It was a wonderful experience, being able to connect with yogis from all over the UK. I was surprised at how many yogis travelled up from London. I am not entirely surprised as there is such a cool vibe in Manchester.
I am saddened by the rising number of people who feel the need to risk everything for purely cosmetic reasons. We should be educating people more on how brilliant their bodies are, just the way they are.
As a nutritionist I feel pressure to look a certain way, and because I don't look like Deliciously Ella or the Helmsley Sisters, I rarely show pictures of my body on my website or Instagram (just the odd head shot).
I proved my point; I wrote an article about women shaming other women and women body-shamed my daughters! I know what you are thinking, I shouldn't write an article like this and not expect this sort of attention; I'm not complaining, I just thought it interesting that everyone missed my point.
I was crying over a few pairs of trousers. I needed to have a word with myself. This body has grown and birthed a beautiful baby boy. It now feeds that boy, keeps him growing and healthy and strong.
It is now over a year since I completed what is termed "active treatment". Now I hate to seem ungrateful but however delighted I am to be alive, I would still welcome a head of hair without a bald patch, eyebrows that do not need drawing on each day and eyelashes that reach a lash count in excess of ten.
My mother recently wrote an article in the Daily Mail addressing how she raised me and my 15 year old sister to be respectable and kind towards other women and wear whatever clothes we feel comfortable in. The article got a lot of mixed attention...
While women are being encouraged to be "beautiful", it's not supposed to be for ourselves; it's supposed to be for other people. We're supposed to look good, but not on our own terms or by our own standards. We're meant to be these aesthetically appealing objects that exist to be admired by - let's be honest here - men. The thing about selfies that can make people so uncomfortable is that it represents a woman taking control of her own image, thinking that she looks great and not being ashamed to say it.
The world is an unforgiving place and so many of us are faced with challenges on a daily basis that test our self-esteem. Someone might make an offhand comment about a fat person, an eating disorder, the clothes that someone has chosen to wear, comments to their children about body size - all of which could contribute to an already body image obsessed society.
If you haven't heard of it, listen up. Psycle London is creating a fitness movement that you need to be a part of. They offer a high intensity, low impact, head-to-toe workout on a bike, but it is so much more than that. This is not just an exercise class. This is a movement.
It's an daily challenge. It's constant questioning. Is my dress too tight? Is my bra showing? Is my skirt too short? How can you not feel shamed about your own natural anatomy when society propels standards that make you feel uncomfortable in your own skin.
I've never been one to read Celebrity weekly magazines or the infamous Sidebar Of Shame (unless for work purposes, obvs), but the coverage of Teigen's pregnancy and existence since giving birth to baby Luna has been unavoidable and totally infuriating.
I find it fascinating and exciting that we get to see the narrative of Beyonce's personal anger and life explored in her art and identity. That she is prepared to step out from the glittering façade of her perfect life and be the author of who she wants to be.
Let's stop segregating models by their measurements. Let's stop letting hip sizes dictate whether someone is model-worthy or not. Let's start finding more Maya's and Barbara's, and bring modeling back to what it's best at: discovering charismatic, unique and beautiful faces, that all women can aspire to.
Calisthenics is a physical form of training focused on mastering ones own bodyweight. A combination of gymnastics and strength training progressed not by adding more iron plates but by defying gravity and exploring the limits of our own bodies.
I know I'll get the weight off eventually and I may not look as good as I did before and feel as confident when I look in the mirror but I'm more than enough. I'm trying to embrace I just look a bit more curvier and bottom heavy right now. I'm still worthy of self love, acceptance and to still feel truly content within even I'm a few pounds heavier that doesn't take away my worth. And it shouldn't take away yours either.