Embraced Again! (13/09/17)

Well we did it again!  With the help of the tribe at Fabulously Flawsome and social media we managed to get enough people together for another screening of Embrace in Arklow.   It has taken me this long to a) recover and rest and b) get the kiddos back to school reasonably smoothly so apologies for the late posting of any sort of personal account of the event.

It was a pretty busy and really enjoyable day.  I met Catherine early to give her the photos we had printed from our beach shoot.  We wanted to line up with these in the cinema and she very kindly made a trip to get mounting for them.  Thank you Catherine Van Dijk – you are one in a million!    I also had to message Taryn and print off her letter for our audience that night and get finishing my speech.
Myself and my friend Geraldine had planned to get together before hand as it had been a while – and she very nicely spent some of that time curling my hair too!  We had coffee and chatted – mostly about the screening, how we needed to get back to work on our body image workshop and of course the usual yummy round of coffee.  ❤

Then we headed off nice and early to meet up before hand at a coffee shop as we needed to mount the photos and thought it would be nice to get together.

When we got there we lined up inside the cinema and I gave my speech before the film started.  I have never spoken in public before – it shows  I know but I gave it my best shot and I am really proud that I got up there and said what I wanted to say and next time I’ll do it even better! I do believe I even got a little emotional near the end which is unsurprising given the content and how much it matters.  It more than helped that these amazing women stood with me (and more who were there in spirit!). 

Thanks again body believers! You are seriously ****ing perfect!  I can’t upload video but here’s the link to my Facebook upload of Alison’s first ever speech!

After the film I think we were outside for at least an hour.  We had a wonderfully magic evening with lots of new people embracing and lots wanting to either see it go into schools or have a go at screening themselves, or both.   Here’s our gallery from the evening Fabulously Flawsome August Screening Blogpost.

I came home exhausted, buzzing and utterly spent but had a T-boy waiting for some of his own embracing! I duly obliged of course.  ❤

I felt hungover the next day even though I hadn’t had a drink – is there such a thing as an emotional hangover?!  I was tired but oh so happy and full of plans.

I spent the next day or two putting together thoughts and ideas about how to move forward for the group at Fabulously Flawsome and have been pondering my own stuff too!  I’ve done a good few updates on our website and we’ll be meeting soon to see what everyone wants to do next!  For me, I’ll be mostly concentrating on getting back to work after the summer off, and getting together a workshop and approaches for the schools and coming up with new ways to get people embracing!

The Body Image Movement are looking to sell 2,000 licences in the UK to fund the roll out of the Study Guide (free) into all UK schools.  As part of that project, they are looking to sell 20 of those in Ireland so if you’re up for a screening which you can host  how, where and whenever you like, please check out The Union Project or email bec@bodyimagemovement.com.    I can’t recommend becoming a host enough – it is a challenge and hard work.  It is also more rewarding than words can say and seeing others receive the gift of finally loving themselves as they are now is incredibly humbling and moving.  Becoming an Embrace host will show you the magic that this movie makes in people’s lives and no doubt do the same in yours – go for it!

If you would like to know more or get involved at a local level with Fabulously Flawsome please visit the Website, Facebook Page or join our group Fabulously Flawsome Closed Group.

August 23rd Embrace Screening (23/07/17)

Ali & Momo

This is me and my wonderfully lovely, kind, open-hearted, brave, funny and clever friend Momo who is one of the fabulous friends I’ve been lucky enough to share this year’s adventure of self acceptance and love and body positivity with.  Momo and I worked really hard to bring Embrace to Arklow back in April.   From this screening was born a  group of inspirational and inspired people we have come to call “Fabulously Flawsome” who are keen to promote embracing via positive, fun events and online support.  12 of us did a photo shoot last month for fun mostly, but also as an exercise in embracing our bodies and to promote body acceptance, diversity and love and of course, Embrace!  Momo was the person who found our fabulous photographer, Ian Carruthers and convinced him to do the shoot for us.  It was a magic day that marked a turning point for me, and I’m sure for many others and sharing those photos to encourage others is a really important step on the path for us all as well as an incredibly bold and brave move for each and every one of us.

You’re about to see those photos and hopefully hear those stories in the coming weeks via our facebook page, posters and website to promote our second screening on August 23rd at 6:30pm at Arklow Omniplex.   For now – you get Momo and I on the beach embracing who we are now and loving every moment of this one precious life!

Watch these spaces!  And please share our event to help us secure the screening.  We hope to see lots of people there on the day.  xxx

Beach Babes Sneaky Peak (11/07/17)

Beach Babes

After the screening of Embrace in April, a small closed Facebook group was formed so that we could chat to and support each other in the Embrace adventure.  This time last week myself and 11 other brave and crazy souls headed to a Embrace-style photo shoot that I truly believe will have a ripple effect in all our lives for some time.   We had an amazingly gentle and lovely photographer Ian Carruthers of  Ian Carruthers Photography who put us all at ease and who really got into the spirit and fun of the gathering.   Momo quite rightly knew from our first discussion who the photographer for us was and I think everyone would agree that we couldn’t have had a better man for the job.  Mother nature definitely conspired to make it the most perfect day for photos – blue skies, fluffy clouds and lots of sunshine!  There were a lot of nerves but as soon as we got to the beach it was swimmers/bikinis out and as people arrived an air of love, acceptance and excitement at what we were doing. If I had only one word to describe the morning it would be magic but it was so much more than that.

I posted this to the group when it popped up in news feed this week.  It is an interesting and valid argument for the Two sides of the BoPo coin but I want to share the opinion I posted to the group here too.

“I thought, especially in light of our recent trip to the beach that this was a very interesting and balanced article. For myself, I believe that the empowerment that comes from anyone finally loving their body after years of not doing so is a beautiful wonderful thing and if they want to document that and show it off that’s a beautiful wonderful thing too! I believe that the appearance of photos of un-photoshopped, wonderful and diverse body types is what sparks many to question and begins conversations that have never been had about body positivity and diversity. (Just look at the impact that one photo of Taryn Brumfitt’s had!)

I was surprised how much the shoot challenged my own feelings and perceptions. It was partly down to the emotions of the last few weeks but I found myself quite reluctant to get in front of the camera on my own for some weird reason. I realised then, that behind what people see is someone who just loves to blend in to the crowd and not be noticed too much. That all stems from my own ego and what I think people think (when in fact really, no one is thinking anything a lot of the time!). It’s an old, worn out, very shabby habit that has been bagged and thrown out for good. These habits lie deep though, and this is only a part of what the whole experience meant to me. The friendship, support, fun and total unadulterated joy of last Sunday will last a life time for me. I’ll call it up when I need a boost or a reminder to stay on this path or have trouble finding my joy. The freedom-to-be-me smiles of every single one of the 11 other women there will be forever etched on my brain and in my heart as one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever experienced. How could I possibly say that that is not massively important?!We get to choose every day what we do for ourselves and our bodies. We get to feed and nourish body and mind in whatever way we see fit. We get to show it off or not as the case may be. Every adventure has the power to influence someone else. By being honest and open you have the power to possibly change someone else’s mind too. There are powerful stories to be told and we really can lead by example. Finally, thanks to the conversations taking place about body image we get to do it for our own reasons and no one else’s.

I don’t believe objectification is going to be eradicated by just fighting it and that stretching minds to acceptance and respect and diversity is an incredibly important step along the way.”

Like all things every positive step in the right direction is an important and significant one – whether it be a personal step for one person or a massive group step for a whole movement.  There is room for all as long as we are moving in the right direction, holding each other up and cheering each other on.

So what’s next?  I have been working on a website for Fabulously Flawsome, as well as a lot of chipping away at possible future screenings (no joy yet!) and hoping to pull together a workshop.  Photos will be published on the website and Facebook page once a flawsome meeting is held to ensure everyone is happy and to formulate a plan for the best way to promote Embracing and being Fabulously Flawsome!

On a personal note it’s good to be back writing a blog and planning positives for the future.   I never

realised until recently that I was capable of feeling joy and sadness in equal measure and not crumbling under the weight of either but I’m glad I found out I can.  It’s new to me and it’s a bit raw, but it’s wonderful at the same time if that makes sense.  I’m into week two of the unstoppable program (week three tonight yay!) and feeling it in nearly every aspect of my daily life.  It is bringing lots of new “aha” moments and ideas and plans for the way forward are starting to take shape and become real paths forward now.  It’s all good, because it’s all growing and making everything that was already good even better, whilst prompting me to review, bin or improve the not so good.  It’s exciting and yet another positive ripple from deciding to go see Embrace.

If you are interested in joining us at Fabulously Flawsome check out our Facebook Page and think about joining our Closed Facebook Group if you’d like to also.  The website will be posted shortly too along with our pictures from the day.

Lots of love and light your way for an amazing Sunday and wonderful week ahead.

xxx Alison

Lashing on the Love (22/04/17)

To say I’m ecstatically happy to be part of the Body Image Movement as a Global Ambassador would be an understatement.  I applied back in January having seen Embrace and decided I’d crack on with trying a screening to just DO something to contribute to the change this film can make.  It really didn’t disappoint and I’m hoping to do another.  In the meantime I decided to start by loving my body – first and foremost in my mind as that’s where the change had to happen first!  I’ve done lots of reading, lots of soul searching and lots of thinking.   I felt like a switch was flipped and it happened pretty quickly.

Then about a week/10 days ago though I experienced a bit of a wobble.  I saw a picture of myself and it sparked a deluge of emotions and thoughts that I really wasn’t expecting.   I totally panicked and plunged into a pretty dark pool of self-pity!  There was a voice in my head saying “Oh now you see, you need to lose a bit of weight!”  I thought it was my voice.  I’ll admit I panicked!  What the hell was I doing feeling like this when I had this whole body image thing licked?  “Ha!  Silly girl – got a little too cocky perhaps?”

The voice felt weirdly disconnected from me which was in a way a comfort.  It made me sad to think I would still treat myself like this and it took me a bit of work to figure out where the voice came from and who it belonged to.  I named names in my head – there were quite a few.  They were those people I know would have something to say about my size, my hair, my look, my diet.  Many of them are gone from or distant in my life now because I’ve worked to really fill my life with people who lift me up, inspire me and that I can be really me with.  I’ll be honest I felt like a bit of a fraud.  How could I be hosting screenings and telling everyone to embrace when I was having a hard time with it myself?!  Am I nuts?!  Should I just stop?

So I ranted and poured it all out to some of my tribe and I took stock.  I named those negative voices the titterin’ bitches (a nod to an uncle’s term for my mum and her sister when they got together!) and decided to lash on the love and be really be good to me.  Strip it down to basics.  Stop.  Read, craft, cook, snuggle the family, meditate, work it out with friends, research and find a way to see good in it.   It worked.  The titterin’ bitches fell silent.

Then I got my email – “Congratulations to our newest Body Image Movement Global Ambassador!”  Oh my heart!  Can I really do this?  Will I be any good?  What do I have to contribute?  Yes.  Yes.  Me.

Embracing yourself just the way you are right now is a daily job which is constant and entirely wonderful – a work of art if you will!  There’s lots of internal work to be done and from time to time titterin’ bitches to be loved into silence.   I’ll mostly have days where it flows and it feels good, but I did have a good week to 10 days where I struggled to find my joy of embracing again.  It didn’t flow, it didn’t feel good and you know what?  That’s okay.  It has taught me a really valuable lesson and shown me that I have an arsenal now  (complements of the titterin’ bitches visit) of self-care, love, support and good people, who can kick me into touch, hold me up if I need it or just let me sit till it passes.

I have so much work still to do on myself.  My health is an issue I’m beginning to tackle and will continue to be so.  My fitness levels need some attention too and I’m just now looking at new ways to move that both my body and I will love and enjoy.  Having been off for two weeks with the kids I think I’ll have fun getting back into the daily walks this week – but I’ll welcome the company of the dogs and my wonderful walking buddy and being out in nature again.  Baby steps!

My body’s been amazing for 46 (nearly 47!) years of what could possibly be classed as neglect but wow have I had fun so far!   Now it’s payback time and my turn to love my body and nurture it the way it has nurtured my journey through life.

I’m looking forward to helping spread the word through my experience and of course, through the wonderful film that is Embrace and with the support and input of the wonderful folks at the Body Image Movement.  I’m really honoured to be even a tiny part of something so life-changing for so many people.

Till next time – keep lashing on the love!

xxx

Alison

P.S.  I’m still waiting on news for another screening so watch this space…

I’m a BIMGA! (17/04/17)

If you read my blog or Facebook or better still know me in the real world, you’ll know that this is a movement that means a lot to me.  I saw the film Embrace in January with my eldest daughter Aisling (11) and there and then a journey to acceptance, love and compassion in a deeper sense not just for the self but for everyone else began.  It felt like something I’d always known had finally been said out loud and I do believe I left the cinema in Dublin that night feeling relieved, comforted and really sure that this was something life changing.  (This is where emotional me starts getting a bit joy-teary!).  Aisling loved the movie and was utterly stoked (as was I) to meet Taryn too.

At the beginning of April my dear friend Momo and I hosted a screening of Embrace in Arklow (our nearest cinema here in Wicklow) and for a time we thought we wouldn’t even manage to make the threshold.  We did it though (and then some!) and had roughly 100 people come to see Embrace.  The response was pretty overwhelming and all positive.  It was amazing, uplifting and very moving to see the difference the film made to others and a privilege to hear the stories and experiences that lead them there.  Think I can safely say Momo and I felt very humbled and honoured to have made it happen.  The folks at Demand Film are currently checking out a new screening for me too – so watch this space!

I am still on my own journey.  I have had a bit of a struggle to really feel the joy the last week or so.  I realised from it and from the fabulously flawsome support of good friends that when I’m not totally feeling the self-love, I can shift my perspective to acceptance of all that I am, show myself some compassion and practice some seriously rigid self-care.  It took me right back to basics and that tiny step I needed to bridge that gap and arrive back into my space to embrace again.   I have to say now that I’ve woken up I can’t go back!  I am acutely aware of not just my own self but the image and the role model I provide for my little girls in what I do.   What if we could change the way kids see themselves BEFORE they reach their teens?  Aisling is already there at 11 and I really hope to have Niamh be the same!  Education is key and I am excited and hopeful to be part of bringing this message to schools.

I am learning so much since I saw Embrace.  I know I don’t know it all but I really hope that my journey relayed with honesty through the joy and the wobbles can help others and spread the positivity, joy, happiness and freedom that comes from embracing your body, yourself and your life and others just as you/they are.

Taryn, Brooke and all at BIM – thanks for having me!

Body Image Movement

The Screening! (04/04/17)

I was totally overwhelmed when I got home last night – the response was phenomenal and we had an incredible evening at the Arklow screening for Embrace.  Sheer joy  tiredness – that’s what’s taken me so long!

As I live about 25 minutes away from Arklow I had a full car on the way there.  I brought Aisling my daughter (11), my neighbour Roseanne, and my two friends Geraldine and Christina.  We greeted as many people as possible people on the way in and gave them we made up with a quote from Nayyirah Waheed on the front and 50 ways to embrace on the back.  Lots of folk were early and it was magic to meet some of the people I’ve been speaking to online in real life.  One lady in particular who is a friend of my co-host Momo – a girl named Lorna who has already seen Embrace where she lives in Longford, but who travelled with her daughter to see it and to support us.  We’ve been talking back and forth on whatsapp the three of us and I was really looking forward to meeting her.  There was lots of hugging like you mean it!

We stalled the film a few minutes as I knew one of my friends was on her way and one other person was waiting on their mum.  When my friend arrived a few minutes in and sat beside me she said about 2 minutes in “I’ve been thinking I need to shed about a stone in weight.”  Then paused and said, “but do you know what, not now.  Fuck that! Never again!”  I love that girl.

I found watching the movie a second time really hit deeper.  I could watch it over and over!  I felt really inspired by Taryn’s attitude and her compassion, and really sad that as women (and men too!) we have allowed ourselves to ruin our lives with caring about the wrong things. The beauty from the honesty of all the people interviewed really struck me and how we need to lift each other up in this journey rather than continuing to tear each other down.  Embrace to me is about so much more than just body image – it’s a switch that got turned on for me to live my life with more compassion, kindness and love and to support others to do so to.  My ideal me is me.  Your ideal you is you.  It truly is all beautiful and we truly need to embrace that not just in ourselves but in others also.

When the movie ended we headed straight outside as I knew the cinema was on a pretty quick turnaround.  People took a while to filter out, but my goodness when they did it was amazing!  The feedback was phenomenal and everyone was invigorated and inspired.  One lady remarked that she couldn’t “wait to go home and just embrace EVERYTHING and tell everyone!”  I literally stood outside the cinema and got hugged and hugged and hugged.  People were smiling and happy and talking about how powerful it was and how it was something everybody needs to see.  Many people commented that it is definitely something that should be going into schools everywhere.  I believe the folks at Body Image Movement are working on that and I really hope Irish schools will see it soon.

From a group just shy of about 100 people I reckon we had three men come along.  It would have been nice to see more men there, but I guess this is something men don’t struggle with in as great numbers as women.   One of them has remarked since and I agree that this is still a film men need to see too.

So, after about 30 minutes we headed for the car and boy oh boy did the conversation flow on the way home!  We discussed the movie and Embracing and how/what to do going forward to promote it and have some fun.  So in the 25 minutes between Arklow and Wicklow we have 1) a skinny d

ip, 2) a photo shoot and 3) a calendar!  I came home and sat at the computer and read the messages and posted some stuff but honestly, was so totally overjoyed that I just cried a lot and felt very lucky.  I had a glass of wine and went to bed.  I woke two hours later, cried a little more and then went back to sleep.  I got up this morning and felt similar – the messages were waiting and the tears started to flow.  They are big beautiful salty drops of joy.  Not just for me but for everyone!  It is very humbling to know that we’ve made a difference to so many people by bringing the movie to them.

I’m looking forward to taking this forward locally and hopefully making some joyous ways to embrace and feel alive happen for those who want them.

I’m so aware that my journey here has only just begun.   Growing up with a mum who was a regular dieter and who struggled with her own body rubs off.   She is a wonderful Mum but she grew up at a time when you didn’t even think about body talk – never mind embracing your body being your vehicle to the good life!   She struggled with health issues and due to those problems she struggled with weight and I watched her do rigid diet after rigid diet and yo-yo her way through my teenage years especially.   I remember what she used to be allowed to eat, and how Friday was always a good day on the diet – because she was allowed steak.  But you know what?  I don’t remember her dress size or her shape.  I remember when she was happy, and when she was sad.   I remember her spending part of my teenage years trying to put some weight on me because I was too thin, then much of my adult life grabbing my tummy and telling me I needed to lose a bit!  For a brief time in the middle there – somewhere around 17 or 18 years old, I reckon I must have been just right because I don’t remember ever having anything said to me then.  I think I’ve punished my poor and very lovely body ever since trying to get back to it.  I believe I thought I was more acceptable that size – how ridiculous is that?  I need to do some serious apologising and loving it back to being all mine again because I reckon I’ve done it some damage along the way.  I owe it so much and I owe it to my girls to give them a healthy role model as a Mum.

So, this week/next week is me time!  Walks, fresh air on beaches and in forests, maybe a swim or two, music, meditation, lots of dancing with my kids, having fun on the holidays and snuggling with the whole family.  And of course, embracing it all for the magic it is.

Life really is too short for anything else.

Why I Embraced (16/03/17)

So if you see my Facebook posts or read anything I post here then you will know that I have been impressed, inspired and become passionate about the Body Image Movement via Taryn Brumfitt’s wonderful feature length documentary on body image issues, “Embrace”.

I’ve been asked a lot how come I’m interested and why I want to help others embrace so here goes!

I stumbled on the Embrace Trailer on Facebook but I’m not sure through who or how!  I showed it to my 11 year old daughter and said I thought it was something we should see together.  She agreed. I think it sparked something in me that lay dormant and unnoticed by even me until that moment.  I believe it was the deep rooted knowledge and hope that there was a better way.  That it was infused with so much positivity and enthusiasm only made the joy bigger!

I had to wait a few months to for Embrace to arrive in Ireland.  I watched eagerly and was delighted to see it appearing in Dublin in January.  So off I toddled online to Demand film and reserved two seats.  And off we went on the 23rd January to see it.  There was a Q&A with Taryn afterwards.  We had no questions.  I know I had none because I got it.  Straight away.  It felt like I’d always known it.  But she was a beautifully positive breath of fresh aussie air and sunshine on that cold January night!

We chatted all the way home about bodies and how amazing they are and how we need to fill them up with more love and tender loving care.  We talked about how we could embrace – no negative body talk, no jumping on the scales, celebrating our bods with good food and fun movement.  We reinstated boogie time in the mornings too!  I also decided that I would never set foot in another weight loss club/group again.  EVER!  We didn’t get home till 10.  I couldn’t sleep until well into the night that night I was so energised.

And so began a time of looking inwards and thinking about my connection with this message of total acceptance and love.  A friend commented when I told her about this amazing film that she didn’t realise I had “issues”.  My gut reaction was, “well I don’t, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be interested!”  Thing is I think most of us (women especially) have at some stage struggled with weight, diet and body image.  It’s so common to hear people comment on their own losses or gains, where they want to be, what they want to cut out, eating too much chocolate/cakes/treats etc., in passing and so naturally that you’d have to wonder exactly how ingrained it is in our minds to be unhappy in our own bodies.

But gosh, did I have issues?  Did I realise that?  And why did this matter to me so much? I searched long and hard through the past.  I remembered a concerned adult asking my mother (she must have figured I was hard of hearing as well as skinny!) when I was really young if she was feeding me enough because I was so miserably thin.  I remember coming home from Irish College and having to have my bridesmaid dress taken in more to fit after two weeks of inedible food!  I remember my mother trying to “fatten me up” that summer and being oh-so pleased when I put on some weight.  Not for me – but for everyone else, for all those commenters and folks who said I needed to fatten up.

None of these things traumatised me or upset me greatly, but they impacted enough that remember them as an adult many years later.  I guess that’s when it started.  I was skinny me.  I went through my teens and well into my mid-twenties that way.  I started to gain weight in my late twenties and even had one work colleague comment (again at a wedding!) that I looked much better with a bit of meat on me!  Seriously.  Then I had kids and started to find it more difficult to lose weight.  I think then I really began to fly my way through all the fad diets.  I’m sure I didn’t but it felt like I’d done most of them!  I even went on one of those “shake only” things that leaves you dropping pounds like leaves off a tree in autumn.  It transpired I started gaining just like a tree in springtime too.  Then the girls got old enough to ask why I wasn’t eating real food.  Never again.  I think I started to question my motives and sanity then!

My forties have been a massive rollercoaster in so many ways, but one that has seen me grow more than I ever have before – and in a good way!   Health wise I have not been great and the last few years have brought depression, weight gain and eventually a diagnosis of hypothyroidism.  I do believe all those years of punishing my poor bod with yoyo dieting probably didn’t do it any favours either.

From the point of that diagnosis things begin to change slowly.   I started to question more.  I started to do some research and find out more about my own health.  I began to realise that I had the power to improve how I felt just by treating myself a little better.  I started to make small changes that brought big benefits.  I started to practice self-care.  I realised that health had to come first, and the rest would follow.  I knew that the feeling good, motivated and energetic had to come before anything else and that could only come from taking care of myself.

I’ve been pinpointing what it is I need every day.   It’s the obvious stuff – but looked at differently!  I need nourishing food to fuel me.  I need to walk every day and get a lot of fresh air preferably in good company but sometimes solo!  I need my family and a very small few close friends who I can be myself with warts and all.  I am lucky to have these people.  I need music, words, colour and something to create when the mood takes me.   I need animals to love too!  I need my home to feel like the haven we all need from the world at large.   Again – I have all these things.  I began to realise I have crafted a life richer than I could have imagined or dared to dream of as a young girl.  I wanted to embrace me just like my friends and family and dogs do with constant support, love, honesty and good humour!   I wanted to find out who I am now as opposed to who I feel I should be and how it measures up to anyone’s idea of me apart from my own.  I  didn’t know how to shake off the shackles of my scales and my calorie, point and syn counting years.  I didn’t know how to shake off the feeling that I had to be lighter, fitter, slimmer, better  – constantly!  I knew it would come, but I didn’t know how or when.  Then I found that trailer!

So here I am.  I am feeling much happier in my own skin than I ever have.  I enjoy my meals and think about how they will nourish or please me rather than where they’ll go or how much I’d have to exercise to burn them off.  Most days I wake up really energised and eager to embrace the day – this is new, and I still have days I want to stay in the bed and ignore the world too but the good far outweighs the bad and it’s exactly where I knew I needed to be for a long time.  I think the message to embrace has reached way into many aspects of my life and become about so much more than my very wonderful body!  For me personally, it’s been an awakening and the way to really live my life fully engaged and present.  It started because it made sense to me right now when I was meant to find it.

Everyone should see this film.  Whether you believe you personally have issues or not – go see this please!  We live in such a fickle, image-conscious world that sells us all we need to look the way we are told we should.  We live in a world where people make themselves ill and starve themselves for someone else’s idea of how they should look.  We live in a world that says, buy this and this and this, it will make you look good and therefore feel better (oh and yes, it will make someone richer!).  We need to live in a world that accepts that feeling better is the first step for many and that is the most important thing.  We need to work from a place of self-love and self-gratitude if we want to live fulfilled, rich, wonderful lives at optimum health.   As women we need to join together in that acceptance and become each others support rather than each others critics.   That’s the world I want my girls to grow up in.

I want my beautiful children to remember me happy.  I want them to remember me having fun,

laughing, living to the full and I want them to know that no matter what, I loved myself and was happy in my own skin.  I want them to see me as a good example of how you should treat yourself.  I want them to never own a scales but to be in tune and at one with their wonderful bodies and to treat themselves and their bodies with the respect and love and care that they know they deserve. I want them to be free to enjoy a healthy life unencumbered by pressure to be a certain shape or size or weight because someone else wants them to think so.  I want them to embrace their bodies, themselves and their lives bravely and fully with love and wonder.

This is just my little patch of heaven so that’s what I can work on for now but I would love to see others grab a little of the magic that is embracing all of who you are and treating your amazing body like your cherished best friend.

Embracing (23/01/17)

Aisling and I went along to the first screening of this feature length documentary last night.  We had wonderful chats on the way home (Luas, train, dart and car!) about the impact and our favourite parts and how we can go about making our own ways to embrace ourselves as we are and to promote more positivity around body image at home.  I laid awake last night thinking about it all and excited to have made that tiny shift in my thinking.  I’m looking forward to embracing my life in a bigger better way – not just my body – and teaching these magic little women of mine to define who they are for themselves!   Check out the trailer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__2AayArYfs&feature=youtu.be and visit the website for more info http://www.bodyimagemovement.com.

Mother Daughter Night

EMBRACE Arklow Omniplex, 6:45pm, Monday April 3rd, 2018

I’m so pleased to be hosting a screen of EMBRACE next month. Trailer here“EMBRACE is a social impact documentary that explores the issue of body image. The project has been supported by nearly 9000 Kickstarter pledgers who responded to a fundraising trailerI released in 2014, which has now had over 25 million internet views.

The inspiration for EMBRACE came about after I posted an unconventional before-and-after image on the internet in 2013 that sparked an international media frenzy. The image, which embraces body diversity, was seen by over 100 million people worldwide and led to hundreds of interviews and articles. But I soon realized how restrictive 4-minute TV interviews, 800 word articles and 140 characters on Twitter can be. This issue needed a louder voice on a bigger platform, so the idea of creating the documentary EMBRACE was born.” – Embrace Director Taryn Brumfitt

Embrace is told from the point of view of Taryn as she traverses the globe talking to experts, women in the street and well-known personalities about the alarming rates of body image issues that are seen in people of all body types. In her affable and effervescent style, Taryn bares all (literally) to explore the factors contributing to this problem and seeks to find solutions.

After 24 months of travelling, interviewing, production and post production Taryn and the Embrace team have created a film that is relevant, relatable, highly engaging – but above all life changing.

Embrace had its world premiere at the 2016 Sydney Film Festival, where it made it into the festival directors’ top 5 picks and was nominated for the Documentary Australia Foundation Award for Best Documentary.

To reserve your tickets, please visit my Demand Film Event Page here:

Unlike a traditional movie showing, my Demand Film screening requires that 64 tickets be reserved in the next 25 days in order for the screening to occur.  So I need your help!  If you are going to come to the screening, please buy your tickets in advance.  If you can’t attend, please help me spread the word by talking about it to friends and family and by sharing on social media. I really hope you do both and that I get to see you in the audience enjoying what is sure to be a massively inspiring evening.