The D word – a conflicting love affair with the slimming industry

Ok, so love affair is a teeny bit strong, it’s more like a love/hate relationship.  The volatile lovers who break up over and over again.  Then finding their way back to each other and when it’s good it’s really good and when it’s not, it’s as frustrating as trying to force your kids to eat vegetables and go to bed without whining.  Some days it just ain’t happening.

Let’s just put this out there, I’m not obese, not really massively overweight, but I’ve certainly never been what I’d call slim/trim/thin whatever. I have curves and height which as everyone likes to point out makes me incredible luckily. Maybe, but not so much when you can barely get a dress to cover your (natural) Kardashianesque backside.  I look at athletic women, all lean and strong, crave their bodies and what they are physically capable of acheiving but as not a natural lover of exercise, I can only dream of what it would take for me to look like that.  And put bluntly, I’m just too bloody lazy.

Now here is what I struggle with.  It’s the daily conflict in my head.  The personal struggle with self-acceptance yet constantly wanting to change how I look.  The guilt of feeling I should be accepting myself because so there is so much female empowerment out there these days telling us we should.  The guilt of inflicting poor self-esteem in front of three daughters when I know that no matter what I try to do to protect them from it, at some point they will become a victim of it anyway.

A 5 second Pinterest search on body positivity results in so many conflicting statements it’s enough to make anyone pour a large pinot & eat a tub of Ben & Jerrys all whilst in their active wear because “strong is the new skinny” blah blah blah….

And yet despite personally believing of course we should celebrate and accept who we are here I am, months after declaring I hate slimming clubs, they don’t work, it’s all about moderation etc I’m back at one. Handing over my money, following plans and counting syns and talking about “being good” as if eating a square of chocolate is going to result in some sort of devastating crisis. Although not being able to get your jeans done up and screaming I have NOTHING TO WEAR can in no uncertain terms be a personal crisis. The irony is not lost on my friends as they subtly raised an eyebrow in that I told you so way (I noticed).

I don’t think there’s anyway around this conflict.  As much as body acceptance is a wonderfully positive inspiring place to get to within ourselves, we shouldn’t berate ourselves for having that internal struggle with how we feel about ourselves.  I like a good inspiring quote as much as the next person but sometimes it’s good to just put two fingers up and say Screw. You.

Dorset Wife 


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