A reminder of my stance on weight loss, dieting and my own body and health.
Those of you who follow me on Instagram will have probably seen my very long, emotional rant via my stories on Saturday night. Following a nasty comment from a stranger who followed me, I wanted to make something abundantly clear. However, since then, it appears that *some* people are even more confused about my content and the messages I share via my social media platforms, and so I wanted to make my stance on some subjects abundantly clear.
Let’s start at the beginning (a very good place to start…) when someone slid into my DM’s to try and defend the ‘benefits’ of Slimming World to me. Clearly this person hadn’t followed me for very long as I have repeatedly shared my feelings regarding Slimming World and similar diet groups, and have even written about them on my blog. However, I tolerated the conversation – she asked me reasonable questions, such as why was I so against it and I gave reasonable answers. I was actually quite thrilled I was able to have a civil conversation with someone on a topic we disagreed on – until she hit me with this comment:
“you speak about the doctor’s visit but continue to do not much about it…”
I honestly couldn’t believe my eyes when I read the comment in front of me. I couldn’t believe someone would actually dare comment on my weight, my health, my personal experience in such a nasty and spiteful way?
And then I remembered that this was Instagram and of course people feel entitled to comment on every aspect of your life in whichever way they choose. Sigh.
For those who don’t already know, on New Year’s Eve I had a doctor’s appointment to receive my next set of pills. However, they weighed me and in so many words basically told me I was too fat to continue with the pill I was on, leaving me with not much choice as to what else I could use and giving me a major health warning. They told me I was at risk of getting clots – serious clots that could even kill me. It was scary but it was the kick up the backside I needed to get serious about my health again.
Since then, I have been very open about my journey on social media. I participated in RED January which meant exercising every single day for January to raise money for Mind, the mental health charity. I also completed Dry January. In February, I completed the #Dechox to raise money for The British Heart Foundation, which meant giving up chocolate and sweets for the whole of February. I walk 10,000 steps almost every single day and have done since January 1st and I have 2-3 meat free days a week too. All of this is to contribute to my health.
More bizarre still is that I have been very open about all of this on Instagram, Twitter and so on and it’s not been kept a secret. I have even made a point of sharing progress pictures on Instagram… so for someone to sit there and say I “continue to do not much about it” is not only fucking rude but also downright baffling.
Sorry, what do you suppose I should be doing? Let me guess – Slimming World, like you?
Fuck. Off. In the nicest possible way, fuck off.
When I share my life on the internet, it’s to help others. And the great thing is, I know it does because more people than I can even count message me regularly to tell me how the work I’m putting in is helping them in their own life – and that’s amazing. That’s all I want to do.
When I post about my weight loss journey, my health, my body – I’m not putting it out there to receive weight loss or diet advice. I’m not there to have programmes like Weight Watchers, Slimming World, the Keto diet or anything else pushed on me. I’m already happy with what I’m doing, and I’m sharing my method and my way of doing things so I can show other people that actually, you don’t need to live off salad and chicken to live a healthy, happy life. That you don’t need to be skinny to have a healthy, happy life.
Speaking of which…
In my ‘rant’, I mentioned how I eat pizza and crisps and whatever else whilst ‘losing weight’, and this appeared to come under some criticism because I claimed that diets don’t work and you should eat junk food (that’s not even remotely what I said, but hey, people will choose what they want to take from your message!)
I stand by my point that diets don’t work. They’re not sustainable in the long run, they make people unhappy and studies have actually shown that a huge proportion of people who diet end up 5% fatter after the diet. That’s why it has to be a lifestyle instead. You should eat in moderation (if you want to – if you don’t, eat what you like!) and have a varied diet with food from all food groups. You should exercise a couple of times a week, be that a gym session, a run or just a walk in the park. If you’re actively looking to lose weight, you need to be in a calorie deficit. If you’re not, you just need to move in relation to how much you eat. If you don’t care, just eat what you want and move when you want.
A lot of people who are slimmer and fitter than me seem to think that because I’m overweight and am able to enjoy a pizza without immediately rushing to the gym to burn it off, I don’t have a clue what I’m talking about – but I do. My mum is a personal trainer and nutritionist and my step-mum is also a personal trainer. I have enough info from the both of them to know that diets don’t work, that cutting out entire food groups won’t work, that diet groups like Slimming World and Keto don’t work. I also follow other PT’s like James Smith and Aaron Caton, who all preach exactly the same message. And they’re not alone.
Yes you have to be in a calorie deficit to lose weight. I’m not disputing that. But if I hadn’t had my health warning from the doctor, I wouldn’t even be trying to lose weight – and weight loss is not a message I try and push. The message that I push is that I’m happy and I eat a pizza without caring but also work out a couple of times a week and walk 70,000+ steps most weeks too. My message is about balance and about being happy.
I’m not preaching weight loss or fitness. I’m trying to get people to understand that they don’t need to lose weight if they genuinely don’t want to. I’m trying to get people to embrace their bodies and understand they have a right to live their life and be respected exactly as they are. I’m trying to reinforce the idea in peoples head that skinny does not equal happy.
So whilst people who are more into fitness than I am might think my message about eating pizza and “junk food” and working out a few times a week was ‘wrong’, actually, it was totally right for the message I’m trying to push – that life is about balance and no strict diet is maintainable in the long run.
And if you’re thinking of coming into my DM’s to criticise my health, my own journey, my body or – worse still – promote a diet to me, think again. You’re wasting your own time and energy because I really couldn’t care less.
Hopefully that’s straightened out a few of those fuzzy blurred lines and people will now be clear on exactly where I stand. If that means you’ve changed your opinion of me and want to unfollow me, that’s fine! No one should follow someone who doesn’t interest them; it’s just a waste of time! Similarly, if you want to go and write nasty things about me on social media, which I’ve seen some people do, that’s also fine – you do you boo, but again, you’re only wasting your own time.
Remember, what you put into the world is what you get back.