I want you to know that this isn't your fault. All those thoughts about your body, all those things you hate about yourself - they didn't spring to life all by themselves. You live in a world that has taught you self hatred so well, and for that you hold no blame.
It's not your fault that this world made you believe that your beauty can be seen in a mirror alone. It's dazed you with a blur of magazine covers and makeover shows.
It's not your fault that this world tells you to value thin over everything, closing it's eyes to the people that sends to an early grave. Nobody told you that you don't exist to look like an empty image of photoshopped 'perfection'. Nobody told you don't exist to be looked at.
If I could, I'd take you away. I'd put you in a world that teaches the truth - that you exist as so much more than a body.
So when you're struggling, when those thoughts won't go away, when all the body positivity in the world won't quiet those voices. Just know that it isn't your fault.
And that somewhere, there's another world where you can see how beautiful you really are.
Somewhere in the world there is a young girl. She is full of light, full of potential, she is not yet torn down by the world. She likes to read her mother's magazines and imagine how glamorous womanhood will be.
Flicking through the pages she regularly finds adverts for diet pills and cosmetic surgery, and with each flick it trickles into her consciousness that women should only look one way. That women only exist so that they can look that one way. That women only exist so that they can be looked at by others.
She breaks. She shrinks. She diminishes herself until she fits into those magazine pages, or dies trying.
Years later, years of pain and torture and struggle later, she finds her freedom. She realises that she can wear what she wants, live how she wants, be who she wants. That she doesn't exist to emulate the impossible beauty standards that poisoned her mind so long ago.
Probaby the most bizarre part of this whole experience is when I get wonderful comments complimenting my tummy, sometimes even coveting it.
I've told you guys this before - my tummy has been my ultimate enemy since I can remember. From 5 years old praying that nobody could see it sticking out through my school dress, to 15 years old and hospitalised for my ED, sneaking to the bathroom to do crunches. I have pulled it, poked it, punched it, loathed it for so many years.
Thanks to body positivity, I actually believe your compliments. And not because in some shots my belly is slightly toned - I choose to love my tummy in all of these pictures.
The hard parts, the soft parts, the rolls and the jiggle. Every part I used to hate for not matching up to the impossible washboard stereotype the media pollutes our ideas of beauty with. I won't let them brainwash me any longer into thinking there's only one way to have a beautiful belly.
They won't sell me their subtle self hatred with cures of magic pills or wraps or potions. We don't need those lies. We all already have beautiful bellies. And we all deserve tummy love.
I gave my old scales a well deserved makeover. They've been lying to me for years about my health, my beauty and my worth as a person, time to set the record straight.
HEALTH. Did you know that the obesity crisis is entirely fabricated by greedy diet companies paying for sensationalist headlines? Did you know that countless studies have shown fitness to be the key to good health, regardless of weight? And countless others that the highest rates of longevity fall within the 'overweight' BMI category? Did you know that BMI was invented by a mathematician and never intended as an indicator of health? Or furthermore that the cut off points for the categories were arbitrarily decided upon by the International Obesity Task Force (advising the World Health Organization), whose two biggest funders at the time were pharmaceutical companies selling the only diet pills on the market? Actually not so arbitrary. Actually entirely crafted to make money from people with overweight or obese BMIs tricked into believing their BMIs reflected negatively on their health. Interesting, huh?
BEAUTY. We are programmed, brainwashed into believing in only one type of beauty. And that if we try hard enough we can achieve it. This lie takes our money, time, and self esteem and leaves us in a perpetual state of self hatred. It blinds us to the diverse beauty around us and within ourselves. Recognise the lie, take the blindfold off.
WORTH. We are all worth so much more than what our bodies look like. We are not ornaments made to look nice for other people. We are multi-dimensional, magical beings, our worth cannot be reduced to any number. We are more than that.
I highly recommend all of you giving your scales a makeover, you won't miss them. I promise, they will never tell you anything valuable about yourself. You are far too fabulous for them.
Let's talk about weight gain. I've done a hell of a lot of it in my time. During recovery I literally tripled my body weight in a year (shout out to Mars bars).
On the left is one of my first ever body positive posts on here, about 9 months ago. And it doesn't take much scrolling to find a plethora of pictures where I have quite a bit less jiggle than I do now.
And that doesn't bother me in the slightest.
Because the only thing that's changed in those two pictures is my weight. I'm still the same me. The same mind, the same heart, the same memories, the same dreams.
Nothing that counts as a valuable measure of my worth as a person has changed. None of us exist for the purpose of maintaining some perfect body dictated to us by ridiculous cultural standards.
Our worth does not decrease with the fluctuations of our weight. We are capable of such spectacular things - of kindness, love, creativity, intelligence and adventure. Of living!
And I'm no longer going to let the size I wear or the number I weigh stop me from doing just that. And feeling fabulous while I'm at it.
Sometimes people ask me why I choose body positivity. Why I promote self love and do what I do. There are lots of reasons, but chief among them is this: we have all been through enough.
We have hated ourselves enough. We have tortured ourselves enough. We have starved and sweated and pressured ourselves in the pursuit of that perfect body enough.
We have watched enough people die because they couldn't live in a body that they were made to believe wasn't good enough.
I'm not trading in any more pieces of myself for an empty promise of happiness hiding in my bathroom scales. We deserve better. Let's take our happiness now, just as we are. No more self loathing. No more comparing ourselves to photoshopped ideals. No more believing in the lies.