Posts tagged ‘body image’
This is a very, very special week.
No, sorry to disappoint, it’s not Appreciate Your Secretary Week.
This week kicks off Fat Talk Free Week, a body image campaign aimed at college students to ban language that is harmful to their self esteem. And since we’re all kids at heart, I’ve decided that we should all take part in this campaign, too.
Let’s follow their motto: “Friends don’t let friends fat talk.”
Think about how you relate to your friends. Especially in college, girl-talk revolves around boys, clothes, and body dissatisfaction. Certainly comparing body parts, complaining that x is too big or y is too fat weasels its way into conversation. I’ve gone shopping with friends countless times and each time I’ve tried on a pair of jeans I swear the first words out of my mouth are “My butt looks huge!”
But imagine a world where girlfriends were nothing but supportive of each other. When Jane says to Megan, “I’m so fat, I need to lose weight,” Megan will smile, take Jane’s hand, and say, “You look beautiful just as you are.”
A girl can dream, can’t she?
So, take the Fat Talk Free Week challenge with me. Only words of self-love and respect when speaking about yourself to others. Take it one step further and re-record that tape that plays over and over in your head. You know the voice that’s usually telling you “You’re not good enough,” “You’re not worthy,” and “You look fat.” Go ahead and thank your inner critic for sharing her $.02, and then tell yourself something nice, like “You kicked ass in spin class today.”
You can also play the Thank You game. Here are the rules: When someone gives you a compliment (ie. Those pants look good on you, I love your outfit) you smile and say “Thank You.” You do NOT say, “Oh, I think these pants make my thighs look big” or “This ratty sweatshirt is so old.” NO! You smile, say thank you, and accept the gift you are receiving. It may feel uncomfortable at first but I promise with a little practice, it get’s easier.
Let’s start now: You look Beautiful today! (Your reply: Thank you, Amanda!)
**Celebrate the end of Fat Talk Free Week with me! Have you signed up for the FREE virtual Love Your Body Day Telesummit? No? Sign up here and get my free report, “10 Ways We Love Our Body Best.” By signing up you’ll get access to over 19 experts in the health and wellness fields, helping you to live your best, juiciest life possible. Can’t attend? No problem! Sign up anyway and you’ll get recordings of all the calls so you can listen on your own time.
Y’all know I love me some gratitude! This was inspired by the Self-Discovery, Word by Word Blogger series (more info on that and how you can participate below)
After so many years battling the shape of my body, today I proudly share what I am grateful for, from toes to head.
I am grateful for my feet. One bunion surgery, 100’s of late night dancing in sky-high stilettos, mountains climbed and miles walked later, my feet have carried me through it all. And hot-dang do I love me a good pedicure.
I am grateful for my calves. OK, so I have to buy knee-high boots for women with larger-sized calves. Whatever. But they’re athletic and strong.
I am grateful for my knees. For as much activity as I’ve seen in my 30 years, I’ve never had a problem with these joints. Keep hanging in there, girls!
I am grateful for my thighs. I can leg press over 200 pounds. I’ve climbed glaciers. I’ve run miles. And although they often been my greatest enemy at times, I am grateful because they’re mine.
I am grateful for my butt. Ah, gluteus maximus (and minimus!), you power me through spin classes. And you turn heads.
I am grateful for my waist. So tiny and toned, I never have to do a sit-up as long as I live. (Thanks for the genetics, Mom!)
I am grateful for my breasts. Yup, they’re small, but they’re all natural, baby.
I am grateful for my arms. Bless you, genetics. I am the proud owner of beautiful, toned, shapely arms that look great in tank tops. My arms are also able to carry pounds and pounds of groceries and shopping bags with no problem, making the envy of all other New Yorkers.
I am grateful for my back. So strong after years of weight lifting.
I am grateful for my shoulders. For putting up with purses that are way too heavy. For responding to physical therapy.
I am grateful for my collarbone and neck. My most favorite part of my body. Graceful, strong and very Audrey Heburn.
I am grateful for my hair. And this is only because I have the Keratin Brazilian treatment. 😉
I am grateful that I love my body at a weight I previously thought was unlovable.
I am grateful for all that my body has allowed me to do, and will do in the future.
What parts of your body are you grateful for?
This post is part of the Self-Discovery, Word by Word series created by Ashley of Nourishing Wisdom and other bloggers. The goal of this series is to challenge ourselves to reflect on ideas that we may not often consider in the hustle and bustle of our daily lives. The words that are chosen are meant to provoke thought and ultimately growth. As part of the blogging community (whether you are a blog reader or a have your own), we all have a unique opportunity to share our insights, our struggles, and our triumphs to help each other develop in new ways. The words selected will be broad and hopefully of interest to all types of bloggers and readers. Click here for more information on how you can participate!
Lately I’ve been tickled pink with my mental state around my body.
A quick rundown of the facts: I’ve gained 11 pounds in the past year. I’m heavier than I’ve been in 9 years. And while I recognize I certainly need to amend certain eating and dietary habits, I am not unhappy with myself.
Quite the contrary. I’m actually quite PLEASED.
“But how,” people question me. “How is it possible for you to carry this extra weight but still be OK with it.”
So glad you asked!
Over the past year, I’ve allowed myself to eat the foods that for YEARS I wouldn’t dream of eating. And yes, I’ve eaten more than my calorie allotment of chocolate cake. Actually, I think I’ve eaten enough dessert to last me 2 years.
But what have I gained (besides the 11 pounds?) I’ve gained understanding and appreciation and even LOVE for a body at a weight I never thought I could live with. I can honestly say that I love my bigger body. And only now, with this self love, can I begin to truly lose the weight for good.
(Oh, and by the way, if I can feel this way, you certainly can, too.)
I’ve been thinking about how when I was aged 21-28, let’s say, when I was much thinner than I am now, I was miserable. At 118 pounds I thought my thighs were fat. At 120 pounds, same thing. At 122-124 pounds, right again. I didn’t see the body that everyone called “thin,” but rather my thunder thighs.
And I think back to that former body and I’m just sad. I never enjoyed it. I never thought to myself, “Wow, I have this amazing body that I’m eating right and exercising and I’m in top shape, and I just love it!” Nope. I just doused myself with a heap of red-hot hate. Again and again. I think about what my lack of self confidence kept me from doing in life, and the situations I allowed to continue (ie. mentally abusive relationships) because I didn’t feel worthy. It’s amazing how cells of fat can control your life.
I guess what I’m trying to point out is that at 118 pounds I wasn’t happy. Being thin isn’t the answer to my problems. Being thin won’t make me happy.
Being older and wiser, I understand that losing weight isn’t the answer to my happiness. There will ALWAYS be something. There might ALWAYS be more weight to lose. That is why I have made an enormous effort to find ways to love myself as I am right now…even if it’s at a weight that’s higher than I’d like.
So try, just try for me, please…to think about this body your inhabiting right now. If you hate your thighs, most likely you’ve always hated your thighs and probably always will. But it doesn’t mean you can’t love what you’ve got right now!
**Have you signed up for the FREE virtual Love Your Body Day Telesummit? No? Sign up here and get my free report, “10 Ways We Love Our Body Best.” By signing up you’ll get access to over 19 experts in the health and wellness fields, helping you to live your best, juiciest life possible. Can’t attend? No problem! Sign up anyway and you’ll get recordings of all the calls so you can listen on your own time.
Yes, that happened. To ME. Just yesterday.
Listen folks, I’m gonna be totally transparent here. I’m no fool. I know my weight has crept up over the past year. I’m not going to make excuses (change in schedule, school, not working out as much, poor food choices under stress) because I was the one that put my health on the back burner.
But when a doctor tells me, a student of NUTRITION, for crying out loud, that I’ve gained too much weight and I need to lose 10 pounds, well…that kinda sucks. I ain’t gonna lie.
I’ll be honest: For a brief second, I felt like a failure, a phony. How could someone who is deemed “overweight” able to dish out health and wellness advice to the world?
That lasted for approximately 3 seconds.
What kicked in instead was a feeling of peace. Yes, peace! That I’m really OK with the fact that I’ve gained weight over the past year. And just as I made poor decisions one too many times, I can make the right ones just as easily. I’m even excited to lose a few pounds through small changes (and NO, I am NOT going on a “ohmygodIhavetolose10poundsin2weeks” diet)
But what’s even better is that I still LOVE my body. I love every inch of it. OK, maybe not every inch, but close to it. I’ve never felt better naked, and the last time I weighed this much was after my Freshman 15 in college. And I sure as hell ain’t going to let some guy (read: my MD) dictate how I should feel about myself.
So, my lovelies, repeat after me: I LOVE MY BODY, no matter WHAT the scale says.
Now say: I will NEVER let ANYONE tell me how I should feel about myself. This is MY body, MY life!
PS. Another reason why I wanted to be completely authentic with you is to show you that being healthy, even for someone who is immersed in the health/wellness world, takes work. If you don’t make your wellbeing a priority, all of a sudden you’ll be sitting in your doctor’s office with him telling you you’ve gained 11 pounds in 1 year. So, if it can happen to me, it can happen to anyone.
So in the essence of full disclosure, I had a major pity party last night.
I was procrastinating studying for my final exam and I decided engage in a completely random activity–look through old pictures from my digital camera, as far back as Feb 2007. It was quite entertaining and Matt and I had a few good chuckles about how heavy he used to be (Seriously, it looks like he got attacked by a swarm of bees and puffed up).
But the pictures of me were a different story. Ignoring bad hair coloring, I was shocked to see how friggin’ THIN I was in those pictures (see above). Back then I had never been more obsessed with healthy eating, dieting, and more MISERABLE than I was at that time. But I regardless of that, I was thin. It certainly was a jolt to see myself in a way more slender body.
Which of course caused me to look down at my body now, which, don’t get me wrong, I revel in my voluptuousness…most of the time. But comparing my body now with my body of 3-4 years ago was very difficult.
And then the pity party started.
“Look at you, you can’t maintain your weight”
“You’re weak, you should have more discipline”
“You should eat less, exercise more, go on a diet. How could you let yourself get to this point?”
“You should be ashamed of yourself. You’re studying to be a dietitian, for crying out loud! Why will people want to listen to you if you can’t even keep your own weight down?”
And then, the victim voices:
“Well, you do gain weight as you age”
“My schedule has changed and I don’t have as much time to exercise and I’m stressed all the time.”
As you can imagine, I felt as though I was insane. It WAS insane.
So I made a compromise with myself: Go ahead and think these thoughts, feel badly about yourself, but you only have until the end of the night. Wake up tomorrow morning and it’s a new day. No more of this bullshit.
And you know what, it worked. I let myself be grumpy, angry, ashamed, sad, and spent sometime mourning my former self (which, according to my friends and loved ones, was too thin) and then went to bed. I woke up with a smile on my face, put on an outfit that made me feel fabulous, and sashayed out the door.
I’m just like you—I have the same negative thoughts about my body, and even with the massive amounts of work I’ve done on myself, sometimes they rear their ugly head when you least expect it (like 10pm on a Tuesday evening). By allowing myself to experience these negative feelings, I was able to move past them much more quickly.
So often women in particular are afraid of making waves in their life, and instead plaster on a smile and pretend like they’re OK. I used to be like that…it lead to a lot of issues, especially around food (aka binges). If you’re feeling crappy, seriously, give yourself some time to feel crappy, embrace the crappiness, and then say, “Thank you for sharing,” and move on. Look at yourself in the mirror and say, I Love you, body!
Have you ever experienced this? Do you feel like you’re allowed to throw yourself a pity party?
This past weekend, Matt and I celebrated the wedding of my college friend in Cape May, NJ. Holy crap, what a fabulous, relaxing, charming place. If you haven’t been before, I highly suggest it! We even took Gola with us, her first time to the beach…she dug like 20 holes to China in the sand.
So, before I left for Cape May on Friday, I decided that I would erase any nutritional knowledge I know, erase those damn calorie counts that I add up in my head, and take another look at fried food. Call it a human experiment.
SO what happened?
Well, I certainly ate with abandon. Frozen custard. Ice cream (twice in one day!). A breaded chicken sandwich (not my choice). Kettlecorn. Bread. Beers in the middle of the day. I tell you, I was a glutton.
And you know what? You would think I would’ve been in heaven, and at times I was (hot fudge? hello?) but truthfully I felt like crapola. My digestion was off. I craved vegetables like nothing else. I felt heavy. And then the negative self talk regarding my body started up again, which I haven’t experienced in quite some time. I was a train wreck.
So, not to sound like a broken record, it’s all about balance. Swing too far one way (ie. restriction diets) and you’ll eventually cave in and binge. But swing too far the other way (glutton and excess for a few days) and you’ll feel equally as bad. But this time I am craving whole foods and vegetables.
The trick with lasting weight loss and positive self image is finding that balance…eating a nutritious diet but enjoying your splurges. I didn’t listen to my body when it told me no more sweets, and I certainly am paying the price now (tighter pants, poor digestion, irritability).
How do you balance your diet? Have you ever let go of your “diet” mentality and just given in to your cravings?
I was having a conversation with my mother last weekend and I was talking to her about my weight. If you recall, I wrote a post on weighing 134 pounds, a higher weight for me, yet not having any emotional attachment to it (which is HUMONGO in my world).
She asked me how did I do it? How did I break through all the negative, self-depricating voices, the sabatoging binges, the victim-mentality to arrive to where I am today: Positively happy and glowing in a slightly bigger body.
Cheryl Richardson, in her newsletter this week, summed it up perfectly:
You have to want a deeper, more conscious relationship with yourself more than you want to be comfortable or thin.
Ok people, this is so important that I’m going to say it again:
You have to want a deeper, more conscious relationship with yourself more than you want to be comfortable or thin.
It took me many, many, many years of being so nasty to myself bring me to where I am today. But there came a point when I said, Stop the Insanity! The negative self-talk tapes began to wear thin (no pun intended) on me, and it was a struggle to keep up a lower weight that wasn’t meant for me during this time in my life. Through the help of workshops, therapists, dietitians, friends, family, and LOTS, and I mean, LOTS, of self exploration, I realized that my relationship with myself and my body was more important than being thin.
I know this sounds cliche, but I still can’t believe I can utter the above sentence. I’m not going to lie–accepting yourself (and not even LOVING yourself, but just merely being OK with where you are now) can be an uncomfortable, tough place to be. When the rest of the world and your friends are dieting away, and you’re just trying to figure out if your body wants ice cream or just tired, it’s uncomfortable. And when the scale creeps up instead of down, and your skinny jeans no longer fit, it’s uncomfortable.
But that moment when you decide, You know what? I don’t give a fuck, is worth it. Believe me, it’s so worth it.
I just took some headshots this weekend and when I looked at the photos, the first thought was: Damn, I look good! Not: my thighs look big, and oh-my-god, do I have a tricep-waddle? Ok, maybe that creeped in a bit, I am only human, after all. But it feels so good to celebrate myself and my beauty.
If you’re not ready to give up on your attachment to being “thin,” whatever that means to you, that’s OK. But I promise that one day you’ll want to change that tape in your head. And when you’re ready, come talk to me, and we’ll start you on the right path.