It’s January, the month of self-reflection and universal change. New starts, new pages and regrettable transgressions buried and forgotten because it’s a new year!
So, what part of you are you looking to change in the new year, if any part at all? The options are endless, more positivity, be more charitable, improved health. And for a lot of people the new year is about losing weight, changing appearance, a fresh clean and healthy start!
I’m one of them! I can put my hand up and say that after two babies and some crazy life events I’m probably the largest and heaviest that I’ve ever been, which is not the master plan!
And if I’m going to be completely honest, I’m also having a bit of a love affair with Ben & Jerrys. My husband knows and he’s fine with it, if I share with him (once I’ve dug the caramel and brownie bits out of course.)
I’m a bit of a serial dieter. I’ve done the tough, the rough and the ridiculous. I’ve zumba’d and yoga’d, I’ve attacked the gym and been completely ruined by a personal trainer, so much so that I couldn’t stand or sit down for about a week. I’ve done weight watchers, slimming world, the Cambridge diet, calorie counting, slimfast and slim and save. I’ve achieved adequate success with most of them before finally doing what was healthy and right for my body, but I’ve not ever been kind. My drive to change my appearance wasn’t out of respect for myself, it was driven by negativity.
My body is pretty amazing. I’ve done some incredible things and most recently carried each of my boys to term. After years of fertility issues and treatments, my body gave me my beautiful boys (not without a few kicks and bumps along the way but then nothing is ever easy!).
My body has grown and protected me, been broken and healed, has danced and ran and jumped with joy. My body deserves respect and love and deserves to be healthy, but just because my body is larger, doesn’t mean that any of the above details are any less relevant.
I’ve noticed a worrying social trend for fat shaming, I’ve been on the receiving end of it in some cases. Somewhere along the way it’s suddenly become acceptable to verbally judge strangers based on their appearance alone and even celebrities on public platforms are getting in on the act, apparently fat people should not have good jobs, partners, or even have clothes available to buy in their own size.
I mean, is ‘fat’ really the worst thing a human being can be? Is ‘fat’ worse than ‘vindictive’, ‘jealous’, ‘shallow’, ‘vain’, ‘boring’ or ‘cruel’? Not to me; – JK Rowling
So, in the the spirit of self-love and new year unity I would like to remind you to be kind to yourself and your wobbles, get fit and healthy for you and you alone and if you’re not ready yet, that’s okay too, it’s a long road and you’ve already done some amazing things, go easy on yourself. Smile. And enjoy this list of things that are far more irritating and far worse than being a wonderful, beautiful, kind and overweight person!
Standing too close to people in queues.
It’s a personal pet peeve and I find it’s often worse in airports, or any method of public transport for that matter. When you’re so close to someone that they can hear you breathing in their ear – take a step back! This also includes the people that choose to sit next to you on the train when the entire carriage is empty. I’ve never quite understood that either. I’d rather be overweight than that person!
Not ordering food when you’re hungry and then stealing half of your dining partner’s food.
Pretty self-explanatory, though I must confess, this is me. And it drives my husband potty. But sometimes I don’t realise I’m hungry until I see his food! And it always looks so much better than mine. And sharing is good for the soul. No? Okay then, I’ll just have to start ordering my own food!
Standing up on a plane as soon as it’s landed before the fasten seatbelt signs have turned off.
Before the stewardesses have even stood up! You know who you are, the people that are up and grabbing at their bags out of the overhead locker while the plane is still gently rolling down the runway. And unless you’ve got some crazy connection that you might miss due to the plane being delayed and all of that – you’re going to be stuck in immigration like the rest of us and that 2-minute head start you’ve got counts for nothing when you round that corner and passport control and see those glorious lines of people!
People that spoil the end of things.
Why?! Why would you deliberately ruin something for other people. Don’t post on Facebook about who died on Game of Thrones this week, I don’t want the full run down of this week’s episode of westworld. If the next M Night Shyamalan movie DOESN’T have a twist in the end then I’ll be brutally disappointed but at the same time, I don’t need you to ruin it for me. So, keep quiet, don’t write about it, don’t talk about it loudly on your way out the cinema or in line at Starbucks.
People that talk on the phone in the cinema.
This doesn’t happen quite as often here in the UK, but when we lived in the UAE people would have full blown conversations on their phone. They wouldn’t try and hide it. They’d walk up and down the aisles talking and didn’t care when you gave them the full British “shhhh”. Not only that they would have full conversations in the middle of the film between themselves. No care for the world around them! It’s a pricey ticket to listen to someone else having a conversation over the serious plot twists.
People that judge.
Nobody knows the battles that we meet each day. No one knows what we are working through, what we are trying to beat and the ways in which we’re trying to succeed. There aren’t many people that know the full hand that the world has dealt to us. They don’t know the many ways in which we won. Social media often provides us with flurries of judgemental posts about people doing the school drop off in their pyjama bottoms, people that are shamed at the gym, people that are shamed for wearing leggings in public. Personally, I hate them. What do we know about the people behind that picture? So what If she’s wearing leggings? It’s her choice and for all you know, it might be all she has to wear, it might be the first time she’d been out in a while.
And the rest…
Last but certainly not least, I would rather be fat than be racist, homophobic, sexist, jealous, cruel – the list goes on. Each and every one of those things is far worse than carrying some extra weight.
So be kind to yourself. Love yourself. Love others around you. You are wonderful and so are they.
A Guest Blog from Samantha Wood
Samantha is a mother to two headstrong and active boys and a wife to one grumpy and hilarious husband. Being completely over run by men she chooses to bury herself in creative writing, baking and all things theatrical. Four years living in the UAE lead to a passion for travel, food and animal rescue, while opening the gates to the blogging world. You can read her latest blog at www.selflovesharelove.com or follow her on Instagram.