My Body Positive Instagram Heroes #MyBoPoChallenge



As promised last week, here are some of my BoPo Instagram heroes. I really do believe that seeing more images of diverse, beautiful bodies is such a great first step towards feeling more body positive. And it's super easy to do! Winning. This is definitely, definitely not an exhaustive list, but it might be a good starting point. So, my absolute favourites:


Megan's one of my absolute favourite people that I follow on Instagram. She's recovered from anorexia and her journey and self-love is hugely inspirational.


A photo posted by 👙EFF YOUR BEAUTY STANDARDS™ðŸ‘ŠðŸ¼ (@effyourbeautystandards) on


Eff Your Beauty Standards is a great re-post account that shares body positive images. It's really good for seeing diverse images and for finding new BoPo heroes!




Jes is one of the big deals of the BoPo movement, and that's a totally well-earned compliment. Her blog is awesome, and you should definitely check out her body positive resources page if you're in need of further information/inspiration.


A photo posted by Valerie Sagun (@biggalyoga) on


Valerie aka Big Gal Yoga is so inspirational, I love seeing her posts and being reminded that exercise, moving your body and flexibility are not just reserved for thin people.


A photo posted by Mama Cāx (@caxmee) on

Mama Cax's pictures are absolutely stunning and I think disabled bodies are such an important part of the body positive movement that seem to often get overlooked, so her account is super-refreshing.

And some other mentions (basically, I got fed up of embedding Instagram images):
I've been a fan of Brittany for a long time and her TED Talk is all kinds of awesome.
Melissa looks totally awesome all the time, and I'm pretty sure it was her that started the brilliant #donthatetheshake hashtag.
Bethany is queen of the selfie, and her outfit posts are waaaaaay more kick ass than anything I could ever achieve (but I can dream, right?)
Britt shares real images and outfits that I want to steal. She also a fellow mental health warrior!

So, what do you think? Let me know if I've missed anyone awesome, am always up for finding more BoPo heroes. Right, I'm off to look up synonyms for 'awesome' and 'inspiration'. BRB.

P.S. If you're joining me in #MyBoPoChallenge, please use the hashtag so I can see the fun commence!


The BoPo Diaries: 10 Ideas For Getting Body Positive #MyBoPoChallenge

Following Monday's Body Positivity rant/post, I've decided to set myself a challenge. I think the best way to tackle these things is normally with small steps. But what small steps? You want me to write a list? OK, if you insist. 



I'll take any excuse to write a list. Here's my ideas for stuff that I (well, we, if you're up for it) could start doing now:

Make a list of all the stuff your body can do, either on paper (or on internet) or in your head. Remind yourself of these things and thank your body. Yes, really.

Wear stuff that you love, and wear it unapologetically. 

Read some Body Positive books. I'm going to start with The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf, but there's a great list of other BoPo books here (Jes Baker's Things No-One Will Tell Fat Girls is also on my ever-growing 'to read' list).

Exercise or move because of how it makes you feel, not how it might make you look.

Follow some BoPo heroes on Instagram. Regularly seeing photos of women looking amazing at all sizes will start to do wonders for your own self-confidence. I've got a post about this planned for next week if you need some ideas for people to start following....

On that note: Post photos of yourself on social media. Not with apologetic 'ignore the belly rolls but....' captions, but just photos of you looking awesome. Flaunt the fat/cellulite/scars/wrinkles/stretch marks. I think half the problem is that we rarely see pictures of unfiltered bodies that we can identify with.

Don't bitch about other people's bodies. Ever. We've probably all done it (I have, when I really hate someone) and it just exacerbates a problem that ends up hurting all of us. On that note - challenge other people's comments.

If you don't identify as fat - be a good thin ally

Talk to people. Share how you feel. Often body shaming feels worse when you keep it inside.

This one might be a bit extreme, but reclaim your body. Get an awesome tattoo in a place you used to hate.


Who wants to join me? It's just a case of picking some thing that you think will help make you feel more positively about your body, and doing it. That's it. Take photos, blog, tweet, post on Insta... If you want to use the #MyBoPoChallenge hashtag too that would be awesome. that way I can find things and share them. Feel free to use the image above too if you blog about it.

LET'S DO THIS. Let's inspire each other. Let's enable each other to start loving ourselves and then start getting other shit done. Because there is a lot of shit to get done, and telling myself horrible things about my body isn't on my to do list anymore.


P.S. Please tell me what I've missed off my list!

The BoPo Diaries: Why I'm Trying to Be Body Positive

I'm trying to become more Body Positive. I'm trying to believe it, and act upon it. 

I'm sick of judging my self-worth based on how well my clothes fit or how much my muffin top hangs over my jeans. I've been letting this stuff lurk at the back of my mind for too long now and it needs to stop. Now.

Oh, I'm definitely better than I used to be. After all, you don't have five years of therapy without managing to question at least some of the critical thoughts. And yet... There are still times when this stuff creeps up on me. Normally, it's when there's a holiday or a wedding coming up, a time when I'll be aware that people might be looking at my body or comparing me to others (or at the very least, I know I'll be comparing myself to others).



Yes, I'm a size 12-14. I've never been shouted at by a stranger because of my weight, or humiliated in public due to my size. So I'm not going to sit here and pretend that I truly understand how harmful or hurtful body shaming bullshit is. But I do think that body shaming harms all of us. I remember being a teenager and obsessing over the size of my thighs, the redness of my stretchmarks and feeling completely and utterly worthless. Those 'ring of shame'  magazine pages and overheard comments about bigger women, they harm everyone. They get to all of us. They reinforce the message, again and again, that fat women are worth less than thin women. That they're ok if they're funny or self-deprecating or really clever, but basically, that it's ok to humiliate people because of their size. But you know what, it's not fucking ok. This ends up getting to all of us. It makes us hate ourselves and monitor our bodies for any sign that we might be getting bigger. It makes us hurt ourselves and shame ourselves into obsessing over our bodies, because we've seen and heard so much of this fat-shaming that we've just started to believe it.

Well, there are two ways around this. Either we bully ourselves into achieving an arbitrary, unachievable and constantly-changing ideal, or we can just decide that we've had enough. We could refuse to take this bullshit. We could flaunt our fat and our imperfections and not be ashamed. We could realise that 'fat' shouldn't be an insult, that able bodies aren't superior to disabled ones, and that thin women are 'real women' too. We could stand up for each other and just accept that body fat percentage is not a measure of worth. We could all be really, truly confident and make the shamers lose their power over us. We could. We actually could.


In the words of one of my BoPo heroes, Megan, 'You'll never hate yourself into loving yourself' and I, for one, have wasted enough time and energy on self-hatred.


So, that's the why.  Later this week: the how (and that bit might involve you, too).

Sea, Trains and Ridiculous Chocolate: July's Photo An Hour



Check me out: a Photo An Hour post up within a week of the actual day! I know, I know, I'm incredible. Jane and Louisa's Photo An Hour day for this month was a pretty eventful one for me (well, if you like trains, which I definitely do). 



9am: Surprisingly, I wore blue and polka dots. Very on-brand.



10am: Errands aren't so painful when the sun is shining.



11am: On the tram to Croydon (to get on the train to Brighton). No 12pm photo because I was on super-busy train and I didn't want to look creepy. Soz.



1pm: Exploring the Lanes. Sadly the sun had gone in, but happily there were many, many shops to explore. I definitely want to come back for some Christmas shopping (although I am busy every weekend in November so that might be an ambitious plan!)



2pm: Burgers (vegetarian, obvs) and cocktails were the order of the day. I went for this alcoholic slush puppy thang and it was as awesome as it looks (very awesome).



3pm: Back to the Lanes and we stopped to stare at the window display in Choccywoccydoodah. How is this made of chocolate?! Incredible.



4pm: My friend's sandals were rubbing her feet so we stopped for cake (any excuse!). And the sun actually started to reappear....



5pm: Brighton beach! 6pm was spent reluctantly heading back to the station ready for my next train journey....



7pm: Trainlife. This time, heading for Bournemouth to meet Pete. I had snacks and Harry Potter so it was two hours well-spent.


video

8pm: Still on the train, playing with Boomerang this time.



9pm: Bournemouth! Finally! It appears that I was all about the seaside towns beginning with B....


P.S. Got time to stay a bit longer? You might like these posts: February's Photo an Hour: My Transport Themed Hen Do, Eight of My Travel Photos That Instantly Relax Me...

One Normal Weekend, Ten Things That Made Me Happy #thislittlebiglife



In recent times my posts have become pretty sporadic and the upshot of that is that I've stopped documenting the little things. Inspired by Janet's list of 50 things that make her happy and Sarah's This Little Big Life posts, I decided to try and write something that focused on the little, awesome, gloriously inconsequential things. Here's what's made me happy last weekend:


Cold strawberry and lime cider (and comedy Snapchat filters).

Bumping into friends.


Finding an amazing view.

Making and eating the perfect avocado and cheery tomatoes on toasted muffin breakfast. Basic. Don't care.


Waking up before my alarm went off on Sunday and getting to the gym.

Doing my first 15 minute Headspace meditation. It felt really good to do it. I've actually finished the 'take 10' sessions and recently I've found it's really clicked for me. More on that another time.


Having my first Pimms of the summer (even if it was in a can).

Finding a new picnic spot in Crystal Palace Park (even if it did start to rain).

Eating picnic food. I love picnic food.


Hammock time!

Always good to focus on the little things, right? In the spirit of keeping this rare show of positivity going, tell me some of the little things that have made you happy recently (please).

Glitter, Cider, Yoga: My Glastonbury 2016 Highlights


So I finally, finally managed to tick off one of my most important '30 Before 30' goals: going to Glastonbury. Obviously it was fricking brilliant, that's a given. But why, I hear you ask? (Seriously, ask, it's kinda the premise for this whole post). Loads of reasons, but here are the bits I liked the best:

Joining a yoga class in the healing fields, sitting in child's pose and hearing The Beautiful South in the distance. Feeling so relaxed that I genuinely didn't mind that I was missing The Beautiful South.


Getting glitter painted. Waitinuntil Sunday was a silly thing to do.

Dancing to Jarvis Cocker DJ-ing while holding a cider in one hand and a 99 in the other. 

The sun coming out after torrential rain, about five seconds before Jess Glynne walked on stage. One of those perfect festival moments.



Experiencing all the random 'extra' bits that make Glasto awesome: politics, comedy, circus, wandering kazoo bands, giant giraffe puppets, and sitting in a 'county pub', drinking cider, ranting about politics.

Dancing to Fatboy Slim and suddenly 'getting' dance music.

The sheer relief each morning of waking up and realising that the tent was still up, I was still in the tent, and we were both in the same position on the hill/vertical slope of doom.

Genuinely enjoying, no loving, Coldplay. In these difficult times it can be hard to stick your head above the metaphorical parapet and challenge the long-held views of those closest to you, but I'll say it: COLDPLAY WERE FRICKING AWESOME. Might have cried during Yellow. And Fix You. Seriously, it was emotional. The three of us had to hug it out at the end. 



Standard dancing conditions.

Dancing to some amazing guilty pleasures on Friday night. This also involved exposing one of our group's ability to sing along with JT's every word. I also showed off my enviable working knowledge of Girls Aloud and S Club 7 lyrics. No guilt, all pleasure.



Watching Pete trying to drink from a bottle, in a downpour, at 5.30am, while wearing a bin bag with no armholes. I'd reached a mental state where everything was hilarious, literally hilarious, so this could not have been timed better [note: no illegal drugs were involved, just alcohol, sleep deprivation and my own natural instability].




Drinking coconut and lime cider, eating an amazing flatbread thing, listening to samba music and sitting in the sun.



Getting to know Pete's friends better. It was amazing to spend proper time with them and find out lots more about them (some of it I wanted to know, some I didn't). Hopefully they didn't think I was a dick. 

Laughing about Pete's Peruvian water carrier, general stinginess, adopted Lonsdale bag and misheard lyrics. Turns out the main way that I bond with people is by mocking Pete. Sorry Pete. On that note, and this is not the kind of thing I'd normally say but.... Hanging out with Pete for five days was brilliant. We seriously had so much fun. 


There is, of course, one small [first world] problem with all of this: I'm now desperate to go in 2017. Turns out that Glastonbury is huge and there's plenty more left to do. WHO KNEW?*

*Everyone. Everyone knew.