Sunday, 24 February 2019

Self Love Logic: A New Instagram Venture

Hi gang! First of all I want to apologise for the radio silence over here. It was a totally unintentional break but it turns out trying to consistently upload on two Instagram accounts (more on that in a second), post on YouTube, write a dissertation and not go insane is actually quite hard. Who would have thought it!? Anyway jokes aside, life has been pretty busy over the past few months and I feel like now that my dissertation has been submitted I'm only just coming up for air. I'm hoping to put together some content for both my blog and YouTube channel about nailing dissertation planning and getting the most from the whole experience so if you have any specific questions feel free to fire them over! Today's post is about one of my 2019 endeavours that wasn't really a resolution but has somehow turned out more successfully than any of my ACTUAL resolutions (ahem ..... still not fitting in time to read more or go to bed before 10pm, one day, one day).

And I know what you're thinking if you've seen my new Instagram account- spending more time on social media really wasn't what I needed from the New Year, but it turns out dedicating my time to a really special kind of content has enthused me with all kinds of magic that makes Instagram a total JOY. So. The big blog reveal! I've started a second Instagram account alongside my Charlotte's Web page called Self Love Logic- a place to discuss all things diet culture, self love and intuitive eating. As you'll know if you're a long time follower of my blog or social channels, I've suffered with an eating disorder for over 6 years now (albeit at a MUCH more manageable level now than in my younger years) and I feel like over the past few years I've come to find so much peace and respect for my body and all that it provides for me. I was introduced to the Body Positivity movement by amazing women such as Grace Victory and Megan Crabbe (@bodyposipanda) and since those revelations it's totally opened my mind to the concept of self love and not hating my body ?? WHO KNEW. I can't thank social media and the vocal women online who brought this movement to my attention for literally saving my life from being encompassed with an eating disorder forevermore. Before I delve any more into the issue of Body Positivity, I just want to   firstly highlight how the BoPo movement was originally founded by black women in America who felt they didn't fit into the conventional standards of beauty so many of us struggle with. The point being, Body Positivity as a movement has taken off to a point in which it's now used by those of all genders, backgrounds, weights and ages. Whilst this has aided so much in the fight against diet culture, its original purpose was to allow those who were marginalised to have a voice of their own. Whilst I adore what Body Positivity has enriched my life with, I just wanted to make a point of saying that I respect that this movement was not one made for me and as a result I make a point of practicing self love and respecting my body whilst leaving this term for those it was intended for.

I started Self Love Logic in January as an outlet for all the frustrations and years of anger I'd built up surrounding the diet industry and the way it infiltrates so many aspects of our society to profit from our insecurities. I've spoken openly about the correspondence I've had with diet companies over the years asking me to promote their products online- something which has always shocked me considering the quantity of mental health content I share online and anti-diet attitudes I support and promote. The combination of emails I'd received over the years in addition to the diet adverts and talk of January cleanses after Christmas came to a bit of a turning point for me and after a few days of mulling it over I decided I wanted to create my own online space dedicated to the topic of body respect and intuitive eating. For those who don't know, intuitive eating in short is eating the foods your body craves and consuming in a way that's as in tune with your needs as possible. A lot of misconceptions about eating intuitively assume that this means eating everything that is typically seen as indulgent or higher in calories if that's what your body is craving, but truly it's about respecting the signals your body is clever enough to give you so that you consume in a way that fits your lifestyle and the requirements your body needs to operate at its best. Intuitive eating doesn't have to mean rejecting salads and quinoa and green juices just because that's what wellness and diet culture typically push, it means eating the things that you WANT rather than what you feel you SHOULD. It can feel like a hugely unnatural practice to trust your body to know what's best, especially if you're in eating disorder recovery and unlearning all the signals you've previously been ignoring but it's a truly liberating way of eating that I think should be spoken about so much more!

So far the content I've been sharing is a mixture of my own original work, re-posting illustrations and furthering the discussions sparked by others to create a space that in its most basic form promotes an attitude of body respect and dismantling the ideas that for so long have been thought of as the norm as a result of diet culture. Despite how much I love the ideas behind the Body Positivity movement mentioned above, for me, and I'm sure so many others, the idea of body respect or body neutrality is a much more realistic and feasible attitude to channel. For those who have spent years picking apart their appearances and finding 'flaws' as a result of the media and celebrity culture, it can feel like a bit of a stretch to go from negative body association to full on self love. That's where body neutrality steps in, instead promoting the idea that we can simply be at peace with our body's and respect the physical challenges and experiences they allow us to enjoy without the need for full on shouting "I LOVE ME" into the mirror every morning. I've also done a little reading around the subject today and found that body neutrality is also celebrated as a way for those with terminal or chronic illnesses taking up their lives to find peace when physical ailments mean their bodies have betrayed them- this is another aspect of the movement I can personally relate to and find so comforting. 

I could honestly go on and on about diet culture and its impact on my life but I fear I may end up repeating the content I've been loving sharing over on Instagram! I'm going to continue sharing mental health content on all my social channels because it's been a huge support for me to be able to connect with others through the years on similar experiences but if you're into all things self love and respect then I would recommend following Self Love Logic for frequent and more in depth posts! I originally aimed to post daily over there but I think 4-5 times a week is a more realistic goal for me right now which I think is more than enough to inspire you to reject diet culture in your everyday life. I really hope you guys enjoy the page and thank you so much for all the support over there already- it means the world and I'm so pleased others are enjoying it as much as I'm loving creating! 

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