Thursday, October 25, 2012

I Heart My Body 2012

Ladies, and maybe gents too, tell me the last time you thought something negative about your body? Too fat here, to skinny there, too much this, or not enough that... Bad hair day, bad makeup, bad looking skin, too much cellulite, dang stretch marks, BAH! Then don't get me started on all the ads that look at ladies and say if you're around a 12 or 14 you're suddenly plus sized and must be singled out into your own category of shame. Heaven forbid you be any bigger than an 18 because then where will you be? It feels like the media and ad execs have gotten together to send one giant message of "if you're not a size 2 you obviously don't care about yourself and aren't pretty".

Well dang it all you crazy ad execs out there some of us can't be a size 2 or even a size 7 without practically starving or living at the gym. Seriously. I get that there is an obesity epidemic and some people choose to live unhealthy lifestyles full of processed and fattening foods and little to no exercise. That's not everyone though. Some of us, myself included, just don't seem destined to wear that size 0 and I'm ok with that.

If you ask what brings all this up I'm participating in the We Heart Life: I Heart My Body 2012 campaign. I posted about it here and now it's time to get down and do my part. Imagine if, even just for one day, women (and men) out there loved their bodies. Or even just parts of their bodies. It would raise our spirits and help us see it's not all that bad.

So the campaign goes like this. Post a picture of yourself loving your body. Here's mine:

In Hawaii at the Haleakala Crater.

I'm definitely not about to dare to pose in my undies or anything crazy like that. Sure that works for some but not for me. I'm also rather clothed in this pic but hey it was cold. What do you do.

The campaign also asks you to "share your story about your body, and how you came to love it or if you are still working on loving your body".

I chose this picture because at this time I can say I was pretty happy with my body. I'd worked hard to lose weight for our wedding and to keep it off for our honeymoon. At that time I wasn't "perfect" but that's what happens when you get older and I knew that. I wasn't as thin as I used to be back in high school but I was pretty comfortable in my skin.

Since then I've had a baby and passed 30. I feel those are two easy ways for your body to start to get the best of you. I wasn't working out much if at all but I was eating pretty well. Unfortunately that still included desserts and the occasional meal that was a big out of control. HA! I can honestly say at times I have completely and totally hated my body. There have been days I could find nothing at all that I liked. Post pregnancy hair that is broken and falling out, pain in my feet, ankles and joints from who knows what, stretch marks and cellulite that seemed would be there forever and fat deposits that changed how even my clothes fit. BOO! The hatred I felt for my body was real and was intense.

Most days I still feel my body is a horrible mistake and that somehow if I wish hard enough it will all go away. I mean after all there are those ladies out there that have multiple kids and still have flat stomachs and no thighs within the first month after giving birth. Maybe they have a better lotion or potion or diet plan that makes it all possible. Or maybe genetics were just a little kinder to them. Either way I'm definitely not happy with my body most days.

In the spirit of the challenge though, and in my efforts to stop hating my body, I'm listing the three things I love about my body. *Sigh... So here goes...
1. I love that, for the most part, my body still works and caries me through the day. I work with someone who has limited mobility and have seen just a fraction of the challenges he endures at work. I know that's just a tiny fraction of what he deals with and for that I know I should be truly grateful for what I have because it would be so different if I couldn't walk or use my hands or something else.

2. I love my hands. Yes they hurt at times and even they have gotten bigger since having Russell but I can still type, play the piano, pick up my baby and help others with my hands. It's a blessing to be able to touch and feel and use all my fingers and thumbs.

3. I love my feet. They are my foundation and carry me from place to place. They aren't the most beautiful and often I wake up with them hurting so bad I can barely walk until I get warmed up and going but they work and keep me grounded.

It's a start. I don't suddenly love my body and everything about it but maybe one day I will. I am taking steps to get to that space where my body isn't my enemy. I'm starting some lifestyle changes with Joe that will hopefully lead to some weight loss, toning of things that aren't toned anymore and an energy boost that could definitely help how I feel overall. So, it's really not that bad. If you are participating be sure to leave the link to your post in the comments so I can read your story. Don't be afraid to share and please, if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.

What do you love about your body? What do you do to keep your body happy and in a shape that you love? Do you struggle with body image issues or have you always loved your body?

6 comments:

  1. It is a start. This is my third year of running the campaign and I can say with all honesty that I love my body so much more. Reading through everyones posts spark something for me; make me realise how special and unique everyone is. How beautiful I am, in my own right.

    Thank you for participating this year! Thank you xx

    [Creator of We Heart Life]

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    1. Thanks Carly! It was fun to participate. I can honestly say if I'd came across your site, and in trying to contact you, hadn't received a response I wouldn't have done this. It's obvious you're committed to spreading this message and I support it fully. My goal is that next year I'll be a little braver with my picture and love myself a little more. I hope more people I know will participate next year too. Thanks!

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  2. Feeling like your body is a mistake or an enemy, I think that's how a lot of women feel at times particularly after having children.

    Learning to love your body starts with treating it as a friend and it's surprising how responsive it can be - keep working on it aand you will get there.

    Sarah

    http://peopledonteatenoughfudge.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. Thanks Sarah! I couldn't agree more. It is so hard not to just look at your post-baby body and nit pick all that's wrong with it when really we should celebrate it's capacity to do something so special. It has been hard and I know I still have a ways to go but with the support of so many other women around the world it makes it easier to know that I'm not alone. Thanks!

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  3. Post baby and post 30, I hear ya!! Much harder these days :)

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    1. It's so true. Keeping the pounds off can be an epic struggle after a baby and as you get older. It's definitely all about making sure I watch what I eat instead of just indulging in all the yummy food I find. HA!

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