Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Fitness Thoughts: Why do we freak out about body image?

I've been thinking a lot about weight and size and health lately. One of my friends has been touching on it a lot on her blog recently (email me if you want the site) and that has naturally affected my conscious. My friend has been beating herself up over body image, and it's so frustrating to read about someone so healthy suffering through a stupid mentality.

I spent years wasting time thinking about my weight and hating my body image. It started probably as early as my teens and went on until my late 20s. And I hate saying this, but I used to be chunky. I ate in the most unhealthy manner, and it showed. Case in point: 



After being over active in high school, I gave up all exercise when I got in college and didn't take up exercise again until I was in my late 20s. So this is what I looked like through most of my 20s - chunky and so much older looking. Now that I've been personally invested in my health and regularly working out, my look is much healthier. But it's still hard not to get wrapped up in a number on the scale, to have dropped 3 pants sizes and still say "I'm fat." Even fabulous models like Crystal Renn are damned for being too big or too skinny. 

 

But you know what? I feel lucky. And fortunate. I have a body that has shown me what it can do when pushed to the limits; how good it can look with hard work. How amazing and toned my arms look with just a few pushups a day. It's not to say that there won't be days where I struggle with my body, or think I'm fat, but at the end of the day, I love my body for all it is, and all that it's not. And to my friend who's been thinking too much about her body image - you're gorgeous. You're strong. You're amazing. Celebrate the strength of your body for all it allows you to do.

10 comments:

  1. Hell yeah!! Amen, amen, amen!! Love this post, my dear. PS. you are gorgeous :-)

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  2. Oh Michele, don't we all struggle with this. Every day I look in the mirror and try to remind myself to focus on things I like (my smile! my legs!) and not on things I don't like (which I will not list in the spirit of this post). Even knowing that the media plays a big part in our body image, even knowing that my husband thinks I'm gorgeous, even then do I still think, "Well, this could be better..." Weirdly, I think outfit blogging has helped with my body image - maybe being forced to look at myself every day has helped me to accept that "this is what I look like, and it's perfect"?

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  3. Kristen,

    What a brilliant observation. I think fashion blogging forces us to think more about what works for our bodies and dress to highlight those things we love and celebrate the most.

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  4. awwww....wow, this is the sweetest thing I have ever read. (assuming you are talking about me, at least in part!) Honestly, I am speechless. I love every word of this post and you are so so right. And you, my dear are gorgeous too! And even in that pic above? I don't consider you chunky at all. Just sayin. You look great then and now! XCOXO!

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  5. Sometimes wish the status quo wasn't all about body image. Yet, it is. However, you have learned to go about conquering that stigma in such a healthy way...hopefully I can follow suit!

    www.booshy.com <--- that's me!

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  6. i've always felt like you should do for your body what YOU want to do to make YOU feel good. but in this culture, it's hard to know what's "good," because the messages are so convoluted.

    it's the height of unfair that any of us have to struggle with any of this, if you ask me.

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  7. Jo - I can't divulge if this post is about you - I'm protecting the private! :)

    Jessica - I can't tell you how much I wish the status quo wasn't about body image, but I'd be overthinking body image again. All I can say is that I've found what works for me - I'm a horrible eater, but I work out hard to make things work for me. Could I do better? Of course, but I also believe that restricting myself wouldn't be as beneficial to my overall health.

    Magnolia - thank you so much for your comment - you've captured it so eloquently as well. Crystal Renn is the perfect example - she's constantly in the media and being denounced as either too big or too skinny. The message is convoluted, but she's also been a champion for being healthy and being herself. I hope that other mainstream people follow her lead and help change the mindset for everyone else out there.

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  8. What a wonderfully healthy attitude!

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  9. Most days I love my body (except my thighs, I have a hard time loving them, though I have learned to accept them). I admit there are days where I don't so much. I've learned on those days to step away from the mirror and the scale. It's hard but I manage to do it most of the time.

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  10. Becky - haha,I'm totally with you on the thighs, but admittedly running has made me appreciate them so much more. I secretly (or not so secretly anymore) love working out in front of the mirror to see my legs work - it's one of the more beautiful sights (in my mind.) ;)

    Kristin - appreciate it lady - it took a long time to to there, but I feel so happy to have finally reached it. It only took, oh 31 years, but at least I'm there, right?

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