women – WAIT!

 

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Apparently there’s still a pay-gap between the sexes.

Apparently some guy  – Science Nobel Laureate or something – said that female scientists should work in a separate laboratory (‘you fall in love with them, they fall in love with you’).

But do you know what made me an angry feminist in 2015?

That women still objectify ourselves.

I said in an earlier blog that I don’t wear make-up.

A woman at work said,  ‘If I turned up without make-up on, you’d run away screaming.’

I kid you not.  Even though we’d had five of the ugliest blokes in Yorkshire in the surgery that morning, all bare-faced, and no-one had run away.   Or even thought to ourselves that the guys needed make-up.

But what if they had been women?

I don’t like to answer this, but my colleague said quite bluntly that she always notices women ‘who don’t look after themselves’ (i.e. wear make-up) and judges them badly.

 

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Here is my friend Bea on the subject:

I remember… a business workshop about personal branding. The woman delivering the workshop shared that a study had been done…. women who wore make up earned more money and won more business. I think they might also have had better colleague relationships.

I was absolutely appalled that I was being encouraged to wear make up in order to be more successful at work. I recall challenging it vocally and that wasn’t received very well.   It is scary how prevalent [mysogeny] is in such subtle ways.

Anyway, a New Year is nearly upon us.  Time to give women a brand new start…..

I went on Facebook to see what my friends had on their minds.

And collected these:

 

 

Behold our culture where eating ‘too much’ and ‘getting fat’ over Christmas is seen as a) just terrible and b) inevitable.  And January respresents a time when we should start being careful, eating less and restricting our calorie intake.

Now, it would be silly to paint binge-diet cycling as soley a women’s issue.  I know men who do it.  A google-search revealed versions of the above memes targetted at men.

But it was mostly women posting these and definitely women I speak to regularly who seem to regard this cycle as a normal.

I work in vet surgeries with generous clients and have therefore eaten at least 6 chocolates daily over the full course of December.  But cries of ‘I’ve had a third one!  I’m really bad!’ have rung in my ears until I have started to feel a much shame as enjoyment.

I guess I’m ‘lucky:’ at least prior to kids, my metabolic rate was always fast enough to keep pace with the modern-world excess and lack of exercise.  I have never felt pressure to diet.

Nor will I:  data suggests that people who start a diet are likely to gain more weight over the subsequent two years than those who don’t.  To paraphrase one of Weightwatchers early financial bigwigs, commercially they had a winning formula because people loose weight very effectively but then put it on again and want to come back.

Sure, there are some people who do make calorie-exclusion diets work long-term and they deserve respect.  But it takes huge motivation to argue with our physiological programming and for most people, this can’t realistically be built into their lifestyle and maintained.

What’s the point of feeling guilty about that?  I always claimed that if my metabolic rate was different, I’d rather be fat.  But I’m getting older, my fat-pads are deepening and all that ‘you should have a perfect body and therefore you should eat less’ crap I’ve been drip-fed over the years is niggling at me.

Yes, I’m at risk of joining the ranks of the chronically-miserable-in-their-own skin; is it really a choice between that or the exclusion-diet emotional-roller-coaster?

I refuse to queue up to get weighed every week and value myself on that: women’s weight fluctuates monthly and – another thing – when I felt (and looked) really fit and strong during my summer Ninja campaign I gained muscle and put on 5kg, the weight of a large cat.

The ‘weight’ culture is a farse.  One should just eat sensibly.

Is ‘just eating sensibly’ possible?  In this world where women judge themselves and each other on the shape of their hips,  and fatty and sugary foods are loaded with sensations and connotations of ‘pleasure’ and given to us as rewards by grateful clients, yet at the same time seen almost as self-harm?

For me, sensible eating is remembering to l0ve my body and to listen to it.  To notice when I am really hungry and eat what I am hungry for (slowly, mindfully and without guilt).  And also to notice when I am full, and eating to mask other needs, and to attend to those needs separately (such as the need to face up to an emotion, prospone another task, practise genuine self-care).

Clear as chocolate, huh?  But someone else has thought about these things harder than me, and I’m going to read up.

Mindful, or intuitive eating, is my New Years resolution.

That and to keeping exercising.  Exercise will always be vital.  Not because it makes me look good, but because it makes me feel it.

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This Girl Can. Sport England

I stuck to September’s resolution of running the Percy Pud 10K.  Here’s a picture of Bea and I a few minutes after smashing our sub-hour target.

 

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Bea posted a similar selfie on Facebook, with the inevitable torrent of likes and congratulations.  And guess what?  Someone actually commented on her hair.

But much as I’d like to criticise them for that, the reason I posted this picture here and not Bea’s version is that this one makes my chin look subtly “better”.

What can I say?  The grim reality of women judging women (and ourselves) on our appearances is set to continue in 2016.

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4 thoughts on “women – WAIT!

  1. Thanks for the link, Liz!
    “For me, sensible eating is remembering to love my body and to listen to it.” – I couldn’t agree more! Ironically this is the approach that’s most likely to lead to your body finding and settling at it’s own healthy, happy weight, unlike diets or “healthy eating plans” which usually lead to yo-yoing in the short term and a heavier weight long term.
    Congrats on your sub-hour 10k, that’s bloody brilliant, your body is clearly fantastic 🙂

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