feeling body neutral in a world of ‘# body positivity’

2020, fashion, mental health

Hello!

We all know that loving the body you live in when we see numerous other bodies of all shapes and sizes all over our social media every day isn’t easy – ‘is this what normal looks like?’, ‘should I look more like her?’, or even ‘everything would be easier if I looked like that’.

Whilst it’s easy to say we shouldn’t think that and we should love our body however it looks, it’s never that simple, is it?

Body positivity is fantastic but wow it can be super intimidating if you’re coming from a place of years of self hatred and insecurity!

A YouTuber and influencer I’ve been following for a few years, Lucy Moon, used the phrase ‘body neutral’ on her instagram once (probably a few times) and it made me feel immediately at peace – stay with me, I know it sounds melodramatic – it just made me feel like I wasn’t fighting for this ‘glorious’ positivity that I felt like I had to feel. It gave me a phrase that I could look to that meant I could work towards feeling more comfortable in my own skin without having to love and adore everything I’ve spent so long trying to change.

Feeling body neutral can be a step towards body positivity – maybe one day I’ll love my body for everything it is, but right now I don’t hate living in it and that’s enough. It takes time to break down those mental barriers and feeling body neutral is such an inclusive step towards that. But even being body neutral is enough. As long as you’re not hurting anybody – including yourself – you don’t have to love every part of you.

My relationship with my body has completely changed in the past couple of months – I went from hating every ounce of my body to the extent that in the past I’ve had to cover up mirrors because I just couldn’t bear my own reflection to being comfortable (most days!) in my own skin. Strangely, what changed that was wearing a motion capture suit in front of my masters class.

I’d thought about volunteering to be the motion capture subject ever since I found out we were doing motion capture – the thought of pirouetting and dancing around the studio and making something creative out of it was super fun. But I hadn’t connected that wearing the motion capture suit meant showing every single lump and bump I had to a group of people I’ve realistically only known for a few months.

I volunteered, the realisation hit me, I had a minor internal panic, then I did it anyway because I was having a ‘brave day’ and sometimes you have to push yourself to do things you don’t want to do. I went to put on the suit and I was mildly mortified and then when I walked into the room… no one cared! There were no side glances, no one was violently sick and my best gals even made me feel good.

Then we learnt all about the mocap software and I danced and pranced around the room with a power ranger esqe version of me on the screen and it was a super fun afternoon. Then I pushed myself even more and went on a night out that evening (for my anxiety, that was a big deal) – and I put on a playsuit I’ve had since for five years and it still fit (granted it was a different fit but I felt amazing!) and I wore my new docs and I felt on top of the world with my best mates by my side cheering me on.

Some weirdo jiggled my wobbly arm in a nightclub and I wasn’t phased? Mostly concerned as to why a human would touch another human they don’t know that way but I flipped him off and danced the night away!

And since then, I’ve felt exactly that – body neutral. There’s still the odd day where I’ll touch my belly fat and think I’d quite like to just slice it all away, but then I get over it and my boyfriend tells me he thinks I’m sexy and I’m like you know what? I don’t feel sexy but I am gosh darn adorable.

Body neutrality gave me the space to be okay with my body without loving or hating it and if you’re having a tough time right now – don’t push yourself to feel any particular way about your body. Try not to spend time overanalysing or scrutinising – where clothes that make you feel nice, surround yourself with people that make you feel fabulous and if following ‘body positive’ people online makes you feel pressure to love yourself when you don’t, click unfollow.

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

YouTube | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Advertisement

everyday things that help my mental health

2020, lifestyle, mental health

Hello!

Mental health is a topic that’s incredibly personal – what works for one person won’t necessarily work for anyone else, what some person doesn’t feel anxiety about can absolutely debilitate someone else and on top of all that there’s still that kind of taboo where people online (and offline, actually) will make comments about whether someone is actually depressed or not (regardless of how little they know about a person or situation).

And to be honest, my mental health isn’t great at the moment – the end of 2019 kicked my ass a little bit, 2020 is already proving challenging (a returned tooth infection and tonsillitis? Fantastic) but there are a few things that make me feel a bit calmer day to day and I thought I’d share because even if these don’t work for everyone, I love reading posts like this just in case I find a new idea or something to try.

  • properly taking my make-up off and washing my face at the end of the day

It’s not a face mask or anything but just cleaning my face and having that time in front of the mirror to look after my skin and feel just a little bit like I’m pampering myself, even when it’s just cleaning my face in the most basic way.

  • tidying and getting rid of clutter

Clutter and too much stuff makes me feel overwhelmed, hence why I got rid of like six bin bags of clothes in my last year at uni. Having a clear floor in the living room, making my bed with my nice Harry Potter pillows from Primark, maybe even emptying some bins around the house but we don’t want to push the boat out and get too productive.

I don’t know why but it just helps calm me down, maybe it’s like a claustrophobia thing like I just don’t feel so cramped in a space when it’s only got what we need and everything is in its place.

  • curling up under a blanket

Is there anything cosier when you’re feeling a bit sad and overwhelmed to tuck yourself into a little blanket burrito and watching YouTube or scrolling through Instagram or putting some cosy Netflix on.

Bonus recommendation that I can’t actually vouch for – I’ve heard that weighted blankets are meant to be really good for helping with anxiety. I looked at a website where they were only like £200 (note: sarcasm) so not going to be rushing to buy one soon, but I really want one.

However, I have tried and tested a slanket (a blanket with sleeves) – I’ve been telling my family I want one for probably the best part of 6 months to a year? My mum regifted me one that she got for Christmas and I love it.

  • ticking something off my to do list

When I’m not feeling it, being ‘productive’ isn’t something that I prioritise but getting just one thing done can feel really good. Whether it’s making a list in the first place of things you can actually, realistically do, maybe it’s adapting a list you already have to prioritise the things you can achieve on that day or maybe it’s looking at a list you have a just starting t the top because making a real decision is a bit much.

Even seeing just one tick on your list app, in a notebook, wherever, is better than a growing list of tasks.

And if your brain isn’t letting you get off the sofa, then taking that list and putting it in the bin (physically, digitally or metaphorically, whatever works!) counts.

  • take time to cook something great

Whether that comfort food is full of cheese and carbs, is full of vegetables or is covered in buttercream, taking time away from screens and ‘real life’ stresses to just cook is so therapeutic. I find this is a great time to spend with my partner – after long days we can catch up, we can listen to music and dance, it’s really nice quality time we spend together and I really hope that I can continue to prioritise it even after I go back to uni in a couple of weeks.

So that’s five things that immediately sprung to mind when I thought about this topic – obviously if you feel your low moods are severely impacting your life then please see a medical professional or talk to friends and family because it’s not something you have to go through alone.

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

YouTube | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

I’ve lost a stone! | unfitness update

2018, fitness, lifestyle, mental health

Hello!

I’m so glad I decided to document my fitness and weight loss journey because I’m really settling into it and I’m so glad I will have these posts, videos and other tracking methods to look back on and see how much I’m achieving! I’m feeling a rebrand is coming for this blog and fitness might be a much bigger part of what I write about as it’s now a much bigger part of my life but we’ll get to that!

[ f o o d   /   d i e t ]

I still feel a bit lost in terms of nutrition and not knowing anything about it but I feel like I’m figuring out what’s good in terms of feeling like I’m eating well. I never understood when people talked about eating bad food and feeling sluggish but lads I get it now. I went to Southampton a couple of weeks ago and it was all very rushed and we got food where we could and after two days of McDonalds I felt so tired and unmotivated. So that’s new!

But my routine is good – I aim for breakfast before 8am (have moved from Cheerios to off-brand Cornflakes), I’m loving having roasted vegetables and cous cous for lunch (sometimes I’ll put a couple of chopped sausages in there too) and dinner’s have been pretty consistently not awful. I’ve definitely noticed that when mum and I are both really busy a plan goes out the window and we do what we can and going into the New Year we’re all just going to get busier so it’s adapting and finding ways to cook healthy food quick, or using the slow cooker more.

[ e x e r c i s e   /   w o r k i n g   o u t ]

Working out is so good – since my last update I’ve finished the four week Nike Training App plan and it was challenging but I really enjoyed it and I’ve set it up to do another ‘Start Up Plan’ program! I think the workouts are really suitable for my level of fitness (or lack thereof) and for a free app, I’m so impressed by it. I’m also doing two tap dance classes a week and I’m generally doing more steps per day too – overall I’m doing some form of exercise about five days a week and I’m so pleased that I’ve realised that exercising that much doesn’t mean going to the gym or killing yourself for an hour every day.

It’s all so integrated into my life that it doesn’t feel force and I’m really enjoying it – it’s taking me years to get to this point but that’s persistence! It’s not perfect yet – sometimes I wake up and working out or going for a walk is the last thing I want to do but I really feel like I’m more in the ‘progress’ stage than the ‘work in’ stage.

[ c h a n g e s ]

A new thing worth mentioning is that I got the coil in November (every time I talk about it I feel like I’m being so TMI but talking about contraception or menstruation really shouldn’t be TMI and I’ve had so many wonderful open conversations with people since I’ve mentioned it so I’m continuing to talk about it!).

I might do a whole post or video all about my experience with it so far when I’ve had it for a bit longer, but now that my body is getting used to having hormone interference again, it’s pretty much settled down and I’ve got it all under control. There were little fluctuations but mostly it didn’t effect my weight loss so fingers crossed that I can maintain the downward line!

Regarding the mental health, now that my body’s had a few weeks to settle into these new hormones, I feel like I’ve discovered this new positive mindset which has really opened my eyes and helped me focus on better things – I spoke about it in my November Favourites video and that’s my favourite description. Figuring out that everything is hard and facing difficulties doesn’t mean I’m hard done by, that’s just how life is, has made facing the hard things and accepting that if I want something to change then I need to work for it so much easier and I feel so much more motivated and productive because of it.

In conclusion, I feel like I’m really settling into working out and making it a proper part of my life routine which has been a goal of mine for so long. Food is kind of an ongoing battle again but I’m fighting, contraception is difficult to adjust to but my new favourite motto is really getting me through – I’m going to make all of this work. Just watch me.

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

YouTube | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram