‘Body Positivity’ is Wildly Misunderstood

“Body positivity.”

There is plenty of that dish going around, sparking many a heated debate and freeing many a hateful social media comment – pinging loudly through the internet and creating a chaos of unprecedented proportions.

After all, what is wrong with saying we should be ‘body positive’? Is it harming anybody?

Let us dissect this a little further, before I add my voice to this already saturated discussion.

The ‘body positive’ movement has received a lot of criticism and applaud, in equal measures, over the last decade or so. The movement, quite simply, states that all bodies should be celebrated and accepted, in all their forms. The movement aims to prevent feelings of insecurity and inadequacy in people who only see one particular figure-type being glorified in the media and in society; the movement highlights that it doesn’t matter what size you are, you are still worthy of self-love, and other love, that you are still valid as a human being.

On the face of it, this is a perfectly reasonable statement.

So why are many people opposed to this?

I shall tell you.

People say that the body positive movement ‘glorifies’ weight gain and fat people, that it is unhealthy to say that it is ‘okay to be fat’, because it gives ‘fat’ people less of an incentive to lose wight, and aim for better lifestyles. People (especially non-fat people) actually become quite het up about this on the internet, saying that the body positive movement glorifies obesity and ‘thin-shames’ people who aren’t fat.

So, in light of these discussions, which I have combed through extensively on the internet, I have had a little think about this, and this is what I have come up with.

Firstly, in order to lend an opinion to this argument, it is worth highlighting one very significant point: Nothing ever stays the same.

People are on continuous journeys throughout their lives, that is a fact.

Secondly, the body positive movement highlights that no matter what size you are, you are worthy. This does not mean they are glorifying fat people. To call an obese woman ‘beautiful’ does not insinuate that she is beautiful because she is obese; she can be beautiful because she is just that, beautiful. The movement aims to highlight that just because somebody is ‘fat’, that extra weight does not define who they are, that they can still be beautiful and wildly successful in the same way as a smaller person can.

It aims to break the mould surrounding the idea that in order to be beautiful or accepted, one’s body must be looked at and judged first.

So, in light of the fact that nothing ever stays the same, it makes sense to come to the conclusion that fat comes and goes also.

People can say things like, ‘being fat is unhealthy’ and ‘she is unfit because she is fat’ and ‘posting photoghraphs of your fat body on the internet tells people its okay to be unhealthy’ – but what most of them are failing to realise is that they don’t know what the full picture entails.

Just because somebody is fat, it doesn’t mean they are just sitting at home eating junk all day. They could be active in their lives, lifting weights and going to fitness classes, coaching yoga and teaching Pilates. They could be wildly successful entrepreneurs, excellent parents, wonderful children, the kindest beings on earth. They could be writers, poets, carpenters, skilled chefs. They could be hard working, have excellent ethics and wildly funny. Just like a thin person can. We just don’t know, you see, and to judge a person by how they look, despite not knowing the truth of their circumstances, is damaging and demoralising.

I do understand, of course, that this is the internet and people do say whatever they want, regardless of what it could mean to somebody else and disregarding the fact that they don’t know the full story.

However, I think it is important to highlight that the #body positive movement is wildly misunderstood.

Sure, people who are obese get a lot of disparagement both online and in public – a lot of humanity is not very kind – and the movement itself is criticised heavily, even by obese people, because it is believed to be purporting the idea that being fat is fine. Being overweight isn’t the most ideal situation, naturally, but that certainly does not mean people who are so deserve to be treated like anything less than a human being. They have the same rights as a thin person, they are not alien or different, they have the same feelings and emotions and deserve the basic human right of having that recognised.

Being fat does not make you a lesser human, and being treated with kindness and consideration should not be conditioned by what the scale says or how many fat cells your body clings on to.

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On Wanting Cake

So I have been going to the gym pretty consistently this past week. Well. Since Tuesday.

Actually, I’ve only been on Tuesday, Saturday, Sunday and today.

But still.

I have started weight training now, because apparently that burns fat a lot quicker and builds muscle in the correct areas depending on what you focus on and how much you do.

Anyway.

The point of this drivel is that because I am now lifting weights, I am becoming more hungry. I am RAVENOUS, in fact. All I think about is FOOD. Which is terrible because I am trying to lose weight!

A quick search on the old internet has taught me that when the body realises it is burning a hell of a lot more energy, it tries quickly to replace what has been burnt off so the bodyweight balances out.

What bad news.

This means that if I want to lose weight properly, I have to… FEEL HUNGRY?

This is proving to be exceptionally difficult. I am trying to curb my appetite by eating healthy fruits and vegetables, a higher amount of protein, and lowering my sugar intake. I have had bananas and peanut butter (so delicious), a lot of protein shakes, and plenty of grilled vegetables with limited oil.

But all I really want is a fat juicy burger and some crispy, salty french fries.

I made this cake four weeks ago and it was so delicious, now I am dreaming of it. Have a look at its golden halo. This is truly the cake of champions. However, I shall persevere.

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Daily Cooking

Daily cooking has become a chore now. I used to love cooking but now that my interests have expanded to include devouring Knowledge, I find that the time frame to cook a decent meal has narrowed horrendously.

Also there are financial constraints to adhere to, and also health constraints.

One must eat healthy, else one will develop all the manner of mysterious ailments. By one, of course, I mean myself. I have bad poops, acne, weight gain, hair loss, bloating – the list goes on. And all these things only occur to me when I eat instant noodles or microwave meals.

The minute I eat gluten free oats for breakfast and plenty of vegetables, my body goes back to normal and I feel fabulous.

SO, with these limitations, I have to make sure we have a healthy meal for dinner every day. Because if I left it to my husband, we would be eating – well – probably nothing served with a cup of tea.

Daily cooking for me has consisted of an oven dish filled with chopped up veggies, drizzled with olive oil or coconut oil, sprinkled with some salt, pepper, oregano and sometimes paprika. A crushed garlic or two nestled in there somewhere. And baked until just decent enough to eat.

Today it was half a sweet potato chopped up into thin ‘fries’, some green beans and some lamb mince spiced with salt, pepper, garlic, paprika and maple syrup and patted into burgers and shoved in the oven with the veggies. I had some leaves in the fridge too (don’t ask me what leaves they were, they were green and tasted like they were full of vitamin A) which we had on the side with some lemon squeezed on top sharpish. Two plates, serve the lamb burgers on the side, pile the veggies on another side, put the leaves on the third side, and there was a decent meal for two!

Prep time took ten minutes, cook time (left in the oven while my nose was in a book) was half an hour, and eating time was half an hour too.

Basically, I spent ten minutes in the kitchen preparing dinner. WHAT. Also, it wasn’t crap out of a box. WHAT?!?!?!

Tomorrow it will be gluten free oats with almond milk and blueberries for breakfast, lentil and coriander soup for lunch, boiled brown pasta, grilled chicken breast, chopped up tomatoes with some spices and all mixed up together for dinner. And hopefully that will take around 30 mins prep time all combined (ten minutes for each). And also include plenty of nutrients for my bodayyy.

Here is a photo of today’s leftovers which will go to work for tomorrow’s lunch, I will also add some steamed spinach and green beans tomorrow to add some colour!

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Keeping Busy

I am finding that my days now are very busy. I am jumping from one thing to another without a break in between!

I am enjoying this immensely. A busy mind is not an idle mind, that’s for sure. And an idle mind is a dangerous mind.

I am also learning a great many new things. I feel as though the more busy I am, the more happy I am. I feel more content, and as though my days are finally rewarding.

The only downside of all this is that I have less time now to spend with my family and my husband. FAR less time, in fact. In fact, I think I only have around two or three hours all week.

That is not a good sign. Maybe I have taken on too much? Well. We’ll see how it pans out. I want to be this busy. It will distract me from all the problems arising.

I also think keeping busy is good for the mind and the soul. Also the body, if the busy is an active sort of busy. As long as you aren’t completely stressing yourself out mentally then being busy is immensely healthy.

What do you think?

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On Coffee

I have been hearing terrible things about coffee of late. Things that have made me start to doubt this new acquaintance of mine. I used to think she was classy, retro music as she swirls her rich froth in a ceramic mug. The trusty companion on sleepless nights of typing and research. Her of the crisp, strong aroma; I can’t get enough of her smell.

I had even heard that she did strange and powerful things, like help me burn fat.

I instantly took her on as a close friend. Anybody who helps me burn fat is a good friend of mine. Every morning we would watch the sun rise together. Her strong and bare, not smothered with milk, and me in my pyjamas with eye bags the size (and roughly the shape) of Sri Lanka.

No more did I shun her, as the child me used to.

‘Coffee!?’ I would say, ‘Eurgh! I don’t know how the adults can stomach such a strong tasting drink.’

Now, I sip away merrily, all my tired troubles fading away as she races through my blood vessels, strengthening me, energising me, lifting the fog of exhaustion from my tired lids.

But lately, folks, since my doctor has told me to lay off the golden, precious stuff, I have heard some things off the grapevine that are causing me to stop in my tracks and rethink my relationship with this sexy, confident beverage.

I heard coffee can stop you digesting things properly because it stimulates production of Hydrochloric acid meaning when you actually eat something, there is not enough of this precious acid to digest food properly.

I heard it can stop you absorbing minerals, which can lead to nutrient deficiency.

This makes sense to me. I have severe nutrient deficiency, which is probably why I am losing all my hair at a young age.

However it makes me sad, knowing this beverage could stunt me like that.

What a betrayal.

I revert to drinking my herbal teas, and the sunrises are no longer vibrant and beautiful. They are no longer purple and pink and they don’t splash the sky with enchantment because my eyes are always too droopy to see anything properly.

I also realised that ‘Americano’ is called ‘Americano’ because it is how the Americans like their coffee! Here in the UK, they like it with milk (or cream) and it is usually the French who order espressos. I know this because I used to operate a coffee machine when I worked at a hospital cafe for a while. I noticed the types of people and what they liked to order. They generally followed a cultural pattern, although, as always, there were the deviants. That machine was my personal baby. I cleaned it till it sparkled, and filled it with beans and cleaned the grounds away and the sound of the milk frother was music to my ears.

I still hear it now, and the smell of grinding coffee beans is a faint accompaniment in my memory.

I sure do miss coffee.

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Can you SMELL those beans?