Some women love a great tight fitted jean, but some days we would rather opt for the looser fit “boyfriend” cut. For me, as a woman who can be rather hippy, I would rather leave some things to the imagination and I opt for the looser cut jeans. I like that I do not feel like I was poured into them and I have to lay down on the bed to get them zipped. I mean, really!?! I’m pushing 40 here, it’s time to move on. But as a larger hipped woman who may not be proportionate to my waist size, it is hard to find pants that fit just right for me. So what has my solution been some Friday casual day mornings while getting dress? Raiding my husband’s closet! For me these days, it is all about comfort and function and his go-to GAP denims are just the ticket on those days. Shhhhh, don’t tell him!
But it’s not always just about the jeans, a lot of it is how we see ourselves in the mirror. I know some mornings I get really excited about options I have in the closet and get dressed and take that last look into the mirror before heading out the door and shake my head and say, NO WAY! and go change my entire outfit. Really, that happens so often and it is a crying shame. I remember a day as a little girl when I could not wait to get my curves. It was the sign that you had become a woman. It was a sign that you were healthy and thriving, but now, these days, just a few extra pounds seems to be so frowned upon and to the point that people are taking drastic steps to change just a few little things with big consequence.
Why is that? Why do women have such a poor body image of themselves. My answer, sadly, other women. An inordinate amount of time seems to be spent by women, myself included, comparing themselves to other women. Fit, toned, work-in-progress success and women that just exude an air of owning it, we are all pushed to negativity about ourselves by a small deep down bit of jealousy. I don’t care how thin or fit I have ever been, it never seemed to be enough for me. I was never satisfied even when I was at my thinnest of my life at about 139 just before my 30’s. Now, pushing 40, I know that my body type and a weight of 139 is just unrealistic and down right unhealthy. I have a larger frame and I am healthiest with some meat on my bones and I look incredibly sick when I get my weight down super low. Am I happy at my current weight of 178? Absolutely not! But I am working to embrace my weight and make my journey more about being healthy than a number on a scale or size labeled in my clothes.
I think working past body image issues and how you feel others perceive you creates such a self-induced state of depression and wallowing. Take the photo above for instance, when I took that photo I was totally disgusted with myself. In my mind I see a tummy bulge and am incredibly thankful that the skirt hides what I feel are my large thighs. Realistically though, that is the result of fueling after exercise and thigh muscles needed/wanted to get me through long runs. I was not born to be itty bitty, I mean I was 9 lbs 6 oz in fact! My Mom said I came out looking like a line-backer with broad shoulders, all 22 1/2″ to be precise!
So today I challenge you to be kinder to yourself. Embrace yourself whole heartedly and if you have things you need to work on, work on them. Stop beating yourself up because you are not someone else or you feel like you are not thin enough, fit enough or pretty enough. You are beautiful and you are strong! OWN IT!