It’s a few days into January and a familiar, unwelcome feeling is looming in the back of my mind. It’s a specific type of dread, regret and panic all at the same time. I dare to glance at myself in the mirror beside my bed. This is a bad idea, but I force my eyes towards the reflection… I feel sick.
I thought I had come far this year. They say you gain confidence as you get older. That the latter part of your twenties herald a time when you no longer gasp at the sight of your own body. 2019 gave us movement and space to say no to the one-size-fits-all narrative we’d been fed since the beginning. I thought I was there. I was done with the self-criticism and had accepted my body for what it is: a body.
January 2020 has proven me wrong. Just like every January, I am in a state of disgust at my own body- and I’m not the only one.
This time of year is one of the worst for those struggling with their body image- and by ‘those’, I mean most people. We have let our guard down these past few weeks, clinging to the holiday season as an excuse to… to what? To pack on a few extra layers maybe? It’s been a cold winter to be fair. To change our relationship status with food from, ‘it’s complicated’ to ‘In love’ for five minutes? To take a break from punishing ourselves when we ‘lose control’?
Whatever way we toxically justify the winter weight gain, the question remains: why? Why do we do it?
Those of us who preach body positivity delight in the fat rolls of others but still cringe at our own. We are so proud of friends when they appear to achieve body acceptance. We would never use ‘fat’ as an insult… but we pull angrily at the rolls on our tummies and double chins when we see ourselves in the gaps between fog on the mirror.
Before I disappoint, I have not come up with an answer as to why we can’t achieve full-body acceptance. However, it would help if we all admitted to having days… or months when our membership to the body positive club was revoked temporarily. Being semi-okay with your own body is EXHAUSTING. It is so much easier to adore someone else’s being, body and mind.
Maybe simply achieving that is a steppingstone: to celebrate all bodies, but our own. This could eventually lead to a relationship with our earthly vessel that is deemed ‘not as complicated as before, but not yet perfect’.
So, this January, let us not to be so hard on ourselves if we are not yet OKAY with our outer shells. It is just as toxic to hate our thoughts as it is to hate our bodies. We cannot expect a year of Internet movement to undo a lifetime of damage done by unrealistic standards and fatphobic culture. Cut your mind some slack… even if you can’t do the same for your body, just yet.
The video also gives fans a behind-the-scenes look at Beyoncé in intense Coachell rehearsals, food-repping and working out ahead of her headline set, which became a Netflix film in a multi-million deal.
Queen Bey claims she has a "special bond" with daughter Blue Ivy, and has been honest with her followers about her post-pregnancy weight loss journey in the past.
In her Netflix documentary Homecoming, she shares:
"I’m limiting myself to no bread, no carbs, no sugar, no dairy, no meat, no fish, no alcohol – and I’m hungry." The star has just released her Lion King album, The Gift.
Bad news guys – smelling food before you eat could contribute to weight gain, new research has found.
Researchers in the US have found that the smell of food could actually play a vital role in how our body processes calories.
In a study, scientists at the University of California, Berkely, used gene therapy to eliminate in the sense of smell in a group of obese mice.
Results showed that the mice who couldn't smell lost weight when compared to those who could, even though they all ate the same amount of high-calorie food.
What's more, the mice who were able to smell actually doubled in weight, while mice with a boosted sense of smell put on the most weight.
As it turns out, smelling food could trigger the body into storing calories rather than burning them off.
Céline Riera, of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, said: “This paper is one of the first studies that really shows if we manipulate olfactory inputs we can actually alter how the brain perceives energy balance, and how the brain regulates energy balance.”
Researchers hope that the study could help people with eating disorders and diseases such as Parkinson's. It's also thought the results will help those who struggle to lose weight.
Senior author Andrew Dillin, said, “Sensory systems play a role in metabolism. Weight gain isn’t purely a measure of the calories taken in; it’s also related to how those calories are perceived,”
“If we can validate this in humans, perhaps we can actually make a drug that doesn’t interfere with smell but still blocks that metabolic circuitry. That would be amazing.”
For now though, it's probably best to avoid walking past that bakery on the way to work.
We're all used to seeing snaps of people before and after considerable weight loss.
Whether they're pulling their (now extra large) waistband away from their stomach or using their (now oversized T-shirt) as a bed sheet, when it comes to social media weight loss is always in… until now.
Deciding to turn the trend on its head, body positive social media star, Arianna Dantone, initiated a brand new trend at the start of the year, and Twitter is officially loving it.
The #GainingWeightIsCool hashtag is Arianna's attempt to highlight the importance of weight gain when it comes to countless people's personal journeys.
Whether it's as a result of muscle development through exercise or during the recovery process of an eating disorder, #GainingWeightIsCool seeks to highlight that in many cases relating to physical and mental health, weight gain is just as worthy of celebration as weight loss.
While most women aim to put on as little weight as possible while pregnant, Blac Chyna has set herself the goal of gaining 100 pounds before her second child is born.
The former stripper told fans on Snapchat that while she wants to gain a lot of weight, she does plan on losing it all once the baby is born.
She said: “Like no lie, my goal is to gain like 100 pounds this pregnancy. Imma tear it up and then Imma snap back.”
Although she doesn't offer any actual reason for why she wants to pile on the pounds, she did show her followers that she's already made steps towards achieving her rather unusual goal by weighing herself on camera.
While filming, Chyna discovered she is now 26lbs heavier than she was before becoming pregnant and upon seeing the result she squealed delightedly at the scales.
The mum-to-be also offered fans a glimpse of her pregnancy diet – which so far seems to consist of egg and cheese sandwiches, grilled chicken and kale salad.
So almost every time we open the app we are left feeling practically ravenous, and that’s before we’re even close to lunch time!
While many believe that scrolling through some #foodporn is just harmless fun, a new study has made us all regret following that last pastry chef immediately.
A new study in the journal Brain and Cognition suggests we may have been using Instagram wrong: "Regular exposure to virtual foods nowadays, and the array of neural, physiological, and behavioral responses linked to it, might be exacerbating our physiological hunger way too often.”
Basically, seeing everybody and their pug post pictures of their meals encourages you to feast every time they feast regardless of whether you are actually hungry or not.
If you spend too much time scrolling through a food-heavy Instagram feed you could end up eating excess calories that contribute to weight gain.
Apparently, even seeing images of food can physically affect you, making you salivate, messing with insulin levels, and even shaking up your heart rate. This is all in anticipation of eating the food you see on screen.
The study is not all bad news though. Eating habits are quite complicated and vary from person to person, so you may not need to unfollow every pizzeria on social media.
However, the study does draw attention to the link between those staring at mouth-watering looking recipes all day every day and their weight-gain.
We have all witnessed the insane body transformations of the Geordie Shore girls, Charlotte, Holly and Marnie.
So we can imagine that arriving in as the new girl and filming alongside these beauties while wearing a bikini in Greece would be pretty daunting.
Chloe Etherington, the newest member of the Geordie Shore cast, has admitted that she feels the pressure to lose weight because she just isn’t happy with how she looks and feels.
“I really hate my body at the moment and badly need to get back in shape and get rid of my jelly belly,” the 20-year-old reality star who currently weighs 11st has stated.
The former performing arts student – who wants to get down to 9st 7lbs – said that her diet of “spaghetti Bolognese pizzas” in Greece was largely to blame for the rapid weight gain when she entered the show.
“I loved filming the new series of Geordie Shore in Greece but it was a disaster as far as my diet was concerned.”
Ms Etherington, who was a former figure skater, seems to suffer from a condition that a lot of us are familiar with – the stopping-for-chipper-after-a-night-out syndrome.
“My big problem is that I would binge eat late at night after we had been partying. I am terrible when I get mortal. When I am like that, I eat like a man. My favourite is spaghetti Bolognese pizza – that is lush.”
Chloe has been taking Forza’s raspberry K2s that were recommended to her by her trainer. She explained that they “take the edge off your appetite and give you a bit of added zip when you go back to the gym.”
Chloe said that they are helping to accelerate her weight loss and they have worked for other celebrities such as Chloe Goodman and Frankie Essex.
Chloe's diet before her new body blitz:
Breakfast Fried egg sandwich with white bread. Tea with three sugars.
Lunch Jacket potato with cheese and a chicken bake.
Dinner Spaghetti bolognese pizza!
Chloe's new diet on her Forza weight loss programme
Breakfast Porridge with water.
Forza Supplements' Raspberry K2 supplement followed by 60-minutes work-out with her personal trainer Ian Guildford.
Lunch Grilled chicken and broccoli or a Lipowhey protein shake from Forza .
Dinner Poached haddock and sweet potatoes.
Chloe is a brand ambassador for Forza Supplements' Raspberry K2 diet capsules which are available at Boots, Tesco, Superdrug and Lloyds Pharmacy branches, and via www.forzasupplements.co.uk