Tuesday, November 24, 2015

A Blog Post Not About Books

Today, I'm blogging about something totally different and not related to books although I will mention a book in the post.

What could it be?

I've been following some wonderful bloggers and periscopers and Facebook group leaders and even followed people on Instagram - all about body image and body love. This topic has a dear place in my heart. I have suffered from body image issues my whole life. Even though for a large portion of my life so far, I wasn't overweight, I worked very hard to stay thin and I worried about my appearance constantly. I think it's a female thing and directly related to society's pushing women to be objects / ornaments and not people. Also, the media constantly focuses on women who are often unnaturally thin. Very few actresses are a normal, everyday weight and seldom over forty. This is a scary fact. The more you see of a certain body type, the more you are conditioned to think that's the norm and the more you criticise yourself for not measuring up to that.

And these issues don't only affect young women. Every women feels the pressure to be beautiful constantly. I feel such a burden for the youngsters as I see the teen actors are getting skinnier and skinnier so the standard is dropping. And the trend now is "fit is the new skinny." This doesn't solve the problem - it only makes it worse. Women feel they don't only have to diet to remain or become thin, but they have to exercise and push themselves to the limits to build this perfect physique. For one, exercise should be something enjoyable and something that enhances health, not a burden. As soon as it becomes this "have to" it either becomes obsessive or it doesn't become sustainable long term.

I've also done extensive reading on dieting and metabolism. The more I read, the more I realise how dangerous dieting, specifically yo-yo dieting is for our health. If we just ate when we were hungry, our body would give us the cues as to how much and what we need. Yes, in the beginning, we may eat too much ice cream or pizza, but let me assure you, it won't last. A year ago, I broke a diet I'd been on for two and a half years. I started this diet as I noticed I began to put on weight as I reached my forties. My thighs were becoming too large for my liking. So, I went on a low-carb diet. It made me very sick, although at the time I didn't connect my sickness to my dieting. A year later, I can see how much I've improved in my health. But I've put on weight. More than before - that's what happens with dieting. One good thing - it's made me realise how dangerous dieting is. Anyway, when I first broke the diet, phew did I like my carbs - bread, rice, pizza, cookies, you name it. And I ate a lot. But my body really needed them. I didn't restrict myself - I followed my appetite. Now, a year later, I notice that my appetite has changed - I seem to be craving more fruit and vegetables - the so called "healthy" foods. Yeah, they are healthy, but what I'm saying is, our bodies know what we need and we'll crave them at the right times. As long as we aren't into emotional eating which is largely caused by restrictive eating in the first place - that's a whole new world and I can't go into too much detail in one blog post.

Anyway, I wanted to share the exciting news that I won a competition. One of my favourite body image bloggers is Summer Innanen. She's got so much presence and she really cares about women who've struggled with body image and disordered eating. I entered a competition and I won a copy of her new book which is coming out on the 27 November! Woohoo. Here is a link to pre-order: Amazon I think the Kindle book should be available soon too.

And I won an online program with her on body image (21 step body image remix). Even though I've come a long way in the last few months, I still struggle with comparing myself to other women. If you're keen to find out more about Summer, here's her website. If you're fast and subscribe to her blog, you can get a free copy of her book anyway. Woohoo! http://summerinnanen.com/ Oh, and by the way, she didn't ask me to promote her. I'm doing this purely because I hope someone will benefit from her amazing work.

Another blog I've just discovered which I thoroughly enjoy is the following: http://www.beautyredefined.net


  1. Congratulations on winning the book and the program. I hope they both help. It's interesting that as a South African, you are in Africa, but not really. For Africans thickness is good. Being rotund is now going out of fashion, but no man would reject a woman for thick thighs and especially not a big behind. I wish we could all just love who we are and try to be healthy.

    1. Thanks, Nana! Yes, I remember in Zambia the ladies thought they were complimenting me when they said I was fat. :) Culture plays a big part in our lives.