Am I brave?

I just came back from an incredible talk, hosted by Mum’s the Word where both Megan aka @bodyposipanda and Natalie aka @stylemesunday discussed their experiences of dieting and finding positivity in their own skin. It might sound like “a gaggle of vagina’s getting together to discuss their back fat and baby pouches”, but no. It was so empowering and I do not use that word lightly.

I along with many Brighton women strolled along the seafront to grab a selfie with the dynamic duo and TBH; nab a goody bag, but what I received was a complete mind shift. Since discovering The Supercharged Club  I have been seriously working on the way I speak to myself (yes, speak to myself) things like “You’re fat, you deserve those, you don’t deserve that, don’t eat today, eat it all today” and the classic ‘I will be happy when I’m a size 8’…sound familiar? I have spoken to myself this way for 32 years (maybe 28, because I wasn’t talking about my jiggle as I came out of the womb…although it is possible).

As women and it may sound like I am generalizing, but I have yet met a woman in my entire life who doesn’t hate something about their body or indeed themselves because of the size in their dress label. We have been brainwashed, programmed, taught and shown to be ‘skinny’. Even some of the most confident women I know who are clever, witty and full of life are ashamed of their baby pouch and their lack of thigh gap, but after listening to Megan talk about her experiences with her eating disorder I got mad. Like really mad. Mad at myself, mad at my mates for hating on themselves and really mad at the companies using our vulnerabilities and insecurities to make money. Of course the money-making is not new and you can read loads more into this in Megan’s book, but I found myself looking around at all these incredible women, lots of whom were nodding when Megan was discussing the lengths she’d go to get in a body con dress and I just thought ‘no more’.

I don’t want to waste another second of my precious time putting myself down. I don’t want another minute to be consumed with calories, scales and or my daily fat intake. It does not matter. I have been a size 8, I have been a size 16…I was depressed and sad at both ‘waist’ gaps. If you do not address your mental health you cannot be ‘healthy’. It is that simple. Is it possible for both to be aligned? I never thought I would see it, but after Natalie sharing her experiences of basically ‘taking her kit off’ to show her stretch marks, to show the lines, the dents and how by her being at her most vulnerable she was in fact at her most powerful – and that was a pretty good example of ‘being healthy’.

It is interesting, because if you are “skinny” you are told “you look great” and when Megan or Natalie post a ‘bare all’ type pic on their instagram feeds they get called “brave” – is it? Surely you are brave if you climb Everest and survive? We live in a weird world where honesty is confused with bravery and I do think they are brave, not for posting, but for waking up and saying “no more” and encouraging other women to do the same. So they are brave, but they are also great, clever, kind, inspiring and changing the way some of us see ourselves, which is not easy and is more heroic than brave.

Are you brave enough? To bare all? Would you? Could you? What if it was going to help another woman? I think it is so interesting and I hope both Natalie and Meghan’s ripples of #bodypositivity continue and hopefully we can help them to start making waves!

If you get the chance to go to a Mum’s the word event – grab your boobs and run to it, because they are always incredibly insightful and they feel intimate. You get to talk to the people you have paid to listen too, you get to be part of the conversation and it might just shift your life perspective.

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