Is Body Positivity Working?

Is Body Positivity Working?

I want to talk about body positivity. Purely from my own perspective you understand.

I have always struggled with body issues. Let me start from the beginning. When I was younger I had a year long spell with what I would describe as ‘the edge of an eating disorder’. Polished off nicely by being weighed in a hospital gown and having to convince my consultant that being admitted was not necessary. I wasn’t admitted and it was the bloody shock that encouraged me to eat again. I weighed 7 stone 10lbs and aspired to be Nicole Richie at her slightest. I wore red bracelets to show I was proana. (Pro Anorexia) It was the darkest, most indulgent place I have ever been. I would eat below 500 calories a day and do two hours cardio daily. Forcing myself to go to sleep at 7pm to avoid eating.

Its hard to look back at that time and explain to you the mindset that I was in. It just felt great to see the number on the scale fall yet everytime I looked in the mirror I didn’t see any improvement.

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Zoom forward 15 years and everywhere you look people are talking about body positivity. Having never had a singe day when I have been able to look in the mirror and like what I see I cannot applaud this enough. If only this had of been what was in all the magazines when I was younger instead of relentless images of emaciated Nicole and Linsey Lohan. I’m sure things would have been so different for me.

However I do feel like its not too late. I’m not happy with my body sure but I am able to accept it now. That makes me feel like a huge weight has been lifted. I no longer put unneccesary pressure on myself. This is definitely thanks to bloggers such as Alison Perry and Natalie from Style Me Sunday who have been promoting body positivity so brilliantly on their Instagram and blogs. I want to finally get to a place where I don’t worry about what other people think of my wobbly bits, my wonky C-section scar and tiger stripes on my thighs. This seems like the hardest obstacle to overcome. More so because I have a large family holiday coming up soon and it will be the first time I will have wore a bikini outside of my back garden!

I was sceptical when body positivity was buzzing around last year as it seemed to be curvier woman sure, but still a completely unattainable figure. It was just setting a new ideal which ultimately would still leave people feeling unhappy. Im so pleased it has started to turn around and so much diversity is being promoted now. I hope this pushes forwards at the same speed it has been going. I really do feel its time we gave ourselves a break and some self love.

 

* I just want to add that being body positive doesn’t have anything to do with size or weight. It is about loving your body whether you have lumps and bumps or washboard abs. Its looking in the mirror and feeling grateful for what you have.

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15 Comments

  1. MrsCallow
    June 19, 2017 / 8:13 pm

    As a mum of 3 young girls I am all for body positivity, but myself am not quite there. I really try, all the time, to be positive about myself out loud so they grow up around that. But inside it’s completely different!! I am in the mindset that if I say it out loud enough I’ll soon start to believe it!!!? Let’s hope.
    You look great cara & you should feel proud of your body & what it’s been through, especially the Nicole stage X

    • Cara
      June 19, 2017 / 8:15 pm

      Thank you. I think having children definitely makes you take it seriously. I would hate it if my boys felt unhappy with themselves.

  2. June 19, 2017 / 8:49 pm

    I was exactly the same as you when I was younger. For quite a while, I used to eat the same foods every day and not nearly enough of them. I don’t have the same issues with food I had when I was younger, but wouldn’t say I have body confidence. I’m two stone heavier than I was before I had Elodie and I absolutely hate it! I think it’s really important to pass on a healthy body image to your children, but I’d be lying if I said I knew how to do that xx

    • Cara
      June 20, 2017 / 8:30 am

      Its tough isn’t it but hopefully social media will be representing more positive images by the time our little ones are using it.

  3. June 19, 2017 / 9:00 pm

    Bang on babe. And you always look fuckin beautiful. A really honest piece and so true about the ‘new ideal’ needing to be broken down too xxx

    • Cara
      June 20, 2017 / 8:30 am

      Thank you Kelly!

  4. siobhan
    June 19, 2017 / 9:02 pm

    Can totally relate. Went through a similar thing at 15 and ended up weighing 7st 3lb (at 5ft 5). I’m prob happier with how I view my body now (at 46) than ever and I credit that with finding a renewed love of exercise (particularly Pilates- I am an instructor) and focusing more on the wonderful things my body can do and being healthy rather than how it looks.

    • Cara
      June 20, 2017 / 8:31 am

      I really wish I could find an exercise that I enjoy!

  5. Lucy
    June 19, 2017 / 10:35 pm

    At an age when society assumes you should have kids –
    I think post pregnancy body positivity is different to non post pregnancy. Stretch marks, c sections etc to me must be much easier to accept when you know your body made and grew a human. As a 40 yr old who was unable to have children of my own then I’m afraid I’m not there. Some of me feels that my body is broken and the large belly from current ovarian cysts and scars from past investigative procedures just highlight the “ugly”. I’m going on a large family holiday soon and it has me shopping for swimdresses, swimsuits with ruffles that I can wear with swim shorts on top… Hide! Its all about hiding. From the thighs down I’m happy though so…all I need is an oversized teddy bear fleece down past my bum and I’m good. Except we’re going to Crete. In August. Time for Plan Z 🙄😂
    The good news is, i think the tide is turning for the young women. I have a daughter, adopted, who is 15 and who is all about the tops she wants to wear and short shorts “because legs do wobble”. This after a year where peer pressure but more so Instagram had her faddy eating + use her lunch money to buy scales!

    • Cara
      June 20, 2017 / 8:33 am

      I do feel that social media is all about post pregnancy bodies and its a shame its not a focus just on bodies regardless of what your body has been through. Hopefully things are going to get more diverse and inclusive!

  6. Kate
    June 20, 2017 / 12:54 am

    Loved this post!! I too struggled with an eating disorder when I was just 14. My weight dropped to below 6 stone and they were ready to admit me! Luckily I too managed to avoid it and slowly over the years I developed a more healthy attitude to food.
    Weirdly the only time I would say I looked in the mirror and liked what I saw was when I was pregnant! Suddenly I was just so proud of what my body was doing! Obviously now I’ve had the baby I’m not so keen on what I see…but maybe one day I’ll get there! Posts like this certainly help! 😘

    • Cara
      June 20, 2017 / 8:34 am

      ah thank you. I just think the more people normalise food/body issues then the more positive we can all be!

  7. June 20, 2017 / 8:43 am

    Cara, I love this post! I wrote a similar one a while back because like you I grew up with the whole size 0, Victoria Beckham, Paris Hilton phase and that just didn’t match me!
    I am sick of looking in the mirror and feeling negative, even if people say ive lost weight or how can you feel like that being a size 10, the battle is still there!
    Thanks for sharing xxx

  8. Emma
    June 20, 2017 / 9:00 am

    I am so proud of you for writing this post.

    In all the years I have known you, I don’t think there has ever really been a time when you weren’t on a diet of some kind. I only wish back then, you could have seen yourself in the same eyes that we all see you now.

    But, fast forward a fair few years and I’m really proud of the fact you’ve come this far and are trying to get yourself to a place you feel comfortable. Don’t be hard on yourself, easier said than I done I know, and I also know you’ll probably diet many more times over the coming years because it’s just a part of who you are but please know, there is no diet in this world than can strip away the wonderful person you are.
    You’ve got this. Xxx

  9. June 20, 2017 / 10:22 am

    I love this post. I was in a similar, although less severe, situation in my teens where I would survive on just water, for the entire day and then eat a meal in the evenings. Now, as a parent of a 14 year old girl, I am so PRO Body Positivity for her sake, that it kind of has to rub off on me eventually. I hope.

    I will never love my body, it’s not what I would want it to be, but I also don’t hate it enough to torture it and be miserable, it’s literally my shell. And, when I’m gone, no one will remember me for what I looked like, I just have to keep reminding myself of this. x

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