Body positive|Fitness

Body positivity does not justify obesity

I was recently attacked and confronted about the supposed claims that I make, which has sparked this blog post.  The gist of the conversation was  ….

“How can you say you are body positive and love your curves if you are trying to lose weight?”

Being body positive is about confidence and even at my heaviest of 108kg I was sexy AF. I believe in dressing for my body shape and I’ve always been a confident person. Don’t get me wrong, of course I had my insecurities. I just found ways to work around them.

At my heaviest, I was also at my unhealthiest. My personal experience has taught me that even though I was confidant and felt amazing about my appearance, being obese had dangerous connotations when it came to my health and well-being. I was hypertensive, pre-diabetic and my cholesterol and insulin resistance counts had spiked. How did this happen overnight? Well it didn’t! Excessive weight gain happens over a period of time. I was too busy living in denial and hiding behind my confidence, that I let my weight skyrocket and my health deteriorate.  As stated by the Times LIVE “Body positive movement is NOT about glorifying obesity.”

Just over a year ago I ate fairly healthily, so I assumed I was doing the right things. I was however overeating, my calorie intake far exceeded my physical activity. I wasn’t getting enough rest and I definitely should have swapped my alcohol intake with my water intake. All in all I wasn’t living a balanced and healthy life.

My weight loss journey isn’t about being skinny, but instead about being healthy and strong. My weight loss journey has taught me to accept my flabby arms, stretch marks and cellulite ridden thighs.

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Now my focus is on improving those areas by eating right and firming up. A year ago I wore a size 44 to 46 and now I wear a size 38. The goal I had set for myself a year ago was to drop to a size 36 but I think a size 34 (which still makes means I am a plus size) would be a reasonable goal when I take into account the visceral fat I still need to lose. Visceral fat is a “deep” fat that’s stored further underneath the skin than belly fat. It’s a form of gel-like fat that’s actually wrapped around major organs, including the liver, pancreas and kidneys.

Body positivity means different things to different people, irrespective of whether you are fat or thin.  “The Body Positive Movement is a movement that encourages people to adopt more forgiving and affirming attitudes towards their bodies, with the goal of improving overall health and well-being”.

Now let me take a moment to chat about fitness. Firstly, here is a little rant. The misconception that thin equals fit drives me completely insane.  To put it very bluntly, it FUCKS me off.  Your size doesn’t determine your damn fitness level. Let me also point out that my big ass just happens to be fitter than many people who aren’t overweight. Fitness does more for me than just help me drop dress sizes. Fitness keeps me sane, helps me process things, makes me feel good and strong and it even helps me sleep better. Fitness is contagious but I’m not like the super athletes out there who train religiously several times a day. I’m all about getting my body moving and having fun while I do it. Fitness is a lifestyle and a journey of self-love and self-acceptance.

Guys I absolutely love my curves, I love my saggy boobs and my big booty. Let’s be honest, I’ve got thighs for days and they are not going anywhere, anytime soon. I’m not looking to lose that look but merely looking to enhance it while maintaining a great level of health and fitness. I don’t care too much about the size I wear as much as I care about having to live with chronic diseases or being sick all the time. I absolutely refuse to compromise my health just to prove that I am body positive.  I have also never been in the business of proving myself to anyone, and I don’t intend succumbing to the pressures of social media anytime soon. I live my life with conviction and I AM UNAPOLOGETICALLY ME!!!

 

Body positive

My Insane Self-love

On the 1st of January 2018 as l skipped through the photos taken on the last day of 2017 I realised how much l had grown as a person. I realised that my growth wasn’t just about fitness or weightloss, but was also an emotional growth. I realised that through my journey I had fallen completely head over heels in love with myself. It took 4 decades for me to reach the point of being in a lifelong romance with myself and boy does it feel amazing.

I’ve spent years being my own worst critic and being hard on myself, and in the process I made life complicated and difficult. I mean I wasn’t prepared to accept myself, yet I wanted acceptance from the world. Why? Why did I need acceptance from the world in the first place? Why did anyone else’s opinion matter? Why couldn’t I just accept myself for who and what I was? We are indeed our own worst critics.

On reflection my biggest issue has always been my legs. I’ve always had huge legs and my thighs were often referred to as “thunder thighs” by my family. The damage of their careless words stayed with me and made me doubt myself and my appearance, but honestly I should have never allowed it. Granted there are other reasons for my lack of self-love, but that’s a story for another day. If I had loved myself enough way back then, I would have been freed from the shackles of life and not have been a prisoner inside my own body merely because of the insignificant opinions of others.

I can’t undo the choices of my past but 2017 has served me well. It has been a revelation that I’m insanely grateful for. I’m doing me and pretty damn pleased about that. My life is far from perfect and the same applies to my body, but I’m content, happy and in love. I love my flabby thick thighs, tiger stripes and tummy, after all its evidence of a life lived.

And to you over there, the one reading this post – stop being so hard on yourself. Smile and know that you are a beautiful and talented individual. You are pretty damn amazing and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. That right now, in this very moment YOU ARE ENOUGH. You owe yourself the love that you so freely give to other people so take the time to love every inch of you. Take the time to fall in love with yourself and flaunt that shit because you are SEXY AF.

If you are not already in a lifetime romance with yourself, why not start the year off by challenging yourself. Here’s a 7 day self-love challenge worth giving a shot. Think about it, it’s just 7 days and you have everything to gain and nothing to lose. Yes, it may make you feel a tad uncomfortable or weird if you are normally negative about yourself, but hey that’s the point. We are taking no prisoners this year so let’s get started.

When you are done with the challenge please contact me or tag me on your final social media post. I’d really love to hear about your INSANE SELF-LOVE.

Self-acceptance and self-love is indeed the road to happiness my Lovelies. I sincerely wish you all the best on your journey. Once you learn to love yourself, life will simply fall into place.

Body positive|Featured

I Love My Tiger Stripes

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YOUR BODY IS NOT RUINED. YOU ARE A GODDAMN TIGER WHO EARNED HER STRIPES

A large percentage of the population is affected by stretch marks, which can appear for various reasons, be it as a result of weight loss or gain, growth spurts or even pregnancy. Men, women and even children can end up having them yet they still have a reputation for being unsightly and unattractive.

I had stretch marks from a very early age due to the constant fluctuations in my weight. I was so embarrassed by them and absolutely hated my stretch marks. I never wore shorts or hit the beach without wearing a sarong or cover-up of sorts. I actually didn’t wear anything sleeveless, because the stretch marks on my arms are super bold and deep.

 

In 2014 I had plucked up the courage to do a boudoir photo shoot as a gift for my soon-to-be husband and that is where I fell in love with my TIGER STRIPES. Those unedited photos made me feel beautiful and strong. I suspect that the pure magic of the uber talented Julia Janse Van Vuuren played a massive part in me learning to love my body. Assuming she had edited the photos, I remember jokingly saying to her, “You made me look hot!!” to which she replied, “Nope, that’s all you!”. It was music to my ears, heart and soul I tell you. I figure that we are so busy being exceptionally critical of ourselves, that we don’t take the time to realise how remarkably beautiful we are.

Looking hot AF in my boudoir photo shoot

When you love your pics taken by Julia so much, that you end up having a book created

So I went from being the girl who hated her stretch marks, to the woman who absolutely loves her tiger stripes and wears them with pride. For me tiger stripes are a sign of a life lived, a sign of experience, courage and reminders of beautiful moments in my life. They are the most sentimental scars I have, as they are a constant reminder of the two beautiful and precious souls I’ve brought into this world. Tiger stripes are like dope lightning tattoos that give our bodies character and its own uniqueness.

So try to not be phased about something that is so natural! Embrace your body, every inch of it ….. tiger stripes, and all. Afterall they do make you, uniquely you. You are indeed beautiful in the skin you are in.

Now go flaunt that shit, because hey, “why the hell not?”