Size acceptance

All posts tagged Size acceptance

“#fatacceptance is ruining the world!” bla bla bla. But what about life before it?

Published June 15, 2015 by Crystal

It dawned on me earlier, as I munched on my luscious salad, and perused twitter to see what bile Mr Miller was spewing today.  It dawned on me how fat acceptance is seen as this big evil, and how “normalising obesity is crippling our NHS” is the biggest pile of poop, because it has only just got legs in the last decade, and this country has been getting bigger for a lot longer than that!

I have been on a diet of some sort for a substantial amount of time each year for about 30 years.  And I am in my mid 30’s.  In primary school I was teased and bullied for my size, in PE lessons aged 6 I specifically remember how different I was to other kids because I couldn’t feel my ribs.  In secondary school I was also teased and bullied for my size, and then as a youth worker I had snide comments from shitty little brats who found it hilarious to comment.  The 80s and 90s were not kind to girls of a larger stature. At Secondary School our Home Economics lady was big.  And the boys in the class felt no shame in loudly mocking and ridiculing, and making her aware of how they felt about her appearance.  Fat acceptance was not a thing.  Thin was acceptable.  Fat was not.   It’s safe to say I grew up with enough self loathing to see me through the rest of my days.  And as a result of believing that thin was good and fat was very, very, very bad, I spent many days, months, years, on ryvitas and cottage cheese, or slimma soups, or dust.  I followed Rosemary Conley’s recipes to the letter, I exercised each evening to Cher.  I tried my damnedest to fit in to the acceptable norm, knowing that big was not acceptable.

And I doubt I’m alone.   In fact I would go so far as to wager that many of the fat acceptance campaigners will have grown up with similar experiences of torment and ridicule, and will have seen others dealing with the same.  I would wager that fat acceptance has come about as a reaction to years and years of fat shaming.  So to be blaming the “obesity crisis/epidemic” (really, that deserves a whole other blog post of its own) on a movement that has really only gained ground in the last few years seems somewhat ridiculous, no?

Think about that for a moment.  These people who are fighting for acceptance have endured years and years of ridicule, and have remained fat.  Often in spite of diet after diet.  So while Mr Miller sits there on his throne of judgement, he is merely continuing a behaviour which is what many of us endured in childhood and teendom.  And fat acceptance CANNOT be blamed for a situation that was taking place for decades before it even existed.

So what is the answer?  Well, for me, it is about kindness and care.  I want to look after my body.  I want to feel healthy.  I want to protect myself from disease if I can, and be around for my kids.  Sometimes I fall back into old coping mechanisms.  Sometimes eating gives me a way of not dealing with feelings I don’t want to face.  But day by day the self acceptance and self care gets easier, and the critical voices of old get quieter and quieter.  It may not be the whoopy doop super fast weight loss that Miller demands of fatties everywhere, but it is maintainable and life changing.

My salad, by the way, was yummy!

My salad, by the way, was yummy!

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#selfconfidence and #anxiety affect weight? Haven’t we, the cardigan wearing, hairy feminists #sizeacceptance trolls been saying that ALL along, @steve___miller?

Published May 25, 2015 by Crystal

Block out the negative messages.  Lift yourself with the positive ones.  Never stop believing your body is a wonderful thing

I sincerely hope Steve Miller is turning a corner, and realising all his fat shaming is ineffectual when it serves to knock a person’s confidence.

I sincerely hope this is the start of a step back from fat shaming and size shaming, and a move toward working to build esteem and confidence and see where that takes people.

As someone coming out of the other side of a rather long period of depression, thanks in part to running, and starting duloxetine, and good support from friends and family, I can say that my self confidence is below what it used to be.  And it is something that I am addressing at the moment.  When confidence is low, and anxiety is high, the old comfort mechanisms pull strongly to help me make it through the day.  And it’s not a bad thing.  But it’s not a great thing either.  Drinking or eating too much are temporary plasters that don’t leave me feeling great in the long run.

As self confidence increases, and anxiety lessens, and overall mood improves, the need to use food and drink to calm and soothe diminishes.

I know I am turning a corner because self care is getting better, and my drive to look after myself in better ways are getting stronger.  And Geneen Roth and her book Women Food and God, is giving wise words and ideas in the search for self care. You can read an excerpt here.

It is a shame Steve Miller has spent so long shaming already, when hypnotherapy can be used to bring about very positive changes.  It is a shame he prefers to use hate motivation rather than kindness and care motivation.  I sincerely hope he is actually turning a corner here.

I understand he is out to make a living, but he could do it without bullying and hate speech.

Poisonous Size Acceptance Troll, apparently, blogging again!

Published February 19, 2015 by Crystal

I was blocked on twitter yesterday by a certain “weight loss guru”.

Apparently, laughing at the odious idea that there should be a “Fat Tax” on clothing, and calling it the most ridiculous idea I think he had come up with, was a step too far.

Apparently, having a belief that every person on the planet deserves respect and acceptance is a poisonous idea.

Personally I believe wholly in health.  For me, and for my journey, size acceptance is about accepting my body as it is currently, and not criticising and ridiculing it, but also learning to love my body and value it, and discover ways to treat it more as the valued home it really is.

Take-care-of-your-body

As I’ve blogged about here and here my thoughts on size acceptance are my own, and may be vastly difference to other Size Acceptance and Fat Acceptance believers and supporters.  But whether it is or it is, human decency, and respect for others, is not some utopian dream that is unattainable.  With more respect, and less hate, change is possible, on a personal level, and in the wider sphere of our lives.

I find it interesting that the weight loss guru never ever responded to any of my questions or requests.  He bangs on about success, but I asked for evidence of sustained success over the years.

I also didn’t name call.  I would call him out on things he was saying, and ask for him to actually look up Size Acceptance, because he missed a whole load of everything every time he used them in his attacks.

But then, you know what they say;

rudeness

I have said before and I will say again, and again and again;  Real changes have come for me through acceptance of myself, through kindness to every part of me.  Sure I could punish myself slim.  But that never lasted.  The only long term changes, and I mean those that have stayed, have been in the last 2 years, when I really have embraced self/size acceptance.

Our journeys are all different.  One man does not have the answer to change the world, or “The Obesity Crisis” as he keeps calling it.  And you DO NOT need to call yourself all manner of nastiness in order to have a better life.

A Fat Tax on clothing? Not a chance! Let’s celebrate a far more saturated market #SizeAcceptance #BodyConfidence

Published February 18, 2015 by Crystal

I’m Googling this morning. I’m looking at the cost of plus size clothing (18 and above for the sake of this article) in the UK in comparison to those 18 and below.

And I am impressed with the UK.  Times have moved on considerably since I was a size 20 19 year old who could only access Evans until I lost some weight.  I found it hugely expensive for a mediocre quality and incredibly shapeless and unflattering.  If there was a time when being overweight was perceived as incredibly unattractive, and where people felt the right to comment on your existence it was the 90’s for me.

At the age of 19 I was aware I was fat.  I was also aware I was a disordered eater and would use food for comfort when things were tough.  Looking back I can also see how I already had a mood disorder of some sort.  And depression and elation, and the making of snap judgements that would vastly affect me was already a “thing”.

So I was fat.  I was a 19 year old student youth worker (pretty much in the spotlight, and pretty much needing to maintain a certain look to be credible with young people I worked with).  I couldn’t buy fashionable labels like Animal, or Kangaroo Poo, or any of the brand names of the moment because of my size.  I was stuck with a couple of pairs of cargo pants and a body warmer from overpriced Evans, and lots of mens fleecy tops because they came in a large enough size.  Oh, and overpriced stretch women’s bootleg trousers from a catalogue.

Back in my late teens, plus size clothing was expensive.

But it didn’t urge me to lose weight.  I threw myself into my work both at college and with the various youth groups and agencies.  I got away with looking enough of the part without the labels.  Buying clothes on a student budget was something that had to take a back seat anyway, and I didn’t really see myself as a follower of fashion.

But I did start to lose weight when I was a student. and why was that?  Because some shitty, horrid, vile little boy said “Do you have a road sign?  You really should have a road sign.  To warn everyone “Wide Load””.

I was crushed, but ok, it was the incentive I needed to lose weight.  To go back on a diet, to continue the endless cycle of weight loss and gain.  But of course this time it would be permanent.  Never mind that since dieting from the age of 4 or 5, I would lose and then gain extra.  Let’s forget that little gem of information.

I lost a significant amount of weight over the next couple of years.  I got down to a 14, so then I didn’t need Evans, and yes I did get nice clothes!

Since then, over the years I have lost and gained and lost and gained.

And over the years I am delighted to see that fashion labels have recognised the futility of diets, and the need for women of all sizes to feel confident and beautiful.

Clothing stores want to make money, and they do that by making shopping an enjoyable experience as possible.  Which in itself can be hard and challenging because we women can be our own worst critics!  That dress is the wrong length, that top makes me look like a sausage (I said that this week), and so on and so forth.  Clothing companies have seen the great big void in the area of attractive plus size clothing, and the market is now pretty saturated no matter what your style and needs.  It is a great thing to see.

I believe confidence can change lives, and enhance lives.  When I personally feel more confident I am more caring and aware of my own body and my own needs.  I make different food choices and fitness choices.  I feel more vibrant and able to attempt and achieve more.  So good clothing, clothing that brings a feeling of confidence is a wonderful thing.

So let’s take a look at the various options available for the plus size shopper, now we have moved on from Evans as the only choice;

Pink Clove is a name I hadn’t come across until today.  Glancing through, the prices seem very reasonable, and the styles seem very varied.  Certainly I would be able to incorporate items into my vintage style.  What I really love is that the items have shape to them!  The prices sit around £24 for a dress, and there are some very cute sale items that would see wearers into Summer.

For those with a little more to spend Anna Scholz continues to be a stalwart in world of plus size fasion. The website has exclusive items over £400, but also the odd sale bargain under £30.

As far as catalogue sites go, the list is pretty extensive these days with Yours, Marisota, BooHoo, Curvissa, Simply Be. With a variety of styles and shapes and prices, there really is something for almost everyone, especially with regular sales and clearance sections.

Plus size clothing is also available for those who like to dress alternatively (showing wonderful body confidence and individuality in my opinion, maybe this is what pisses off the weight loss messiahs?)

DangerousFX has a range off items from Pin Up, to gothic, to victorian.  Alternative items can be a little bit more, but still around the £35 mark in general.

Blue Banana has some gorgeous little pin up cardigans and dresses.  In a variety of sizes.

My Little Halo is a very cute little site for the gothic lovers!

The ridiculousness of a Fat Tax on clothing is that people make do where needs must.  And if I’m going to spend a substantial amount of clothing on an item I want to know that I will get wear out of it.  So for me, paying extra would keep me at the weight that would support being able to wear the item!

And ridicule as a stick of motivation?  Well that horrid boy who encouraged an impressive weight loss with his wide load comment kept me motivated and changed for a couple of years.  Then weight came on again.

The funny thing is, the only time that weight loss is been ongoing or at least stable is when I finally found myself and my style.  The confidence that brought about, and actually feeling attractive and pretty, that is what has encouraged me to be more caring to my body!

Yesterday I was wearing a pair of size 16 trousers.  High waisted, a little bit glam.  I put on my make up, and I felt good.  The clothes cost £1:50 in total, and that was the top from a charity shop.  The other items and accessories were from a clothes swap party.

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Compare this with a couple of years ago, and the difference, not only in clothing but in confidence is obvious.

2013

2013

So a fat tax on clothing?  Would it work?  Well considering there seems to be something of a fat tax in the US, and considering it hasn’t motivated the masses, I’m pretty confident we can let this stupid idea slide, yes?

12 miles done today! #vlm2015 #extramile I did it I did it! #sizeacceptance As I am right now! @thinkingslimmer

Published February 12, 2015 by Crystal

I am delighted to say I have completed my 12 miles training session today!  That’s nearly a half marathon!  I would like to thank runner 8, and runner 2, and the zombies who encouraged me to keep moving.  I would also like to thank the lovely Paloma Faith, the ever funky Black Eyed Peas, and the legend that is Sir Tom Jones.  Their tunes kept me going with a good beat, and the odd out of tune attempt at lyrics as I puffed and panted along the way!

And I managed those 12 miles in 2 hours and 55 minutes.  OK, not a radical attempt at the fastest mile.  Still a long way to go before I’m in a fit enough state to cover 26.2 miles, but today I covered nearly half the distance I will be covering on April 26th!

And I covered those miles, knowing that I was doing my best, that I was helping myself get fitter, and build muscle and endurance.  I started my session with a listen to the Slimpod, and then when nearing 10 miles I had another listen to keep up that motivation.

I managed to do it without someone telling me I was fat and disgusting.  I managed to do it and thank my body for the steps that I took and for the massive improvements I have seen over the months and years.  I managed to do it, and at the end be thinking “I could do another mile, maybe”.  I managed to do it and say to myself “Fourteen won’t kill me in a couple of weeks”.

But to onlookers I am still fat.  I am 5ft 4.5, and over 13 stone.  To a judgemental passer by I could be doing this all wrong.  Maybe I should be focussing on all that jiggly fat?  Maybe I should watch what I’m putting in my mouth because “You can’t out exercise a bad diet!”

It absolutely pisses me off that Steve Miller is still touting his crap that Size Acceptance is wrong.  It infuriates me that he doesn’t really give a shit what Size Acceptance is really all about.  He’s too busy wanting to make money from people by putting them down so much they will see him as some life saving Messiah.

I am a big girl, but today I ran.  Today I ran even though the last week has been mentally horrendous.  Even though I have moved between crying in desperation and sadness, and laughing hysterically at the funniest things.  If someone had placed judgement on me based purely on my appearance, it might very probably have derailed all the positivity I am trying to put into my life at this moment in time. And the problem is that that is exactly what Steve Miller does, every time he slates the size acceptance movement and attempts to justify his biases and prejudices.  He isn’t interested in finding the background of the people he slags off, because his arguments and advertising might have to change.  He does NOT care.

If you are interested in using hypnosis as part of your life, be it to help you lose weight, or help you to focus, there are SO MANY other choices out there.  With voices of people who genuinely want to help and support.  For me at the moment it’s my tiny circle of friends in a private FB group, and a Slimpod group with the lovely Sandra.

But there’s Anna Richardson, who has recently trained with Trevor Silvester, the voice of Slimpod, and who in her own life has had her own body issue and weight loss journey.

Hell, there’s even Paul Mckenna, at least he doesn’t use negative talk to get clients!

If you are going to let anyone have space in your head, let it be voices that will raise you up and support you, and help you to support yourself.

Starting off with some mouthy arse telling you you’re a fatty isn’t the greatest start to mental health.  In my humble opinion!

Oh and after that monumental run walk today, I was given money to buy new trainers for the next phase of my training!  So I went to ASICS outlet and frankly the choice was a bit rubbish, so got a gait analysis at DW and got New balance with extra top notch inserts! *look after your feet*

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They are far more girly than my current choice, and an ickle bit spangly!  Thank you mum and sister for believing in me and my training and wanting to help look after my bambi legs!

I pretty much maintained my weight for 6 weeks. That’ll do

Published September 1, 2014 by Crystal

I still have 3 odd stone to lose, at least in my head that’s my lose, distant, where I want to be, type goal.  It’s certainly been a slow progress, and I’m not going to win any prizes for extreme weight loss (thank goodness!).  

In the past I have lost a significant amount through some diet or other, and then something has snapped.  I have rebelled.  The weight has returned. 

I don’t really know what is different this time.  I feel more chilled, I guess.  I don’t place all my happiness on a divine number on the scales.  I don’t believe I’m worthless if I can’t stick to a plan for a day.  Things happen, meals out, time with friends, I’m not wasting those moments wishing to eat or drink what those around me are eating or drinking.  I don’t constantly listen to the messages belittling me and telling me I need to be thin to be beautiful/clever/accomplished.  I listen more to my inner voice, and my reasons for weight loss are my own and no one else’s.

So I joined Slimming World a month ago, more to help me get back to eating slightly better than I was.  I know I *know* the right foods, the importance of veg and so on, but sometimes it is easier using another persons hard work and compilation of stuff!  I am a realist though, and I knew the summer holidays are not the easiest to scale.  Days out, holidays, lazy evenings, intravenous wine when the kids drive me to the point of despair.  School Holidays are a jungle!  But I wanted to keep on top.  I didn’t want to end the holidays half a stone heavier, and so joining Slimming World was a way for me to keep a bit of a check on myself.  And it has worked in that I weigh the same I did when I started.  

The dubious non dieter may look at this result and see FAILURE.  They may think “What a waste of £20”.  After all, you don’t need to spend money to find diet guides and weight loss information.   The internet is loaded with stuff that might have helped.  So why did I go?  I guess, for me, I wanted some accountability.  And I wanted company.  To meet other people wanting similar goals.  To chat and share ideas.  

One could argue that I’ve spent £20 to lose absolutely nothing.  And I would have argued a similar thing a couple of years ago.  But then I thought about it.  And I thought about the fact that £5 is the cost of a bottle of wine.  I’m cutting down on the wine, so that’s the money already covered.   And it’s a week.  OK, over time it will add up, but there will be weeks where I might lose 3lbs.  And then I thought about how much I’d spent this time around to lose 2.5 stone and feel a bit more relaxed and a little more confident than this time last year.  

I started Weight Watchers in October. It was £20 a month, but some months I got an extension, so over the time I was a paying member I got a month free.  So I paid out about £160 for the 9 months I was a member.  In black and white it looks a lot, and I acknowledge that.  And in that 9 months I lost 35 lbs.  So, each lb cost me about £4:50.  But over those months I had such lovely support.  I had the loveliest consultant, funny, supportive.  And the meetings were a joy.  There wasn’t ridicule and criticism when a gain happened, there was a friend to ask what might help.  The ultimate goal was weight loss, yes, but it wasn’t an all consuming stress.  It wasn’t until my stress fracture in May, and my depression returning and my disordered eating rushing at me that everything went hay wire.  And so I left Weight Watchers, and managed to maintain that loss as my depression faded away again, and I relearned to say nice things to myself!

I won’t lie.  I started Slimming World four weeks ago in the hope that I might lose a bit over the summer holidays.  But it didn’t happen. And that is ok.  It’s ok because I read so any stories of people piling on weight as they lose control over the holidays.  It’s ok, because I’ve managed to pass that stage of diet thinking.  It’s ok because when I do overindulge I am learning the ways to bring myself back to a kinder way of eating, without criticism and ridicule.  I don’t starve myself or live on soup to compensate.  I tune in and go for the stuff that will make my body happy.  

So I’m seeing this summer holiday as a huge success.  There isn’t a miraculous weight loss where I will go into the playground and people will be stunned by the difference.  There is, however, a happy woman, who is still 2.5 stone lighter a year on in her journey.  And ready to see what the next year holds.

Size Acceptance, what it really means to me.

Published June 1, 2014 by Crystal

To me, size acceptance does not mean I have accepted my weight because I’m too lazy to do anything about it. It does not mean I am giving myself (a la) carte blanche to eat take out every night and chocolate morning noon and night, and to sit on my sofa getting bigger and bigger. What it means to me is an acknowledgement that my size, whatever it is, is just one part of me, and that having fought with myself year by year has not left me happy and fulfilled, but instead miserable and sub standard in my own eyes. Size acceptance, to me, means learning to love and value myself right now. At. This. Size. And to develop the relationship with the current me.
But it is a step. A promise to myself to start taking care of myself. That I am worth that love and care. And part of that care is to start paying attention to what nurtures and what holds me back. To discover a way of moving the body that is enjoyable right now. And a commitment to move a little bit more each time I feel able. To push myself a tiny bit each time I am ready, knowing when I do, the benefits it brings are wonderful for me physically, mentally and emotionally.

Listening to negative messages telling us we’re.”Lazy lardies” is not kindness. It is not helping us realise what we didn’t know. It might surprise you to know I am already aware I’m fat. And hating myself and loathing my body into submission has not helped change my physique for any decent length of time. So let us swing those doors wide, wide open on size acceptance groups. Let us realise the power within. And let’s love from the ground up!