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Claire Kenny
Features Writer
@my40pluslife
11:39 AM 8th January 2022
lifestyle

“I Refuse To Be Made To Feel Bad About Myself By Mean-spirited Marketing.”

40 plus blogger Claire Marie is on high alert for shady marketing campaigns that make us feel rubbish in order to shift shakes, bars and powders (that will probably make us feel even more rubbish).

Image: Tumisu / Pixabay
Image: Tumisu / Pixabay
Hurrah, it's that time of year when we're ambushed by insidious messages from the media which insinuate that we're not smashing life unless we're thin!

Remember when January always featured the latest reality TV stars releasing a fitness DVD? At least their bodies were relatively normal. These days it’s Instagram and Daily Mail Showbiz with their constant images of surgically or digitally enhanced “influencers” we could never hope to emulate even if we wanted to.

Because even they don’t look like them!

I know I sound a bit 'ranty', but after being enslaved by it for years, I get wound up by the subtle self-loathing the diet and fitness industries so cleverly tap into in order to shift dodgy products. Alot of the really irresponsible stuff is now targeted towards our teenagers, who are insecure on an unprecedented and deeply worrying scale.

It's great to want to make positive changes to our appearance and our overall wellbeing. But we’re far more likely to succeed if our motivation for doing it is because WE want to, not because someone else makes us feel shite.

The fact that I’ve had a chequered relationship with food since my late 20s makes me a marketing person’s dream. For years I ping ponged between all or nothing extremes, including an unhealthy dependence on slimming clubs. My 40s saw me finally lose weight - and keep it off - but lately I’ve going backwards and I want this to be the year that I finally understand my tendency to self-sabotage.

Although I don’t know what I currently weigh because I won’t go back to being owned by a set of scales, I know I can’t go back to the person I used to be. Someone who was deeply unhappy with her appearance. Someone who was tired all the time and whose back constantly ached and regularly packed in completely. Someone who loved parties but never felt beautiful when she dressed up for them. And someone who felt extremes of shame or elation every time she stepped on the scales, as if they had some mystical power.

If you can relate to this, I understand your struggle. We deserve respect for trying hard to make positive changes to our health while running a home, working and/or parenting. And this is against a backdrop of a food industry that seems determined to set us up to fail.

Of all the challenges I’ve faced, my relationship with exercise and nutrition is definitely up there with the hardest. But I know that I deserve more than being the old, unhealthy me.

For those of us with an uneasy relationship with food, it’s a lifelong battle, but it’s one I’m determined to win. I spent the latter half of 2021 doing quite a lot of stress-eating and now find myself disappointed with how I'm looking and feeling physically as I head into a new year. However, I refuse to be made to feel worse by mean-spirited marketing.

Any action I take to improve my health will be made independently of some Dubai-dwelling z lister being paid to promote a tea/tablet/diet that makes me shit myself thin so that they can purchase another car/house/balloon arch or surgical procedure to show off on Instagram. Nor will it line the pockets of a corporation which profits from a sense of failure.


Claire can be found on Instagram and Facebook as my40pluslife.me