Intuitive Eating & Body Positivity with Terri Pugh

26. Is your body a house or a home?

October 10, 2021 Terri Pugh Episode 26
Intuitive Eating & Body Positivity with Terri Pugh
26. Is your body a house or a home?
Show Notes Transcript

Do you live in a house or a home? No, I’m not talking about the building you are in, but the body you are in. Have you settled into it and made it yours, or are you seeing it as a pit stop, constantly trying to change it, and as somewhere to wait while you get the new one ready?

 I am talking more about the things we don't do when we are plus-size, have yet another rant about clothes shops, give you a message from a listener whose husband takes the photos of models and superstars, and talk about going out partying with friends when you feel like the fat one of the group.

Thanks also to Maddie Deakin for the inspiration for the house or home analogy this week. It's stuck with me for a long time!

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Please note, this podcast is intended to be general information for entertainment purposes only. Any figures quoted are correct at the time of recording. As always, please seek the support of a registered professional before making changes to your diet or lifestyle⁠, or if you feel that you are affected by any of the topics discussed.


Related Topics:

Intuitive Eating, HAES, Health At Every Size, Body Positivity, Body Confidence, Body Positive, Anti Diet, Non Diet, Diet Culture, Food Freedom, Fat Acceptance, Fat Liberation, Plus Size, Self Care, Weight Loss, Eating Disorder, Eating Disorder Recovery, Disordered Eating, Nutritional Therapy, Slimming World, Weight Watchers, Cambridge Diet, Cambridge Plan, 121 Diet, Lighter Life, Noom, Coaching, Healing, Health, Wellness, Calorie Counting, Macros

Welcome to the Intuitive Eating and Body Positivity podcast. I'm Terri and I'll be talking about all about intuitive eating, body positivity and health at every size and shaking of weight, stigma, diet culture and food rules so that we can all have a better relationship with food and our bodies.


Hello. How are you? How's your week been? Mine's been good. It's been alright.


You know that I'm going to talk to you about Strictly every week, right? Every week until Strictly is over I'm going to talk to you about it. I apologise for those of you who have no idea what I am talking about, you just have to find it. If you are not in the UK, if you have no idea what I'm talking about, you're just going to have to find it somewhere on the internet so you can follow along.


Who is in love with John and Johannes? Honest to God, the most amazing pair. So excited every time they come on. Obviously I would make a better dancer paired up with somebody like Johannas, but you know, they haven't called me yet. It's alright, it's fine. I'm not bitter.


Yeah, it's awesome. It's so good. Such a strong, strong series. Can't believe week three and we've got tens coming in. So exciting.


What else has happened this week? Not an awful lot really. Not an awful lot. My sore throat that I had last week turned into a bit of a groggy week so I haven't been feeling all that good, but that's okay.


It happens, doesn't it? It happens. It just means I've got nothing interesting to tell you from my week. Hands up if you have the best husband in the world. That will be me, thank you very much.


Last night he recreated the meal that we had at the restaurant in Worcester. Remember I told you about this meal that we have with the massive ravioli and the antipasto board? He recreated that. It was amazing. Yep.


Antipasto, all the meats and the cheeses and the olives, then the ravioli after. It was so good. So so good. I did ruin his plans a little bit though, because I had got myself some cider to drink last night. I just fancied it, and he said that he had bought a bottle of wine to go with a meal. Oops, that's all right, though. It will keep. Not very long in this house, but it will keep.


I have a little apology to make from last week. No, not an apology, actually, no, I just need to correct a little bit of information that I gave you. So we were talking, weren't we about the photo shoot that I had with my husband and the kids?


And then we went on to say about what you're missing out on when you're worried about your weight or your size. And I was talking about photography and I quite openly said I know nothing about photography, or very little anyway, and I said my friend would be cringing listening to me try and talk about it and explain lenses and things like that. But basically what I was saying was there's an old saying that the camera adds something like ten pounds in a photo and I was saying that that's not the case. The camera doesn't just add ten pounds. It takes a picture of what's there anyhow.


Let me tell you, the camera does add a little bit extra size on to the things in a photo. Apparently in Photoshop, there's a button that will correct this. It's called lens distortion or something. So for those of you that were out there and listening and know about photography and was screaming at me as I was talking, yeah, I apologise.


I know now that there is a lens distortion that happens. That does mean that the size of things changes slightly in a photo. It is correctable. So if there is a photographer doing professional photos of you, hopefully they're hitting that correction button and removing that distortion to fully represent what is actually in the photo. However, my point does still stand.


The saying is the camera will add ten pounds. Well, how does the camera know what ten pounds is? Do you know what I mean? The camera can't just add a set amount of weight to a person. If you put on ten pounds, where would that weight go?


Would it go on your legs? Would it go around your stomach? Would it go on your arms? Would it go on your chest? Would it go on your face?


That ten pounds is a nonsense figure. Adding ten pounds onto my body would have a totally different effect to adding ten pounds to your body. So the overriding message is the camera does distort things slightly. If you're having professional photos, hopefully your photographer is correcting that automatically anyway. But the camera doesn't just add ten pounds to you in a photo. So still get out there, get in those photos, get those memories made.


Also on the back of that, I had a message from a lovely lady on Instagram. Her name is Daniela. Now, I did say I was going to read this message out anonymously, and she said, no need to be anonymous. So I've taken her at a word. So, Daniela, thank you for this message.


I'm going to read out what she said. So she's contacted me basically off the back of the message about photography, she says,


"hey, Terri, I'm very much enjoying your podcast. It's been so uplifting and positive. I've been struggling with weight all my life, going up and down from thin to big and back. The older I get, the more easier it seems to accept the way I am."


Yes, Daniela.


"Fun Fact my husband has been working as a photographer of Fashion Week Met Gala red carpets for 25 years now".


I read that and I was like, Whoa, the people he must have met and seen. She goes on to say


"he has worked with every super model and movie star there is. But he picked me, a chubby computer programmer with no sense of fashion whatsoever.


We've been together happily for six years. I know all the wives of his photographer...."


Oh for goodness sake. I'm not even editing that out because I know it's going to make you laugh. Why can't I speak? Start again.


"I know all the wives of his photographer friends and not one of them is a model. All of the professional photographers, the ones with the real careers, picked smart down to Earth women that don't care that much about their appearance. I always wanted to make a photo book about the wives of photographers. It would be so eye opening. I still have days when I don't feel great about my weight.


Your podcast has helped me get into a better mood when that happens. Sorry for the long message. Greetings from New York".


Daniela. I know we had a conversation about that after. I am grateful that you've allowed me to share that message with everybody. I just thought it was so interesting that supermodel life that thinness that we strive for in a photograph is so far from reality, isn't it? But it's the standard that we're expected to compare ourselves to. It's what we're always aiming to be. We're always aiming to look thinner in a photo or look better somehow, even if it's not weight.


But the reality is that it takes a lot of work for those photos to get to the standard that you see in magazines and papers and online and stuff. And Daniela went on to say that she seen the process that the photos go through and how that world works. Nothing about it is real. It was so good to hear that from somebody who works with people who are so idolised. So you can take it from a wife of a photographer of the stars, that those photos are not real.


That look you are striving for that look that you idolise. It's not real. It's not real. You are real. Your body is real. You are amazing.


Yesterday, I put a box up on a story on Instagram and asked, what do you not do because of your weight or size? So last week in the episode, I made some assumptions about what people don't do. I mean, they were educated assumptions, and they were more based on what I don't do. But assuming that most people do the same.


But I thought I'm going to ask the question, what do you not do because of your weight, or your size? And so many of these messages were along similar lines.


So the first one that came in was about wearing bikinis. Oh the swimwear thing. Not wearing the swimwear that you want to wear based on the way you look. Not wearing a bikini because you're worried about your middle. I hear ya. I understand.


I had a couple of messages that were saying about going out. So one person came back to me and said, "I often don't go out on nights out because my friends are all thinner than me and I think I'll stand out". She wasn't the only one to say that. Several people messaged me and said about going out to the pub, going out to clubs, going out, dancing. Hands up if you are in that boat. How many evenings out have you cancelled because it's just too stressful?


The getting ready to go out, the clothes, the shoes, because you don't feel comfortable but you feel like you have to wear heels in order to make yourself look better, knowing full well that later on in the night, you're going to be in pain. You're not going to want to walk around. You're certainly not going to want to dance, but you don't want to wear your flat shoes.


Trying to do your hair and make up. Is that just me? I'm rubbish at hair and makeup. But then when you're actually out and you're actually in the crowd feeling like nobody's going to want to pay attention to you because you are the fat girl of the group. If you're single, that thought is, who's going to want to look at me when all my friends look like that? Even if you are not single, no one wants to feel like they're the bigger one in the group, or not as attractive as the rest of their friends. Nobody wants to feel like that.


And then when you get into dancing, well, you quite often feel like people are going to be looking at you because, you know, fat girls shouldn't dance, right? They should just stand in the corner, not enjoy themselves, not do anything fun. Hell, no. Get on the dance floor, get on the dance floor. You do you and have a great time.


Or even just standing at the bar, you know, when you've got a crowded bar and you have to squeeze your way in, that's easier for a smaller person, right? Nobody wants me in my big body barging my way to the bar. I know, I hear you. I hear you. I've said all of these things to myself, but it is not the truth.


I don't think I have ever, ever looked at somebody enjoying themselves on a night out and thought they shouldn't be doing that. Look at the size of her, or who does she think she is trying to make her way to the bar? Look at the size of her. No, that's not the way you think. That's not the way people in general think.


Get yourself out there. Have a great night out with your friends, have a great night out with your partner. Do what you want to do, go out and have some fun. These last couple of years have been terrible, haven't they, across the world. Now is the time to be making the most of this new not freedom that we've got, that we've got the ability now to go out and go and socialise and go and have fun. And if that's what you used to like doing, if that's what you know, you would enjoy doing, if you could just let go of your fears, go and do it, go and have some good nights out, regardless of your weight.


Lots of people coming back to me again saying, I don't have pictures taken. I don't get in photos. Yeah, it's very real, isn't it? Nobody wants it etched in a photograph for all of time, but make those memories. Get stuck in get into those photos.


There were also a couple of people that came back to me and said about having fun with their partner in the dark, not with the lights on. Just going to put it there, because I've always promised that this will be a safe space, and as much as I know that that subject is or should not be taboo, and you know, we should be talking about these things, I do appreciate that some people do not want to discuss it with their children in the same room. So let's just say, but we all know what that comment means. And actually, that makes me sad. It makes me sad.


But I also understand. I have been that I have had those insecurities. Now I don't so much. It's taken quite a long time to get to that point. It really has. So again, it's not an overnight thing that you're going to do.


Just flick a switch and everything is okay, you feel great about yourself. But you've got to know that that person is there in that moment with you because they love you. Or even if they don't love you, because you don't automatically fall in love with somebody the second you meet them, they are still attracted to you. They want to be that intimate with you because they are attracted to you and love what you have to offer them.


And if we're going to be real about this, the longer you're with somebody, the more of you they're going to see over time. Isn't that right? And by the time you've been with somebody a good few years, they've seen everything there is to see about you anyway. What exactly are you hiding? Let loose girls let loose. That's what I'm going to say on that one.


I might do another whole episode by that, and then you'll know what the topic is going to be and you can listen in your own good time shall we say.


Somebody else commented and said about shopping in high street shops? God, don't even get me started.


Now, you know the issues I have about clothes shopping. You know how much that annoys me. But do you know what annoys me even more than shops not catering to a size, is shops that cater to your size, but don't stock them in the shop. You go to a sales assistant and ask for your size and they say "no, sorry, you have to order that size online and we can have it delivered to the store for you".


How about I'm here shopping today so I'd like my size today, thank you so very much. I know that these shops are trying to fill their racks with the most commonly sold sizes, but do you think that one day they might come to realisation that if they put a load of bigger sizes on the racks, they might actually become the more popular sizes?


There's a radical thought, hey? I know I found super sarcastic. I know that, but it is just such a ridiculous situation, isn't it? The UK average is not a very small size. The UK average is, I think a 16.


Now I struggle to find stores that will go anywhere near my size. I know that a lot of shops will just stock up to a 14 or 16 and to go past that they're just stocking one or two on the rack of a bigger size. It's just crazy.


I mean, Laura Adlington, remember her off of Bake off? She's got a really great plus size Instagram account actually. She has been naming and shaming lately and the other day she went into Zara and the XXL or maybe just an XL was teeny tiny. I mean, that's ridiculous, isn't it? Sort it out. Shops just sort it out.


It's a ridiculous state to be in. We should not be having to go online to get clothes to fit us, especially when some shops are having this plus size range to start within and are removing it. That's even more ridiculous.


Our local New Look store did have three floors. Now what they have is one main floor, which is looking quite sparse I've got to say, one lower floor where there's some underwear and some shoes and what can only be described as a jumble sale right now, and they've taken the third story away completely. So gone are the plus stuff, gone are the men's stuff, and what is that all about? What is that all about?


There is actually no shop locally to me that I can go and shop in for clothes my size. Cheers high street stores. Anyway, moving on, because, as you know, I can rant on about that for a very long time.


Next message said "Kayaking, morning run on the street, pole dancing". Yes. Yes, yes understood. Yep.


There's lots of things that we wouldn't get into because we worry about the way our bodies look or the size that we are and whether the activity we want to do will actually cater for our sizes. The kayaking thing is a great example. Maybe this person would love to go kayaking, but can't because the kayaks don't cater for her size. Maybe. I don't know that I'm just putting it out there as a possible scenario.


The morning run on the street. Yeah. How many people get jeered at as they're running because they're a bit bigger and some guy in a transit van thinks it's funny to yell something out the window? Been there, had that. You've got to have a smart remark in your back pocket ready for those people, or just ignore them. But the fact is, you shouldn't have to be worried about people heckling you as you're running, should you? That's awful. That's really awful.


Pole dancing. Now, I know from personal experience that you can pole dance in a bigger body. You can. The kit is there. It supports your weight. But I also understand how you feel about pole dancing in a bigger body. I hope that locally to you, you have a studio that will be supportive and accepting and promotes body positivity, because if that's the case, you should definitely get in there. You should definitely give it a go if you're not already a pole dancer.


If you are a pole dancer and you feel uncomfortable because of your body, then I understand that even with the best studio in the world, if you are constantly comparing yourself to other dancers, then it's a difficult thing to let yourself go in. I understand there are so many activities aren't there where we would love to give it a go, but we don't because of the way that we feel about our body size.


What I will say is there is a wonderful account. Meg Boggs. She is plus size. She advocates for people who are in plus size bodies and want to do activities. She does a lot of training. She does a lot of weights and that sort of thing, and she is a really positive person for you to follow. Look her up. She really is great.


That story on Instagram is still going, so there's still comments coming through, but it's just pointing out that so many people are in the same boat. It's so easy to feel like you're the only person that feels this way. You're the only person who doesn't feel like they can put themselves out there because of the way they look.


And in reality, so many people feel the same way. So many people are holding back because of how they feel about themselves. Go on, guys, get stuck in, get out there, do something fun, do something for you. Do something you wouldn't usually do and to hell with everybody else.


I once heard a line from somebody called Maddie Deacon. She is a health at every size and fat positive nutritionist, and I heard her talking to somebody else on a podcast one day and she says, you have to set up home in your body.


I don't think she elaborated on that, but I took that and ran with it because it really hit me hard. That line really resonated with me, and I thought about it for ages after. You have to set up home in your body.


Here's what I took from that? Do you live in a house or do you live in a home? I'm not talking about the actual physical building you live in. I'm not talking about the bricks and blocks that is constructed out of. I'm talking about the way that it feels. So a house to me is just a building that you can live in but a home is a place that you live in.


It's a place that you love, it's a place that you belong in, and it's a place of safety and warmth and good vibes. I know that not everybody has that in their home, but that is the way that a home should be let's say. When you move into a new house, do you say I've moved into a new house or you say I've moved into a new home? It's usually I've moved into a new house, and that's because you've moved into this new house. But you haven't quite made it home yet.


And you quite often hear people say it doesn't really feel like home yet, but that will come once I've decorated, etc etc. So is your body a house, or is it a home? Have you settled into it? Have you made it yours yet, or are you just seeing it as a bit of a pit stop, somewhere to wait while you get the new one ready?


It's an interesting way to think about it, isn't it? If you're constantly trying to lose weight or to change yourself somehow, your body, it's just a house. It's just this place that you're living in, but you're not really happy with it. You don't want it to be the way it is. You're constantly wanting to change it, to make it better. It's not really good enough to show anyone yet. It's a bit of a doer upper. Do you know that saying about houses? It's a bit of a doer upper. It's a bit of a project house.


Well our bodies aren't project houses. Our bodies are our home. This is what you're living in. This is what you're living your life in. And that home might change over time.


It might change naturally. It might change. It will change. But that body has to be your home, not just your house. It's not just a vessel carrying you forward from one year to the next. You're supposed to be living in your body and enjoying it.


Are you trying to cram it into clothes that are too small? Are you squeezing into clothes that hurt by the end of the day? They don't quite fit right? You bulge out at the side where you're not supposed to, you know?


There's all manner of ways that clothes can be uncomfortable. Are you doing that? You dressed your body in clothes that you're comfortable in. Clothes that suit you. Clothes that you feel happy in. Clothes that you're comfortable in. Clothes that by the end of the day, you're not dying to get them off and put your pyjamas on.


Treat your body like you treat your home. You want it to be comfortable. You want it to feel nice. You want it to be dressed with nice things. And because it's human nature, you want other people to like the way it looks to. This is how you need to treat your body. You want to make it at home.


You want to make it comfortable. You want to dress it with nice things. You want the right sized clothes. You want to put some jewellery on if that's your thing. You want to change your hair colour if that's your thing.


You want to make it look and feel like somewhere that you're enjoying spending your time, that you're relaxed in, that you enjoy yourself in. So which one is it for you? Is your body your house at the moment, or is it a home?


Your body is there for the long haul. It is the physical being that your spirit hopefully gets to spend many, many years in, and that is amazing. Take some time to gently make peace with that. Make some changes to make that body the most fantastic place to live.


All those things your body does to keep your life, all those things that it does to move and dance and exercise and have fun, it's the most incredible thing, and it is yours. It's yours to enjoy. Show people you're worth. Show people how amazing you are. Show people that you are not ashamed. You are proud of your body.


If you don't unpack your bags, you will never settle into your home. Unpack your bags. Make your body your home.


Okay. It is Sunday and I am off to have a really, really dull long day ahead of me.


I am going to be deep, deep, deep in assignment hell. I've got an assignment due tomorrow, so that's what I'm going to be spending the rest of my day doing. I just needed to speak to you guys first.


Have a wonderful day.Hhave a wonderful week.


Oh, thank you very much for the response to the points about the newsletter last week as well. If you haven't yet signed up for the newsletter, do go along and sign up for it. Link is in the bio, but it's Easy peasy lemon squeezy.


Also, did you know there is a Facebook group? Did you know about that? Come along and join the group. We'll have some chit chat about all things intuitive eating and body positivity.


Right. I will love you and leave you and I will speak to you next week. Bye bye.