The blog post in which a tabloid magazine perpetuates body shaming…

New Idea LOVES to highlight a story in a way that makes us want to kill someone. Or at least hate them. And if they are working hard, they can make a reader hate someone AND themselves at the same time.

This week, it’s Sally Brouwer, a fitness mum of triplets who apparently preaches…

“Laziness is why we’re obese,” says controversial mum of three Sally Brouwer.
Do you agree with her, or is weight a far more complex issue?

New Idea Sally Brouwer

If that isn’t a desperate call for trolling and likes/comments/fury on their website and facebook page I don’t know what is. But all activity is apparently good activity in an age where print media is fighting hard to prove it’s not completely obsolete.

In this glimpse of the article, it is PAINFULLY obvious how hard they are working to provoke a fat/thin debate. They make her almost totally un-likeable. By letting her air views of disdain about those “struggling with your waistline” and statements starting with “If all mums took the time to look after themselves…” spaced with photos of her competition-ready six-pack abs – the magazine is cleverly making mums feel bad about themselves and their bodies and in turn many will feel angry towards Sally and hers.

Body shaming in the media is rife. And wrong. But damn, it sells copies and generates activity on the internet. Who is winning in this scenario?

The thing is – aside from the disdain I have for being manipulated by the media – I disagree with Sally Brouwer’s comment that “laziness is why we are obese”.

I have lots of fitness friends. Some who have come back to fitness after being athletes in the past. Some who arrived at fitness from being unfit, skinny, uninterested or just not motivated. But the ones who ‘get me’ are the ones who’ve come from the places that I have. To come back to a fit and healthy body from obesity is a totally different game.

It’s no secret that one of my favourite fitness friends is Cathy Sheargold, who posted this amazing response today.

Someone who has not been obese will never truly understand it, laziness has nothing to do with it. We all wear our pain in different ways, my way had me weighing somewhere over 150kgs.

If anyone tells you that dropping weight is simple math they’re wrong.

I think that’s why people quit so often – no one tells them that the biggest journey will be your heart and your head. No one tells you that each kilo holds some old pain that we store away. No one tells you about the tears.
So we get to the tears and then we think – ‘well, I’m crying so obviously I should quit.’
A lot of people do quit and they head to straight to the tim tams to hide that old wound again – directly onto their thighs.

I love how Heidi Scott Wilson put it:

“My journey I best describe as unrolling a roll of hand towel. I had to take off one piece of towel (kg) at a time and with every piece (kilo ) there was a different emotion i had been protecting that I had to battle. Not all fat people are lazy i know i wasn’t i just had that many layers protecting me from the past . It took 67kg for me to get to the hard core of that roll and work out who I really was because i had been hiding for so long.”

 

Pretty much that.

Even today, Coach Joe will at times pull me up on something I say and remind me it’s a “former fat-kid problem”. Our bodies and mindsets are different to those that have never experienced obesity and they always will be. It’s very much a ‘takes one to know one’ issue that people who have never felt that personal burden (in every sense) just can’t understand and in my opinion – should be wary on commenting on.

So – to wrap up this weekend rant:

  • Don’t hate Sally Brouwer because she is fit and lean and looks a certain way. Fit Shaming is bad.
  • I would suggest she and New Idea keep their disdain and provocation of those who are overweight in check. Fat Shaming is bad.
  • Understand that the media is manipulating you. Don’t let it.
  • Understand that you are gorgeous.

Have a great weekend. Do what nourishes you and makes you happy.

Bella xx

 

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Two Years – Freedom is a cool thing

Can you believe it’s been two years since I sold my company, ventured into the wider, happier world and started this blog?

I’d love to say that I don’t remember that girl from two years ago. The one who felt bullied and devalued and nervous almost all the time. The one whose stomach rolled at the email notification sound on her phone because it was probably not good. The one who felt guilty for spending time with her family? For having a family! But I do. I remember her.

I also remember though, the strange and uncharacteristic moment where I said one sentence that changed the course of my future. Where I (before I believed or even understood it myself) dared to suggest that my worth was not able to be defined by a single other person. That indeed, I even had worth.

But I did. And I do. And I always will.

And two years on – I still have that hard-won freedom. I use it well. I live, love and grow with my family. We travel and laugh. I work – both in the gym as a trainer and in a community centre helping at-risk children and their families with health and wellness – because I love it and it enriches my life.

Life is good.

If you recognise any part of the old me, that girl from two years ago I have just one piece of advice;

Stand up. It may just be the best thing you ever do for yourself and the ones you love.

Peace Out,

SV

freedom

Guest Post: Today’s Lesson from Cat

The Sailor is on a voyage far far away, so here is a guest post from the amazing Cat Hawkins;

 

Today’s Lesson.

It’s often said that there’s nothing so annoying as a reformed smoker. They flap their hands around whenever there’s a hint of cigarette smoke. They bang on and on about how bad smoking is for you and how it’s going to kill you. They tell you it’ll make those little lines round your mouth look like ravines and eventually you’ll look like you have a cat’s bum in the middle of your face.  They tell you you’ll have to breathe through a tube or with the help of a machine in your latter days before shuffling off in a painful and unglamorous fashion. They tell you it’s a waste of money, that it’s killing you. It’s a selfish thing to do. Think of your family, your friends, yourself. What kind of person would smoke knowing all that?

 

If you’re a smoker that sounds annoying, doesn’t it? But, and here’s the kicker, they’d be right. On all counts. Still, that doesn’t stop you feeling resentful and lighting up just to spite them.

 

Well, I’m here to tell you that there may just be something worse than a reformed smoker. Yes dear reader, it’s the reformed chubster.

 

I’m a fellow former chubster born of good chubster stock with lots of chubster friends and many chubster colleagues. I recently embarked upon a regime change, which included regular physical exertion and a healthy diet (I hate that word because it’s not a “diet” in the popular starve-yourself-miserable sense) based on good nutrition appropriate to me and my goals. It also included positive thinking and a shift in the way I see myself as I go about my daily life.

 

Fourteen weeks in and I feel great! Like, really great. I feel a lightness of body and mind I’ve never experienced before. I feel physically free and able, mentally agile. I feel like I’m on a high that will never end.  Why would I keep this amazing feeling to myself? Surely everyone wants to feel like this?

 

I want to tell EVERYONE about it. I want to shout it from the roof tops!

 

Don’t. If nothing else because it can be quite the slap in the face when you are likened to a glassy eyed, religious fanatic.

 

Not everyone is ready to hear all about the things they’re doing “wrong” in their lives and how the choices they’re making are bad for them. I use “wrong” in inverted commas here because in life things are rarely as black and white as right and wrong.  And if the person you’re talking to has some issues with their self esteem then it’ll be like listening to someone telling them how big a failure they are.  Feeling bad about yourself is often the biggest obstacle to positive change.

 

So instead of tutting at the chocolate bar or spouting obesity statistics, try a different approach.  Sure, if people ask you why you’re looking so trim or how you managed to run that half marathon, tell them what you did.  Give advice freely and with no expectation that it will be heeded. Remember that regardless of how “right” you know yourself to be, no matter how much medical evidence there is to prove that a large percentage of the western world is eating itself to death, no matter that you are living proof that change is a good thing, don’t preach. It may actually be the thing that stops someone from changing.

 

Here endeth today’s lesson.

xx

Cat

31 – 45 – 3

I try not to think about numbers too much. Mostly ‘cos I’m terrible at maths and it hurts my brain. But three numbers are rattling around in this little old head today.

31 – It’s my birthday tomorrow. I’ll turn thirty one. Now, this time last year I was filled with fear and disappointment at turning thirty. I felt it was the end of an era in lots of ways and funnily enough (because I had no idea what was to come) I was right. It’s been a mammoth year of learning, growing, shrinking and embracing the important things in life. And because of that, I’m pretty excited to turn thirty one. And I’m feeling pretty happy with how I’m holding up as an old girl!

005

 

45 – Did you know it’s now 45kg (100lbs) that I’ve lost? I didn’t until the other day. As I said, I don’t think about the numbers too much anymore and when I do it sounds a little unreal. My mind is catching up though and I do feel smaller. But now I don’t remember being bigger. Almost as though the near decade I spent overweight didn’t happen. But it did. And I addressed it and so get to move forward in the direction I want to move in for the rest of my life. But what does 45kg look like? Kinda like this:

45kg

 

Or when you take it off a body – a bit more like this:

Before and After 290313

 

3 – It’s the Easter weekend. Surrounded by the Captain and the kidlets, it’s hard to feel anything less than astoundingly grateful. I can’t imagine my life without the three of them and love that we are growing up and growing older together. That makes everything okay.

Have a fabbo weekend and see you soon!
Sailor Vee

Who’s your Mama?

It’s the eve of kid#1 turning 6. Six freakin years! Where have they gone?

It makes me think though about him and about our family. What an amazing, funny, unique and charming little character he is and his vital role in our funny little band of sailors. And I think about me. The type of mum I have been, the mum I am now and the mum I want to be in the future.

You have to remember that before I threw myself headfirst into changing and saving my life,  I was weak. And very afraid. Of everything. Being a parent was no different.

I think a healthy dose of fear is a good thing in a parent. The constant ‘what if’ and reminder that they really are a big piece of your heart running around in the world on their own inspires care and considerations. But I was too afraid of life.

The fear of not doing well, the fear of him not being ‘perfect’, the fear that my own quirks would somehow splash onto him and mark him too…

I was being interviewed recently and talking about my horrendous old eating habits when the interviewer innocently asked if I was the type of mother who made sure my kids ate well but ate badly myself?

Ummm. No.

I was the bad mummy. My children ate better than I did but we still ate ‘treats’ too often, had brunch dates at fast food places and had dessert every night. My weakness with food was a bad habit being passed down.

But as I changed my own life, without a jolt or any yelling or screaming, I without thinking,  changed my children’s lives too.

I was inactive and rose to the challenge of adjusting to an active life. I ate poorly and rose to the challenge of eating well forever. But most importantly, I was timid, easily swayed and therefore made poor decisions but when challenged, I realised and clarified who I am and what I value most in the world.

My whole life changed then.

I train the way I do because I like it. I eat the way I do because I like it and it helps me train the way I like. And I love the Captain and raise the kids the way I do because I couldn’t have done any of it without their love.

Cheers,
SV

So…what have I done lately?

I’m finding it tough to start to tell people that I’ve sold my company – it was such a defining characteristic of mine to be ‘an owner of xx’. Of course I always put a positive spin on it and explain what I’m doing next and how exciting and revolutionary that will be, but it’s still tough.

I had a giggle today when I was again telling the story of what’s happened with the company when a fellow mum at school pick-up asked me what I’d done with my time since then. Essentially it breaks down like this:

I should NOT have read those books. Written them in that time? Sure. Read them, no.

Oh well, I’m getting there. Right?

Sailor Vee