There are a lot of mirrors in my new home. Or rather, there are really a normal amount of mirrors, but they are very large and located so you can not miss or avoid them. There are full-length mirrors on husband’s closet door which you will see your whole self in when you dress - or when you use the pull-up bar! And the bathroom mirror is immense. It shows every inch of floor space; you are always visible in all your naked glory.
This does mean that I spend beaucoup time checking out my own stuff like a bro. Latest observations: I have obliques now. (Thank you Kettlebells.) Also, the division between my delts and my biceps/triceps is always there now. I see it as I brush my teeth or put on concealer. Fascinating!
[Note: I am using the pro-ana tag as part of th3skinny’s program of filling that tag up with more body-positive stuff. You should do it too.]
FINALLY!!!! Finally, one of these pics actually shows a broad variety. Of broads. LOL yes I said it. I love this pic. It’s beautiful and delicious. And the women are not photoshopped or overly dolled-up with the wacky drag-queen-style makeup that has become the vogue these days and they are not wearing foot-crushing heels. What a relief to see this natural beauty.
Of course… I can’t stop myself from mentioning that none of these gorgeous women are black or asian… but I guess baby steps are still great progress.
Last August, when I started this journey, I had a very particular body type and goal in mind. I wanted to look tall and lean, like all the models you see in ads and on TV. So I ran and cut calories to slim down, always wanting to be thinner. My body did change. I got skinny. I lived by the number on the scale. I lost twenty pounds and learned that I could exercise (and gained a good amount of confidence), but ended up looking differently than I had hoped for.
No matter what I did, I couldn’t change my skeletal make-up. No amount of exercise could change my height or the size of my pelvis or the width of my rib cage. It took me about seven months to realize this and come to terms with this fact. If I had kept up my previous exercise regimen, I would’ve never been satisfied with my body. The ideal image that I had in my head simply wasn’t possible! At a stocky 5’7”, I would never look like a naturally lean 6’3” Calvin Klein model.
Over the past nine weeks, I’ve had a real shift in my views on my own body. All of this lifting is making me bigger and wider, but it’s not bothering me in the slightest. I feel like my body is moving towards where it naturally wants to go. I’m meant to be short and stocky. I’m meant to be shaped like a (hot) mini-fridge. I’m meant to pick up heavy things and push them around.
How my body looks kind of feels secondary to what I’m doing in the gym. My waist size (as well as shoulders, arms, chest, and legs) has increased since I started lifting, but I feel more solid and more powerful. It doesn’t mean a thing to me anymore. I don’t care what the number says on the inside of my pants. What matters is that I can deadlift your weight with no problem. The confidence that I have gained from knowing that far outweighs any amount of confidence that I could have had from being “skinny.” I, of course, am not going to allow myself to get fat (because that would inhibit my lifting), but am going to base my happiness on how I feel rather than a set of meaningless numbers. Looking good is just a fun bonus to hitting the gym.
I love how my body is changing. I love how my mind is changing. I’m loving who and what I was always meant to be.
No one can take that away from me.
I just love everything about this post. I could never say it better myself. It’s not about how my body looks. It’s about what I can do with it.
Okay, if I’m honest, it IS a little bit about how my body looks, though. I’m not immune to my own inborn, biological desires to increase my own status. In the wild, higher-status primates have better odds of surviving and so do their children; it’s normal for humans to seek higher status. And for us, today, being thin, young and beautiful is the simplest way to instantly achieve higher status. That’s what women mean when they say, “I’m not dressing up for some man to stare at me; I’m wearing this dress and these heels for myself, because it makes me feel beautiful and powerful.” That is what it means to feel powerful because of an outfit. It means that you can feel how your status is increasing based on your ability to exceed standards associated with status.
Wow, this post turned super-nerdy in an instant, didn’t it? Anyway, uh, go follow mikeywantsitall! He’s fun.
Ok people I need some honest opinions here. I started this blog after reading Ben Davis’ story of weight loss and his journey to strength. He is the whole reason I started to do life. If he lost weight. I could lose weight (shut up, I’m still working on it)
Now forgive me. But… is it just me or is Ben getting fat again?
Here’s the thing about Ben Davis, as far as I can make out. I mean, I haven’t tumblr-stalked him back to the first post. So maybe I missed it. But in my experience, and I have been working on it for more than 6 years, weight loss is really a mental game. I don’t mean that you lose weight via the power of your mind. Obviously not! But it’s more that if your mind is not on board for any reason, you won’t lose weight, or else you will re-gain it.
Ben has done an insane amount of exercise. But I’ve not noticed a whole heck of a lot of posts about the psychological work involved. Just at the top, there’s the part where one must dig deep to understand what drove the overweight process in the first place: why did you seek comfort/love/protection/whatever in the pantry? Then learning to heal those issues without recourse to food. Forgiving anybody who might have contributed to those issues. (Hello, Pa Davis.) Just these steps can block most people’s progress. But there’s plenty more. Mourning the old lifestyle that must remain dead forever. Mourning the old self and also forgiving the old self for everything. (That one’s a tough one, the forgiving.) Letting go of self-loathing so that all of your actions can now come from a place of self-love. Learning to actually see the new self, another very tough step. (I’m obviously working on this one myself right now.) Learning to understand and accept one’s new position in society. Accepting the way that one’s relationships with close family and friends may be impacted by all these changes. Working through any ambivalence or outright prejudices that one might be harboring about fatness or thin-ness. And of course on a technical level, one must learn how to eat for maintenance which is not a negligible challenge.
This is just what I can think of off the cuff right now. I’m sure there’s more. Particularly since I have not gotten all the way down the path myself, so there’s bound to be some things I have not even gotten a glimpse of yet.
Ben’s only human, and he’s young, too. Doing all this emotional work is extremely difficult and there’s really not a lot of good instruction on it out there. Believe me, I have been looking. I mean, there are a few books. But not much. And very few people have written memoirs detailing the psychological journey of weight loss. They really gloss it over. So the whole thing is quite isolating. It seems as though nobody can understand or relate to it at all. So it’s quite a challenge to get appropriate support, when you don’t need someone to say, “get your ass out there and run,” but rather you need someone to say, “what is really bothering you right now? You need to face it and release it.”
So that is my take on the Ben situation. My take is: it’s really not at all surprising he has gained some weight, because he still has a crap ton of personal work to dig through. Good luck, Mr. Davis! I’m rooting for you.
So here I am in my new OOTD from Ann Taylor LOFT: size Small black T-shirt (there is literally nothing as slimming, is there?) and size 4 denim skirt.
Also pictured: smooth hair from the hair salon. Enjoy that while it lasts because I never blow my hair out at home. The shoes are from Chaco and I love them to pieces. So comfortable. The mysterious poster behind me is an art project for yoga teacher training, depicting the 5 Koshas, the Chakras, a couple Nadis, the Doshas and the Gunas.
Here I am in size 4 shorts, also from LOFT:
It’s quite gratifying how this photo completely conceals my slightly jiggly inner thigh area! I feel that I ought to do a photo post about the reality of my thighs. Anyway, there it is, folks. I’m a smaller size than I ever even dreamed I could be now. I’m the same size as my mom, I think. And yet, I do still have an ass and a flubbery belly and thighs and the sad remains of bat-wings on my arms. This is reality. However, on the amazing success front, I will say that the whole neck/collarbone area really looks good! How about that?!
I’m not entirely sure what I stand for anymore. I do believe firmly that all people deserve to have body peace and not hate themselves at any shape or size. Sometimes that really does seem impossible though, although there are a lot of blogs on tumblr who I admire because they seem capable of…
this is what i have been struggling with too lately! these exact thoughts have been going through my head. is it so wrong that i want to tone myself up, even though i’m supposed to love my body no matter what? i don’t think it’s wrong either, as long as you have a healthy mindset and a truly positive attitude.
I definitely believe that you can love yourself and have a healthy mindset, yet still have a desire to improve yourself in some way. I think of it as mother love. Your mother loves you, right? (I certainly imagine so.) But this doesn’t mean that she will let you live in filth and do nothing all day while sponging off her for all eternity, does it? No, she loves you and she fully expects you to get an education of some sort, which you will use to get a job and maybe even a whole career, maybe get a spouse or maybe even have some children of your own some day. She loves you and that love includes expecting and even praying that you will continue to grow and change.
So, when it comes to more personal issues like body acceptance, I just cut out the extra step. I am the mother here. I love myself and I accept myself the way I am, with my droopy soft belly and inner thighs, my continuing breakouts that nothing will fix so far, my uncooperative hair, my thick, 80’s-style eyebrows, my poor boobs that will never be up high without significant help again. I love myself even though I am imperfect. I love myself with the full understanding that I will always be imperfect!
But this love does not mean that I have no plans for improvement. As you all know already, I have plenty of plans and dreams for my body and my whole self. But I have those plans and dreams because I love myself, not because of any feeling that I am not good enough right now. I am good enough right now. I love myself right now, the way I am. I’m happy with myself and with my life right now. I want to attempt to improve myself and achieve even more amazing stuff because it is just plain fun.
Oh, so fucking true. File this away under “why that game is too hard for everybody.”