Monday, 20 February 2017

Body Love : Listening and Learning.

I've written before about body confidence and exercise and general self-love (both sexual and otherwise), on here and elsewhere. I am a major believer in the power of loving your body, appreciating what you've got and working to get what you want from it. Having the ultimate goal of simply being comfortable in your own skin and liking what you see when you look in a mirror can be all you need to motivate you each day. 
So, let's all take a deep breath now, and get ready for some lovin'.



I won't bore you with the sobbing sickening details, but basically I've had a rocky relationship with my body for many years. It started when I was about 10 and thought my legs were too wobbly and my arms were comparatively too skinny. Then at 15, when I panicked because all the girls suddenly seemed to be boasting bouncing beach ball boobs and I had a pair of barely-there bubs. Oh, and then at 17 when my cleavage was suddenly like, mega, and my tummy was permanently swollen-looking. At 18 I worried about my bum. At 19 I feared my feet were too clownish. 20 saw me fretting about my double chin...and that was when The Thing happened, and suddenly I hated everything about my body, inside and out. For the best part of 2 years I was everything – angry, devastated, disappointed, amazed, horrified, angry again – at my body, but then when recovering from The Stuff I found my true appreciation and love of it was blooming. At last!
This may seem like it took me forever, but really, there are some women – most, maybe – who are my age or middle-aged or extra mature, like, who are still unhappy with their physical forms. Really, I'm lucky I found my love at this age. And hopefully I can pass the message along and help others get there, too. We'll see. 

I follow a lot of bloggers and vloggers who do that, who help. I'll list 'em at the end, and feel free to comment with others I've missed and need to get in my life, guys. But the #1 I'd recommend you all follow or at least scroll through is @bodyposipanda. I may have done a #donthatetheshake post inspired by her recently – and by Laura Jane Williams' one a wee bit too, obvs – and it's honestly the best fun and most warming experience. Even if you don't share the vid on social media (which I almost didn't, because lol wobbly belly), or even make a vid of it, do it for yourself and feel the good vibes pulse through you before, during and after. I usually slot in some boogie time after moisturising my body in the morning – guys, moisturise. Not only is it good for you, so damn good, but it also makes you feel fiiiine and gets you feeling your body properly! – and it's always a giggle and a joy. I won't lie, I often stare at myself in the full-length mirror as I do it. Because, damn. I really hope others can do this, and want to do it. If not now, then someday! 

A post shared by Grace Latter (@_gracelatter) on

Okay so, booty shaking aside, there are other things you can do to benefit your bod and free your mind. One would be, as previously mentioned, moisturising – feel your skin, make it shine! Another is give it a day off; let it rest if you've had a long week and don't feel pressured to dress it and buff it up needlessly. And, of course, let someone else – someone lovely and respectful who appreciates what a goddamn honour it is – love it with you, have a good feel and shower it with tingling admiration. Aww, yea.

The big one, though, the #1 tip that you can take on if you ignore everything else is...listen. Listen to your body. Get into it. Be in tune, in sync, or somewhere on the same page at least. It's a mindful thing, as well. I started taking time to sit and assess myself, my body, a year or so ago when one of my symptoms of The Thing was not noticing that I needed the loo until way too late, omg. I started sitting up or stopping walking and letting my mind search my body for signs – essentially asking myself things, the key one at the start being 'body, do you gots to pee??!' Since then I've started asking it a lot: 'would you benefit from a walk?', 'should we sleep now?', 'do we really need another drink?', 'are the tights pulled high enough?', 'do you need the food stuff, or can you wait?' (alas, it's hardly ever the latter. Food, tho), and yeah, 'do I need to satisfy that craving?' (Almost always yes.)



So yes, listen to your body. Let it tell you its needs, and speak with it, team up with it. I love the saying: 'you are not a body with a soul, you are a soul with a body'. Bear that in mind. Your body is your vessel; it's your wheels and your cargo and your engine and your shining top coat, and you are the one driving. So, drive. But drive carefully and with love. Obey the speed limits, and top up on fuel regularly.
Right, that metaphor is officially done. As am I. For now. But I won't stop talking about it, and I won't stop writing about it. Because we need it.
Big shakin' body love, guys. Now and always. 



...Books to read: 'Letters to My Fanny' by Cherry Healey (which actually covers a whole lot of body parts, and I read as part of my February non-fic plan), 'Dumplin' by Julie Murphy (YA fiction), 'The Beauty Myth' by Naomi Wolf (classic non-fic), 'Eleanor & Park' by Rainbow Rowell (YA fiction), 'This One Summer' by Mariko Tamaki (Graphic Novel), 'Nothing Tastes As Good' by Claire Hennessy (YA fiction) and of course 'How To Be A Woman' by Caitlin Moran (non-fic/memoir) (when am I not recommending my pal Cat!?). 

Always open to more bookish suggestions, guys! Tweet/comment/whatev, gimme all the titles! 


...Bloggers (individual + teams) to befriend: Safe Space UK, mega babe Kathy B (especially this post), the previously mentioned Laura Jane Williams (#laurajanenaked on Insta is just #inspo), Tara at Cattitude & Co, Bethany at Arched Eyebrow (rec'd by Harriet Reuter Hapgood, a total babe of an author, that one), and the lovely Alice Marshall recently wrote about self love on her blog. 

If you readers can think of any more, for goodness sake comment and tag and holla! 


...Vloggers to watch: Leena Norms (I feel this video is important...oh wait, this one too!), Hannah Witton is always on point with sexy areas (ooh err), Carly Rowena and her super sweet yet total powerhouse videos, recently Helen Anderson who I've followed since I was at uni has started gym-ing and eating well (and bought herself gorgeous gym wear, the perfect motivation). 

Any more for any more?! Comment/tweet/tag, please! 


AlsoRupi Kaur's poetry about the body and being a woman and inner happiness and power are just ughh, everything.



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