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In an ideal world I would have the time to generously sit down and write, each day and every day. Unfortunately real life isn’t like that and I’ve been really struggling the last month which is why I haven’t been here.

I don’t know whether it’s the advent of real warm sunshine over the last few days but I’ve ended up spending two days very thoroughly clearing out the boys’ bedroom. Sorting out the rubbish down the side of the beds and all the accumulated junk has given me the space to mull over things.

I’ve managed so far to do well at maintaining my morning exercise. I skip the occasional day but I don’t beat myself up about and have kept it going quite happily over the last three months. I’m aware of my body feeling different, with muscles that I couldn’t feel at all before and a spring in my step when I jump up the stairs. I think I’ve got my head round both enjoying exercise and focusing on the short term immediate benefits. As well as enjoying it, I feel invigorated and positive, stronger even. It’s part of my daily routine.

I need to do the same with blogging. Rather than leave it until the afternoon or evening by which point my brain has turned to mush I’m going to move it to the morning, before I get on with work. I need to act out the belief that looking after me is more important than working, or anything else for that matter.

I was talking this through with my therapist this morning and realised I hadn’t really said anything much about HAES or Intuitive Eating or any of those sort of issues to her so I skimmed through the various points of both these concepts and we discussed them. I need to return to why I’d barely mentioned these to her in the future.

One thing that I raised was my non-acceptance of my own body and other people’s. Dances With Fat’s morning post When Every Body But Mine Was Beautiful raised something I have a problem with. I still look at very fat / obese people and think “fat” to myself. Ragen refers to a site with positive photos of fat people and I look at these photos and all I can think is how do you manage with that body, how can you love it?

I’m not using their photos without permission so have a look for yourself. There are some brilliant ones there. Ragen talks about seeing the beauty in people’s bodies, regardless of their shape and I’m not there yet. I don’t like that about me. I have fat friends, I have thin ones and ones all the way in between. It doesn’t bother me and I don’t define them that way but walking down the street I look at extremely fat people and wonder how they cope. I do also wonder about the health of stick figure people too.

There’s a practical side to this too. I’ve had creases and folds under my breasts and at the top of my legs which rub together and get sore, taking a long time to heal. I hate having my inner thighs chafing each other in the summer when I’ve got bare legs under my skin. I’m not even that huge so how do people with far more wobbly bits than me actually manage on a daily basis and how do they not get irritated by this?

I feel guilty that this is my reaction to some beautiful photos but it just highlights a self-evident truth that we are brought up to perceive one size of body as beautiful and the rest as unacceptable. Yet, this is a fairly recent idea, and one which led me straight to Rubens.

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