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Enough of the bloody “Bikini” body marketing!

So, we’re approaching fabulous weather, endless sunshine and being in an all-rounded happy-go-lucky mood aaaaaand here we go with the bombardment of getting in “bikini” mode. What if I’m a one-piece kinda gal?

I can’t help but notice that in the last few weeks, services of “coaches” and wellness gurus have all entailed the so-called “get your body back” marketing hype or look good for summer bla bla bla …. (that is exactly how this dietitian feels about your marketing slogan..bla.)

Being a dietitian who works with many that struggle with body negativity, including mothers (myself included!) who sometimes feel the need to look back at photos and wish for that pre-baby body back, I am angered and fed up with how the weight loss industry continues to market on the weak and vulnerable. Associating a season with how your body “should” look like is frankly BS. For those who tend to fall for the marketing hype, here are some suggestions to take on:

*Get protected! Avoid being impregnated by the amount of misinformation out there; question statements being made about health and nutrition, educate yourself and be critical! This also includes spotting the fad and turning away! How to spot a fad you say?

  • Your diet comes with a promise
  • Your diet guarantees ultra-fast weight loss
  • Your diet cuts out a food-group such as carbohydrates, gluten, dairy, wheat…etc
  • Your diet sounds too good to be true
  • Your diet comes with prescribed food products or supplements to purchase
  • Your diet is endorsed by a celebrity

*If a social media account you follow creates any feelings of disappointment, longing, guilt or comparison then they are no longer a source of motivation. D.E.L.E.T.E

*Set up a plan with goals that are REALISTIC. Being a mum of a 6 month old, I had a completely different vision of what things would be like. Butterflies and unicorns everywhere, running my business, eating picture-perfect meals and getting my yoga on while I nurse my perfect little bundle of joy who is on a miraculous sleep and feeding schedule. My reality was: hating breastfeeding, having a child with a bizarre aversion to sleep and bowel movements that do not take into consideration time of day, a business that was running yet created this sensation of being completely overwhelmed and losing focus and yoga? What yoga? My plan of action to get my life sorted was to keep my to-do list to a maximum of 3, to engage in some sort of workout twice a week (that actually included hiring a personal trainer who is also a women’s health physio – bonus!) and get my meal-prep game on! Slowly but surely, everything has fallen into place and the feeling of being a failure simply vanished! Failure could be a harsh word but so many of my clients associate not living up to a certain expectation that they’ve created in their head as failure. Is it because of what society leads us to believe? 6 months on, and my plan for now is to build on my successes – boosting my workout to 3 days a week and not because I long for “that body” but to work towards a body that is unique to this stage in my life. I also accept that there will be days where my nutrition goes out the window and there will be others where choice, colour, structure and time are on my side. That is when I plan to maximise every meal to its full nourishment-potential!

*Practice body positivity. Now this is something that comes with time and requires being in full control of attitude and thoughts about your body. Getting a little support from a professional doesn’t hurt either! Body positivity to me means working with my body rather than against it and accepting that my lady lumps, bumps and humps (and everything in between)  will change depending on where life takes me! My worth has nothing to do with my body. Connie Sobczak is the co-founder of thebodypositive.org and her answer on how to become body positive resonated with me:

To be body positive, it is important to assume responsibility for figuring out what your body needs. In many ways, this feels harder than having an external “expert” voice tell you what to eat and how to move. But playing with the word “responsibility” makes it much less intimidating: response ability simply becomes the ability to respond to the stimuli present. In this case it is the ability to respond to sensations of hunger or fullness and the need for movement or rest. Honour the life and circumstances that make it difficult at times to take care of yourself the way you would like and simply do the best you can in the moment. Be willing to trust your ability to know what feels good for your unique body. Learn from trial and error, and be kind to yourself when you make mistakes.

And so I end this post with my favourite meme ….

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