Wow!!!! Where to begin……….? Well, last night was the night when I finally got to see the documentary, Embrace  whilst sitting in a cinema surrounded by amazing ladies. It’s a film I’ve been trying to bring to Truro Plaza since December last year and I know that many there were surprised to find out that it was actually the first time I’d seen the film.

 

I know it sounds crazy, but even though I hadn’t actually watched it, I fell in love with Embrace back in 2013 when the initial Crowd Funder appeal started circulating on Social Media. At the time, I was still firmly ensconced in Slimming World and getting more and more desperate and demoralised by my lack of progress, lack of freedom, and resulting lack of happiness!

 

Seeing the early trailer for Embrace almost felt  like a gift… A glimmer of hope that there were other women out there who felt just like me and that there was another way. Not another diet – God knows I’d tried (and failed and succeeded and failed and succeeded and failed…. You get the picture!!!) enough of those. But another way of living, thinking and being. It was undoubtedly one of the things that encouraged me to begin my journey towards self love and ultimately to re-train as a body positive health coach.

 

For those of you who haven’t heard about the film, it is an eye-opening documentary which was made by Aussie Taryn Brumfitt after she came to terms with her own body image issues  and decided to investigate the effects of these issues upon women across the globe. Her findings are both heart -breaking (she discovers that 91% of women hate their bodies – WTF?!!!)  and encouraging as she goes on to meet some incredibly inspirational women who prove that it is possible to make peace with your body in even the most difficult of circumstances.

I think it’s safe to say that all of us in the cinema last night felt moved and inspired by the film’s message and content. What particularly struck me was the fact that it wasn’t ‘just’ a film about learning to love your wobbly bits. And neither was it about encouraging obesity or an unhealthy lifestyle (a criticism that is often lazily fired whenever the words “body positivity” are mentioned).

 

Embrace covered many other  aspects of body image issues, from the models who struggle to maintain their stick thin frames (and keep the work rolling in) to burns survivor Turia Pitt whose belief that her horrific accident “may have been the best thing that ever happened to me” as it has given her a different point of view and a different path to follow. I mean…… WOW! Who didn’t feel humbled and ashamed of their own seemingly insignificant “issues” at that point?!

 

While I loved the film itself, I have also been utterly amazed and overjoyed by the conversations that have already begun happening as a result. In the few short hours since last night’s screening, I’ve had ladies telling me that they are going to quit dieting, that they are no longer going to criticise their own bodies in front of their own children and that they want to make other positive changes in their lives as a direct result of watching Embrace.

We have to keep talking to one another about the body image issues that we all face. In our offices, shops and staff rooms, it is depressingly common for conversations to revolve solely around the latest diet or exercise trend and how much weight it’s going to make you lose. A great starting point would be to try to steer those conversations in a more positive direction. Tell them about Embrace. Tell them what you’ve learned!

 

I walked out of the cinema last night on a total high which, thanks to all of the wonderful messages of encouragement and support that I’ve received today has not disappeared yet. It is amazing to be a part of such a powerful surge of positivity and I feel honoured to have watched the film, on International Women’s Day,  in a room full of brilliant, diverse women (and 3 men!)

Now its time to keep the momentum going. We’ve seen the light, so now let’s work together to make it glow even brighter!