This week I have had body image on the foremost of my mind.
I decided enough was enough and I finally have to loose that 1 1/2 stone that my doctor suggested might benefit my health last summer, and the year before that, and before I got pregnant and probably the year before that. The last time I was the weight my doctor suggests was 2001, and then I spent two weeks in America. I re-discovered food after spending 4 months on the weight watchers plan and that was that. I have got my mum to weight me once a week so I have motivation and I'm really logging what I eat, not just what I think I should have eaten, as I have done in the past.
After watching Goks teens the naked truth, this week I found myself shocked that body dis-morphia was starting in girls at such a young age and that Pro Anorexia sites were so easy to come by. I was also shocked that parents were allowing their children to spend so long on the internet and having no idea what they were looking at. The Pro Anorexia sites are very easy to find with a Google search (I'm a nosey person) and offer such unhealthy advice.
I struggled with how I looked as a teenager, I was bullied at school. One of my nicknames was the flat chested lesbian. I did manage to get my own back on that one, I was a late developer. At school, I pulled my belt in a little too much at school to try and create a waist and hips, I lied about my weight, I had phases of eating only the healthy options at lunch and saving the left over lunch money for a Friday blow out of chips and cake. I even elasticated my gym skirt so I could say I was wearing a 24 inch waist skirt. Looking back on it now, thinking a 26 inch waist was fat, was so naive of me. I did go for a week or so where I lived on ginger nut biscuits, but that was GCSE stress, how I wish I still stopped eating now when I got stressed instead of indulging in it. I started to diet, because my mum dieted, my mum dieted, because her mum dieted, and because she was an hourglass figure in the 60's when everyone wanted to look like Twiggy. I'm sure my Grandma dieted because her mum did. I am trying to put a stop to that, I do not mention the "D" word in this house, I do eat cake with my daughter, I eat biscuits with her and chocolate, but we also snack on raisins and oranges. I buy her grapes for a treat instead of sweets and try and give her a positive outlook to food.
One of the companies that have given me the strength to do this is Beyond Chocolate They have a very positive and, when you first start, scary attitude to food. Allowing me to look at food as fun and something to be enjoyed, rather than down right scary. This morning I iced fairy cakes with my daughter and my two nephews, it was fun, and yes I ate a cake and licked a spoon and snaffled a few smarties, but it was a great morning with the kids and I didn't beat myself up over it afterwards.
On my Facebook page this week, I posted what I felt was a fairly harmless body positive image picture, it started much debate and also an interesting discussion about how naturally skinny ladies were made to feel unsexy. I guess in the fight for real women to be used in the media, we didn't stop to think about the naturally skinny, the ladies who struggle to put weight back on after an illness, instead of feeling proud that the weekend bug lost them half a stone.
All women should feel happy and confident with the way their body naturally is, nobody should make them feel any other way. There are some fantastic clothes out there that the slender lady looks absolutely fabulous in, and I look blinking awful. Yet there are outfits that the hourglass can carry off and the willowy look terrible in. It is finding that look, that confidence, that is you. Saying screw the world, this is me and my body and I love it.