built. I love my body, its imperfections & all, and so should you.

*And if you need any more reasons, here's an old blog post of my struggle to like myself.
Now all I need is a holiday. Where's that bikini?



  1. this is a lovely lovely blog post, so well written and well thought out. Such a great message as well. LV x

  2. I cant get over the picture of Jennifer Lawrence.. thats awful that they photoshop women like that... argh.

  3. Really pleased you liked it, thank you :) xx

  4. It's crazy isn't it? There is absolutely nothing wrong with the original image and its a shame they felt the need to change it. x

  5. I disagreed with the latter part of the first sentence. Specifically, "the way they currently are" part.

    If people are unhappy with their current bodies that's okay as long as they are being realistic, proactive and making changes to their lifestyle (not falling for fad diets, marketing...), and learning to love themselves.

    Nonetheless, along with 'Making Friends with Me', a great post!

  6. Thank you, although I think if you kept reading - I do encourage a 'lifestyle change' rather than specific fad diets and sporadic exercising, which is more detrimental to someone's state of mind in the long run. If you start and give up, because your goal is unrealistic, you will feel worse than slowly making achievable changes. I do advocate casual exercise and a balanced diet. It's what I follow, and it works for me, but its not over the top and just for Summer.

    I'm more aiming this post at the fact that people should stop feeling bad about themselves *because of* the pressure put on them, specifically through media and unrealistic images.

    I know a lot of people that feel bad about themselves because they are constantly comparing themselves to the 'ideal body' that doesnt necessarily exist.
    A lot of people have great bodies, that function properly and can achieve great things, but they are put down because of photoshoped bodies & media pressure.

    I appreciate your comment though, thank you :)

  7. It was just the first thing I read and my initial thought but I complete agree with the whole post. :)

  8. Love love love this, so many good points put across brilliantly. That photo of Jennifer Lawrence is shocking! Your own health is the most important thing and you're so right - once you've got that nailed everything will fall in to place. "Aim to be a first rate version of yourself, not a second rate version of someone else".

  9. I'm losing weight because I want to, but I'm not trying to fit into any Hollywood ideal, just the ideal weight for my body that makes me feel the happiest!:)

  10. Which is the perfect way to see it :)... I say if that is what would make you comfortable, then 100% go for it.
    Good luck!

  11. <33 thank you! also, amazing quote! X

  12. I am currently standing and applauing you right now. Fabulous post.

  13. I've read this post a couple of times now, and I did tweet about how inspiring it was (because it is!), but I just wanted to leave a comment for you here to say thanks for your honesty. As someone who's been through weightless for the wrong reasons, and now have lost and maintained for the right, healthy reasons, it's great that bloggers are talking about this in the midst of photoshopped media images. It's what's real that counts :) x

  14. This is my favourite blog post in the history of the internet!
    I've just decided to stop dieting and embrace my body and it's been such a liberating experience ever! :)

  15. Aw this makes me so happy! Thank you for commenting! Glad you're finally embracing all the loveliness you have!

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