Tag Archive: body image

photo (21)My daughter just provided me with a little ‘aha’ moment the other day. I was watching the make-over episode of the Biggest Loser and one of the contestants came out of the dressing room in a red dress. My daughter looked up at the TV and said, “Look Mommy, a princess!” She said it with such joy and wonder on her face. In her mind, this happy smiling woman in a dress WAS a princess. Mind you, this woman had no make up on, her hair wasn’t done, and she is still ‘over-weight’ based on our standards here in the states. This is no offense to this woman; she is simply still on her weight loss journey. None of this mattered to my 2 ½ year old. It really got me thinking.

First of all, I was so proud! I was proud that she has not been influenced by me or by society or by Disney to think that only skinny is beautiful. She can still see a woman who has genuine happiness on her face and call her a princess without any discrimination. I don’t know how long this will last, or even how long I want this whole princess fantasy to continue, but right now I am going to enjoy it.

What this should teach us though, is we are not born to discriminate, or hate, or make fun of, or think less of other people because of their appearance. We are born knowing that every human being is equally amazing and beautiful. We know this instinctually; we know it down to our bones. We learn otherwise, and incorrectly so. We are taught that “mommy doesn’t like to look fat in her jeans” and that “the chubby kid gets picked on the most” and that “there are no fat models” and that “the pretty girls get attention”.

It’s the same thing with racism. Remember that awesome Dennis Leary quote, “Racism isn’t born folks. It’s taught. I have a 2-year-old son. Know what he hates? Naps. End of list.” How true is that?!? And, if I introduced Ellie to 2 men and said, “Joe likes boys, and Mike likes girls”. She would say, “Okay…look at my pony.” She doesn’t care. Are they going to be nice her? Are they going to play Candyland? She’s on board.

We need to be conscious of our behavior, what comes out of our mouths, and our body language. A five year old girl is completely capable of interpreting an exasperated sigh as her mother looks in the mirror and doesn’t approve of what she sees. She is completely aware of the things you enjoy and focus on. If your coffee table is filled with Cosmo and US weekly instead of literature authored by women or books about science and the arts, she will notice. If your ‘down-time’ is watching Real Housewives or The Bachelor, she will notice. Not to mention the message this sends to our sons. Are we teaching our sons to value a woman for everything that she is capable of, or are we showing him that our value as women comes from our appearance?

It’s a lot of pressure, right? Yeah, parenting isn’t easy.

Just today to my husband I said, “I really need to focus on my diet. I am shaving my head in a month and I can’t be bald and chubby.” Granted, this was not in front of my kids, but it still came out of my mouth. I heard me say it. How many times a day do you insult yourself? If you had a friend that spoke to you that way, you would have ditched her years ago. And, my husband heard me say it. How annoying we must be to our husbands…. The person who loves us more than anyone else on the planet, the person who we trust with our lives, our future, our children, and we don’t believe the nice things they say to us.

I want to think like a 2 year old. I want to do what makes me happy. I want to value everyone equally (except moms, moms are the best). I want to play so hard that I fall asleep while eating. I want to be unashamed of my feelings and say what’s on my mind. We think that kids don’t know much, but they are so much wiser than we give them credit for. We could all learn a lot from them if we were actually listening.

What life lesson have you learned from your kids?

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Dear Body,

The time has come for you and us to stop fighting. I am done. If you think about all of the arguments we have had over the past few years, they just seem silly. And, I have to admit, it’s mostly my fault. I give you a hard time for the dumbest things and don’t give you enough credit for the amazing things that you do everyday! You take care of me even when I am sleeping. I am sorry, and I want to do better. The following comes from my heart…err your heart…whatever- I mean it though.

To my feet- you’re big, so what? You help me not to fall down more my giving me a sturdy base. Thanks, I’ll have my husband rub you more.

To my legs- I owe everything to you. You get me out of bed every morning. You support me on those long runs to help keep the rest of our body happy. You are my foundation. I will never again say our thighs are big or gross or wrinkly. I will not concern myself with the non-sense that is a ‘thigh-gap’. That’s just dumb. Thanks for being strong when I have been weak.

To my butt- thanks for being so good at dancing! Next wedding we go to, I promise to let you stay on the dance floor as long as you want to shake that money maker.

To my stomach- we have had a strained relationship for as long as I can remember. I ask too much of you. You were the perfect home to my 2 beautiful babies. You stretched just like you were designed to do, and I give you a hard time because you don’t look like you did in high school any more. If my husband got mad at me for that I would divorce him so I am sorry I talk to you like that. NO MORE. I love you and I will treat you better. I will also give you the best food I can- not to shrink and starve you- but to nourish you.

To my boobs- we had a really good run! I really just owe you round of applause. You were so good to me for so many years. In return, I promise to buy you big comfy bras and double it up for our workouts.

To my shoulder- you let me down last year, and I am still trying to work on forgiving you. All you had to do is stay in your home. Are you too good for your home?! Sorry, I digress. It’s almost been a full year since we got hurt, and we are not out of the woods yet. But, I promise to work as hard as I can to make you better.

To my brain- well aren’t you a tricky little friend… Not sure why you need to wake me up at 3am so that I can start contemplating my retirement or why I walk outside to get the mail and start to wonder about what I would do if someone just started shooting at me or if a squirrel jumped out of the tree onto my head, but I trust that there is a reason. I will work hard on bringing peace you in this new year. Even if it is for only 10 mins. a day, I will try to clear my thoughts and give you a break. Ohhmmmm…..

To my hair- you don’t have long. Come March, you are getting buzzed. It’s not you, it’s me. But, as you are growing back in, I’ll try not to judge you. I’ll remember that we did this for a good cause and I’ll try not to cry. Maybe this will be our chance to experiment and try something new together. You know, spice things up. Maybe there’s something cool that I’ve never even heard of….

So, thanks body. Let this be the year we fall in love just like old times.

Bi-Polar Body Image

Like most women I know, I have a jacked up body image. It makes me mad because I should know better. Like I have said before, I am not that weird shaped! I wonder why I am not more enlightened. Should I blame the media? Should I blame the fashion magazines or hollywood? Sure, they’re jerks, but they just put out what we buy. If we stopped buying into that crap, they would have to adjust. Honestly, I am the only one to blame. I am smart, I am mature, and I am surrounded by people that love me for the whole me regardless of my weight or waist. So, what’s my deal?!

To give you a little background, I don’t always feel bad about myself. In fact, I am bi-polar. I either think I am Sophia Vergara or the Stay-puft marshmallow man (Seriously, ghostbusters 1 and 2 were some of the best comedies ever! Under-rated, but I digress). There are days when I look into the mirror and I’m all like, “Damn girl, you look good!” There are other days when I want to drape my self in velvet-if it were socially acceptable- or some other kind of loose, warm, comfy fabric that I can disappear into. (If you got that velvet reference, give yourself a high five for being awesome.) Overall, though I would say I have a high level of confidence. I usually walk into a room like I own it.

bi-polar body image

With that said, why do I let myself talk down to myself? Why do I torture my poor husband by brushing off his compliments? You know how we do that ladies, “Oh, I love that dress on you.” and then we reply, “Just think of how good it would look if I lost 10 pounds!” That’s really annoying. I know it’s annoying and I still do it.

I think we all have a ‘story’ about ourselves that we have made up. Something that sticks with you for years. Maybe you used to be 30 pounds over weight, and now you still think of yourself as ‘that chubby girl’. My ‘story’ is that I am the big girl out of all my friends. Every single one of my friends is smaller than me and always has been. I’ve never been truly big, but always biggest. I have tiny little girl friends and a tiny little sister; they’re the worst! 🙂 So, my ‘story’ is that people look at me and think I am the big one. This is probably (hopefully) crazy. I doubt people care enough to even notice something like that. But, the point is, I am technically a healthy weight. My BMI is within the normal range. I clean up good. Why do I care so much? Why does my logical brain who knows I should be proud of my appearance disappear and let my stupid emotional brain insult me? My logical brain shouldn’t stand for that! And that is exactly what I am going to try to do from now on.

All compliments will be accepted with grace. From now on, when I get a compliment, I am going to say “thank you”. Simple as that, no qualifiers. “Hey that’s a nice shirt” will not be followed with “Oh, this thing? It’s super cheap; got it at Target.” It will now be followed with “thank you”.

I will not insult myself. I will no longer judge myself in a negative way. I will not allow ME to hurt ME out loud or in my head.

I will no longer compare myself to others. This is tough, but I will not compare myself to friends or strangers or celebrities or manequins. It’s funny how we only see the areas where we lose in comparisons.

I will no longer put thoughts into strangers heads. In other words, I will not make up stories about the way the world sees me. I am no longer the ‘big girl’ in my mind.

Ladies, let’s let go of our baggage and just enjoy our bodies for what they can do. This doesn’t mean we don’t try to improve by eating right and exercising, but it does mean no more obsessing. No more worrying about what others think. No more looking in the mirror and seeing anything but your true reflection. No more holding on to old stories or issues that are haunting us. Go give yourself a compliment. Be proud of yourself.

I’ll start right now: My butt has been looking really good lately since I started working out again!

Use the comments section to compliment yourself. Come on, you deserve it. It feels good.

I feel bad about my boobs

This is kind of a Nora Ephron themed blog. The late-great writer wrote a book called ‘I feel bad about my neck’. Well, I’m 30 so I feel okay about my neck, but I do have other issues.

1. I feel bad about my boobs: When did I become someone who buys bras at Kohl’s? You know those commercials with the 18 hour bras? That has some how become my life. Cute push up bras with lace? Yeah….those are adorable as I stand perfectly still in front of a mirror in the dressing room. Bend forward 30 degrees and I’m no longer IN the bra. It’s depressing. I walk around kind of wanting to punch high school girls in the face.

2. I feel bad about my stomach: Most of you moms out there can feel my pain here (those of you that can’t- can suck it). But, after you have a baby, your stomach just isn’t the same. Yes, I could work out like a maniac and eat perfect, but I would still have extra skin and stretch marks. My first kid was almost 10 pounds! The funny thing is though- I don’t ‘want a flat tummy more than anything!’ I really like beer. I really like bread. I really hate ab work. I’ll stick to wearing high-waisted jeans and wanting to punch high school girls in the face.

3. I feel bad about my maintenance: What I mean by this is the amount of maintenance it takes to look good. What happened to the days where I could wake up, brush my teeth, throw my hair in a pony-tail and look adorable? I’ll tell you- they’re long gone. Now I need to actually ‘do’ my hair, plan my outfits, rip hair out of my face, wear make-up, etc etc etc. It takes a lot of effort to look effortlessly chic!

4. I feel bad about my clothes: Shopping sucks. I am too old for Forever 21 and too young for Coldwater Creek. (By the way, if you are over 30, you are also too old for Forever 21.) I have to split my wardrobe between ‘work clothes’, ‘going out clothes’, ‘regular weekend casual clothes’. Who has enough money to dress all of their identities? I know who, f-ing high school girls! They only have one identity and that’s- skinny bitch. Remember when your parents bought all of your clothes? Remember when you were so skinny that you could go in any store and everything looked good on you? Remember when your biggest problem was whether or not your dad would let you wear that out?

Okay, obviously I have some issues with HS girls. I still remember a conversation that I had with my sister a couple years ago.

Brooke: I hate high school girls!

Me: Where did that come from?

Brooke: Why do HS girls get to be skinny? They’re SOOO stupid.

At a glance, this might sound mean. But, dig a little deeper and there is actually something we can learn from this. When you are in HS your body is probably the best it is going to get (if not HS, college and early 20’s). However, so many of us wished we were thinner, taller, had bigger boobs. If you were jealous of my boobs, I was probably jealous of your stomach. We didn’t appreciate it then, but we sure miss it now.

What does this say about how we will feel 20 years from now?

I might feel bad about my boobs now, but when I look back when I’m 50, I bet I’ll have a different perspective. Somehow, we need to find away to look in the mirror and concentrate on the good. Maybe we should make it a goal: every day spend 1 min. looking in the mirror and naming things we like about our selves. Now this doesn’t mean to ignore things that are unhealthy. But, if we can respect and appreciate what we have, it may change our whole outlook on our self-worth and confidence. And, that may be the jump start you need for a better life.

I don’t know. Either that or start punching high school girls (in the face).

Weekly rant time! So, I was shopping today and saw a couple of bathing suits. I’ve been working out a lot lately, I lost some weight and thought I would give some bikinis a try. I know, I should know better by now, but I temporarily went crazy or something. Fast forward 15 minutes….. Depression.

Now I am a pretty confident chick. I feel really good about my ‘situation’ (I’m gesturing at all of me) 90% of the time. I’m not over weight, I have some muscles, I have boobs- so pretty good. In fact, you put me in a bra and underwear and I wouldn’t be embarrassed in public. I am no Marissa Miller, but you wouldn’t kick me out of bed. So why is it that you put me in the average bikini and I look the Michelin man?! Why do I look like a 30-year-old mother of two?! Oh, wait… 

The thing is I’m not that weird shaped. What do women with difficult bodies to dress do? I have big boobs, but what do women with REALLY big boobs do? Whatever, I quit. I wish I could turn heads like I did in highschool, but who am I kidding? I’m a one-peice kind of gal I guess.

But, why do they have the technology to make me look great in a bra, but not in a bikini top? Why are the cups on a size 14 too small? Why can they make underwear that looks good on me, but not a bikini bottom? Why can they put a man on the moon and a woman in your iPhone, but not make a bathing suit that fits?!

Bathing suits are so flimsy on top and so tight on the bottom. It’s like they are trying to make sure you could go down extreme-mega-waterslides and not lose your bottoms. Well, bathing suit designers, listen up. Some one needs to make a line that might not hold up on the high dive but doesn’t make your stomach look fat. I promise to just lay there and look pretty. You can even put a warning on the label, “Specifically designed for mothers who promise not to do any extreme sports. If you go tubing, you will lose your shit.” Thanks!