Friday, February 18, 2011

~no body is like THIS body. Friend Friday

This Friend Friday post is actually near and dear to my heart.  I've worked for many years in the Weight Loss Industry and now the Fitness Industry.  These are NOT synonymous!  I've dieted from the time I was 12 till I was about 40.  I could not imagine a day where my weight wasn't an issue.  Actually liking my body was a foreign concept to me.  I was fascinated with tiny women.  You know those really petite women who are so small and delicate?  My mom was one of them.  I used to point to her cutting board flat stomach and say, "How did this (pointing to myself) come out of that?!?"  I called my mom a "wisp of a woman" because she was just so small.  The crazy thing was, I really wasn't big!  Sure, after I had my kids, my weight went up and down.  But the more I stressed about this "imaginary weight problem"; the bigger I got!   Which, again, really wasn't very big.....more like plump. 

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 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 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!"
Be a part of Friend Friday by visiting Katy's blog


  1. As someone working in Fitness, I love and appreciate your balanced perspective. I watched my grandmother waste away after multiple cardiac arrests-- going to 38kg when she passed away. It was heart-wrenching, and it also made me think about the obsession with weight, and how people like getting 'thinner and thinner' . Nobody is like THIS body is a perfect encapsulation.

    I think this weight issue isn't just about loving your body and legitimising eating and wasting away, nor about being some force-fed image, but about loving the self and seeking balance! x

  2. amazing answers! i love that you are so positive and confident and honest. i love your answer to #3. what an amazing and positive outlook! thank you for sharing.

  3. Amen, Serene, there is NOTHING wrong with a size 10!

    I found the contrast between your questions at puberty and your mother's troubles eating to be very poignant.

  4. "We make what's popular popular, so until we start immediately embracing EVERY body shape; nothing will really change" - very good point! It's true that it is us that has to make a shift in taste changes. Those at the top are just selling what we gravitate to. Fantastic answers!

  5. "we make what's popular popular" that is an amazing statment. I've never really thought of it like that but it's true, advertising works for a reason- we keep buying into it.

    also once again I enjoyed the humour you've injected into your post :)

    ~ Em K

  6. You girlies are too kind! I had alot of fun with these answers to be's also something I feel really passionate about. Love and hugs to you all! ~Serene

  7. Playing catch-up today!
    thanks for the love this few weeks and i so like to find out new stuff about my gal-pals on Fridays!
    I may be hitting you up for diet/exercise advise in the next few weeks. the hubs is now on zocor, and my tri-glyclerides are through the roof as well!
    I also just needed to say how much i enjoy your blog and it's one that i read the content ( ;) i think you are a very positive force which i am always drawn to!
    thanks, Serene!

  8. Reva, thanks so much for the sweet words! I appreciate you reading my blog.....I find the writing therapeutic for me. I'm happy to help you with diet and/or exercise in any way I can! Big love to you!! ~Serene

  9. I love what you tell the girls at the gym! Great Advice. I also hated to have my picture is so ironic that I am doing this one would have guessed, because I so hated being in front of a camera. Over that!

  10. Pam, you're so photogenic! Isn't it funny it just took you so long to accept that the camera loves you?!?!

  11. Oh I love that - "Skinny looks the same on everyone" - so true and hells bells its what makes celebrities look so god damn generic and boring!! Have you noticed that? I think it's great that you're enjoying the photography side of blogging - I actually think it's good for young women to see how real women in their 40s+ can have such a good time feeling comfortable with their bodies and are still experimenting with new looks:)) Great post!! Thanks so much for your lovely comments as always:)))))) xoxo

  12. I couldn´t agree more with you. No matter what size you are, if you don´t like yourself you will be unhappy. It is a matter of working from within, and you cannot do it in any gym.
    Have a lovely weekend my friend.

  13. I laughed and cried at your post Serene! Really great--some fantastic lines--like the lost map of Atlantis! Too funny~ but I had no idea you struggled with body image. You look absolutely gorgeous in all your photos. And you say you struggle with your backside? What about the Kardashian's?
    And the good news is....prepare for battle because it gets worse! As long as you maintain a healthy attitude, all will be well. Love, paula

  14. I always appreciate a real woman's talk!What strikes me as a big truth is that we don't appreciate what we have for bodies until we get sick...but then sometimes it's too late.


Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! ~Serene