When it comes to my appearance & weight I have so often heard things like “Just put the pizza down and skip the donuts for once” often unsolicited…. So many people seem to find it hard to believe that I am not stuffing my face 24/7 with junk food ordering 4 take aways a day after having a full fried breakfast until they actually spent some proper time with me and see what I eat.
Many larger people out there actually have much healthier diets than you might think, eating quite well and with pretty healthy food (maybe a *little* too much of it, though). And no this is no “diet food shop” – this is ‘normal food’ & a pretty regular shop for me.
I, like many others, have gotten big by serial dieting, each time putting on a little more and each time wrecking my metabolism a little more. 20 years of guilt and weight fluctuations have messed with my head, metabolism, self-esteem and body as a whole.
So I have decided to skip the diets and try to live every day being the best & healthiest version of myself that I can be today, eating well, exercising & sleeping more. If that leads to weight loss great but should nothing happen I would still love my body just as much!
This is what body positivity and health at any size truly are about. Focusing on health & not size. Doing for your health what you can, not postponing “living” and “being worthy” till you have reached that magical number on your scale. Something so many of us have done, watching life pass us by while hating ourselves
Live now! Eat well! Move your body! Sleep well and a lot! And most importantly love yourself! And take care of yourself!
I would love to hear your opinion. Let me know what you think. I would also love to hear if you have made any similar experiences? How do you deal with it?
Up till now my blog has centered mainly around fashion, body positivity and self love with the occasional beauty post sprinkled in, going forward I am going to add a new section to the blog: #HealthyCurves.
From the runway to the Sports Illustrated Swimwear Issue, we plus size ladies have by now conquered so many domains. The gym-scene however is still one of the main areas where we lack visibility.
The result of this is unfortunately quite often that plus-size individuals are afraid of going to gym, scared of standing out, being stared at or maybe even being ridiculed. I myself have suffered from that in the past and still find myself once in a while looking around when I am at the gym.
Time For Us To Conquer The Gym
It is time for fat women exercising to be more visible making the sight of us in the gym a lot more normal – we need to conquer the gym and flaunt our curves proudly, showing off that we are fat and fit or at least fat and working on it.
Body Positivity – Loving Yourself To Make Healthier Choices
But this is about more than being confident enough to wear a gym outfit and to conquer your fear of being stared at. This is about loving yourself enough, to make healthy choices for yourself.
The issue is that most of us, if and when we were going to the gym, focus most of the time so much on weight that we end up failing so often, ending up in a never ending spiral, hating ourselves.Rather than focussing on weight, like I too used to do for so long, we should be focussing on making healthy choices every day, being the healthiest self we can be that day, just a day at a time. If it means that we are losing weight or not.
If we are stubbornly chasing a weight that is difficult for us to reach, it will most likely lead to us being a lot less healthy, either by us following unhealthy fad diets which do not only lead to bad nutrition but in most cases also to yo-yoing, in the worst case it might lead to eating disorders or other mental illnesses and finally in most cases it will lead to simple plain unhappiness which is practically guaranteed by chasing an in many cases unattainable number, or at least unattainable in the short time we give us.
Torturing ourselves like that is often even unnecessary. While I am pretty sure no one will argue that weight does not have an influence on health. The idea of how thin we actually have to be to be healthier is also over-estimated. Not everybody is made to reach a size 8. To be healthy it is important to listen to our own bodies, however, to do this it is important that we are honest with ourselves.
My Story & Relationship With My Own Body And Fitness
I myself had to make theses experiences myself in a quite painful way. I have yo-yoed around most of my life going from crash diet to crash diet most of the time following a self-hating low till a few years back I decided that it was finally time to follow through and make the big chang, become a new person.
I was convinced this time I would make it and this time, I would make it to make the long-term change, a lifestyle change not a diet. I put all my effort in it for a very long time and over the time of more than 1.5 years I lost 30 kilos (ca 5 stone) slimmed down to a size 18 and even ran a half marathon. I was so proud of myself.
Then I hit the wall, the weight did not want to budge further, but my BMI still called me obese, I still bought my clothes in plus size shops and society still called me fat?! What to do? I kept and kept trying, counted my calories, exercised obsessively, struck more and more foods out of my diet but still the weight did not budge. There it was again, that anger with myself…
At that time I did not have the confidence I have now, I still thought I was fat and ugly. I completely missed how great my body felt, that all tests said I was fit and healthy that I without issue was able to run 10kilometers. I look amazing now and looking back I now know I looked amazing then, but all I could see was that my clothes still said plus-size, that despite all blood and heart tests saying healthy the BMI chart still said obese. The official classification and the german society still called me fat. And so at some point, I gave up hope and the inevitable happened and I ended up unhappy and annoyed with myself and ended up gaining everything backover time.
Self-hate is not a good motivator. I am very very happy that after coming to the uk I stumbled across the body positivity movement who taught me that my self-worth is not tied to my weight. It took me a long time but now I love myself and my body and know that I am fucking beautiful.
Unfortunately however after I always used to be fairly fit more weight I have recently noticed that I am by far too quick out of breath and I have also picked up some lower back pain and the occassional early pain in my right knee – the typical weight issues. There is no way round it if I want to tackle that pain and make sure that knee stays healthy I need to tackle that gym and work on my health and this is a journey I would like to share with you and also want to use as an opportunity to as a fat woman be as visible as possible going to the gym and also beating my own residual phobias.
Love Yourself & Be Our Healthiest Self Every Single Day
The best we can do for ourselves is love ourselves and realise that we are beautiful and worthy as we are and do every day the best for ourselves and our body. Ultimately this will lead to our healthiesst self – should this in each individuals case mean losing weight or not.
This is ultimately what I am going to be working on and will try to convey via my new #HealthyCurves posts. I am by no means planning in turning this into a dietblog in any way shape or form, but from now on you can look forward to hopefully being able to me on my way back to an even happier, healthier self.
Where do you stand when it comes to fitness? Are you a fitness fan or do you go nowhere near a gym? What is your favourite sport or fitness routine? What is the one fitness/self worth tip you would like to give to your younger self? I would love to hear from you?
Are you as tired as me of stupid rules about what we are allowed to wear or not? We all have come across rules or even lists of what we apparently should and should not wear. These rules can present themselves in so many different ways:
“Passed Down Wisdom”: that has been passed down from woman to woman like I have been told so many times, that I should not wear stripes or patterns or that I should avoid short skirts, bodycon dresses or generally tight tops.
School’s Dres Codes: Weird rules imposed by schools about what girls (and also boys) are allowed to wear, most of the time claiming the girls would be too much of a distraction to the boys in their leggings or skirts revealing irresistible kneecaps. This goes to so crazy lengths that girls have been sent home from school for wearing leggings. (1, 2, 3)
The Press: one of the most recent examples was the Oprah magazine stating that you should only wear a crop top if(AND ONLY IF as they repeat) you have a flat stomach… I already had my rant about this specific article here
Simply be has recently put together an eye-opening list of all the confusing rules they came across…
Completely Arbitrary Or Even Plain False
These rules are completely arbitrary and even the assumptions they are based on are sometimes even plain false. The myth for example that horizontal stripes make you bigger has been debunked in multiple studies. A 2008 study even found that horizontal stripes make you appear 6% thinner than in vertical stripes. Who decided what is flattering?
What Is So Wrong With Clothes That Don’t Slim Us Down?
Even if horizontal stripes would make you look fatter, what is so inherently wrong with that? Why are we so obsessed with “flattering”? Are we plus-size ladies and body-positivity lovers still so deeply convinced that being big is such an awful thing that it needs to be concealed, hidden?
If we want to move plus size fashion to the next level we have to learn to step away from our obsession with “flattering” and “slimming”. I personally believe that one thing we have to learn is, that flattering is not a synonym to slimming.
Dress Codes – Often Demeaning For Both Genders
It is obvious that for school or the workplace we should all follow some common sense dress codes. Ultimately you just should not wear you clubbing clothes to your school or workplace.
However, a dress code that go so far as to ban leggings, the visibility of bra straps (tank tops/strappy tops) or similar are demeaning for both genders. These rules assume that boys would be unable of controlling themselves in the view of some ankles or a bra strap shame the girls for completely innocent clothes choices
What Can We Do?
When thinking about what we can do about those stupid rules and misconceptions there is one simple answer. Break the rules, break them at every occasion you get, and be visible doing it. That way we can break down the expectations of us trying to stay invisible and to hide our rolls and extra pounds at all costs. Show your glorious body in whatever you like to wear!
Simply Be Project – Break The Rules
So when Simply Be shared with me their asked me if I wanted to participate in their recent project aiming to break those rules down following their recent blog post about those rules, I was immediately in. They were so nice to supply me with some pieces from their line to go and break some rules. A project right after my liking.
Breaking the rules!
So here is a selection of outfits breaking all the rules I could think of featuring past outfits and the lovely dresses that i was supplied by Simply Be
I am proud to be representing Manchester and very flattered by the honour to have been selected for this title and I would like to thank my sponsors Nothing But Epic and Florentyna Dawn for believing in me and sponsoring me.
A Big Step For Me
As a woman who has struggled so many years with my own appearance this is a very important step for me and I am more than happy to be representing self love and the fact that beauty has no size.
In my life I have gone through dozens of diets always thinking that happiness might be around that corner only as soon as the scale would show that magical number that would put my BMI in the normal range.
Even when I had lost more than 30 kilos (close to 5 stone, for my British friends), was fit enough to run a half-marathon and had more than healthy test results at the doctor,I still hated myself. Why? That is something I will describe in a little more detail in a future post.
Don’t Put Your Life On Hold
The bottom line is that it took me a long time to understand that whatever the label in my clothes says and whatever my scales says is irrelevant. The idea that everything will suddenly be great once you reach a magic number in your clothes or your scale is wrong. By following this idea you will put your live on hold forever.
Be The Best Version Of Yourself
What matters personally for me, is striving every day to be the best version of myself, that I can be today; may that be in be in health, professionally or following my hobbies. And I am definately looking fabulous doing that!
Reaching More Women With This Message
I am very happy that the Miss British Beauty Curve will give me a platform to communicate this message to other women who might still be in the position of putting themselves down and waiting for their lives to start, that I was in before I realised I was worthy of self-love and to live my life.
And so are you beautiful girl! Go out there and have a killer day!
Ok girls it is time for another rant. I know I am ranting quite a lot here recently but there is just every other day some thoughtless body shaming or other stupidity going on. So recently I just really have to vent… a lot.
Its Instagram, Again
So what has happened this time? This time it’s Instagram, again. After banning the female nipple, pubic hair peeking our of a bathing suit, women on their period and not to forget being one of the breastfeeding nazis (read more here). Not to forget to time and again take down bra selfies of women above a size 10 while those of skinny women are fine. It is now shame to get shame people based on their bodies once again, as they have now put the word #curvy on their blacklist, which will not allow you to search for this hashtag anymore.
So when you as a larger lady post your next cute outfit on Instagram you might need to reconsider what hashtag you want to use if you would like to enable people to find you… Words you can choose now I guess are:
By the way #fatf*** also still works, in case you would like to use thatLovely isn’t it?
Why #Curvy Matters For Plus Positivity
But let’s be honest most terms have very negative connotations. The word curvy is a word that finally was a positive word, a word that enabled someone that will have struggled with a very negative body image for a long time finally to start looking at themselves in a more positive light
The debate of what to call your body type when you have a few more kilos on you has been going on for quite a while. And admittedly some #curvy women might be a little more round or boxy and some people really get weirdly angry about people that do not sport a traditional hourglass shape and call themselves curvy.
Does this really matter so much to the rest of the world that the word curvy is getting a second definition if it helps a fair amount of people gain a better and more loving self image. While I personally have made my peace with the word fat and have no problem calling myself a fatty at times, it is still hurtful for many. I am sure the word curvy will have contributed to giving a lot of women out there a positive self image, they can identify with.
Official Reason For Ban – Nudity
So why have they banned it. A spokesperson from Instagram apparently stated that a lot of the images tagged with the hashtag #curvy contained a lot of nudity.
Just the fact that a lot of the images that contained this hashtag apparently also contained a lot of nudity to blanket ban it, while a lot insulting and bullying terms can still readily be used by the trolls out there to put people down, that is just not a jhourglassshapeustification and a completely wrong approach.
This Is What Instagram Still Allows
So let’s have a look at what Instagram in it’s endevour to reduce nudity still allows: like #dildo, #sextoys, #asses, #pornos, #bigfatass, #titsandass and #pornstargay, these are fine but #curvy clearly has to go.
Next to these sexual terms Instagram also allows you to search for an array of negative and insulting terms regarding overweight that are not only containing a lot of nudity (depending on the specific term in question) but also are used to bully people some examples are #obese, #fatf***, #fatbitch and #fatpig. Yay for Instagrams priorities.
So now let’s have a look at what happens on the other side of the weight range, ins specific: what happens when you search for keywords like skinny or thin. Shouldn’t those attract pretty much the same type of pictures and shouldn’t Instagram react in the exact same way here? Well yes to question 1 (some nudity here as well) but a big fat no to question 2.
Instagram obviously is aware that that these pictures are containing an amount of nudity as they warn you when you when you click on the hashtag that the results contain graphic content, so they are aware of the nudity here. However these terms along with other searchable terms like #ana and #mia are known trigger terms for eating disorders, which Instagram also seems to be aware off and solves with a link to an eating disorder site, but you can still go through and admire the thigh gaps and see all the images of self harm, diet tips and food diaries.
So bottom line is they do allow sexual terms, derogatory terms all aspects of the other side of the weight range, despite being aware with all the issues connected with those terms, while a term that has had body positive effects for so many people gets straight away banned? Wait can somebody please explain that for me? I am not sure I understand their logic.
Why Not The Same Type Of Warning?
For some clarification. I am not asking to ban keywords like skinny, but rather ask for same treatment for the word curvy. Couldn’t they have slapped another one of those content warnings on it? If you like even with a link to a nutrition page for help with weight issues if someone at Instagram is worried about the health of the posters.
Not sure about their agendy
The bottom line is, I am not quite sure what their agenda is here. I can’t believe that the ultimate goal was to decrease nude pictures and their accessibility. Firstly because of all the offensive terms out there that I can’t believe they have not approached before this one but mainly because there is a very simple and targeted solution if they really wanted to target nude pictures.
If It Is About Nudity Why Not Use Nudity Detection Software?
Monitor the keyword with a program scanning for images containing nudity would be the perfect solution… Captain Obvious. Yes these programs do exist, they were made to speed up checking computers of suspects for illegal pornography and the way they work is scanning images for flesh tones (a little more complicated but that is the bottom line). These programs are so good, they can do this even for black and white pictures.
Apply this, with a few employees who check the pictures that it spits out as blocked. If you want to go with even less effort directly block the images or warn the users that their image is going to be blocked within a few hours if they don’t submit it for a review and boom only those are are submitted for being falsely detected need to be reviewd even more time saved. There you go, a fairly non complicated and targeted solution found.
An Alternative Movement Is Already There
Luckily the body positive movement is alive and well and there is already a protest movement forming within Instagram that have come up with an alternative term. So you don’t need to use the words from the list above, use the tag #curvee. There are already more than 500 images with this tag and they are getting more by the minute.
What Do You Think
So what do you think about the #curvy search ban? What do you think about Instagrams approach and will you miss the term or do you think it won’t make a big difference? I would love to hear from you.
Ok everyone it is time to get your fashion rule book out again. The all encompassing fashion authority has spoken again. I mean I don’t really know who that is but the Oprah magazine sure does. How otherwise could they have given such definitive and clear fashion “advice”.
I guess you are now most likely sitting at the edge of your chair, with a sharpened pencil ready to add rule number 5,387 to your “Fashion For Fatties” rule book, right after the rule “Touching thighs are not acceptable”. So here it is:
You fatty should never, ever, ever so far as to consider wearing a crop top.
What The Magazine Really Said – But It Is Not Much Better
The Oprah Magazine (O Magazine), you remember Oprah – that woman that is usually all about empowerment, has published some fashion advice that is so negative it still baffles me hours later and that even though I have come across my fair share of outrageous fashion rules & tips in my time blogging.
The advice that is outraging the internet and me was an answer to the question “can I pull off a crop top?” Brace yourself for the actual “fashion rule” that was given as answer. “If (and only if!) you have a flat stomach feel free to try one.” Seriously? I almost fell of my chair.
The message is bad enough body shaming. We do see this sort of thing every day, what is particularly baffling about this one is not only in what magazine it was found but even worse how it was written. I am still not over the text in brackets and the exclamation mark.
This Is How Much I Care
Well thank you Oprah for this well meant advice. I will consider it, keep it in mind and do with it what I do with a lot of the before mentioned 5,387 rules in the “Fashion Rules For Fatties” Rule book, happily ignore it and to celebrate the day by getting my everything but flat size 24 stomach out.
I have to admit that despite all the body confidence progress that I have made since I have started blogging, thanks to trying so many things, daring to wear crop tops was still a pretty big thing for me.
You might think now, hey she recently raved about how much she loves bikinis, you are showing loads more skin when wearing a bikini, why is should this now be a problem. Well this is the thing with confidence, it is not always logical. And not only that, when wearing a bikini you usually go swimming, not to town or in a bar, people expect to see some sort of larger degree of bare skin which makes it a bit simpler. Crop tops are still partially one of the taboos for plus size ladies.
I did even leave the house wearing a crop top
Well ultimately I did dare to go outside in this crop top. And once again not dissimilar to when I wore the bikini, the world still turned and no-one was pointing with fingers at me. I wore this outfit (with less ankle braking heels) out to a work do and ended up getting so many compliments. Initially I left the house with a simple black kimono over this, so that I did not feel quite so naked and could cover up if I felt uncomfortable, but no need for that. 20 minutes into the work party that cardigan lay somewhere in a corner and me and my non flat belly were rocking the dance floor in my crop top.
Internet Do Your Thing – #Rockthecrop
Other than that, the internet has done what it does and exploded with outrage. Lots of amazing women of varying degrees of not flat stomach have shared fabulous pictures of themselves online. It is definately worth checking out the the hashtag #rockthecrop. Here is a selection of a few, but check it out yourself. 🙂
So either that was now a big ploy of the O Magazine to kick us all into “Hell No”-Mode and make us all wear crop tops in defiance or they are just the idiots they appear to be and they just gave a lot of women out there another set of body issues they should not have to worry about. Go get yourself a crop top!
I would love to see your favourite crop tops: Tweet a picture @GirlGeek85. #rockthecrop Lots of love