I understand that as a writer, I am going to get criticism. I am fine with that, as it is part of it all. What I will not stand by and let go is when people wrongly accuse me of something and are saying I have opinions that I do not.
It has been said recently, that what I am doing is trying to make people ashamed of being fat and that I am implying there is something wrong with being overweight or fat. Firstly, fat is a word that society labels people with and a word I don’t use. I have used it to refer to myself in the past, but it is such a negative word, I try not to use it at all. Fat is also subjective. What one person thinks is fat, is not what other people will agree with. Although being healthy does have a lot to do with weight, it is not the be all and end all. I am not going to deny that it is a major factor. It certainly was for me, and it certainly is for a lot of other people, but the main focus is on health. I don’t usually respond to criticism, but I thought I would respond to this, because it is something that I think people should know – over weight does not always mean unhealthy and me promoting healthy does not mean I am trying to shame overweight people.
Let me get this straight. There is nothing wrong with being overweight, as long as your health is not suffering because of it, that is where it becomes a problem and something should be done. There are plenty of people I know that are classed as “overweight” according to their BMI, but they are very healthy and muscular, and the BMI doesn’t take that into account. I am also not, and never have, said that being overweight makes someone ugly. There are many, many beautiful people out there who are classed as overweight. Beauty is not defined by weight, as the media would lead us to believe. Despite fat-shaming being utterly horrid and something I would never do, what would be the point of it anyway? It doesn’t spark change in people. Making someone feel ashamed 9 times out of 10 makes them feel worse about themselves and more likely to eat.
The focus is not on being “skinny” and not being “fat”. It is on health, and making the right choices. Still enjoying the foods you like, but a better version of it where possible. Love burgers? Avoid the drive-thru and make your own. Love chocolate cake? Make your own lower fat version. Love pizza? Make your own, that still tastes amazing, but is not covered in oil. You are still getting the food you love, but your health is better for it – that is what Hungry Healthy Happy is partly about. Not saying that overweight people are ugly and should feel ashamed about themselves – which is what I have been accused of. No, the healthy alternatives will not taste exactly the same. There is something about a pizza COVERED in cheese, and DRIPPING with oil….I do crave it sometimes…but it is not worth jeopardising my health for, when I can make a much healthier alternative. That is what Hungry Healthy Happy is all about. Healthier alternatives to the foods you love. It is not about deprivation, or starving, or the quest to be super model skinny because that is what society deems as beautiful. It is about loving food, still enjoying food and feeling great because of it. This is all I wanted when I first started losing weight. I wanted to be healthy, but I didn’t want to feel like I was missing out either, as I LOVE food. Obviously this is not possible ALL the time. I love chocolate, but I can’t make my own healthy version, and I do still eat chocolate occasionally. But this is not a 100% of the time rule. It is about making good choices a majority of the time, but not making stupid choices when you do treat yourself.
The reason I lost weight was for health reasons. As well as having a very big health scare, and making me realise that life is too short to be abusing my body, my weight itself was affecting my health. All of the excess weight I was carrying was putting strain on my heart. I couldn’t breathe properly, I was not able to do all of the things that other people could do and I was just tired and lethargic all the time. It was never for vain reasons. For those of you that have read the newspaper and magazine articles that have been written about my weight loss, you may be lead to believe that the weight loss was just to look better. I made this very clear when interviewed, that it was for my health, but the whole “wanting to be a thin and beautiful bride” obviously just made a better story. That’s the media for you. I do personally think I looked better in my wedding dress, on my wedding day, than I would have done in that dress when I was at my biggest. But that doesn’t mean I think that all brides have to lose weight, not at all. I was just personally happier at that size.
For those of you that know me personally, I have never been concerned with fitting in, and looking like people think/expect me to look. So that was never the motivation for my weight loss. I never craved to look like the women in the magazines, or the actresses on the TV and I still don’t. I accept that I will never look like them. Although I have reached my goal, I am still not what a lot of people would call thin and “ideal”, and I am fine with that. There are parts of me that I desperately want to tone, and I am working REALLY hard on that, but that is not so I can feel like I fit it, it is so I can repair some of the damage that has been done by losing so much weight. There are negatives of losing weight that people don’t speak of. These take a LOT of effort to get rid of.
It has just always been about health. People are too quick to jump to the conclusion that weight loss is all about aesthetics. It has always been about what is happening on the inside. I have also always said that feeling better about the way I look is just a really nice bonus. I never liked the way I looked. For years and years of being overweight, I hated the way I looked. It upset me, I had people say some truly awful things to me about how I looked, I covered up with baggy jeans and hoodies because nothing else fit me and I didn’t feel feminine, which is how I wanted to feel. It took a health concern to give me the kick I needed, and for me, losing weight was the only way to improve my health.
I know that the people that matter can really see what Hungry Healthy Happy is all about and they know that I am always promoting the fact that ALL body types are beautiful. But, I am human, and when “the internet trolls” say that I am fat shaming and actively trying to make people feel bad about themselves, it hurts. I work really, really hard on the blog and Facebook page and I put a lot of time and effort into providing people with things for free – not to make people feel depressed. But like I say, the people that matter know that already. I just felt the need to address this topic to let the trolls know they can take their negativity elsewhere and to remind everyone else again that you are beautiful no matter what your size, but, if you want to improve your health, or you want to change the way you look, then I am here to support you.
I spend a lot of time on writing the stuff I do, but I know it is worth it. As well as keeping myself on track, I get a lot of messages of thanks and support. This post was to address the negative feedback I received, just because I felt it was wrong and unjustified, but it is not going to keep me down. I just wanted to clarify the reasons why I carry on doing this. I am not telling people they have to be thin; I am simply supporting them if they are losing weight and trying to make the journey more bearable with tasty food.
I know this is long, well done if you made it to the end. At the end of the day, all of what I write is my own personal opinion, from my own personal experience. It is not going to be the same as everyone else, but it IS based on experience and as long as people are reading, I will keep writing. Thanks for reading <3