Monday, June 18, 2012

Accepting your Body Image continued

Yesterday I shared DYING TO BE THIN.  The first day I shared about ACCEPTING YOUR BODY IMAGE:  INTRO.  I shared from a personal level on dying to be thin and from a wide variety of information for the beginning of this series for accepting your body image: Intro.

Today I wanted to move on with that topic of accepting your body image.  There is much on the Internet to be said of the topic and some in the Bible as well.

The article on Wikipedia is a good place to start. Not only does the article define body image but it goes on to say that one of the major influences of our body image is the media.  Previously we mentioned that the new size of "perfect" is the size "0" zero and that is just ridiculous!  I want you to know that I started a book for myself and to share with all of you about this whole problem that not only covers the problem that I have with wanting to be "perfect" but also how I stretch myself in too many directions, have the problem saying "no" to anyone, trying to please everyone, performance pressure and more.  The book is called "When there's Not enough of Me to Go Around."  And I will be using the discussion questions at the end of each chapter here in my blog for discussion with all of you that feel like participating.  The book was written by Ellen Banks Elwell and Joan Bartel Stough and they both share their stories and helps for us in the book.

I don't make any money from you checking out this book by clicking this LINK to get there or for you to buy it.  I'm reading one chapter a day so that I can go through this book on my blog with all of you who want to read/participate.    Both of these ladies are moms and they share stories of them as an individual and also as a mom.  The first chapter discussed:

"Why does it seem like there's not enough of me to go around?" and this quote is at the beginning:  "If we live with the feeling that everything depends on us, that if we don't do everything it won't get done ... we will be defeated by life's pressure."  Lloyd John Ogilive wrote that.  I'm 52 with a husband and a dog and live in Southern Calif. and my dad is in another part of California and my mom and sister are back East and don't you know that I'm still to this day trying to please all of them (with the exception of my father who is not talking to me right now, see yesterday's article for that info.)   I try to buy their affection with gifts.  I have always done that.  And I think if I'm not careful I try to do that with "giveaways" on my blog page.  And I don't want to be that person anymore.  So I pray about the giveaways and go to my husband about them all the time.

The reflection questions at the end of the first chapter are:

1.  What is one pressure of frustration that prompts you to say, "There isn't enough of me to go around?"
2.  How have you dealt with these kinds of frustrations in the past?  What helped?  What didn't?
(This one you would have had to read the chapter to answer:  3.  Do you identify with any of the scenarios in this chapter?  Explain.)
4.  Look at on Bible character who felt like there wasn't enough of her to go around: Mary (Luke 1:26-56).  How did she deal with her confusion and questions, and how were her needs met?
5.  Read and reflect on John 6: 1-35.  In what ways did the characters in these verses move from "not enough" to "enough"?
6.  What is one expectation- of yourself, of others, of God--that you may need to evaluate more intentionally?
7.  What is one boundary issue that presents a challenge for you?

I want to share how body image comes into this whole chapter for me.  When I lost all that weight in college, the first thing my mom said to me is that "There's a fat girl in that thin body just screaming to get out!" OMGOSH!  Could she have been anymore rude to me about the whole problem that I was having?  So I put the expectation of being thin all my life on me.  I was receiving pressure from my dad as I explained yesterday and then I was wearing my sisters clothes to start off with because we had to go shopping to buy me a whole new wardrobe and she resented that.  She liked me being fat.  She felt that she was the perfect child because she looked better than me when I was fat and now we were "equal."

I could leave the past in the past if it weren't prevalent today.  Today she brags about her model daughter.  Yes, my niece is a model.  And I get all these pictures of her perfect daughter.  Of course I have step sons so we don't have anyone now to compare my niece to.  Which I'm so thankful for.

But as I said yesterday, the phone conversations and email still talk about weight and her going to the gym (which I can't do because of my autoimmune physical challenges and so I walk the beach each morning for a mile with my dog and husband.) And I use an exercise ball and hand weights and do what the physical therapist has told me to do for me.

As I said, I'm working on a "healthy lifestyle" with my Dr. and therapist with regards to food and all sorts of issues.  I'm so thankful for them.  I hope this blog may have helped someone dealing with the same thing.  Please feel free to comment on anything here or whatever you want to say.  Thanks!

 I have started a group for those of us who struggle with this.  And if I do and you are interested in being in it as a fellow struggler, please email me to get the link to the private group.  Please don't ask to join the group to promote weight loss products or preach to us.  I am going to be very careful of who I allow in the PRIVATE group.  Thanks for reading!  If you have a teen who needs a group like this, please let me know.  My email is and you can email me.  No need to write your email address in the comments.  Thank you!


113tidbits said...

I had to share this..

Diane said...

A healthy lifestyle is so much more important than being thin! So many women get caught up in sizing which is NOT standard across different brands at all. I can wear anywhere form a size 2 in juniors, to a size 8 in misses for dresses. It drives me bonkers that I never know what size I am! Did I feel bigger because I had to wear a size 8? no because I know I am a healthy weight and shape, no matter what size I wear

Anonymous said...

I can remember that my dad used to make little comments on my weight, to let me know that I was overweight as obviously I didnt already know. That used to make me embarrassed and gave me a complex. My mom was very thin, I took after my dads side of the family, most of my moms friends all seemed slim which just seemed to make matters worse for me. Its not easy growing up as it is without the extra pressure.

royalegacy said...

I just saw my sister last week, and her body is perfect. But then, she gets to the gym everyday.

kerry said...

Body image really does effect your whole life when it gets skewed. I was anorexic for over 25 years and it took drastic measures to change my body image in my mind.

this is an important topic and I am so glad you are tackling it.

Lisa Brown said...

I think with family, at least with mine, people are always looking for a way to feel like the are better than everyone else. The truth is that we are all equal. We all have our own strengths and weaknesses.

Beloved said...

Carolyn, I just tweeted your blog. Well written.
Peace and good,

DevotedMommy said...

Fantastic, Carolyn! Pinned.....

Grace said...

It is difficult to be happy being the person you are than the one you want to see in the mirror. I think we all face this challenge even those we consider perfect.

Rev. Kim Justice said...

Thanks for posting post like this. Some times I feel like that is all some people think about is how skinny or fat they are. We need to raise our kids (girls and boys alike) to know that we need to think of health and be careful not to let others tell us what or how we should be or look.

Kari said...

Thanks for tackling such a sensitive but important topic!

I, of course, have my own insecurities about my body, but I try to keep in mind how blessed I am for all my body can do for me. Being able to see, hear, think, fight illness, speak, use my arms, legs, fingers, toes, and to be able to grow and carry a baby. I know I am lucky that my body can do all these things because there are people who would give anything to have a body capable of those things.

Danielle Simmons said...

Sounds like a great book to read and to share. I will have to check it out.

Debbie McConnell said...

Its sad how this is a major issue for many women, men and children. I try not to let this effect me.

Nanny Anna said...

Back in 1996 I read a book called "The Indispensable Woman" that changed my life. I had become that woman. When I was just a child (about 13-14) I took over caring from my siblings and father because my mother became hooked on "Mothers little helper of the 70's -Valium). I continued to take care of them well into my 30's and it became such a burden to my life because I had nothing left of me (as your book today is titled) because I was always rescuing them from things they should have been able to do for themselves.

After reading the book I decided I was going to learn to say NO, even if it meant they were angry with me for doing so. And they were! I moved out of the state to put physical space between them and myself, making it more difficult for them to ask me to do things for them and easier for me to say no since I was not right there with them.

The next two years was awful for me because I felt tremendous guilt and they piled it on when they could not get me to do their dirty deeds in life. However, I found myself after that. I discovered that I had the right to say no when I didn't want to do something for someone else and it didn't make me selfish. Their demands on me and my fear of rejection by them had kept me a slave to their demands.

Now when someone asks me to do something for them I have the ability to step back a second and decide if what they are asking is something they need, of a chore they just don't want to do. I also ask myself "Is this something that I really want to do...would it bring me happiness?" If the answer is no, I politely decline! And it feels really good. My time is my time, and when I do say yes it's because I WANT to not because I feel I HAVE to.

As for the relationship between this 'need to be indispensable' and 'my body image'...I will make that post in the private Facebook Group.

BTW, you should post about the group with each of these seems that many of those who replied here would benefit from joining the group.


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