Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 9°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Poll: What shape is a healthy role model? Stick thin and a size zero, or a healthy size 10 to 12?

09:00 16 March 2014

 Nikki Edwards is the new EA Life columnist for fitness and nutrition.

Nikki Edwards is the new EA Life columnist for fitness and nutrition.

The perfect body is dangled in front of us in all its leggy long-limbed glory from the pages of glossy magazines.

 Nikki Edwards is the new EA Life columnist for fitness and nutrition. Nikki Edwards is the new EA Life columnist for fitness and nutrition.

There is no sign of cellulite, moles, dimples or curves. No hint of a bit of wobble or a swelling of flesh.

The female form looks so thin, so flawless, so other-worldly.

And yet, tragically, so many women believe it’s a reality. They think they too could look this way if they just tried a little harder, resulting in a lifetime of diets, depression and despair, followed by the realisation that they will never, ever measure up.

I’ve been there, write Nikki Edwards, who runs Ipswich-based sports nutrition company Deluxe Nutrition.

I can’t pretend I haven’t, she says. There have been times in my life when I’ve looked at myself in the mirror and pinpointed all the things that I thought were not quite right.

But there have also been times when I have looked at my body in wonder. A body that grew a baby and gave birth to my beautiful daughter, Bliss. A body that has seen me win medals for a variety of sports which require stamina, endurance and dedication. A body that has aged, changed and developed over the years but one that I have learned to love, admire and take care of.

So while I was thrilled with most of the feedback which followed the launch of my new healthy living plan in ealife, I was surprised that a small number of readers thought I would be a better role model – a better advocate of my programme – if I were a size zero.

Just to put the record straight, I am not overweight. I am 5ft 3in, wear size 10/12 clothes and have a healthy BMI, although just a week ago I was diagnosed with an underactive thyroid, which affects my hormones and therefore my weight does fluctuate.

To be honest, it’s hurtful – not to mention worrying − that some people want to criticise me for these very normal stats.

I accept I am a far cry from the tiny women you often see fronting diet plans but there is a good reason for this: my programme is not a diet. It’s never purported to be. It is about healthy living, eating well and feeling good from the inside out. It’s about finding the optimum weight for you and learning to push your body to try new things.

I have absolutely no intention of suggesting women starve themselves. A recent survey found that 76% of women prioritised weight loss results over the potential of a negative impact on their health.

Of those, 47% admitted using laxatives, 45% said they fasted and 14% said they purposefully ate food which made them ill.

Statistics like this are shocking. But this is one which is particularly disturbing: recent research has shown that a staggering 81% of 10-year-olds have been on a diet − and young girls’ number one wish is to be thinner.

As a mother myself I find this particularly horrifying.

And yet it is absolutely no wonder that more and more young people are suffering from eating disorders and low self-esteem when they are receiving constant confusing messages about what they should eat and being besieged with images of emaciated models.

After all, it seems advertisers and magazine editors are still fearful of portraying women in all their flawed and blemished beauty, and there are plenty of people out there who have been brainwashed to believe those airbrushed images are real.

Now, I believe that women are all different and this should be embraced.

And my lifestyle plan is about promoting a healthy body image and mindset.

My image was not airbrushed, no filters were applied or cropping done. That’s me. Normal, natural, healthy and happy.

And, really, I just wish other women felt as comfortable in their own skin as I do in mine.

Nikki Edwards writes a weekly column for ealife on lifestyle, health and fitness. For more information on her or her business visit


  • Curves every time!

    Report this comment


    Sunday, March 16, 2014

  • curves curves curves!!!

    Report this comment

    Ipswich Entrepreneur

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • I'm sick of the media continually telling us to be attractive you must be a certain size. The fact that being underweight is just as unhealthy as being overweight seems to never be considered. I would much rather have a Marilyn Monroe figure than Kate Moss any day of week! I like to feel a dress with hips and a bust! LOL

    Report this comment

    A Palmer

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • A Palmer

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • Yes curvy woman shape for me, none of these stick thin sick looking freaks.

    Report this comment

    Lee Davies

    Sunday, March 16, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Posters appealing for information into the disappearance of missing RAF Honington serviceman Corrie McKeague in shop windows throughout  Bury St Edmunds town centre

A man in a black T-shirt with white writing on who spoke to Corrie McKeague in Pizza Mama Mia, Bury St Edmunds, on the morning he disappeared has now been traced and spoken to.

Norwich Road vandalism, Ipswich

Groups of ‘thugs’ went on a destructive rampage on Norwich Road in Ipswich at the weekend - kicking down garden walls, smashing bins and leaving the area looking ‘like a bomb site’.

Northgate School sports day in July 1978

Previously two schools, Northgate High School is currently the largest high school in Ipswich with 1,700 pupils on roll.

New Mid Suffolk and Babergh chief executive Arthur Charvonia.

A new chief executive has been appointed to take over the reins at Mid Suffolk and Babergh Councils.

Matron Hannah English and consultant Djavid Alleemudder from the Ipswich Hospital fertility team.

Couples seeking help in conceiving are invited to an open day at Ipswich Hospital to meet fertility experts.

Sir David Attenborough reopened the Abberton Reservoir for Essex and Suffolk Water and Essex Wildlife Trust. The reservoir has had an enormous amount of work done to it as a reservoir and as a wildlife habitat.

Suffolk Wildlife Trust today launches an ambitious £1million public appeal as part of a land purchase plan that is on a scale “unprecedented” in the nature charity’s long history.

Abnormal loads will be making their way along the roads of Suffolk over the next two weeks

Motorists in Suffolk are being warned to watch out for traffic delays as three abnormal loads slowly make their way along the county’s roads over the next two weeks.

Most read

Great Days Out


Click here to view
the Great Days Out


Most commented


Show Job Lists


Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

MyDate24 MyPhotos24