Change my Self-Image? Uh…Yeah!

Hello friends,

Still recovering from last week’s change in family status, if you will, and working to get back on some kind of schedule. (Thanks so much to all of you who reached out. I posted a thank you yesterday.) This was meant to be a PEM post but we’ll put it up a day late and hope you enjoy it on a Totally Terrific Tuesday (TTT) instead.

Let’s get real, people: ‘skinny’ is something I’ll never be. It is, however, nice to have come to a new place in my life, one I sort of stumbled on by accident. (Seems I do that a lot. Something to be said for hindsight, I suppose.)

Anyway, having grown up overweight—and still there, though in a healthier place than two years ago—my mom never failed to look at something fashionable on a mannequin without stating, “That’s not for us. That’s for __________ (insert name of thinnest of my friends at the time).” Being pear-shaped has its supposed health benefits but isn’t fun when one is out looking for dresses or sets that are sold as a unit. (We pear-shaped girls tend to be a size bigger beginning at the waist and ending at the knees.) Over the years, I’ve learned how to spot styles that fit a little better, which makes for less frustrating shopping sprees. And recently, I walked out of the store with a dress fit for my favorite Fran Fine.  (An awesome day: perfect fit and absolutely no tailoring necessary!)

  I am so not model material, lol. Kept telling my son to make me laugh and look more natural but…oh well…

Okay, sidetracked as usual, but I’m soon to get to the point. Started exercising pretty regularly about two and a half years ago. Those small, consistent efforts have added up for my shoulders and down for the pear part, resulting in a more balanced overall figure. (For those interested, you can access that two-part article here and here.) Hey. The other day I actually saw some deltoid definition—imagine if I were REALLY consistent.

Post point? My body image has changed. I realized this during a recent casual exchange with some long-time male friends. I happened to be chatting with these guys while exiting a church function. (Quick backstory: these guys, who NEVER in all the years they’ve known me said a word about my weight had twice commented on me having lost some about a year prior.) While going down the stairs, I noticed some type of wire that spanned the width of one of the top steps and commented to the guys about how easily a woman’s spike-heeled shoe could get caught in that cord. Being male—and one in particular who prefers his ladies on the less-meat-on-the-bones-is-more type—they immediately goofed about how especially damaging this could be to the stairs should an overweight woman take a tumble.

Of course, I went into hands-on-hips stance coupled with THE LOOK. Their hands took on instant guard pose. “We didn’t mean you!”

“Didn’t think you meant me.”

Here’s the cool part: at that moment, I really got that they did not mean me. And the more I thought about it, the more I realized that not only did they not see me as overweight, but for the first time ever yours truly did not see herself this way.

I still have those days when I wish God hadn’t mixed the top and bottom molds. But today, I have those moments when I feel like He didn’t. They took a long time coming, but they’re here. My consistent efforts will hopefully keep those good moments around.

How about you?  Has how you see yourself changed in a way you never expected? If so, when and what triggered your ah-ha moment?

Thanks again for all your support and have a great day,

Joanna

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11 thoughts on “Change my Self-Image? Uh…Yeah!

  1. Hi, Joanna, I can relate very well. I am a widow of 15 years and my brother, who I was taking care of, died 2 years ago. Now, it is just me. I had let a lot go. I also had some medical issues that clogged the works! Well, I started a makeover over a year ago and I am still a work in progress! I started exercising a year ago, at 6 times a week. i do use a cane and I am trying to do less of that. I also have a weight problem. I have gone down a dress size but I want to do much more. it is also a mindset. I am 60 years old. I never felt my age but now I feel even younger. That is so important. Another wonderful thing is a book that came out. Bob Greene’s 20 years Younger. Follow it and it is amazing! I look back and I go huh? I feel like I have come a long way.
    Linda Cacaci
    LinCaca3@aol.com

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    1. Wow, Linda. Sounds like you’ve come a long, strong way. Hope you’re proud of all you’ve accomplished in a short time. I too, can relate to feeling younger than my years. The only time age gets to me is when I’m w/my 20-30 y/o cousins. I feel their age but can’t help think they’re seeing me as ‘older.’ Losing a brother who was just three weeks shy of his 22nd birthday taught me, if I’m not my age, I am not.

      Thanks for stopping by, commenting and sharing the name of your book. I’m going to look into it. Sounds really good!

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  2. You look sexy and mahvahlous, Dahling! Loved the shift in POV. My self image has changed since I’ve aged and it is nothing I have control over. Dang it!

    Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thank YOU, dahling! You gave me a good LOL with the ‘shift in POV’ (almost an inside joke since I recently taught a POV workshop). Uh oh! Sounds like you’re not happy w/your self image. What shall we do about it? You’re just going to have to read my next post (next Monday) which takes this just a step further. Thanks so much for stopping by, Lynne! And thanks so much for your lovely compliment 😀 (She’s totally beaming now…)

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  3. Hi Joanna, just finding your blog via tag surfing. I am a full figured woman. I balance between practicing rigorous self-love and loving myself enough to make choices that will improve my health. I totally believe that one can be big boned, beautiful and healthy. At this point, though, I am working on strengthening the health part. Keep up the good work! Rae

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    1. Hi Rae,

      So glad you happened by! Loving myself via healthy choices–whether it’s food-related or standing up for myself when appropriate–is a constant work-in-progress for me. And I totally agree: beauty is not only from within, but whether others perceive us as beautiful is often a direct result of how we view ourselves and the way we project that view. Hope you come by again. Next week’s post ties into style and feeling good about oneself having nothing to do with size!

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  4. Nice post, Joanna. I’ve had the same issue with body & weight. I know what you mean. My self-image change was something completely unexpected. A couple months ago, I was having lunch with a co-worker. We were complaining/venting about the same types of things. Out of the blue, she says “I wouldn’t mind having you as my boss”. That was the nicest thing that anyone had said (work-related) in a long time. I’ve never really been anyone’s boss and never had training to be one. It got me thinking – perhaps I should be a boss. The rest of that story is being written right now. I’ll have to get back to you when it’s finished. Thanks for the wise words!

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