January Detox

This is probably not the blog you are expecting.

2018 is a year for detoxifying my body image. For changing my attitude towards the way my body looks; towards the food I eat.

I’m taking some steps – and most of them are pretty fun!

On 19th January I’m hosting a ‘leftover Christmas spirits’ cocktail party – after a local screening of Embrace

The Embrace film had a huge impact on me last year. Imploring women and girls (and to be fair, this applies to guys too) to spend the middle years of our lives loving and even relishing our bodies the way we do as children.  Pensioners in the film spoke with great acceptance and gratitude for their bodies – focusing more on what their body could still do and less on how it looked!

What freedom we could enjoy if we experimented with these ways of looking at ourselves. My body is capable; my body is fun; my body can do all this cool stuff!

This month I’ll be running one morning after school drop-off. Over tea, my running buddy and I will be taking part in an online  course produced by Taryn Brumfitt, the woman behind Embrace. We want to check in with our motives – are we running to be fitter, stronger, mentally refreshed or is it all about being ‘bikini-ready’?

Wild swimming will continue to be a completely freeing body image experience. Frankly if you’re going to walk into the winter sea with a swimming cap, wetsuit boots and a bikini on you really don’t need to give a cr*p what you look like as most passers by will think you are a nutter anyway.

I’m challenging myself this year to post more videos of my swims. Now, the ‘rear view’ as I enter the water isn’t remotely reminiscent of a Roxy surf girl ad – but the thing is I feel as free and connected to the world as these girls look, so why not share the joy?

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For Christmas my mum bought me a copy of the River Cottage Even More Veg cookbook. Everything in there looks so delicious and I am looking forward to planning meals that make our Riverford  box vegetables the star of the show.

Being on Olanzapine means that thinking about healthy eating is important as I’m at a higher risk of type 2 diabetes. This year I want to do this in a way that doesn’t put sweet foods and white carbs on a ‘banned list’ which I’m secretly hoping will reduce my waistline (and even more secretively enjoying the self-denial and control)

I want to model for Eldest a free and open approach to food, focusing on taste, enjoyment and variety. On the fact that a bikini body is never, ever worth hating yourself for every morsel of enjoyment.

And of course, I want to create more soup recipes!  I published a one-off cookbook for my friend this year and I’ll leave you with one of the quotes;

“Only the pure in heart can make a good soup” Ludwig van Beethoven

I’m hopeful this means my heart is in pretty good shape… More in January Detox #2

 

 

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XL

I’m a shapely woman.  Thanks to starting Metafit this year I consider myself pretty strong and fit.

Yesterday evening I spent a demoralizing twenty minutes trying to do up my wetsuit for outdoor swimming.  I’m a size 16 in the hips and a size 14 in the chest.  The average dress size in the UK is a size 14.  So why did I find myself painfully squeezing the skin between my shoulder blades into the largest triathlon wetsuit available – an extra large?  A Google search of wetsuit brands confirmed that the weight and chest measurement range for almost all swimming wetsuits tops out roughly where I begin.

It’s not just my wetsuit.  My Ronhill running shorts are an XL (they top out at a Size 18 XXL), my cycling shorts are an XL, my yoga pants are an XL.  I couldn’t even fit into the XL sports crop tops at Decathlon.

What frustrates me isn’t the judgement of my body size.  It’s the implicit exclusion of women and girls who are my size and larger from so many sporting pursuits.  “You don’t belong in the ocean/on the trail/on a bike”; “You’re not our target market”.  How many women and girls who are nervous to take up exercise in the first place have stumbled at the first hurdle when they find they can’t fit into any of the gear?

What can I do?  The closet entrepreneur in me would love to start a website selling sports gear for the (at least) 50% of women who fall into the >XL category.  But would the manufacturers even produce kit in the sizes we need?  I’m definitely going to write to wiggle, the stockist of much of the sports gear I have bought.  I might even pen an article to a women’s magazine.  I will send a letter of praise to Nike running who stock up to a size 26 (and incidentally where I measure up as a medium)

Campaigns like This Girl Can assert that ordinary women can and should enjoy the opportunity to sweat.  It’s time the manufacturers and stockists caught up.

Readers, if you know of any brands or stockists who consider the >XL 50% please comment below!