Body Positivity

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3Β years of hard work…

I am not putting up that picture to show off… This is not a look at my weight loss etc post or picture…although to be completely honest it is good to remind myself how far I have come once in a while…

The whole point of this picture is it represents a fundamental change in my attitude!

When the first picture was taken I hated pictures, I wouldn’t look at the camera and I could barely look at the resulting pictures without being miserable for ages.

Now, believe it or not, I am willing to pose for photos, I mostly don’t hate them and I even have more selfies than is sensible on my phone! But this is about more than photos. It is about confidence and attitude. It is about finding the courage to stand up to the judgmental attitudes of today’s society. To stand up to the attitudes that say you have to be a certain size or shape to dress a certain way.

Even at the end of my first 365 I wouldn’t have dreamed of wearing the muscle shirt in the top picture without a second top under it. I still qualified every achievement with disclaimers about needing to lose more weight, or still having lots of things I needed to change. It was almost as if I was not allowing myself to be proud of myself , I couldn’t let anyone thing I was pleased with me the way I was. After all what would happen if they thought I was still fat…I felt I had to acknowledge it before they said something!

Just in case you are new or have forgotten this was the end of my 365 project…

me 365

day 365 πŸ˜€Β 

This was me, I was happy because dancing, I was happy because 365 days of exercise is quite a big achievement, I was happy with my progress.

The one thing I couldn’t say I was happy with was my body.

Now the end of 365 me was a differently shaped me to the now me. Partly because I have been a little less dedicated to my eating, and quite a lot because I have been doing a lot of heavy lifting… but this isn’t the point, the point is…

We are allowed to be proud of ourselves. We are allowed to like our bodies and appreciate them for what they can do!

I know what you are thinking…what changed? and when are you going to get to the point and tell me what body positivity is?

Well first things first…what changed?

Well…obviously I did…but what made me change?

The first thing was this person…

whitney-thore

Whitney Way Thore click for more info

This is Whitney Way Thore, star of a show called Whitney Fat Girl Dancing, and a dancer who works to encourage people to accept their body and not body shame others. I don’t watch her show often, but I happened to catch an interview with her and of course she was being quizzed for promoting obesity and such like. and she explained she has PCOS Β which made her gain weight and that she was aware that it could be unhealthy to be overweight but then she said “Appreciate your body for what it can do.” and that if it is stopping you doing things you want to it is time for a change. That one line started to change my outlook.

Then I found Grrrl Clothing, an amazing company run by Kortney OlsonΒ Β I have told you about them before hereΒ they are all about body positivity and fitness at all sizes…which quite honestly is rare in a fitness clothing company! The breakthrough really came when I found their FB group Grrrls. This group is full of amazing women who all support each other and all subscribe to the Grrrl philosophy which comes handily written on the clothing tag.

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This is important. No negativity about yourself or others. As soon as you start to do this your outlook starts to change.

How often do you look in a mirror and criticise yourself, or tell yourself that you are stupid, or tell other people that you need to lose weight or are so fat or whatever. As soon as you stop this and start to look for positives, everything changes. Not instantly…it is not magic… you can’t wipe out years/decades of social conditioning in one hit but it starts to happen. You start to appreciate what your body can do whether it is lift heavy things, run a long way, make children (I have heard this can be a good thing but I remain unconvinced :-p), or just move you around through your busy day to day lives. You start to realise that you can be and do anything you want to do at any size and that the dictates of society are quite frankly rubbish…

Society says you have to be skinny to be attractive…well no actually the thing that makes a person most attractive is confidence. Society says women shouldn’t lift weights because they might get all bulky…well, bulky is unlikely in women and anyway…why shouldn’t women be bulky if they want…

Society says working out is for weight loss and for looks…well no, working out is for health and for whatever your own personal goal is!!

Before I go on any more I am going to show you some of the awesome women in the group who have inspired me to walk around with scary bright leggings on and muscle shirts with no vest tops under them…to walk around with confidence!

These are not the only inspirational women in the group by a long way but it just shows, no matter what size, what shape, what background we come from, there is no judgement! πŸ˜€

So here’s what body positivity means to me:

Body positivity is about believing in your own self worth, about believing that I am strong and capable and worthy of confidence as I am right now! It is ok to want to work on self improvement, it is ok to still want to lose weight but the difference is I am doing it for me and for health and to be an even better me rather than as a punishment for being a bad me!

I work out because I like it.

I wouldn’t mind losing some more fat, but I am proud of myself for who I am at the moment!

I can spend three days in a row dancing and walking miles and still walk the next day! I can lift 100kg (almost…) I can ride my bike for mile and miles I can swing a kettlebell about like nobody’s business and I can do all of these things right now.

I am fit and I am healthy and I still have chocolate sometimes and that is ok!

I am still mildly terrified of posting this without the caveats I mentioned at the start. I still have the fear of people judging me for being too fat or too weak or, now after writing this, too show-y off-y…

but you know what I am posting it anyway along withΒ these pictures of the me that I am proud of right now!

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So be who you want to be, be who you are and don’t be ashamed of it! Don’t let “society” dictate whether you wear leggings or shorts or vest tops or giant hats covered in peacock feathers or what ever you likeΒ because at the end of the day it is not their business…it is yours πŸ˜€

 

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About Ice_Badger

Exercisaholic, Photographer, Artist, Engineer, Morris Dancer, General Obsessive...

32 responses to “Body Positivity”

  1. Lucy Brazier says :

    WOW! And honestly… WOW!! This is a great post – you manage to be inspiring, witty, self-depreciating (but not in a woe-is-me way) and bring a little tear to my eye all at once. I have been following your blog for quite awhile now and I am proud and chuffed to say that we have now become good friends and co-collaborators in all kinds of shenanigans. You have come a really long way and your beauty and warrior goddess shines through and you and these lovely ladies in the picture are an inspiration for women (and men!) everywhere. I thank you for doing this and commend you for the sheer dedication an tenacity it takes to truly make a change to your life and attitude. I loves you!

    • Ice_Badger says :

      πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ thank you!!!!
      That means so much from you!! I felt like I was waffling at one point there is so much to say on the subject!
      I am so glad we have become shenanigan collaborators πŸ˜€ I loves you too!!

      • Lucy Brazier says :

        You hit just the right tone with this, well done! Not waffley at all!
        Shenanigan collaborators forever! πŸ˜€

      • Ice_Badger says :

        I am glad! that is a huge compliment coming from an actual writer πŸ˜€
        It is so easy to come accross as preachy in these things!
        Woohoo!! shenanigans (and gin and bernards) for ever!

      • Lucy Brazier says :

        It’s a huge compliment being called an ‘actual writer’!!
        **FOR THE BERNARDS!!**

      • Ice_Badger says :

        well you are an actual writer…
        you write books that people read and everything πŸ˜€
        **FOR THE BERNARDS!!*

  2. Ice_Badger says :

    Reblogged this on Real Fitness Sussex and commented:

    Work out for your own reasons and be proud of your achievements!

  3. AthenaC says :

    I love your “after” pic – not because you’re smaller, but because you look like a badass and you look (deservedly) proud of yourself. I’ve definitely noticed for me that it’s really a liberating thing to reframe your goals from “I want to lose weight” to “I want to do X with my body.”

    • Ice_Badger says :

      thank you!!
      That is definitely the point, it is not the size that is the important thing it is my change in attitude and confidence!
      I love being referred to as a badass πŸ˜€
      You are so right about re-framing goals, goals about what you want to achieve rather than what you want to lose are so much more fulfilling!! πŸ˜€

  4. fitnessgrad says :

    I found the post!
    Yes girl yes! this is was awesome of you to post about yourself and others. Very moving to say the least. I always had an issue with wanting to look a certain way (and yes I still struggle with it) but not to the same capacity, I want to continue to better myself but I don’t want to allow someone else to tell me what is acceptable and not acceptable. I wholeheartedly believe that health comes first and a nice physique is a bonus package. We go from skinny is in and fat is bad, to now skinny is lame and being muscular is best, it always changes, next thing you know someone else will come up with another motto the world decides to follow. The pressure is overwhelming, we all want to be attractive and have this body and face that is flawless and yet many of us including myself can hardly come to acceptance of our flaws because we have people telling us we aren’t yet good enough or we need to do this or that or look like this or that and people will like you, want to be you, look up to you, etc. I have decided my body is MY DAMN BUSINESS and if someone doesn’t like how it looks or what I dress, too bad, I made my decision and they don’t get to change my mind or make me feel bad for it.

    Shay-lon

    • Ice_Badger says :

      I am so so glad you found the list and that you liked it πŸ˜€
      It is not always easy to stay positive but you are so right about it letting someone else dictate what we can and can’t do/wear or the way we look!
      I believe it is body so you should make the rules! People don’t have the right to say what you do with it…as long as it is it destroying your health!

  5. NancyTex says :

    Awesomeness on every level! Love it!

    Hey… so while my world remains a crazy (mostly bad crazy) place, I was feverishly planning my end of May trip (anniversary) with various North American destinations in mind, when I got notice I need to be in London for the day on the 25th. Sooooo… long winded way of saying that hubby and I are flying to London on the 19th and departing on the 29th. I am considering heading straight to Paris after landing on the 19th to spend a few days in those parts before making our way back to London for my meeting on the 25th. Haven’t planned a single thing (other than our flights being booked) and so I have nothing concrete to share. Am considering all angles: cheap flights to other euro cities; train to Paris; rental car and drive to scotland or wales; cheap flight to Dublin and tour Ireland… Anywaaaaaay… because it appears that, at the very least, we should be in London from the 26th-28th (early flight out on the 29th) that I should let you know in case, you know, we wanted to FINALLY reconvene for part 2 of our adventures.
    xoxo

  6. NancyTex says :

    Reblogged this on my year of sweat and commented:
    Yeah, yeah… I know it’s been over 4 months since my last post. Bad, bad blogger. Admonish away.

    I just had to share this uplifting and inspiring post by my friend, Sam. You remember Sam, right? She of the guest post on my blog, describing her 365-days-of-exercise journey here: https://myyearofsweat.wordpress.com/2014/04/10/dancing-into-the-light/.

    You may also remember the post about Nancy & Sam’s Excellent Adventure here: https://myyearofsweat.wordpress.com/2015/03/05/london-calling/.

    Without further ado… here is Sam. Prepare to be uplifted. And inspired.

    xoxo nancy

  7. Carrie Rubin says :

    “I am fit and I am healthy and I still have chocolate sometimes and that is ok!”—Yes! I love that line.

    I came this way via Nancy’s blog. Congrats on your body positive journey. I enjoyed reading about it.

  8. Joanne Sisco says :

    I’m visiting via Nancy and I LOVE this post!! All women need to be reminded occasionally of the need for positive body image – regardless of their size.

    Congratulations on your amazing journey of self-discovery over the past 365 days. You rock!

  9. Catherine Wheeler says :

    Amazing to see your journey and the strength you have (both physical and emotional) is something to be proud of. Body confidence is not about size (even skinnier girls have hang ups) it is about saying “this is me and I love me”. So proud to call you my friend.x

    • Ice_Badger says :

      Thank you πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ this means so much coming from you! You know me better than most people in the world!
      Emotions strength is much harder to come by than physical strength! I feel sure you already know that!
      I have learned over the years of being bigger and smaller than I am that confidence really isn’t about size!!
      So proud to calm you my friend too… I still channel my inner Cathy on occasion to get me through workouts πŸ™‚ x

  10. Helen says :

    Sam you are awesome and this made me cry! You have come so far, physically and psychologically. I’m proud to know you!

    PS I keep seeing your Grrrl Clothing pics and assumed they wouldn’t do my size but they DO!!

    • Ice_Badger says :

      πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ thank you!! I am so glad you liked it!!

      They definitely do your size and it will be named after a cool athlete rather than a demoralising number of Xs (I found some leggings the other day that were XL and were a size 12 :-/ )
      Go and see grrrl clothing, sounds stupid to say a clothing company have helped me but they really have!!

      • Helen says :

        It was awesome! πŸ˜€
        I love the way they do the sizing, the number of Xs my bum needs is just depressing, and they use real people models as well! I’m converted πŸ˜€ With the size 12 XL leggings, it horrifies me when I see that, and then count back and discover that medium is a size 8!

      • Ice_Badger says :

        πŸ˜€
        I love the real people models, they are sports people everyone can relate to! and the company themselves are really awesome! Kortney the CEO FB messaged me herself to check that the leggings I bought were OK as they were a new style, and they always comment on my Instagram if I tag them πŸ˜€
        The sizing of a lot of clothes is just wrong! I tried on fitted shirts last week…I have the wrong shoulders for fitted shirts!

      • Helen says :

        That’s awesome, amazing service! I’m going shopping there πŸ™‚
        Fitted shirts have never been a good thing for me, I can never breathe in them!!

      • Ice_Badger says :

        you should! their leggings are the most comfortable things ever! I am totally obsessed!
        i have never really been able to wear them, except when I was a size 10 skinny teenager…I didn’t eat then so I am not going back there!! ever since I turned into an adult shape I couldn’t and I have always had massive shoulders and they are not getting any smaller!

  11. Helen says :

    Reblogged this on 26 to 12 – another weight loss blog and commented:
    It’s been a couple of weeks I know, and I swear I logged on to do an update, but then I found this amazing and inspiring post from my friend Sam, and I just had to share it…

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