A letter from your fat wife.

A letter from your fat wife.

 

 

Dear Husband of mine,

Thank you so much for loving me for the last 34 years.

It can’t have been easy to be married to a fat woman.

 

By the time we met at age 20, I was already lacking in body confidence.

I first understood that I was fat when I was 7 years old. It was from that point onwards that I became body conscious and started to compare myself to others.

 

I’m not sure that I ever told you about my anorexic behaviours?  They persisted on and off, from my fourteenth year to when I was 18.  And you definitely don’t know that I dabbled with bulimia for a year whilst I was at university.

I don’t even think that you knew how self conscious I was, eating in front of people.  I felt comfortable eating in front of you though!

It’s how I knew you were ‘the one’.  (So many other reasons too of course!)

 

I wonder if you understood why I behaved the way I did?

….why I was jealous if you even glanced at another female. Terribly jealous.

I know at times I was irrational, temperamental, moody and yes spiteful too.  I was prone to shouting and crying.  I wasn’t always easy to live with.

I wonder if you realised that I behaved in this way because I was afraid?

I was afraid you’d realise that there were better girls than me out there.  And that you wouldn’t want me anymore.

 

But you married me anyway.

 

I wanted to be a size 12 on our wedding day. You told me I looked beautiful in my size 16.

And after we were married I no longer worried that you’d leave me.  I felt secure.

 

But my lack of body confidence still caused issues.

You wanted to have holidays abroad.  I didn’t.

I made excuses about money and the children being too young.  But truthfully,  I didn’t want to put myself in a situation where I knew I’d be comparing myself to other women in swim suits. I didn’t want to be reminded that I wasn’t good enough. I was ashamed.

 

Over the years I’ve made excuses not to socialise.  I’ve avoided reunions for the same reasons.  And in the process you have ended up missing out too.

 

 

Becoming slimmer caused it’s own issues.

As you know I lost some weight when we were in our early 30s. But I feel sorry now that during the ‘weight loss years’, I wouldn’t allow us to go to an Indian restaurant because of the calories.  You mentioned going so many times, and I always said ‘When I’m back at goal again, we’ll go!’.

Well that never happened, so we never went.

We didn’t have takeaways ever either.  Often I ate differently to the rest of the family.

I became a bit obsessed I think. (‘You think?’ I hear you ask!)

 

I remember you once saying to me ‘Don’t worry about it so much!  Just live a little!  We don’t know how long we have left on this earth!’

And you were so right.  The weight gradually came back on anyway, as it does for most of us who lose weight.

It seems the deprivation wasn’t worth it.

 

We’re in our 50s now

And finally I have started to see things your way.  I have left diet culture behind me and I am learning to embrace my body just as it is. My days of restriction, food and otherwise are over.

It’s taken me SO many years to get to this point of self acceptance. I now know that my body is love-worthy.  It’s beautiful in it’s own way. It allows me to do everything I want to do.

And let’s not forget the magnificent work it did in growing our 3 wonderful children.

 

It’s time for us to start to really enjoy life.

 

I’m sorry it took me so long darling.

A few years ago I might have thanked you for loving me inspite of my fatness.  But now I realise what you knew all along- that me and my body were always worthy of love, no matter our size.

 

 

If you have let how you feel about your body hold you back from living life to the full, and from taking proper all round care of yourself, sign up for my FREE short online course here>> Self-Nurturance for Serial Dieters

It starts on Monday 4th June 2018, you won’t need to leave the house and you get to keep the course once the week is over.

and join my free Facebook group- Time to heart Your Body and Live Your life

 

GUEST BLOG POST- by Emily Barclay of Embracing Fitness

GUEST BLOG POST- by Emily Barclay of Embracing Fitness
Let me introduce you to Emily Barclay writer of the blog below.
After years of inactivity and feeling sluggish, Emily got herself a dog and found that moving more made her feel better. She is now a qualified personal trainer, but rather than lurk in a gym wearing lycra, she supports women to get more active in a way that suits them.
I love the emphasis Emily puts on making exercise FUN!  I’m sure you’ll enjoy her blog 🙂

 

Exercise equipment you never knew you had in your home!

 

To get the qualifications I need to have to be able to help people get more active, I had to pass my Gym Instructor course. I am a gym member, I hardly ever go, every now and then I quite enjoy it (only if Homes Under the Hammer is on, if I’m totally honest) but really my life is just fine without ever stepping into the gym. And I’m a personal trainer. So if I feel like this why would any of my clients feel differently?

I know exactly what it feels like to be the person in the gym class who has no idea what the instructor is expecting of you, who can’t make their body move left the instant they hear the word (anyone else need a few seconds for it to land which way is actually left? Just me?!); I know how soul destroying it feels to be out of breath walking on the treadmill when Mrs Superfit is sprinting a marathon next to you, immaculate make up still in place.

 

Nah, no need for the gym at all if they are not your thing!

 

OK, so surely I’m therefore going to say you need lots of expensive equipment in your house then? Nope. None of it. You have everything you need already. Let’s do an inventory:

Weights – yep, you’ve got tins of food, bottles of water, bottles of wine, a dog, a cat, a child. All good weights to use. Oh, and let’s not forget body weight – there are SO many exercises you can do without needing any extra weights at all.

CV equipment – think treadmill, stationary bike, cross trainer – no need – you can do star jumps, running or marching on the spot, go for a brisk walk outdoors, run up and down the stairs. All gets your heart rate up, and without the mind numbing watching the numbers never move quickly enough.

Core – for getting that “corset” that trims your waist, protects your back, strengthens your tummy muscles, all you need is enough space to lie down, ideally on a carpet or rug – it’s not much fun on a cold tiled floor.

And one last thing – a means of timing yourself. Your phone should have a timer on it. I don’t even ask my clients to count! Nope, just do the exercise you’re doing until your phone beeps.

I am, of course, not suggesting anyone avoids asking for a treadmill or exercise bike for Christmas. Just, you could buy a cheaper clothes horse, and use the equipment you already have around the house….

For more information about my no-gym approach to getting more active, have a look at embracingfitness.co.uk – I’d love to have a Skype chat with you to see if I can help 😊

 

Desperately seeking ‘THE ONE’!

Desperately seeking ‘THE ONE’!

 

Desperately seeking ‘THE ONE’

 

Have you ever desperately been in search of ‘the one’?

The magic bullet that will make weight loss easy?  Your ‘soul mate’ diet if you like?

I still get odd times where I wish ‘the one’ existed (even though I know it doesn’t!) – I think many of us do!

Hard not to when we are constantly bombarded with seductive ads for weight loss, and so many different and ‘new’ plans all claiming to finally be THE one!

 

Some of us misguidedly believe that we have found the one- the diet plan (or slimming company)  that worked for us once (perhaps twice), many years ago!

We believe if we could just stick to it, it would bring us happiness again just as it did the first time.  We believe that there must be some imperfection in us, that prevents us from being successful with it- after all it worked before!

This is exactly what happened to me!  I thought I’d found my holy grail, the answer to my prayers.  And at the time it was.

 

Unfortunately that time was 20 years ago!

 

The truth is that I kept clinging to the ‘slimming club solution’, even when it was no longer working.

I blamed myself for not being able to ‘stick to it’, for having no willpower.  

It felt scary to admit that what had worked for me once, wasn’t working it’s magic any more.

 

According to Linda Bacon in her book Health At Every Size, the reason that restriction diets aimed at weight loss stop working, is that each time we try to diet it becomes more difficult.  Our bodies and our brains become resistant.

Our bodies adapt to what they perceive as starvation, by lowering our metabolisms and at the same time upping our hunger cues.

 

It’s not us who are the problem, but the concept of dieting that creates the problem. 

There are many studies and statistics that prove this to be the case. (Read the book if you want to find out more- it’s really interesting, and gives a perspective that the diet industry is loathe to share with us!)

 

Just recently I had 2 conversations with 2 different clients, which really brought home to me how searching for ‘the one’ can keep us stuck where finding a happier relationship with both our bodies and with food is concerned.

The first client talked about continuing in her search of ‘trying to find something that would work for her’.  The second was in a panic desperate to lose weight quickly in time for a Christmas do.

 

In both cases I observed that in their search, they were looking for an external magic bullet………..and here’s the thing.  In my opinion, there isn’t one!

There is no diet, no eating plan, no weight loss company out there that has been proven to bring long term success!  It is well documented that the HUGE majority of people who manage to lose weight put it all back on again within 5 years (if not sooner!).
(If you don’t believe me, google ‘Statistics that show how diets fail’ and also reference your own personal experience and the experience of people you know.)

 

I believe our best hope is to make health our goal (not weight loss).

And then to look inwards. To ask ourselves what behaviour changes we are willing to make for the long term. And then to make the time to create new healthy habits- and to recognise that this isn’t all about food. (By the way, if you do want a different approach to eating ‘well’, then eating intuitively could be a solution)

It’s also about moving our bodies more, managing stress, drinking alcohol only in moderation and of course smoking and drugs are not part of a healthy lifestyle either.

 

Yeah sure, all diets work in the short term……….but if they worked long term how come there has been no improvement regarding the so called ‘obesity epidemic’?  How come so many of us are still desperately seeking ‘the one?’
Something to ponder, eh?
If you feel ready to get some support to help you finally leave diet culture behind, please ask to join my free Facebook group- Time to Heart<3 Your Body and Live Your Life <<<<click here and ask to join.

 

 

 

Ditching Diet Culture!

Ditching Diet Culture!

 

Ditching Diet Culture!

 

After 40 years of dieting and 15 years of working in the weight loss industry, I recently decided that the time has come for me to leave diet culture behind!

 

And I won’t lie!  It feels a bit scary!

Not just personally (what if I end up getting bigger, and bigger?), but for my business too.

 

When I stopped working for Weight Watchers a few years ago and trained as a Life Coach, I didn’t anticipate that I would get sucked back into working with clients on their weight management.  I absolutely LOVED life coaching  (and still do by the way!), yet so many of my contacts knew me as the weight loss expert.  And all the business advisers who were helping me, told me that having a niche was the thing to do.

 

 

BUT, while I was developing my business I was also reading around my subject.

 

About 2 years ago, I read a book called Body Respect by Linda Bacon which was a complete revelation to me.  It opened up a whole new perspective on the diet industry and on weight management in general.

I have also since, discovered whole Movements that I didn’t even know existed! The Health at Every Size Movement, The Body Positive Movement and the Body Image Movement to name a few.  What they all have in common is that they celebrate body diversity,  and fight weight stigma. They also give  an alternative voice, to the propoganda we have are all being been fed by diet culture.

Anyway the more I delved into the teachings of these movements, the more I felt that personally it was a good move for me to leave diet culture behind.  To learn to accept my body as it is.  To stop with the diets.  And although I still get days where I’m petrified of getting bigger than I am now, (I guess that’s to be expected after decades of buying into the message that in order to be worthy we need to be slim!), I feel like I am 85% there!

 

And OH the freedom!  Oh the relief!

 

I cannot believe it has taken me so long to see the light!

FINALLY, I can live my life in the present!

I am no longer waiting for the day when I am back at ‘goal’ in order to do all the things I want to do!  I don’t have to wait to be that elusive perfect weight in order to feel worthy, to feel comfortable in my own skin.

And I want this for my clients too!

The long and the short of it is that I have come to the decision that I no longer want to sell weight loss.

 

 

Here are the 2 main reasons I ended up being convinced that selling weight loss is selling a lie:

 

1. If there was an effective way of losing weight and keeping it off, we’d all be thin by now!

There are too many diets, weight loss companies, eating plans and diet books out there to count!

They all claim to be ‘the one’.  The thing is, even if just one of them was ‘the one’,  the so called ‘obesity epidemic’ would have been cured by now!

Yes, yes, yes, all diets work in the short term, we know that !  That’s how they seduce us in the first place.  But they obviously don’t work forever.

I kept coming back to this one fact- even with all these diets, still we are fat!

I just don’t  know why I had never seen this reality before!  Maybe I’d missed this obvious point, because we are made to believe that it’s us that’s the problem, not the weight loss plan!  I’m ashamed to say that I believed this in the past too, not just of myself but of also all of my slimming club members.

But surely if diets worked, the percentage success rate would be higher.

And so onto my next point.

2. At least 95% of people who lose weight end up regaining it within 5 Years.

When I first read this statistic, it made me sad and then mad!  Why are we not told this information?

This article explains some of why it is never mentioned.  If you don’t have time to read the whole article right now here’s a quote from it-

 

Health experts are also afraid people will abandon all efforts to exercise and eat a nutritious diet — behaviour that is important for health and longevity — even if it doesn’t result in much weight loss.

Let me be clear that I will still be very much encouraging my clients to participate in healthful behaviours, I just can’t promise them lonterm weight loss as a definite outcome.

From my perspective, I think one of the reasons I felt uncomfortable sharing this message before, is that I was afraid of bursting everyone’s bubble, taking their weight loss dreams away from them.  I realise now that this is better than encouraging to spend the rest of their days obsessing about the size of their bodies and having a weird relationship with food.

The bottom line is the statistics are corroborated by what I have personally witnessed and experienced as an individual, and from working in the weight loss industry.  The few who did achieve their goal weight, invariably struggled to maintain it.

 

 

I’m sure you can imagine that this has been a really difficult decision for me, especially since I have been both selling and buying into the ideal of weight loss for so many years.

But I feel a burning and irrepressible need to share the body positive message with the world.  Even if my business crashes and burns (after all weight loss is a best seller, isn’t it?) at least I’ll have my integrity intact.

If you’d like to take the first steps in leaving diet culture behind please come and hang out in my free and private FB group, by clicking >>here<< and requesting to join.

 

Ditch your ‘shoulds’ and embrace your ‘wants’!

Ditch your ‘shoulds’ and embrace your ‘wants’!

 

Ditch your ‘shoulds’ and embrace your ‘wants’!

 

How many times in a day do we get that feeling that we ‘should‘ be doing something?
When you think that thought- ‘I should do that’ how does it make you feel?
For me my heart sinks a little.  I feel dragged down.  I feel slight irritation. I usually feel guilty too.
‘Should’ is not a motivating word.
Yet ‘should’ appears so often in the mental vocabulary of us larger ladies.

 

I really should lose this weight!  I really should eat salad for lunch!  I really should join a gym!

 

One BIG reason so many of us feel that we ‘should’ lose weight, is that we are constantly told that overweight equals unhealthy.
But what if I told you that this might not be true??
HAES (Health at Every Size) is a movement that promotes body positivity and celebrates body diversity.
It claims that being overweight per se is not unhealthy, and provides lots of proof to back this claim.
The theory is that it’s certain behaviours that are unhealthy e.g. drinking excess alchohol, smoking, lack of nutrients in our diets and lack of movement; and that it’s these behaviours that lead potentially to  poor health regardless of whether the person is overweight or not.
I have to say that this makes sense to me.

 

 

You might at this point accuse me of wishful thinking

……but look, here’s the thing.  We all know that if you are a smoker , it doesn’t matter whether you are fat or thin- smoking is unhealthy.  (In fact this article indicates that, ‘overall, mortality risk is smaller in overweight or obese ex-smokers than normal-weight smokers.’)
So it makes sense to me that an overweight body which participates in good nutrition, regular exercise and drinks alcohol sparingly (and of course is also a non-smoker), is healthier than a slim person who does the opposite.

 

In any case perhaps an even bigger problem is that whilst being overweight is demonised by society as being unhealthy, and whilst for decades now ‘weight loss’ has been the prescribed cure for many ailments – yet still as a society we aren’t getting any slimmer.   We are being prescribed something that does not appear to be achieveable in the long term.

 

 

Anyway, getting back to the point of ‘shoulds’ being unmotivating

 

Now that I have shared a 4 pronged health strategy with you,  my fear is that you may think you have some new ‘shoulds’ to add to your already long list of ‘shoulds’.  And believe me that’s not my intention.
So let me flip this a bit and ask you –

Do you WANT to either maintain your current health, or to improve it?

(I’m assuming your answer is ‘yes’??)

If so, which behaviours do you WANT to change?

 I believe in order to make permanent change in your life you have to WANT to, and you also have to be WILLING to do what it takes to create that change.

 

‘SHOULD’ just won’t cut it in the long term.
In fact immediately we eliminate ‘SHOULDS’  we also eliminate the need for rebellion.  We reduce the likelihood of guilt; we don’t feel so dragged down by it all.
We are more likely to take action.
So let me urge you to choose WANT instead!
WANT automatically brings less resistance with it.
WANT is empowering.

 

Imagine……..what if you no longer felt you ‘should’ lose weight?  Or you didn’t need to ‘should’ exercise more?
What if you really WANTED to take better care of your health?  What possibilities lay ahead for you and your body then?

 

I’d love to hear your responses in the comments below!

 

PS Would you like to join a body positive community?
Then click >>here<< and ask to join my new FREE Facebook group- Time to heart your body and live your life.  It officially opens on 1st December 2017.  Hope to see you over there 🙂

 

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