For most of my life I have battled with my weight. There have been periods of my life where I have felt like my body was my enemy. There have been times when I have been consumed by self loathing and I can barely look in the mirror.
Thankfully I’m not in that place now but those that are closest to me know that my weight and health are a big focus for me in my life and is something that I am very keen to improve on.
Thankfully being overweight doesn’t slow me down and I (usually) have loads of energy to put into my family and my business and it has never stopped me from doing fun things, getting out on my bike with my kids or going on adventures.
But it is rare that we receive any messages that women can be overweight and active or overweight and energetic or overweight and happy.
Somewhere along the line, we accepted the media definition of what a woman should look like and when we compared ourselves we may have found ourselves falling a little bit short. Thighs too big, double chins, round tummy, big boobs, small boobs… so many areas where all we see are the flaws rather than the beauty of who we are.
This time of year most TV and websites are consumed with telling us that we need to eat less and move more. It’s an old message that doesn’t seem to get the results that the writers and producers are looking for. Lots of sanctimonious people telling us how unhealthy being fat is (we know), how we shouldn’t accept ourselves as we are, and how we just need to move more and eat less (yes … we know!).
Being overweight is a choice, we’re told. It’s a simple fix, we’re told.
If only. In my view, losing weight is about self acceptance first. It’s about truly embracing who we are and loving what we see in the mirror. It’s about feeling good about ourselves, so that eating doesn’t become a comfort blanket when things feel tough.
“You need to love yourself first” is an easy thing to say, but a much harder thing to do. It’s not easy to turn off that little judgemental voice in your head. It takes time, and it takes being kind to yourself.
A little trick that I learned recently, was to just say the words “I’m enough” whenever I hear that little voice of criticism or fear trying to worm it’s way into my head.
It’s simple and it just works. It makes me smile inside.
But this post isn’t about weight loss, self esteem or how to love yourself… it is about the truly wonderful This Girl Can Campaign created by FCB Interno, that has just been launched by Sport England.
I can’t seem to stop watching their video.
It is a celebration of women, activity and their jiggly bits. And the most wonderful thing is that there is no negative backstory.
There are no hidden jibes.
No sense of victimisation. Poor me. It’s tough being a woman.
It’s just a celebration of women, camaraderie, exercise, dance, sport and the pure joy of doing something that makes you sweat.
The women all look fantastic, big and small and it makes me really happy watching them have a good time. And it makes me want to exercise. My current sweaty activity is Zumba Rush on the Xbox 360 and it is just pure unadulterated (if uncoordinated) fun.
But I also realised that the thing that makes this advertising work so well, is because it is a video that absolutely accepts women for who they are. It not only encourages exercise and makes us want to do it, but it also celebrates our jiggly bits.
We jiggle because we are moving fast.
We jiggle because we are dancing.
We jiggle because we are doing something completely active. And it’s fun.
But it also made me realise that the jiggle is part of what makes women wonderful.
The jiggle is not our enemy, it makes us beautiful. This video has helped me to look at women and myself with fresh eyes and see how lovely we all are no matter what our size or shape.
I can’t wait to see more videos from these guys, because in my opinion this one is the best feel good video out there.