be yourself, be beautiful… be a rebel (like my friend Beth)

Beth Teliho is a beautiful and talented author and blogger. You may have seen me raving about her debut novel, Order of Seven, on Facebook, GoodReads or Amazon. She recently shared a very personal story about her journey with body image on the SisterWivesSpeak blog. Click here for the original post.

I know it’s a long story. I know you’re busy. Please trust me when I say that this is a must-read for any woman who has ever struggled with body image.

She is honest. And raw. And real. She dives deeply into:

  • how body image impacted her mentally and emotionally
  • how an unexplained weight gain saw her adopting strict diet and exercise regimes, only to wind up frustrated at the lack of results
  • how societal ‘beauty standards’ made her feel less-than and unworthy
  • …and finally, how she decided to become a rebel and to love herself and her body

Beth’s story was timely for me, as I have been fixating on why I’m ‘stuck’ at my current weight. I work really, really hard just to maintain my size. I expect this level of work to result not only in maintenance, but reduction. Her story has forced me to consider why my best isn’t good enough (for me).

Beth – I absolutely adore you for everything you are, but even more for allowing me to share your story here.

xoxo nancy

*****************

mirror

Since this week’s theme is metamorphosis, I thought this would be a great opportunity to write about a change that’s taken place within my perspective. It’s happened very slowly over the past two years and was sort of forced on me. That will make more sense by the end of this. It’s a subject I’ve wanted to write about before, but there’s so much inherent shame I haven’t been able to bring myself to do it.

Self-image.

My battle with self-image has been life long. I don’t remember a single day in my life where I was happy with my body. Okay, maybe that one year when I lived off of diet coke and cigarettes back in my twenties, and even then I would’ve changed some things had I been given the opportunity. I dropped to 115 lbs and at 5’6″ that was underweight for me and obviously not healthy At. All. But it’s the last time I remember feeling totally free.

For a multitude of reasons which I shall not delve into here, my self-image is tied into my feelings of worthiness. Do I belong? Depends on weight. Do I deserve X, Y, Z? Depends on weight. If someone acts like they don’t really like me….I assume it’s because of my appearance. Pretty and thin = worthy.

Of course, I never put that standard on anyone else. Just me.

I tend to gain and lose the same ten pounds over and over and over. All through my thirties and into my forties, it was the same old story. Gain some weight over the holidays, then rein it in and lose ten pounds. But I’ve never been above a size 12.

Upon entering my forties, I took up running and, briefly, crossfit. I was arguably the most fit I’d ever been, but also the most critical of myself. The expectations I set were stricter and more unrealistic than ever. It was becoming obsessive.

In the summer of 2013, I was viewing photos from a recent family trip to Colorado. When I saw myself in the pictures I cried. They were real tears of disgust and anger because what I saw was appalling in my eyes. A failure. Someone who is unacceptable. A disgrace. And I was bitter and resentful that I worked So Hard and still looked like shit.

I was a size 8/10. In retrospect, I looked fit and amazing, but I couldn’t see that then. Ridiculous, right? But logic doesn’t always play a role in corrosive thought processes.

I begged *insert Divine energy* to please let me have a body I’m not ashamed of. PLEASE. Please, I’m working so hard, please let my body reflect it. I just want to go out with friends and not be consumed with my appearance. I want to agree to that beach trip my husband keeps mentioning, rather than make excuses why I can’t.

And then that Fall and Winter of 2013, I started gaining weight for no reason. My diet and exercise hadn’t changed. Perfect, give the girl with body images issues some random weight gain. Ohh, the irony, right? It’s just my winter layer, I told myself. I’ll get my game-face on in January.

Come January, not only did I get my game-face on, I became vegan and began running again.

My husband, who went vegan as well, lost 15 pounds.

I gained 12.

Throughout all of 2014, I continued to steadily gain weight. By December, less than eighteen months after the weight gain started, I’d put on nearly 30 pounds. THIRTY. That’s a medium size dog…on my ass.

Panic and shame don’t begin to describe it.

please let me have a body I’m not ashamed of….

I stopped volunteering at the school. I started parking in the back driveway to hide from neighbors. I cancelled social engagements, unless it was with my most trusted friends whom I don’t feel judged by. I didn’t eat in front of other people because I didn’t want them to judge what I ate. I couldn’t risk them thinking, “That’s why she’s gained weight…did you see her eating?” or worse, “Wow, she’s really let herself go.” I couldn’t bear the thought that people might think I sat around eating cheeseburgers all day.

The courage I had to muster just to be seen in public – especially in front of people who hadn’t seen me in a while – was titanic, and usually ended with me crying on the way home. Mortified.

Even worse? I wanted to write about it, but was too embarrassed to “come out” to my online community as “not skinny and perfect”. Because then what reason would they have to like me?

please let me have a body I’m not ashamed of….

I went to two doctors who each did full blood panels and physical exams. It has to be my hormones, right? Or my thyroid? B12 deficiency? I’ll be able to take a pill and this nightmare will end, RIGHT?

“Mrs. Teliho, you have the cholesterol and blood pressure of a 25 year old and you’re perfectly healthy. Keep up the good work.”

Good work?? But I’m failing. I’m….I’m…the F-word….*drops to a whisper* FAT. I’ve become my worst nightmare. I’m a monster. How can I be fat? I showed up to boot camp at the crack-ass-o-dawn, in the hot Texas summer, on a Saturday, and flipped 200 lb tires in a parking lot. I took my own sweet potato to the family BBQ and didn’t touch the chips. I’ve been doing everything right. HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?

There was a part of me – the logical part – that knew how screwed up this thinking was. I was so grateful for my health, and for my family’s health, and my awesome marriage…so many *real* things to be thankful for….yet I couldn’t stop fixating on my weight, which continued to pile on in 2015, albeit slower.

One doctor said I should try a juice cleanse to help jump-start my metabolism. I spent $200 on the best juicer and did the cleanse. I lost eleven pounds in two weeks. And gained it all back over the next eight weeks.

Another doctor sent me to a nutritionist who suggested a 40 day cycle of injectable HCG, which is a hormone that tricks your body into thinking it’s pregnant, while committing to a PERMANENT 500 – 700 calorie/day diet. This for the small price of $400.

Oh sure. *eye roll* That’s realistic and safe. I’d rather eat frog assholes.

I’ve always believed part of the reason we’re here is to learn lessons, so whenever I’m facing a challenge I constantly ask myself, what am I supposed to learn from this?

And then I remembered – when I was wishing I was back to the size I was in those Colorado photos – that I hated my body when I was thin, too. I’ve never been happy with my body, so what does it matter if I lose weight? I’ll still fixate, criticize, and stew in self-hate.

There have been several major movements in the media (alliterate much?) over the past year or so that got my attention. Curvy women living unapologetically. Models, bloggers, comedians, moms, authors…all of them embracing their shape, whatever that may be. Funny, smart, talented, successful women. Slowly, this began making an impact on me.

o-DENISE-2-570

I was at the pool a few weeks ago and there happened to be a high ratio of curvy women. The astonishing thing I noticed is that they weren’t covering up. They were in bikinis. In the pool with their kids. Enjoying a snow cone and smiling. You know how that made me feel? Proud. Unashamed. Normal. Jesus, it was incredible. And that’s when it hit me. Our perception is our reality. If we’re fed images of beaches filled with size 0 bodies with golden tans and perfect hair, than that’s what we process as acceptable and realistic. Who are we to mess up the picture with our pale skin and stomach rolls?

I wanted to be a part of this incredible movement, and it starts with being a rebel and living unapologetically.

I searched for a lesson and I got one. Want to know what I learned?

I’ve been a fucking fool. We all have.

I learned I’ve been a pawn in our culture’s ploy to make money off media-imposed insecurities. The media that tricked us into thinking it’s adorable to see a thin person enjoy a dessert, and repulsive when a curvy person does it. The media that teaches us that there’s only one perfect way to look, and everyone else should be able to achieve that body with diet and exercise, and if you don’t, then you’re lazy or ignorant.

19396_1003029513063196_210661397120256073_n

I learned that happiness is in loving yourself, unconditionally.

My body is a result of genetics, and my weight gain is (evidently) the result of genetics and age. The same genetics that gave me pretty hair, a great smile, high cheekbones and full lips. The same genetics that gave me a body that’s been strong and healthy for over four decades. The same genetics that allowed me to have two healthy sons. The same genetics that gave me the creativity, imagination, and drive to write a book and publish it.

I learned that I’m beautiful because I say so. I learned that weight doesn’t define me. I learned that appearance does not always reflect health and fitness levels. I learned all bodies are gorgeous, not just the ones the media pushes down our throats. I learned that “normal” bodies come in ALL shapes and sizes. We’re all normal.

11206937_793747914055990_3685805585937487540_n

The Universe works in mysterious ways. Turns out I got exactly what I’d wished and prayed for, but not in the way I’d imagined. My perspective had to change, not my weight.

I got a body I’m not ashamed of.

Yes, there are days I “relapse” into old thinking habits, and the shame seeps in my bones like a virus. Hell, this week in particular has been brutal just because of the vulnerable nature of this post. It’s something I’ll always have to maintain, just like any big life change. You know what I do to readjust my perspective? I think of my friends, and how when I visualize them, their weight never enters the equation. I think of their light, their energy, their laugh, and how they make me feel. How their happiness matters to me. I think how beautiful they are because of their amazing spirit. And then I picture myself the same way.

IMG_0955

Nowadays, I choose food for its health benefits – and sometimes that means mental health and this gal needs nachos and a cold beer. I don’t apologize for it. I choose exercise I enjoy and I do it because it feels good, as opposed to doing it as a punishment for last night’s bread. I eagerly keep plans with friends. I get in the pool with my kids. I smile, a lot.

And I booked that beach trip with my husband.

Regardless of what the future holds – gain, lose, maintain – I hope I continue what I started here today, which is to represent myself without hiding. To be me, without shame.

To be free.

IMG_9058 copy

IMG_9048 copy

Advertisements

104 thoughts on “be yourself, be beautiful… be a rebel (like my friend Beth)

  1. Thank you for sharing such an honest and inspirational post. The media never discusses what we should expect as we age. They only pound down the cookie cutter view of what we should look like.

    • “They only pound down the cookie cutter view of what we should look like.” < precisely! And that's not fair to anyone but the people who profit from our insecurities and our determination to look like the media's idea of "ideal". It's time to stop punishing ourselves. Bodies are like seashells – they're all different and beautiful!

  2. Thank you for sharing your struggles with us. I can relate, not for body image, but for other similar irrational thoughts tied into my sense of worth. I know this was very hard for you to share. It was well worth it for those of us who also struggle, but I can guess that your sharing had even more benefit for yourself than us. Thank you. You’ve made huge progress toward accepting and loving yourself.

    • thank you, Cynthia. I think it’s a tragedy that people weigh their self worth on things they can’t control. It’s a myth that the media imposed on us. Are we pretty enough? Are we perfect enough in all areas of our life? It’s hard being human! It’s time to cut ourselves some slack and send a little self-love our way. It’ll do wonders for your soul. 🙂

  3. Nancy Thank you for sharing this with us, I wouldn’t have seen it otherwise and it is an amazing story and message!! AND Beth…I am so pleased that you found you could share and that you have finally realised the thing that we all need to take on board!

    I relate to this no end! In my teens / twenties I was about 7.5 stone (105 lbs) and convinced that a) i wasn’t starving myself and b) I was still fat!
    It was last year at 38 i finally realised i won’t get my teenage body back…because I am not actually a teenager! I wish I could by 100% happy with myself, I am getting there but still look at pictures / videos of myself and sometimes see a lumbering thing!

    Thanks again so much for sharing this!!

    • I knew this would resonate for you as well, Sam. When the image you see reflected back in a photograph or a mirror doesn’t feel like it reflects your level of health, fitness and effort. She put into words what I’ve been struggling with for months now.

    • Sam, our society perpetuates this wackadoodle ideal that we should all look prepubescent and waif thin. Guess who’s that’s realistically possible for? Young girls with thin genetics. No one else. I’m 44 and I’m not going to apologize for looking it! The alternative kind of sucks, right? I want to be alive and healthy. Those are my only two criteria now. When you take that pressure off yourself and LOVE yourself for the amazing human you are, it’s amazing how much love swells your heart. ❤

      • it is so lovely to hear, and I am 50% there, I know logically that it is true, and I no longer believe that starving myself or living on coffee and cigarettes is a good idea (I did that too…)
        There is something wrong with a society that thinks the ideal woman looks like a teenage (or pre-pubescent…I worry about the body hair thing too) girl!
        It is not helped by women in their 20s and 30s playing teenager on tv and in movies and going to extreme lengths to maintain it!

      • 50% is better than nothing! You’ll get there. It takes a lot to erase (as Nancy so eloquently put it) the fuckery that societal “beauty standards” has worked hard to embed in our heads. Everyone’s journey to self-acceptance is different, and don’t be surprised by one step forward – two steps back. The important thing is to forgive the body you’ve worked so hard to hate all these years. These are unrealistic standards that we can’t control. You are beautiful RIGHT NOW. This second. Exactly how you are.

  4. From the very beginning of my fitness journey, I’ve made a point to state that I love my body. And I do, it’s bigger, but it’s me, and my journey was one of health, not to be a size zero. And this post really reinforced that it’s okay – because you know those doubts creep in and wiggle into the thought process and I sometimes need the reminder!! And I may look silly in my compression shorts as I set off on my run, but I am doing it for me. Thank you for sharing, thank you so much.

    • Yes! Kate, that’s awesome. That’s really the secret: do it for health, nor for weight. And yes, we all need reminders so I’m thrilled my words served you in this way. 🙂

  5. Thank you, Nancy, for sharing this (thank you to Kate for tweeting it) and a Heartfelt and Massive Thank You to Beth for sharing this journey. It is exactly where I am in my life right now, without getting as far into the acceptance of it. Your words have moved me along the path to self acceptance and freedom. Priceless gifts. Thank you all ~ K

    • THIS: “Your words have moved me along the path to self acceptance and freedom.” << that's everything. We need each other to drive this movement. Push the momentum forward like a freight train of common sense. The next generation of girls deserve better.

      • As a mother of 4 girls I try daily to make them see a very different view of health and beauty than I learned. Your words have already made a difference in their lives.

      • Yessssss *high five* That’s amazing. Your girls are so lucky to have a mom like you! I love hearing this, and if my words played even a teeny tiny part in that today? SCORE.

  6. Great share Nancy, and Beth you knocked this one out of the park…as usual 🙂
    Learning to love ourselves for WHO we are rather than what we look like, and then learning to not give a sh*t what others think are two of the hardest and most valuable lessons anyone can learn.
    For a lot of us I guess it comes naturally with age and experience.
    Now how can we teach this to our young people?

    • That’s the million dollar question, Norm. How can we lift this scourge from future generations of girls/young women? (I know men also struggle with self-image issues, but I’m going to grossly generalize by saying I believe it’s staggeringly more significant a percentage of females.)

    • Thank you, Norm! To answer your very important question: we teach our younger people by example. Period. The more we live unapologetically, and don’t tear ourselves down in front of them, the more others will follow our lead. An enormous reason I grew up with body shame was because of hearing my mother say horrible things about herself. Of course, she is/was a victim to media standards as well, so I don’t blame her for her thoughts and words, but it IS how I learned that behavior.

      • I set of parents vs. an onslaught of negative image messages in the media daily. Not sure I like those odds 😦
        Mind you, more advertisers are slowly jumping on the positive image bandwagon.

      • Other than the Dove real beauty campaign, I can’t think of another known beauty brand that focused on positive image. Most recently I read a bunch of ranty posts on Facebook railing on The Bay*, Norm, for a clearly photoshopped-within-an-inch-of-her-life swimsuit ad. That’s The Bay, not Yves St. Laurent. It’s still a pitiful situation.

        *For those outside Canada, The Bay is equivalent to Macy’s. Sorry, I don’t know the UK or Aussie equivalents. 🙂

      • True, it may not combat the media stuff 100%, but it’ll definitely imprint a learned behavior, you know? Maybe it would combat some of it. And yes, there are tons of bandwagoners right now, which is great! Bring on the images of ALL body types! The more the merrier, and the more healthy our self-images. 🙂

      • Nancy, Dove is the biggest and most noticeable. There are some magazines starting to display more realistic array of body types, and also Target now has all -size models in their flyers and ads. I’m sure there are more, but those are the ones I’ve noticed recently. Like Denise Bidot…she’s the spokesmodel for a company called Swimsuits For All, so there are more and more companies who are catering to and profiling curvy women, it seems.

      • Those are great examples, Beth. I suppose I still feel so bombarded with the same photoshopped shit over and over again, it’s hard to celebrate the select few who are finally doing the right thing. I know, I know…glass half empty. I should just be happy for the baby steps society (and media) are taking.

      • Not sure if they’re in the U.S. but both Addition Elle and Penningtons have run some great ad campaigns here in Canada.
        Ashley Graham, the model involved in the design and promotion of the Addition Elle lingerie line is very much a hot property here these days.

      • Well, in fairness, Addition Elle and Penningtons are 100% Plus Sized clothing stores, so they kind of have to use larger models, right?

        What I want to see is the non-plus sized retailers featuring models that aren’t size 00. That would be refreshing.

      • Very true, probably not the best examples. I guess I just really like the way they’re being aggressive with their ad campaigns lately.

      • Marketing to their audience — which is just plain smart marketing. Now, if the rest of the industry could catch up and target the averaged sized woman (who is not a 00, nor a 0, nor a 2, nor a 4, etc., etc. but the ACTUAL average size of a North American woman: 10/12, then that would be freaking awesome.

      • Yes, marketing to an all-size public not only so that all sizes can easily find clothes, but also so that what we see is representative of real life. Like in my example when I was at the pool with other curvy women…I felt normal. But when the media only shows teeny tiny woman – as if that’s the only type body that exists or should exist – my god that’s a horrible sinking feeling to think there’s no where that you belong. I have honestly not gone to the pool or beach before because I didn’t think I should. How fucking stupid! What, were the body police going to arrest me? But I genuinely felt like I shouldn’t be there – like I’d be offending the thin people. Mind you, I felt this way when I was a size 8/10!
        grrrrrrr don’t get me started! OH wait, I already am. hahaha

  7. Nancy and Beth – thank you, thank you, thank you for writing and sharing this beautiful post. There are so many take away moments here but the most enlightening thing is the feeling of light that started to seep in to my heart as I read through to the end. I’m holding on to this all day and longer. Game changer. 🙂

    • Lisa, this rocked my world, too. I didn’t even realize how fixated I was on the WHY ISN’T MY BODY REFLECTING MY WORK??? piece until I read and recognized myself in her words.

  8. Life is way too short to obsess over how we look . . . especially if that obsession affects whether we allow ourselves to enjoy simple pleasures like splashing in the pool, walking on the beach, and eating nachos with friends.

    To living life! Thanks, both of you, for sharing a reflective post.

      • Haha! Fooled you. I’m not all that evolved. I have to screw my head on straight every morning ~ with adjustments required throughout the day when, you know, there are “button pushers” around..

        But I would say I’m “at peace” with my body these days ~> it does so many AMAZING things for us every day and asks for little in return. Here’s to walking, talking, lifting, eating, singing, swimming, laughing, writing, etc.! All made possible with our strong and wonderful bodies!

  9. Great story, thanks for sharing Nancy! I had a moment like this on Sunday actually. I was beside a lake and Germans of all sizes were splashing about in their smalls… and having an absolute blast. Nobody gave a shit what anyone looked like, everyone was just having a great time. And I hadn’t brought my bikini because I didn’t think I’d worked out enough before summer started – silly me 😉 Ended up fully-clothed, soaked, muddy and with a broken flip-flop held together by masking tape on the way home – and it felt fantastic 🙂

  10. Nancy / Beth – thanks for sharing this story. It’s your story, your words, but the message is universal. I could relate to all of it. I keep wondering if I will ever reach an age when I will no longer feel shame over my size.
    btw Beth, you are beautiful!

    • *blushing* Thank you very much for your lovely words. I hope you do reach a place in your life where you can love yourself unconditionally. Everyone’s journey is different. It had to be force fed to me, evidently. Now I see it’s all about health and love. Everything else is a complete waste of time. ❤

  11. Hi Nancy and Beth! Thank you for sharing your story (ies) and reminding us that what we look like on the outside is always less important than what we know and believe about ourselves on the inside! I don’t know any woman (or most men really) that doesn’t have some concern over they way they “look” being it overweight, unattractive, or eventually “old”. But as this story shows so very well, it really doesn’t matter what we look like on the outside if we are convinced that our image keeps us from the happiness and peace of mind we seek. Glad you found it Beth. Let’s keep spreading the message. ~Kathy

  12. An inspiring post, Beth and Nancy. I’m really glad to see women hitting back at those who push a glorified version of perfection. Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. I love how you worked in all the people who make money off of the notion that we’re not good enough, because that’s where so much of this comes from.

    • Thanks, Andra! Yup, it’s so media + money + power driven. Unfortunately, the reality is that nothing will change until the media can make big money off of doing the opposite of what they do now. It will take more movements, more companies, more women, more models taking a stand. When the “audience” starts responding to all that positively, the money will roll in and everything will change. << not gonna happen overnight, and may never happen, but I feel like there's finally a chance to get the ball rolling. Someday…..

  13. ARRRRRRGGGG….this post is so touching! “To be free” – – – this is my biggest desire in life. I have to say living i Italy has helped me out out a lot in this quest. I go to the pool and the beach every year….something I have always loved, but completely stopped doing for at least 10 years because I hated how I looked in a swimsuit. Here it is mandatory to enjoy summer and to go to the beach – – AND to wear a bikini – no matter your shape or age. I have so many regrets about missing out on those years before….but I guess it is better late than never, because I have really enjoyed myself since living here and more importantly with my kids. A gift I will take with me for the rest of my life no matter where I live. Great job!

  14. Gorgeous pics!! And such a crazy true post.

    Over the last few year I’ve really struggled with weight gain. Which seems strange as I started my 40s as being more fit and healthy than I’d ever been! A point when I celebrated finally fully being comfortable with my own body image.

    Somewhere along the way, like Beth, I just started to put on the pounds. Nothing much changed in my lifestyle… though perhaps I got to the gym a bit less.. maybe my regular eating approach shifted a bit with all the travel and hotel food… those darn kilos started going up and up. Then the busted ankle from March 2014 sealed it. The scale confirmed I’d gained a whopping 15 kilos from my ‘happy to be healthy and loving life’ state!

    In Jan of this year after lots of physio and slow recovery, I started the arduous path back to moderate fitness, shifted to a strict ‘eat healthy without being stupid’ meal plan. I struggled with dogged determination to shed a grand total of 5 kilos and a few inches in a couple of months. Then got stuck… for months with zero progress though effort levels kept going up, it not only wasn’t working, all the sweat didn’t even manage to maintain the progress… With horror, saw the weight go back up with the real indicator.. the inches increased too?! What???

    Then I thought ‘screw this’ for my Singapore, Canada & UK trips this June/July. With happy abandon decided to just enjoy, have a blast, eat, drink and be merry. Bought some comfy happy clothes and stopped fussing about all the stuff I could no longer wear.

    Guess what? Lost 3 kilos and more inches than all the 5 months of effort and anxiety produced.

    I’ve decided that there is a lesson in that. Reading this today just affirms that. Thank you both!

    • You know, I read somewhere that by age XX (can’t remember if it was 42, 45…?), doing nothing different diet or exercise wise, all things being equal, women will gain 5 lbs per year, every year, just from aging/ metabolism slow down, etc. So it’s good to know we’re not all going nuts. There’s actually a reason for it. And now I’m curious to go research more on this topic.

      It’s amazing though how much more beautiful (and happy) you look when your confidence and comfort level grows from that feeling of freedom Beth describes. I have pictures of myself 40 lbs lighter where I know I beat myself up for being too big (I wasnt). And that self doubt crept into every part of my life. So sad I put so much wasted energy into obsessing over this.

      • In my case – I could tell even late 30s my metabolism was slowing down so that was my 1st ‘lets get fit’ period – with massive success! 40 – 43 was probably my ‘best’ period in terms of fitness, health and overall ‘lets kick ass’ attitude. As shared, last couple of years it slipped without significant changes so I would definitely buy into the idea that somewhere in the early – mid 40s women’s metabolism does an even more serious slow down.

        Am sure genetics plays a huge role too. Whole father’s side of the family are fit whereas my mother’s side are all varying degrees of obese.

        Both my mother (70s) and sister (also mid-40s) are quite slim. In my sister’s case, she has always had a very high metabolism and is extremely active.

        In my mother’s case, in her 40s she was a bit slimmer than I am now and in the size 12 range. Then my father started to have health issues and she made a complete change in their diet plus significantly decreased portions and increased activity levels. Through this, he was able to control a number of things that otherwise would have required silly medication and more.

        Between long walks, tai chi, curling in winter, gardening in summer (yeah you do that for hours a day if you don’t think its a work out!)… suspect she’s more fit in her 70s than she was in her 40s. As in she is in the size 6 range.

        There is probably another lesson in that too! 😉

        However both you and Beth are spot on – attitude is everything!! I actually started avoiding photographs because of the stupid weight gain. And when pics did get taken – frankly looked awful.

        Since flinging that nonsense out, strangely most pics on our trip turned out not too bad. As you say – sad to waste energy obsessing about dumb things like this!

        If your research turns up anything interesting – do share!

    • oh yeah, your story is so similar to mine! Funny, when I accepted the “screw it, I’m just going to eat smart, do what exercise I enjoy, and be happy” mindset, my weight gain significantly slowed, even stopping altogether some months. Unfortunately, I’ve yet to lose any, but eh….whatdoyado? Not worried about it anymore. The only thing I care about now are the numbers on my blood pressure and cholesterol readings.

      • So far I haven’t had issues with my blood pressure and cholesterol however I’m also wwaaaaay overdue for a check-up so this may simply be deluded thinking on my part! 😉 However yes – the ‘screw it’ approach to reducing weight gain seems to work for many people! Hehehe… think it will become the new ‘weight control’ fad?? 😉

  15. Pingback: This Girl Can | Midsummer 365 Projects

  16. I like your perspective that certain food has mental health benefits. Sometimes only a pizza will do. I also agree that exercise should be fun, not punishment. When I walk, I don’t wear a pedometer or try to calculate how many calories I burned. If I treated it like exercise, it wouldn’t me fun.

    Having said that, I do obsess about my weight and can’t envision a time when I will come to terms with it the way you have. However, I admire your courage, celebrate your success, and thank you for writing about this sensitive and personal topic. Well done!

    • Thank you, Gail! I’m with you on the fun part….I can’t count calories. It’s an absolute punishment, not to mention a complete waste of effort for me. I just don’t think we were supposed to live like that. The more I exercise (doing things I love like hiking, gardening, etc), the more water and healthy foods I automatically crave, so I just keep moving for the health of it! 🙂

  17. Oh, Beth and Nancy, what an important post. I loved, loved, LOVED reading these words. And I love that you’re working so hard to spearhead this campaign of embracing our life and a little less so our bodies. It’s such a necessary message, and one I believe will have to be layered repeatedly. Small steps in the right direction, but wonderful worthy steps.
    I’m right behind you, girls. Let’s kick the whole body shaming issue to the curb! You’ve got my vote, my cheers, and my total support.
    😀

Talk to me

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s