January is the month of weightloss! It is the month where we are made to feel guilty about food, our weight and generally that we aren't two sizes smaller. I reckon its the diet industry's most highest earning month! We are bombarded with gym adverts, protein shake sponsorships on Instagram and of course low fat, low sugar recipes popping up in every magazine known to man.
I find January so hard most years, and this year is no different. I'm gonna go as far to say that its been the hardest month I've had for a while. I just feel so lethargic and unmotivated. I feel moody and sensitive and you know what? I think that is partly due to the absolute outrageous amount of body shaming that is everywhere at the moment.
Having low body image and hating what you see in the mirror, is not restricted to just one body type. ANYONE can feel insecure and unworthy, but body hate is just that more aggressive for larger bodies. This is because fat phobia is systematic and a form of discrimination that is still widely acceptable. Fat shaming commits to the social ideal that larger bodies are disgusting and should not be seen. (This post isn't a skinny shaming V fat shaming debate. I just want to make sure you guys are aware that there IS a difference).
Fat bodies as a whole are deemed as burdens, so the new year, new season is even more gruelling and hard on fat people. I currently feel a huge amount of pressure to lose weight and get thin, and I bet that some of you (no matter what size you are) also feel the same?
So I wanted to spread a little love and have a chat about ways in which you can better your relationship with your body.
PS. I love these images that Linda Blacker snapped of me. I'm wearing no makeup and although I was SO unwell.. I look pretty damn amazing.
Recognise Negative Self Talk & Behaviours
If we payed attention to our thoughts, they would truly shock us. When I started therapy in 2016, for a while all I did was learn to be kinder to myself and with a lot of hard work, it started to really benefit me. We would never say the things we say and think about ourselves to other people, and that is why its so important to relearn the language we use. When you go to call yourself ugly, pause for a minute and use the word beautiful instead. See how different that feels? We manifest everything and what we put out in the world comes back around. If you start to call yourself beautiful, you will become it (with absolutely no physical changes), just a new mindset and a new way of seeing things.
Negative behaviours also need to be worked on. Have you ever thought your belly is just 'too big', so you pull at it, prod and poke it? (I have). All it does is send out a message to the universe and yourself, that you're not even worthy of soft, positive touch. Sometimes when I'm in bed I touch my belly. I trace my rolls with my hands and my stretch marks with my fingers and I do it gently, with love and kindness. This is just a small way that I let myself know that 'I am worthy, my body is beautiful and it deserves to be treated with respect'.
Ditch Food Morality
So.. a huge revelation for me on my healing journey, was that there is no such thing as 'good or bad' food. Now I know some of you may be thinking 'YES THERE IS BITCH', but honestly, listen to your big sister Grace lol.. there isn't! Food has no morals. There is food that is more nutritious obviously, but all in all, every food group should be treated the same. Eat your fat. Eat your carbs. Eat your veggies. Eat your protein. As a society, we are living in fear of fat and food and its really quite sad. As a society our thoughts around food are so disordered that so many of us believe they are normal. The moment you eat without guilt, is a moment you will feel utter freedom. Food is food. It doesn't and shouldn't be complicated. Eat what you feel and learn to enjoy food without feeling guilty. I know it feels like you're unworthy if you don't eat an avocado and a green smoothie everyday, but this is because society demonises and labels pretty normal and average food 'bad'. But the world isn't going to end if you eat what you want. In all honesty, when you start eating from a kind place and eating FOR YOU, your world will become a better place. What you eat is nobody else's business. Now go and enjoy a delicious curry with naan bread!
Get Educated And Do Your Research
Anger brings change so its time to get angry, get informed and get empowered. Read unbiased and factual books on weight, bodies, food and health. Read up on dieting, weight loss companies and intuitive eating. How are we supposed to form opinions when we don't have all the facts? First and foremost, did you know that 95% of diets fail? Did you know that a lot of obesity and 'your fat will kill you' research is funded by WEIGHT LOSS companies?
We have been taught from birth that there is only one way to be beautiful and that has caused a lifetime of self hate. The diet industry will tell us we're not good enough and then the weight loss companies will tell us they can 'fix' the problem. Shock horror though babes.. there is absolutely fuck all that needs to be fixed. You were created for a reason and that reason was not to dislike what you look like and it certainly wasn't to try and shrink yourself.
What I'm trying to say is that you haven't been told the truth. None of us have. So here are a few books that could get you started on your journey of awakening!
Health At Every Size by Linda Bacon
Body Positive Power by Megan Crabbe
The Obesity Myth by Paul Campos
The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf
That's enough for now as there's a lot to digest. Happy reading!
Appreciate What Your Body Does
And not what it doesn't do. Most of us only think and talk about bodies for what they look like - which isn't their true purpose at all. It's inevitable that we have forgotten that our bodies are simply carrying a soul. We have forgotten that arms are to hug people and lift things. That they're to allow us to write and paint and play instruments. Why on earth do we believe they are there to be slim, toned and brown so that we can get a few extra likes on Instagram? The sole cause for our bodies is to keep us alive. I don't know about you, but my body has been through some difficult things and its still here looking after me. We owe it so much! Your body is literally fighting, protecting and serving you. Who are you to disrespect it and abuse it with toxic language and damaging thoughts? Your body loves you and it deserves to be loved back. Remember, everything should be from a kind place. From the food you eat, to the movement you do.
Lastly, I wanted to talk about forgiveness. Something that I don't think is spoken about enough. I have been riddled with shame and guilt around my body for my entire life, but in order to heal I really had to let that all go. Forgiveness is hard and sometimes I am bought to tears when I think about how badly I used to abuse my body and hate myself. I wasted over a decade trying to be thinner and fitting into a box that someone else had created for me. I don't want any of you to continue down the path of body hate, and why? Because you won't end up any happier. Its a lonely, miserable journey and I want YOU to want better for yourselves. Give yourself the permission to forgive. Its okay that you're not perfect but its okay that you hurt yourself because of that. You are wonderful, you are resilient and I AM SO FUCKING HAPPY YOU WERE BORN. You have the ability inside of you to let go - its up to you to decide.