Nicole definitely helped inspire me to put my thoughts to page and encourage us all to realise, our weight definitely does NOT determine our worth. Why? Because we’re way more than just a body. We are full of ideas, opinions, creativity and curiosity, not to mention love, strength and determination. All of which help us reach our goals, support our family and friends when they need us and succeed in living a fulfilled life. We are destined to be so much more than a number and live our lives without limits.
This time of year is EXHAUSTING in terms of what we’re told day in day out. Before the clock strikes midnight on 31st December, we’re encouraged to indulge in all the delicious food and drink that the festive season brings. But as soon as January is here BOOM you’re not slim enough, that roll on your tummy? Disgusting! Join that gym (‘no joining fee!’), eat quinoa, boss the meal prep people – #cleaneating! We’re all made to feel guilty for putting too many a mince pie past our lips and somehow we’re now not good enough. Losing weight is the only way we can be worthy, feel accomplished and be better at life. But according to who exactly?! It’s all a pile of crap and everyone needs to have their eyes opened to the reality that is trashy diet culture and fat shaming. Your body. Your rules. These mixed messages can be the trigger for someone to spiral into unhealthy eating habits when ultimately, the goal should be to promote acceptance of ourselves as we are and a good state of mental health, NOT the media’s idea of the ‘perfect’ body.
The last time I checked, cooking a nice meal from scratch, baking a yummy cake or sharing dinner and a bottle of wine with friends means a few things:
1) A delicious outcome – I mean, I love to eat.
2) A time to unwind and relax.
3) A social occasion to make memories with friends.
It shouldn’t be about checking the menu for the least calorific option, planning on eating much less the day after to ‘compensate’ or doing an hour or more of exercise to burn off what you enjoyed. It’s so sad how food has become this obsession for a lot of people. What we put into our bodies, how we ‘earn’ a so-called ‘naughty’ treat and planning social commitments around an exercise schedule – has become an obsession for a lot of people. How sad is that? That we can’t enjoy a slice of cheesecake without thinking ‘shit, better do some squats later to make up for that dessert!’ – NO! Not needed! Ordering a dessert is part of life, it should be part of everyone’s life and does not need to be counterbalanced by a shit tonne of exercises. Yes, diet and exercise are important parts to our body’s health (and our minds) but not allowing ourselves the freedom to enjoy food can be so much more damaging in the long run. I’m not saying to eat dessert all the time (although, why the hell not) but enjoying tasty food can be part of a healthy lifestyle, a lifestyle that doesn’t need to revolve around minutes we’ve spent running or calories we’ve used up.
It doesn’t help that social media is FULL of #thinspo and all manner of images to make us feel like a certain body type is perfection and we are anything but. We’ve been conditioned to feel that our bodies aren’t normal and the ideal body should be tanned, toned, lean and defined. What happened to just loving our relationship with food? Running around and exercising because we enjoyed it? Not looking at ourselves in any other way than ‘just me’? Rather than being brainwashed by all the bullshit, we need to educate ourselves and not be taken in by the facade. Just think how boring this world would be if we all looked the same.
I have banged on a LOT about Megan Jayne Crabbe’s book – Body Positive Power – and ohmydays if you haven’t read it yet after my recommendation, you totally SHOULD! It uncovers the monster that is the diet industry, banishes all the shitty myths you’ve been fed about weight loss and diets by the trashy magazines and has you feeling empowered and enlightened about all things to do with your amazing, incredible body. It’s helped me break free of the viscous circle which is diet culture. I’m more aware of stupid slogans plastered across our magazines, in the headlines and on tv adverts. I know that joining a weight loss group isn’t the right choice for me and I realise that my body won’t ever look like a Victoria’s Secret model. But I’m okay with that because I’m me and I quite like being Tiff. I am so much more than my weight. I am a loving daughter, a supportive sister, a giving friend and hard worker. I am creative, quirky, curvy and possess a laugh that you can hear from a mile off. I love food and what? In 60 years time when I’m old and looking back on my life, I bet I won’t regret any of the chocolate feasts or meals out with friends. Hell no, I know I won’t.
To finish, how much space you take up on a sofa or what number you have in your clothes label does not determine your worth or define you in any way. Read that line again. And BELIEVE IT. Because tell me something, why should what size clothes you wear, take away from how many people you’ve made smile today? Or how many friends you’ve helped through a tough time? Or how you’ve just got a promotion? That’s right – IT SHOULDN’T. You are so much more than how you look, remember that.
With lots of love and body positivity,