Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Another Week, Another Change....

As some of you may know, this week, I went back to work Full Time….

And guess what I’m doing? I’ll give you a hint, it’s something I love to do and something i’m pretty good at (or at least I like to think so)!

And it’s got nothing to do with the gym

Or Cooking….

Give up?!

I am now an Online Content Writer - yes, I get to Blog / write / review for a living! How amazing is that!

And that’s mainly down to this humble Blog and the feedback I have had from my lovely readers, so thanks to you all too!

However, I had forgotten how tough working an 8 hour day was…especially when I factor in all the things I do around the gym - cover sessions, train myself, eat, sleep (when it is appropriate too!) plus my 40 minute drive to the office….where has my day gone?! It’s only week one!

What am I going to do?

Make changes, and quickly!

So instead of a 7am session, (or the odd 10am when I was on lates!) I will be in from 6am… all my food and clothes for that day will have already been prepared and waiting for me and I will need to be more on the ball when it comes to day to day tasks. I am also lucky in that there is a gym at work too so I can make use of that too - which will be great for my competition prep!

I have found that I struggled with the amount that I ate - being away from home for pretty much 13 hours each day is going to take some getting used to! Breakfasts have had to be pretty early and so I am finding I need to eat again around 10 - then lunch at 1, something maybe in the car home and then dinner once I'm in - but that doesn't seem to be enough! I'm sure I will get used to it  -  all about adapting to change and making sure I have a Protein Shake handy!

However, I am determined to make this work as I am very excited about this New Start - Go Me! :)

Anyway, back to the point of this Blog - 

IFC Training Camp

This weekend I was lucky to attend The IFC Training Camp in preparation of the competition in November. It was a chance to meet some of the other athletes that will be competing, run through the events and rules of the day and to go through some posing - We will have to do one ''body building'' pose, but the rest will all be fairly natural, just about knowing how to present yourself  - but that alone is daunting!

Last Years' Champ Gauri (third right) with some of this years Contenders!

I was really nervous about going - I didn't know what to expect and to what standard everyone else would be - I even dragged James with me on the 730am train for moral support!

I needn't have worried though - the guys and girls that were there were all great - it was a relaxed atmosphere and ranged from novice competitors through to Fitness Models. 

It was really interesting to learn about everyones' else backgrounds and reasons for competing in The IFC - I get the impression that the ''Family'' feel that there I have found in Strongwoman comps will ring true here too - it has been created in the hope that it will empower women; and I certainly felt empowered walking away, slightly shaky, on Saturday afternoon!

The end of the afternoon was rather fun - we got to do some filming for the next ''Girls of the IFC'' Promo video! I should be making an appearance in the promo - especially after doing, like, 20 Barbell 60kg Squats...without a rack....! Oh, and a Weighted Dip with a 20kg Chain round my shoulders...!

Check out Charlotte in the one from last year here!

The new one should be out soon, so keep an eye out for it!

Ooh, also - tickets for spectators are now available and are £20 - I would be extremely grateful of any support on the day! It's going to be a tough one!

Buy tickets here;

A little bit of an update

Despite the changes these last 2 weeks, I’m still going strong - I’m still sticking this out - and seeing results, slowly but surely

I Obviously had to buy this after a positive Instagram response!!

Firstly, body fat is back down to 11.7% - I WILL be 10% come November! My weight is also stable for the moment, I am still currently sticking to the 1400 calories to maintain this however, and will keep this up until my next Biosig or end of August, depending on how I am doing...

Nice to see my back leaning out nicely!

Anyway, enough from me for today, I will be back next time with info on the type of training I'm now doing, including some programmes and ideas to try at home!

I'll part with this shot, from the EBW Hawaiian BBQ...yes, that's me and Mia...yes, Mia won! 

I was the only person who matched her in height! 

Franki xx

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Monday, 3 August 2015

The IFC - My First Fortnight

Feels good to be back guys. I'll be honest, I had really lost my writing mojo for several reasons, but now after a few changes, The Blog will be up on a more regular basis again!

As some of you may be aware, this year I have set myself a very different goal from those that I have worked towards before. No Strongwoman or Weightlifting Comps now - now, I'm going on Stage!

Well, sort of.

I've entered The IFC  http://www.officialifc.com/ - a competition based 50% on How you Look, and 50% Strength. But I'll still be on stage in little Shorts and a Sports Bra....Eeeeek!

Each event is scored based on how many reps you can do in 1 minute. I'll be competing in the 55kg Bodyweight Category which will mean I have to do;

55kg Squat
55kg Deadlift
Bodyweight Chin Ups
44kg Bench Press
33kg Push Press

I have tested the events twice so far, to see what my increases could be - in 3 weeks I added 6 squats, 2 deadlifts, 2 push presses and 1 Chin Up. I feel all the scores so far have been pretty solid, so feeling positive already, which is great!

So what am I having to do differently?

Well I now have 5 compulsory sessions a week, with 2 extra conditioning programmes to slot in when I can. They vary from Heavy Strength, Low Rep programmes for my Bench and Squat, through to Fat Loss, High Rep, Muscle Specific ones to help aid my body composition.

On top of this, I am back to a strict eating plan - no Dairy, Alcohol, Sugar or Wheat as I know these are bad triggers for me - and I need this stomach to lean out!

I can see this becoming pretty challenging over the next few months - we have a lot lined up including birthdays, anniversaries, and a mini break (which all focus around food, lets be honest!) but I am totally 100% committed to this. I need to do this, for me as well as my clients, I want to set an example and inspire them further.

I am so lucky in that my good friend Charlotte competed in this very competition last year - so she knows exactly what I need to do. She has even offered to help  me with posing and training which is such a big help.

I am also using My Fitness Pal to track my calories and macros - currently on 1400 calories a day to bring my weight back down and to help lean me out - currently living on Fish, Veg, Fruit, Lean Meat and Corn Cakes! As well as Peanut Butter for the good fats, obvs!

I entered the comp 15 weeks out, and below are my Before photos.

Note to Self...Get a Tan!

Started at 12.1% at 56kg Bodyweight - aiming to be sub 10% come November 8th (comp date)

Obviously, I have a lot to work on, but I am confident that I can do this, and do myself and Team EBW proud on The IFC Stage!

I will keep you updated with progress and snapshots of my programming throughout the next 13 weeks, but for now, I shall leave you with this link - me FINALLY getting a 100kg Back Squat!!

Most of my Daily Updates are over on my Intsagram https://instagram.com/frankinapolitano/ so head over and Follow Me for regular insights into my training (and what I'm eating!)

Franki xx

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Friday, 24 April 2015

5 Tips for a Healthier Day at Work

Some of the most frequent questions we get at EBW are how to stay on track, keep to clean eating principles and overall, be healthy during the day when at work.

It's something I can completely sympathise with as my work life outside of the gym has always consisted of working in an office in some capacity.

Here are my Top 5 Tips for being healthier at work!

Drink Water - Lots Of It!
Depending on the nature of our role, this can be tricky. The easiest way I have found to overcome this, is to keep a bottle on you all day - in the car, to and from meetings, on your desk or in your bag. Make a conscious effort to get through the bottle throughout the day and re fill when needed. Start with a 1 litre bottle and gradually increase up to a 2 litre. In no time, you will have upped your intake! And got some extra leg work in from all the trips to the loo!
Avoid The Snack Table!

If you have ever worked in an office, you will know what I mean  by this. The desktop or cabinet that is always adorned with little treats, usually biscuits, cakes and crisps. Something that used to be limited to birthdays, but have slowly seemed to have become a bi-weekly thing - certainly seems so in my office anyway! Somehow, this Communal Snacking Ritual seems to eliminate the naughtiness of the treats, and in the past, I have heard ''Free Food, Free Calories, right?!''...... Instead, each day make sure you are prepared with a healthy snack - my favourite are Cashew Nuts - perfect mix of sweet and savoury and easily stored in a bag / desk.

Get Moving!

Now the weather is getting nicer, make the most of it! Get outside on your lunch break - even if it is a walk up and down the road, make the most of time away from the desk or out of the car. May even consider walking or cycling to work if you live close enough - every bit helps! Same goes for when you are inside - take the stairs and not the lift, get up and walk over to speak to a colleague rather than emailing and when it comes to a loo trip, opt for the ones furthest away...  Some of you may be lucky enough to have a gym at work, or at least membership to one close by - get in there and do a mini work out!

Know Your Limits!
All of us at some point have fallen victim to this - doing too much and not taking a moment to breath. Whether it's tight deadlines to meet, Targets to hit, Deals to Close, Customers to Visit or Houses to Clean, we have been at a point where we take too much on and some crumble under the pressure. A Happy Mind is a Healthy One - if you are unhappy / miserable / lacking direction at work, this will start to reflect in your outside life, not just at work. I am not ashamed to admit this has happened to me in the past - so I made the changes I needed to and it transformed my attitude!
Preparation Is Key!
It's all very well reading these points, but you need to put them into practice to succeed.
''Failure to Prepare is Preparing to Fail''
I don't know how many times I have used this quote in this Blog! But it is an important point to reiterate. Prior to returning after a nice weekend off, make sure you have that water bottle, your tyres are pumped up, alarm is set a bit earlier to make extra food for lunch or plan a lunch time stroll.
Overall, it's all about willpower - and a good way to train this, is to use it! Start today :) or Monday actually...you know what I mean ;-)
Franki xx

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Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Pass me the Malteasers

We have hit that delightful time of the year - given up on our 'New Year Health Kick' goal and haven't entered the gym for a while....and salads for lunch are a distant memory - ah the beloved cycle...

Sometimes though, it is a little more than what some people would call 'laziness' or 'failing'.

Sometime there are reasons we fall off the wagon that we can't, or don't want, to control.

Ever reached for the chocolate when you're feeling down? Or a bag of crisps when you can't get any other food? Or how about treating yourself to a tub of ice cream and a few glasses of wine to reward yourself for a job well done?

A high percentage of readers will have answered yes to at least one of the above, and it really isn't that uncommon.

What the above refers to is Emotional Eating - a very real subject that I am not ashamed to admit, I have fallen victim to.

The capture below gives a brief description of the difference between Emotional and Physical Hunger;

Sound familiar? I have had plenty of clients that can identify with the above - and I too in the not so distant past.

What can you do?

Find distraction techniques to stop you from satisfying an unwarranted craving - does your body really need the sugar rush or do you feel it's the only way to comfort or reward yourself?

So Very True!

So, these distraction techniques..

Ok so they may take more time than reaching for food, but I have found these to work best;
Take a minute before the red mist descends - Emotional Eating is usually mindless and automatic and before you know it, the whole share bag of crisps is gone in one sitting. If you consciously decide to stop yourself, your body (and mind) will thank you later.
Rather than eating for stress, take the time to do a little relaxation - I don't mean full on meditation, but take yourself out of the situation, calm down and even use that to your advantage - look up a new recipe to try for dinner. Never feel guilty for taking time for yourself.
Similar to the above, why not get out of the house / office for a moment; take a walk, go for a swim or even get to the gym
Sleep! Make sure you are sleeping enough - bad / broken sleep or even being deprived of it causes ghrelin levels to increase which stimulates your appetite and also your leptin (responsible for signalling to your brain) levels to decrease which means you don't get that 'full' feeling. See, I can be Science-y.
The last one I have found to be the most effective - Talking. Never underestimate the art of communication. Especially to those close to you. You may also discover that someone is trying to deal with it too - and you can both use this as a way to help each other break the cycle.

No, it's not an easy thing to overcome, even though you can have extreme feelings of guilt or dissatisfaction after consumption. But simply addressing the fact this may be happening to you is the start -  and you will be able to overcome it, be patient and kind to yourself.

Have you fallen victim to this? How do you manage your emotional connection to food? Do you think the pointers above would help you?

On a side note, I am planning another blog focusing on eating and training habits - from men / women, complete newbies to competitive athletes - if you would like to be involved, please contact me!

Franki xx

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Friday, 20 February 2015

Short and Sweet!

Felt it was about time to update you all on my ventures!

BWL Golden Chance - As you may have seen, this time around, I wasn't selected for the next Phase.

Although it was an amazing experience and I was extremely flattered to be invited to that stage of the process, I have so much going on in good old Basingstoke, I realised I wouldn't want to leave!  I couldn't leave what I have here behind. Every cloud and all that! Always better to focus on the positives of situations than to dwell on the "What If"s or "Why not me?"s

Mia Cucina - I love food / cooking and creating - and providing healthy meals for those that don't have the time is a big passion of mine. I hate admitting defeat and quitting, so this is really hard.

I have so many things going on, something had to give - with 2 jobs, training/competing and my health, I have decided to put Mia Cucina on hold for a while - I will still continue to create dishes and share recipes and hope to revive it once I have more time. I will of course continue to provide for the EBW Day Cures when needed!

Extra EBW Class - Friday at 6pm - This is to start next week and again is a Female Only Weight Training class, mainly being an introduction to weightlifting and building confidence within a gym setting to enable further development - and of course working on those Bikini Bodies! I am really excited to start training a new group of ladies, in blocks of 6 week focused programmes! The class is open for up to 8 ladies, and I think all the spaces have already gone!

Endometriosis UK - This is probably the biggest piece of news I have. Last Year, I had a few interviews with Endometriosis UK and on Friday 6th of January, I attended a training course at their main office in London to become an Official Volunteer Support Group Leader for the Charity.

My task is to set up the first of it's kind in Basingstoke, plan and run at least 6 meets a year for ladies of all ages who suffer - and also a place for partners or fathers to come to for further information on the condition to help support their loved ones.

Each session will be varied, where we can share experiences, provide information on how to manage the condition and most of all, create a warm, inviting environment for those who feel they have no support elsewhere.

This is a huge opportunity for me, and luckily I already have a few willing helpers, as well as a local journalist and sufferer Emily Brown who also plans to train up to support the running of the group with me. (She also wrote the lovely article about my Fundraiser last year!)

We plan to launch our first group in April / May, but before then, we are running another fundraiser - and this time it is on a much Bigger scale..

When and Where?!

Saturday March 21st and is being held at the Tea Bar at the Top of Town, from 2pm. The afternoon will be one of socialising and entertaining, including live acts performing on the day and of course a raffle! Prizes have already started coming in; Bombay Sapphire Distillery have donated 2 tickets for a tour, Official NFL Merchandise is up for grabs, as well as a Family Portrait and FHC Vouchers and of course Training vouchers from EBW - and more to be confirmed. If anyone wants to contribute to the prizes, and gain some local promotion free of charge as a result, please let me know!

For more info, here is the link to the event - Free Entry too! And if Tea and Coffee isn't your thing, there's always the bar!!


We will officially announce the first date for the group meet at the event!

Like I said, Short and Sweet today - I wanted to share all the excitement - as always!

Over the next few weeks I will be posting a few more updates on my training, including how I am faring with 6 training sessions a week plus yoga, when my next competition will be and what my next set of goals are!

Have a great weekend guys!

Franki xx

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Tuesday, 10 February 2015

British Weightlifting Golden Chance Talent Assessment Day! Pathway to Tokyo 2020?!

This seems like a lifetime ago now - annoyingly my original blog got deleted before I published it so starting all over again..!

Well, what an amazing experience it was...despite a 4:45am alarm to leave on the snowy road to Loughborough University! James very kindly drove me all the way there, with the intention of staying and watching my assessments - but upon registration and briefing, we were told this was not possible and that friends and family could stand and watch from a balcony (at the opposite end of the gym!) with only a half hour window throughout the day to talk to them.

The 60 of us that attended were split into 3 group and the day was split into 3 sections; Firstly I underwent a flexibility assessment, measuring my range of motion in an Overhead Squat, my ankle Dorsi-Flexion and my Hamstring Range. Fairly simple tests and all three of which I have pretty good flexibility in - so I was off to a good start!

This however took the best part of 2 hours, at which point, we were itching to get on with things and start training!

The next part of our day consisted of physical assessments; firstly going through Over Head and Front Squats, and then learning the 3 key elements to the Snatch Lift. We were split into 3 further sub groups, each led by a BWL Coach who offered lots of technique and coaching tips whilst assessing our ability to take direction, learn and actually use the advice given to us.

I was very much aware that we were being assessed on everything we did throughout the day - not just the lifting. Constantly noticing the coaches listening to conversations and taking notes, watching us as we helped coach some of the girls that were a little less experienced, so I made sure I was in ''Coach Mode'' as much as I could be, as well as asking us questions about our training history.

This day was not about how much weight we could Snatch, and we didn't even do the Clean and Jerk - the point of the day was to identify those who learn and adapt well, and to spot those with the right qualities that would be needed of a one day Olympian. Being positive all day was a must - we had to show how determined we were to succeed and be selected!

The highlight for me was being told that over the 1 hour session, my coach had seen a 100% improvement with my technique and liked what he had seen, especially as I helped coach one of the other girls who had never snatched before - she managed to Snatch 30kg by the end of the session!

After this, we moved onto a Squat Jump on a force plate, to identify who much force we could generate in that position - one with just a dowel and a second with half our bodyweight on a barbell. These were very strange, especially the weighted one - the jump felt very unbalanced and I remember the bar coming away from my neck and landing back down on the top of my spine - OUCH! But I wasn't the only one to suffer so I won't complain too much...! ;-)

There was also the Isometric Mid Thigh Pull test, which again was done on a force plate to assess  our max force. However, I was advised to not do this as I was less than 2 weeks post surgery, so they said I was best to avoid it. I had my reservations and made them promise me that it would not affect my assessment - so I will hold hem to it :)

After a bit of rest, the three groups all came together for the last assessments of the day - The Jumps!

I don't know if you have ever been to the Loughborough Uni gym, but it was huge!! It's very impressive; rows of Squat Racks, Platforms, Blocks, a Running Track, all colourfully decorated with multi coloured Eleiko Bumper Plates :) it was consistently busy with the students / public training and so we had a few pairs of eyes on us for this part....

To start, it was FREEZING which didn't help with keeping warm whilst we waited in lines for our turns.

Firstly, we had to do a Standing High Jump - on another force pad to gage our explosive power and height gained - we had three attempts at this in a round robin formation, so this took a while! We weren't told what we had scored on this - much like with the other assessments, the guys didn't give much away at all in terms of how well we were doing etc.

Secondly, we all lined up again for the standing long jump - again, three attempts to jump as far as we could, landing on both feet without putting our hands to the floor. My hips were feeling pretty dodgy - despite the constant stretching, the cold was really getting to me! I did however manage a 2.12m Jump which I was pretty pleased with though (secretly a bit gutted as I had managed 2.42 at EBW the week before!) But again, pleased with my performance and ready for the Big Finisher!

To end, it was the Standing Box Jump - a 2 footed jump onto a stack of plates, starting at 24". All 60 girls lined up and took it in turns to jump onto the stack - if you failed or opted out, you were eliminated. One girl failed the first jump, she was just absolutely petrified about doing it and had been saying so all day.

Each time we got round the group, the stack would gain an inch or so and I was doing pretty well, despite my hips being in agony! We got up to 36" (which is lower than my previous PB) and I fell backwards - I landed on my lower back on the floor and was gutted, but kept a smile on my face. However, my saving grace came - they said I could attempt it again as I had landed on the stack with two feet, I just lost balance as I stood up - YES! I attempted it again and got a loud cheer, I was feeling great!

The most off-putting thing was watching others attempt and fail the jumps - crashing their shins, chins and torsos into the neatly stacked plates, accompanied by a chorus of ''oohs!'' and ''ouch!''s each time it happened. In the end, some of the others in my group and I stopped watching those in front of us, the pressure was just mounting too much!!

I breezed through my current PB Height and then the next Jump came - 40" - the background was a sea of noise - cheers and shouts of encouragement, not just from the other girls, but the Coaches too. Then suddenly, silence. I couldn't hear anything, I just jumped....And landed two footed on the stack! Taking a second to balance, I slowly stood up and could hear the applause again - I felt fantastic!

At this point, there were only 6 of us left.....So the next plate was put on - 42" - Every girl in front of me failed, and I was extra nervous. Approaching the stack, I tried not to let my eyes linger on it for too long - it was nearly above my chest! I did a practice jump and felt confident, I could do this...short little me is going to get her feet on top of those plates.....and I tried with all my might, but this was my turn to wrap myself around the plates, smashing both my shins in the process.... The one girl left behind me attempted and succeeded - too easily! She then went on to attempt 46" but failed here.

And it was all over.

We all then piled back up to the athletes lounge for a de-brief and a quick talk from Natasha Purdue, London 2012 BWL Olympian about her journey into weightlifting. To then round things off, there was a presentation of prizes to those that placed top three in the jump assessment - and I came 3rd!! I was absolutely buzzing! What a great way to round off an awesome day!

I met a lot of like minded and talented ladies that day, all of which from different training backgrounds, ranging from Rowing, CrossFit and even the Army - and I hope that I get another opportunity to train alongside them again in the future!

Now it is a waiting game -  we will be contacted in Feb with the outcome of the day and to see if I have been invited to Phase 2B of the process - an interview with the coaches to gauge my suitability for progression to Phase 3 and to ensure the programme is right for me. Fingers are firmly crossed!!

If I am lucky enough to be selected for Phase 3, this will mean being in Loughborough for two 6 Week periods to take part in the BWL Confirmation Programme! This starts on March 23rd - right before my birthday!

Check out the BWL Website for more information on what they do and how to get involved!

Despite what may be, I am proud of what I achieved that day having only recently had surgery and not having not been able to train. I am very grateful for the opportunity and wish all the other ladies involved the Best of Luck! xx

Anyway, just thought a little insight into the day was needed - I have had many questions about it! Unfortunately, no photos though as phones weren't allowed in the assessments!

Oh yea, the important bit - how did I celebrate?! With a Thai Dinner and Red Wine, a Share Bag of Malteasers and Ice Cream of course!!!

Keep an eye out for my next Blog - I have even more exciting news to share with all!! It's all coming at once!

Franki xx

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Friday, 9 January 2015

Body Beautiful

What is Beauty and how would you define it? Someone's smile? Their bodyshape or hair style? Their confidence, determination, courage?

There is too much pressure on us from society to conform to a norm, this we already know and are well aware of. We all know damaging it can all be.

As I reflect on this year past and what I can expect from this one coming, my mind is drawn back to that wonderful week I spent in the sunshine in Spain. I recall feeling happy with myself and for once, not feeling conscious of how I looked or what others thought of my body in a bikini.

Sitting round the pool for a few days opened my eyes to the way in which women's body confidence can be so vastly different. For instance, the difference just between Spanish and English women was amazing.

I picked up on the behaviours of four women that week and each one with their own story. 2 women of about a UK Size 14 and 2 of a UK Size 8.

The Size 14 English Woman was noticeably shy about her body - despite having an impressive collection of beautiful bikinis, she covered herself up in a sarong each time she got up - even to just adjust the umbrella she lied beneath. When in the water, she kept all of her body below the water and when her kids asked her to join in in water games she refused and would retreat to her sun lounger. You may think she just sounds like she was shy all round - but she would happily chat to others and constantly laughing and smiling.

In stark comparison, was a Spanish mother, of around the same size. She had no noticeable worry about strutting around in a thong bikini, constantly jumping in and out of the water with her little girls and certainly didn't seem to mind her tummy rounding when she sat on the pool edge. I was in awe of her body confidence - it almost felt like SHE felt she was beautiful and almost celebrated her curves - as we should!

On the other end of the scale were the Size 8s - The English woman had a great figure, but would always walk around the pool with her arms crossed over her tummy and prodding it when she laid down. She would also noticeably suck her tummy in when walking past people - which we can all say we have done at some point, but she really didn't have to. She was also constantly looking at other women, again as we all do and clearly what I was doing this particular day.

The Spanish lady's confidence mirrored that of the other Senorita; confident, happy and seemingly un-fazed by her  surroundings. Again, a beautiful figure, and a very small bikini, and didn't seem bothered about the roll of skin over her tummy as she sat down (which most others would hide with a book or something).

My point here is perception - 2 women of the same size, both with different attitudes towards their bodies, which have most likely have been formed from the differing pressures from our societies. I have spoken before about the media bombardment in the UK on ''The Perfect Body'' the gossip columns that belittle someone for going up a dress size and the inundation of quick fixes to slim down. Did you know there is now a powder available to buy that you simply tip down your throat to create a sponge like substance in your stomach to stop you feeling hungry?! Jeez!

I don't feel the pressures are as harsh in the rest of Europe - especially in Mediterranean countries where the fuller female figure is celebrated and heart disease and cholesterol issues are lower.

OK, so what prompted me to write this piece today...

Katie Hopkins - My Fat Story, a two piece documentary on Katie's Mission to get fat and then slim down again to show ''fat people'' that by moving more and eating less, you can lose weight without the need for fad diets and an expensive gym.

Those of you that are familiar with Katie and her controversial rants on This Morning will know there is a divided opinion on her and whether or not her comments cross the line. Well here is my view;

I thought the documentary was very good - it highlighted a lot of issues that most people are ''afraid to talk about'', like asking an overweight person why they are so. Or Being told you look too scrawny and in fact un-healthy. I loved the fact that Katie even went along to, and guest judged, a beauty pageant especially for the curvier woman and developed more of an appreciation for women who celebrated a more feminine / curvy figure.

I think what got lost in translation though was the differentiation in those ''fat'' she was referring to - some I would consider merely overweight, but they were made out to be obese, which wasn't fair I feel. On the flip side, Katie was accused of ''Fat Shaming'' by size acceptance campaigner Kathryn Szrodecki, who actually called the police to report her for a hate crime - after voluntarily taking part in an open discussion about size and the industry view. This seemed totally unwarranted - an no, Katie wasn't reprimanded (not yet anyway...!)

Again, some of it revealed deeper issues to weight gain and the difficulty some find when it comes to shedding the pounds - for example, upon visiting a 55 stone American woman Nicky, Katie was asked to leave the property when she told  Nicky she didn't believe her when she said she was ''happy with her size and wanted a bigger butt'' and that there must be something that triggered the start to her eating - and with this, I agree. Overeating is just as much a deep routed, psychological issue as other eating disorders.

In all, I praise Katie for the documentary - although I didn't agree with everything, she did prove the point she set out to make. I would highly recommend giving it a watch - I would be interested in hearing your views!

Funnily enough, going back to the poolside in Alicante, it was reading Katie's column in The Sun Newspaper which triggered my idea to blog about the Big Bodyshape debate - and now she has bought it back to me.

So, I'll ask again. What Makes Someone Beautiful? I know what my answer is, and I'd love to hear yours!

Franki xx
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