I have been wanting to write a blog about body image for months but have only just found the right words to go about it…. To be fair, they won’t be the right words for everyone but I have come to the point in my life where I need to speak up for what I believe in…. And as a mum of 4 girls, I feel a slight responsibility to get on and write it down! Get on with telling women of the world to embrace their bodies. Love and cherish their bodies… Talk about Fit Not Fat!

Ever since I can remember my girls have told me I am beautiful and what a wonderful thing that is to hear… They have never pointed out the grey hairs, the wobbly belly. Never wrinkled their little noses up at my hairy legs or my square feet. (My husband suggests God put the toes on in the wrong order.) They have never questioned, why instead of a belly button, I have a tummy button smile…. They just love me. They love what I look like, they love how I smell (even after a run!!) they love how I sing, speak and dance and they love how when I smile it reaches my eyes… Because I mean it…

So… I need to say to all you women out there and all you men too…. Please can we stop being so judgemental about how people look. I know it is not healthy to be vastly overweight. Equally, it is not good for our minds to be so obsessed with food, where every bite is questioned.

We need to help our girls, and to be fair, our boys too. Grow into adults without the same hang ups we had. As a generation, we have the power to start making those changes. Start making our children have confidence in what they look like… And have faith in their ideas too. If they can grow up to believe in their bodies…. Then perhaps they can grow up to believe in themselves.

We need to help educate them all to eat well, but not powder coat every mouthful with evil, so every chocolate biscuit is a sin. Every bite shameful. We need to show them the virtues of exercise! How good it makes you feel. Not just physically but mentally too. That a 30-minute run in the hills is so good for the soul. (As is a 15 minute gallop down the road, a 10 minute dance round the sitting room) It not only delivers endorphins to your world, but it lifts you up to the sunshine, makes you feel like a superhero… Makes your body feel powerful and you with it.

So, I implore you… I do… Part of the wonderful Bean Thinking Program is helping you to see ….  That children are so easy to damage. Their little egos so fragile and self-belief yet to be found… Please. We need to help our children see themselves as beautiful by showing them that beauty is more than a waist line… To do this we all need to start believing a little more in our own wonder. Stop saying when I am thinner, when I weigh less, when my hair is less grey, when I have nicer clothes, I will be happy. Because that beauty you are so desperately seeking, is already there. In the eyes of your children every wrinkle is glitter to an already beautiful face, and every wobbly bit just a little more to love!

If we continue to be our biggest critics, our biggest saboteurs. We won’t only damage our own self-belief but the confidence and self-belief of those we love the most! It is contagious, self-doubt, and if we always talk negatively about ourselves and those around us, how can we ever expect our children to see their own beauty…. In all its guises

Look after you, look after each other
Love and light

Betty S x