Dieting is a distraction. It stops you from reaching your potential greatness because it causes you to become completely consumed by food. You cannot achieve without your mind and body working to the best of their ability which means fuelling it properly. You cannot achieve without focusing on your goal and when your mind’s full of calorie calculations that isn’t going to happen. Diets keep women in their place, they distract us from the bigger picture. The popular modern diet of counting calories began in the early 20th century by a Californian doctor. Their book was aimed at married women, included formulas for the reader to determine their “ideal weight” and tips on how to deal with obstacles along the way such as your husband being jealous of your new found babe status (seriously?). Elements of this diet plan are true across the board, Slimming world, Weight watchers and Slimfast are all aimed at women. I’ve just quickly googled each of them and every website brings up photos of happy smiling women who now have their “dream life” thanks to dropping the pounds. I call bullshit. You cannot diet yourself happy. You cannot diet yourself to success. You have to believe that you are capable and worthy as you are right now and use your time and energy for the greater good. You don’t have to think “I’ll be happy when I’ve dropped a dress size” or “I’ll be successful once I’m thin because I’ll be more confident”. Instead you can think “I am so much more than the way I look, I have so much to give and I’m going to fight to achieve what I want to right now, in the body I’m in today”.
Naomi Wolf, wrote in 1991’s The Beauty Myth that “a cultural fixation on female thinness is not an obsession about female beauty, but an obsession about female obedience. Dieting is the most potent political sedative in women’s history; a quietly mad population is a tractable one.” To me, being a feminist means honouring myself, looking after my body and not being afraid to take up space in this male dominated world. Last year, whilst being on the road to recovery and healing my relationship with food I set up my own business. There is no way in hell I could have done this if I was still being consumed by diet culture. I wouldn’t of had the time or energy to even consider it. But I did it. It’s not been easy but I’ve put all of my time that was filled by food planning and exercise into business plans and networking and learning and it’s been so bloody worth it.
My ‘obsession’ with dieting began in January 2014 when I booked a trip of a life time to Australia. I had never been before and to say I was excited was an understatement. I wanted to give myself a year to diet down and get ‘skinny’ because I really wanted to look my best. At that time in my life I wasn’t really doing much, I was still living at home and working full time in a pretty boring job. Booking Australia gave me something to look forward to, something to work towards which was exactly what I needed to keep me going.
Up until this point I was just your average girl. Loved her food, loved going out and being with friends. I never ever restricted myself and was very happy with the way I was. I started training 6 days a week for 1-2 hours at a time and I took up the carb cycling diet. This is when you swap between low and high carb days depending on what you’re training. I saw results quickly, but my body plateaued and I no longer saw the results that I was longing to have. I was devastated. I tried every diet and training plan under the sun after that and nothing seemed to work. I went from this lively, happy, outgoing woman to someone who would just stay in and never go out because I was so exhausted and so focussed on getting my ‘dream body’.
I went to Australia feeling okay. The trip was amazing and I had the best time, but I spent a lot of my time feeling conscious. I came back from Oz feeling super determined, I gave myself a little bit of time off before I started to smash the gym again. I continued my gym and dieting routine up until the end of November 2015 when my priorities changed.
Whilst I was dieting my cravings were through the roof and one thing I craved the most were chocolate brownies. Before I started going to the gym I thought brownies were the worst thing ever. Yes, I hated brownies (please don’t hate me!!). Instead of making brownies and eating them myself I gave them to friends and family to enjoy. Somehow this managed to stop my cravings for brownies all together! I work for a Street Food company called Spectacular Goat who specialise in Wood Fired Sourdough Pizzas and my boss managed to get a hold of one of my brownies and said that they were so good I should look at starting my own company.
I have always been a keen baker and cook, food is my passion and I wanted to train as a professional chef but I was told when I was at school that I wasn’t clever enough. I launched my company, Beki’s Brownies in November 2015. It was the scariest thing I have ever done however it has been so worth it. Our brownies are different to others, they’re made with Single Origin Chocolate from Madagascar which we source through a local Chocolatier and we make every single tray of brownies from scratch. We are growing from strength to strength, supplying several local businesses in Warwickshire, attending local food festivals and markets and we have just signed a lease for our first ever baking unit. The future for is looking bright for us and I have so many goals for my business that I will achieve. I am so determined to make this work so I can leave my full time job and achieve great things with my business.
I cannot remember the last time I went to the gym or did any kind of workout, I eat a balanced diet and no longer limit myself when it comes to food and honestly I have never felt better. My priority is my health, my business and making sure I truly enjoy my life. I became such a recluse, I was trying to make myself feel better by making myself look better. No one complained about the way I looked, no one told me I needed to make myself skinnier, no one told me that I was fat, no one told me that I desperately needed to change. I made that decision, just because I was going to Australia??? I have come to the conclusion that I was actually happy with the way I looked before our trip. And now I have learnt to accept and love the body I have been given, I couldn’t be happier! There is absolutely no way I could’ve continued to do what I was doing at the gym if I wanted to pursue my dream.
Now I am not saying that you shouldn’t go to the gym, but everyone is different. What works for me might not work for you. I couldn’t carry on the way I was, I was running myself into the ground and turning into someone who isn’t me. Someone who used to follow girls on instagram with amazing bodies that I would constantly compare myself too. No. My body is different to theirs, because it is mine and no one else’s. I wake up in the morning and I have the choice to accept my body or hate it. I now wake up choosing to love my body for all that it is, curves and all.
Wake up, choose to love you for you and smash the day. Always be a girl boss.
P.S. Keep your eye’s peeled for Beki’s Brownies, they might be coming somewhere near you soon!