I am 39. I weigh 149 pounds.


I am 8.

I’m waiting for my mom in the Lamont’s dressing room. I hear the hum of florescent bulbs. I am only in underwear in front of the full length mirror.  My reflection blurs as tears fill my eyes.

I hear her asking the salesperson for a larger size shirt and skirt.

“Those are the largest sizes in  the children’s section.  You’ll have to try the junior’s section. I don’t know if we have anything else that will fit her here.”

I want to melt into the burgundy carpet.  Back to school shopping brings awareness of my shape and form. I am round and soft and curved. My body is one more way that I am different than the other girls my age.

My mom returns with different options. A plaid skirt.

“An all over pattern is slimming.”

A button down shirt.

“This color brings out the blue of your eyes.”

As she slips the sweater over my head, “You have such thick, gorgeous hair.”

Her kind words sting. I feel I’m not the daughter she wants. Strangers compliment my mother’s appearance where ever we are. When they look at me beside her, I see their disbelief. She is beautiful in a head turning way that I will never be.

My mom is spending money we don’t have to try to help me feel better. I’ll attempt to blend in with the other kids at school. It will never work. I can camouflage my body, but not my mind.

I weigh 86 pounds.

I am 16.

I walk to the cadence of my favorite poem as I filter between classmates in the high school hallways. They are the the words that I hear in my mind when I see him marvel at my naked form as he touches me.

Phenomenal Woman

BY MAYA ANGELOU

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

 

He tells me he loves me. He loves my body. He loves me for who I am, and not just how I make him feel. Me and my body. He writes me poetry. He has made me a woman. I am becoming more comfortable in my skin. I feel appreciated, understood. I am phenomenal.

I weigh 143 lbs.

I am I weigh image

I am 23.

It’s 3:23 am, and the buzz from drinks he served me during his bar-tending shift have worn off. He’s hunched over at the foot of the bed.  His bent knees face the wood paneled wall. Naked like me, but his skin is adorned with tattoos. I watch the wolf near his bicep howl at the moon.

How much effort  would  it take to move my body from the bed to the kitchen? If I stand too quickly, the room will start spinning again. His form barricades the narrow path to the pineapple rum and pint glass in the freezer. Did I finish the orange juice yet? I’ll drink it straight if I need to.

His head is buried in his hands. And his voice is muffled. “I can’t tell you what’s bothering me.  I don’t want to hurt you, Jen.”

After spending a total of 359 days with him, I anticipate what my fiance will say. I don’t want to hear it.  I don’t want to feel more pain.  I need to be numb.

I know why he stopped. I knew why he withdrew. His closed eyes can’t hide the truth.

“Just tell me. Say it.” Maybe I’m wrong.

“I can’t do this anymore. I love you. I’m just not attracted to you. I’m sorry.”

When I leave him, after sobbing on the floor of the shower, less than an hour later, I know that it is over. Forever. I will never marry a man who only sees my exterior. This one didn’t understand the 30 pounds, I gained during our time together, were a shield.

I have never weighed this much before. My soul is heavier than my body. I would rather be alone than lonely with him.

I weigh 183 pounds.

I am 27.

It’s our wedding night. He’s never seen me naked. I am afraid to disappoint him. Real bodies aren’t airbrushed. Mine is the only naked body he ever wants to see again. He’s too excited to notice that I’m nervous.

I weigh 163 pounds.

I wait for my husband to change his mind.

I don’t believe he could love me forever. I gain 35 lbs in 3 months. I share my body, but hold back part of who I am. Being naked has equaled rejection, and that’s what I expect, though it doesn’t come.  I cry sometimes after we have sex. I don’t understand why he loves me.

I weigh 198 pounds.

He doesn’t leave, and tells me that I am beautiful more often. He believes it, but I’m not convinced.  He says my beauty is in my mind, my energy, and my passion. He loves my deep blue eyes.

I wait for his inevitable rejection.

I am 30.

After hospital bed rest for 9 weeks, I will have a scheduled c-section for our triplets next Wednesday. He has to guide my steps to the shower. It is painful to move as I sit on the shower stool washing my hair.  It turns him on as he watches me.  He sees my naked body and loves it in its expanded state carrying life. I avoid mirrors and decline most pictures.

I weigh 273 lbs.

I am 39. I weigh 149 pounds blog header

I am 39.

When I look at my naked body, I see stretch marks and loose skin.

My husband tells me I’m beautiful.

I see breasts that sag. I see cellulite and spider veins. I see wrinkles, scars, lines and gray hair.

He sees someone who he is more physically and mentally attracted to than he was over a decade ago.

I still avoid mirrors, because I don’t like what I see.

I see an overweight 8 year old girl who comforts herself with food.

I see a 23 year old with empty eyes who numbs herself with alcohol.

I do not marvel at my physical strength or ability.

I have lost 35 pounds.

I am almost at my ideal weight again, but I carry so much pain I don’t know how to lose.

The shifting numbers on a scale will never make me love myself more.

My 23rd fear is reaching my ideal weight, because every time I do, I can no longer use my weight as an excuse for my rejection or emotional distance.

I am vulnerable. Being vulnerable means that my soul is naked and I can get hurt.

People notice me more. When I am fat, I am invisible.

Spending so much time and effort on my exterior makes me feel hollow inside. Too much attention makes me feel the need to cover up. Retreat. Hide myself.

Fat and smart are okay. Smart and funny is acceptable. Somehow, beautiful, funny and smart isn’t a good combination.

Thin is beautiful, and I’m not beautiful.

It’s uncomfortable to be thinner. Not in the same way my knees hurt walking up the stairs, or lungs strain after walking a short distance.

Being thin is uncomfortable to my soul.

I’ve said that I will be happier when I’m thinner, and I am not. I’ve delayed something that I don’t understand how to attain.

Changing my body doesn’t change the way that I see myself, and that’s the hardest part of weight loss, and why I sabotage with gain.

Underneath the pounds, I’m still me.

The numbers shifting on a scale will never change that. In every picture of my past self, I see two numbers. How old I am, and how much I weigh.

Someday, I want to look in the mirror, or at a picture, and just see Jen.

I want to love being naked.

I weigh 149 pounds.

Name your fears- TP

Genealogy Jen’s Challenge of the week – Be kind to your body. It’s the only one you’ve got. Drink more water. Go for a walk or run outside. Make a healthy choice for your next meal. Make I’m afraid of being naked bath salts to spend more time naked .

Bonus Points – Stand naked in front of a mirror and say 10 things that you love about your physical body. Add 3 more things each time you start to criticize yourself. Self loathing is self destructive.

213 Comments

  1. Oh Jen, my heart breaks for you. Feeling insecure is not uncommon regardless of weight. It’s all perception.
    As a young woman, and growing up, I was thin and nice looking, but men were attracted me for the wrong reasons and that made me feel so insecure as well. I would have given anything for someone to have taken enough time to see there was more to me than my outside. I struggled with anyone seeing me for me and not my body or my looks. I ended up marrying the man that raped me and was miserable because that’s all I saw myself good for. I didn’t know who me was and I wasn’t strong enough to fight for that.
    After my second marriage I put on weight and struggled to keep it off. That marriage was unfulfilled as well. He said, his friends couldn’t believe he had anyone as “hot” as me. So, he wasn’t seeing me either. I was smothered and dominated. I was miserable and because of that I wanted to run away but my excuse was that at the heavier weight, I was not “tempted”. If I didn’t like how I looked, no one else would either.

    Then I met number three. He liked me just as I am. I was thinner then than I am now but as I grew he never seemed to notice. I cared, but he didn’t. Funny thing is, I wanted people to see who the real me was but I had no clue who that was anymore. For so many years I had conformed myself to what others saw in me that I had submerged “me”. After awhile I got to learn who I was. He gave me the space and freedom emotionally to explore the person within. (I’m actually pretty cool.)

    If you have that, take the time to discover what’s inside. We’ve been married nearly 24 years now and now I seek thin for my health. So, keep it up and know that it’s all perspective and it’s all fixable. Take your time and don’t give up on the new you. Hang in there!

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    • Thank you so much for being vulnerable and sharing your story with me. I can relate to many parts of it, and can only imagine the pain that it must have caused you to work through those situations.
      It is really hard work to dig deep and figure out the why behind our issues. It takes time to unpack all that emotional baggage we carry with us. It is so much easier to hide, bury or drag it with us longer. (I sometimes ignore it completely and eat Cadbury caramel eggs under my goose down blankets, but that just makes me feel worse later.)
      I know that I’m not the only one who struggles with body image issues.
      I feel so much more energy now that I’m exercising and making healthier food choices. I am focusing on affirmations about my strength and endurance. Running helps me focus, and reduces the anxiety. That’s more important than a number.
      I am sure that I’ll be revisiting fears 14 and 23. They aren’t going to disappear as easily as the pounds. I’m leaning in, embracing the mess, and all those other positive self talk phrases.
      Most importantly, I’m asking myself the toughest questions I usually avoid about being enough as I am. I’m realizing the deeper I dig, that it’s all related. I have enough. I am enough. Thank you for your encouragement and support.

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      • You are enough Jen! When you begin to believe it with your whole heart, soul and mind, you will find yourself in a whole ‘nother place. It’s all good. One of the things I learned with time,(you know they say hindsight is 20/20) and it helps when your children share their perception later in life, is that it’s not just about you. Your perception of self can carry over to your children and how they see themselves. The less critical you are of yourself will help them be more secure in their own beings. You don’t realize how much of that can carry over to them. You’re their example.
        A mistake many parents make is over compensating. I noticed that when you were talking about your 8 year old self. We, as parents, don’t realize the messages our children receive by the things we say and do and they may be no where close to what is really on our minds. We sense our child has a need and we think we need to “fix” things and it can backfire.

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        • Wow. Reading this gave me a light bulb moment realizing my triplets are 8 now. More to think about for sure.

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  2. Oh, dear Jen! I am sitting here relating to you in almost every sense. I, too, was the fat girl. I was continually told by my older sister, a nurse, that I was “digging my grave with my teeth”. I never, ever thought I would find someone who would love me.

    But, I did. He adores me – more than I adore myself. Sixteen years ago, I topped out at 328 lbs., the heaviest I had ever been. It took me 7 1/2 years to lose 187 lbs. But, I did it.

    It will be a battle I will fight every day of my life. My husband sees beauty; I can’t stand to look at my naked self.

    My clothing now says Small/Medium, or size 10/12. But, I still see size 26/28, or size 3X/4X.

    God bless you for your courage in writing this post, for you have written what many of us feel.

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    • Wow Peggy. That is a horrible thing she said. When words like that come from our family or support system, it can have a lasting impression on our psychological well being. I never would have known that you have struggled with your weight. The woman I know is petite and slim. We’ll support each other. I’m determined to shift my self talk. Are you with me?

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  3. Wow. This spoke to me. I have struggled with weight most if my life as well. My mother was a model for a time before she got married to my Dad and always watched what she put in her mouth and what she weighed. It affected me immensely. I was never a skinny kid, but never a “fat kid”- just one in the middle who never felt comfortable within my own body because I knew I didn’t meet an ideal- not that she ever said things to me about my weight, but I knew her thoughts about her own body. At my heaviest I have hovered around 200 lbs. On several occasions and for several reasons (emotional eating, pregnancy weight, etc.) I have also dropped a lot of weight for unhealthy reasons (breakup with a long term bf who called me “fluffy” and the death of my younger brother.) I now believe being strong is better than being thin, food is not my enemy and no matter the size you should do what makes you feel good about yourself and recognize that you shouldn’t compare your body to others. Everyone struggles with that demon in their head- even women who I would consider “skinny.” It’s certainly something I have to remind myself of frequently. Thanks for being raw and honest.

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    • Thank you Beth for sharing your story and struggle. As a parent, our eating choices and attitudes influence our children more than we realize regardless of their gender.

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  4. Such a lovely pictorial depiction of major phases of your life, Jen, endearing in its detail every step of the way. Had I met that stocky twenty three year old, I would have fondly hugged her and pecked her blushing cheek… Be well and hearty, as you are so blessed with those handsome foursomes…

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    • Thanks Raj for your kind words. I would have told her how much she will be loved if she’s patient.

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  5. Wow, I don’t know you, but I absolutely love this. It’s like you wrote my life. Thanks for sharing this. It’s wonderful to know that I’m not alone in my struggle. My whole family is thin, and just doesn’t understand. My brother told my mom no one would marry me at 170 lbs. Luckily Heavenly Father found me just the right companion who loves me through heavy and thin. Luckily at 42, I’m starting to see my body in a new light. It’s not how it looks, but what it does for me that matters, and I’m very grateful that it allows me to live everyday, when all some people wish for is one more day. I have no doubt that this post is going to resonate with a lot of people and help them on their journey.

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    • Thank you for being vulnerable and sharing. Recognizing the good in every aspect of our lives is an important part in our happiness. Thank you so much for reading and commenting.

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  6. am your grandfather and there has not been a day in your life that I have not loved you.

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    • I love you too, Grandpa! Thanks for being one of my biggest cheerleaders. I’m so thankful that my family loves me unconditionally… even if I struggle with my own self worth.

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    • Wow amazing story, thanks for sharing. I’ve learned that in life you need to be happy with you. No matter what it is. Everyday I struggle with the decision to be happy, because I have too much going on. I’m not depressed, but very close to it. It’s a very thin line. However, I look at my daughter and realize the best thing in life is in front of me. Take care Her and thanks again for your story.

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      • I agree. Happiness is a choice. When we can achieve that despite our situations in life, that is really an accomplishment.

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  7. Reblogged this on Suburban Woman and commented:
    Honest, authentic, brave, beautiful. This is a post every woman who has journeyed through the hell of weight gain/weight loss/back again.

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  8. Yes, I too feel vulnerable with body issues. After menopause my body changed so much I did not recognize myself. I had to get with my doctor for thyroid issues, then Weight Watchers which was a blessing. I have lost close to thirty pounds and feel so much better. At age 65 I look in the mirror, smile and say thank you to my body for cooperating in the process of feeling better. We women are just too hard on ourselves. Bodies get fat, then thin, then with age they really change. Just know you are beautiful, you really are. Thank you for providing a venue for the conversation.

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    • Congratulations on your weight loss Grace! I think we would all benefit from being more kind to our bodies, and monitoring our self talk. Thank you for adding to the conversation.

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  9. In this part of the globe the opposite is true. I am slim and small. People around me undermine my capacity to do certain things. In fact the buxom woman gets more attention. I am not insecure but I wish I could add more flesh….

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    • Isn’t it crazy how different cultures value different things? Reading this seriously made me consider relocating today. (And the fact that it snowed again yesterday, and the calendar says it should be spring.) I think a lot of people are undermined based on their appearance and wish it weren’t the case. I think the goal is to try to feel comfortable in our own skin no matter what the “shoulds” we hear tell us.

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  10. Being with a person with a narrow physique and broad mind just states that you have patience and affection but to be with a person with broad physique and narrow mind stands for your incorrigible blunder… Being obese is just an opoertunity to have a test of the depth of your beloved one’s affection for you…

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  11. Sorry that was a mistake. I meant to say ‘broad mind and broad physique’ and ‘narrow mind and narrow physique’

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    • I like that better for sure! Broad or narrow body isn’t as important to me as my mind though, for sure. Thanks for commenting!

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    • April, Thanks for the reblog. When I read how important co-dependency education is to you, I understood why you re-blogged it. Ummm, Yeah. Lots of therapy sessions about that for me, and still a long way to go. Thanks for commenting.

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      • As a codependent person, I never would have it in me to be that honest and publish that about myself, so thank you! We all have those thoughts, you are doing well because in my opinion, being honest is half the battle!

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  12. Thank you for your story. I enjoyed your authenticity and tone. I liked your challenge I am glad you are shedding light on this subject. I can not relate to this, but I can say everyone thought I was too skinny. Anorexic even. Always told to shove food in my face. Comments about my bones, where ‘meat’ should be. It was hard to hear those thing and never be hungry. It started during elementary school and lasted until I had children and finally had weight that stayed on. I think it is all about self acceptance. You are beautiful, and a great writer. Beauty is fleeting for everyone, you are lucky you get to offer both beauty inside and out.

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    • Thank you, Jamie. We can’t change our genetic predisposition to look a certain way. (I know “they” are working on this though, and that just makes me think of the movie Gattica or some dystopian society I don’t want to live in.) I’m glad that you like the challenge. I add one to all my weekly posts to have a bite size way to break down a larger theme. (They are always things that I need to work on as well.) Thank you for the compliments, for reading, and commenting.

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  13. Very well written..something that I guess not only me but many will relate to.

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    • Thank you for reading and commenting. I loved your beautiful poem, and added a link to a post I thought you would appreciate. Hugs.

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  14. Thank you for sharing your story through brilliant, beautiful words. I admire your courage and vulnerability. I’ve personally never struggled with my weight, but growing up my physical appearance and maintaining a “thin” weight was engrained to me by women in my life. I grew up watching someone struggle with eating disorders, body image issues, and the constant dieting. It’s a brutal cycle or self-loathing and shame.

    Now that I have a daughter of my own, I strive to be “body-positive” and teach her that her physical appearance does not define her worth (to herself or others) or her health. However, this is not how I was raised. Does anyone have good strategies for raising body-positive girls?

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  15. You are a phenomenal woman, Jen — and a phenomenal writer, too. I’m in awe of your self-awareness, courage, and honesty.

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    • Thank you, Heather. I read your comment 4 times today, and had phenomenal woman, that’s me -pop into my head right away. I’m thinking it’s time to revisit that poem for sure… I feel a craft coming on. PS You are an amazing photographer.

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      • Aw, Jen … I’m so glad those few words resonated so strongly with you. (Because you are — and they should!) Thank you for YOUR kind words, too. You made my day.

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  16. That is such a powerful and beautiful post, thank you so much for sharing your experiences. It is so sad that the world we live in today focuses so much on outer appearances when in reality our looks fade away and it’s what’s left on the inside that makes us beautiful. I’m so happy that you have a loving husband who notices this; keep up the good work. I know it can be hard in a society like ours to feel beautiful, but it is your spirit that makes you beautiful and from what I read just now I can see you are truly a beautiful person, inside and out.

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    • Thank you for your kind words. I agree, it can be tough when we are judged for our packaging instead of the gift of our spirit.

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  17. I don’t know you but I want to thank you for being so brave in sharing your story. In school I studied a lot different health issues, such as eating disorders. Through studying those I realized that I too, struggle with what I see in the mirror. I am a firm believer in our experiences shaping the way we see ourselves but I also believe there is another issue at play. I feel as though society and cultural norms surrounding body image play a huge role in how women and men are impacted when it comes to how they view their own self. In your experience have you ever felt that way?
    I just really struggle with knowing that there are people out there who have been negatively impacted by what they see in the media.

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    • Melissa, Thanks for commenting. You might not know me in real life, but you’ve seen me naked in this post, so you totally know me. The media uses images that sell. The best thing that we can do as consumers is to support brands and products that use models that emulate what we think beauty should be. People in different size with various skin tones and people that don’t fit the “typical model mold” http://www.cnn.com/2015/10/29/health/human-factor-madeline-stuart/

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  18. This is better than any thing Oprah has ever said, and look where she is again.
    This is why I love having a blog, meeting someone like you who has the same feelings I have & isn’t afraid to talk about them. My blogging friends make me laugh every day, we chat and have time for each other. They don’t see my ugly teeth, my extra weight or the sad neighborhood I live in. They only hear the true me. I haven’t looked at myself in a full length mirror in for ever, I think today is the day to go look at myself and smile. Thank you!

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    • I love Oprah, and have been a fan regardless of her size. She is vulnerable and honest, and so real. In college, I had a quote wall and one of the quotes was, ” If Oprah can, I can.” I’ll take that as a compliment. Totally, look in the mirror, but be kind to yourself.

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  19. Wow. This is beautiful. So raw. So genuine. It’s crazy that I would stumble upon this this morning. My fiance and I were just having this discussion last night, more like me sobbing to him as I dropped him off at home.
    I am 22, 5’5″, and weigh 165 pounds. Growing up, the men in my family were all blessed with bodies from the God’s (or so it feels). All above 6’1, and built strong, not a trace of fat on their body. The women in my family are the opposite. My mother has always been over weight and so has my younger sister. I have five older brothers and one strong opinionated father, so you could imagine what a man’s thought’s do to me now’a days. I’ve always been told that you’re ugly unless you’re skinny.
    Last night I sobbed to my fiance in disbelief that I will ever be skinny. He responded, “It doesn’t matter what you look like Tara, I dare you to gain 20 pounds just so I can prove to you that it’s not the outside that I fell in love with, it’s your heart.”. It is inspiring to me to read this and actually see that this could be the truth when my soon to be husband and myself are older and our bodies change. I thank you for being vulnerable and open with us all. The power of words can definitely change the world.
    Tara

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    • You totally made me cry when I read this Tara. Twice. My prayer for you is that you can believe and trust him. I asked my husband what his favorite physical feature was on a woman before I met him in person. He told me that it was eyes. Everything else changes over time, but eyes are the same. I laughed, not believing him, but he reminded me again last night that he’s an eye guy. Don’t ever gain or lose weight to prove a point. It doesn’t. I’ve tried. I ran into tattoo boy from the story after I lost over 50 pounds. I’ll have to write about it later. You are beautiful when your soul is naked. Thank you for being vulnerable and sharing your story.

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  20. This is one of the most amazing things I’ve ever read. I’m in utter awe at how absolutely honest your writing is. I’m an honest person, and I live an honest life, and I hope that one day I’ll be able to write as honest as you can.

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  21. Thanku so much for sharing your story…I dont know you,but I can understand your pain and suffering. You shared your feeling with tnousands of us and that’s a big deal friend. That’s the beauty of yours. Though we are so distance apart but still I am so touched by your beautifully written blog. Once again thanks for sharing.

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    • Thank you. WordPress Discover has over 2.4 million followers now. That’s a lot of people who have seen me me naked. Last night, I was really nervous knowing today was the day that I would be featured and have my bare soul exposed for the entire world to see. Totally worth it. Thank you for reading and commenting.

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  22. Hello guys, it’s my first time here. I’m new to blogging. I love reading your posts Jen.

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  23. This is beautifully heartbreaking. I am not nor ever have been fat. But I have felt it. I have never been able to be satisfied with my body. I’m 16 and I do have a boyfriend who does nothing but promote my body as beauty but I cannot believe him. I gained thirty pounds this year and as I said before i still am not fat but I’ve never been this heavy before. Physically I do not recognize myself at this a point because I’ve always been under weight. I admire your courage to share this journey with us, the detail is over whelmingly real and hits home to your readers for sure. You inspire me and make me want to love my body. Thank you.

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    • Thank you. I wrote this, not just for me, but for other people, especially women like you to appreciate who they are and what makes them beautiful is more than the package they come in… it’s who they are on the inside.

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  24. Fantastic read. Open, honest and well written. I wish more women, including myself, could feel beautiful, all the time, regardless of how we feel our external body looks. Society tells us to carry too much weight in that number on the scale. Pun intended. Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to seeing more of your posts.

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    • Thank you. I’ve been sitting on a post for awhile Lindsey that I think could help you. Look forward to it soon.

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  25. Being with a person with a broad physique along with broad mind just states that you have patience and affection but to be with a person having narrow physique along with narrow mind stands for your incorrigible blunder… Being obese is just an opoertunity to have a test of the depth of your beloved one’s affection towards you…

    Post a Reply
  26. What an inspirational post!!! i used to be thin when i was in school and college. after marriage and two kids, i am 20kgs heavier than that!! recently a close friend inspired me to look after myself and think about losing the extra baggage i have piled on, physically and emotionally. whenever i clicked a picture i hoped to see the ME in it but never could. I used to avoid mirrors too but slowly i am learning to look at myself again!! I so wish that it happens to you soon!!

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  27. My heart broke for that little 8 year old girl. I wanted to hug her so tight until she knew her worth. I realize I could/should turn that feeling inward, as I’m just now starting to lose weight from my top-out of 205 lbs. The psychology of weight gain/loss is so interesting, I agree it’s very much about self-protection. I hope I’m being driven by the right reasons but that’s a hard one to know. Love yourself like you are that beautiful innocent 8 year old girl, I will try to do the same. Thanks for sharing this touching story.

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  28. Amazing, I loved it. What an eye-opener! I hope you find comfort and happiness in everything you are, brave lady 🙂

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  29. Wow. I could have written this exact post (but not as well). As someone who struggled with the same weight issues, it’s amazing how it can tarnish every experience. Every memory. I’m 42. I stopped weighing myself 2 years ago. Im afraid to get near the scale. Not because it’ll be a high number. But because of the spiral downward it’ll bring me through once again.

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    • I totally tried avoiding the scale, but that just left me not accountable for my food choices. There’s a balance between that and compulsive monitoring though for sure.

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  30. Good writers can string a few meaningful words together. Great writers, like you, have the amazing ability to pour their soul into what they write. Thank you for pouring your heart out, and for writing a reality than so many of us have gone through are are currently going through.

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    • Thank you. This is a fantastically worded compliment. I’ve spent the past while rereading it, and trying to figure out if it would be narcissistic of me to print it and hang it above my desk and computer screen for those moments when I think everything I write is garbage. If I could figure out how to do it without cutting and pasting it, I would have totally done it by now… and all the other ones. And now I totally feel like a narcissist. True story.

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  31. Wow! This really touched me. As a woman it is so hard to love your body when you’re constantly nitpicking it apart. Weight is a number but why is it so important? I have had years of my life ruined because of a number on the scale and I’ve never truly had a weight issue. I’ve had an “I don’t like me issue”. Thank you for sharing this.

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  32. Wow do I relate to every aspect of this post…I really love the way you wrote this. I am 27, always “bigger”than the rest of my peers in school…At 20, I weighed about 220 and within six months, I was down to 147. I am a tall lady, so when I look back now at photos, I looked really sickly and really skinny but I had no idea. My mind became crowded with negative self talk, heightened my untreated social anxiety and deep obsession with the scale. Because I lost the weight so drastically, I never had five seconds to address the mental aspect. I maintained 160 for the next five years. During this time, I agonized over the lose skin I had acquired with losing weight so fast and I guess I naively thought my childhood stretch marks would just magically go away when I got “skinny”. I had flabby arms and lose skin around my stomach. Sure, everyone told me how great I looked, but I never heard them. Compliments made me feel extremely uncomfortable and like you said, they made me want to hide. Fast forward – I get pregnant. Unexpectedly but my husband and I were both excited. However, my anxiety was heightened even more and I started taking anti-depressants 2 months in. This helped me dramatically. I had a very healthy and very happy pregnancy but 5 months in, the doctor would tell me that if I continued to gain weight like I was for the rest of my pregnancy, I would get gestational diabetes and “this is how you have fat babies”. This lady had no idea how much I struggled with body image…the scale…weight…anxiety… I will never every forget that day. I was feeling great and happy, I had a very healthy pregnancy and then this? What the fuck. I ended up gaining 70 pounds with my pregnancy, lo and behold, I did not get diabetes and my baby was 7.1 pounds, healthy and happy. I left the hospital having only shed the measly 7.1 pounds that she was and I also would develop postpartum, depression… add that to my anxiety, being a first time mom, trying to breast feed and having to give up any kind of planning from here on out because this new baby was in charge of what and when we do whatever… I became a disaster. I started a new anti-depressant because the other stopped working after I gave birth. I gain weight. It seems to trouble me, but at this point not too much because I was worried about other stuff, like keeping my new baby alive. Eventually, I would continue to gain weight…Change my meds several times…I left the hospital at 222, today I am 260. My husband has said several times that he’s more attracted to me now than ever and I know he’s telling the truth because he shows it. I started therapy last November and we’ve really dug into body image and at this point I feel like I have the tools to keep moving forward in a positive direction with my body image and self acceptance. However, now, I have developed binging eating habits. So my body image now is not in sync with my eating habits. Every day I try my damnedest. I refuse to give into this.

    Sorry this was so long. Stay strong and stay beautiful! 😀 <3

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    • Thank you for being vulnerable and sharing your story. I’m glad that you’ve sought help with therapy and medication to work through your issues. Please make sure to let your therapist know about your current struggles, so they can help you address them. Our mental health and well being are so very important. I know that it can be a delicate balancing act for me sometimes for sure. Facing my 40 fears has taught me that working on myself and my issues are vitally important to becoming the person I want to be. You are braver than you think and stronger than you know. You’ve got this.

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  33. Oh, I meant to mention how when I look back at photos of me in my skinny life, I get really sad because that girl never saw that person. That girl saw a completely distorted and fucked version of herself and I just wish I could go back and shake her and say “YOU’RE OKAY!” and “TO HELL WITH THE SCALE”. I now know that my weight does not dictate my thoughts unless I allow it. It really is as simple as that.

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  34. Jen, you are writer and a muse. Thank you so much for these terrific words. I only sway 10 pounds either direction off what I think is a good weight for me and yet I still focus on the imperfections.

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    • Marjorie, That’s the trickiest thing is that it’s not just the scale, our weight or the numbers… it’s accepting who we are. That can be a lot harder for sure.

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  35. Jen – this is so beautiful and makes me feel so sad too. I just ache for your 8-year-old self and she resonates with the pain I’ve felt in my life around body image and weight. Let us both agree to be as nice to ourselves as we are to others. Thank you for sharing your story!

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  36. Well thank God someone had the courage to say it. I’ve struggled with my weight and feeling comfortable in my skin all my life. When I was skinny, I was too skinny. When I gained weight, I gained too much. When I was the perfect BMI and a size 2, my mind saw an unbalanced body…flabby stomach on bird legs. I would love to look in a mirror and see what my husband sees. He hasn’t gone a day without sincerely telling me I’m sexy…showing me I’m sexy. And I love him for seeing beyond my imperfections, but lets be honest with ourselves, it has to be seen from within… And I’m working on it.

    Jen, I hope you find the courage to believe your husband when he tells you how beautiful you are. You’re already clearly a strong woman who is brave enough to admit her fears..surely you can find the courage to say, “hey…you know what, I AM BEAUTIFUL. And I am not defined by a number.”

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    • Thank you. I had to chuckle when I read the beginning of your comment, because I can totally hear you saying it, even though I don’t know you. I am so glad that you’ve found someone that loves you unconditionally as well. It is an amazingly beautiful thing. I’m working on not being defined by a number. I’m a work in progress.

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  37. If there was one thing I could tell my 8-year-old-self, nicknamed “Moose”, younger sister of two beautiful teens, whose mother put her in slacks because nothing else flattered, it would be: Accept yourself just as you are: your beauty is infinite and eternal.
    Very well written post!

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    • First of all, whoever nicknamed you Moose… oooh that just makes me angry. I’m so sorry for you having to go through that. Thank you. I am going to use that line for my new affirmation… My beauty is infinite and eternal. Love it.

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      • I was definitely the ugly duckling of the litter, ha ha, still am – but at 57 that no longer matters, thank God!

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        • The ugly duckling turned out to be a swan. She was more graceful and beautiful than a duck all along.

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          • In the fairy tale, yes, lol. Real life has not been as favourable.

  38. Such a great post! This really resonated with me. My brother constantly tells me that I am overweight for my age by a few pounds, and it really stings, because I’m taller than most of my peers and colleagues, . Indeed, we should love our bodies and not hate them, because we are who we are. Eating really is a way to calm me down, and I suppose sometimes that can be a bad habit.
    But hey, 86 lbs at 16 isn’t bad at all! My older brother knew seniors that weighed just about ten pounds more than I do right now. 🙂 XO GraySkies

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    • Tell your brother that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about and it’s none of his business what you do or don’t weigh. You are beautiful as you are.

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  39. Thank you for writing this. I have never had anyone else admit how terrifying it can be to lose the shield of their weight before but it’s a very real fear that I have yet to beat. Thank you.

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    • Thank you for reading and commenting. It is scary to be vulnerable without it, but it is also liberating. If I can do it, anyone can.

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  40. I read this and think of my beautiful wife who has lost 5 stone and has always been beautiful to me but struggles seeing herself like that. Very well written and touching.

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    • Thank you. I thought about adding Metric and UK conversions for weight for all the readers not in the US, but I figured that you could run it through a conversion online if you really needed to know the equivalent. – I looked it up and 5 stones is 70 lbs, and a heck of a weight loss your wife has accomplished. Thank you for supporting and loving her regardless of what the scale says. Maybe, if she reads my post it can help open a dialog between you both.

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  41. Thank you for posting… anyone who reads this will “click away” a better, kinder, more understanding person.

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  42. This is just what I need. “My soul is heavier than my body.” Ive had enough criticisms about my weight like why do I eat a lot or people tellin me I should lose weight. I mean for godsake I’m still 17 and theres a world ahead of me. Thank you for posting this blog! Indeed the most inspirational blog that hit me.

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  43. This was such a beautiful honest story of growing up with the ‘weight’ of feeling different. Your story is mine and probably many others. Even when I lost weight and looked fabulous, I still had a man who treated me badly, I still wondered what was wrong with me and still felt miserable. One of my posts ‘Kryptonite’ tells part of my story but not the real pain that is like a nasty underto dragging me down. Good on you for your bravery and honesty. By the way, I don’t understand pounds as we use kilos and I have no interest in doing a conversion to find out how heavy or light you were…it really is not important..what was important was the honesty and realness you brought to to your story…thank you.

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  44. This was a very inspiring and relatable post. Wow…well said. I can relate in so many ways. God is teaching me to love myself as I meditate on how much He loves me! I believe we can heal those scars and inner turmoil with the love of God…

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  45. Beautifully written! I, too, have struggled all my life with weight, and more importantly, body image issues. When the scale has said I weigh an acceptable weight for society, I was still not happy. At 25# heavier than when I met my husband I’m not happy and realize I didn’t appreciate my weight 25# ago. People don’t realize the pain, the struggle. It is real. Thank you for sharing so honestly.

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  46. The beauty lies in the eyes of beholder , the inner beauties always supersede outer beauties in long run . The way you have acknowledged your positions with a right tone of acceptance & looking ahead
    is great . Nicely written .

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  47. Very well written. I really hope you will love yourself(body and soul)❤️

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  48. You are amazingly brave for sharing your story. Many people don’t have the courage to speak and to share. This post has inspired so many others. You are not alone in this process.

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    • Thank you so much. I hope that it will help others face their fears like I’m facing mine.

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  49. I am 54 and I have had abuse, anxiety and obsession over my weight and looks for the majority of my life. I appreciate you honest vulnerability and creative expression. I believe that this is exactly what we need to change the way society views women in general. Thank You! It has only been in the last few years that I have melted into peace about who I am.
    I have come to realize that I am only as beautiful as I feel I deserve to be.
    Growing my inner spiritual beauty and consciousness has enlightened me to a new way to look at beauty and our bodies. Love and Grace to all here….

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    • Thank you for sharing your story. It is reassuring to hear that you’ve found peace.

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  50. This is so amazing, I am still in tears. Wow. Thank you so much for sharing this. I often feel the same as you, went through the same battles as a child, and now fear it for my own children. You are a truly beautiful writer and have a beautiful soul.

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  51. What a powerful and heartbreaking insight into the insecurities we as women place upon ourselves. I became a fitness coach to change that perspective of me that I secretly struggle with too don’t always acknowledge. I believe that forming strong and lasting relationships with other women empowers us all to break free of the constraints and images we allow others to place upon us. Thanks for sharing such a profound and personal story!

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  52. It’s been a very interesting experience reading your story.
    I have been tiny all my life, can still get into the same clothes in my seventies as I wore when I was in my thirties, but I’m not happy in my body, I would never stand in front of a mirror.
    I think most people feel the same. My husband say’s I’m beautiful, but I don’t feel beautiful.
    I hope you achieve in your life what you are looking for.
    Blessings.

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    • Thank you for sharing your story. I think body image can be difficult regardless of our size, age or shape.

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  53. Just beautiful words and a beautiful soul! keep it going and i wish the best for you!!

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  54. You are so brave for writing this.
    People and I myself included find it extremely difficult to discuss something so personal.
    But the thing is that my weight, how I look or what’s my sexuality anything should not be a bother for anyone and I should not be ashamed about it.
    There are some standards set for everything and people who certainly accomplish them, but rest of us spend our life chasing them and beat ourselves up, feel ashamed about ourselves.
    But as all fingers are not of equal length we need to understand that everybody is free to set their own standards and not feel ashamed in doing so.
    Thank You for sharing.
    Be kind!!!

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  55. Energy, mind, passion are the real beauty. Thanks anyway for your good post!

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  56. As much as my heart breaks for you, you’ve just written about me. I’m 46 and 242. I was 276 at my highest but won’t let myself get below 205, usually staying around 225. Good for me is comfort and love and I hate it. I hide in my size for fear of acceptance I think. It makes no sense most of the time. Thank you for writing this. I feel what you feel. I am always a number.

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  57. More people need to discuss this. All of us as women have insecurities about our appearance. I empathize with you. Your post touches me. ❤️

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    • Men have these insecurities too…

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  58. You are such a brave and beautiful woman. Thank you for the inspiration.

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  59. Such beautiful words! I think you have said what all of us feel at some/most/all times of our lives. Since starting my blog, I’ve realized I have body dysmorphia and I am not sure I will ever see what others see. But like you said, the first step is identifying and saying. Thank you so much for sharing this. I am sure this wasn’t easy! But you have no idea how many people you have helped by doing this. Thank you!

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    • I’m sorry you are going through this right now. That must be really difficult for you. It was really hard to write about. I started with my naked poem. Then, the bath salts. Finally, I got down to the real core about being afraid of being naked. The hardest stories to tell are the ones that need telling most.

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  60. What a beautifully dark writing and I say that with the utmost genuine respect. It can be very difficult to share such a vulnerable side of ones self. Thank you for the courage. One thing I would like to say, THROUGH THAT DAMN SCALE OUT THE DOOR! Never let those numbers allow to tell you how beautiful or valued you are in your own piece of the world and the world. The only time I hear my weight is when I go to the doctors. Get in front of the mirror, not to see a physical, but, to see the woman you have become based only your character. When you look into your eyes, see the visions of past dreams with the light of new ones more worthy. When you look at your hair, see the of the person before and the lives grown within you. When you look at your imperfect shape, see the lines of journeys taken and survived, see the barrier of a STRONG WOMAN becoming her own. Change the way you look at yourself.

    I enjoyed your post very much.

    Malinda

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  61. You’ve nailed nearly every security I struggle with. I struggled with my weight most of my life, and struggled with my self esteem to go along with it. When I lost the weight, i was never satisfied, and I’m still struggling to just be content with body. I’m probably more critical of my body than I was before. It is such a struggle.

    “People notice me more. When I am fat, I am invisible. Spending so much time and effort on my exterior makes me feel hollow inside. Too much attention makes me feel the need to cover up. Retreat. Hide myself”. This struck me because I related to it so much. I was so unprepared for the attention I got because I was use to be not being noticed. It made me so self conscious.

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    • I’m sorry to hear that you’ve struggled with that as well. It can be difficult to embrace ourselves at any size. We can work on it together.

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  62. Thank you for sharing. I hate when I am at my higher weights, but when I am at my lower I hate the attention it brings! I hate the congratulations and the people who say they are proud of me as if I have more worth when I am thinner! It is such a challenge. I want to feel the same amount of self-worth no matter my size. I want to be healthy, not thin. I don’t want attention because of my body- I want to be noticed for kindness or intelligence, something that impacts OTHERS. I feel you sister. Vulnerability is HARD.

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    • Hi, Healinggreatly .. No matter what someone else tells you it still boils down to your own perception of yourself. Well, I can say that I never worried about my weight and tried so hard to gain weight as a teen and when I was in my early twenties; I found myself to be too skinny but ate like a horse. Anyway, fast forward to my late 30’s, pregnant with my 3rd child, let me just say that having a child in your late 30’s compared to your early 20’s is VERY DIFFERENT. During this time, my pregnancy was good and I felt so connected to my little girl, Bella, but the weight was piling on. I can remember telling the doctor that I didn’t want to know my weight; only my oldest daughter knows what I weighed right before her little sister was born and she is taking that to her grave:) But, after Bella was born and I went back to work, the depression started setting in and the pounds came right back on. The only time I ever cried while trying clothing on was when I went shopping for my class reunion. The sales lady actually heard me 🙁 Fast Forward to 2011, my daughter was born in 2009, I was still over 200 pounds and in the wee hours of March 22, I woke up to a pain that I had never felt. I blew it off, woke up and went to work. That night, the pain was horrifying so I drove myself to the hospital; with every breathe was pain. What happened, I survived a Pulmonary Embolism and was in the hospital for a week. April 1st, I started a paper route job, that May I joined the best workout group I could ever have had the blessing to have met, that August I ran (well, actually wogged/jogged) my first 5 mile .. not realizing at the time that a 5 mile was not the same as a 5k LOL. My point, it took all of that to show me that I am endless, no matter what weight, yes I have dropped down but not nearly where I used to be but I am happy, well except for the needed toning. Don’t allow a number to identify you! Find you and let the rest follow. And as for your comment above, you are correct, such complements actually feel more like stabbings. So tell them. Communicate with them. Otherwise, they really don’t know. Good luck to you and continue HEALINGGREATLY.

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  63. The first part of your post resonated all too well with my memory of being 8. I always cried in dressing rooms. I still do. I never had a skinny or even trim body, but I started loosing weight at 18 and 19. For awhile in 2015, I did begin to comfort my sorrows with sweets, but I’ve overcome those desires and am working hard to exercise and keep myself healthy. I don’t want to force myself into the mindset of being skinny or trim, but I want to promote my own well-being and health, and ultimately see myself and love myself for just being me. It’s always a struggle, but it’s worth it for the day when we can look in the mirror and love our reflection for what is unseen inside.

    Thank you for sharing your experience… it must have been difficuly, but as you said, we can only conquer our fears by first admitting what they are. Best of luck to you.

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    • Thank you for sharing your story. I think that your goal is sound. That balance can be a tricky feat to accomplish.

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  64. Thank you for expressing what many, many women struggling with self-acceptance feel and think.
    Thank you for writing such a powerful and relatable post.
    Be strong, be bold and keep your head high.

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  65. I cannot even begin to express my surprise and amazement with this post. I myself am struggling with a significant weight gain. I am having a hellluva time wrapping my head around what has happened, when it happened, and how it happened. It’s like in the blink of an eye, I gained 40 lbs. Thank you for sharing this incredibly open, raw, emotional, and amazing post.

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  66. Wow, this was heartbreakingly beautiful and I could really relate. Thank you for this post and I hope you will become more comfortable with your exterior, you look stunning!

    xx

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  67. This is an incredible piece, and one that I can identify with. Your words so beautifully and painfully capture the significance of “the number” and all that we attach to it. I’ve got almost a decade on you, and the number still counts. But I don’t let the number define me anymore. Usually. . . Thank you for a thought-provoking read.

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  68. I think we all have these issues Jen. I’ve struggled with weight loss for ten years. I was a thin kid but always felt ugly and in the shadow of my siblings. It was only when I got to the size I am now and look at the old me in the third person that I can appreciate my body etc. Anyway I loved your insightful comments. They were really poignant to read X

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    • Thank you. Thank you for adding to the conversation. Sometimes, it takes stepping outside of ourselves to gain perspective in a situation.

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  69. Thank you for letting us see you and your beautiful mind and soul. Ah weight. It’s such a heavy subject and such a battle for so many of us. It’s a shield. A place to hide. A being that lives within our being. A place to numb. And hurt. I hear you and I think you’re an inspiration and your husband is a lucky man. 🙂

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    • Thank you Angela. I agree that weight can be all of those things. I think that I am the lucky one.

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  70. Wow. I have the same problem. Newly divorced and flirting right now with the same man who told me 20 years ago he would love me more if I weighed 125. At 46, there’s no hope of that now. When will I ever learn?

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    • Remind yourself there was a reason you didn’t end up together… maybe he was overly critical? Fiance number 2 and I had way deeper issues than my weight. That was just the scapegoat. It’s been 20 years, so you’ve probably forgotten the downside. Proceed with caution.

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  71. Aloha beautiful!
    I just read your article and absolutely love the way you write. I can totally feel with you because I have been there as well. I have never been happy with how I looked naked but in the last year I have lost 60lbs and started my own personal journey, with ups and downs to become the strongest and healthiest me.
    If you want to follow me on my journey you can check out my blog. My next blog post will be about my body journey 🙂

    All the best for you and aloha from hawaii

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    • Thank you, Claudia. Make sure you post a link in the comments on my latest blog post titled Do you. Your voice matters. so I can read it.

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      • I def will, Jen, once I am done writing my weight loss post. If you want to follow me on http://claudiamariefit.com/
        for great posts in regards to fitness, weight loss, lifestyle change, beauty, makeup, travel and different cuisines.

        Have a lovely evening and great being inspired by people like you 🙂

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  72. Reading this felt great. Beautifully written..what a candid approach to a topic so sensitive for most of us!

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  73. I am 27 I weigh 293 pounds. This post hit me emotionally so much. I have tears streaming down my face and my eyes are burning. My husband loves me unconditionally. He tells me all the time how beautiful I am and he loves every inch and pound and I want to believe him but the sting of past rejection for my weight are still holding me back from fully believing him. This post was heartwrenching and honest and thank you so much for sharing.

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  74. Jen, I really needed to read that today! I praise God to have find by “accident” your blog today 😉 Thanks for sharing with us in a so sincere and simpe way. Your french canadian friend, Nancy

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  75. awesome, incredible, and beautifully written. Much of your experience parallels my own. thank you, I shared this on FB

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  76. Jen, thanks for showing us your naked self. At times I can easily love myself naked because my husband does. Other times, it is difficult for me, but my wonderful husband never wavers. He is so supportive and it wasn’t for him that I have worked to change my lifestyle. It was for me alone and that is the most empowering feeling. Today I have officially lost 140 pounds and weigh 236 pounds and I am 43 years old. My goal is to lose another 60 pounds. I don’t even know what age I was when I last weighed that ….maybe 17. All through this journey, I have stayed who I am and I think that has surprised me most. I don’t know why I thought I would be different. I guess that’s what “they” make you feel. Oh to be that young again with my knowledge and self confidence of this age. C’est La Vie. Again, thanks for sharing and keeping up my motivation. I had been thinking on this idea for my next blog post myself. You said it so much more elegantly.

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  77. Oh god, this hit home with me. Beautifully and brutally written, you speak for so many of us trapped in bodies that are confused and abused to some extent.

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  78. Wow, thank you for this. This is a really great post. Sometimes the hardest part is accepting ourselves first before allowing others to accept us.

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  79. I am 36, 154 pounds and 6 foot 4. When people see me they think I’m anorexic. When a doctor meets me for the first time, his first words are “have you considered seeing a dietitian?” When I look in the mirror, all I see is a grim-reaper, just skin and bones and no muscle.

    Our gene’s determine what we look like on the outside. For most this is not that obvious. For me, it is a knowledge written in stone. My body refuses to store fat and my muscles are sinewy and elongated. Even if I wanted to, building muscle mass is not an option, it’s a death sentence. I have a classification, a line in a medical text book that confirms my physical appearance as being part of my genetic make-up. Yet, the same can be said for anyone else but because there are millions with the same make-up as apposed to the one in five thousand that I fall in to, it’s not worth noting in a medical journal.

    Yet this will never erase the thought from my mind that I am not the muscular epitome of manhood. That will always be there, no matter what I say or do.

    What I do know however, is that our eyes may tell us what we look like but in the grander scheme of things, what your eyes see accounts for less than a percentage of who we are. Our souls/spirits/consciousness, call it what you’d like, that is who we are. These bodies are but a vessel so why do we focus so much on something that plays such a small role in our existence…

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    • Thank you for sharing your story.
      It must be difficult for you when people, including doctors question your eating habits.
      I agree that our bodies are just a vessel, and who we are is so much more. Sometimes what we view or what the rest of the world sees prevents us from appreciating that.
      When we have that image of what the “ideal” is, it can leave us feeling disappointed if it is unattainable genetically or otherwise.
      I’m now trying to focus on telling myself that I am healthy, fit and strong.
      I caught my annoyance running today. My 5’3″ legs don’t stretch very far.
      I paused, and said a prayer of thanks that I have 2 legs and they are both strong enough to run, and carry me on my life journey.
      PS The bright side is that you can always reach the top shelf.

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  80. In the end, we are the “Ideal”, we just don’t see it. Who and what we are is for a reason and if we could choose our fate, no one would choose the harder, less traveled road and no one would be there for us when we need it the most.

    PS Indeed, not to mention being able to replace the blown bulb without having to mess around with a ladder.

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  81. outstandingly beautiful, learning to love yourself is one of the hardest and most exhausting battles that we must go through life. i wish you the best of luck x

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    • Thank you so much. I really appreciate it. It is so true. I think that women especially struggle with it. Thank you for reading, commenting and for your support.

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  82. Goodness gracious! The amount of time it took me to get to the bottom of your comments should indicate how powerful this post is. I even read most of it to my husband, telling him, your thoughts are often my thoughts. I told him this morning, whatever spell kept him seeing me as beautiful, I sure hope nothing breaks it. He’s my biggest fan and I’m my own worst enemy. I write humor as well as personal essay and whatever hits me at the moment. One parody I wrote is called, “My Best Friend is a Steamed up Mirror.” My writing coach has urged me to play and sing it on Youtube but guess what holds me back. Yep, It’s how I hate seeing myself on camera. All I see is my hereditary quadruple chin/neck. I work on diet and nutrition daily and have insulin resistence, thyroid issues, and the weight doesn’t budge. So, I try to focus on health not girth and be positive. That doesn’t mean I want photos made but indulge people anyway. They seem to think I look just fine. So, btw, I have four kids, ages 26, 19, 19, 19. Thought you’d appreciate our triplet connection. I was on bedrest from three months on, in the hospital for five weeks and had them at 32 1/2 weeks. Three little three pounders. Today, all terrific people and completing their freshman year of college, the boys stand six feet and beyond. All four kids are like their daddy. They think I’m just fine and even say I look better now than when I was thinner, I’m not as brave as you in saying numbers. Lets just say, I’ve moved up many clothing sizes and each time I’ve lost weight, I’ve hung on to all my sizes just in case I needed them again. Feel free to check out my blog and I’ll continue to follow yours. I’m happy to share raising triplet tales with you any time. It has been and still is a pleasure and our joy. We’ve survived one year of the empty nest syndrome and are excited to see them next week before they begin their summer adventures or internships.
    Excellent writing my new friend. Lisa

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  83. Thank you for sharing this post! I deeply appreciate your honesty and vulnerability. It gives me great courage as I embark on my journey to share my story!

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  84. This…”My 23rd fear is reaching my ideal weight, because every time I do, I can no longer use my weight as an excuse for my rejection or emotional distance.”…it is like you were reading my diary.

    “If I get thin, to a healthy weight, and he still won’t touch me, how do I live with that? As long as I am fat, he has an excuse that I can understand. I won’t have to know that it is *me* that he doesn’t love.” (SMc 2001, 212 lbs)

    If only we could love ourselves and see ourselves the way that Heavenly Father loves and sees us. Fat or thin, we were valuable enough to Him for His son to die for us. Ultimately, it is only His opinion of us that matters. But, that is hard to hold onto when it is a man that we love and want to be loved by in return.

    Thank you for your post and many blessings on your journey to healing and acceptance.

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  85. Excessive weight is the result of a magnitude of issues we package together and attempt to manage through destructive self behavior. It is the result of such imbalance, it overtakes our ability to objectively realize just how damaging our lifestyles are. A common theme for so many overweight and obese people is the desire to be “THIN.” A false sense of belief resides in the concept that “THIN” equals HAPPINESS.

    Redirecting one’s thoughts to one’s PASSIONS and PURPOSES in life helps many people discover a road to emotional recovery. It is more traumatic than most realize. It is a road, however, worth pursuing.

    I wish you well on your current path. You will likely help many people by sharing your personal experiences.

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