vent sesh: body talk

July 29, 2014

Weight is one of those topics that women never like to talk about — well at least their number — but everyone can’t control themselves to discuss on a pretty constant basis: “Oh my gawwd, you look so tiny in that!” or “you are getting soooo thin!” (said in a semi-jealous tone!) or “Ugh, I feel so fat in this. I mean I look five months pregnant! Ugh.”

Been there, said that. It’s absurd. And it’s never really nice. {psst: if I ever said anything to you in half jealousy, I’m so sorry!}

I’ve addressed weight here in years past, and if you’re interested, even talked specifically about my number(s). I’m so over caring what my number is. It doesn’t define me in any way, except I suppose to the doctor. I love this image, below, that I saw on Instagram; these women are all the same weight and yet so utterly different.

These women weigh 154 pounds

At the end of the day, thin doesn’t equal beautiful and it doesn’t equal happy. It just equals a smaller clothing size. In fact I recall being most critical of myself and my body when I was at my thinnest; it became consuming.

This summer I’ve taken a new approach on body image and weight. My daughter is much more aware of bodies than last year. But not in thin or fat ways, just in ability to have fun. Shouldn’t we all measure our bodies this way? To lift her in the pool, to spin her around, to go down the waterside and to push her on the swings. And to do these things until my arms fall off! My focus is on being strong and healthy, the way it should be.

I’m someone who always will be aware of the number; the Weight Watcher lifetimer in me can’t control it but it doesn’t define me, and I give myself a huge cushion. I only really use one number (130 lbs, if we’re putting it out there) as a gauge that I’ve been indulging far too much. Food makes me happy!

When I reached that number a few months ago I took action in ways that I had been half-assing for way too long. I eliminated most processed food, all the crap, focused on whole foods, went on a higher protein and lower carb diet — all really helpful for my bloating and gastro issues, too. And,  I started getting my tush to the gym three days a week. I’d love to take classes, particularly yoga, and even get there more often, but the small gym in my neighborhood is open when I need it, is two minutes away and I can watch HGTV at the same time, while having a few minutes to me. It’s amazing. I’d go daily if I could.

As a result, I feel strong. I see muscles in my arms and in my legs that I’m not sure have ever existed. It creates a conversation platform with my daughter to talk about working out, about sports and about eating healthy to get muscles that make you big and strong (as we demonstrate in our Popeye-esque muscle motion).

I’m making it a goal to not tell a friend “You look so thin in that!,” when implying she looks so pretty, and you should know I never let anyone get away with saying, “Ugh I look fat” or “I look gross,” when I give a real compliment — say thank you. I’m that bitchy friend that forces you just to say thank you. We can be so self deprecating when in fact, I think there’s power in saying I do look/feel beautiful. That yeah, I am thin, or yeah, I am curvy, and love it. Or that I have dimply thighs and, maybe I don’t love it, but I can be OK with it and hell, it’s not going to hold me back from fun.

 

PS: read this awesome post from Scary Mommy on a similar topic, if you haven’t already caught it Love.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
  • Red Reticule

    Great post about putting things in perspective and focus on feeling/getting healthy rather than chasing those pounds. It took me years to get to the “I don’t care how much I weigh” point and I shifted the focus on eating healthy and working out 3 times a week. I feel much better and for the first time I’ve been able to maintain a healthy weight.
    xo, Bogi
    http://redreticule.com

  • The Adored Life

    YES! I went through so much crap in college trying to get a great body. Then I realized that the body I had was great. I’m healthy. I’m happy. I am so much better off living my damn life than concentrating on a number. So basically what I’m saying, PREACH!
    http://www.theadoredlife.com

  • http://www.mixmatchfashion.com/ Tara

    So true! It is important to be focused on being fit and healthy, not just focused solely on the number….I am really trying my best to learn that!

  • Dianna

    Love that pic! I’ve got a post coming up regarding my own mental battles with my new, changing body. It is ridiculous that even during pregnancy I have such strong feelings towards how I think I should look and how much I think I should weigh. As always, thanks for sharing on a great topic!

  • http://iamchiconthecheap.com/ Lyddiegal

    Weight is a tough topic, and I have always taken the ignorance is bliss path. I don’t know how much I weigh. Have not for years and will never step on a scale unless I must. I listen to my friends discuss their number on a week to week basis and drive themselves crazy. I know when I am eating well and being good to my body. I don’t need a number to remind me or make me feel any worse.

  • http://fabulouslyaverage.tumblr.com Joanne Almonte Mason

    Great post girly! I wrote a similar post a couple weeks back and it is so liberating when you realize that the number on the scale means nothing. As long as I’m moving my body as much as I can, eating as healthy as I can (with a few indulgences of course) and feel great in my clothes, then the number means squat! I want my daughter to see weight/body image the same way:)

  • Dressed with soul

    Oh, this is the proof that weight doesn’t matter! Not only of this cause I try to avoid to weigh myself :)

    Thanks for this wonderful and so true post.

    xx from Germany, Rena

    International
    giveaway: Unpardonable fault and compensation

    http://www.dressedwithsoul.com

  • http://www.thestylizedwannabe.com/ ashleigh

    I love the photo. My sister, who is 6 feet tall, and I, (5’2″) weigh exactly the same amount! But she wears a 5 and I wear a 14. It’s frustrating, because I eat healthier. I’m going to try to not say things like :”you looks so thin” or “tiny” because, as you said, thin doesn’t equal beautiful. Fat doesn’t equal ugly. It’s not okay to shame anyone for how they look. Thin people aren’t “anorexic” just because they’re thin. Over weight people aren’t always “obese.” We live in a world where words can hurt, and I’m going to try and control the amount of damage I do.
    -ash
    http://www.stylizedwannabe.blogspot.com

  • http://www.asequinloveaffair.com/ Shira

    I’ve also talked about this on my blog a couple times although I WISH I could talk about it in a more personal and in depth way but hesitate to, because I’m a therapist and once it’s out there, it’s out there. I HATE when bloggers give diet advice or talk about how chubby they’ve gotten and have unfollowed a couple of people who did that. Not because they’re not wonderful people, but because I think it’s so inappropriate to give diet advice and even bash your body in a society where body size is an obsession. My sister (8 yrs old, almost 9), said she was fat the other day and I almost cried. I know what a battle my preoccupation with weight and body size was for me, and g-d forbid I don’t want my sister to go through even a day of that. So you got to 130 which in your head wasn’t a good number. But instead of focusing on a number, it’s so much more impt to focus on BALANCE and health regardless of the number on the scale. And indulging once in a while because why not?

    I love that you’re trying not to comment on people’s body size. I also don’t do that and I wish more people would do the same…

    • Alyson

      Such an interesting perspective, Shira. As someone who was once overweight over here, with high cholesterol, etc, Weight Watchers was a huge help. It taught me much more than getting a lower number on the scale. The challenge is that for many years I became number obsessed. Like, ridiculous. I like the idea of having a one number that screams, hold up, because I need that accountability beyond the jeans not fitting well. At the same time, things fit differently anyway because by working out I’m losing fat and (hopefully!) gaining muscle that changes your body type anyway. By the way, I have a 4-year old who last year told me she looked ugly in something. When I say “told me” she screamed and cried. It was the saddest moment. I won’t let family talk about their weight in front of her for this exact reason. Health and well-rounded eating and activity should be paramount.

  • Roxanne

    Love this post!

  • http://yousaucyminx.com kat at yousaucyminx.com

    Love this! I get so scared when people post their new diet routines, with descriptors like “I felt like I was going to faint the first 2 weeks” or “I couldn’t walk for days”. Food and exercise routines are about making you strong healthfully! Eat good foods, minimize food splurges, and try to move each day. Forget the scale. If you feel great, you’re on the right track.

  • Jo

    health and strength should always be a priority over a number, however being too overweight or too underweight isn’t healthy. We all have a number based on our height and frame which we should weigh around. So saying the number doesn’t matter isn’t entirely true. Thin doesn’t equal happy, but either does obesity. In the picture above, the girl all the way on the left is obese and carrying too much belly fat. We can argue all day and be politically correct, but obesity is not beautiful either is anorexia. I’m in the medical field and on average thinner people are healthier. I have friends with many different body shapes and if they look particularly thinner in an outfit I’m going to tell them because it is a compliment and usually people want to know what they look better in. after all, who wants to look bigger in an outfit? I can’t stand this political correctness and new buzz word “body-shaming”. Some critique in our lives is good.

    • Alyson

      Hi Jo: you’re right! I agree in many ways. It’s not healthy to be extreme on either side of the spectrum. I don’t see the image as saying one is healthier than the next, just proof that a number is really irrelevant in many ways… it’s proportional to the person. I am trying to use my number as a guide — ie I hit 130, which was my WOAH, reign it in number — but as clothes are starting to fit better I need to move away from the scale and not get so fixated on the digits, which is something that took many years after being a bit number addicted via Weight Watchers. Also trying to tell my friends that they look “awesome” or “gorgeous” or whatnot, instead of “thin in that.” Hope this added perspective helps… I’m so glad you took the time to comment because you highlighted so many important components. Thanks!

Previous post:

Next post: