Body Image

Yesterday’s Evening Workout

  • 4 miles, outside (ran 3, walked 1)

Last night, I met up with some of the biggest losers to run. I feel like I need to call them something else besides the biggest losers. Maybe I should call them my running buddies.

Last night, I met up with my running buddies to run. We ran three miles and walked about a mile. Running is so much easier with a group.

Don’t I look stylish in my running clothes?

No. No, I don’t. And doesn’t Jaden looked wacked in that picture? His face is so funny.

Today’s Breakfast

Breakfast this morning was one of my favorite – peanut butter french toast with apple slices. I have been eating so many Honeycrisp apples that I shouldn’t have to go to the doctor for years. An apple a day keeps the doctor away, right? Well then, I’m set.

Today’s Workout

  • 5 miles outside

This morning I ran the same path I ran with my running buddies last night, only I went a bit farther to complete 5 miles. Then I rewarded myself with some McDonald’s coffee. It’s the little things in life.

Body Image

Today, I would like to talk about something a little different – body image.

I’ve honestly always had a hard time accepting my body. It’s something I’ve never really felt comfortable with – I always felt overweight or too tall or like my calves were too big or like my stomach wasn’t flat enough.

When I joined the Biggest Loser, I had just lost 20 pounds from doing a different weight loss contest, so no, I wasn’t overweight anymore. But I liked the idea of a group that meet and worked together to achieve a common goal and I hoped it would help me lose those last few pounds.

However, some of the people in the Biggest Loser looked at me different. They didn’t think that I needed to be there and some of them even disliked me. That’s where body image comes in – to them, I looked fine. To myself, in the mirror, I only saw those last 10 pounds that I needed to lose or my tummy pooch from having babies. I focused on the negative rather than the positive.

The other day at the gym, a women came up to me and said something along the lines of, I’ve noticed you working out here for the past year, and I just wanted to tell you that you look great. You can tell how hard you’ve been working and that you’ve lost weight because you look wonderful.

How sweet is that? I think it’s so nice when someone else notices all the hard work that you’ve been doing and takes the time to tell you how great you look. Of course, I told her how much I appreciated her comments and thanked her, but in the back of the head those little negative body image lightning bolts started firing – maybe I would look even better if I lost these last 10 pounds, maybe she hasn’t seen my extra-large calves and round tummy.

I don’t want to do this. I want to be accepting of my body and look at it in a positive light. I want to look in the mirror and see how far I’ve come, not how far I have to go.

Losing weight was hard for me. It was a struggle. I love food. That about sums it up. I can eat large amounts of food without ever feeling full. I don’t want two squares of chocolate, I want the whole damn bar. I gain weight very easily. I didn’t start to lose weight until I started measuring all my food and writing down every single thing I ate. It made me realize how much I was actually eating.

Some people have normal relationships with food – they eat when they’re hungry and stop when they’re full. I eat when I’m hungry, bored, stressed, upset, or when there’s chocolate cake.

My weight has always been up and down. I’ve never been obese, but I have been overweight. I was on bedrest with my son while I was pregnant and gained a lot of weight. I lost a lot of weight after he was born (I weighed less than I do now) and then I gained weight back. I didn’t weigh myself for years and that’s why I gained so much weight. So yes, I am one of those people who weighs herself daily or every other day. But I need to stay accountable. I try not to let that number affect my mood, but rather use it as a guide to make sure I don’t gain a lot of weight back.

Pregnant:

Right after Jaden was born:

Pregnant and about a year after Jaden was born:

Shortly before I started the weight loss challenges:

I want to be healthy and happy. I don’t want to lose weight because I think being skinny will make me happy. I want to lose weight because I want to be healthy. I have no problem with the exercise. I love to exercise – you will find me at the gym six mornings a week. What I want is to be healthy and more accepting of my body. I want to focus on the positives rather than the negatives. But it’s hard. It’s hard to change how your mind works and how you look at your body.

I don’t feel like I am thin or skinny. I feel average. And I am. For my height (5’8″) I am of average weight. I’m not at the high-end of the scale and I am not at the low-end of the scale. I am right in the middle. And sometimes I don’t want to be in the middle. Yes, I want to be thin. But I don’t want it to take over my life. I want to be accepting. And it’s something I’m working on. I don’t see myself how other people see me.

So, one positive thing about my body? I like my arms. I loved how toned BodyPump has made them. I have been doing BodyPump 2-3 times a week for a year and I have never been this toned before. I will try to focus more on the positive rather than the negative when I look in the mirror. One day at a time.

Thoughts on body image?

What do you love about your body?

41 Comments

Filed under Biggest Loser, Breakfast, Fitness, Working Out

41 Responses to Body Image

  1. Marni G

    Great post! This too is something I have battled with. Never obese, never what I consider to be skinny. If someone compliments me on my weight loss and how good I’m looking, my first instinct is to say something negative…yeah, I still have a ways to go. I’m working on simply saying thank you and accepting it as a compliment. I will never likely have a super tight/toned tummy thanks to 2 c-sections, but I can be proud of the muscle definition I’ve formed in my arms and back and the hard work I put in to staying healthy each day :)

    • I’m glad that I’m not the only one struggling with this. I’m in the same boat with never having a toned tummy. I didn’t have c-sections but having babies changes your body. Whenever I struggle with that, I just always think about how happy I am to have my two kids!

  2. I’ve always been up and down like you have- up 20, down 20. It’s hard! It’s hard to stay thin. I’ve only been able to do it with Weight Watchers and counting everything that I eat. But it’s interesting, because whenever I’m thinner- I don’t see myself that way at all! I always think that I can lose more. I only see it when I gain the weight back and see old photos of myself and think- wow, I was thin and I didn’t even realize it.
    You look amazing! I’ve been following you since you started your first weight loss contest.
    I really don’t have any answers or advice on how to look at yourself differently- just wanted to say that I’m the same way!

    • I am exactly the same way – there’s always more to lose! But i’m working on becoming more accepting. I guess we all struggle with some aspect of ourselves and I’m glad that I’m not alone.  

  3. Well, first of all, Congrats on “Finding your Pretty”!! You may still have areas you want to work on BUT you found a part of yourself that you can focus on that makes you happy!! I wrote a blog post regarding that and when I am having a body issue day, I remind myself of that.

    As for body image issues…Yes I have them and have struggled with it since high school. I do however feel that the older I get the more accepting I am of myself. Hopefully that just continues!!

    For the record, you really have been beautiful at every weight and it is obvious in the way you write that it goes far deeper than just outward appearance. Take a moment to be proud of yourself and to LIKE yourself and then continue to work on becoming the best you…whether it is where you are at NOW or 10 pounds from now!!

    • Thank you so much – I still struggle to look at the picture of myself when I was heavier – but it’s who I was and shows how far i’ve come. I love you advice about “becoming the best you.” That’s what I am going to focus on!

  4. Stephanie

    I love this post. I found your blog off Skinny Runner and have been reading since then and while you lost the 20 pounds. I have the same problem. I’ve yoyo’d the same 20 pounds since I’ve been 13 and I am 38 and at the lower end of my range. However, for me to feel really good, I’d like to lose 15 more. When you lost the 20 this year, what was your calorie goal each day? I work out pleanty, but I am having the hardest time figuring out what my calories should be. Thanks!

    • Thanks for reading my blog! I had such a hard time figuring out my calorie count too. When I lost the first 20, I started out with about 1200 calories a day. Then I realized that was too little since I workout daily. I upped it to between 1400-1600 and continued to lose weight. (but I always ate more on the weekends!) When I started the Biggest Loser, the nutritonist told us not to eat less than 1500 calories a day. I ate continued to eat about 1500 a day and lost 10 more pounds. I think it depends on the person, your height, how much you work out, etc. But about 1400-1600 worked for me. But I still struggle with staying within that calorie range on the weekends!

  5. lexi

    I think ALMOST everyone has a problem with body image…. we definitely see ourselves different than how other people see us. I’m glad that you are focusing on being ” healthy ” not just ” thin ” or ” skinny ” and that’s how I try to think also. I, too, love food. Almost any kind! So therefore, I need to balance it out by learning to crave healthy foods also.

    I weighed 125 when I graduated high school and I am 5′ 3″. Now, nobody thought I was chubby… not even me really. I knew I had a bit of a tummy but, didn’t think much to it because I played basketball all throughout high school. Well after graduation I could notice a change in the way I FELT. I felt bloated all the time, fat, and lazy. So I knew I needed a change. I changed my eating habits first then I took up running again ( I now run 6 days a week ). I am currently 110 lbs.( no I am not stick skinny ) When I tell people I’ve lost weight they tell me they don’t know where it came from. Well, honestly, it was all in my eating habits. So keep up the good work!! I love to hear stories like yours!!

  6. I have the exact struggles with body image and I too have struggled with it my entire life. I am still overweight though but have lost a lot of weight and while other people tell me that I am looking great, all I see is the fat girl in the mirror. I think all it takes is time, your doing great though and your posts are inspiring to me!

  7. Jen

    Love your blog and this post! Congratulations on your amazing determination and healthy lifestyle. I live in Illinois (quite near you as far as I can tell by your yogurt trips and restaurant selections!
    ), and you’re an inspiration! I think most women can relate to your body image struggles, regardless of weight, age, kids, etc. thank you for this post and for blogging your life!

  8. wow–those pictures really tell a story. you should be so proud of where you are at. the lady at the gym was totally correct by telling you how great you look. I feel like the pictures even show a confidence change as well. Your blog is such an inspiration for so many of us readers–thank you!

  9. Melissa Woollard

    I think everyone has body image problems. I like my long legs and my boobs. Hey if you got em’ right? My problem is going from not working to being home and not a ton to do every day. I wish I had a workout buddy but sadly don’t! I know I’d be more motivated to go to gym etc. I’m trying and also working on being more conscious of how much I’m eating and what. Just frustrating that I’ve only lost 5 lbs and can’t seem to lose anymore.

  10. I’ve been reading awhile now and only comment every so often, I’m just not a big commentor.(< it's a word haha) But I thought this post was great and I wanted to finally tell you what I've thought for a long time now, you look great! I know you didn't write this to get sympathy comments, but seriously, when you first posted the before and afters I was so happy for you. You look so healthy and toned. It made me want to incorporate strength training more into my workouts, so thanks!

    • Thank you for commenting! And thanks for your kind words. And your right – I didn’t write this post for sympathy comments, which I actually thought that some people might think. I think I even get uncomfortable when people say oh, you look great because I don’t always feel that way. I am proud of how far I’ve come, but I work hard to maintain it! Thanks again for commenting!

      • This totally did not come off as a “sympathy please” blog post! You were so honest and real posting pics of yourself pre weight loss. It’s amazing how much thinner you face looked immediately once you started losing weight. You’ve done so much, and the best part is how much your enjoyment of the journey shows in your blog. That is the best message: that working out is an end in itself: it’s fun! – Sarah

  11. Awesome post! I’m currently down 32lbs and while I still have a looooonnnng way to go, people are starting to notice. It’s SO hard for me to accept compliments without adding a “thanks, but…”

  12. Oh the delightful ever present “body-image voice” in your head. I have it too! It’s a constant struggle, I usually try to focus on positives when it rears it’s ugly head. Lifting weights & feeling an actual physical gain in strength has helped a ton. Knowing how good I feel when I eat good/quality food helps. There’s no magic answer; we have to keep plugging away at it. Just know you’re not alone!

  13. Thanks for your honesty. I think even size 0 supermodels have issues with their bodies. It doesn’t matter what our size is, body dissatisfaction can be there. Some fat people embrace their shape, while others don’t. Some thin people hate their bodies, while thin people think their bodies rock! I think we should find respect, and later love for the body we have right now, and pursue health.

  14. I was like you, not obese, but not thin. After losing 3 dress sizes, I am at a place where I am content with where I am. I have 3 kids, stretch marks, and cellulite. But you know what? I am ok with that.

  15. I’m the same type when it comes to food!! I eat when I’m bored, stressed, tired.. any reason in the world. While I never weigh myself, (I hate scales) I constantly look in the mirror and find things that I want to change. I think that its important to be healthy but also learn to love the way you look regardless!

  16. Julie

    Enjoyed reading your post today! You should be so proud of yourself, you have worked so hard!

  17. Key Master

    You’re a beautiful woman and person!!!

  18. Oh hunnie, I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love this post & you! I love your reasoning behind loosing weight, and wanting to be healthy. So many people do it for silly reasons, you do it for the right reason & do it the right way. I’ve been reading your blog for a little while now, and it’s so easy to see what a beautiful person you are inside & out. You are honest with all of us, you don’t hide when you eat chocolate cake, or have a slice of pizza… and because of that, I continue reading your blog daily!

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