‘’My name is Bea. I am a healthy and perfectly ordinary girl, I consider myself to be of adequate proportions and lead a very varied and rich life. However, this wasn’t always the case. Media and beauty industry experts have continuously rammed down mine, and probably your throats that I/we are not in their margin of beauty; we don’t have high cheekbones or pronounced collarbones. We don’t have killer legs or a flat and lithe stomach and this forced perspective of beauty is destroying confidence, causing women to doubt themselves and harm themselves to try and replicate an unrealistic and shallow version of what the media dub ‘’beautiful’’. Well I call horse shit, and my blog is about us women standing up to these impractical ideals. My blog is about confidence, valuing yourself and your own unique beauty. My blog is called ‘I am beautiful’ and you ladies out there reading this, you really are beautiful *just as you are*.’’
Hey there. I am Bee's best friend, Toni, and I have forced my way into this blog to help out. I too believe that the media and diet industry are taking over people's lives, making them think they should be a certain way. Well, I believe that you should be whoever you want and you can look like however you damn well please. Life is about living, not worrying about every single morsel that goes into your mouth, eating tasteless 'food' because it's low in calories. Do things that make you enjoy. Eat food that tastes amazing, not just okay. Aim for whatever you wish, sometimes it's high but sometimes you just want something simple. BE HAPPY.
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Argh I’m getting so frustrated trying to find new clothes that fit recently! I just don’t understand how some bottoms I can be a size small and it’s still a bit big and then other times a size 12 is digging in or I can’t even do it up!
It’s easy to let this get into your head and you start thinking “oh I need to lose weight then I will fit into it.”
Clothes shops for some reason have different measurements for the ‘same size’ (huh?) and it’s so confusing. You just have to remember, if you pick up a size 16 it doesn’t mean you will actually look like you are size 16 – not that that is a problem anyway. I’ve known so many people who refuse to try on the bigger size just because of the number. It doesn’t mean you have put on 10 stone all of a sudden!
H&M are definitely the worst culprits. I’ve tried on some skirts and trousers in a size small and they are too big, yet a size 14 trouser sometimes doesn’t fit (I am 12 by the way).
I’m finding at the moment if I try on size 12 dresses, they are always too big at the top. Designers, please remember that just because people are size 12 it doesn’t mean they have a DD cup size. Some of my tops are size 8!
So girls, don’t worry if you are fitting in a big size or a small size – the number does not matter. As long as you feel good, that is all that counts.
I’ve just opened my emails and found my newsletter from Neghar Fonooni. She is so brilliant! Everything she writes about is exactly my views on health and fitness, most importantly it’s about listening to your body.
Since I have finished the Bikini Series challenge and took a holiday in Spain, I haven’t got back in to a rigid fitness routine. Now I know I definitely needed the rest and was actually pushing it too hard. The only consistent fitness for me is Zumba and badminton, because it is fun…although I think I need a break from badminton soon as I am starting to get frustrated with it.
When I do workouts at home, I choose Tone It Up or Jessica Smith. I have done a couple of TIU ones the past couple of weeks and they are so much more challenging since I’ve relaxed a little bit. I find it much more enjoyable because of that.
Because that’s what exercise should be – fun!
I don’t set targets anymore, I just do what I feel like and it’s made me a happier person.
I think I’ve also broken free from the scales! I’m one of those people I see on social media that I always get jealous about. Am I finally free?! Let’s hope so.
I’m definitely swinging towards the more Body Positive side of things. You should try it, it’s awesome!
Scrolling through my Instagram and 1 post just inspired me to finally do another blog entry.
She had captioned it with “3 days with no workouts and I missed the endorphins”….
I don’t know if it is just me but I have not done any exercise in 2 weeks (apart from walking) and I haven’t missed it at all! My friends might be surprised by this as I am always posting the workouts I do, and yes they do make me feel good. But lazing around watching TV is so much more appealing to me!
This reason is why you will never see me running or hear me saying I threw up but carried on anyway…no no no!
Now I am back from holiday my plan is to go with the flow. No more spending hours prepping food (which, by the way, made my back ache). I’ll do a vague plan so I can get a decent shopping list together, but for the most part I will eat what I fancy and note down what makes me feel like crap. If it doesn’t make me feel good, then it’s not going to be a regular meal for me.
So far that consists of cheesy chips and Chinese takeaway, which isn’t regular anyway. I would have much rather eaten baked beans and scrambled eggs for lunch. Now I know though!
The only way I will start tracking again is if I end up bingeing, but fingers crossed I won’t!
Woah- I actually stuck to a whole challenge! I am feeling gooood.
I got back out on my bike (I will admit going down hi was very scary!), tried new routines and ate loads of yummy food. Combining the Tone It Up workouts with the Slimming World eating plan was definitely a good thing for me.
Week 7 was definitely the hardest – Karena and Katrina amped up the schedule big time and there was so much to fit in. If I wasn’t going on holiday I don’t think I would have stuck to it to be honest. It is hard and I feel good and strong but I have sacrificed a bit of sleep to get the routines done. Not something for everyday life for me.
My favourite part of the challenge of course was meeting up with all my TIU UK Mermaids – well, Unicorns now actually. We had a great weekend away, bonded a lot more all while eating healthily and exercising together. So fun!
Week 8 was the Slimdown….I had good intentions but then ended up being at risk of redundancy so treated myself to a brownie or some chocolate some days. Nothing major though – everything in moderation!
I submitted my Transformation story to enter the competition so hopefully I will win some prizes. All in all I loved the challenge and I feel great! I don’t care about looks anymore, just want to feel strong and healthy 🙂
Now I am getting into the swing of things I won’t be writing something for everyday of the week. I’ll just try and write down all of the interesting things!
After a lazy, indulgent weekend, I needed to get moving. I missed kick boxing last week so I tried one of Jessica Smith’s workouts. I haven’t sweated that much in ages! So hard, but it felt good. MY heart rate got up and I earned 10 mins cardio – that never happens! I followed this with Rock Your Body.
Wednesday….so glad I got up and did Bikini Kettlebell. I was stuck in traffic for 2 hours 20 minutes! Chaos everywhere due to 1 lorry overturning at 5 in the morning. No other vehicles involved. I did abandon my car and had a quick 20 minute walk to get to work, so needed that! Missed Zumba too 😦
I have decided that on Thursday’s I will get some extra sleep, so that is what I did this morning. Planning a long walk at lunch and some toning routines this evening.
The rest of the week I kept up with workouts but drank a hell of a lot (it was my birthday after all!) Feeling pretty sluggish now but I am back on it.
My favourite month is here! Full of birthdays and meet ups with friends, I can’t wait.
This morning I tried the new HIIT workout on Beach Babe 4. It is deceitful! The moves look easy but then halfway through doing them, it. Is. Hard. Felt good for doing it after though.
All I can think is that I want all of their workout outfits.
It was nice having the extra day off for Bank Holiday – managed to get a lot of meal prep done. 4 batches of cous cous, slow cooker five bean chilli, rice and boiled eggs. I’m switching my breakfasts to porridge this week and no fruit for snacks. Gotta keep your body guessing!
The cinnamon french toast from the Bikini Programme is lovely!
TUESDAY – DAY 9
I didn’t get a very good sleep last night – feeling really groggy. Definitely no cardio for me today. I tried the Kettleflow routine. I do prefer Kettlebells to be less gentle (this routine is Yoga combined with Kettlebells) but it was a good one for the morning.
I was really wanting to do Kickboxing all afternoon, but by the time I got home I was beginning to get a headache (the thought of jumping around made it worse!) so I just did the new Tush It Good routine. LOVED IT! The style was like K&K’s old videos and they made it so fun. Definitely going to do that routine again.
WEDNESDAY – DAY 10
Another broken sleep! My alarm went off and I wanted to sleep but I made myself get up anyway. Rock Your Body was on the schedule again so I did that – liked it a lot more this time round. I tried an old routine too – Surfers Paradise. It was quite challenging! If I had more time and energy I would have done it 3 times through. Gets me quite breathless!
Zumba was sooo busy this evening but it was good fun. That adds another 4 miles for my 100 By Summer challenge!
I caught up with some blogs and saw this post from Body Posi Panda – I really really agree with her here. Yea I have taken some before and after pictures in the past but it was out of curiosity to see my exercise was changing my figure, but that wasn’t why I was exercising. I didn’t even realise people are tagging her in pictures like that. No one has a clue! Idiots.
I also caught up with Bear Grylls – The Island. They had been practically starving the whole month and the doctors decided to check everyone’s weight. The men were horrified by how much they had lost (1 guy had lost 20cms round his waist and looked so so thin), then the girls got weighed. Perfect example of Western culture and how society has controlled everyone’s views without us realising…they were all happy with their weight loss. Um, this is from starvation for christ sake. Our culture needs to change big time!
THURSDAY – DAY 11
I did set my alarm to get up and do the scheduled workouts, but Zumba always knackers me out! S I had an extra hour in bed and got over 8 hours sleep yay!
No time for exercise as I stayed over my friends house straight after work. I did do some walking so will track another mile!
FRIDAY – DAY 12
Had a beautiful lunchtime walk in the sun and earned 3 miles. There were some baby geese and some other baby duck type things that were so cute! I don’t know what sort of bird it is but I think they look really cool.
SATURDAY + SUNDAY – DAYS 13 + 14
There is not much to say about these days apart from that it was such a write off. 30th birthday party + free food + free alcohol = lazing about in the sun. So fun!
Looking at the meal plan, Slimming World meal prep is so much easier! All I need to do is chop mushrooms, maybe grill some chicken, make 3x batches of cous cous with veg and make an extra large risotto for dinner, so I can use leftovers for lunch. I will probably do that with other dinners too.
Snacks on the Tone It Up plan are smoothies, nut butters, houmous and celery (yuk). As I have to ‘syn’ most of these things, I’ll have fruit, yoghurt, boiled eggs, ryvita crackers, cottage cheese or chicken for my snacks. Easy peasy.
I’ve taken my before pictures and will record my measurements!
I’m following this plan for workouts:
1x day Legs and Cardio
1x day Arms & Abs
1x day Total Body
Plus badminton, Body Pump and Zumba. Oh and bike rides.
MONDAY – DAY 1
Today I woke up quite easily for my morning workout. I suppose this is because I made sure I got an early night (which I will continue to work on). I may or may not have slept through my husband banging on the door, phoning the house phone and throwing things, including a banana, at my bedroom window (which I sleep next to) to let him in….oops! Luckily he could stay at his dads house who lives nearby. I guess my party trick is putting myself into a coma for the night!
This morning I chose to do a quick 15 minute toning routine (I cannot handle cardio in the morning) which was Love Your Legs by Tone It Up. Really good burner!
Lunchtime is always a walk if it’s not raining, and we did 1.5 miles to cross off my 100 mile tracker today. Kick-boxing will be for when I get home, 20 – 30 mins. I am looking forward to this. I think it’s important to do exercise that you enjoy! Otherwise it just becomes stale and you end up doing nothing.
Food is back on track, including a cake sale at my work where I resisted all the cakes and sausage rolls and samosas and spring rolls RIGHT NEXT TO MY DESK. I ate a banana instead. I did buy a little bit of cake to try later after dinner as it was for charity after all and looked SO GOOD. I ended up eating a giant cookie, a bourbon and a couple of mouthfuls of smarties…yum!
TUESDAY – DAY 2
This morning I decided to get some extra sleep and I made it to 8 hours, yay!
Someone in my group chat told us about a girl who is following Tone It Up and actually cried over eating a brownie. Hearing that really winds me up. Just because it’s not in the plan doesn’t mean you will undo all your progress and hard work. Imagine looking back on it in 20 years time – I would feel so silly! If you’re going to eat it, you may as well enjoy it. People strive far too much to be 100% perfect, but there is no such thing. So, I could feel guilty about not doing a workout this morning, but I don’t. I needed the sleep.
I stretched for 30 mins before bed – oh pigeon pose, how I love you!
WEDNESDAY – DAY 3
I definitely definitely definitely set me Fitbit alarm for 5.30…yet I woke up to my phone alarm at 6.30. Damn! I had 4 workout videos planned. I decided my hair could get away with another day of dry shampoo so I squeezed in one of the Beach Babe 4 workouts (K+K Slay) and an old arm routine (Tone Up Your Arms for Summer). The new one was brilliant! I was worried there would be burpees after a few moves but there wasn’t. Perfect! So 15 minutes of HIIT counts another 1.5 miles on my tracker. Win! I will do the other routines tomorrow.
Oh and I double checked my Fitbit and I was right! So I must have slept-snoozed it. More sleep doesn’t hurt 🙂
I got lazy at lunch and stayed inside – feeling so lethargic and tired now. Regretting it! Still, Zumba will get my moving later!
Argh all I wanted to do was go home and eat pizza but I made myself just show up to Zumba. I’m glad I went in the end – and I got a motivating comment from Tone It Up on Instagram 🙂 I ate my chickpea burgers with my HexA allowance of cheese for the day and butternut squash chips. So good.
THURSDAY – DAY 4
Got up quite easily to catch up with the schedule and did a new routine – Cardio Abs off the Beach Babe 4 DVD. Loved it! Added Bikini Abs 2015 on too – feeling the burn! Had some fun playing badminton in the evening and earned 3 miles for the 100 by Summer challenge. Devoured my chicken fajita for dinner – lovely!
FRIDAY – DAY 5
After a bit of a struggle getting up and scrolling on instagram, I got out of bed to catch up on some more of the toning routines I had missed earlier in the week. They were both off the new Beach Babe DVD – Rock Your Body + Total Body Tone Up.
Rock Your Body was okay, but I did find myself wondering when it was ending. There was a move where you are resting on your side on one bum cheek, I felt my bum digging in the floor. So I didn’t like that one!
Total Body Tone Up was awesome though and included a lot of my favourite moves. Really felt it in the arms!
Read the members email this afternoon and printed off the quick meal idea. They are nothing ground breaking but it’s there as a reminder if I have a mind blank of what to cook if plans change.
SATURDAY + SUNDAY – DAYs 6 + 7
Had a fab weekend still on track! I only did a quick routine on Saturday as I was so busy before going to Bee’s for a girls night in. I kept the cocktails TIU approved and had Slimming World ‘nachos’ (wedges with spicy beans and cheese on top). Good comfort food without the guilt.
Sunday Bee and I went to Brighton and it was a gorgeous day! We walked over 20,000 steps overall so I counted that towards the 100 By Summer challenge. Treated myself to a Peanut Butter ice-cream on the beach and sat in the sun. So tired now! We managed to find a Mexican restaurant that had a really good SW friendly meal, so I had that and resisted pudding. I have to go back for cocktails one day – so many tequila ones!
I am getting so tired of mainstream media and their constant abuse of photoshop editing. I am getting tired of the notion that if I have stretch marks or cellulite or for god’s sake, even dark circles under my eyes that I am not beautiful. I have something to say to you, IT’S CALLED LIFE. Want to sell me your new BB cream or moisturiser, then use a human being that doesn’t deserve to have his/her dignity in question and their body smoothed and flattered to pander to the magazine or advert executives. We are creating a distorted view to the younger generations who are going to grow up in a world believing that they are not worthy because they have a blemish or they are ‘’overweight’’
We are already in a world where a young woman is being heckled and chastised because she decided to have her model photographs unedited. Can you believe this, she is a size 10 and these people called her fat. I’m trying not to be preachy, I understand that we are biology and we are all different shapes and sizes, but what happened to decency? What happened to acceptance? I know we have come to accept that photoshop is a part of the fashion and media world, but why should it have to be? There is nothing more beautiful and graceful than a person who is their true genuine self. It is raw, it is powerful and compelling. Show me a model that has life in her face and body, a face that shows experience and a story.
I am going off on a tangent here, but the point I think I’m trying to convey is that as human beings we are flawed, and it’s okay. Perfection is dull, dry and unstimulating. Be proud of who you are and give two fingers to the establishment that is trying to sell you amelioration and improvement.
I recently received some news in the post that I wasn’t expecting, hadn’t given much thought about and totally wasn’t prepared for. It’s funny how something so small as words on a white sheet of paper can shake up your entire world, but it’s these small things that open your eyes and allows you to really reflect on what’s important to YOU and your life right now.
My news isn’t life or death, it’s not something that will (hopefully) affect me long term but even so, it’s got me thinking and mulling over everything I take advantage of and it’s really shone a light on that we are never promised tomorrow.
So what is important to me? RIGHT NOW, in this moment in time…
-my sweet, kind and beautiful partner
-my health (such as it is)
-enjoying the little things
-remembering that it’s always darkest before dawn
So, looking at that above list, it’s all things that are important to me regardless but my perspective has been altered dramatically. These are people and my passions that will not be taken for granted anymore and cherished all the more.
I think my point is, try not to get too comfortable with your life. You be the one to decide to shake up your outlook, not have it thrown on you like it did for me.
I’ll be in the hospital tomorrow, wish me good news and once I get out I’ll be out there trying to live my life 110%
Live long and prosper, be excellent to each other ^^ x