Body Image Issues: How happy are you with your body?

Saturday, June 02, 2012


A couple days ago I asked on Facebook and Twitter if anybody was truly satisfied with their body. The response was minimal, to say the least.. Well, lately, I've been thinking about body image issues...mostly because of my own insecurities. I gained five pounds from our cruise (Hello, desserts!!) as did Chase but he's actually happy about it... That is a different story...

It made me think... I mean, I know I'm not fat or overweight. I'm skinny in a lot of people's eyes but I feel fat. Part of it is because I used to be skinnier, e.g., before the cruise..!!! Another part is from what I'm shown and see on the internet, magazines, T.V., etc..

Why is that even though we know these things, we still feel the need to criticize others and ourselves? The human body is amazing! My body is amazing! I can run! I can do a real push up! Just one! For now! I don't have any injuries that prevent me from doing anything! My body functions the way it should! It is healthy! Exclamation point! Shouldn't we be amazed and grateful at that alone? There are many people out there, perhaps some even reading this, who don't have good health. It is so easy to take it for granted right now.

Every time I say or think something bad about my body, I quickly tell myself that
I'm beautiful. I'm healthy. And, that's all that matters.

DON'T let someone or something dictate how you should feel about your own body. It's YOURS. YOU are the one who ultimately has control over it, of course, as long as you nourish and care for it, physically and mentally.

A great comment from an article I posted about here:
There are 3 different bone structures(small, average, large) then there's 3 different body types(ectomorph/boney, Mesomorph/muscular, and endomorph/fat) and on top of that there are different body shapes(apple, pear, cone, ruler, hourglass) then there's people with short legs and a long torso and people with long legs and a short torso. My point; WE ARE ALL DIFERENT AND WE ARE ALL BEAUTIFULL NO MATTER HOW MUCH WE WEIGH!!!

Now...it's your turn. In the comments below, tell me and everyone else that you're beautiful. Do it. I dare you. No, I don't.. I take that back.. Do it for yourself.

51 comments :

  1. For me its always been a 10 pound battle. Always believing even though I'm by no means overweight that if I just lost 10pounds, I'd be more beautiful. Thankfully, I've surrounded myself with positive people and I read positive blogs such as yours. I can smack myself on the head when I start thinking stupid. Lets say it all together. We're beautiful, we're healthy, so we better be happy...thats truly all that matters.

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  2. Allison @InsomniacLabRatOctober 11, 2012 at 12:31 AM

    I've struggled with this before, but I'm happy to say that I now know that I'm healthy and beautiful the way I am, and I eat healthy and workout because it makes me feel good, not to fit some specific image determined by the media/other people.

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  3. I've had body image issues ever since puberty! Its horrible to look at yourself in the mirror and to keep pointing at all the things you hate about yourself and then realising at the end that there is barely anything you like about yourself. I study in Romania, a country full of gorgeous slim girls, who dont need to wear specific clothes to hide their imperfections! Im kind of short and very curvy, and when i dress up to go out, i constantly worry about how people see me...It drives me insane most of the time! I rarely have moments when i find myself beautiful..

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  4. One of the things I've always taken personal pride in, is that I've never had body image issues with myself. All growing up through highschool, gaining some weight the first few years I was married, pregnancy and now - I've loved myself no matter what I weighed/weigh. Sure, I have days I don't like that extra little pouch in my stomach, dark circles under my eyes or that pimple on my chin....but I'm just happy with myself & don't focus on the lb number.
    I'm not the skinniest, the tallest, the tannest, or most fashionable - but I love myself. And that's all that really matters.


    Loved your post. More girls need to have that attitude.

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  5. Rachel_at_A_Little_Bit_of_RayOctober 11, 2012 at 12:40 AM

    Obesity run in both of my parents families. I have long been obsessed with being thin or skinny. I will never be skinny. I'm thin, but I have an hourglass shape. It plagued me when I was a dance major in college because it's the opposite of the ideal body type. I'm also short, so that worked against me. I developed an eating disorder and dropped out because I needed a healthier environment. It started to work. Then I got married and had three children in 2.5 years(yes it's crazy) and gained weight. It was through watching Marilyn Monroe movies and classic Star Trek that I started gaining an appreciation for my body type. I've lost most of my baby weight now and am loving my body lately. Being comfortable and healthy helps by leaps and bounds in having such a shift. I'm so grateful to finally be in the place I am with body image.

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  6. Thank you for your great post today!

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  7. What a great post! I love it! You are right. I tell myself all the time that I need to be happy with my shape…but then those 'I feel fat' days keep coming!
    You might like my post about a 'plus' size modeling agency. Trying to bring all different body typed into the fashion magazines. It's really interesting.


    http://addsomesugar.wordpress.com/2012/05/06/love-your-best-body/



    I also posted about another article I saw, telling us that 'soft' bodies are back in fashion.


    http://addsomesugar.wordpress.com/2012/05/16/lets-genuinely-smile-more/



    Thanks for your wonderful example :)


    BJ xx

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  8. Hi, I know how you feel when you say even though you know you're not fat you feel fat (for the record you look amazing btw). I'm medium height and slim but my legs are long for my body and I seem taller and skinner than many people, despite being abit gangly I still love my body. When I have a 'fat day' or I eat too much and feel fat (which is quite often) I feel silly moaning about feeling fat but my friends are quick to remind me that I'm beautiful. I believe that every shape & size is beautiful as long as being that shape or size isn't detrimental to your health. Body image is a difficult issue but at the end of the day our bodies are more beautiful than ever when they are healthy and happy. Thanks for this post x

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  9. http://goo.gl/PvpzP

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  10. I have been thinking about this a lot lately as well. I gave birth three months ago, and I am back to my prepregnancy weight, if not a few pounds lighter. But I am definitely not back to my old body. I do try and work out and eat well, but I have finally faced the fact that I honestly will never have my old body back. I was struggling with this one night and it just hit me that my body is such an amazing gift. I know the Lord blessed me with a body so that I could work hard.The main purpose of my body is to house my Spirit, not to impress others. I have so many wonderful capabilities. I am strong and healthy. And I have a beautiful baby boy. Obviously it is important (to me,at least) that I take good care of my body, but I also need to let myself accept my body how it is and not compare myself to others.
    Thank you so much for this post and other posts like it!

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  11. I am tall and muscular. I might have a little bit of chub on my stomach that drives me crazy most of the time. I do take being healthy for granted. I was bulimic for so many years and still struggle with it. This is very inspiring and makes you think about what is really important thank you.

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  12. Kelsey, your body is amazing for what it went through!

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  13. Thank you Elaine! I was just talking to my husband about this very topic last night. I said, it's hard to feel beautiful in this world. Then, I took a step back and thought, no it's not. It's hard if you allow yourself to feel that way. Everyone is literally different from each other. Even identical twins. There is no reason to compare yourself to other people because you have a completely different set of genes. Pointless really. Be happy in your own skin. It will make a world of difference. Here's a quote I like to follow when I find myself comparing to other "beautiful" people. "I ultimately want to rejoice in the success and good fortunes of others. I want to be clear and happy. I want to celebrate all victories." I read this quote here awhile back. http://christinekane.com/jealousy-and-envy-how-to-deal-and-heal/. And, I'm proud to say, I'm a ruler. :)

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  14. I was just talking to my husband about that this weekend. I was asking him if he ever heard of the term Skinny Fat. You know your skinny, but lack muscle so it's fat... Thank you for these words of encouragement.

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  15. I am an average height, pear shaped girl with a long torso and short legs who is muscular and strong without even trying. I have been battling with my health for the past four years. Take it from me NEVER take advantage of your health. Because being unhealthy sucks even more than feeling fat. I am beautiful even though I am sick. If you are healthy be so grateful for that.

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  16. I'm pretty happy with my body shape and size, and have been most of my life. We don't own a scale, so I don't have the temptation to look at the numbers, but when I was recently pregnant, I was weighed A LOT. I gained 27 pounds. My baby is 3 months old and i have lost it all, but I'm realizing my body will never be the same. I appreciate my body in a whole new way, though. For what it did. I miss some of the pregnancy curves, but when I was pregnant I missed being able to tuck in my shirts. The grass is always greener...

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  17. I have been trying to lose weight ..."ALL MY LIFE" it fall off and roll back on. I love this post! And I am beautiful!

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  18. This is something I have been struggling with a lot lately. I am terribly short, not muscular, fat, or bony, and I have no waist, no bum, and no chest. basically I am just a little stick-looking thing. It's hard to not want things I can't have. Thank you for this post. It really comforted me. I am beautiful, I am healthy, and I am different.

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  19. I was just thinking to myself this morning, as I looked in the mirror I notice I've put on some weight. I am currently 140 lbs at 5'3'' (4'' on a good day.) This is the heaviest I have ever been all my life. I think I look good, my boobs finally grew and now I have a more womanly figure, but because I'm not use to being this heavy I feel self conscious about guys playfully trying to pick me up (it randomly happens), I almost feel uncomfortable in my body con dresses and skirts because that is all I'm use to wearing. ...I'm rambling but long story short. I know I'm beautiful even through all the changes I'm experiencing. =]

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  20. I remember the exact moment when I became aware of my weight and became insecure about my body. It's been a long road, but I think I'm finally starting to make a break through with self acceptance... so I just want to say -- ladies, you are ALL BEAUTIFUL. Forget about what society/the media says. I think everyone is gorgeous...myself included. I never thought I'd ever be able to write/think that.

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  21. Thanks for a great post, food for thought and an issue I am constantly struggling with. Thank you

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  22. i've recently lost 20 pounds! I am beautiful! The thing i don't like is people calling me skinny, cause i'm not. i'm voluptous! thanks for the push. love your picture. you are beautiful!

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  23. You're a total fox and I am so impressed with you every time I read your blog(s). As far as I'm concerned, people who judge you for wearing a bikini when you are with your HUSBAND need to take a piece of Elder Uchtdorf's advice and stop judging.


    Then again, I've got to work on that too, because here I am judging them right back... ;) Ehh, it's a learning process.

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  24. Elaine,
    I have to comment on this because you've really hit a chord here.
    I didn't really begin having 'body image issues' until about a year ago when I started reading fashion blogs...and I saw a bunch of tall, slender, 26"-waist model-y girls wearing beautiful clothes. Maybe it's because I've always been incredibly unphotogentic (in my eyes, at least) and my poses always turn out incredibly unflattering.
    Honestly, I think you have a pretty good body. (And sometimes I kind of envy it.) And I know you're getting a lot of backlash over the fact that you wore a bikini on your cruise. It's none of our business, and yet I'm seeing some readers calling you a hypocrite over it. I think, to some degree, we all need to be open and honest and healthy-minded enough to be able to do that...feel comfortable in a swimsuit, or underwear, or whatever. These are the bodies God has given us. To criticize them is to downplay the Creator's work.
    Right now, I'm trying to come to terms with the fact that I love accentuating my hourglass figure but hate my jelly roll tummy pooch. And I hate the fact that my thighs touch. But I guess that's just the beauty ideal we've been infused with. Be skinny. Then you'll be happy.
    I'd like to see you post more on this. I think we in the modest dressing community need to step a bit outside the box here. We need to go on record as saying it's OK to have insecurities. That's normal. We just have to make sure they don't become harmful to how we view ourselves.
    What would be really cool is if a modest fashion blogger posted a picture of her insecurities. This could be tough because, being modest, she would have to be careful about how she showed the skin. But it would demonstrate what's going on in the fatkini craze right now. We don't have to accept our culture's beauty standard.
    We can rebel.
    The Fashion Caper

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  25. I never struggled with body issues before, but recently, for a very short time, I thought I could drop a few pounds, get a little more in shape, when in all reality, I am skinny, I am fit, I am healthy. I knew these things, but looking in the mirror, I wasn't satisfied. I would weigh myself everyday and want the number to drop, I would count my calories. It was a private struggle, and one day I realized I was who I was supposed to be. It was when I saw pictures of myself, I realized I did like my body, just for some reason I didn't see it in the mirror. I am pretty much over that body image struggle, but occasionally it pops up every now and then, I just fight it and push it back. I am beautiful. I am perfect the way I am.


    Thank you for this post. :')

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  26. So you post about modest swim suits but don't wear them yourself?

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  27. i looooved this post, i have a lot of body issues, just as you said i'm pretty skinny for all people but i stil feel suuuuper fat, right now i think things are getting better for me but it got to the point of not enjoying ANY meal, i always felt guilty even though i had a salad or something :(
    i think you are so right, we take health for granted and we let stupid stuff get to us, just like not having someone else's body
    you are right, im pretty and i should stop thinking negative stuff about myself :)

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  28. My friends/roommates from college are getting their PhDs in this issue, and I'm so into it. They have a blog and Facebook, so go check them out! Their blog is beautyredefined.net or search for Beauty Redefined on FB.

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  29. I'm sure if you asked people who can wear a two-piece, they would still have body image issues.. What I'm saying is no matter what your size, almost everyone has body image issues.

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  30. I'm beautiful! I know this because I'm made in the image of God, no one can take that identity away from me!
    A word of suggestion-ditch the fashion magazines, they're only harmful. NO ONE looks like the models, not even the models themselves. Trust me, you're NOT fat (5 pounds is also water weight...)
    Natasha
    A Modest Fashion Blog:
    www.natashaatkerson.blogspot.com

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  31. I'm beautiful. :) Thank you, Elaine, for posting this!

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  32. If you still look good in a two-piece, than five pounds doesn't really matter. Keep in mind, there are people out there that have gained 50-60+ lbs and it will take them sometimes years to lose the weight and regain the confidence.

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  33. I have to remind myself that there is a difference between having things I want to change (positively) and liking myself. I have to love me because some days, I'm all I've got. Lovely post, Elaine.


    Since you told me to: I'm beautiful and healthy. It is amazingly fortunate and wonderful that I can say both of those things. (:

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  34. "There are many people out there, perhaps some even reading this, who don't have good health. It is so easy to take it for granted right now."

    This was so thoughtful of you.

    Honestly - love your body, remain thankful for it and look after it well. (I looked after mine well but was hit with serious illness aged 25 and am still ill twelve years later. Strangers (and friends that should know better) have often told me I'm "lucky" with my body simply because I'm naturally slim. They haven't got a clue how much I'd love to trade that for easy good health...)

    On a happier note, for the record, you always look lovely :-)

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  35. Sarah- Think Twice StyleOctober 11, 2012 at 12:44 AM

    Preach it, sister!

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  36. I may have modest arm muscles and bony knees and have boobs awkwardly between bra size tiny and just plain small , but I'm comfortable with how I move and fit in my space in this world. Imperfection makes us wonderfully human! I'll join you in toasting our individuality with a cookie because they're delicious, an extra round of crunches because I take care of myself and a broad smile because I am, indeed, beautiful! Thank you for this wonderfully affirming post.

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  37. This is something I've struggled with before, too. Sometimes it can be a daily battle. But I think it is awesome that God created us in His image, and He created us all unique and one of a kind to Him. Thanks for this post! :)

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  38. http://goo.gl/dUhlc

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  39. This is the first time I have read your blog, and I have to say, I'm loving what I am seeing and reading. I was very thin in highschool. I was very active in sports and now that I am 25... well, I'm no longer very thin! While I am still active, and very healthy, Its a struggle for me to accept that I am not going to be stick thin anymore. Its ok to have big muscular arms and a not completely flat stomach! I just have to remind myself that feeling healthy is feeling happy. Can't wait to read more posts!

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  40. preach, girl! preach!!! i also wrote a whole blog post on loving the body you have. the way i see it, whether i'm size 2 or 14, i'm ALWAYS going to have a husband that loves me and a daughter who adores me. and THAT is what's most important!

    http://schoenys.blogspot.com/2012/01/curvy-girls-do-it-better.html

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  41. This is such a great post! You ARE beautiful, and I'm not going to be one of those people who jumps in to say "Oh, you're so not fat!" even though you aren't, because I definitely know how it is to know you're not fat but still FEEL fat. I hope you truly realize how pretty you are, though!
    I definitely have body issues, and I used to wish I had a smaller butt, thinner thighs, etc... but then my boyfriend told me he likes the way I am right now. Big butt and all. So that makes me feel beautiful even if I am not the skinniest girl around. I AM beautiful.
    Thank you for this post!

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  42. Great post! I am quite tall (5 ft 9) and weigh 156 lbs. Mostly muscles but I've always felt like a "big girl". I few years ago I dropped 11 lbs from training a lot, and with my muscular body this made me look quite skinny. I have thought for many years before that "if I only lost 10 lbs I'll be really happy with my body." But you know what? I've never been more body conscious in my life! Looking at myself in the mirror for ages. Only waering clothes that would make me look skinnier.. Now I'm back where I was, and I hardly reflect over my body at all! I'm happy with it as it is :) And my boyfriend loves it and tells me how good I look almost everytime he sees me naked. I think everybody is beautiful naked and should be proud of their body. I'm happy my body is strong enough to run a half-marathon and curvy enough to make me feel sexy for "my man".

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  43. Great post. Really made my day to read something so positive. (:
    http://fabricflitfly.tumblr.com

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  44. I'm beautiful! Thanks for the uplifting article; I needed it. :)

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  45. I've had body issues since junior high when I realized just how much bigger than all my friends I was. Recently, however, I've been trying to convince myself that I am proportionate, just on a bigger scale, and that's not a bad thing! I always hated being big because I've always been incredibly shy and I thought being petite would make people notice me less. I've also recently realized that lots of women who I think are beautiful are many different body types and I'm sure there are things they don't like about themselves, too.

    I do not look like the off-duty models I admire on street fashion blogs, nor am I petite like I always wanted to be. I am healthy right now, I have a tall, pear-shaped body, a big nose, and I am beautiful too. (I just need to remind myself more often!)

    Thanks for this post, it gave me a little kick in the pants to shape up my inner monologue! ;)

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  46. Oh, Elaine! I have struggled with body issues since I was like...12. Being Korean and curvy is not easy...since most Korean girls are naturally thin and petite! My own sisters are whopping size 0s (as is my mother), so you can imagine what I was comparing myself to growing up. When I was in college, I read a verse from my favorite Psalm and it was "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made" and I literally burst into tears. Because I have always found it so hard to do that. To praise God for his work. All I did was complain about it, actually...and I realized how wrong it was for me to not realize how amazing my body really is, not to mention how I should praise its maker for making it healthy and wonderful! From that point on, I always try to remind myself of that verse when I get down on my body. And it's worked! My starting a fashion blog a year and a half ago was a major milestone in that endeavor. A few years ago, I would have never THUNK of putting up pictures of my imperfect body for people to see and criticize. But I am slowly learning to love myself and all my imperfections ... and to be OK with the fact that I don't look like my sisters. So yes...I am (gulp) beautiful! Still not always easy for me to say, but I try! Thanks for your honest post, girl!


    www.butshoppingmakesmehappy.blogspot.com

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  47. i love reading your blog and even though i'm not a mormon, i do come from a christian background and respect the philosophy behind modest dressing. i also have no problem with you, or anyone, wearing a 2-piece swimsuit or whatever makes you happy. it's not a revealing bikini, and you look fabulous in it. that being said, i guess i still don't quite understand how wearing a 2-piece publically jives with the whole idea of modest dressing. i've read your previous posts from your cruises to understand your thought process. if the whole idea is to not show your shoulders, back, upper legs, then how does wearing a bikini in public, even if it's for your husband, and posting the pictures online, consistent with your everyday dressing philosophy? anyway, that was just my thought. i really like how you constantly try to keep dialogue open on your blog and that is only what i'm trying to do here. not trying to bash, but just have a better understanding. i would love to hear what other people think about this.

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  48. I am happy with the way my body looks but not with the way it works. After years of being a college athlete, I have been left with a back that aches daily and makes it difficult for me to perform routine tasks like loading the dishwasher. On top of that, I've recently discovered that I can't run more than one mile without my right knee screaming in pain. To those who are struggling with body issues, go out and use it. Celebrate your body for what it CAN do, because not everyone can.


    Catherine








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