Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Enjoy your body! It's the only one you've got...(with added note)

Please see added note below this post:

I have an ambivalent yet fluid love/hate relationship with how I feel about my body. I've had a journey with my body - from a past of self-destructive, unloving behavior to feeling pretty OK in my own skin today. More good days than bad, which I will take! It used to be the other way around. Is my body where I want it to be? No. Do I have cellulite? Yes. But, it's different now. I recognize that the main reason I don't like what I see is that I don't exercise regularly. And when you don't exercise regularly, your body will let you know it. I do have a Master Plan to change this. And of these days I will change and feel better connected to my physical body. I tend toward DRAMA... No, she DOESN'T!!?? So, even though I write disparaging things about my physical form at times, in general I'm feeling fairly peaceful with my body at my age. And concentrating on finding my spirit and fire within rather than obsessing about my figure without.

I'm 46 years old, isn't it time to just chill about it? I am quite clear that at 60 or even 56 I will look back and wonder what the hell was I carrying on about!? Just as now, I look back on my 20's and feel sad that I spent so much time feeling fat. I once missed a reunion with dear friends, because I was ashamed of them seeing how fat I had become. Was it worth it? No.

So, with all that being said, I've decided to participate in Suzanne Reisman's 2008 Swimsuit Brigade for Honest Photos over at BlogHer. Please pop over there and join in, if you feel so inclined. Any message that we can send out that shows us in our normal skin is powerful.

You will notice that this picture was shot with an interesting angle and that my head is slightly chopped off at the top. And isn't the AIR BRUSHING fab?!! No, I did not attempt this at home...but, my almost 4 year old daughter did. It seems GIRL likes to zoom in on my thighs. Did you know that thunder thighs is a compliment? My husband believes this to be true. YES, I love him. And there I go again...ZINGING myself. Alas, I still need work...

As Bri said, I'm not looking for compliments here. I know my bathing suit is awesome. Targay! $38.50. What I'd love is if you'd pass along the word, that women come in all shapes and sizes. And that all of us. All. of. us. ARE BEAUTIFUL.

Enjoy your body! It's the only one you've got...

Added Note: I just wanted to add a great post link by Alyssa, because I think she is really on to something. She talks about the irony of feeling pretty good about her body, but not in a bathing suit. That really captures it for me! There is something about putting on a bathing suit that makes you feel "in the spotlight." In reality, it is probably not true but something that feels true. It was scary for me to put my picture on this post. But, in joining the 2008 Swimsuit Brigade for Honest Photos, gave me courage. And, truthfully I still am angry at myself for letting those negative body thoughts invade my consciousness, because they still do.

I also enjoyed reading the
Reluctant Blogger's comment below. I agree that one of the joys of blogging is a certain amount of anonymity. That is important to me. But, the purpose of the swimsuit brigade is to come out of the perfection closet, so to speak, and show that our natural women's bodies are not air brushed, stick figures with boobs. And I believe that is vital.

**"Basking" Sculpture photo courtesy of The Sculpture Gallery

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  1. Well, YOU'RE beautiful, but there's no way I'm participating in that.

    Good for you though!

  2. You look fabulous - better than I do in a suit FOR SURE!!! I'm not doing a swimsuit shot of me - NOPE - not at any angle. If I looked as good as you - I'd do it in a second!!

    Take care - Kellan

  3. YEE-OW...that's my internet version of a cat call.

  4. brave, brave, BRAVE !!! wow. I admire you. I am not brave, I'm not even slightly adventurous when it comes to pictures of me in a swimsuit. I will, however, check out your links.

    excellent post, excellent message, jck. its absolutely knucklehead of us to fret over cellulite, isn't it? we are healthy, can walk, talk, think, wink .. the packaging is soo irrelevant.

  5. I think you look fabulous! And I want to apologize for sounding slighly manic the other day. I was in the middle of picking up bbq for in-laws, picking up kids, and cleaning my house. Why I chose that moment to introduce myself I don't know. But that was me - dorky and over doing it! I look forward to seeing you in a few weeks.

  6. Wish I could do a catcall. Just pretend I'm a construction worker.

    You look fantastic!

  7. Woman, All I can say is you are one rock-solid smokin' hot babe!!!

  8. Hot. Hot. Hot.

    I love the suit too!

  9. Well, I think it is great that YOU are doing this, but I am not that brave, no sirree. Plus, since we have the same suit, people will make comparisons, and I do NOT want that!

  10. You look way too fabulous for the web, Babe. Even with the camera zooming in on your thighs. Are you sure we can't trade bodies for a couple of days?

  11. Yeah you do look good.

    But I wonder if doing all this just makes everyone focus on bodies even more. I mean, it's good that we see big ones and small ones and feel OK with how we are (which I do very much so). But it matters not what anyone looks like - or it should not.

    that is one thing I love about blogging, the option to be invisible. I have nothing to hide personally but I think it is good that people who do feel insecure about the way they look for any reason can be invisible and treated the same as everyone else.

    I have no idea though how we get rid of the preoccupation with body image that exists at the moment - maybe your swimsuit thing is a good thing maybe it is not. I guess it is worth a try.

  12. You truly look great in that sexy swimsuit!

  13. Love the suit! You look fantastic.

    I struggle with this a lot. I used to look like the sculpture. I was a dancer. It's very hard to let go of that. I'm still tall and thin so people poo poo me, but the stretch marks and cellulite bother me intensly.

  14. I recently tried on swimsuits and it wasn't pretty. But I need to take my daughter swimming so I had to get one.

    I applaud you for doing this. I'm not sure I could be so brave.

  15. You look great--cheers :)

    I need to go check out Target--nice suit!

  16. Dude. You're hott. That's that.

    Has anyone ever told you that you look like Suzanna Sommers at a glance. I AM NOT KIDDING. YOU DO.

  17. Oh crap, I spelled her name wrong. You get me, right? Right. :)

  18. WOW. I'm thinking you have nothing to be upset about. You look much better than I do. You are a head turner even.

  19. I am in awe of you for posting a picture. You look GREAT! I turned 40 last year and have been working out hard for about 5 months. It goes much slower than I would like. And I, like you, wish I hadn't wasted my 20's and 30's being out of shape.

  20. I've got some pretty deep body image issues, so I relate. I admire your courage and openness in posting that pic. I think you look beautiful and confident.

    If I could post a pic of me in my bathing suit, I'll know I've taken an important step in my evolution away from a negative body image.

    But I don't know that I can...
    Either way, woman to woman, I'm proud of you for doing it.

  21. Thank you for celebrating your beauty. I love how real women look. (That said, this real woman will not be participating--at least not with a bathing suit.

  22. Yay for not chickening out!! I love that you let your 4 year old take the picture, too. I really wish more of us would do this, I really applaud Suzanne for inspiring the movement. I'm the same way about nakedness, my last boyfriend was shocked at how quickly I was comfortable walking around naked in front of him. Hey, it's just my body and everything on it looks better standing up anyway! ;)

  23. You are lurvely, of course. And brave. I might participate if women's swimsuits weren't the instruments of patriarchal domination. No, that's not true. Yes, it is. No, it's not. Crap. I'm very impressed.

  24. I agree, its harder somehow to be in a bathing suit, than nekkid. (Altho now my nekkidness plus post-twin-pg-twice-s-sectioned tummy massacre is cause for its own form of embarrassment).

    maybe its harder in a bathing suit because we see soooo many (anorexic) slender models IN suits. Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition comes to mind. That fictional pictorial ought to be banned. Even in high school I felt completely inadequate when looking at those too-gorgeous-for-words models. I used to feel super jealous when my boyfriend looked at it.

    But I digress. Most of us don't see lots & lots of nekkid women, so maybe we don't have the equivalent in years of feeling inadequate.

    there's my 2cent analysis.

  25. It is interesting how many of us can feel so confident in other arenas but putting on a bathing suit causes a serious degeneration.

    I feel awesome in my VS bras + undies but the bathing suit I bought for reasons unknown (I hate swimming and we don't have a hot tub) gives me hives.

    Your photo is indeed fabulous though. There is much to be said about attitude, and it's clear yours is pretty healthy :)

  26. HELLO, HAWT MAMA. I'm definitely NOT wearing a bathing suit around YOU at BlogHer. Or around anyone.

  27. My dear, You look fabulous.I don't mind my post-baby poochy belly or the cellulite as much as the pasty white quality of my skin. I used to be tan, when I had time and was outside all the time, but now I'm doing the protect the old skin routine, and my natural color is one usually reserved for the recently deceased and victims of Dracula.


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