SHE LOVES HERSELF – BABIES, BISCUITS & BOOZE

 

A massive thank you to everyone who read or commented on the first SLH post – I was so happy to see such a positive reaction and hope you all found it enjoyable and inspiring! This week we’re joined by Ellen from Babies, Biscuits & Booze who very kindly agreed to take part to show her support and sprinkle a few body positive vibes onto the interwebs…

Name 3 parts of your body that you love and tell us why they’re so fabulous?

My legs. I quite like having my legs out; I prefer wearing skirts and dresses to trousers. My legs are brilliant because they allow me to walk, run and dance (badly).

My eyes. I have heterochromia which means one of my eyes is half brown, half blue. David Bowie had the same thing. If that isn’t fabulous, I don’t know what is!

My mouth. This is what allows me to talk, eat and laugh; 3 of my favourite things!

Share a memory of when you felt particularly good about yourself.

This is a strange one as in some ways it was a very difficult time, physically, and my relationship with my body was undergoing profound change. But I felt good when the midwife visited a few days after my son was born; I was healing and breastfeeding was going well. He hadn’t lost weight and she was really impressed. I felt pretty powerful, to be honest. To have carried and grown him in my body, given birth and then to provide the nourishment he needed with solely my body…I don’t know, that felt pretty good!

Has your relationship with your body changed over time?

I think I have come to respect and enjoy my body more the older I get. I went through the usual paranoia and obsession with being thin as a young teenager; there was a phase for maybe 6 months or a year when I was really worried about being skinny and would do exercise videos at 6am and try not to eat any junk food. Luckily I seemed to realise what a waste of time that was, very quickly! Then, as many students do, I had a total disregard for my health while I was at uni. I don’t think many people are particularly healthy while at uni though so I don’t beat myself up about that. For the few years in between being a student and having my son I worked in the hospitality industry so I was always on my feet; I appreciated being physically able to do the work I wanted to do. Now, my body doesn’t look as good as it used to but it’s achieved so much. Being pregnant and then able to breastfeed has given me a huge amount of respect for my body.

If you are a parent (or have little people in your life), has this changed how you perceive or discuss healthy body image?

My little man isn’t very old yet, but I want him to know that a normal female body is not the flawless one you see in adverts. I hope he grows up to understand that our bodies are all different and there are many ways to be attractive. I would hate for him to pick up any ‘subliminal messages’ from me that food is something to stress over or battle with, or that carrying a bit of extra weight somehow makes you lesser as a person. I hope he’ll have a good relationship with his body and feel confident in his own skin.

What advice would you give to your teenage self on the subject of body image?

After I got over the exercise video phase that I mentioned earlier I think that, for a teenage girl, I had a pretty good body image. I would definitely tell myself to ignore the boyfriend who told me I’d look better, thinner, when I was 16. Maybe I’d get him to do some reading about positive body image! I’d want to remind my teenage self that it isn’t what you look like that counts. It’s who you are as a person and the things you do that matter, not what you look like.

What’s the best thing you’ve ever done for your body? 

I got really into my yoga DVD while I was pregnant, which was pretty impressive for someone who is totally averse to exercise. I really enjoyed the relaxation that came with that and feeling connected with my body. I do a lot of walking which I guess is good for my body.

Share one confidence boosting trick for days when you’re feeling a bit ‘meh’.

I put on an outfit which fits well and is comfortable and I try to do something that makes my body feel good. For me that’s normally having a stupid dance, or going for a walk, or even just chucking my little boy into the air and having a cuddle. It reminds me that it doesn’t really matter that I’m bigger than I used to be.

Who in the public eye do you admire for celebrating natural body shape?

I think Mindy Kaling is a brilliant example of a natural body shape. Amy Poehler has a fantastic attitude towards body image and Kate Winslet is another example of somebody who celebrates a natural shape. All of these women have publicly made great comments and statements about being body positive which is why they spring to mind.

Give us your best body positive quote or mantra.

This isn’t specifically a body positive quote as such but it kind of sums up how I feel about the perception of being ‘attractive’:
“If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”– Roald Dahl (The Twits)
It confirms the belief I have that people are drawn not to the most physically attractive person but to the kindest or happiest looking one.

I pledge to love myself a little more today by… 

Remembering that this body is strong, impressive and wonderful. It’s a gift to be physically able to do all the things I want to do, and an amazing achievement to have a lovely little boy.

***

Ellen has also written this wonderful post over on her blog which I am sure some of you will relate to: the dreaded post-pregnancy body battle! (I stayed in my maternity jeans for at least 4 months.)

I hope you enjoyed this post, thanks so much Ellen for your support!

 If you would like to take part in this series I’d love to hear from you,  just email messandmerlot@outlook.com or leave a comment below.

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92 Comments

  1. What a gorgeous series! I love Ellen’s answers – especially the quote, that is so very true! I too have half half eyes – very unusual & I didn’t know there was a special name for that! Thanks so much for joining us at #BloggerClubUK x

  2. Fab series, Charlie. I love the Roald Dahl post….Wonderful.
    Thanks for kicking of such a brilliant interview series…I think you should make a documentary about positive body image (no pressure). I have decided so it must be so! It is such a hot topic at the moment…About it’s impact on young girls etc. #BloggerclubUK

    You should approach a TV company!

    1. Thanks Jane! Oh I know, I’ve such a soft spot for ANY Dahl quote to be honest 🙂 OMG I can’t even muster up the courage to do a vlog but if Channel 4 arrive at my door I’ll know who’s behind it 🙂 Jane your positivity is truly amazing – you’re going to take part right? 😉

      1. I’m such a work in progress with the whole body image thing. My mind/heart etc still end up on a different page sometimes!!! I know I am ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’ (Psalm 139) but undoing years of ‘stuff’ that cloud the message we are wonderful, unique, valuable, precious, full stop, whatever shape size etc isn’t always easy! I totally think this could be a series on TV. You could go into schools around the country telling folks they are marvellous irrespective of their body size. You could have a whole Positive Body Image Blog and become this body image advocate and campaigner…You could be the Julie Creffield (too fat to run) of the positive body image world (because obviously you have nothing better to do)! I can be your agent. I’ve got it all figured out!

        1. Well that’s my life planned out then, I love it! 🙂 🙂 🙂
          Yes sadly I think we’ve had so many years of telling ourselves one thing that it feels unnatural to believe anything else. Practice makes perfect though!!

      2. BTW. I filled out a Send us your stories thing for the One Show and pointed them in your direction…So it’ll be them on your doorstep…This is where you hope I’m joking but I’m really not!

  3. This is such an important issue when it comes to our kids, especially girls..How to teach them to love themselves and not be under the pressure of society and media..Parents can do a lot in this direction, but it is crucial that the mothers themselves have a positive body relationship in order to teach her kids positive body image!
    Thanks for great post!
    #coolmumclub

  4. High five to you gorgeous – you clearly have a positive, healthy and relaxed body image – and so you should! I love the quote from The Twits! I’ve been reading it with Miss Tot (she loves the wormy spaghetti) and she seemed to really take that quote on board too. Brilliant interview and fantastic series! Thanks for sharing Charlie xx

  5. It’s refreshing to listen to someone say the time they loved their body the most wasn’t when they were the skinniest! Loved this last week, and got the same motivational buzz again this week. I already love this series, keep it up!
    Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub

    1. That’s so true, our mindset has so much to do with confidence doesn’t it. Now if we could just do something about those blimmin’ body shaming magazines eh? So glad you’re enjoying the series x

  6. I love this, especially the quote! You have such a healthy, positive attitude to your body. I love yoga and wish I could find a class nearby at a convenient time – I agree that it’s a great way to relax and get in tune with your body. Walking is great too – I used to walk so much more when the Popple napped in her pram. Sadly, those days are long gone now…#ablogginggoodtime

  7. Great idea for a series – so good to encourage us to speak positively about ourselves – and great answers from Ellen. I love her use of the Roald Dahl quote from the Twits – couldn’t agree more. xx #ablogginggoodtime

  8. I love Ellen’s reasons for loving her legs and her mouth – my legs are not great, aesthetically, but they sure do help me get around! great series – so refreshingly to hear women speaking honestly and positively about their bodies. #ablogginggoodtime

    1. Ha I feel the same re my legs, not the prettiest but they’ve served me well so far! Isn’t it nice to hear? Shame it feels so alien to us to talk positively about ourselves. El did a cracking job x

  9. I absolutely love this, I have emailed you about taking part as it is SO important to love ourselves isn’t it? As I have shared before, I suffered with anorexia for over 15 years of my adult life and I feel I wasted so much time hating myself when actually, there is so much about me to love. My children are forever telling me how beautiful they are and I will always encourage that! #MarvMondays

    1. Thanks Laura – have emailed you. Would be delighted to have you 🙂 Yes it’s frustrating to think about the time we devoted to putting ourselves down, now to build ourselves back up again, this time a new improved version 🙂 That’s so cute that your kids say that – Flump is 5 and already struggles to accept compliments or say anything nice about herself 🙁

      1. Ah Laura, what a lovely comment. I agree with Charlie – I think Amy Poehler has a quote about how it takes women years to un-learn all the messages society gives them about their bodies. I love that your kids are so positive, so cute ❤️❤️

  10. Yay! I love Ellen’s attitude. I go through days when I am the same, and then days when I am like, ugh my stomach! Love this series. #bigpinklink

  11. Gosh what a gorgeous post. Love the bit about her mouth! This is a very interesting series not least because I’ve been plagued with a dislike of my pear-shaped bod my whole life and am currently obsessing over the tyre that is forming around my belly when I’ve only ever been slim. These posts are a wake-up call and a reminder that I worry about rubbish. #bloggerclubuk

    1. Really glad to hear you’re enjoying the series – some brilliantly inspiring answers eh? Ah we all do it Prab’s, sometimes it’s nice to just say we’re lovely for a change. Try it- I dare you 😉 x

  12. I couldn’t agree more 🙂 I remember when both of my sons were born, I didn’t really think at all about how I looked, I just felt ridiculously proud and lucky that my body let me carry and birth two beautiful boys.

    Thanks for linking up to #PicknMix

    Stevie x

  13. Another great interview for your new series. Its so great to see and hear from all these women with body positive views and messages. I’m really enjoying reading your interviews, keep them coming! Thanks for sharing this on #MarvMondays. Emily

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