My Human Body

For as long as I can remember I have had problems accepting my body. It didn’t matter whether I had lost weight or put weight on I didn’t truly accept my body or feel comfortable in it. 

Recently a friend of mine, Judith Staff, recommended a group on Facebook called Body Positivity for People with Bodies by Kate Huffman. When I first joined the group I saw that I had missed an online Facebook challenge so I asked if there would be another. Lo and behold another Live Facebook challenge called Love Your Body – Kick More Booty was set to start.

I signed up immediately. If Judith thinks it is great then that is all the recommendation I need. Judith knows about my history. She knows some of what I have been through and how difficult it is to accept a body that has been violated for your entire life. 

Kate advertised the Love Your Body – Kick More Booty Live Facebook challenge which was three days of 1 hour training with a challenge at the end of each one. 

The first session had me hooked. This isn’t another weight loss programme. This is a way of accepting your body how it is and going through a taster of how we can work on becoming someone that loves our bodies no matter what shape or size. 

Kate Huffman isn’t just delivering this training, she has lived it! Having fought anorexia and being knocked back by a diagnosis of Lymes disease Kate accepts her body knowing that it is human.

With everything I have been through in my life it is a given that I have signed up for Kate’s 8 week Body Positivity course. It is worth every penny.

The course started on 12 August. Watch this space! I will be blogging about my progress so far very soon.

Feel free to read my blogs under Body Positive and sign up to my site to get further updates. You can also see how the free three day challenge went. 

I’m so excited about this!

A letter to my body

Dear Body of Mine, 

We have been together now for nearly 44 years. We have been through ups and downs but we are still going. 

Despite what I have put you through you still hold me up every day and keep me going even when I don’t want to, even when I have had enough.

We have been sexually assaulted, raped and beaten throughout our life yet you do not give up on me. You heal, get back up and help me take another step forward each day. 

We are meant to be here and we are made for each other. I know I have not been good to you over the last few years and I have given up keeping you fit and well but that is about to change. 

I have started a journey of body positivity and I intend to finish that journey. I will accept you for what you are but at the same time get you fit and healthy. 

My goal is no longer to help you lose weight. My goal is now to make you the best you can be to keep us both going. We have so much to do, so many people to meet. We can do this together and show the world when we are knocked down we will always get back up again. Ready to fight another day! 

We are stronger when we work together. Let’s do this!

We’ve got this!

Fitness over fatness!

The guest speaker at yesterday’s session, Judith Staff (O’Toole), said “This is not rocket science.” and she is right. Most of us know the things that Kate Huffman is helping us with but we need to believe in it and stop judging ourselves. It’s not easy and I do this a lot but I am willing to work on it and break free of my ‘monster buddy’ or retrain her to be kind.

What is fatness? 

I Googled it and found this….

When I read this every part of me screamed out “NO!”. Who writes this stuff? Why do they have the right to say that fatness is similar to any of the words below it. Who thought they had the right to say that fatness = large amount of flesh.

I have never read such rubbish! This makes me so angry! What is “excess flesh”? Who makes that decision and why? Why do we have these systems in place that make us judge ourselves? Instead why don’t we replace them with fitness. I would rather know how fit I am over how fat I am. 

What is fitness? 

Yes you guessed it, I Googled that too.

Whilst I don’t agree with all of the words below ‘fitness’ I do agree with the definition. 

Fitness – the condition of being physically fit and healthy “disease and lack of fitness are closely related.”

Success!!! No mention of a relationship between fitness and weight!!!!

BMI (Body Mass Index)

Kate said yesterday “In 1998 overnight because of the insurance company lobbyists a law was passed in the United States to lower the markers of what was “overweight” and what was “obese”. So overnight people who did not change anything who were “normal” woke up the next day and suddenly they were legally “overweight” and people who were “overweight” before were legally “obese”. No medical backing for this change.” 

If this is what our governments can do with or without medical backing then using BMI as an indicator of whether or not someone is overweight or obese is an absolute shambles. Instead why don’t they focus on fitness? 

Somebody could be at what medical professionals or the government consider to be an “ideal” weight but still have serious health problems because of being unfit. Equally somebody could be in the “overweight” or “obese” category and have no serious health problems because they are fit.

We heard a lot about that yesterday and it has made me think. It has also made me angry! I admit I didn’t even consider whether there was a link between BMI and fitness. I have just been thinking of them as one. 

Today I am going to change that! I have a Fitbit which I use for various things, tracking my weight has been one of them. So today I am going to remove that function on the app. My weight doesn’t matter, my fitness and health does!

I have removed the weight and food tracker sections of the app now and left myself with fitness aspects for encouragement.

During lockdown I have kicked myself numerous times for binge eating again and again. I still want to get out of that cycle but I also want to work on my fitness to help with my mental health, my current health issues and to reduce the risk of further health issues. 

My weight is irrelevant! My fitness is key!

Sod the BMI scale and weighing scales (getting rid of mine today). I need to get active. I have spent most of lockdown in my one bed house barely moving and it has led to a reduction in my fitness. The thing holding me back is my ‘monster buddy’, the one which talks me out of doing things, giving me excuses…. It’s raining, it’s too cold, it’s too hot, I’m tired, i’ve just eaten. I even Googled how long I should leave between eating and exercising. This gave me the best excuse ever!!!! If only I could take technology away from my ‘monster buddy’.

So yes, today I feel angry at the government and the way the world has raised us. I know what I need and want to do. All I need now is to talk my ‘monster buddy’ round. She WILL get it and she WILL help me. We WILL get there together!

What gives me the right!

I woke up this morning and found myself looking at the parts of my body that I hate. My legs, hips, bum, belly and face. My ‘monster buddy’ was saying how fat and ugly they are. Then something changed. I started to correct myself and say I’m human. These are my human parts and they are unique to me. Who am I to decide what is ugly and fat in this world. 

Who decides what is ugly?

Deciding whether something is ugly or beautiful is a personal choice. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, right? So next time you look at yourself and your monster buddy tells you that you are fat, ugly or some other mean thought remember you are human but you are a unique human. 

Kate Huffman took us through a video yesterday which shows women’s body standards over the years. It was enlightening and at the same time surprising. The surprise for me was seeing some ‘normal’ “plus size” shaped bodies. So many of us have this ideal in our minds that we believe has been everybodies ideal throughout time but this is not the case.

Today I went for a walk and took some photos of trees to highlight in a different way that no two of us are the same. We all have our differences just like these trees we are allowed to be different shapes and sizes. This makes us the people we are today. How we look is only a small part of us. Our human bodies store our true selves, our personality, our beliefs, our experiences good and bad. Everything that has happened to us in life has led us to this day. Our human bodies deserve to just be. If we work on our monster buddies we will soon accept our bodies for what they are and feel the freedom to live our lives without judgement. 

No tree is the same, neither are we!

The Body Story Tree

I started to think about Kate’s course from yesterday and the body story tree/flower. Like Kate I have a thing for trees. Ever since I started my journey to find my voice I have become attached to the tree of life and what it means to me. 

The Body Story Tree made me really think. Every part of me is unique! 

I have an identical twin sister. Although we were born as identical twins (developed from the same fertilised egg) we do not look identical any more. My sister has always been thinner than me and has always looked more feminine. This is because we are individuals who have different tastes and live our lives in different ways. 

For so long I have compared myself to my sister because I have seen her body shape and appearance as better than my own. The pressure has been there to look the same because we are twins. People forget that we are individuals.

We have our own shape and size which is unique. We also have our own struggles with our body shapes and sizes. 

Somebody’s size and shape does not mean that they are not struggling with how they look. Our demons are inside us, as Kate says these are our ‘Monster Buddies’.

I’m not going to say that I am fixed now after two sessions but I have learnt a lot. I can now work with that and I know I will pick up more from the next session. 

Here is my body story tree