Be nice – a little chat about being body positive

This week there has been a bit of an outcry in UK media over ‘plus size’  ‘healthy weight’ and ‘obesity’ in part because of a documentary about the emergence of retailers embracing plus size clothes.

I have been really annoyed by one prominent (well she was on a prominent tv program) persons comments. This tv person said that she didn’t think that clothing in ‘extreme’ sizes should be available because it may encourage people to adopt unhealthy eating habits.

How can she possibly know how healthy someone is by the size of clothes they wear? It is lunacy. I have a friend who is a UK size 4 or US size 0. This tv person said, on the very popular (but not my taste) program, that clothes for people like my friend should not be available on the high street. Now this friend of mine is extremely fit – she does crazy long endurance cycling stuff, as far as I know she is healthy (but I can’t see inside of her body and it isn’t any of my business unless she chooses to discuss that with me). She is also small in stature. To me she looks fit and healthy and happy but regardless it is NOT my place to judge regardless of her size. Even if she were ill she should be able to buy clothes to wear, to have a choice, to dress in a way she chooses that makes her feel happy and confident.

Then there is me. I’m just shy of 5ft10. My family genetics dictate in part the shape I am. A large percentage of women in my family are tall with slightly broad shoulders and we are busty (we also have, as my sister loves to point out, flat bums). A few years ago I was very fit and healthy, I did a lot of walking, I didn’t eat much rubbish (I was a poor student and could not afford as much cake) and I felt I looked quite good. Now my BMI and my doctor at the time both stated that I was a very healthy weight at that time… but guess what I was still ‘plus size’. These shoulders and bosom will always be ‘plus size’ but according to that person on tv I’m ‘extreme’ and being able to buy clothes in my size ‘encourages me to be unhealthy’.

Wedding Me in 2011 feeling slim and happy and pretty. 

That is RUBBISH.

I have put on weight now. A combination of medications and a chronic headache problem and working in a new job that leaves me sedentary most of the time has had a bad effect on my waistline.

You know what though – being able to buy clothes in my ‘extreme’ size now does not encourage me to put on weight. In fact when I wear something I feel pretty in I have a confidence boost and then I feel happier and more able to go and do fun things. So in a way it encourages me to become more active. It doesn’t help that I’m tall and struggle to find clothes as it is – are tall people to be banished from the high street as well?

It doesn’t really matter though because regardless of our size other people should not feel able to pass judgements. What happened in educating our young women that our looks do not matter? That our abilities, our achievements, our equality and above all being kind to one another is far more important?

I’ve suffered from depression in the past and when I got better I realised that the huge emphasis I had placed on my looks was wrong. I was grateful for my body for being able to get me through a horrible illness. I’m grateful for my sturdy legs that take me wandering every weekend despite dodgy knees (not looks an actual working issue!). I’m grateful for my ample bosom that my friends dog seems to think is a cushion for her (small dog). I’m happy I have peely wally skin and freckles because if were all the same then it would be very boring indeed.

I’d like to point out once more SIZE does not equal HEALTH.

And if we go down that road we’ll need to ban chocolate, cheese, ice cream, butter, cream, alcohol, biscuits, cakes, crisps…. the list could go on.. as these are foods that could encourage people to be an ‘extreme’ size. We are adults we can make our own decisions. Education from a young age about a healthy lifestyle that includes good food and activity would be far better, combined of course with a body positive image because genetics, health and other issues will always be around.

This post on the great Fuller Figure Fuller Bust blog reaffirms this message.

11102606_10155481401805565_2984678306312707303_n On our recent London trip, on Harley Street funnily enough but NOT planning on any work, because I’m quite okay as I am. 

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This issue reminds me that I started this blog was to help me be a more Merry person. I may lose weight, I may not, but weight is not the key to feeling happy and merry. Leading a happy and healthy life filled with good people, fun times and yummy food is the way and size has very little to do with that. 

#wearethethey

Merry in The Ferry..

A not so Merry evening.

The Boyo is currently away in Galway ‘working’. He takes a group of undergraduate students there every year. Lucky him. I’ve been to Galway once for a day and I quite liked it, I’d definitely like to go back again one day but maybe not with 30 undergraduate students in tow.

Anyway this means I am currently home alone and relying on public transport. Which generally is fine, I’m spring cleaning some of our cupboards and I’m hoping to do some sewing at the weekend whilst I have some peace and quiet. I’m also watching silly films and reading books.  It isn’t so fine when he messages telling me he is having a lovely wander around sunny Galway and I’m stuck in a stuffy office but hey ho.

Last night I finished work at 5.45pm it was supposed to be 6pm but there were no students and my library is a greenhouse when the sun shines. I was warm, my head was fuzzy from the stuffy atmosphere, I was tired and I was hungry. I popped into the co-op on the way home to pick up a yoghurt and some potatoes and reduced chocolate eclairs. I lifted my keys out of my shopping bag and into my handbag so they would not be buried under the potatoes and handy for me to get out when I got home.

I toddled off down to my bus stop. I may have eaten a chocolate eclair at the bus stop, or maybe not, maybe I am well behaved after all. I got on the bus to my village and arrived home. It was now 6.45pm.

My keys were not in my handbag. I checked my shopping bag. Nope no sign of keys. I really hoped I had not left them on the bus as it goes through all sorts of villages and with the Boyo in Galway I really needed my keys to get in the house.

By this point my fuzzy head was now a full blown headache. I phoned the co-op. The manager cheerfully confirmed my keys were in his pocket. Great.

Luckily a bus was due at 6.58pm. I left my bag of shopping on my doorstep – one of the charms of village life is that you don’t really have to worry about doing this. Although I think some of my Guides may have figured out where I live. Luckily no-one stole my remaining eclair!

I got back to the town where I work, I collected my keys and then I had to wait 45 minutes for the next bus.

My headache was now definitely becoming migraine-esque. I needed food and bed. I got chips and a magazine as I had left my book at home that morning. I ate my chips. I somewhat enjoyed them but my head was getting in the way. I got my bus. It wasn’t one that went to my village but the next one along so I had a 15 minute walk back to my house. I was in my bed by 9pm.

I was woken up after 11pm by the Boyo skyping me. He seemed surprised when I fell asleep after answering the call. I then woke up again at 3am needing more medicine for my head.

This morning I really wanted to stay in bed.

I went to work but due to the mishaps of the night before I didn’t have my planned leftovers for lunch so I had to pop out.

I may have had a mint choc chip ice cream cone for my lunch…

Some days ice cream is needed.

Ice cream today

My migraines are definitely triggered by lack of sleep and stress. The stuffy atmosphere and late dinner don’t help. I use peppermint essential oil, a blend of essential oils called deep relief, lots of water and a dark room to treat my head. Sometimes sumatriptan is needed and sometimes like last night it doesn’t even work. 

Weekend Wandering – London Calling

I’ve had a pretty busy couple of months with various things, work, Girl Guides, and other things which have not really caused too much stress but when it gets round to Spring I am usually ready for a little break from work. Unfortunately the University spring break and the College spring break do not match up at all. The Boyo and I really wanted to have at least a weekend away together and by chance he managed to find reasonably priced flights from Edinburgh into London City and a Monday that we could both had off. So we flew down to London for Easter weekend. I have never really been to London – apparently I was at London Zoo when I was very small and I have a fuzzy vague recollection of some penguins and I have been to Heathrow airport many times but I had only ever seen the proper sights of London on the tv.

We did not make any proper plans – our aim for the weekend was really just to wander and to see some of the main sites. We had a really good weekend but boy were my feet and knees sore afterwards! I would not say that I have fallen in love with London but I would definitely be quite happy to visit again.

London 2015 482 Early flight

London 2015 486 St. Pauls

London 2015 503 uh-oh, they caught me.

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What’s the time?

London 2015 568 We went to see the longest running play in the world.

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On the way to find the Queen.

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The Boyo & I were upset the Queen was away. We had hoped to have a wee cup of tea and a scone with her.

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The Boyo requested this visit, I was not so enthused.

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We managed to get tickets to a sold out performance in the Royal Albert Hall. Fantastic seats and a really wonderful show.

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I wish I could go to Hogwarts.

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Street Art.

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Inside the British Library

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I was quite excited to see Tower Bridge.

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Discovered that not only that my sister is a Saint she also has her own docks.

We had a really great weekend, we had late night food in Chinatown, a wander around a very busy Camden Market, coffee in Hyde park, admired the houses in Kensington, a small look at the massive British Museum, and, stood on a glass walkway above the Thames on Tower Bridge. I have probably missed a few things out as we really crammed as much as we could in. It was a bit of a different type of weekend wandering compared to our usual stomps around the Scottish Countryside but once in a while a city break is jolly good fun.

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Ps. After we got back we discovered a big jewellery heist had taken place just a street away from where we were wandering on the Saturday. We never noticed a thing but I was saying to the Boyo at the time it could be a scene from a Die Hard movie with an unknown heist taking place by fake workmen because the offices etc were deserted due to it being a holiday weekend!