Plus Sized Mannequins

There is so much controversy at the moment about body shaming which is focusing on shaming fit and healthy bodies as well as larger fuller figured bodies. It’s not so much shaming the super fit, muscular female form but the use of it making those without a body like that feel inadequate and forced into unnatural and unhealthy practices (SOMETIMES) to get a body like that… let’s face it women’s bodies were not meant to have overly defined muscles, six packs and rock hard buns with chests and other parts inflated with silicone. Nor were they meant to be dangerously overweight and promotion of that as OK or normal is being slated too, fearing that it will only contribute to the rise in obesity. Both camps have a point.

I think it fair to say they are both extremes and I also think it fair to say that if the people who look like that are healthy in body and mind and are happy then who cares what they look like? I certainly don’t think it is anyone’s business to get upset about it. Yet people are getting really upset about it, angry about it even and you have to wonder what they hate about themselves that makes them so nasty towards people they’ll never meet and who make no difference to their lives. Live and let live and all that. Super fit doesn’t mean the person lives on whey powder and never leaves the gym just like super fat doesn’t mean the person is loveless and never leaves the GPs office.

What is good to see and something I do consider to be healthy is the use of mannequins in fashion stores which better represent average women’s sizes and more natural body shapes of women, if there is a normal shape. I think the representation of a normal body, as in one that is nourished well and moves enough, whether it is slightly overweight or underweight doesn’t matter, the fact that it represents reality is the important thing.

Taken from The Guardian if you fancy reading more

So it’s good to see that a Swedish store is in the news this week for using realistic models in its stores and has a UK size 12 and a UK size 16 showcasing lingerie. What is evident from both to me is that neither are grotesque, neither look unhealthy, neither should attract too much attention, they are both perfectly OK. Debenhams in the UK also uses a size 16 mannequin which again, doesn’t look massive. I think we need to get a grip on this body size shaming thing… lots of us would rather look like the size 16 mannequin than an Olympic pentathlete anyway, lots of us don’t feel the need to have a fitness body to show that we are healthy and fit, we know we can have that size 16 body and be healthy and fit, we’re living in the real world and we’re rational.

I’m glad to see things like this. I think this is the way forward not a tit for tat between fitness bodies and obese models.

The Debenhams size 10 and size 16

I know someone who works in fashion retail and she told me another reason larger mannequins are not used… something totally nothing to do with appearance, impression or anything else… she said that mannequins are very heavy and a pain in the bum to dress, so the smaller the better. Her store had some plus sized mannequins to dress with their plus sized ladies range but the staff were just having too much trouble and too many accidents dressing them and so they requested that they had them removed… if they had their way all clothes would be on kids mannequins.. nothing to do with image, pure and simply to do with convenience.


Organic farming in a tiny space. Freebie!

I’ve posted on this before because so often I hear people say they’d love to grow some of their own organic produce but they don’t have space or time or the skills to do so. Here’s another fab little book to help you available free at the moment for Kindle on Amazon it’s called Mini Farming: Fast and Easy Guide to Mini Farming For Your Own Organic Fruits and Vegetables and is by Raiden Steven. Just click somewhere on the title of the book to go straight to the download page.

Image from here

I know some people really do have no space at all but have a scout around and see if there are any communal gardens or allotments you can get involved with in your area. Around here there are a few parks which have volunteer groups which have started communal gardens in a corner of a local park with the permission of the local authority and with input from local colleges and even sponsorships from local businesses. They encourage people to get involved with tending the area and then they share produce when it’s ready. If there isn’t one in your area and your really have no room not even for a planter on a balcony or some pots on a sunny windowsill then think about getting together with some like minded local people and starting your own.

Everyone knows that I’m seriously into growing my own produce now, not just at home for us to eat but also taking an active role in a communal allotment for the GP surgery’s over eaters self help group. I have to say that right now we’re very busy with the garden and allotment projects and so grateful that everyone is taking their turn to get involved and that our number in the group is swelling as more members join and get involved. It’s great to see a few teens joining us too and to see everyone losing weight is an absolute joy. I’ll have to update on the group progress as soon as I have time to do it justice.

It’s a good time to set a group up as more and more people are looking to take more control of what they eat and looking for ways to do do trusted organic on a budget.

Do It Like a Marine – Ready made fitness plan

One of my son’s friends wants to go into the Royal Navy when he is 18 and they were chatting today about what the fitness requirements may be, so I went online and did a bit of research and we found out. Not only did we find all of the info we needed we found this fab Get Fit To Join The Royal Navy booklet with a fab fitness plan all laid out.

So the boys have decided to make this their ‘get buff for summer’ approach starting tomorrow. I’m hoping they take it beyond the summer and either use this as their fitness benchmark or they continue to develop their fitness in a healthy and purposeful way after completing this. I’m sure it will do the boy who wants to go into the forces good to have a few friends on the programme with him and the team spiritedness of the approach and no doubt a bit of competition won’t do any harm in helping him achieve his fitness goals. We’ve suggested they get sponsors and raise a bit of money for a forces related charity like Help the Heroes or such while they are at it as that may ensure that they endure to the end.  They’re going to get on with sorting that out tomorrow too.

I’m tempted to have a go myself and join them even if not actually with them as such but alongside them hidden away somewhere at different times of the day. I just thought this is a good idea for anyone who is trying to energise a teen or get them fitter and taking more care of themselves or as a family project even and especially for someone who wants to or may want to join a profession where physical fitness is going to be an assessed must.

It’s also a fun way to just build fitness and stamina, strength and ability really and if you’re lost as to where to start, or looking for a progressive programme which takes in cardio and strength, fitness and endurance and a range of exercise including swimming, running/walking, resistance training then this might be an idea for you, or an adaptation of this maybe.

Sometimes Always I find that making exercise fun, making it a social activity, making it just for fun competitive, making it about improvement and progression, giving it a goal, time limiting it, making it about raising money or awareness for a good cause… all of those things make it more fun and the more fun it is the more likely we are to do it.

Eat To Live Forever

I’m just watching a programme called just what this blog post is entitled and it’s one of a BBC made series of programmes looking at ‘extreme’ diets for health and longevity.

Tonight’s episode looks among others at a keto or low carb diet and the guy presenting it and investigating it is concerned about being thin on the outside and fat on the inside as he reveals many actually are these days with high carb, low fat, low protein and dairy diets.

It’s available on BBC iplayer and I don’t know if that’s available globally but I’ll include a link anyway below so you can try to check it out if you’re interested. This week’s episode may not be on iplayer yet but will be later tonight or  tomorrow and I missed the first episode so am not sure what it even looked at nor what the next episode is going to be about but I will be sure to catch up and blog about anything I find outstanding. Take a look if this kind of thing interests you, the slaughter and butchering of lifestock in a suburban garden and the immediate eating of some of the meat and organs while still warm might be a step too far for me but it is interesting to see how far people take this and why.

I think we have to educate ourselves about food because our governments don’t seem to do that honest a job.

Here’s the link to Eat to Live Forever on BBC iplayer