I’ve always had a self image problem. Even when I was a size 8 (127lbs) and just starting college, I didn’t feel pretty or sexy. Sure I had an easy time finding clothes, but even then I would look at my chest and think “not big enough”.Once I had to stop swimming, I put on weight. By the time I got married I was 150lbs. I think I actually looked better at that weight than I did the smaller sizes. Still didn’t feel sexy. By the time we got involved in a poly amorous relationship, I was 160 or so. A little heavier than I wanted to be but nothing I couldn’t deal with, yet only felt sexy when I looked at myself through my lover’s eyes. By the time I got pregnant, I was 175 lbs. After childbirth I was within 5lbs of my pre-pregnancy weight when the doc put me on drugs that caused me to gain 10lbs. Getting off the drug put another 5lbs on. Child-wrangling and hormonal changes left me too tired to do anything. I never lost that baby-belly either. Gradually I crept up to almost 200lbs. That scared me. Gradually, with some back sliding, I’ve started whittling off the weight. Very slowly, cause insomnia and changing hormones are NOT conducive to loosing weight.
Currently my weight is back up and while I’m again back to trying to work it off, I’ve had to face some facts. I’m 43 and menopausal. As I look back at myself, I realize that I looked great. That it is too bad I didn’t realize it at the time. I’ll never be that sexy 18 year old again. I’ll never be that sexy 150lb, twenty-something either. That is something hard for me to admit. I find myself comparing my body to my sister’s, to the ladies I work with, to the woman walking down the street or the woman at the grocery store. Rarely do I come out the winner in such comparisons. As I try to work back to a healthier weight, I have to try to not only find peace with this body, but to appreciate it and love it even if I don’t ever get to my target weight (which is anything under 175). I have to mentally accept that I’m 43 not, 23, not 18 and I will never look that way again. That is turning out to be a lot harder than I would have thought.
Working at a library is sometimes helpful in that I occasionally stumble across books that I normally would never seek or even think of seeking out. I’ve started reading a book by Stella Ellis, a “plus”-size model called Size Sexy. While I’m not voluptuous as she is, I figure she has some things she could teach me about seeing and talking to myself in a more positive fashion. Below are quotes that I want to be able to easily find during those time when something was seen/done/said to make me feel so negative about myself.
- “Any woman can look her best if she feels good in her skin. It’s not a question of clothes and makeup. It’s how she sparkles.” Sophia Loren
- I was blessed with this body and this shape, so I will embrace it–wholeheartedly and with gratitude.
- When we are born with those genes, with having a tendency to gain weight, that’s going to be with us for the rest of our lives…people have different metabolisms, different genes. That’s just the way it is…learn to accept it and embrace it all the way, rather than being unhappy with it…
- Be connected to all those things that make you yourself.
- You have to believe that your uniqueness makes you superior. You are special.
- Life is beautiful with all its ups and downs, and a sense of humor is necessary.
- Choose to feel fabulous and beautiful and to love yourself no matter what size you are.
- Your perception is your reality. You create your own ideal.
- You have to enjoy life no matter what size you are…self-acceptance is what counts…[if] you are healthy–then I say be happy with yourself and enjoy every minute of your life.
- Different people are built in different ways, and different people have different genetics. People come in all shapes and sizes…[it is] up to you to decide to be comfortable with yourself, your size and most importantly, to choose how you feel about yourself, and how you will represent yourself to the world.
- …you are how you are, and it’s all about loving yourself no matter what anybody says.
- “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Eleanor Roosevelt.
- Positive words to describe one’s shape: full-figured, voluptuous, curvy, buxom, shapely, well-developed, zaftig, rubenesque
- buxom – ‘lively and good-tempered,’ influenced by the traditional association of plumpness and good health with an easygoing nature.
- Don’t wait until you are a certain size to lead a happy, productive life. Life goes by very fast…now is the time to start living your life to the fullest.
- When you are feeling bad about your self-image to the point where you are unhappy, be strong and take action. Say “Enough of that. Time to make a few changes!” Decide which changes will uplift and improve the way you see yourself and then do whatever is necessary to make them happen.
- …women need to acknowledge, accept, appreciate and attend to our bodies. Our bodies are the vehicle that carry us through life, our longtime traveling companions, the temples of our souls.
- …positive feelings about your body all come from self-acceptance. When you accept yourself for who you are, everything else will follow.
- “If nature had intended our skeletons to be visible it would have put them on the outside of our bodies.” Elmer Rice
- Exercise isn’t simply for weight loss or weight maintenance. It’s about feeling your best every day…Part of being in touch with yourself is being in touch with your body, …and there’s no more important way to get in touch with your physicality than exercising.
- Instead of viewing exercise as a chore…view it as a marvelous opportunity to rev up your engine…
- Your body type is determined by your genetics, by your bone and muscular structure. Your bones determine where you will be wide and where you will be narrow, and no amount of exercising can change your bone structure.
- …take responsibility for accepting yourself and approaching life with a positive attitude.
- A healthy way to live in life, regardless of your size and your shape, is to be connected to yourself and to your being–your physical,mental, spiritual being–and that takes work.
- …let the old obsessions go. Start concentrating on developing and showcasing other aspects of who you are that will fully express what is special about you.
- Don’t pick an unrealistic standard that you cannot measure up to.
- Focus on what makes you feel good and create your own reality.
- I am fabulous– just the way I am.
- Having an accepting, supportive, loving relationship with your body is vital for happiness.
This book contains the best descriptions I’ve seen on how to define your body shape and then how to dress for that shape. I’m a “bell” shape. I should wear clothes that draw the eyes upward, v-nick shirts with decorative trim around the neckline, scarves, shawls, empire shirts/dresses, A-line dresses, etc…wear nothing that brings attention to the waist. So the next step is to be very brave (and not thrifty) and clean out my closet. Which is gonna hurt…a lot. I’ve kept clothes because they were my favorites or because of the memories and with the hope that I’d be able to wear them again. That isn’t going to happen…thank you baby belly. Not crazy about her instance on makeup, especially lip stick though. There were a few other minor issues for me but overall it was an interesting viewpoint on how to see myself differently.