Thursday, May 24, 2012

Body Issues

I have always had some kinds of body issues, but to be honest, you'd be hard-pressed to find an American woman who hasn't. Only over the past couple years and living with other females (even going to hair school, because that many women in one place help you see what real-world women look like) have I realized that every woman has a different shape, and that I have actually been pretty lucky to have the body that I have. As in relatively healthy (besides freak accidents), I'm young enough that I can still pretty much eat what I want, etc. And I've come to learn that curves are going to be a part of my body, no matter what I do. It's how I'm built. I. Will. Always. Be. Curvy.

These realizations obviously didn't come in a day, and even after I'd realized some of it, it didn't make me like it any more. It didn't mean I wanted to be that curvy girl woman. That has also taken time, and I'm for sure not close to being there.

But what I want to share is something that happened in the recent present. I was with a friend of mine who is in fabulous shape, even after having a child. I've always been jealous of how skinny she is, wishing I had the endurance to work out hard enough to be that small. I've always envied my stick-skinny friends, wishing I could be that girl. No matter who tells me I'm beautiful, no matter how many times, I can try to believe them - until I see that girl who is tiny and beautiful. Especially if it's effortless. And I get sad.

I don't get it entirely, either, because I can look at my curvy friends and see their beauty - so why not my own?

However, recently I've had some things happen that have helped my shifting focus speed up a little bit.

First, there's a site called Busty Girl Comics that truly made my week when my friend KJ told me about it. If you've ever had issues getting along with your breasts, A cup or DD, then this comic is for you! I was up for a very long time reading and laughing my way through it. I LOVE that the author makes somewhat light of a truly annoying situation - the curves on our body that really give us grief. And it made me feel not so alone in being shaped the way I am.

The other thing helping my image is being pregnant. And I've been showing a lot earlier than most women, and it's getting to me. Really. Part of me feels like, "It's ok because your body is going to round out and be awful for the next 16+ months, so just get used to it," and I'm trying to embrace that part of it. The other part of me is thinking, "Come on, fatty. Work out. Throwing up isn't THAT bad, plus it makes you lose more calories." (The second one is a lie. Throwing up is always sucky.)

Then I talked to this awesome woman I know and she reminded me, "You have to remember that this is basically your second pregnancy." And she's right. I didn't carry to term last time, but I DID have my abdomen sliced open less than a year ago and a quarter of my uterus is now gone because of it. I can't expect to be tiny in these conditions. Or show as late as everyone else. It is what it is. My body is different, for this and other reasons.

Ok, so these led up to some time well spent with the aforementioned very-skinny friend, and for the first time since I've known her, I looked at her body and appreciated its beauty, and...didn't envy her for it. I didn't want it. I appreciated what I had. And was glad for her to look so smokin', but I realized that it wasn't me. I was smokin' in my own way. I had a different bone structure and a different metabolism, and that's ok.

That is literally the first time in my life that's happened to me. To look at someone hotter than me, and not be envious.

I'm 25, folks.

It's nowhere near totally confident, but it's a start.

And now I look back to that day and think, "Man, I wish I was that skinny." And so the cycle continues.

Do any of you have these "Aha!" moments? I'd love to hear them and gain more perspective.

6 comments:

  1. I really have no words of wisdom, but just lots of excitement and well wishes for you and your pregnancy! I am so happy for you, and I can't wait to follow you on this exciting journey! :D

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  2. Wait! Did I read this right? You're pregnant?! SO happy for you!! I can relate to what you're saying in this post (not the being curvy part, unfortunately...I'm lacking in curves.) It took becoming pregnant following a miscarriage for me to really appreciate my body for all it was and could do.
    My advice to you: let go of all expectations for what your body should or shouldn't do during pregnancy. It's working on a miracle. Just go with it.

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  3. This is so funny, because you have the body I would love to have. I want to write more, but need to think on it more.

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  5. First of all, I'M WAY SUPER EXCITED FOR YOU BEING PREGNANT!!!!! It's the best thing in life until you get to hold your baby, then that's the best thing :-)

    I don't really have "aha" moments in to regards body image, but I'll tell you that you'll appreciate your body more after you've given birth. I personally looked better BEFORE growing a huge belly, but I was negative about nit picky things regarding my body and didn't appreciate how awesome I looked :-) Now, I don't look as good as I used to (I don't look awful or anything, I just have belly pudge that wasn't there before, stretch marks, etc. etc. the typical post-pregnancy body, but at my pre-preggo weight!) But I'm ok with how I look, because I'm wiser and appreciate my body more. I think the same will probably happen for you! And remember you are as beautiful as you choose to be :-)

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  6. This is how it is for me. "Man, I really wish I could lose this chub on my stomach." -Reads how to lose 10 pounds in 6 months- "I have to stop eating what?! I don't think so." And that's usually how it ends.

    I see skinny girls, usually girls after having kids, and I think holy cow. How do they stay so effin skinny? And then I think, I bet they don't get to enjoy McDonalds, or milkshakes, or chocolate, or most of all deep-friend food. Then I feel better about myself because I get to eat all this great stuff. When I go out to eat with my "skinny" friends, I always see them eating salads, or getting 5-piece chicken nuggets when I get the 20-piece combo meal, and I think, sucks to be you.

    But seriously, I think most girls have trouble with what they look like. Even the skinny ones. You're not alone in having this cycle. Every few months I try to start cutting back on stuff. I've actually been pretty good at not eating past 8. But I'm terrible at the exercising. I guess for me, I'm more excited about food than I am about my body. haha.

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