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Me, my body and I

Watching her young daughter start to worry about her weight was the tipping point for Fiona Cowood. She discovered the philosophy of ‘body neutrality’ – and made peace with herself at last


Sitting on the beach this summer, there’s a game I will refuse to play. It’s been a personal favourite for years and the rules are pretty simple: it’s me versus every woman in my line of vision, and the question is, ‘Fatter, thinner, or the same?’ Frankly, it’s rubbish – but I suspect that I’m not the only person who’s wasted precious hours playing it.

The last time I felt truly good about my body was when I was on honeymoon. In 2011. Like many brides, I’d taken the prospect of a wedding – potentially a simple and beautiful thing – as a cue to go crazy. I faffed over the details, stapled fake grass to the table plan at 2am and rose at dawn regularly so that I could vibrate myself thinner on a Power Plate machine before work. I became fluent in grains, pulses and Reformer Pilates. When I finally made it to a sunlounger in Las Vegas as a married woman, I was exhausted but, by God, I was thin – and I had a suitcase of ridiculous bikinis to prove it.

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About Psychologies

If you're feeling depleted, out of sorts and ready for a holiday, then this issue is for you. Our 18-page dossier on how to renew your strength shares scientifically proven ways to fill up your tank and keep it full. If you’re hitting the beach but want to revolutionise the way you see yourself, turn to page 46 and learn about the new mindset to adopt to finally find peace with your body. This month, we invite you to train your brain to think differently but we also invite you to sing, dance and play. Why? Because it’s not only good for your soul, it’s good for your health. Learn how the arts can help you live a long, happy life. Here’s to a long, happy summer!