Body Image and the dreaded demon-EXERCISE!

Hannah Gaisford

I am a 24 year old working in Marketing. Passionate about enjoying life and getting the most out of it.  I run a small business giving coaching and spiritual advice.

I crane my neck at times when I look at the advertising and imagery that is out there promoting beauty products to woman. Are we really supposed to look that superbly photo shopped? Is this the image we would want to project onto our young women of the next generation? We could sing from the rooftops that we no longer strive to be stick figures but perhaps we have become so used to skinny, flawless women being the status quo in marketing we don’t think to speak out. I drive past some of these billboards and I wonder if these women who are starving themselves really think they are all the better for it. It is time for a call to-change and to learn some ways to help bring these changes about. I guess the thing that makes me ponder is, how can we possibly send out this idea to women that they should all look like this cookie cut image when, of course, all women are different. Individuality and diversity should be celebrated not discouraged.

I could seriously drown myself in a box of chocolate fish right now. I love all things sweet and I do sometimes have a tendency to comfort eat. Unfortunately for me, and for the rest of us, chocolate and goodies don’t sit so well on the hips, bum or thighs. So it’s a balancing act between a moment of joy and hours spent in the gym. As a personal preference I do tend to find curvier women more attractive. Love her or hate her I think Kim Kardashian has a beautiful figure. I have had my own struggles with my weight. I tend to fluctuate I can be anything from 70kg to 90kg. Earlier this year I escalated to probably the most overweight I have ever been 92 kg. It wasn’t until family took me aside and pointed out what a drastic difference had occurred and that I started working on it. I tend to find I lose weight fast without even trying either when I travel or I am really truly happy. When I feel fulfilled in my life I don’t feel the need to comfort in, and I am so busy with my passions I don’t feel the hunger I usually do when I am depressed.

When it comes to exercise I have learnt this year that it is something that can be enjoyed. It doesn’t have to be a chore. I especially love my workout classes at les mills, having others around me to amp me up and keep me motivated is a great way to get the spirits lifted. I always feel amazing after a class.   I also love Bikram yoga, there is a great little place near to where I live and for only $15 you get an hour long yoga class as well as an all you can eat dinner and dessert. The people are lovely and it’s a great environment to go and feel Zen. Dancing and Zumba can be another great outlet for getting the endorphins going and shedding the weight. I love dancing around the room with a bunch of girls to the latest hits and latin tracks like I would (embarrassingly) in my bedroom to my ipod. Exercise is different for everyone and it is all about the finding the outlet that best suits you.

I’m off out to a party tonight and I was going to be a lazy bones and take the car but I have decided I am going to walk as I won’t have an opportunity to exercise today otherwise. Outdoor air is so refreshing!

All this body image and exercise stuff being said, at the end of the day all that really matters is that you are ok with you and within yourself. Don’t let others tell you who you should or shouldn’t be. Know that your body is a temple and take care of it but don’t let barbie doll ideals make you believe that you have to look like Heidi Klum or Miranda Kerr. Curvy is beautiful. So is a smile!

 
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