To get the body you want, you have to start taking care of the body you have. So says blogger, writer, body coach and health guru, Mel Wells. Sometimes a book comes along that you just need, and simply reading it makes you feel incredibly nourished. There has never been a time in my life when I liked my body, it's incredibly sad to say, even as a child I felt uncomfortable in my own skin. A few months ago as part of writing job I interviewed a food and fitness psychologist who remarked at how much my body language changed when I talked about the way I enjoyed exercise as a child. She said she saw me sit up straighter and visibly appear more radiant, and she pointed out to me that as a child I didn't see all my many sports and dancing clubs as exercise, they were just my hobbies. I need to get that connection back with enjoying making my body stronger without all the negative associations I've heaped upon working out, and the thought of having a similar mindset about food is overwhelming. Reading Mel's book has been a breakthrough.
Mel writes with breezy firmness and tells it like it is. No diet is going to save you, despite their promises and marketing ploys – there's not a quick-fix diet in the world that will change your mindset and permanently improve your personal relationship with food. She explains how our culture of endless selfies, filtered photos and constructed media images doesn't help when self-esteem is low. Even people we think that are on our side, giving us 'fitspiration' and wellness goals can sometimes project an image of perfection we might measure ourselves against, without delivering any message of empowerment.
Mel is all about power; being strong over thin, feeling nourished over tipping the scales in the 'right' way, and booting concepts like restriction and deprivation right out the door. For Mel there's no such thing as 'good days' and 'bad days' when it comes to food, we need to fully readjust the way we process commonly held ideas about losing weight and/or getting fitter.
You don't cut out whole food groups, though sensibly there's a focus on wholefoods and plant-based foods. The only goals you work towards are feeling more energetic, positive and powerful, it's not about becoming a certain weight or dress size. I would truly love Mel's philosophies to be taught in secondary schools; to gain a proper understanding of nutrition, and the affect it has on our mental and physical health would be a valuable lesson for any young person, having it framed as empowerment in a time of Insta-perfection and social media sharing is what's truly needed. I really recommend The Goddess Revolution for anyone feeling unhappy with their body, or who feels their relationship with food has spiralled out of control. This will help you on your own journey, a personal revolution against the things that hold you back, it will start you on the path that sets you free.