I was hesitant about this post, as I know people are going to leave negative comments, but... After a thirty minute conversation with a friend this morning it would seem this really is something women think about ALL the time. Their weight and their size! Its well documented in every single magazine, every single news article, headlines, documentaries, reality tv shows, posters, books, clubs, programmes, classes, it goes on and on and on.
This multi-billion pound industry certainly isn't fading away, but it would seem that we have literally become OBSESSED with our weight! This seems to be a relatively new thing, possibly pushed into the forefront following the "heroin chic"supermodels of the early 90's.
The emergence of a new strain of women... Its easy to see that women can be divided into four body types- controversial- but true;
THIN (very small boobs, slim hips and little body fat anywhere)
FANTASY (porn style looks, augmented breasts, injected bottom and surgically enhanced)
HEALTHY (a low BMI, weight proportionate to their frame and fit)
FAT (everything has lost context, waist, boobs, bottom)
Wheres the middle ground?! What happened to advocating health?
Where are the normal looking women? I like the Dove campaigns,
and I like that curvy women are beginning to grace our magazine stands and our advertising campaigns, but it still seems to be the hottest topic of discussion among most women of all ages.
I agree to a certain degree with "The Gok affect" that we should embrace our bodies, but I don't agree that it should be at any size!
Shouldn't weight really be about health?
Genetics and natural selection are making this battle we seem to be having with our bodies worse and worse. As more and more families make mistakes with their children's eating, health and exercise, this problem becomes deeper and deeper entrenched.
Unfortunately eating healthy food is more expensive than eating the cheap junk food. Fact. And now with even more and more of us feeling the pinch, cuts, recession, higher VAT coming, losing child benefits, we are all going to feel this every time we go to the supermarket.
The answer cannot be to just give in and buy the frozen lasagna and the value bumper bag of chicken nuggets?!
We are constantly being told that life is for 'living', for 'enjoying', for 'indulging in'. Yet we are also feeling the tug between, the "I deserve it!" chocolate bar and the "oh its just a a pudding" and the "I must look like a celebrity/supermodel/hollywood actress".
This is the wrong attitude. We need to start being accountable for ourselves, (personally I think anything that is self induced i.e. lung cancer from smoking and heart disease from being overweight should not be treated on the NHS! But that is just my opinion...)
I teach dancing to children and I am still amazed at how unfit many of them are who start with me. And I don't think we can blame the school entirely. They blame the govenment for lack of funding, and the government blames us for spending too much. Children imitate their parental figures, grandparents, aunts, uncles, neighbours, children look to us for the guidence. If we don't teach a child how to grow a pot of tomatoes on a windowsill in their bedroom, how can we expect them to understand what its all about?
Health education is more important than weight. You may be a healthy size 14, or a healthy size 8. There is no way you are your optimal best and fighting fit at a size 24. And we should stop telling people to "be happy whatever their size!" No! Get fit!
I've had two babies and although I am still under thirty, I am now fitter and healthier than I was at 21. Lifestyle dictates that many of us have to sit for long periods at a desk, this isn't helping us. But it doesn't tell us to go home eat a bag of crisps, a huge dinner, and then snack on a chistmas tin of roses for the rest of the evening whilst drinking a bottle of red wine!
Two things and two things only make you lose weight. FACT! Eating less than you are eating already, and doing a lot more excercise than you are doing already. And thats it. (I'm not factoring into this medical problems that cause weight gain)
Here is a list of turn-around diet techniques. This is not taken from a diet plan, this is just from my experiences and education as a dancer.
Water! Our bodies are designed to store fat for survival. We store more if we are dehydrated. You need to OVER hydrate to trick you body into releasing its fat stores. It senses it does not need them and so they begin depleating if we stay hydrated continually. 2 litres per day is optimum. For LOOSING weight 3 litres. PER DAY. Fill up a large botle if neccessary and put it in your kitchen or on your desk. Say to yourself, "I must drink that before..." a certain time. It will feel a HUGE effort to begin with. But the difference after 2 weeks will be that you will be hydrated. Continue.
Lecithin - taken regularily it prohibits the fat in your food from being absorbed into the blood stream. It has other health benefits too. Take a read...
Pure Hoodia is an appetite suppressant. It was used by Aborigines on walkabout in the bush when they knew they may not be able to eat for days at a time. Taken regularily it controls fady hunger. I am not advocating starving!
Virgin fish oil and virgin coconut oil are both excellent for slimming, beauty, cooking and much more. Why not swap out your olive oil and salad dressing for this?
Kick start your system like rebooting a computer. Fast during the day, and eat a light meal before 6pm. Do not eat after 6pm. Your body needs time to use that food energy before you sleep.Do this for 3 days. By the third day you will feel less hungry and more energised as your body automatically starts drawing on its fat stores.
Mummies- breast feeding is best. No two ways about it. You put on weight during your pregnancy to ensure you have enough energy when the baby is born to feed them. Breast feeding burns an enormous amount of calories. Thousands and thousands. Your baby needs those calories. If you eat very sensibly immediately after the birth your body will know to let go of those calories and fat stores as long as you remain hydrated with water.
On a personal note, I do know it can seem like the most impossible and painful thing in the world. It was for me. Both times! Bleeding, lacerated, aching, sore and hellish for 6 weeks... A difficult baby could be sign of other things, you are not failing if you can't do it. I went on a breastfeeding course at the birthing centre in London; I learnt a little but it wasn't realistic! It was far too airy-fairy and whimsical. Get help if you are stuggling. Coaches, Midwives, other moms, its HARD WORK. Check your baby isn't tongue-tied, and try a cranial osteopath who specialises in new babies, (being dragged out by your neck and head can put a few things out of place!)
Sugar is bad for you. FACT. Stop eating it. A treat should be just that. Something occasional, something rare and something extrordinary. Will power, or "won't" power as my friend calls it, is saying I "won't" do that. I won't eat biscuits. You don't need to eat them. You may want to, but you don't need to.
Drinking and smoking- goes without saying, its not good for you. (I do both!) But if you are going to drink and smoke, make an even bigger effort with your diet and excercise to balance it out a little.
Running and walking is cheap. Gym memberships are not. Find a buddy to do it with if you lack the motivation (and it is frightfully unmotivating when you can see your own breath and its dark and its raining at 7am!) But do it anyway. The mental hurdle you will have crossed with yourself to push on will set you up with a positive attitude for the rest of the day. And then... tomorrow... do it again. Walk to work if you can. I lived in London and never walked to work. Through sheer laziness. It took me longer to catch the tube I found out one day when there was a tube strike! Fail!
Its no good buying cheap fixes, faddy diet books, expensive gym memberships and watching Gok! Want to look good in a dress and high heels? Then get healthy, get fit and you WON'T die trying. Super-knickers, fat busting nonesense that sells you something? Rubbish! A book won't make you thinner or healthier by just reading it. Educate yourself and change your lifestyle! (do NOT read THIS book!)
Before I had my first baby I was a rather plump 10st. I'm not tall and it did not suit me. I felt uncomfortable in my skin. I had a large chest and a very round bottom... I felt slow. I was also on the pill... I have no way of proving what the definate causes were of being on the pill, but I do know after a year off of it while I had my baby and breastfed, when going back on it I had a surge of strange side effects. I went through the roof with PMT-like mood swings, I felt angry, I felt sad and my appetite soared. I stopped taking it after three eventful weeks. I had gained 8lbs! Having since spoken to a few other mums on this odd fact, they too all conveyed exactly the same things had happened to them. I'm not saying stop taking it unless you have another failsafe method of contraception. Look into other options though. Or just take a break for a few months and see if you feel any difference?
Now I am a very slim 8.4 stone. And my body feels in good shape. My husband comments daily on the fact I look "thin" but I have more energy, I am not sluggish. My BMI is very healthy, and for my frame and genetic shape this is my natural weight. (Its just almost 2st lighter than when my husband met me!) I have different body issues now, having had two children; saggy skin, stretch marks and my boobs are definately at least 3 inches lower and have lost all of their "stuffing"! But those things are badges of honor for carrying a child. They are your war medals as a mother and I wouldn't trade them in for my big boobs and my plump bottom again. I just turn the lights off! At least I know I'm healthy.