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Self Image
 
I really have a problem with people complaining about how they "need" to lose just a few more pounds. It bothers me when people don't seem to love the body that they have. Does that mean you shouldn't do things to look good? No. Hey, I color my hair. But, if I don't color it for months and my gray starts showing, do I berate myself for it? Nope. I earned every damn one of those gray hairs! LOL

I have stretch marks. I had many of them before I was ever pregnant the first time. I used to hate those white streaks across my body. I used to worry about how much I weighed. I got on the scale every day. If it moved upwards, I monitored ever morsel of food that went across my plate. There was a time in my life that I nearly died because I stopped eating. Anorexia is strange. You feel powerful when you don't eat, somehow. And I got compliments on my new figure all the time.

But, I was sick. I was depressed. I was miserable and I hated myself.

It took a long time, but I learned to love my body. I came to the realization that God created me, and I don't think God goofs up. He gave me this body. It's my job to take care of it. It's my job to appreciate it.

I love to hear people say "I want to eat healthier" or "I am going to start walking this week." That means that they are striving for a healthy body. And healthy does not equal thin. I know people who are thin that have terrible health problems, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, etc., and I know people who are big and are amazingly healthy.

I absolutely support anyone here that wants to live a healthier lifestyle. But, to see people worrying about what size they wear just makes me sad.

Let's say that there's a woman, we'll call her Jane. Jane has a full time career as a nurse. She also volunteers a few hours each week at a homeless shelter. She smiles at people and makes eye contact when she meets folks on the street. Jane is always nicely dressed. Her blond hair is silky and long. She sounds perfect, doesn't she? Now, imagine that she weighs 315 lbs. Is she less attractive to you now? She's the same person. Only your image of her has changed.

For years, society has told women we aren't thin enough. We have commercials telling us to buy feminine products because we smell funny. We have ads that show scantily clad women who are so thin as to look prepubescent. On television you'll be hard-pressed to find a woman of ample size portrayed in a romantic situation that doesn't involve jokes at her expense. If you are above a certain size, you have to shop at a different section of a department store (or a different store altogether).

No wonder we hate our bodies.

But, we have it within our power to stop this cycle. We can start with ourselves. Look in the mirror and notice the beauty you hold. Perhaps it's your eyes that are enchanting. Or maybe your hair is like pure silk. Maybe your hands are elegant and well manicured. There is something about you that is beautiful. Whether you are 15 or 95, every woman has beauty.

If you have children, you truly need to think about this. Do you want your daughters to grow up feeling they are inadequate because they aren't as thin as their peers? Do you want them to think that they can't be pretty unless they are a certain size? Will your sons grow up to appreciate people of all sizes, or will he seek out women who are "perfect" because that is what he learned is best and desirable?
Whenever you think about how you "need" to lose weight, remember those women dying of cancer or some other disease. Know that they WISH they could have a healthy, strong, ample body like you.

You are blessed. Stand tall. Be proud of who you are. Walk with purpose. Embrace yourself. Love what God has given you.

 
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