Seeing my mom struggle with cancer and waste away, really put the whole weight thing into perspective. I'm over here worrying about whether I'm in a 12 or 14 and she can't even eat or keep any weight on her body! Enlightening and humbling. While the US may be one of the fattest countries in the world, we also have a very skewed image of what a woman's body should look like. As I'm typing this, an infomercial is on for the Air Climber. People are giving their testimonies about how going to a smaller size clothes changed their lives. I see the commercials where women are saying, "I went from a size 10 to a size 2!!" and I'm thinking, "What the heck was wrong with the size 10?!?!?!" Pretty soon, no one is going to be happy unless they're a negative size!
Anyway, rambling now.....verging on hysteria.....here are my answers (taking a sip of coffee to calm my nerves)....
1. Since you started blogging has your image of yourself changed?
Not really. Let's face it, skinny (or at least really thin) is always the name of the game. The most popular blogs feature really thin women. I don't think these women are TRYING to maintain a certain figure...I think that's just what media, advertisers and even we, as consumers, gravitate to. We make what's popular popular, so until we start immediately embracing EVERY body shape; nothing will really change. I'm never going to be that skinny girl. It's taken a lot of years for me to not only accept, but love my body just like it is. I'm not about to move back into body hatred for the sake of my blog.
2. Are you self-conscious about any aspect of yourself? If so, do you go out of your way to avoid it or do you post it/talk about it anyway?
Growing up, I was always self conscious about my backside. Most girls I grew up with weren't curvy there. I never liked my legs either. I always thought they were too heavy. However, now, I have found that my body is very proportional and I like my hourglass figure. After having four large babies, my tummy is never going to be flat and frankly looks like a road map to the lost civilization of Atlantis; but what a small price to pay for these wonderful human beings that my body brought into this world! I advise people all the time to focus on healthy habits and let their body then just do what it will. Instead of trying to whip it into shape by beating it into submission; just feed it well and exercise it vigorously and then let it BE!
3. Based on how your feeling now, what do you think the future hold in the evolution of your body image?
We all age. The waist tends to thicken. Stuff starts to sag. Wrinkles appear seemingly from no where. Are you good and cheered up now? What can I say? I'm an encourager!! Truthfully, my gray hairs are spot lights for my face. My wrinkles show that I've laughed, cried, been stressed...in other words.... I LIVE! My thickening waist? That's what wide belts are for! Sagging? Whadda ya gonna do? Let it have shotgun, make sure to give it a seat belt and just move on out!! All the stressing and worrying and fighting aging just makes one look haggard. Confidence is the best cosmetic!
4. Do you photograph yourself for you blog? If so, how do you feel about the experience when you're having your picture taken?
It's so funny! I used to hate to have my picture taken and my blog has cured me of that. It has helped me not to take myself so seriously. I take about 3 -4 pictures a day and that's it. I'm not modeling for Vogue. I'm showing what a real 44 year old woman looks like. I picnik a bit to spruce things up; but after that; I'm done. It is what it is!
5. What do you want every person who struggles with body image to take to heart?
I deal with this almost every day. I work at a gym, so I see alot of body image issues. I tell women all the time, "Skinny looks the same on everyone. But your figure is uniquely yours". Accept and Embrace. It's all about your thoughts. If you look in the mirror searching for flaws, you. will. find. them! We ALWAYS find what we're looking for, even if we have to imagine it. Look in the mirror for what you love. Grin at yourself real big and say out loud to that reflection, "DANG girl! You're FABULOUS! What poor woman is having to do without cuz you got it ALL!"
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