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"But, you ARE a big girl!": How one honest statement helped me explore my issues with my size

My husband said this to me, after I said to him, "I just feel like I'm so big!"
He told me, "but you ARE big… you're a BIG girl!"
What. The. Actual. F.
Who responds like that?
I'm a BIG girl?
Crushing. My soul died a bit.
He's also described me as "chunky" "thick" "fat" (no, babe, the good kind)… which, to him, is an assessment of my attractiveness… to me, it's a disturbing list of attributes I'm terrified of.
Before we go any further, I need to make it clear that my partner loves my body; he wouldn't want me to look any other way. This blog is about how I feel about this assessment, and how his honesty drove me to reflect and articulate my beliefs about what being "big" means to me. 
Background about me:
I'm approximately 173cm (5'9") tall. That’s above average for women… in fact, it's the average height of men. I weigh between 69-71kg. I have been a group fitness instructor for over 10 ye…

What the fkcu is 'self-love' and how do I do it?

Self-love is a construct - it's an abstract idea that doesn't exist in the material world. It is defined however we want to define it. That means it has a lot of definitions that vary based on the context and people who use it.  
I asked people on social media how they defined 'self-love' and the answers had a common theme - connection to the self, and doing the 'right thing' by yourself instead of what you are expected to do or what others want you to do. People also mentioned self-care activities, like massages and taking 'time out' for things you enjoy doing. Popular opinion would suggest that self-love seems is acting in a way that regenerates your energy, and aligns with your values.  
According to Psychology Today, "self-love" is a "state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support our physical, psychological, and spiritual growth". It is "dynamic", or consistently changing, as opposed to remaining …

Learning to love Chaos

Chaos and Order are nature's fundamental balancing act. If you've ever seen the yin/yang symbol, you'll be familiar with the idea that Chaos and Order exist as intertwined elements, with a little of each in the other. Chaos is never free of Order, and Order is never free of Chaos. 
For the sake of clarity, let's define terms. Chaos is unpredictable - you're in chaos when you don’t know what's coming or what to expect, in situations you haven't encountered. Order is predictability - you know what will happen, what to expect, and there's certainty within your world.
Broadly speaking, people tend to prefer Order (or it may be better to say that we fear Chaos), because we enjoy being able to predict our lives, other people's actions, and the causal relationships in the world around us. Human beings are evolutionarily geared toward creating (imposing) order in their world. We categorise everything - even without realising it - and develop mental shortcut…

Do you give people permission to change?

Who do you want to see make changes? We focus strongly on why we want them to change, and howthey could be better… but what do we do to help them change? Obviously there are many ways we can both help and hinder them, and the one I will discuss here is whether we give them permission to change.
…But if I WANT them to change, surely I’m giving them permission to?
Not necessarily. Let’s talk about what change means: it means undoing ‘programming’ (for want of a better word) that has been developed and added to across your lifespan. That means some of the ideas and beliefs you hold may be years, or decades, old (read: very ingrained). Human ‘programming’ cannot just be forgotten or rewritten without significant trauma - and I can’t condone giving someone severe amnesia! 
Changing habits, behaviours, or even beliefs takes a long time and the journey involves failures, sometimes really epic ones. 
So, whomever you want to change will fail. Sometimes really badly. Regardless of their motivation…

Why all the ‘hints, tips, and tricks’ in the world won’t help

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If you look back over old editions of Cosmopolitan, Woman’s Day, Dolly Magazine (‘90s teens unite!) you’ll notice they all feature articles with the latest hints, tips, and tricks to “lose weight (and keep it off!)”, “love yourself”, “tone your butt/abs/thighs/arms”, or “live your best life!”. If these quick fixes worked, surely these articles would now be redundant?
Well, they’re still out in force - especially since the internet has made “10 easy ways to be happy - and stay that way!” free and accessible to everyone - so I’m going to go out on a limb and say that simply knowing hints, tips, and tricks isn’t the answer. When you want change, information isn’t enough. Whether your goal is about fitness, mental health, or even your career, it takes more than a few quick tips to change.
Why is knowing not enough? 
Well, we all know smoking causes lung cancer, but people still smoke. That’s one example of many I could call upon where we know something and don’t change. So I can tell you tha…

How can you rebuild trust?

 “fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me”
I’ve been thinking about trust this week. Like most people, I’ve lost trust in relationships, so I pre-empt this blog by saying I am speaking from experience. I get it. Why do I need to do that? Because what I have to say may not be taken well by those in the throes of wondering how they’ll ever regain trust. I certainly wouldn’t have enjoyed it. 
The first thing we need to consider is whether or not trust is spontaneous. Does it ‘just happen’? 
I don’t think so. 
I think trust is one of those things we think ‘just happens’, but the reality is that it is chosen, or cultivated. We make a choice to trust (or not trust) people. We trust the strangers around us not to attack us, we trust Uber drivers to drive safely, we trust our friends to be kind, we trust our partners to be faithful… we may not be consciously aware of these choices, but every time we step out into the world among other people, we trust them. 
Unless we have been rais…