Friday, 1 January 2016

Body Positivity and Weightloss

Me (in the green dress) at my highest weight
This is it: the first day of the rest of our lives. A new year is just beginning and the decadence of December is soon to be a distant memory. I've seen a slew of inspiring and invigorating posts about New Year's Resolutions and hopes for this shiny new year. TV advertising has moved away from the indulgent foods of Christmastime, and is already telling us all to start getting fit and slim. So, I suppose it's appropriate that many of the New Year's Resolutions I've seen involve weight loss.

I have no qualms or shame in saying that I am a large girl. I'm 5'7" and I'm a size 14-18. I'm a fervent advocate for body positivity, and we are starting to see great steps being taken when it comes to fat fashion. Social media has wonderful pockets of support for people of all sizes, shapes and styles, and it's becoming more accepted to be big, beautiful and proud. So why am I one of those people resolving to lose weight this year?

At my lowest adult weight
I have always been unhappy with the way I look. At higher weights, at lower weights, when I work out, when I don't, when I eat freely or when I restrict myself, I am never satisfied. A huge part of that is absolutely because of social conditioning, after years of being told that my achievements were tainted by this physical failure. Backhanded compliments telling me I'd be "so pretty if..." have taken their toll. Fat-positive bloggers and beautiful plus-size models have helped to reverse some of this damage, but it does run pretty deep.

Also, I have a couple of mental and physical health issues that would be improved by losing weight and getting fitter. I have some lung problems that are alleviated slightly when I am regularly doing cardio, and the relationship between mental health and exercise is undeniable. I will stress this now, you can never judge a person's overall health by the shape of their body. I am not equating "slim" with "healthy" because we all know that this is a flawed concept. However, I find exercise easier when I am carrying less extra weight, and my lungs and brain work a lot better when I exercise.

Me at a high weight after a quick weight gain

It's not all about fixing the negatives, though. Exercise also helps me with singing and stamina while performing. The band has huge plans for this coming year, and I want to give it my all, and that includes being as fit and ready as I can be.

Weight and body image are such touchy subjects for so many people, and I feel a little conflicted talking about it at all. I completely believe that everyone should be allowed to look how they want to look, eat what they want to eat, wear what they want to wear and exercise how, when and where they choose. People should be allowed to take pleasure in things they find pleasurable without being subjected to the unsolicited disapproval of others. This is why it's important to stress that I'm not changing the shape of my body for anyone's comfort but my own.

I'm going to be joining Slimming World, and I've written myself a workout plan inspired by my favourite female characters, like Buffy, Jessica Jones and (of course) Ariel, the Little Mermaid. I don't know how much I'm going to continue discussing my weight loss/fitness efforts here, and I don't really have any concrete goals. I'll try not to be boring about it, because this isn't a fitness blog and I don't want it to become one. But I know this will be a lot easier with some support.

I do not believe that any body type is better or more attractive than any other. In my imaginary utopia all clothing ranges would come in all sizes and tailoring would be free. Everyone would feel free to express themselves however they chose, and airplane seats would be universally comfortable. But, even in this judgement-free dream world, I know I'd want to be slimmer and fitter than I currently am. And, really, that's what tells me that I need to do it.

If you're losing, gaining or maintaining your weight this year, I wish you all the love and luck in the world.


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6 comments

  1. So much love for this post <3 Honest, and perfectly written <3 x

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    1. Thank you so much Jem! It's such a tricky subject, and I'd never want to tread on any toes or trigger anyone, but I want to be open and honest or what's the point, eh?

      x

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  2. Great post. Good luck on your quest to get healthier!
    Poppy | http://poppyallanorma.com

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    1. Thank you sweet pea, I'll do my best to keep you posted!

      x

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  3. Love this! By the way you are beautiful regardless of your weight. Slimming world is great...I think Ive done them all and they definitely work....my fromlem is maintenance. Urgh! LOL! Im trying to lose weight for me and my holiday in July lol ...good luck to you toom Steph xo

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    1. Thank you so much - that's very sweet of you to say! I'm definitely more *comfortable* at a lower weight, but I think people can look awesome at all sizes! Best of luck for July, but you'll look fabulous whatever your weight! <3

      x

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