HOW TO BETTER YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR BODY

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Photography by
Linda Blacker

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.

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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.

Forgive Yourself
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.

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25 Comments

  1. Hannah
    18th January 2018 / 3:44 pm

    These photos of you are absolutely beautiful! You look like a goddamn angel Grace!!

    Hannah x

  2. Jasmine
    18th January 2018 / 3:51 pm

    you’re amazing grace xxxx

  3. 18th January 2018 / 3:57 pm

    So inspiring! And these photos, gurllll you look insane❤️
    Liv xx

  4. 18th January 2018 / 4:00 pm

    Love this post so inspirational & the photos are amazing! very much worth the read xxx

  5. 18th January 2018 / 4:27 pm

    I discovered body positivity in 2017 and it has made the biggest difference to my life. Grace you look so beautiful in these photos, you are a goddamn treasure

  6. Charlotte Tustin
    18th January 2018 / 4:28 pm

    Beautiful and someone to be inspired by.. Thank you xx

  7. Laurien
    18th January 2018 / 5:33 pm

    This is amazing. Keep it up dear Grace! Love this

    xxxxx

  8. Shannon
    18th January 2018 / 7:44 pm

    Thankyou so much grace . I needed to hear this I’ve been feeling so down about my weight recently! Thanks for the guidance in the right direction x

  9. Mackenzie
    18th January 2018 / 7:49 pm

    That was beautiful Grace…. Coming from someone struggling with Anorexia, that was really refreshing to read. ❤️❤️❤️

  10. Phoebe
    18th January 2018 / 8:52 pm

    Needed this today, thank you Grace ❤️ You are a goddess x

  11. 18th January 2018 / 11:03 pm

    The appreciate what your body dies you point really resonated with me. I’ve put on a lot of weight since I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease and often feel a lot of pressure to get it all off. I even considered stopping my medication x_x. Thanks for this Grace!

  12. 19th January 2018 / 5:23 am

    I am not thin at all and this post is so beautiful. I look at myself and don’t see what I want to see but I know I am still beautiful. My boyfriend loves me for who I am so why shouldn’t I? This post has made me realise that although I may not be thin or others who are not thin, we are all beautiful no matter what. No matter my size, I am beautiful in my own way. Thank you for making me believe I am beautiful in my own body <3

  13. Temi
    19th January 2018 / 2:20 pm

    Such a good article, I love everything you said, a shift in mentality is really needed!!! And ps you are beautiful

  14. 19th January 2018 / 6:47 pm

    These photos are beautiful! You’ve been such an inspiration to me from a young age when I would watch your youtube videos. This post really spoke to me, I love the ideas and how it’s reminded me to give myself a break.

    Leah x
    http://www.leahmarriott.co.uk

  15. Erin
    19th January 2018 / 9:28 pm

    I LOVE this post Grace, I love your confidence, your honesty. I struggle so much with body confidence issues, I just want to be happy when I look in the mirror – instead of flinching at myself. I love this, and I’m away to check out your book recommendations now 🙂

    Erin || MakeErinOver

  16. 20th January 2018 / 1:05 am

    WHAT! You have no make up on, you were ill that day and yet you STILL manage to look that slammin’? Unfair. Totally unfair 😜.

  17. 20th January 2018 / 12:10 pm

    Gorgeous pics, well written and awesome message! What a revolutionary message – our bodies are to carry our soul and to live life! I LOVE this. I’m absolutely going to check out those books. From one BBW to another, thank you ❤

  18. Emma Harrison
    20th January 2018 / 3:25 pm

    Grace – this was such a wonderful piece to read and I am so glad that I clicked through.

    I’m one of those people that many seem to feel shouldn’t have issues with their body image and it so refreshing to see it acknowledged that you can have these issues no matter what your size and shape. Over the years I have almost refused to show my body the respect it deserves, I need to recognise this and I think that above all else this post has taught me that I need to treat my body in the way that I think I would if it was in better condition.

    Thank you <3

    Emma | HarmonyBlaze.co.uk

  19. 20th January 2018 / 5:36 pm

    These photos are stunning! It’s amazing to hear parts of your story and how you got so confident, I’m definitely taking a few pages from your book and am going to start working on it too

  20. 20th January 2018 / 7:56 pm

    I have only just come across you and your blog and I think this is sooo amazing! Very insprirational and such a pure and necessary message to get out there x

  21. 21st January 2018 / 4:57 pm

    I love how you’ve pointed out good and bad foods – it’s called a balanced diet for a reason. Why feel bad for eating ice cream? If it was so awful it wouldn’t be on the shelf to buy in the shops

    Mel ✨
    meleaglestone.co.uk
    @meleaglestone

  22. Nad
    22nd January 2018 / 10:43 am

    Such a great post, thank you for putting it out there! I especially love the part about appreciating your body and all that it does for you. We need more of this!
    Your pics are great too btw! xx

  23. 9th February 2018 / 2:21 pm

    Grace, this is such a brilliant and helpful post! I agree, January is a pretty shit month for body confidence and self-esteem, and I’ve definitely felt pretty down about it too! But these tips are so brilliant – recognising thoughts and forgiving are great tips! I also agree education is a huge thing – I’ve just finished Megan Crabbe’s book and it was really interesting (and shocking) about the weight loss companies! I’ve recently been training myself into ditching food morality and it’s so liberating, I can’t stand guilt and when I want certain foods and remind myself that it doesn’t make me bad or make anything else in my life (including my body and health) any different, I feel great!

    Thanks for the advice Grace – really helpful!!

    Josie

    Daughter of An Air Hostess // Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle

  24. Tamika
    12th February 2018 / 4:35 pm

    Powerful piece. “Our bodies are carrying a soul.” We truly forget that. Thank you for reminding me to remember

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