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How Very Dare I.

Updated: Mar 25

Part 1 - Pilates, healthy eating and dancing like a bam.

"So I’m a peri-menopausal woman and finding it increasingly hard to keep weight off and feel like I’m getting bigger with each passing day. I’m asthmatic, have dodgy knees and a low willingness for exercise that involves jumping/jogging. I do Pilates twice a week and walk most days with my dogs but not always enough to get the heart rate up what with all the sniffing." - Jill Skulina

Second Nature is a weight loss programme and this is my bio for its profile page. I thought it sounded pretty peppy 12 weeks ago when I started. Turns out not so much. Reading it now all I see are excuses, caveats and qualifiers as to why I would inevitably fail at weight loss. I genuinely did not believe I’d stick it out let alone lose weight. I was fully in the the FFT’s (Fucking First Times) and the land of ‘This is bullshit’ for the first 2 weeks. This state of mind has revisited me a few times over the last 3 months but on this, the last day of the course I have hit my goal and I'm feeling pretty proud of myself.

FFT’s - “When we have no relevant experience or expertise, the vulnerability, uncertainty, and fear of these firsts can be overwhelming. Yet, showing up and pushing ourselves past the awkward, learner stage is how we get braver.” - Brene Brown. 

This week our coach at Second Nature asked our group to reflect on the bio we wrote in week one. If I was to write it again today (well, I’m about to now) it would be very different - Hi, I’m Jill, 47 and fully incharge of my own body; I don’t have to accept the weight I’m carrying around and I can be any size I want to be. Fuck you 47 year of societal pressures and influence connecting worth to my weight. Get it right up you. 

“Think about loving your body the way you love a person. Not necessarily a romantic lover, but a sibling...or a best friend. Your love for them builds gradually over time because of the time you spend together and everything you’ve been through.” - Laura Bates - Girl Up.

Weight loss has been a three pronged attack, healthy eating, fun exercise and not being such a dick to myself. Over many many years I've been incredibly harsh in the way I speak to and about my body, I've been working hard on cutting that shit out. Me and my body have been through some hard stuff, including a really traumatic birthing experience resulting in us being cut open from hip bone to hip bone. From this point onwards my body is my pal, my confidant, my transport, my tattoo canvas and my dance partner. I owe it to me to eat healthily and be active, in return I get great skin, energy, zest for life, less stones of weight to carry around and I feel like a young gal of 39 again! Apart from the knees, they're still gubbed.

We owe it to future generations to cut through the body bullshit. I believe one of the best feminist acts of rebellion against the patriarchy is loving ourselves and our bodies. No-one else is going to do it for you.

If anyone’s interested, these are the online apps/zoom class I used to get myself back. 

Part Two to follow soon, and the next Feral Interview will be on the 24th of September. 

The Feral Freelancer week in photos.


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