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…
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…
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 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 Olson I have told you about them before here 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.
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! 😀
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 with these pictures of the me that I am proud of right now!
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 like because at the end of the day it is not their business…it is yours 😀
Or the day my phone turned into a needy surrealist and developed an obsession with otters!
In case the title of the post didn’t give it away, I have been experimentinf further with this predictive text found poetry idea. I have had some quite interesting results.
There are quite a lot that don’t work, you get an endless string of “I have not I have I want to no seem…” etc but I have discovered that the way to avoid this is to play with the rules. In traditional found poetry you can take words from a page or pages and put them together, this allows a degree of selection of words. So in the construction of these predictive text versions I am allowed to take out words and sometimes give the phone a startign letter. but not add words which were not suggested. This is what happened yesterday:
I hate it when people think they know me
I have been thrown away
It does not matter
I hate it when you don’t think of me
I have just noticed the otter
It seems that there is no such thing as Tuesday
That could have been a very depressing poem if it hadn’t turned suddenly, into a surrealist, near future expose on a world with otters peering at you from behind the impending destruction of tuesday! It has been pointed out to me that the juxtaposition of an otter with the emo-angst of the first 4 lines adds a playful tone to the end of the poem (thank you Lucy for that one 🙂 )
I thought that would be the end of it…but in my next attempt the otter put in aonther appearance…
During that moment you can tell me how you feel
Yes it was meant for you but I am not
Soon I will be honest with the otter
It would seem that I have been lying to the otter. but what about and why? Was it about the destruction of tueday, which really can only be a good thing and I am not sure why anyone would lie about it. Was it soemthing else? Something I was not sure that the otter could handle. Maybe I was concerned that the otter would indeed tell me how he felt…
The next installemnt looked like this. I did encourage the otter with the addition of an O at the start of the second line, but that was the only medeling i did. It is in the rules…and I had to find out why I lied to the otter!
I don’t know what you are
Otters and I have gin and tonic
I am just so ready for a new wildcat
Well…I guess the otter didn’t know about the new wildcat. It would seem that he has gained some otter friends too, possibly to balance out the afore mentioned wildcat. Everyone seems to have gin and tonic though so I think the honesty went well!
Mind you…I have a feeling the otter left me in the end…
It does feel better when you are my friend
It was ok to go back in time for a while
I am sure it would be nice to see the otter
This gallery contains 12 photos.
I marched. I marched for equality. I marched to prove that one man does not speak for all. I marched to show the world that those who can stand up will stand up. I marched because it is time to take a stand for what is right in a world filled with lies and madness. […]
Good morning 😀
I promise some exercise related content will appear here shortly…
In the mean time have a look at the latest adventure of the little red van… or better yet…follow the blog 😀 (yes…another shameless plug!!)
In case the fairy lights reference didn’t give it away…this is a xmas based post…
It is a relatively short ad-van-ture but bears a mention because it forms in important part of van history. Important because it was our xmas present. Our outlandishly extravagant xmas present…well…not outlandishly extravagant really…it will be awesome as we will be able to use it for adventures for years!! and we will go away far more often than we ever would without it 😀
I have a suspicion that with the amount of coffee I drink, just taking the facility to make our own coffee with us on day trips will save us a fortune 😉
Anyway…back to the adventure…as the van was our xmas present we thoght it only right that we took it out on xmas day when we went to spend the day with family 🙂
and because it was xmas…we thought it only…
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Go and have a look ad the first adventure of the little red van…
If you are feelign super generous or exited to know more about the fantastic ad-van-tures to come then follow my other blog 😀
Ad-van- ture one is also the first time I drove the van… which is more of a challenge than it sounds…
I may have forgotten to tell you that is is a left hand drive beastie! which presents a whole lot of challenges in a country where you drive on the left hand side of the road…
Things like the steering wheel being on the wrong side of the car, like changing gear with your right hand not your left hand, like the gears being in a completely different position on the stick to your other car, like your perception of road position being constantly challenged…
This steering wheel is not where I feel it should be! My advice to you, is, if you are going to try to overcome all of these difficulties, don’t do it 5 mins before attempting to drive up the biggest hill in your area…
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Well, the January challenges anyway…as I don’t think the universe will let me have a redo for the whole month…
Anyway…my Janathon and my 31 days of yoga fell by the wayside a little… and by a little, I mean a lot… there have been some extenuating circumstances involving some crazy stuff, which I am not going to go into, and I got hit by The Cold!
you know The Cold…the one that is going around that comes with such a bad sore throat that you think you have regrown your tonsils just so you can have tonsillitis…
Yes I know…it sounds like a bucket of excuses…but it isn’t…and I haven’t been idle, I have still gymmed and danced and walked, I just haven’t followed a rigorous every day plan…
Hehe sorry about all the selfies…only I am not really sorry because they are actually good for self esteem and suchlike!
Ok, time for the positive… 3 years ago, even last year probably, not completing this every day challenge would have me worrying about failing, it would have me apologising on here and worrying about losing all the fitness I have built up. However I am not doing any of that.
I have realised that I have come so far in this lifestyle change that a “failure” to do yoga every day or to post on FB in the Janathon group is not going to derail me. I am not going to lose what I have gained just by taking two rest days in a row…especially if they are rest days due to illness!
I am still going to go to the gym and walk and dance and generally be active because it is part of me…it is not what I do it is who I am. I genuinely love it too much to just stop!
I don’t need 30 day challenges to keep me on track, that doesn’t mean I won’t do any ever again because I genuinely think some of them are beneficial… I just don’t rely on them any more 😀
That being said, I am going to restart the Yoga challenge because I really believe yoga will do me good!
Look at me…I developed a grown up attitude O_O when did that happen!!
Oh and in other news…I started a new blog… one full of the adventures of our little red VW van…so apparently i am a travel blogger now too…
Go look and follow me!! (shameless plug…sorry)
This gallery contains 7 photos.
Originally posted on Red Van Travels :
On the 10th December 2016 we became the proud custodians of a VW T25 California Westfalia Campervan… By which I mean we conducted a transaction with a man in Essex in which he got a chunk of our money and we got a little red van to have adventures…