Tag Archives: body image

Embrace.

Embrace

I just wanted arched the most amazing, informing and touching documentary called Embrace.

It’s so interesting to me what other people, women especially think about their bodies. I have in the past been on a journey of self hate. I thought I needed bigger breasts, smaller thoughts, smaller nose, needed to be taller, needed a perlite bottom, you name it, I possibly wanted it.

Over the years I’ve learned to embrace and love my body. It has served me well. I’m a 37 year old mother of 2 beautiful children. A 4 year old boy and 2 year old girl. My body housed and fed these little people inside me whilst they grew and were nourished by me until they were ready and able to enter this world.

I’m blessed that I am healthy, sure I get the occasional ache and pain, possibly self caused? But I’m healthy.

I understand the mind set with body dismorphia. I am a qualified personal trainer (not practicing) I’m also a qualified counsellor, so I get it. I also have many friends and family who have some sort of unloving relationship with their bodies.

When I was in my teens I had an eating disorder. I was scared of being ‘fat’. I remember really clearly when I was 15 years old shopping with my mother and older sister for shorts for myself. We were in a shop and I was trying some on, I remember distinctly I tried on a size 8 and my mum suggested I get a size 10 as she thought they needed to be bigger. I remember having a ‘melt down’ crying and being really upset because in my mind, a size 10 was ‘fat’ and I never wanted to be ‘double digits’. I refused to buy them and remember being so set on ‘loosing weight’ and being ‘skinny’. My mum has dieted all of her life and she struggled with her weight most of her adult life and I remember her doing many different ‘diets’ whilst I was young. Some worked and some didn’t, this stuck with me and instead of having a healthy loving relationship with food, I began monitoring everything that I ate. I got so bad that if I was served a steak or sausage I would get paper towel and basically get all the ‘moisture’ which I thought was getting the ‘fat’ out of it. I never ate fried food and banned butter or margarine from my menu and cut out most carbs. If I are a carb it would be ‘brown’ because in my head, white was the evil. I was really miserable because I would ‘starve’ myself of a cookie or an icecream because I thought it would make me ‘fat’.

I’m my older teenage years I was a personal trainer. I was a PT for about 4 years and my mindset went from the need to be ‘super skinny’ to the need to be ‘strong’ and muscular. Which possibly wasn’t a bad mindset, but with most things that I did as a teenager, I did full throttle. I became really quite muscular and lost my breasts, (or what there was of them) and from behind I was often mistaken for a male. This was pretty tough on my self esteem so from that I would be extremely strict on my diet, and yes you guessed it, I became super skinny again weighing about 40kg. I’m 162cm tall and quite a petite build, but with protruding hips and collar bones, it was not a healthy look.

Throughout my years I’ve learned to love my body no matter what shape or size it is. Our bodies are basically our motors. They keep us ‘running’ and keep us alive.

It took me a good 10-15 years to love and appreciate what I have and how I treat my body, but I can finally say I’m in a ‘good mindset’ with my body. Sure I have cellulite and stretch marks. I have 2 beautiful and healthy children and I have my health. I still go through phases where I do want to change things about my appearance, but all in all I’m pretty happy.

This documentary, really resonated with me. Being comfortable in your own body and loving it for what it is and can do for you is the most important thing I think we should remember.

Please do yourself a favour, watch it.

Being a ‘walking skeleton’ is not admirable by most. This documentary speaks with many women from all walks of life. Inspiring and brave. Speaking about their body love and how they have had challenges yet overcome and now value and appreciate their bodies.

Love your body for what it can do for you. Not for what shape it is. Different shapes make us unique. We are all individuals.

Body shakers should be exactly that, ashamed that they feel they can belittle someone because of their appearance.

Thank you Renee Airya and Jade Beall for making this film.

Embrace the Documentary

Light exercise?

So yes, I’m pregnant, gaining weight, eating lots to satisfy cravings and because I’m feeling so nauseous, I’m not really feeling like exercising. Sad but true.

I am however 15 weeks through and although I am still quite lethargic and vomiting most days I know that being mobile and exercising during my pregnancy is both good for me and my bub.

I didn’t exercise during my first pregnancy but I was working full time and my job allowed me to get out if the office and see clients which allowed me to do lots of walking. I also walked to and from the bus stop to get to work and always got off a few stops shorter than needed and walked. Simply because it felt good and I enjoyed it. I still gained 17kg with my first pregnancy however I ate reasonably well and found that the weight fell off and I was back to pre baby weight within 7 weeks from giving birth to my little man. I think perhaps this was because I was running in adrenalin as my bub who is now 2 didn’t sleep, suffered reflux and I was simply a thousand miles per hour!

Exercise is good for you in pregnancy, and is perfectly safe. However, it’s thought that as many as three quarters of women with a healthy pregnancy don’t do enough exercise.

Taking daily exercise won’t harm you or your baby, and can also help to prevent pregnancy and birth complications, such as pre-eclampsia. It may also help you to have a shorter labour and increase your chances of giving birth vaginally. Let’s face it, labour can be very intense and it felt like I had ran 10 marathons by the time by 5hour labour had delivered my gorgeous little man. I’m not sure how some women survive long labours. I certainly praise them!

Being active and exercising regularly before and during pregnancy will help with –

Keep pregnancy niggles, such as backache and pelvic girdle pain, constipation and fatigue, at bay.

Feel better about the changes that are happening to your pregnant body.

Maintain a healthy weight, although fluid can attribute to weight gain so perhaps don’t weigh yourself too much, go off how your feeling and looking.

Get a better night’s sleep.

Help to reduce or prevent depression again both during and after birth and also can improve your self-esteem.

Prepare your body and mind for the demands of labour and birth, as mentioned I felt like I’d ran a marathon!

Get back into shape after your baby is born. It’s amazing how the muscles remember what it’s like to feel good and by doing simple exercise during pregnancy you will recover at a quicker pace.

If you develop diabetes during pregnancy (gestational diabetes), exercise can also help you to manage your blood sugar levels.

So now I hear you asking, what exercise do I recommend? Well I find that the best exercise isn’t strenuous but will get your heart pumping without being breathless, doesn’t cause soreness the next day, won’t have you feeling exhausted but helps with preparing your body for labour and what’s next.

I recommend exercises such as Low impact walking, swimming, aqua natal / aqua aerobics classes and cycling on a stationary exercise bike, are all good and safe forms of exercise, as long as you don’t push yourself. Never leave yourself breathless or struggling.

Pregnancy yoga and Pilates are good for strengthening and toning, though you should find a registered, qualified teacher who is experienced in teaching pregnant women.

Also try to vary the type of exercise you do. Mix it up with aerobic exercise, such as swimming or walking, and strength and conditioning exercise, such as yoga or Pilates, is ideal. Aim for a total of at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity, most, if not all, days of the week. Doing three, 10-minute sessions in a day is just as good as one 30-minute session, if that fits into your lifestyle better.

Remember that exercise doesn’t have to be formal to have an effect. Any activity that you can fit into your everyday life, such as walking to the shops, taking the stairs instead if the lift / elevator and doing housework also counts.

Just remember, pregnancy is tough on your body so don’t push yourself and if you feel fatigued or short of breath please seek medical advice.

Guest writer Trish.

I promised I would post / publish some of my guest writers work so here goes.

This is a touching yet sad and truthful note from Trish. She has opened up her heart to tell us her story. Hopefully this will touch others as it has me and make you think more about our words and actions and how they can have a massive impact on other lives.

My regular readers know how passionate I am about healthy eating and setting a good example for our  children. Most of all installing good eating habits in children.

The world is so obsessed with talking about obesity, there are just as many anorexic children or children with eating disorders out there as there are obese or overweight children.

Let’s try work together and bring eating disorders to the forefront also.

Guest writer Trish.

I had an eating disorder from an early age. Both my parents were body obsessed and quite frankly still are.

My mother always on a diet, but she called it ‘healthy eating’ and my fathers long conquest to be muscular and lean with competing in body building.

I remember from when I was about 5 years old being a fussy eater so instead of my parents being persistent, they gave in. I didn’t like vegetables so I was made eat them. Perhaps they couldn’t be bothered, perhaps they didn’t want the fight? Most nights I are plain pasta. Occasionally I would eat lamb cutlets but other than those, not much more.

My mothers obsession with her body image is still very much as it was when I was younger. Her quest to be thin, constantly running and constantly comparing herself to others.

I observed from a very early age and although they don’t assume I’ve taken anything in, this has played a huge part in my life.

I had a fear of food from about the age of 8 or so. No wanting to eat anything that my mother labeled ‘bad’.

I grew up in a household where body image was constantly talked about and both my parents had obsessions with their appearances. Looking back it wasn’t a great loving environment teaching me to love myself and or my body.

My eating disorder started by me saying I wasn’t very hungry, not finishing my meals then completely skipping meals. I would then binge, feel terrible about what I did. Have a huge amount of guilt about eating ‘bad food’ then starve myself.

This followed on well into my teens until a high school teacher picked up on it and spoke to my parents and I saw a doctor. I remember being 35kg in grade 10 so I was about 15 years old.

I still have a fear of food but not as bad as it has been. From all the starving myself and binge eating my hair started falling out, I was constantly tired and run down and caught a cold very easily. This is because my immune system was low as I wasn’t feeding it enough nutrients. It still takes me a while to recover from sickness and perhaps will for the rest of my life?

My parents will never take responsibility for my eating disorder but I believe it is their fault. If they had of instilled good eating habits in me from and early age and not been so obsessed with their own body image perhaps Id have a different mindset and not have put my body through this?

If you have any fear of food or any eating disorder, please seek help. This can and will always affect you in some way otherwise.

Remember a healthy mindset is the first step!