Poll: Love Your Body

In 2 weeks, I’ll be participating in a relay race.  I’ve never run before, but I’ve learned that when women I admire do something that makes them happy, well, I’m usually pretty happy that I at least tried it.  So, I’ve been training and had lots of time to think about my body.

I had hoped that this much running (and a little Weight Watchers) would make my body look like I have always imagined.  It hasn’t.  In fact, I’ve stayed in my bigger sized clothes and my weight isn’t really budging.  So, after a few months of being mad and sad, I’m now trying to learn to appreciate it for what it can do and realizing, rather belatedly, how much energy I’ve spent being unsatisfied for a body that has done some amazing things.

I figure if there’s a group out there who that should have a healthy body image, it would be feminists, right?  So, tell me…do you love your body?  (And, then, can you tell me how you learned to love it?)


EmilyCC works for a national non-profit and lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her spouse and three children. She is a former editor of Exponent II and a founding blogger at The Exponent.

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42 Responses

  1. nat kelly says:

    I voted other.
    My body gets me around. It does its job, keeps me going. Sometimes I feel its sexy, sometimes I don’t. But I’m generally okay with it because it gets the job done.

  2. Ashley says:

    I love my body…it’s awesome!

    I didn’t used to though. I used to dislike how skinny I was. I was 80 lbs and bony, but I ate like a man. I enjoyed being thin, but I didn’t want to be “too thin” which was what I was seen as. I learned to let it go because I realized that I was healthy despite being underweight.

  3. Jayme says:

    Sometimes I like my body, sometimes my pants don’t fit right. Regardless, I don’t go to the gym!

  4. amelia says:

    I love my body. It’s not perfect. I carry a bit of extra weight. I’m nowhere near what my ideal would be in terms of being toned and honed and in shape. But I love my body. Not just for how it looks–I mostly think I’m fairly plain but occasionally beautiful, really. I love what it can do, how it makes me feel, what it allows me to experience. One of the things I love the very most about Mormon doctrine is the fact that spirit and body are entwined to make soul–both absolutely necessary. And I think that’s because neither can exist without the other. My body literally makes possible the emotional and psychological and spiritual connections that make my life beautiful–it is my interface with my world and with other people.

    I know how fortunate I am. I’m generally healthy with no recurring health problems. While I’ve had my share of normal illnesses and broken bones, I’ve not experienced long term changes to my body that affect how it functions. I’m generally fit. I know I’m fortunate. And maybe that good fortune is part of what allows me to love my body. But I think I’d love it even if that changed, though it would be complicated by the ways it created new problems, I’m sure.

    I honestly have no idea how I reached this point. I did not think I was beautiful or sexy at all–not. at. all.–until I was well into my 20s. But in spite of that, I never hated my body. I think it’s part of my hippy-dippy inner world in which I’m just full of love for the miracles of existence all around me.

  5. Diane says:

    Doesn’t it suck when you exercise, exercise. exercise and no real results other than weight loss. I lost fifty pounds this year, yet, I’m still the same clothing size.

    I firmly believe loosing weight is an oxymoron of sorts. Everyone keeps telling me how much happier I will be if I loose weight, but, whose to say that my happiness/unhappiness is tied to my weight, maybe my happiness/ unhappiness is due to circumstances that have nothing to do with how heavy I am

  6. My feeling is often one of frustration–why does my body hold me back so much? It seems like I always have three or four complaints at a time and I always think, “I’m too young for this. If I hurt this much now, how am I going to be in the future?”

    I think you meant my own image of my body/figure, though. So I will say that sometimes I’m mostly content with my body (especially when I’ve been exercising regularly), but that doesn’t mean I feel sexy or any more comfortable showing it off even though sometimes it’s nice to put on a pair of jeans and think, “Wow, these fit nicely.” Of course I’d like to have a flatter stomach and less cottage cheese on my butt and better posture, but I get the feeling most women are that way . . .

  7. swissmunicipal says:

    Just a reminder. Losing weight is completely and utterly reliant on calorie consumption and output. You can exercise to your body’s limit, but if you’re consuming more calories than you’re burning, your weight won’t budge. However, the exercise certainly can make you stronger and healthier regardless of your weight. Keep exercising. It is good for you. But if you want to lose weight, look at what you’re eating.

    That aside, our bodies are awesome and beautiful carbon machines! Love them, use them, and treat them well! But most of all, listen to them. If you want to change the way your body looks, there are certainly ways to change some aspects of it. But appreciate and enjoy what you have regardless, because it really is pretty incredible.

    • Corktree says:

      I entirely disagree with the calorie theory, and plenty of research is beginning to back this up. I do think what we eat matters, but it wasn’t until I gave up grains and sugar and starting eating tons of fat, protein and veggies that I starting losing stubborn postpartum weight, and I’m consuming vastly more calories now – it’s the type of food and quality, not just how much you eat that makes a difference.

      As for my body, I finally love it, despite still having 30 pounds to lose (I recently lost over 40!) . In fact, it always seems to be that when I can truly say I’m happy with the way I am that my body finally decides to let go of the extra and the weight just falls off. I really do believe that our perceptions and perspective has a dramatic effect on our physical reality. A body that lives with self hatred and loathing will do weird things to protect itself.

    • Diane says:

      I completely disagree with you on that one. I walk at least three miles a day. Try dealing with a slow metabolism, and lets say try dealing with steroid medication. I ate healthy all during chemo for my bleeding disorder and I still gained a gaziilion pounds, 9along with some facial hair).

      • swissmunicipal says:

        This is really a reply to both Corktree and Diana. I’m not sure whether you’re both disagreeing with me, or whether you’re disagreeing with each other, but I’ll assume the former option.

        Just because the vast majority of health authorities believe it to be true doesn’t make it so. Certainly. It is possible that calories may have less to do with weight loss than we think. I honestly haven’t seen any of those studies that you’re talking about. Can you point me in their direction? I’d love to read them. I’d love to see the research and verify for myself that it is sound. Given good evidence, I’m happy to change my position.

        I did just hear about a bit of stunt case study where a professor ate – Twinkies, I believe, for ten weeks. But he ate 1800 calories worth every day (vs. the 2600 for his weight/age). Google “twinkies” and “weight loss” if you’re interested in reading about it. Obviously, not the most scientifically sound study, but interesting regardless.

        I think what we eat matters for how we feel, but as of yet, I still think that if we want to lose weight, reducing calories will work. I’m not talking about eating healthy foods. That’s not necessarily the same thing. I can eat a balanced healthy diet, but as long as my calorie intake isn’t reduced (vs. my calorie output) I don’t expect to lose weight. I guess my question is whether or not you were really aware of roughly how many calories you were consuming. It isn’t an easy thing to calculate or keep track of on a regular basis.

        Ultimately, I don’t think focusing on weight loss is a good focus. I’m much happier to eat those good healthy foods and feel good inside as opposed to hemming and hawing about how many calories were in that piece of fruit I just ate.

      • Corktree says:

        Sorry, been out of town.

        Swiss, I agree with you that focusing on calories isn’t the answer, and part of my point. I understand the laws of thermodynamics, but I can’t ignore the evidence in my own life and those of others that I personally know, that shows that less carbohydrates and more calories overall may be the only thing that allows certain individuals to lose weight and maintain it. (And yes, I’m actually quite adept at counting calories, thank you, and I was eating less before) Now, naturally, just as what works for you may not work for others, I understand that this may be unique to me, but it’s dangerous to put such an emphasis on “calories in/calories out” without immediately following the advice with the fact that not all calories are created equal.

        I am gluten intolerant among other things, and foods that contain similar chitin binding lectins such as tomatoes, potatoes, rice and barley, will all cause my body to form more visceral fat, regardless of how much I am eating of them. We are far too ignorant of how specific foods affect our bodies and too willing to ignore their affects because doctors (by virtue of the AMA) and the government tell us that calories are all that matter (and I can’t tell if you’re being facetious, but no, just because the vast majority of health authorities believe something doesn’t mean I am going to just accept it, I’m far less trusting of their motives than that 🙂 )

        So I still cannot agree with statements that tell someone struggling with weight to just eat less because the science shows that clearly that’s all you need to do. I think that concept and opinion is damaging and should be done away with until the general population can understand the first law of thermodynamics for what it is and isn’t, as well as the fact that you’ll only get out of your body what you put into it, and that depriving it to get to an unrealistic and unhealthy goal is not the answer, especially for long term health.

        I’m looking into research details for you, but I know that the resources from “Why we get fat” by Gary Taubes have some good places to start, even though I don’t like all the points raised in the book or they way he chooses to argue them – so don’t take the book as evidence of the source of my opinion.

      • swissmunicipal says:

        Too many places to respond!

        I definitely believe in applying personal anecdotal evidence to one’s own life. Good gracious, if something isn’t working for you, don’t do it! And if something’s working, give it a shot! Because each of our bodies does respond differently, we can’t really make sweeping generalizations about what does and doesn’t work (which I did in my first comment, sorry about that). I appreciate your comments because they continue to help me re-apply and re-evaluate things that are backed by scientific studies.

        Obviously, the place we have to be somewhat careful about is applying things that may or may not have worked for us individually (for whatever reason) to anybody else without good science backing the results. For example, some people find homeopathy to be helpful for them. For whatever reason, it worked on whatever symptoms/illness they had. But to then take that to someone else and say, “Hey! This worked for me, ignore the fact that there isn’t any science backing it (and ignore the treatments that are backed by science because, ppphhf – those researchers must all be skewing their data in favor of their end goals) and try it!” That’s not a good thing. Sure, try things out, but be careful trusting pseudo-science and ignoring science. And if you’re so skeptical about the research done backed by money given from various government and non-government agencies, find a way to do the research yourself! Just do good research and don’t skew your findings.

        Ok. I’m done soap-boxing. I just get so frustrated when people ignore things that could help them and instead focus on something that in all probability won’t help them. People die because of things like that. But I’m not saying anyone commenting on here is doing that!

        Keep looking for research. If you find something fantastic, please, please tell me. In the meantime I’ll continue to appreciate your comments and criticisms. Life is so interesting and I love hearing about all the different variations in life.

      • Corktree says:

        This gives a good idea of what I’m talking about with regards to re-thinking calories and fat in looking for healthy weight and health in general. It also points out how the opposite (the low fat diet craze) can actually hinder weight loss and even cause disrupted hormones and weight gain.


        And I know this wasn’t something you were looking to debate, but I just have to point out that there are many that believe homeopathy to be “real” science, and there are plenty of studies beginning to show evidence in this direction as well. There needs to be more stringent control and further work done to prove what has been working for people for 200 years, but I took an undergraduate class from a PhD that taught homeopathy as a legitimate science from Northeastern University.


      • swissmunicipal says:

        Hooray for links!

        That first link about fat doesn’t really address calorie consumption at all. Honestly, I didn’t read the whole thing, but read the entire intro until it started numbering the studies. I don’t think we disagree about that at all. I think fat is a good thing. I think saturated fat is a good thing. I don’t think unsaturated fat is good and don’t think high fructose corn syrup is good. That seemed to be what that article was talking about.

        And while I wasn’t looking to debate homeopathy (though I obviously have a rather skeptical outlook concerning it), I’ll have to look through the second link you posted, but even in the abstract in that first link they point out that their findings, their evidence, really aren’t any good because the methodology of the study wasn’t very good. I have so much respect for the people/scientists who can do that research and then admit that the findings they were looking for weren’t necessarily supported by the research. Bravo to those people. It is nice to know there are people out there who can do that.

        So, I’ll spend some time with that second link, but that first one really isn’t evidence that homeopathy necessarily works.

    • Moriah Jovan says:

      Losing weight is completely and utterly reliant on calorie consumption and output.

      Sorry, no.

      What works for you does not mean it’ll work for me. I spent years gaining weight on low-fat, low-calorie diets until I found what worked for me, which was entirely 180 degrees from current conventional “wisdom” (aka diet fad).

      • Diane says:


        I didn’t point out any medical studies, I used myself and my own experience as evidence, and that all I need as far as I’m concerned. I have pictures to prove what I looked like before my first chemo and pre steroid use to my last chemo and steroid use.

        But if you want proof all you need to do is google it. Buffalo hump check, Never had it before, acne, mood swings check, never had it before steroid use. Excessive weight in the trunk area check. I pray that you never have to use steroids its a complete mind/body wreck

        Yes, you can get these affects even while eating healthy, so, while your diet plan works for you, its not going to work for someone else.

      • Moriah Jovan says:

        Diane, years ago, I took my (then) infant to the pediatrician, who was sleek, slender, and sexy in a woman-who-is-older-and-far-more-accomplished-than-me way.

        Six months later, she’d gained 100 pounds. I knew what had happened.

        Now, 7 years later, she’s still got that weight and this summer she was wearing a wig. How many people would look at her, not know anything about her, sneer, and think “lazy” or “lack of self-control”? Most everybody. “Steroids” would probably not be at the top of anyone’s list.

  8. CatherineWO says:

    I have to confess that on the recent advent of my 60th birthday, I did wish that I could have my 19-year-old body back. However, I am content with my body as it is. There are some health challenges that would be nice to change, and there’s the ever-present tummy pudge, but all in all, I feel comfortable in my own skin (and what’s inside of it). I certainly have not always felt this way. Advancing age has a way of lowering your expectations.

  9. Heidi says:

    I’m growing more comfortable in my own skin all the time. I have so much compassion for all of us walking around with so many unfair expectations of what are bodies are supposed to look like and do to be acceptable.

    I find I’m the most content when I move into the center of my experience of my body — that may seem really obvious, but I’ve spent most of my life experiencing my body in terms of outside measurements — the numbers on my clothes, on my scale, my level of modesty, compliments and criticisms. There was something very powerful in deciding to accept the reality of my body as it is in this moment (and in each moment), both the things I like about it and the things I wish were different. Doing so has given me more and more space and has helped me let go of some of the body anxiety I think I’ve been carrying around since I was a little girl. I’ve been able to focus on how I feel — the food, rest and exercise that make *my* body feel good (Yoga, walking, little to no meat, but no restrictions — I eat whatever want, but try to do it mindfully). In doing so, I’ve experienced moments of true liberation from body anxiety and moments of true body acceptance. They don’t always last, but they are coming more and more often.

    As a result of focusing on health and how I feel, I’ve lost quite a bit of weight in the last year or two. Sometimes I still get fixated on that and anxious because I want to lose even more weight or I feel off balance when I recieve compliments or attention for losing weight. But, more often, I just move back into how I’m feeling in the moment and I’m finding the internal peace and sense of well-being is more important to me than the weight I’ve lost.

  10. TopHat says:

    I have found that I am happiest with my body when I’m regularly exercising regardless of my weight or size. Might be the endorphins

    • spunky says:

      Same there. I need to lose some weight that I have put on in the last 4 years, and although I have lost a tiny bit since working out, the weight didn’t come off untill I had been working out regularly for a good 2 months… but, although I was happy to finally take some weight off, I felt even better- needed less sleep, felt like my head was clearer- from the consistent excercise. (the first 2weeks, I was more tired, but after my body adapted to the new excersize routine, it kicked it up!). What’s more, the stiffness and pain that I sometimes get from standing for long periods doing cleaning, washing, etc. and hauling grocieries, laundry, etc. has lessened since I worked with a physical therapist (a mate of DH’s) and integrated that in my workout. That alone has helped me to love my body like never before. I personally wold recommend a physical therapist before a personal trainer (if you can afford either) just for that reason. When you are not stiff or in pain, it is easier to love your body, no matter the size. 🙂

    • Annie B. says:

      Me too! Not only more happy with my body but more happy overall. I definitely rely on running a lot to cope with anxiety and stress.

  11. LovelyLauren says:

    I’ve tried to articulate my feelings on the “love your body” sentiments and I feel that I’ve frequently failed at doing so.

    I don’t think you need to love your body to be happy. I like my body and feel sometimes unfairly blessed with a rapid metabolism and athletic body type. I can eat pretty much whatever I want and I still wear a size 0. (Though this will probably change after birthin’ and such.) I don’t have a problem feeling sexy and exercise regularly. I don’t want to get all victim-y, but with all the “body love” and “curvy women” stuff going around, there’s almost something negative about being skinny and liking your body and I feel a little guilt over it.

    At the same time, I do think that being naturally very thin could cause problems for me in the future. I eat very little when I’m stressed and am a little vain about being thin. I sometimes wonder how healthy my body image will be after several children, when it isn’t quite so easy.

    Like I said, not so good at articulating. My other problem with the “love your body” sentiment is that while it’s a step forward in being inclusive of many body types, I think it still focuses on one’s body instead of one’s person, so to speak.

    Hope that made a little sense, at least.

  12. Fran says:

    Wow. I’m jealous. I was one of the 3 (?) people who voted that she hates her body. And I seriously do. If I don’t look into a mirror at all or too long I can usually get by and be ok. Sometimes I look and I feel like I’m fairly decent looking. But many days, I almost want to vomit because I hate what I see so much.

    I don’t even know how to describe how violent my hatred of my body is at times – it’s serious anger, like I want to punch someone, or destroy something, or yell, or just do something really violently, destructively radical…just because I looked at my body and I don’t look like the girls I perceive as “beautiful”. I realize it’s a bit (a lot?) messed up. And realisticall I realize that I probably don’t have any good reasons to feel that way. I’m really healthy. I’m in pretty good shape in terms of athletic abilities, and I don’t really think I’m some funktified, hideous creature that makes other people run away screaming.

    I just really struggle with being ok with how I look. Since I’ve had kids I’ve gotten stretchmarks, and I can’t get over those. I can’t get over my flabby belly. I can’t get over the spider veins on my legs. I hatehatehate my huge chest. I have what I call “back fat” – rolls that show up on my back when my bra is nice and tight (which it needs to be to hold in my watermelon-sized girls). My overall body type build is more of the sturdy kind, wide shoulders, no real waist, wide hips, chunky thighs, and massive calves.

    I don’t know why I hate my body so violently. I wish I could make peace with the girl in the mirror. It’s definitely affecting my life, and I think I’d be happier if I didn’t feel this way. But it’s almost compulsive. I just can’t let it go. Crazy, huh? I have seen a shrink. But that lady I think was more messed up than me, so she wasn’t helpful. I’ve tried to think differently about my body (being grateful for what it can do, or pondering how God created us a certain way and declared it good and that’s it’s society putting up all these crazy ideas of what beauty is). It hasn’t worked for me yet. 🙁

    Most of the time I’m just jealous when I see other beautiful women. I think a lot of the jealousy also comes from thinking that these women actually are perceived as women, as feminine beings. I always feel like a man-woman, a person no man would consider feminine despite my having the body parts that technically declare me female.

    Urgh. Sorry for the long post. It felt kind of good to get it out. Maybe I’ll learn to change reading what all you have to share…who knows.

    • Annie B. says:

      I’m so sorry you feel that way. There have been times in my life that I’ve been unable to see past the negative things about my body and it was hard. I feel for you and I hope you’re able to overcome those feelings. I know that what helped me may not help you, but one concept that got me started on a path towards having a better view of my body was realizing that many of the women who I thought of as perfectly beautiful actually had strong insecurities about their bodies as well. This helped me realize that even if my body miraculously changed, there’s a good chance I would still be unhappy if I didn’t change my mindset. That doesn’t really sound very helpful now that I’ve written it out, it kind of sounds depressing. But I guess what I’m trying to say is that it helped motivate me to think of my mindset as changeable. So even though there were limits to how much I could change my body, I figured if I could get my mind to meet in the middle with my body I could be ok with things.

    • Squashy says:

      Hugs for you. I voted the same as you. I have watermelons but I don’t mind too much because while people are fixated on them they are not noticing my chunky butt! I am sure you are beautiful but you just don’t realise it. Not being able to like your body is hard. The advice I got given which helped a little bit was to try to pamper yourself. I have such an extreme problem with my body image the only bits I can look at and not be too critical are my hands and feet so started doing the whole exfoliating moisturing thing on them. I can now just about without too much discomfort bear to touch my calves and knees. So now the bottoms of my legs feel lovely. It will be some weeks before I dare to work on tops of my legs but its a start. Even if you can’t manage to love your body at least treat it nice. Much love to you. 🙂

      • Fran says:

        Thanks guys. Those are good ideas. I’ll give ’em a try. I don’t know why this has to be so hard, but I guess it is what it is.

        I have to agree though with a few other comments that I do feel like I feel a lot better about myself when I’m regularly exercising and eating well. Not that I’m exactly happy with what I see, but I just feel a lot better.

  13. anon says:

    I’m one of the voters for “I hate my body”. This despite being in decent shape and objectively fit (i.e. can run a mile in less than seven minutes, and eight train regularly). I know my body image is inconsistent with reality, but I am one of those feminists who can’t deconstruct societal expectations of female physical beauty and discard them along with all the other pieces of patriarchal b.s. I’ve thrown out with the trash.

  14. stacer says:

    I tend to be unable to love my body, too, mostly because it *doesn’t* and *can’t* do most of the things I want it to. I might be okay with the extra 50 or 60 lbs I’m carrying (well, some would say I need to lose more like 80 lbs, but I’d be satisfied with 60), if I could still feel human most days, but between my asthma and allergies and a thyroid problem, not to mention bad knees and a tendency to get horrific shin splints every time I exercise, I’m not really loving my body these days.

    I’d love to love my body more, but when you’re in constant chronic pain, it’s very hard to feel any kind of love for it. (p.s. Sorry for the extra text at the end of this comment; posting from my phone and it won’t let me scroll down to delete it.)


  15. MJK says:

    I love my body about half of the time. I, too, fight against a lifetime of being told I should not love my body if it does not meet certain visual standards. Those are very difficult bonds to break and I don’t know if I ever will.

    There are some things I have read that help me, this is an old one I have bookmarked. To sum it up, even though the world says that “pretty” looks a specific way, you are not under any obligation to be “pretty.” or to quote the author Prettiness is not a rent you pay for occupying a space marked “female”.


    When I can get over the issue of being pretty or not, I like my body most of the time. It is generally healthy and strong and does things that I want it to do and is a comfortable place to live.

  16. alex w. says:

    I answered that I’m content with my body, but that’s definitely an over all sort of answer. I have my days when I’m disappointed in my body because I’m embarrassed at how exhausted I can be at the end of a work shift, and I have times when I’m not content with how I look in my clothes, but I somehow managed to let go of the general dislike of my body, which I used to have. I don’t know how it happened, but it sure is a relief to be cool with the woman in the mirror- unattractive work uniform, adult acne, and all.

  17. HokieKate says:

    I’m frustrated. My baby is almost 3 months old, and my stomach is big an flabby. I lost 25 of 35 pounds in ten days and my weight hasn’t budged since. I’m utterly confused by my breasts. My libido hasn’t come back. And I really, really wish that my acne would go away.

    • Annie B. says:

      Post-baby was a really tough time for me too, with both my babies. After I had my last baby I looked 6 months pregnant for what felt like forever after I had given birth, and I also had libido and breast issues. It took a lot of effort for me to focus on enjoying my baby so I wouldn’t get depressed about my body. It does get better though! I’m a pretty active and fit person and I still give myself 9-12 months to get my body back to what I feel is “normal” for me. Not just normal looking, but normal feeling.

    • Diane says:

      I would go to the doctor and have your thyroid check. especially since you just had a baby your metabolism is probably fluctuating, along with hormones. You might have just hit a plateau, so I wouldn’t really worry about it.

    • Emily U says:

      HokieKate, 3 months is nothing! Go easy on yourself! It takes me about 9 months to get rid of most of the baby weight, then I have to fight like hell for the last 5-10 lbs (or give up, which is what I’ve done for now). Your breasts will never be quite the same again (sorry!). They’re not the same while nursing, then when you stop nursing they’re a little less perky. That’s OK, it should be a point of pride that women’s bodies have some battle scars from giving life to other humans. As for the libido, mine was a total flatline until I stopped nursing. And got off hormonal birth control. I got my Mirena taken out and I feel like a new person! (Not the same for everyone, but it was a death sentence for my enjoyment of sex). Your skin will get better, too. Don’t worry.

  18. Squashy says:

    I have an eating disorder so I hate my body at the moment. I wish I didn’t. I don’t look in the mirror not even at my face. I don’t go to the hair dressers. I don’t try on clothes in shops even where there are private changing rooms. I don’t like to look in shop windows in case I see my reflection or look at cars. I mainly just avoid my reflection at all costs by looking down at the pavement the whole time when I am walking in the street. When I have a bath or get undressed it is usually in the dark or by candle light.
    I had an amazing experience on Saturday when I went to the temple for the first time and did the look left and look right thing that you do. I gazed at myself reflected for several seconds and was not repulsed or even startled. In fact I found it hard to look away. I went home and tried to look in the mirror properly and could not do it for more than two seconds. I am going to work on it though. So many people have told me I am loved this last week that I should not be bothered with what I look like. I know my body is a temple so I will have to start looking after it now 🙂

  19. Annie B. says:

    Today I love my body. Most day’s I’m content with it. I do have bad days when I’m bugged by it. That’s a vast improvement over my past body views of being bugged by it most days and hating it on other days. My entire body image journey is long and all over the place. As a result of trying to fit in with my brothers when I was a kid I was a total tom-boy. When I was a teenager I wanted to be pretty and feminine but at the same time I was getting the message that feeling attractive was immodest and frivolous. Some time after I had my first baby I became comfortable with my femininity, and now I actually view it as something powerful in itself. Right now I find the most satisfaction in focusing on the strength and functionality of my body (endurance running, and I can do a pull-up, finally!), and the beauty of my body (I do pole dance as a workout and also hula-hooping/hoop-dancing). Those two workouts in particular have helped me immensely with viewing my body in a positive light as well as feeling attractive and feminine.

  20. Moriah Jovan says:

    Hate mine. Always have. Despite the fact that it’s stronger than one would think it would be, less afflicted with any sorts of diseases one would think it’d have (i.e., none), and, for the most part, is exceptionally healthy. Except for one thing. And that’s the thing I hate.

  21. Melanie Goldmund says:

    I’m feeling quite frustrated with my body these days. It seems like every time I try to improve it, I get slapped down. I had some morning sickness with my first son almost twenty years ago, but also a craving for veggies and salads. I felt pretty good after he was born. Then I got pregnant with my second son, and had entirely different cravings. I would spend the entire morning vomiting if I didn’t stop it by eating ice cream as soon as I got out of bed. I also ate lots of sweet things. I put on weight, and after he was born, I soon developed an underactive thyroid. More weight. I tried to walk as much as I could, but then I got horrific pains in my foot, probably plantar fasciitis. I went swimming when I could, but I couldn’t keep up a regular schedule, and my enthusiasm fizzled. Whenever I did manage to a lose a few pounds, all I had to do was wait, and they’d come back, bringing friends and relatives with them. I don’t mean yo-yo dieting, I mean just watching what I ate, and trying to cut down on chocolate. But it never works. I always come back to the sweet and fatty stuff. And whenever I think my aches and pains are behind me, I just try walking again, and they come back, too.

    I’ve never felt pretty or desirable. Even as a kid, when I was skinny, I was always the outcast, probably because of my lack of social skills. I was probably born looking geeky, too. And now that I’m obese, I don’t feel desirable in any way. I hate my body. I try not to look in the mirror, not even when I’m combing my hair. I’m pretty sure my husband hates it, too, though he never says anything. But my second son seems to be taking after me, and boy, does my husband rail at him whenever he sees that my son has gained weight again. He forces my son onto the scales every week, then shrieks at him. He often shouts at him in front of others, too, if he tries to take the amount of dessert that everybody else is having. I find it horrendously embarrassing, and wonder if my husband is not secretly shouting at me, too. But like I said, he never says anything directly. I feel like a failure in so many, many ways, and weight is one of the biggest. I often wish I were dead so that I could be free of this defective flesh.

  22. Squashy says:

    Melanie much love to you. I hope your husband will stop shouting like that. I was bullied about my weight by my mum and developed an eating disorder at the age of eight. It sounds like both you and your son have low self esteem due to your husband. Even if you can not love yourself God loves us no matter what shape or size we are.

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