April 16, 2007

Today a coworker asked me if I had lost some weight, and I tried to think of something just this side of human sacrifice to show my gratitude while still maintaining professional dignity. Instead, I found myself awkwardly grinding one foot around on the floor in a cartoonish “Aw, shucks” maneuver, completely unable to come up with a normal human response (“Yes, thanks for noticing”, maybe?) and producing little non-verbal peeps and bloops of flustered please-direct-your-attention-elsewhere discomfort. In terms of socially dorktastic reactions, I suppose suddenly and voluminously crapping my own pants would have been worse, but for crying out loud. I’m 33 years old, when will I ever shed my inner (endlessly embarrassed) gawky teenager?

Speaking of such things, I’ve been thinking an awful lot about body image in the last month or so as I focus on changing my own body through diet and exercise. I feel like everything I’ve been doing has been really healthy, and that I’m hopefully developing some long-term good habits, but I’m starting to wonder where the process should ultimately take me.

The fact that I’m actively working on improving my physical condition means that every day I’m assessing my progress, and while I do celebrate my victories I also bemoan the perfection that still isn’t there. How will I know when I’ve reached my goal, when I am in a shape that is optimal for my health and well-being?

I want to take the empowering, invigorating benefits that have come from this lifestyle change and really maximize my potential. I want to feel strong and look great. I don’t want to be in an endless loop of self-criticism; I want to transcend that bullshit with my fitness level, not get further mired in it.

I’m proud of what I’ve achieved so far and now I know I can do it, I can stick with a program even when it’s inconvenient or dreary and fucking-A, that feels so good. It feels so good to have found the strength and discipline within myself, it feels so good to turn the volume down on the self criticism and give myself a well-deserved high-five for what I’ve been able to do.

The more fit I become, the more I want to get to the next level. I have no idea what that really means, though. Is it a clothing size? A number on the scale? Something I see in the mirror?

I’m trying to figure out how to balance the legitimate positive effects of working to improve my fitness against the corrosive realm of comparisons and fault-finding. I wanted to lose weight to feel better about myself, and I do, but I also want to be sane about this. I want to develop the inner strength to not nitpick over “problem areas” or feel like a criminal if I eat dessert. I want to be a strong woman who pours her energy into the things that enrich life, not the things that erode joy and self confidence.

Most of all, I don’t want my self worth to be determined by the state of my body. Body image issues are such a hobble for so many of us, they limit our momentum in life because we get distracted. We focus on the things that we aren’t, instead of the things that we are. How much more clarity would we have if we could shut up the voices that tell us we don’t look good enough?

I’ve made progress towards quieting those voices, but I have a ways to go. And some of that work can’t be done with exercise DVDs or low-calorie meals, the change has to happen in my head.


A note: this entire topic seems shamefully self-absorbed in light of today’s events at Virginia Tech. Forgive my timing.


38 Responses to “Everybody wants prosthetic foreheads on their real heads”

  1. Jas on April 16th, 2007 9:31 pm

    Now I must kill you for getting that song stuck in my head.
    Everybody wants a rock to wind a piece of string around!

  2. Liz on April 16th, 2007 11:09 pm

    You know, I can’t read about VT on everybody’s blog. So thanks for writing about something else.

  3. Jennifer on April 16th, 2007 11:18 pm

    That’s caring of you to add the note about VT. But, life moves on, and you’re certainly justified in taking pride in your accomplishments, and thinking of how next to look forward.

    Would you be interested in setting some athletic goal, for example doing the Danskin Triathlon, or climbing Mt. St Helens, or running a 10K sometime this summer? You’re doing great exercise with Turbo Jam, do you want to challenge yourself to step it up a notch? An organized sports event isn’t everyone’s thing, but you’re on the road now, so it might give you a renewed focus if you put a target out there? Whatcha think?

  4. Jennifer on April 16th, 2007 11:20 pm

    As someone who just forked over half a year’s salary to hire a personal trainer after I couldn’t make it up a single flight of stairs without huffing and puffing, the whole “live longer, live healthier” thing has surpassed the “flat stomach, nice ass” thing. I see it as an investment in myself. During my initial consultation I was asked what my goals were. They seemed surprised when I put my health ahead of looking good in my wedding gown. While a nice perk, my priorities have changed.

    My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer at 46, beat it, and was diagnosed with a recurrence last year, which she also beat. After seeing the suffering and pain that she and so many other people were going through, you realize that good health is so much more important than fitting into a certain size. While you can’t control many factors you do what you can to take care of the body – the only body – you’ve been given. This is not to say I do not enjoy a handful of jelly beans now and then (and am about to lapse into a sugar coma from right this very minute).

    My biggest concern is what will happen if I ever have a daughter. I’ll be goddamned if she grows up with zero self-esteem or negative body image because of some ridiculous, unobtainable horseshit you see every day in magazines. I don’t even remember watching ‘Facts of Life’ and thinking Natalie was overweight. Ever. Now you hear about young girls who think they’re fat before they’re even in kindergarten. It’s a mess! What can we do to protect and encourage our girls? That’s my number-one fear.

    I am also a HORRIBLE compliment-taker. I fee like I have to gush and go on and make an ass of myself. My mom has always said that a simple ‘thank you’ is all that’s required. So far it’s worked for me!

  5. Melissa on April 16th, 2007 11:45 pm

    Do you read Crazy Aunt Purl? I’m too lazy at 11;45 pm to find you the exact link but she’s on a no-diet diet, more of a lifestyle change and she wrote about it a month or so ago and writes about it periodically. Her approach to body image and health seems really right on. I think she saw something on Oprah but really, she writes about it very well. Sorry, this comment makes no sense but if you poke around her archives I think you’ll get what I mean :)

  6. Blythe on April 17th, 2007 12:06 am

    Thanks for making me think harder about this topic. It’s not the first time I’ve told myself I need to start being as careful with my body as I am with my fine washables, especially now that I have the time to do it.

    On the topic of compliments, I’m never sure if I should say “You look great, have you lost weight?” to someone. Does that make them feel like I thought they were fat before? Or does just saying, “You look great!” just seem like I’m avoiding saying what I’m really thinking?

  7. Lesley on April 17th, 2007 3:23 am

    I love the whole fitness at home routine. Participating via a DVD is much more convenient than going to the gym and just as effective at this stage. I’ve decided that once I reach a certain level of comfort – or once I’ve plateaued – I’m going to hire a local personal trainer, someone who knows their stuff. I’ve already researched the company I’m interested in and the type of trainer I want. But until I’m ready I’m not going to dwell on it.

    It’s human nature to want to progress with any activity so my advice is just to enjoy each day as it comes. If you’re happy with your routine and seeing results, which clearly you are, then keep doing what works and don’t second guess yourself. The whole point of exercise is to feel and be healthy. People usually quit when it begins to feel like a burden or becomes too complicated or competitive.

    Re the compliments. A simple thanks, or “yes, I have lost some weight” is all that’s required.

  8. Swistle on April 17th, 2007 4:48 am

    One of the problems I have with “improvement” programs is that while I’m still improving, it’s stimulating and interesting–but once I get to “maintenance” it’s no fun to keep doing the same level of work for no change. And I’m never happy at maintenance, anyway–not until I gain all the weight back and THEN I think I looked awesome. (“Maintenance” is “where I’m not really making progress anymore”–I’ve never, like, deliberately stopped.)

    If someone asks if I’ve lost weight, I usually answer a little indirectly and in a way that can lead to another topic. That is, I might say, “I’ve been doing this really neat workout recently–have you heard of it?” That implies “yes” to the weight question, without leading to “How much?” and “What did you weigh before?”

  9. Joanne on April 17th, 2007 5:35 am

    I don’t think it’s self-absorbed, necessarily. It’s not just you anymore, so you can truly think of it as something that you are doing for your family. My husband and I have recently started to eat better foods, we’re really trying to do the 5 vegetables/fruits a day, and work out, etc., and it’s all because of our boy. I was a first time mother at 36 so I feel like I can’t mess around, I want to BE here for my boy, and I think that’s a good goal.

    Also? I was at the hardest freaking Cardio Kick Boxing class last night, ever, and I was working away, thinking I couldn’t do it anymore. I thought for one second about those poor people at VT, and how any one of them would do anything to have their biggest problem be that they couldn’t move their fat ass around a kick boxing class too well. It’s hard to not think about it or feel self-absorbed, what a thing.

  10. Niki P. on April 17th, 2007 5:52 am

    You look fantastic- plain and simple. It’s always nice to have someone notice the change but I agree with Blythe on the compliments thing- I never ask if they have lost weight. I just say “You look great!” and then move on as to not make them uncomfortable with the acknowledgement of appearances. I am happy for you and all that you have accomplished with your health both physical and “mental.” Well done!

  11. Claudia on April 17th, 2007 6:06 am

    I work for a college 3 hours east of Va Tech. Frankly, it’s kind of nice to read something non-tragic for a few minutes. I feel I will be soon overwhelmed with depressing newspaper articles.

  12. Christina on April 17th, 2007 6:09 am

    I love this post. I started and failed recently. I am generally fairly healthy when it comes to eating but since having my son two years ago, exercise has gone out the window. I have given myself a cushion here. I mean I failed because we moved our entire house which is HUGE and our son had the usual adjustment period that a toddler should have. We are still trying to get the house in order and, of course, the exercise program went to last place.

    I am going to work to get back into exercising again – I love that always have a second chance. I agree with you about the next level – where is that but I think you will know. You do not necessarily need to do ‘something’ to get there but really it comes down to doing it for you FIRST and your family second and then maintaining the weight loss as a pp said. Maintenance is the most difficult part because it can be the most boring – or the most exciting. Meaning you can start to do new things that you never thought you could do or trying out different DVDs, etc…

    I have to also agree with you about body image and quieting the voices as someone who has had past eating disorder “issues”. My body image has distracted me my whole life. It consumed my every thought and made me feel horrible rather then better even when I was down to eating nothing and very thin. Even when people would say “wow, you are thin” and I was a size 4 going quickly to a size 2, even when the scale read what it read… I found myself even more consumed with myself and the look, the weight, whatev.

    It is a slippery slope for me so I do keep myself in check. I have learned to let go over the image, the weight, the size and just look at the positives. AND I enjoy dessert more now then I ever have without the guilt and I do let myself off the hook when I do not keep the exercise regiment going on a regular basis because life is too short to worry about it all in too much depth. If my butt or thighs or arms are flappy or larger then they once were so be it. I gained the weight I needed to produce a beautiful healthy baby. The weight I gained helped nurse that baby for 20 months. SO I am not going to beat myself up over the little things.

    Great post! Thank you!!!

  13. g~ on April 17th, 2007 6:11 am

    I actually think that this post is very applicable to the VT situation. My read was this post wasn’t so much about weight-loss or looking better but more about making your ‘issues’ take a back-seat to a broader, more balanced perspective…probably critically applicable to the person who committed the crimes yesterday. Just take out the body image issues and plug in whatever his were.
    But speaking specifically to this subject, I am beginning to realize more and more that ultimately, I have to be okay where I am and who I am–no matter what size I wear or how many pounds my scale says. Image isn’t about your physical appearance–ultimately it’s about your self-confidence.
    Of course, that being said, being physically fit and healthy is important to self-confidence and to being a balanced, happy person.

  14. Ang on April 17th, 2007 6:16 am

    It’s a battle, I know, to find a balance. After I had my first child, I lost 100 lbs (I was extremely overweight before the pregnancy…). I looked great and felt better than ever physically. BUT! I noticed more flaws in my appearance than ever. It’s weird how that works. Just try to remember that you are beautiful and healthy and do your best to not get caught up in the quest for perfection.

  15. AmyW on April 17th, 2007 6:17 am

    “Body image issues are such a hobble for so many of us, they limit our momentum in life because we get distracted. We focus on the things that we aren’t, instead of the things that we are. How much more clarity would we have if we could shut up the voices that tell us we don’t look good enough?”

    Thank you for this entry! I def. needed to re-focus and remember what is important. You do look great!

  16. Omu on April 17th, 2007 6:27 am

    I’m 55 pounds and one year into a weight loss/lifestyle change and struggling with many of the same issues. I’ve found that the more you lose, the more you want to lose but the slower it seems to go. Or at least that’s my experience.

    I’m not sure when it will be enough. On the one hand I’ve been stalled at 55 pounds for at least the last month. I’m eating about the right amount of food and finding it hard to cut back even more which is what I probably need to do to get to the next level. I’ve been substituting more fruit and veggies for some of the foods I had been eating to see what that does for me. I’m not sure if I have it in me to go for the next 15 lbs. or not. On the one hand I’d probably look great with another 15 gone – but on the other I’m really happy with how I look and how much I get to eat right now. Because of the baby and my busy schedule I don’t see adding more exercise into the mix – so maybe for me this is it for right now? I’m not sure.

    No matter what your end point is, be proud of the journey you’re on. It’s a courageous decision to start and continue down the path.

  17. Janet Powell on April 17th, 2007 6:34 am

    Several years ago, I made some changes and lost excess weight, and got down pretty close to what I am told should be my ideal size. I was always flustered by people looking at me and asking me how much weight I’d lost.

    One day I blurted out that I hadn’t lost weight – I just buy my clothes one size too big so people think I have. It worked at least some of the time.

    Janet in Miami

  18. Christie on April 17th, 2007 6:46 am

    You’ve been nominated for a (few) RFS Blog Award(s)!

  19. Lawyerish on April 17th, 2007 6:59 am

    I have a post sort of related to this whole body image topic that’s been percolating for a while, but I think in the end it sums up to something about how the healthier lifestyle and the healthier YOU are the goal; there isn’t a number that can capture the goal, because the numbers are in effect a fiction. If you feel good and you’ve made the eating well and the Turbo Jam such a part of your life that they’re natural, they’re habit, then you’ve reached the goal. It’s not like you get to stop once you feel like you’ve lost the “right amount” (whatever that is) of weight. And you won’t want to, because as you already know, you feel better all around when you’re living this way. And maybe it becomes a little less intense, either because you just get used to it or because you’re at a point where you want to maintain, but you won’t suddenly lose control and gain it all back and end up where you started — you’ll just *be*, but you’ll be healthier.

    God, I sound like a rambling idiot.

  20. Cavu on April 17th, 2007 7:04 am

    Thank you for articulating what a lot of women (myself, anyway) also struggle with. We’ve had years of training to think a certain way about our bodies, no matter how empowered our families taught us to feel, and it takes a lot of both inner and outer work to come to a healthy mental and physical place.

    I’m also working on getting healthier. Part of it is cosmetic, of course, but like others here have said, being slender doesn’t mean you won’t die of heart disease or be in horrible shape to battle an illness, right? And I’ve been looking at a lot of the websites that provide diet and exercise journals and all the ones I’ve found seem geared toward the “A smaller ass is your biggest reward!” mentality. A great butt is awesome, don’t get me wrong, but … I want some support that also counts vitamins and minerals and not only calories/carbs/fat. I also don’t want to participate in or support the part of the industry that feeds off women’s insecurities (rather, promotes a positive mentality). If anyone knows of one…

  21. victoria on April 17th, 2007 7:38 am

    Team in Training.

    You sign up with Team in Training and they train you to do a whole or half marathon (walk or run) or triathalon or part of a triathalon (you could do just the swim or cycle or run portion of a tri). (I recommend San Diego’s Rock & Roll Marahton. Very fun because there’s live music all along the way.) You train by yourself during the week, and with your teammates on weekends. You follow their plan and if all goes well, in a few months’ time, you’ve finished your first marathon (or half marathon or part of a triathalon or whatever you choose to do).

    Team in Training is basically a fundraising organization. Your sponsors contribute donations for cancer research and also for your travel to the marathon/triathalon.

    You KNOW you’re doing something positive, not merely narcissistic, because you’re raising money for research on leukemia and other blood cancers. Team in Training (the acronym is TNT, for obvious reasons) has been instrumental in developing a number of effective therapies, including the drug gleevic (gleevac?) which has saved people’s lives.

    Now, for most people, the fund-raising part of it is a drag. But for you? For you? Jeez louise, it would be a CINCH. You could just post here about your TNT progress and post a link to your TNT page where your loyal loving readers can send in their donations. You’d raise the required amount in like, a day.

    Plus, when you do TNT, they sponsor free workshops about nutrition, injury prevention, stretching, mental preparation, etc. You’re getting free coaching from people who really want to help you and who really believe in what they’re doing. It’s very inspiring.

    Plus you make friends with your teammates.

    And you’re focused on meeting your goal (whatever it may be) not on how you look in the pants you wore ten years ago. (Although I’m sure you already look fantastic, you always have.)

  22. Amanda on April 17th, 2007 8:01 am

    Having gained and lost a fuckton of weight in my life (right now I’m down 125 pounds from my highest weight), I’ve learned something that has really comforted those voices. My body will ALWAYS be flawed. Whether I weigh 250 or 150, my figure is the same – it’s just either bigger or smaller. I can’t change that I was born with a big belly and a flat ass. There’s nothing I can do about it except buy better jeans. I refuse to stress over things I can’t change.

    And from your photos, you’re really fucking hot. I will be angry with you if you don’t start appreciating it.

  23. Caitlin on April 17th, 2007 8:16 am

    Thank you for this–really thoughtfully written on a topic I’ve been thinking on a lot lately. I also want to get more “fit” and am struggling with what that means. I have an office job, am pretty inactive, am a relatively healthy eater but have little impulse control for sweets, booze, and really rich food when I eat out. I want to eat better food and move more in a consistent, sustainable way. But it’s difficult to untangle the threads of motivation–do I really want to be in better health, or am I just sublimating some low-level self-loathing fueled by guilty Next Top Model viewings? I’d like to think it’s the former, but Jesus H. are we American women bombarded with crappy messages about our self-worth! You really nailed all those feelings in this post, especially this:

    “I want to be a strong woman who pours her energy into the things that enrich life, not the things that erode joy and self confidence.”

    Well said, sister!

  24. Ms. X on April 17th, 2007 8:35 am

    Thanks for this post. You nailed the issues. I plateaued months ago and getting to that point where you’re happy with your health and have silenced the negative voices is probably the hardest thing about exercising and creating a healthy lifestyle. I wish I had some advice, but just know you’re not alone, and I look forward to hearing more about how you conquer the body image demons. Ultimately, I think it’s going to take a change in culture, but that starts with each of us.

  25. Kathy on April 17th, 2007 9:41 am

    “I’m 33 years old, when will I ever shed my inner (endlessly embarrassed) gawky teenager?” I’m 50, and just so you know – you will never get rid of your inner gawky teenager. Mine is still hanging on for dear life, and I have given up on ever bidding her farewell. I have come to the conclusion that I may as well embrace her and have decided that she’s an essential part of me – because she is. I believe she makes me a more compassionate person.

  26. Sara on April 17th, 2007 10:13 am

    I think I could have written this entry a year ago. At the time I was 4 months into my WLJ and getting to a point where I knew that I could and would succeed (even though I was not even half way done with the weight loss portion at the time), and was already trying to figure out how I was going to react at “the end”. But with time I realized there is no “end”. I have achieved my weight loss goals… and now the focus has shifted to becoming stronger, a better athlete, and a better person—and sustaining the loss I worked so hard to achieve. My goals have evolved as I have continued along. I never would have thought that I would want to participate in a tri-athalon, but now, it’s a very real goal and something exciting to work towards. As time goes on you will find what is interesting and challenging to you, and can make goals of those things to keep on the “right” path.

    As for body image, it’s totally relative. I try to look at the flaws as another challenge… or another goal, rather than something horrible that I am “stuck with”. I know that if I work on the problem areas they will improve, and I accept (for the most part) that they may never become “perfect”. Perfection is really not something Im after, because even if I could attain it, the pressure to keep it up would be far to great, and not at all doable. Or something.

  27. kim on April 17th, 2007 10:55 am

    I don’t think your post in any way minimizes what happened yesterday. It embodies it. You are taking strides into being a bigger (ok, smaller) better person mentally AND physically. If we all took a moment to do that, to be more aware, more in tuned with ourselves AND our environment, maybe things like VT wouldn’t happen. It seems as though the world should stop spinning when tragedies like that happen, but it should be the opposite. It should inspire people to make it better, use the anger and the grief to drive us forward and ensure when we go, timely or untimely, we left satisfied that we were giving our all.

    I can’t remember who said it…but there is that saying about “the dash”.

    On your tombstone it will say Here lies So and SO, 1973-20XX. No one cares about the beginning and end number…but what you did in between.

    it obviously was told more eloquently than my pea sized self deprecating brain can re-tell it.

    You are starting with yourself. For you, for your family…and inspiring mom’s just like you through your writing.

  28. Colleen on April 17th, 2007 11:22 am

    I think everyone’s said it all by now… I just wanted to say… love They Might be Giants… but now I’ll be singing/humming that song for the rest of the day. Gotta find that cd.

  29. Leah on April 17th, 2007 11:35 am

    If only we could all be like those people who run or bike or TurboJam solely for the love of the burn. It would take away some of the need to always have a “goal” (poundage loss? dress size? six-pack?) that we like to think will give us permission to finally congratulate ourselves. It would be so nice to just work out because we like it, because it helps us relax, helps us feel whole, but I’m just not like that, and it doesn’t seem like you are either. If I don’t have a goal, a point, I feel like I’m just passing the time.

    I don’t know how attached you are to the aerobics-at-home-only plan, but maybe you could set your sights on some 5Ks or sprint-distance triathlons? That turns everything into “training” with a focus instead of just another 45 minutes bouncing around the living room. Maybe worth a shot?

  30. breckgirl on April 17th, 2007 12:40 pm

    You’re very wise to consider these issues – we would all be wise to consider them! Most women are focused on their bodies, how to change them, fix them, get them healthier, make them bigger, smaller, boobier, etc. When is it “enough,” or when do we feel happy or satisfied with the progress? For me, I want to feel healthy, have lower blood pressure (nothin like nature letting you know how fat ass you are) and feel comfortable when I am naked in front of my husband. Oh yeah – and fit back into those Citizens jeans I paid way to f’ing much for. Will I still focus on the flaws? Of course – we all wish we were perfect or had Angelina’s lips or Aniston’s arms (well, whole body, actually) but ultimately we should be satisfied with the healthiest version of our own bodies – Our choices affect how big or small they get but as another post said very well, it is still the same body. It’s not going anywhere, unless you go with it!

    As a person who has had two plastic surgeries (hip lipo and boobs) I admit that I have not always been grateful for my God-given body. After having had a baby, gained and lost A LOT of weight and just generally getting older, I am much more grateful for this body and am doing my best to get back to the healthiest version of me. I want to be an active mom and be able to do stuff with my kids. I live in a place where a number of moms really let themselves go after having kids – it is just this kind of sad fact. I refuse to do it. You can love your kids and still love and take care of yourself – it is not selfish, despite what some might say. Perhaps I will start a Hot Montana Mama club…

    I am enjoying watching your progress – it inspires me to keep at my weight loss plan. You’re doing great.

  31. Josh on April 17th, 2007 2:32 pm

    Well dang Linda, I didn’t realize you were so self concious. I just thought you talked about your weight loss attempts because that’s what you were busy with and because they had lots of comedic potential. Of course, understanding how other people feel is not my fort, eh? (cheesy word play is) I only recently found out people had emotions at all.

    I’m glad you are starting to get some damn props from your coworkers. I can see a big difference in the pictures you post. I think you have a lot to be proud of. In my opinion you’re smokin hot, and that’s a big deal. Not because my opinion matters even a little, but because a lot of women have already let themselves go before they even hit thirty. Hell, I’m only twenty three and I already have a pudge thing going on where my uber-sexy cowboy abs should be. I’m in my fucking prime dammit, and I work a physicly demanding construction job that practicly counts as gym time. And I still have problem areas. There’s no excuse for that.

    You on the other hand have made big ass sacrifices and changed your diet and busted your ass (probably in a visually hilarious way) jumping and flailing about to some workout thingy, and now you’re seeing some solid results. And you have to compensate for a much more sedentary life than I do. You should get a parade or something. And you should absolutely never feel insecure about the shape you’re in. So stay healthy, but don’t freak out about how you look. (which was the whole point of your blog, I know, you’re welcome for the redundancy)

    And if you ever feel down on yourself about your problem areas, just remember this: whatever shape you’re in, your husband will still want to jump your bones, and that counts as being sexy. You win.

  32. Josh on April 17th, 2007 2:36 pm

    Dammit! I really know how to spell “physically”, I just didn’t take the time to read my comment before I posted it. Feel free to imagine the comment as still being half smart like. I’m off to go get me some book learnin’.

  33. jonniker on April 17th, 2007 5:57 pm

    Me too! Me too! Although Swistle already hilariously nailed it for me, too. My problem has never been *losing* the weight – it’s the complacency that follows. The maintenance becomes quesadillas, and so on…

    However, that being said, I agree with those who recommend a fitness goal that’s actually a goal, and not a body thing. I need to work on that myself – I’m not really there weight-wise, yet (close! um, ish!), but at least three times, it’s crossed my mind that maybe I should lower my goal weight. Which: no. God.

  34. Jem on April 17th, 2007 10:28 pm

    I personally think you’re already there. You’ve accepted that you are making lifestyle changes rather than this being a one-off thing. Your body will continue to do what its doing, as long as you continue to do what you’re doing. Being stick thin isn’t what anyone should be achieving by being “healthy”, unless they happen to be born that way. I think the rest of the problem is psychological, like you said. I mean, what do you think is perfect looking? Being really thin? Having curves? As you are now? Its different to everyone. Your healthy lifestyle is not going to make you really thin, as most bodies aren’t made to be skin and bones. Your healthy lifestyle is going to make your body perfect for what it needs to be.

    (That aside, if it helps, I think you’re really skinny.)

  35. theflyingmum on April 18th, 2007 8:49 am

    “Throw the screendoor wide – let the people come inside!”
    Quite a few of us, it seems, have the same issues, I wrote a similarly themed post a few months ago – I just can’t get motivated to do anything about it, YET. So, good for you for taking action and sticking with it! As my Yogi Tea bag said this morning: “Feel great, act great, and approve of yourself.”

  36. katie on April 18th, 2007 9:55 am

    i was gonna say this, but then kim did:
    don’t think your post in any way minimizes what happened yesterday. It embodies it. You are taking strides into being a bigger (ok, smaller) better person mentally AND physically. If we all took a moment to do that, to be more aware, more in tuned with ourselves AND our environment, maybe things like VT wouldn’t happen. It seems as though the world should stop spinning when tragedies like that happen, but it should be the opposite. It should inspire people to make it better, use the anger and the grief to drive us forward and ensure when we go, timely or untimely, we left satisfied that we were giving our all

    i know waht you mean, though, about setting a goal… when do you set a new one? what should it be? sometimes we get so focused on the one thing, we dont’ know where we want to go after that. . . . wish i had a good answer.

  37. dregina on April 19th, 2007 3:42 pm

    I agree with those who have suggested entering some sort of race, a 10K or maybe a triathlon (they’re actually not that hard, if you give yourself 3 1/2 or 4 hours). It’s a good way to take the focus off physical appearance and put it on achieving a tangible goal. And, as dorky as this sounds, races are fun. Really fun. At the big ones there are thousands of people there to cheer you on. If you put a piece of duct tape on your shirt with your name, complete strangers will clap and jump up and down and say, “YOU CAN DO IT LINDA!” And then, when you go to exercise after the race, you will miss those people. If I could get 10,000 cheerleaders to line my jogging route every night, I’d be the fittest woman in Texas.

  38. Sara on April 19th, 2007 5:16 pm

    Gah, you are so awesome. Thank you for writing about body image and fucking giving me a serious wake up call. I’m currently 2 weeks into my NON-DIET and the things you wrote here are the things that I repeat to myself daily. You’re rocking this healthy lifestyle change thing and looking fab! Keep on truckin’…

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