Body Issues

If there’s one thing I’d like to do in 2016, it’s get over this whole thing about being uncomfortable in my own skin. At my age, and I’m not telling, it’s obvious my shape and size aren’t about to change significantly. I have areas that I hate–stomach, thighs. I could go on but depression is setting in. I’m sure you have your own list even if you weigh 98 pounds dripping wet. It’s a female thing mostly. Why do we do this to ourselves?
Good question. The result of this personal hate thing is that we diet, exercise and make resolutions that set us up for failure. It’s really bad during teen years. But we don’t outgrow it. Especially if life throws us curve balls that just reinforce that self-hate. A boyfriend dumps us. A mean girl makes a remark that sets up a tape in our heads every time we go bathing suit shopping. You know what I mean.
I just got back from a trip to a beach resort. We had to spend a lot of time by the pool. In a swimsuit. I didn’t love it. Coverups were my friend. Which was silly. How tan can you get in a coverup? But then again, who is going to see that tan when I swath myself in fabric most of the time anyway? It’s a vicious cycle. I’m attaching here a book review I put on Goodreads. “Dumplin'” is a well-written book that hits this problem like a hammer on a nail. The girls in the novel all have the same issues I’m still working on decades later. It’s a shame. Have a comment? I’d love to hear from you.
Dumplin' (Dumplin', #1)Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The title and cover copy hooked me. An admittedly fat girl from a small town in Texas enters a beauty pageant. Okay, so I’m from Texas and have my own body issues. If you’re a woman and don’t, go back to your home planet. The voice is funny, sad and intriguing. Willowdean doesn’t have a boyfriend and starts the book never even been kissed. She’s on the verge of her sixteenth birthday. When a good-looking boy shows interest, she doesn’t believe it. I loved the small town vibe, the easy reading and the whole Dolly Parton theme. But the real hook is the way we get the emotional truth about girls this age coming to terms with how to love themselves. Do they in the end? Read it and see. It’s not laugh out loud, how could it be? This is serious stuff, girls. But it is heartwarming. Teens should read it and think about the message. There are a great variety of issues touched on here, something for everyone.

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6 Responses to “Body Issues”

  1. I know how old you are, Gerry, because I am, too (and I won’t tell). As a girl and young woman I went through years of people (mostly female relatives) telling me I was too thin (5 foot 9, 120 pounds). Long time ago. These days I’m an inch shorter and a good many pounds heavier. I’m telling myself that sticking with that new exercise bike is for my health, and for not having to buy jeans a size larger. but I’m not over that love/hate thing with the scale and the mirror, either. (And I don’t own a bathing suit.)

    So here’s to a Happy–and Healthy–New Year. Full speed ahead and damn the cover-ups. (But sun tanning isn’t all that good for us, either, or so we’re told.)

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  2. I was slathered with spf50 and didn’t get much of a tan. No one has ever accused me of being too thin. But it would be irritating, I’m sure. Yes, we’re at the age when we’re getting a little shorter. That doesn’t help, does it? I go to Curves 3-5 times a week. So far, it’s keeping me steady. My fitbit nags me too. I’m aiming for healthy now, not weight loss or I’d go crazy. Know what I mean?

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  3. I think being healthy is the goal. Not everyone was born to be a size 6 or even 8. And you are beautiful Gerry.

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  4. Angel Colla Says:

    I love reading your books and loved your take on the book you reviewed. *I put it on my list to read :). As for your blog on body image it is a struggle that most women go through daily. This past year, I decided that I was going to love me…all of me. As soon as I started seeing what I liked about myself and not thinking about what others thought of me I became more happy. This October I am doing something out of my comfort zone and going to Cancun (traveling out of the US) with a group of plus sized people I have never met (BBWTRAVELS). My bf will be with me in Cancun. I will be wearing a bathingsuit most of the time (w/coverups too). I’m scared yet excited about the trip. I have also joined many plus sized body positive groups, which helps me. I know that I will never be skinny, so I need to love me and start enjoying life as I am…taking risks & having fun. 2016 will be my year to get to know myself better and love me. Wishing others gain their love for their bodies this year too.

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    • I loved Cancun and you will too, Angel. You will see all sizes and shapes there and no one will care if your bathing suit is a size 2 or 20. Have fun. The beaches are beautiful. I am trying to focus on the positive too. My mom, who I miss every day, always stayed small by watching what she ate and getting on the scale every day. She was beautiful. Some say I look like her. I have to learn to accept a compliment and not think “Lies!”. Know what I mean? It’s tough. Where do we get these negative thoughts? I grew up in a loving home and had a husband who loved me. My family is great. Oh, well. It’s easier said than done to just want to be positive. We have to work on it every day. I’m trying and am so glad you are too. Great first step to get out there and do your thing with friends who have similar interests. It’ll be wonderful. Let me know how it goes.

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