I’ve never really thrown my back into dieting. That’s not to say I haven’t tried “no carbs after 11am” or “if it’s white, don’t eat it” all in the name of losing weight. And it’s true that in my younger years, I have set up camp, boiled the kettle, logged into Netflix and taken up residence in hating my body, but I’m pretty sure I’ve never fully committed to only eating a certain way to look a certain way.
I had emergency open heart surgery at 25 and after eight weeks of crazy, full-on drugs I did a no sugar, no dairy, no gluten, no taste cleanse, coupled with a few colonics to try and rid myself of the constipating drugs that had taken residence within me. Nice. At the time I felt like crap; not only did I quit these food groups but I also nearly quit #hothusband, my job, my dog and my life.
I knew, however, it was what was needed and after what felt like a 3 MILLION week cleanse, I felt better. I don’t think I looked much different but I felt different. Healthy.
And herein lies the problem. Feeling healthy and looking good seem to be getting confused with each other.
Body shaming and healthy living aren’t The Veronicas. They aren’t identical twins with a few cute and quirky differences. Instead, one is the mean football guy who drives around in his parents’ Range Rover, getting all the ladies and lots of money for bullying people into liking him and the other is the quiet guy, the guy who hangs out in the drama room devising different ways to make people laugh and working two jobs after school to help out his parents. They are different, and body shaming needs to stop dressing itself up in healthy living’s wardrobe.
There is a massive industry of model-turned-bloggers. People, gorgeous people, genetically blessed people, privileged and, at times, unhealthy people, who are all of a sudden “experts”. Now, one might be forgiven for thinking that they are experts on how to tackle a catwalk or which angle one should hold their head for the perfect photo but, my faithful optimistic friends, they aren’t. Instead, they are giving us advice on our health and how we should, or more to the point, shouldn’t look.
We are told that it’s exciting when a supermodel is guest editor of a women’s magazine weighing in (pardon the pun) on what we should be eating to get our body beach-ready and giving us five quick tips to get a box gap.
Now let me put my thang down, flip it and reverse it.
Imagine I finish this column, close my computer, strip off my clothes and make my way straight to New York to open for the Victoria’s Secret show. Well, at the very least, I’d be laughed off the catwalk and would no doubt make headlines being called brave (to my face) or gross (behind my back).
It’s not brave, it’s normal. And normal is the best, chuck out the rest.
I have been asked in a number of interviews how I’m going to get my body into shape for summer. To which I respond, “what shape are you referring to? I’m working on the wobbly pear shape at the moment and am quite happy with my progress.” Crickets.
There is so much talk about what we should and shouldn’t look like and very little on how we are feeling. So instead of adding to the already noisy conversation with an Instaquote of advice, I’m just going to get on with it, and if you need me I’ll be in the drama room writing some jokes that won’t change the world but will hopefully make you feel like a laugh.