Most of you know by now how passionate I am about trying to create inclusive spaces for people in all bodies. If you follow me on social media, you definitely know my drive to platform people in marginalised bodies and humanise parts of us the media is quick to criticise or homogenise.
I began training as a coach when I realised how many people were not participating in photoshoots with me, because even though they secretly wanted to have photos of themselves they loved, they believed the lie that unless your body looks one particular way, you’re not welcome. The strategic marketing of this idea is insidious, from photoshop and filters through to rebranding diets as lifestyles and exercise clothes as fitness fashion – it is important to remember there are billions of pounds being spent every day to tell you that you are not good enough. Why? So they can sell you the solution.
It is so easy to internalise this stuff (how often have you sneakily had the thought that maybe there is something “wrong” with you?). To give them credit they don’t deserve – these marketing companies are very good at their jobs. It gets under your skin and into your brain.
When I started to work on accepting my body at the size and shape it is, I started to unravel a whole load of thoughts I held about not being good enough and stretching myself so thin in how much I did for others to try and cover up the shame I felt about how much space I occupied. It was exhausting.
How much more energy would you have if you were not criticising the way you look? How much more time would you have if you stopped secretly battling how your desire to diet does not align with your feminist politics? How much more money would you have if you stopped buying into the New Year New You adverts that constantly get targeted to you?
I can tell you because I have done I – and it is life changing.
I used to confuse myself into a puddle about how wasting so much emotional energy being cruel to myself prevented me having enough time for the stuff I really cared about, the causes, the people, the fun… the life. I curbed my living to try and fit into a dress size which was never going to be – simply because I bought into the idea that if I was smaller I would be more worthy of love. And yet it was never quite small enough.
I am really confident telling people now that I am the heaviest I have ever been and the most comfortable in my skin I have ever been. I have done the work to know that I am no longer willing to wait until I have lost weight until I live my best life. I have read the studies on how BMI is a made-up scale invented by insurance companies and I have read the books on how the beauty industry is a clever way of keeping people subservient and distracted.
And I want to share this stuff with you. I have put together a course of everything I have done that worked. It is a combination of self-study, video lectures, a workbook and group coaching. It is a place for exploration and healing. It is a place where you can finally begin to loosen the knot of shame that the patriarchy tied up in you and it teaches you clear methods to identify that these critical thoughts are not yours.
Body image can be a cruel, vulnerable, messy, painful landscape to navigate when you feel like you are traversing alone. The Body Better Body Image course is here to help support you in your steps to bringing your kindness, your ethics, and your politics back home to yourself.