Monday, 26 November 2012

Sunday 10: What the fashion industry could do to make our lives easier!

So while I do love fashion, there are many things that really do annoy me sometimes, and it goes beyond the fact that it's all so expensive here in Australia! These are those things!

10) Stop bringing back things from the 80s. Everyone says they have such bad fashion memories from the 80s, such bad hair, bad acid wash denim, etc, etc, and this includes designers and fashion experts. So why are you bringing it back?! Leave the 80s in the 80s people.

9) Stop telling us we can't put things in the dryer. Jigs up, we've all put something in that wasn't supposed to go in and it was fine 9/10 times. 

8) Stop trying to make androgyny cool. It's not. It's never going to be, so move on. We live in an age where we as women need to be proud of our bodies, not try and make them look like they cold pass for either male or female. 

7) Nobody likes ironing. Nobody likes to iron, and we know there are plenty of fabrics out there that don't require ironing. We're also pretty sure you could develop all of the others to follow suit!

6)  Stop bringing in styles that are literally flattering on nobody, then telling us all we must have it. The prime example of this was "the sack dress" that was hot to trot in the mid-late 2000s. If you were flat chested it made you look more flat chested, if you had big ta-tas it made you look like you were wearing a circus tent, and in general, it gave nobody anywhere any shape without the addition of a waist belt, yet was constantly designed to be worn without the belt. Another similar look is high waisted "mum" jeans, that we are seeing coming in again this season. The number of people that these flatter is so tiny that I don't even know how they're turning a profit on it. There is a gorgeous would be supermodel lady that regularly goes to the same coffee shop as me and my friends, and she is built like Kate Moss and she can't even pull off those pants. 

5) Market appropriate collections to appropriate age groups. Mid-riff tops for 10 year olds are not cool! Mid-riff tops for 18 year olds (while tacky) are at least fairly age appropriate. Marketing the same clothes to women in between the ages of 40-60 as you would to those aged 65-85 is also not appropriate. It's insulting. 

4) Realise that humans come in all sizes and that includes their height. Be you male or female, you may or may not have encountered the problem of pants being too long or too short, or sleeves that don't quite reach and vice verser. The fashion industry needs to realise that people are just as varying in height as they are in general shape and size. The US has this fairly well covered with jeans available in many different cuts, sizes, and leg lengths. In Australia, the leg lengths are there but very generic. A short leg on me is too short, but regular is too long, and not just by a fraction, to the point that to take them up would lose the cut. It's not a big ask. This goes for shape wear as well.

3) See that big breasted women deserve pretty bras too, and not all of them are a size 14+. I have a few friends who are very well endowed in the boob department, and a common complaint they have is that the only bra's they can get are ugly nanna bras. For some, who are small in size but big in boob, they find simply finding any bra difficult. Big breasted women need bras more than any of us, so why do they struggle so much to find something that fits both their size, age group, and personality? There is a clear hole in the market so why hasn't someone outside the industry of party plans filled it yet? 

2) Design collections intended for the high street with the average size woman in mind. So many collections in department stores and alike really do not cater for the average size woman. Be it the cuts, fabric, or even just the size availability, I am seeing less and less of it in this age where we are supposedly glorifying the "real woman." I wanted to buy a Cue dress from Myer here and I needed a 14 but they only stock sizes 6-12, even though Cue make them up to a 16. Why? When the average Australian woman IS a size 14, do they not provide for her? On top of all of thise you find things that are available in bigger sizes that have no business being available in that size because either a) they are the things from number 9 and flatter nobody, or b) nobody in their right mind who was that size would wear it anyway. Enough is enough. 

1) Introduce uniformed sizing. I find it interesting that in some stores I'm a size 10, and in others I'm a 16. Some places I'm an XS, and others an XL. Why is there not a uniformed size for women? Men are lucky, its all inches/centimetres, an 87 is an 87 no matter where you go, and it almost seems like even the shirt sizes of S,M,L are all the same across the board too, but not for us ladies. As a mother who lugs a double pram wherever I go, I often don't get time to try anything on, or I can't fit my pram in the change room to do it anyway. If I could go into a store, and buy a skirt in the right cut for me, just by looking at the tag and knowing it would be the right size, my life would be SO much easier.

Some of them are trivial but annoy me to the ends of the earth, others are a real issue, but I wish someone would address them all anyway!


Wednesday, 21 November 2012

What every military family wants civilians to understand

Last night I posted a link up to an incredibly honest and important blog post entitled "Dear Civilians: What Every Military Wife Wants You To Know." It is however written from an American military perspective, and while they have it harder than us in the aspects of open ended deployment, Australian military families do it just as tough because we don't get most of the perks people think we do.

As a military spouse, I constantly feel like I don't belong. I feel that I am somehow neither a married or single parent. I feel that I have no real home, and I can't get attached to this house that I bought my babies home to because I will have to leave it all too soon. I don't get to put height markers on doors, or paint my childrens' bedroom. When I was pregnant I didn't get to nest like everyone else. I don't get to chose where I live. My job interviews get wrapped up as soon as the perspective employer finds out what my husband does for a living. I am scared to put down roots anywhere, because I know that at any point I need to be able to dig them up and move, and pretend that it's all okay.

I'm like a water lily, beautiful and strong on the surface, carrying the weight of many frogs on my leaves, and the rain gliding off me like it's nothing, but underneath I am a mess of tangled, unanchored roots, reaching down into the depths longing for the substrate, and constantly floating along wondering when the water will get shallow enough for me to finally reach.

So here are some additions to the article from an Australian military perspective on not only deployments, but how different our life really is to yours. These things are on top of the struggles with employment, babysitting, and support that spouses and families deal with.

"Bush Trips"

Also known as "going out bush" "going out field" or "going on exercise", this is basically when the serving member goes off for a number of days, weeks, sometimes even months, to the middle of nowhere for a simulated training exercise. For most of us, this means days, weeks, and for the very unlucky, months, of absolutely 100% no contact at all. Sometimes you might get a lucky sneaky sat phone call, but most of the time you're on your own. The other wonderful thing about these trips is that the dates are never set in stone, and even if the unit tells you they are, a seasoned military wife knows they're lying (because they can't even be sure the higher ups wont change their minds), and to expect their partner home when he's home. I have gone 6 and a half weeks at the longest without hearing hide nor hair from my husband, looking after teething twin terrors, trying to keep the house clean, keep us all fed, fixing broken appliances, and generally feeling trapped by my own circumstances, and longing for Thursday coffee walks so I can have another adult to talk to.

For my friend Sian who is currently pregnant, her husband is almost never there for ultrasounds, antenatal classes, and test results. She is constantly told "he will be home tomorrow" but tomorrow means Tuesday next week when today is Wednesday, and so often Tuesday comes, and Tuesday goes and she is still alone and waiting.

A bush trip is like a mini deployment. For me, my husband's job is just as dangerous on home turf as it is in the Middle East, if not more so because they actually fire the guns here more often. That call to say something has gone wrong is just as real with a bush trip as it is with a deployment, the only saving grace is that the time frame passes much quicker.

You would think in the information age they could send out a text message with 24 hours notice of when they are due home, but apparently even so much as a "Private Smith is due to return from exercise in the next 24 hours" is too much to ask.

Things not to ask/say to an ADF spouse even during a bush trip include: "When is he due back?", "He's away again?", "At least it's not the Middle East", and "My partner went on a business trip to Sydney for 3 weeks once, I know how you feel."


People think we get free housing, free medical, great pay, and a whole bunch of other ridiculous free things. Not true.

First of all, we do get reduced rent but we still have to pay for our housing. We also get to deal with DHA, who are far from competent at their job although it isn't entirely their fault. Would you like to have a property manager who was managing half of the houses in town? Millions of houses across the country? They are going to slip up constantly just because it's such a huge job. It took me 8 months to fix a hole in our roof that had been there for 12 months already, and took one roof tile and approximately 10min to fix. Also unlike regular property management companies who you can threaten to sue if they don't hold up their end of the bargain, DHA is a federally run company and as such is protected by the crown, meaning we can't touch them. We also pay for much more water than we use as it is taken out of our pay, not billed to us like electricity.

Second, we don't get free medical. We haven't done for many years now. The serving member gets free medical treatment, however they cannot simply request to see a physiotherapist or chiropractor like the rest of us without a referral from the doctor, who can refuse to give such a referral, in which case they have to pay like everyone else. My husband was told by the orthopedic surgeon he was referred to that a knee reconstruction would be the best solution, but the military doctors said to make it cheaper, so he had an arthroscopy and lateral release instead, and less than 12 months later the problem was right back to square one. We do have access to Defence Health which is a private health insurance fund, but we have to pay for our health insurance just like the rest of you, and it does not come cheap. 

Thirdly, most defence members do not get paid very well. My husband is lucky to clear $50Kpa and we have to support 4 people on that because there is no support here to help me find a job. Some jobs in the military get paid better than others, and some people, like tradies (plumbers, electricians, mechanics) take side jobs to make extra money. To me, good pay is $70Kpa, and great pay is over $100Kpa. There are very, very, few military members who are on great pay, and they worked long and hard for years, perhaps even decades to get there, so don't let the television ads fool you. The only time the pay is "great" is on deployment, and it's hazard pay all the way. Oh, and if he gets injured and comes home early, you start getting taxed on an income you estimated you wouldn't have been, so you end up in trouble with Centrelink, and end up sometimes tens of thousands of dollars out of pocket.

We do get 10% off at JB HiFi, and Athletes Foot, and a few other retailers about town, but really, so do seniors so you'll all get that discount too one day.

Things not to say regarding entitlements: "Yeah but medical is all free for you guys so what do you care anyway?" "Can't he get that done through work?" "What do you mean your rent has gone up?"

So read the above blog I linked to, remember what I've just told you, and don't believe the things you see on Army Wives, or rumours you hear, or stories that your grandparents even tell you because things have changed since the 1940s.


Tuesday, 20 November 2012

TUBESDAY: A conversation with a man about women

I had a chat to my brother-from-another-mother Cyprian about what he thinks as a bloke, of the way women see themselves. Turns out that men and women see women very differently! Normally I am a very logical person, but it would appear it really goes out the window when it comes to my body image. So what pearls of wisdom did Cyp have for me? Well they were as pearly as anyone could expect from a bloke but that doesn't mean they aren't important!

So there you have it! There's someone in there worth loving, so dig a little deeper and learn to love them too. You will think you're just a beautiful as everyone else does when you do.

As also promised, here is the link to Facebook where you can follow the BID:

Another thing that I forgot to mention in the video is the new tab that you will all soon see at the top of the page. I have decided to share some of my good food tude meals - not 12WBT ones, that would be very naughty of me! - but some that I've made up myself that are tasty and good for you at the same time!


Monday, 19 November 2012

Learning positive "food tude" I: The cognitive phase

Food, food, glorious food! I love food, obviously, I didn't become overweight by hating food! I have the attitude towards food that we need to eat to sustain life, so why not enjoy it! This has gotten me into trouble though, which is why I joined the 12WBT, to learn to change my "food 'tude" and make it a bit healthier.

Having good food tude is something the 12WBT has taught me, though I am still mastering the skill. Athletes and coaches are all familiar with the concept of the three phases of skill learning: cognitive, associative, and autonomous. In physical education and skill training, we apply these to a gross or fine motor skill, but they can also be applied to a thought process, or an attitude towards a particular activity. Today I'll be addressing the first phase of learning, the cognitive phase.

Exhibit A: A common phase one mistake in learning good
food tude!
The cognitive understanding phase (as it is fully known), is the first stage in which you find yourself having to concentrate and contemplate every particular part of the skill. As an example, say you are learning to juggle. In the cognitive phase of learning to juggle, you will find yourself actively thinking about what direction to toss the ball, with which hand, where you need to put the catching hand, and how long you have to do all of that. It's the phase where it's all a bit daunting and sometimes frustrating, and you'll probably struggle more often than not, and even make more than a few mistakes, but that's normal! The mistake I made far more often that I'm really willing to admit was, like our friend in the burger meme, rewarding myself with bad food for doing good things. Word to the wise: don't do that.

So how does this apply to new attitudes? Well it's no different to learning a physical skill. In the first few weeks of a new health or lifestyle regime, you will find yourself thinking about everything that goes in your mouth, you will find yourself needing to plan out your meals, track your eating, and actively stop yourself from making mistakes in the form of bad food choices.

In the first few weeks of my first round of 12WBT, I was obsessed with food and what was going in my mouth. I was obsessed with logging my calories in My Fitness Pal, and hitting that 500cal/day exercise goal. I would actively have to fight my 'inner teenager' on a daily basis to stop myself from turning into McDonald's or not grabbing that iced coffee from the dairy aisle in Coles. I would also have to force myself to stop at one serve, or stick to the allocated serving size, and of course to stop eating once I had spent all my daily calories. My obsession and inner struggles then began to result in, well, results! This meant my understanding of the process and how it was working had increased, and with practice I found myself needing to think less about the tiny little details of each and every meal, and not having to fight so hard, then before I knew it I found myself in phase 2.

The cognitive phase is imperative in learning, not only so you can learn the motions, but also so you can get a proper understanding of why they work to put the overall skill together, and why the skill is worth learning. Speeding through this first phase of learning is an easy way to shoot yourself in the foot, and while it may seem to take forever for some, one day you will wake up and move onto phase 2 without even realising, and it will make the entire journey that much easier. 

So if you're in phase one at the moment, be patient and give it time, and you will be grateful to yourself in the end. Then you'll be ready for phase two, which I'll discuss next week!

To be continued!


Sunday, 18 November 2012

Sunday 10: Style Icons of the Moment

Everyone has their style icons. People they look to for the latest trends, and stars who maybe have the same body shape as us who we can look to for tips to flatter our frame.

These are my top 10 style icons of the moment!

10) Jennifer Lawrence. A girl who wears what she wants and works it! Jennifer always has stunning make-up, so she is one of my make up go to girls. She also goes from soft looks to edgy in the blink of an eye and isn't afraid to take risks with her look - plus she's just so freaking humble and cute!

9) Zooey Deschanel. The queen of quirky geek chic. I love how everything she throws on looks so effortless and cute, and she makes being a nerd cool which wins her big points in my book! She does bold colours really, really well too and seeing as it's such a huge trend this summer she is one to watch.

8) Sofia Vergara. I give Sofia props for knowing what works and not being afraid to stick with it! She cops some flack for seeming to just wear the same cut in different colours but if it ain't broke, don't fix it!

7) Audrey Hepburn. Audrey is always in my top 10, regardless of current trends, or who else is around.  I love the way she would put together the cutest outfits, and how I can look at things she wore in the 60s and still see how I could wear that now. Her mastery of tailoring and clean cut lines is my favourite thing about her style, and the easy way she bought it all together. She's my forever icon. 

6) Kelly Osbourne. As host of E! show Fashion Police, Kelly has to be on the ball with the latest trends, but she always brings a quirky twist to it, and isn't afraid to admit she shops at the mall like the rest of us! She has a great knack for making sure all her garments flatter her shape and are tailored properly. I also admire how hard she has worked for the body that she has, and she is not only a fashion inspiration to me, but also an inspiration when it comes to my weight loss journey and bettering my health.

5) Khloe Kardashian Odom. So you may be wondering why just Khloe, why not Kim and Kourtney too? The thing I love about Khloe is that she is a tall curvy girl who doesn't let her height stop her from looking fabulous. So many tall girls shy away from great heels because it will make them look too tall - newsflash, you're tall anyway so just go with it! Or they shy away from bright colours thinking it will draw too much attention, or make them look bigger, but she goes there with no fear, and looks great every time. She also knows what colours and cuts suit her and flatter her shape, unlike Kim and Kourtney who seem to forget that things like thigh high boots, capes, and swamping big boobs in fabric are not going to do us shorties any favours, so bravo Mrs. Odom!

4) Emma Stone. I could not love this girl's style more if I tried! I look to Emma because we have the same colouring, so in particular for colour palettes for both clothing and make up, I have a look at her latest look and test it out on myself! We also have a similar face shape, so when it comes to hair cut styles she's always in my top 3 choices.

3) Nicole Richie. As a designer herself she has a lot of fashion know how, but I look to her for her use of texture and colour, as well as when I want a simple chic look. Nicole is not afraid to push boundaries when it comes to colour, and different textures like lace, velvet, and leather, and she is always at the forefront of the next big thing in fashion. 

2) Christina Hendricks. This woman knows how to work her body right! With boobs like that you know it's not easy, but by channelling her inner pin-up girl, she never disappoints. The epitome of sex kitten and not afraid to be sexy, Christina does her thing, and dresses for her body. Even if it's not bang on trend, she makes it look amazing anyway and that is why I love her, and look up to her for that courage to go against the grain when I need to.

1) Blake Lively. Hands down the most fashionable young woman in Hollywood right now. I don't think there is anything this girl can do wrong. She has a hand in everything she wears, including all of the costumes for her character on Gossip Girl, and does not have a stylist! She knows what works, she knows what shoes go with what dress and what hair goes with which cut - maybe it's all lessons from her pal Karl Lagerfeld I don't know, but whatever "it" is, she has it. My absolute favourite thing about her though? She has cellulite, and wears her cute swimsuits anyway, not giving a rats who sees it - and that includes hubby Ryan Reynolds! Ladies, if he doesn't care about a little cellulite, chances are your bloke won't either. Embrace your wobbly bits, everyone has some somewhere!

So there you have it! My top 10 of the moment. Some have been on this list for years, others only a few months, but they all have given me inspiration in some way to change my look, or do what I need to do to look great.

Next week: 10 ways the fashion industry could make our lives easier!


Saturday, 17 November 2012

Congratulations Sailor Vee!

So the results are in and the wonderful Bella (a.k.a. Sailor Vee) is the Round 3 blogger champion! For anyone who hasn't been to my links page and found their way to her blog, please do take the time to pop by and read it. It is so wonderfully witty, and funny, and makes me think "Oh my god I do that too!" or similar things and it always makes me smile. Her writing style is so effortless and easy to read and you will find yourselves in stitches I promise you, so please pop over to Sailor Vee and do yourself a favour and have a read!

Of course I would have loved to win, but I was just humbled and honoured to be nominated in such good company. All of the Round 3 blogger nominees deserve a huge pat on the back for keeping up blogging and putting it all out there for the world to see this round. I hope whether or not we are doing Round 4, we all keep blogging, and keep sharing, because I think the more everyone shares their ups and downs, their wins, their losses, and their hang ups and insecurities, we can change the way people think, change society's thoughts on health and body image, and maybe even change lives, so keep blogging everybody!

Once again, huge congratulations Bella, well deserved indeed! And everyone check out Bella's blog RIGHT HERE!


Thursday, 15 November 2012

"Curvy" and plus-sized are two VERY different things!

So this is something that pisses me off beyond belief - the notion that 'curvy' and being 'plus sized' are synonymous. I am telling you right now they are NOT.

Team Curvy: Kardashian and Hendricks

Kim Kardashian is curvy. Kim Kardashian is not plus sized or overweight. Oprah is curvy. Oprah is plus sized, and has been overweight and healthy weight, retaining her curves regardless of her size. Christina Hendricks is curvy, but clearly a bigger size than Kimmie K yet smaller than Queen O, but they are all still curvy. You see what I'm saying?

"Curvy" is having a bust and hips that measure significantly bigger than your waist, and which are obviously larger than your waist to look at. "Curvy" is a shape. Not a size, or a category for anyone who doesn't fall under the category of "super model." It is also independent of age, Helen Mirren at age 63 has rocking curves that I will never have, but that is how she was made.

Brick/Apple shaped Kesha just doesn't
have the same shape as hourglass Kim.

Conversely, I am plus sized, but my hips are, have been, and always will be, smaller than my waist. I am not curvy, but I am plus-sized...for now. Plus sized or not, I have never been curvy, I never will be curvy, it's just not the shape of cookie cutter the universe used when it cut me from the dough.

Kesha is not curvy, when she's thin or not, she's just not curvy because that's not her shape. Just like me. Shailene Woodley is a gorgeous slim girl, but she's also got that athletic build that just doesn't lend itself to curves. Not being curvy doesn't mean we don't have a waist, it just means it's only very slight when compared to our more hourglassy friends.

My point is that "curvy" should not be used as a nice way of saying someone is overweight or plus sized because not everyone who is overweight or plus sized is curvy, and vice verser. How would you feel if you were Blake Lively with your cute little waist and bountiful hips, getting lumped in with a pre-weight loss Dawn French? Wouldn't feel good would it?

So don't do it. Curvy is not another word for plus sized, or overweight, or fat. It means curvy, it is a shape, and a completely separate concept!


Wednesday, 14 November 2012

12WBT Round 3 2012 is done! But what about my Round 4 commitments?

So today is of course our final weigh in for Round 3 of the Michelle Bridges 12WBT and what a transformation it has been!

  • I have lost 40.6 centimetres - for good outside of future pregnancies if I have any say in the matter - and 17.9 of them were off my waistline alone!
  • I have lost 10% of my initial body weight
  • I am 8kg lighter.
  • I am almost completely free of back pain 

...and lord only knows what my fitness test will show me I have achieved! I had aimed to get into the 60-69kg bracket but I think I did pretty awesome - only 1.1kg away and to be honest, if I work hard I might even get there yet before the start of Round 4!

I feel like it's year 12 graduation all over again, and that all this time of studying, learning, and applying is finally culminating - until Sunday that is! I have seen physical results but nothing compares to what I have learnt. The things that at the beginning were so hard that are now just autonomous habits. Like having to fight the urge to drive past a McDonald's when now after 12 weeks I hardly even notice if there's a Macca's there! Getting used to tracking my calories and actually thinking about what I'm doing before I fill my face. Saying no to my husband when he offers me some of his potato chips - being able to have potato chips in the house and ignore them! All of these things were just a dream to me 12 weeks ago.

Looking back to my preseason tasks from Round 3, my commitment was to get into a routine of healthy eating and regular exercise, which I am proud to say is a commitment that I have kept with. So what is my commitment for Round 4?

Firstly to keep with the routine I have fallen into during Round 3, but also to push myself a bit harder with my workouts. To be honest I did get to a point of going through the motions with my workouts towards the end of this round, and I want to be more gung-ho about it, and I know I will get better results if I can manage that.

So there you go, a simple commitment to give my workouts a bit more oopmf!

I am a person who tends to not trust anything, to lose faith quickly both in others and myself, and who to be honest tends to be a bit lazy more often than not, and yet here I am after 12 weeks with proof that putting my trust in Mish's program, and putting a good amount of stock in myself and my own abilities really is worth it.

This program works, but you have to work for it in return. 

Anyone who is considering signing up for Round 4, or wants more information about the 12WBT visit  and check it out. The great thing about it is that you can participate anywhere in the world if you have an internet connection which is all of you out there reading this! It's not just for weight loss too, if you want to be fitter, stronger, or eat cleaner, this program will work for you too, so please everyone check it out!

Now, hit me with your best shot Round 4, I am ready and stoked!


Tuesday, 13 November 2012

TUBESDAY: Kids and Body Image

So my second ever vlog is of course as promised, about talking to and teaching your kids about body image. Now I'm not an expert, so this is coming from my personal experiences and the things I wish my mother would have done for me to make my life easier. Teenagers are going through enough without being cut down or made to feel worse or more conflicted about their bodies by their parents. A parent is a teacher, a cheerleader, and a safety net to catch them when they fall, not the one that pushes them. Also, I apologise for the animal noises courtesy of my dogs and cat, and the constant clanging of my bangle on the table - next week I'll remember to take it off!

So there you have it, my advice on kids and body image. As with all advice, take nothing as a must and everything as an option, the only person who knows what's best for your kid is you.

Next week: my conversation with a man about women!


Monday, 12 November 2012

The history of beauty: putting it all in perspective

You've probably heard people say "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" and other things along the same line of thought. In the last 40-50 years though, it seems that beauty has been in the eye of the editor, the designer, or the film and television studio. Today I want to remind everyone that this was not always the case.

Rembrandt's Bathsheba
Prior to the late 50s early 60s, to be thin was not a good thing. For thousands of years, the bigger you were, the more beautiful you were. In many primitive cultures, a thin woman was seen as an ineligible mate because her body did not show she was fit for child bearing, and was thus undesirable. In ancient Rome, a big woman was a symbol of sexiness, health, and wealth - the bigger you were the more money you had, the more food and better access to medicine you had, so the healthier you were. In Han dynasty China, big women were celebrated and adored, lusted over, and the ideal picture of beauty. Moving forward into the Renaissance, artists like Da Vinci, Rembrandt, Raphael, and Michelangelo all painted full figured women, finding beauty in their soft feminine curves. The Mona Lisa, if you look at her, would at least be a modern day size 14, and she is still recognised years later as a great beauty, same with the Venus in a Shell.

The dangerous curves of the late Jayne
Towards the turn of the 20th Century even, it was more about the shape of a woman than her size that dictated attractiveness. The curve of the waist, big child bearing hips and ample bosom - all accentuated by corsets of the time - were all markers of a sexy lady, whether she was a size 8, or a size 28. The 40s bought tailored suits for women, accentuating and creating curves in a more modern way, and by the 50s the emergence of the pin-up girl solidified the hourglass shape as being sexy, regardless of the size of the hourglass. 

The waif herself, Kate Moss
However it all began to turn in the 60s with the discovery of models like Twiggy, and suddenly thin was in.   It began with the designers and the fashion world, but soon because hip clothes were being made to look good on thinner frames, many women found themselves unable to keep up with the latest trends, starting the thought process that you had to be thin to be beautiful, to fit into the beautiful clothes that were coming out of Paris and Milan. This notion was reinforced again in the 90s with the waif look of Kate Moss taking catwalks by storm. Women had gained independence from men, and had made steps into becoming equal with men, but as soon as one battle was over another had begun - the battle of body image. With the growth of visual media women were being bombarded with images of thin being beautiful, desirable, the be all and end all of being woman. 

It is now inescapable. It is everywhere, billboards, TV, movies, magazines, catalogs, and of course the big bad web. Half the ads on the television are for diets, diet products, exercise machines and other weight loss aids, and many fashion looks are almost impossible for the everyday woman to pull off without some temporary nipping and tucking by their handy dandy shape wear.

What I want to point out here is that the ideal beach body now has only been the ideal for 50 years. 50 years, versus 5,000 years. I'm not saying thin isn't beautiful, I am saying that women are beautiful, no matter what their size. Historically speaking there is no reason why a size 18 woman should be regarded as any less beautiful than a size 8 woman, because for thousands of years she was beautiful already, so why should that have changed? I want the 21st century to fix the mistakes of the 20th, and remember that big women have always been beautiful, and realise that thin women are beautiful too. 

So ladies, next time you look in the mirror and question your body, criticise your body, or think you're not beautiful because of your size, remember that somewhere, at some point in time, no matter how big or small you are, there would have been someone at your feet begging to hit that!


Thursday, 8 November 2012

To do, or not to do

We are in week 11 of round 3 of the Michelle Bridges 12WBT for 2012. I have been debating with myself whether to sign up for round 4 or go it myself given it's a lot of money coming up to Christmas. My parents visited for my birthday last weekend and I was offered a loan from the bank of Mum if I wanted to do round 4. I think this is her strange way of telling me she's proud of me!

Yet still there's umming and ahhing. Not because the program doesn't work, or because I think I can't do it, just because I wonder if I need to, surely I've learnt enough to go it alone - oh and then of course there's money and Christmas!

That was until today when the universe appeared to give me an epiphany day. This morning when walking to the coffee shop with my friends they all complimented me on how good I was looking, and openly admitted to checking out my bum (you cheeky buggers!). Then Heidi said she was thinking of signing up for round 1 next year. Then I went and got my hair done, and my hairdresser noticed the change in my shape and even my hair. I went home to find a message from a friend from high school saying she'd been following my progress and had signed up for round 4. Finally my chiropractor and his receptionist (who haven't seen me in 6 weeks) both remarked how good I was looking, my chiropractor even saying how much he can see this has helped with my back pain. 

Of course, Fiona has already signed up for round 4, and I know she wants a training buddy (which I already said I would do because I intend to follow the program, signed up or not!) but I think this was a pretty big hint from the powers that be, that I should take my mum up on her offer and JFDI.

I think I owe it to myself, and to the people around me who I seem to have inspired to keep going on this journey, and to do so in an official capacity.

Oh, and the round 4 finale is in my hometown, while hubby will be away in Sydney, so that's a nice little incentive too!


Tuesday, 6 November 2012

TUBESDAY!: Getting in the picture

FINALLY! I made a video and managed to upload it!

This week I really want to talk about why it's important to put your body hang ups aside and get in the photo. Fiona shared a great link on her Facebook to Allison Tate's blog where she discusses this topic, and I thought it was so fitting for my first vlog. You can find the link to Allison's blog here.

So there you have it, that's me! I'm not perfect, I'm not thin, I'm blind as a bat without my glasses, and I'm boring enough to spend over 6 hours (and 1500 calories!) cleaning my house! I promise you next time that I will look a bit more presentable, but I thought it fitting to be my hives and all self for a vlog about not giving a damn what you look like in photos and on film.

Next vlog will be about why you should talk to your kids about body image, and do everything you can to help them see the good in the mirror.


Thursday, 1 November 2012

You get by with a little help from your friends

So I wanted to take the time today to tell you about an amazing group of women who I have recently had the pleasure and good fortune to come in contact with. Black Milk Clothing is one of my favourite fashion brands, and they are based in my home town, Brisbane, so it's nice to keep supporting my old community when I shop with them. They make amazing leggings, swimsuits, bodysuits, skirts, and dresses, and they also attract some amazing fans from all across the globe. The Black Milk Mummies group are a bunch of women brought together by our love of one fashion house, and our amazing feat of bringing another life or lives into this world.

We are often inundated by one another's photo bombs, photos of our favourite pieces, outfits of the day, our children, random funny things, and yesterday, baby bumps. Today however, was a day for sharing our post-baby bellies, for sharing the good, the bad, and what so many of us would call the ugly. It has been such an amazing show of women supporting women, love sharing, and a celebration of the female form. We put aside our body hang ups, posting photos of our stretch marks, scars, belly flab, and over hang, in a show of support for each other. It has been amazing to learn that I'm not alone, I'm not the only one who can pick up her belly and fap it against itself and make a noise, or who's covered in stretch marks like some kind of strange albino zebra. 

I am so proud to be a part of such a hands down awesome group of women from all over the globe, all ages, and all walks of life. Thank you to all of my fellow BM milfies for being so purely wonderful, brave, beautiful, and for not judging my horrifying belly photos! You have all given me a place that I feel safe to share my hang ups in, and for putting a smile on my face every day. We may not all be perfect, we may not all be sane, but we are all beautiful.

And for the first time ever here, I'll post a picture of my mummy tummy. I hate the way it looks, but I would never change the reason why it's there.