It is week 5 of my bikini fitness training programme. By now, I thought, to be honest, that I would be able to forgo my winter knits and do the school run in a little black dress, if I so pleased, thank you very much. Not quite......
Last week, the world exploded with the news that Barbie is now available in a body diverse range. The world's most famous doll is now also available in versions that are curvier, tall, petite and of different skin tones - supposedly more realistic reflections of 'real women.'
Now, thanks to Mattel's latest major makeover of the iconic best-selling doll - continuing 2015's expansion which added 23 new skin tones, a variety of hair colours and a flat foot so she could ditch those perma-heels - Barbie's enduring appeal just got a little closer to home for millions of kids worldwide.
Having role models that bust these perceptions is a huge step forward, but it is equally important not to single them out for being different. It's as if to say, if you don't look like the super skinny version, then somehow you're not normal. Most kids want to feel normal so will they really ask for the 'curvy version?'. Will they want to be seen with it?
When I played with Barbie, I didn't care what she looked like. I wasn't interested in the size of her boobs or waist. I wasn't even particularly interested in her array of outfits or stilettos. Like thousands of other girls, I'm sure, I cared more about what she could be, what she could do.
I used to be reasonably fit. I am vegetarian, have practised yoga for over a decade and have always been naturally slim. When I had my first child my body stretched and strained but within six months of a natural birth I returned to a slightly heavier, slightly hippier, saggier-boobed version of myself. But not that dissimilar.
Don't get me wrong, I love instagram as much as the next coffee-drinking selfie-obsessed girl. But sadly, there comes a point where I have to admit my amaro-tinted glasses need to be removed, for the good of everyone.
Like most women I have navigated most of my life through a smorgasbord of insults and 'compliments' regarding my body - more often than not comments that somehow compared my body to food. I had to learn fast what food types it was ok to be and what were definitely not.
Ten years on, I'm still in love with the village that boasts steep cobbled streets, friendly locals, a beautiful beach, my favourite tapas restaurant, No. 9, stunning cliff top views and a community spirit higher than anywhere else I've visited.
Categorising us as a specialist brand whilst under the guise of advocating body positivity is not the way to go about supporting the imminent collapse of body shaming, rather integrating us into existing institutions or rather, treating us like everyone else, would be the more favourable option - trust me.
I shudder even at the thought of giving up my accomplishment - achieving extreme natural weight loss, as well as the fitness, healthy relationship with food and self-control I've gained through doing it. The more I think about it, the more I feel I would aggressively tell my former self not to even think about having a gastric band.
We all have full-time jobs and run LDNM alongside these as well as making time for the gym, climbing, cycling and or football for 6-10 hours per week- so we know and understand the struggle to maintain a structured and effective training and eating routine within a normal person's already demanding lifestyle.
Every new year we set resolutions that instantly set us up for a fall. To lose weight, to get better skin, to find someone who will love us unconditionally. Well, why not make this the year you do things a bit differently?
I thought about the millions of pounds men and women spend on bronzing their skin, on adding volume and curls to their hair and, more recently, to inserting bum implants to achieve the curvaceous figures sported by the likes of Beyonce, J-Lo and Shakira. But I couldn't really say all that.
When I first heard that Protein World had released a new advert, I began sharpening my claws. After all, this is the brand responsible for the infamous 'Are You Beach Body Ready?' billboards. But when I watched the 'New Year, New You' advert, I felt compelled to speak up - surprisingly, even to myself, to defend it.
They need to realise that the messages that they present on the covers of their magazines are seen by everybody - young women do not walk around with blinkers on and there is no age limit to when someone starts feeling self-conscious about their body or when collapse of self-esteem is imminent.