One of the reasons why waking up at 6am is my New Years resolution, is because I wanted to start the work day with an hour of drawing for myself. Last week I worked on this.
This whole week will be the body posi take over. There’s something about January that is personally really triggering for me. I used to have an eating disorder and even though I’ve gotton through it and really do love and accept my body now, It was a very long journey.
When looking at body positivity it may feel like a gigantic mammoth task, and I defiantly felt that way when I first heard of the movement. I didn’t know where to even begin, and believed it just wasn’t possible for me. So, I thought long and hard about the things that really helped me get to where I am now, and I will be posting them on the grid this week alongside an illustration.
Body posi tip number 1
❤️ No Mirrors ❤️ No full length mirrors in my house, yup ….sorry pals I know everyone has always hated getting ready at my house. This wasn’t intentional, my full length mirror fell and smashed (even though it would be a better story if i smashed it myself, I didn’t) and I never replaced it because …. I was lazy and broke AF. A long time after I noticed I felt so much better without it.
I know a of you might be thinking, what no mirrors! that’s baloney! But if you have ever dealt with an eating disorder, you will know that mirrors can be the devil. My body dysmorphia was so bad I couldn’t look into a mirror without crying. Obsession defiantly played a huge role in my downfall. & Taking away the mirror, I could focus more on how I felt rather than what I looked like. I still have a mirror in the house just not a full length one in my bedroom.
Body posi tip number 2
No scales – A number doesn’t define the way I feel about myself, a number doesn’t change how hungry I am, a number doesn’t change how I treat myself. When I was at my lowest weight, I was the most unhappiest I’ve ever been in my life, because I wasn’t eating nearly enough, and for what? a number? Throughing out my scales was the best fucking decision I ever made, I havn’t weighed myself in years and I don’t ever intend to. Instead I pay attention to how much energy I have in the day, how far I can run, how strong I am and how good I feel. And since throwing out my scales, I feel so fucking good.
Body posi tip number 3
Know your measurements – Going shopping was always really frustrating for me. I’ve had many moments when I would get stuck in something in the changing rooms and be in tears, trying to wriggle out, contemplating if I needed to get help or not. I’m a different size in every shop, which doesn’t make sense at all but is incredibly frustrating! & the day I took my own measurements and actually paid attention to the sizing, I was able to look past the tag and actually know if it would fit comfortably on me or not.
Body posi tip number 4
Learn how take a compliment – This I see a lot: Someone giving their friend a compliment, and the person brushing it of as “oh this old thing, I’ve had it for years” or “My skin is actually terrible under this make-up”. Or the one I used to use ‘My work is still pretty mediocre and not special’. We need stop brushing compliments off!’. Especially when it comes to our hardwork. Here in Britain we are especially bad at receiving compliments, but we need to nip that in the butt. Heres how you take a compliment:
2.Say thank you.
There, that wasn’t so hard. I found since doing this, I am letting my brain process that nice thing and doing my best to absorb it. *please note that this DOES NOT include some creepy stranger yelling something disgusting at you in the street.
Body posi tip number 5
Unfollow Unfollw Unfollow – If your instagram feed is making you feel crap, you are following the wrong people. A while ago I talked about how I have a full Kardashian-Jenner block on all media. I hold my hands up, I got sucked into the black hole vortex that is the kardashians (it was the baby news that pulled me in) until Jameela Jamil made me have a wake up call. I listened to her on the Ways to change the world podcast, and I completely had a rethink of what I was doing. The kardashians along with a lot of other people are promoting unhealthy, unrealistic body standards, me being 26, I felt fine consuming it because it doesn’t trigger me. but the only reason they are so huge is because people keep liking their stuff, buying their stuff and watching their stuff. So as a consumer of their content, I realised …. I had myself to blame, I was part of the problem. There are so many amazing body posi acvitivsts out there, you need in your feed! FEED YOUR FEED WITH POSITIVITY. If you have some good suggestions leave them in the comments below and share the ❤️
Body posi tip number 6
❤️ Change fitness goals – Instead of: I want to weigh x or I was to loose x amount, cross all that out, delete it all, and erase it from your mind. Ok
Lets start a new.
The key I’ve found to excersisng and actually enjoying it, is completly scrapping all my previous goals and only having fitness goals that have absolutely NOTHING to do with my appearance. Nada (that’s Spanish for nothing). So maybe that’s ride your bike to work once a week, learn a little salsa, only taking the stairs, climbing a mountain or running 5k. When I stopped counting calories and eating carbs again and moving. OH. MY. GOODNESS…. I became a completely different person. I stopped looking at food as a number, I stopped looked at my body as a number, and had sooooo much extra brain space to invest in others, my wellness and my creative projects. Turns out carbs are really fucking Important for your brain to function. And god those endorphins from exercising are the best drug in the world!!!! I don’t want anyone to think that running is the only way to move your body just because I enjoy it. It’s not. Find a way you love moving and experiment. I’ve recently been attempting hooping, and it’s so much fun! *Also FYI I would never run with my hair down, I just drew it this way because I love drawing swooshy hair.
Body posi tip number 7
❤️ One of the things I used to do …😞…was buy clothes that didn’t fit, or keep clothes that didn’t fit, to try and motive me to not eat. I ended up just having my wardrobe filled with clothes I never wore, and every time I opened my wardrobe, I was greeted with clothes that: 1.didn’t fit me and 2. made me feel like an utter failure. Keeping clothes that didn’t fit me as motivation, NEVER WORKED. All it ever did was make me feel shit. Chuck that shit out! Now I know everything in my wardrobe fits me, I feel great in everything I own and I look great in everything I own😎. Not only that, but I can actually give those clothes away to people who will cherish them, enjoy them and love them. Now when I open my wardrobe I feel nothing but bliss and excitement, I don’t own much but what I do have fits me and makes me feel great, even when I have a food baby.
❤️ This may be the most complicated one, but bare with me. Eating disorders are often described as coping mechanisms, along with other topics such as self harm and addiction. Very often I failed getting over my ED because I didn’t bring in another coping strategy, so in times of high stress, I would just revert back to my old habits. I read once about this girl that every time her Mum drinks she wants to self harm, so she started leaving her trainers by the door, and everytime she sees her mum drinking she immediately goes for a run. She has a pre determined system in place, that is healthy & is right for her
My weight has been constantly commented on by a particular person I am close too, even though I’ve confronted them thousands of times. So if I can’t control what they say (& in this case I cannot cut them out of my life), what can I control? I CAN control how I react to what she says. So instead of leaving the room in a huff like I used to, & cry myself to sleep, and let those words soak into my soul. INSTEAD, when she says it, I take a deep breathe, breathe in and out, I turn to her calmly, with a smile on my face and say “I think your wrong, I think I look great, and I love my body”. That seems to always work for us, the conversation gets dropped and It acts like an positive affirmation for myself, which makes me feel great. Yes it still acts like a little dagger in my heart, when it comes from someone you love it’s always going to hurt, but I understand that what she says comes from being subject to the unhealthy faddy disgustingly problematic diet culture obsessed with thinness. That is NOT my problem and I refuse to let it be my problem anymore. And guess what, I do look fucking great and I do love my body, and I REFUSE TO LET SOMEONES ELSE’S OPINION, HAVE THE POWER TO CHANGE HOW I FEEL ABOUT MYSELF! I’ve said it so many times now, it’s become an automatic response. I stand up straight, whip my hair back, and say it…and mean it.