I’m asking this question because recently I have been challenged about this on social media myself, and I wanted to voice my opinion. I have put a lot of thought into writing this, and I hope that it is something that other women will be able to relate to.
I have watched the body-positivity movement, feminism, self-love and female empowerment take over the headlines in recent years – which is great news for us women right?! But with progress can come new pressure for some of us, especially those of us on a weight loss journey like I am! Sometimes I have almost felt guilty for being on a diet, because I have been made to feel like I can’t be body positive while trying to lose weight.
I personally feel like there can’t be many women on the planet who haven’t thought about slimming down at some point or other in their lives. Of course, I don’t believe as women we should feel as if being slimmer makes us more successful (our curves are beautiful!) but for me there is no doubt that when I feel more confident on the outside, I feel more confident on the inside too.
For me, planning healthy and nutritious meals that I can enjoy with my family at the beginning of the week makes me feel in control, and when I know I am making healthy choices my body positivity grows! I have heard from other women on weight loss journeys who have told me that they also find making positive healthy lifestyle changes is a huge mood and energy booster.
Sometimes when I scroll through social media I see body-positivity activists shaming other women for wanting to lose weight, but I think this is equally damaging, and I don’t believe those activists always take the time to understand why women start their weight loss journeys in the first place. I don’t want to lose weight to fit into a beauty standard, I want to lose weight because I have learnt to recognise my eating habits can be a result of my emotions and stresses. Instead of finding a positive way to unwind after a difficult day, like heading for a girl’s night out or to a yoga class or even talking through my problems with my husband I was dealing with my issues with food and alcohol. I would uncork a bottle of wine when I got home from work and pour a glass to unwind, then I might snack on some crisps while cooking dinner, followed by another glass of wine, and after dinner another glass wine and a bar of chocolate or two - which would lead me to heading to the cupboard to binge on more treats because after the wine all my restraint has gone out the window! I don’t think that I can be the only woman who falls into these negative coping habits, and the trouble with comfort eating is that it leads to a cycle of tackling emotional issues with food or alcohol.
Starting a weight loss journey can be about breaking a cycle of these habits, which means for me my weight-loss journey is an act of self-love. I find it feels amazing to cook a healthy meal from scratch or blast through a body pump session at the gym. And I can’t tell you how much my mood is boosted when I wake up feeling energised in the morning after a night of swapping the wine for a lime and soda? That doesn’t mean we don’t deserve some me time on the sofa with a big box of chocolates and a glass prosecco every now and again, for instance last night I treated myself to a Chinese takeaway. I’m not saying that I never eat the things I love; I am just trying to build a healthy relationship with food so that a treat doesn’t turn into a week of binging.
Curvy goddess Kelly Brook spoke out in the press recently after receiving backlash over her two stone weight loss, and I completely agree with what she had to say. When asked if she would like to lose any more weight Kelly told the press “I don’t want to say yes, but I think all women would probably feel better if they did. I was unhappy, and I think if you are unhappy at a certain size it’s fine to do something about it. I think even if I was a bit smaller, I’d be happy and if I was a bit bigger, I would be too. But my body does like being curvy and I feel it’s much more fashionable for people to be kinder to themselves, embrace their bodies and find an inner happiness and confidence.”
Kelly Brook is not the only celebrity who has spoken out about the positive effects of a healthy weight loss journey. Iconic businesswoman Michelle Mone, who is a big inspiration of mine, released an image of her 8 stone weight loss today. In an Instagram post Michelle explained: “Not only did I lose weight but I feel healthier, centred and more in control…My mind has never been so focused and it’s all down to feeding my brain with healthy energy and happiness!”.
I would feel amazing if I could wake up every single day and decide to feel body positive, and on some days I do, but if I am being honest there are days where I really don’t feel body positive at all. For me, and for other women who I have spoken to about this, body positivity just doesn’t happen overnight, let’s be realistic! I don’t think anybody should be made to feel bad for going on a weight loss journey if it is going to make them feel more body positive.
Our Perfect Dress Company range is designed specifically to slim and shape your figure because we know how difficult it can be to remain body-positive when fashion isn’t working hard enough to flatter our figures! There is nothing worse than working hard to build a loving relationship with your body, only to have an ill-designed and ill-fitting garment tear it down in an instant. When I tried on the competitor dresses in these pictures, which are the same size as the Perfect Dress Company dresses, my confidence was completely knocked - it just goes to show how some dresses on the market can leave women feeling worse about their bodies.
I spoke to Chloe Phillips who has been on a weight-loss journey with Slimming World for five years and has lost four stone. Chloe is one of our Perfect Dress Company ambassadors, and I chose her because I wanted different women who had been on different journeys with their bodies to represent our brand as these are the women who would realistically represent our audience. Chloe told me that: “I think it is important to be body positive every single day, even if you are on a journey to lose weight like I am. When you are on a weight-loss journey you should love yourself every day, because that way you will celebrate the improvements you see along the way. I like to focus on my current health and happiness first, and then look at how I can improve it. No matter where you are on your journey never forget how beautiful and strong you are!”. Doesn’t Chloe look stunning in our Perfect Dress Company Drop a Dress Size dress on the right!
Whether you want to diet or not, I think all women deserve to be body positive and feel self-confident! I would love to hear your thoughts on body positivity and weight loss, and if you can relate, so do let me know what you think!
Stay fabulous ladies!