One Mom’s Journey from Fat to Skinny to Confident

ASK RONI Q&A

How do you love the body you have now?

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I’m in question/answer mode tonight. I just got done recording a video/podcast but it’s taking FOREVER to upload so I thought I’d hold of on that and pull another question from my archives. This one is from Dani who is a blogger over on BlogToLose.

Here’s her question…

My question concerns learning to love and accept my body as it is now, before I can make lasting positive changes. While I completely believe and understand this concept, I can’t help but mourn for the body I had just 4 years ago. I was never overweight until I had my daughter (early 20’s) lost the baby fat 3 years later then put on about 5 lbs a year for 8 years. 4 to 5 years ago, I took off 30 lbs. It took me a year and a half to do it, and I only kept the weight off for about a year. Now I’ve gained 20 of the 30 lbs back over the course of 4 years. The trouble is, because I was still enjoying the glow of being in a body I really enjoyed, it took my eyes a long time to catch up to my weight gain, to realize what I actually looked like. Over the last 6 months I have truely "seen" what my body looks like and I can’t help but LONG for the way I used to look. How can I love the body I have now when the body I loved seems to be in the not so distant past? Even though I’ve been putting on weight for 4 years, it FEELS like it just happened and my brain is going, Wait! No wait! Go back! I hope this makes sense. If it does, do you have any advice? Thanks Roni. I love all of your Blogs.

Hi Dani,

This is one of the toughest questions I get. Self acceptance and body image are the two biggest things I struggle with and have struggled with for as long as I can remember. My story is a bit opposite of yours as I saw myself as fat before I ever got there and it wasn’t until I was able to get passed it did I find my weigh. Get it? Weigh? as in Roni’s Weigh.

Ok, bad joke on a serious topic. Sorry, I tend to do that in awkward situations and this questions makes me tense.

Here’s why…. It’s SO easy for me to sit here and type and tell you you must accept yourself and move on but I know how that sounds and I know how you feel. I’ve been in a body that I hated and I’ve longed to be thin so badly I would have done anything. ANYTHING!

But here’s the deal. I’m still not 100% happy. Sure, I’ll admit it. Who is? Would I love to walk around looking like an air brushed Victoria Secret model? of course. But guess what… I lumpy, I’m bumpy. I have stretch marks and surgery scars. My face is aging. I have laugh lines and acne. My arms flap when I lift them and my veins show in my hands an on my legs. I could on and on.

I’m HUMAN!

Do I long to look like I did when I was 18. Sure. But guess what I hated myself then. Now I look back and wonder what the hell I was smoking.

My point is you will NEVER be happy in your skin until you accept that perfection is out of the question. You mention in your email that you didn’t notice the weight gain because you were enjoying yourself.. Dude… that is awesome. Get back to that place. You can still work on losing weight if you want but I’m telling ya, you will not be successful unless you are at THAT place.

What you don’t want to do is feel sorry for yourself and medicate with food. Which is what I did for 15 years. Self acceptance doesn’t have to be an all or nothing thing. You can, you MUST, recognize that you are a human being and life is more then the size of your pants. It’s not stopping because you are a few pounds over weight and it won’t miraculously be perfect if you happen to lose that weight.

That was my a-ha moment.

Geesh.. Where did all that all come from? It shot out of my in like 2 minutes. lol I’m not even sure it all made sense.

I hope that helps a little!

Does anyone else have any advice for Dani?



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Discussion

There are 15 comments so far.

    Lana_TI

    December 9, 2009

    I am slowly getting to that point too. I know I will never be happy with how my body is. But I am doing the best I can for it now, by eating well and exercising regularly. Unfortunately I have done too much damage for it to ever get back to anything I will love. I’m not sure how to accept that. I am not comfortable with being naked in front of anyone now and I know that had a part in my long term relationship breaking up.

    Sue

    December 9, 2009

    OH so true so true. I look at pics of me at 18 and see the young hot bod, but I hated myself. I don’t hate myself now, even though I’m trying to make some changes.

    It’s such a hard and big topic. My BFF and I see things very differently because she thinks that talking about weight and weight loss makes it MORE difficult to accept who she is right now (and she does struggle with her weight, too) but to me, talking about it takes the negative out.

    So, there are probably as many answers to this question as there are people asking and answering. But I loved your answer!

    Rebecca Regnier

    December 9, 2009

    Healthy not weight. It’s my mantra. But I always have to repeat it to myself. My old record plays “I wanna be smokin’ hot.” That’s not as helpful.

    Andrea@WellnessNotes

    December 9, 2009

    I think everyone who has gained weight at one point has experienced the longing for the “old” body. And I also think that so often the weight gain happens without us noticing it. At least that’s what happened to me. And I felt exactly like Dani felt. I just wanted to be “me” again. That’s what I kept saying. I had to realize that I was “me.” What truly helped me move on was that I started to focus on my health and on making small but positive changes. I set exercise goals and felt a sense of accomplishment when I reached a goal. I realized that my body could do amazing things despite not being “perfect.” I also focused on eating for health vs. eating to lose weight.

    Another thing that came with gaining a lot of weight “without noticing it” was that my clothes didn’t fit right and made me look worse. While I didn’t want to waste money to buy new clothes that would (hopefully) be too big soon, I realized that I needed to look the best I could in my current body to feel good about myself. I didnt’ spend a lot of money on new clothes, but I bought a few pieces that fit right. And it made all the difference in the world.

    Jen (aka KUrunner)

    December 9, 2009

    I’m 8 months pregnant and I LOVE my body. Ask me again in 2 months, and we’ll see how I’m feeling.

    I was thin in high school then gained WAY too much with my first. Even after I lost 75 lbs, I didn’t look how I looked then… stretch marks, cellulite, and saggy skin. But oh well. My 16 year old self couldn’t run a half-marathon and overall, I feel good about myself.

    I wonder if the VS models ever feel this way. I can’t imagine what it must be like for Marissa Miller who is absolutely breathtaking but she still gets photoshopped to have bigger boobs and a smoother face. I mean, society thinks someone who is naturally as pretty as her needs computer enhancements, what hope is there for the rest of us?

    Keith @ My Body Fat

    December 9, 2009

    I think being unhappy with your body to a certain degree is a good thing, because its give you the motivation to keep improving it. I’ve got a friend who is totally happy with his body and he eats what hes want.
    But he recently had children and he knows that he needs to lose this weight, for health reasons and for his family. So that he can see his children grow old.
    I’ve lost over 40 pounds of fat so far this year, but I’m still not happy. But these feelings are giving me the motativation to keep moving forward.

    McLauren84

    December 9, 2009

    Wow, great post, Roni! I think it’s awesome that Dani was glowing with pride, and I definitely support your recommendation for her to try to get back there.

    I think after reading many posts you’ve written on the topic of self-acceptance, it’s finally starting to sink in a little. I’m sure once I’ve lost more weight I’ll STILL find things to complain about, so the only road to happiness is to accept who I am now. It makes a lot of sense when you think about it that way. Now I just need to remind me of this every single day until it starts to feel real.

    All Women Stalker

    December 9, 2009

    That was a truly beautiful post. Indeed, once we recognize we can’t ever be perfect, that we’re simply human, we will finally see how beautiful our bodies are. Give yourself some love!

    -Denise

    Irina

    December 9, 2009

    Hi, I really don’t have any advice on the topic as it is a difficult one for me as well. But all I can tell you is this, I read an interview with Amanda Peet over the past few weeks when she was promoting her new movie. Now, I did see the movie, and she looks GREAT. She doesn’t look super skinny, like she is about to fall over, she seems to have a shape. Guess what she said in her interview? Give up? Well, she asked Santa for
    “gentle abs, nice boobs and a perky butt.” Hello!!!!! She looks awesome. OK, so this is my sick way of telling you that NOBODY is EVER 100% satisfied with what they have.
    So, don’t base your opinions on anyone else, don’t compare yourself to anyone else (’cause you never know what they are wishing for when they come out of the shower in the morning :)
    Me? I wished for a rain-free day and nice comfy sweats. Guess what, I am sitting in the office, wearing a stuffy suit while the rain is pounding on the window. Oh well, tomorrow is another day (lets hope it’s a sunny one)

    Cynthia (It All Changes)

    December 9, 2009

    I had to learn (and I’m still learning) that my body is my own and I’m never going to look like the models or even people who lost the weight and have toned bodies. My body is mine and I need to learn to appreciate it for what it can do because it won’t look like what I thought it “should.” Learning to love the life I have because of my body really helped.

    Jenna

    December 9, 2009

    Roni,

    I read your blog ever day but i have never commentend. I just want to say THANK YOU for this post. ” you will NEVER be happy in your skin until you accept that perfection is out of the question” I cant tell you what amazing that advice that is. I spend so much time with internal pain hating myself for what i look like. I have been struggling with self acceptance for so very long and that just really hit me. Its so very true and i feel this is advice i really need to take to heart.

    Well said!

    Kathleen

    December 10, 2009

    Hey,

    Does the woman who is happy with her body exist??? I have days where I am happy, I have days I dread to look in the mirror. But overall? I’m happy… I guess working in a men crowded place helps… as stupid as it seems. I get compliments on my body, and it opened my eyes. Most people (even men! LOL) do know that all those models and actrices have been photoshopped, that the ideal body doens’t exist.
    When I’m down, eating as healthy as I can (without deprivation) and exercising, get me back in my happy place. Knowing you are on your way to a better body, to a healthier lifestyle helps as much as “being there”.
    You can do your best… perfection doens’t exist.

    Dani

    December 10, 2009

    Roni,

    Thank you so much for the post! I have to tell ya, my eyes were welling up as I read what I had written. I love your answer and I love all the comments. I was able to take off 20 lbs over about 6 months this year, and most days I DO feel good about how I look. I think what I did was what Rebecca said. I focused on becoming healthy, not skinny, and in the process I dropped the weight. I still have 5-10 more lbs I’d like to lose before trying to maintain for life, but I’m in a healthy weight range, BMI, and I make every attempt to eat right and work out daily. Again, thanks so much. Happy holidays!

    Shiloh - will I ever accept the person in the mirror?

    December 27, 2009

    hi Roni I stumbled across this website because I am having an especially bad day. I have always struggled with my body image – never ever been happy. No one would know – I have compensated by playing the “happy” person. I don’t think any of my friends would ever guess I am less than heppy – hey I do have an awesome life and a fantastic partner. But my own validation of my myself is always anchored to what I am feeling about my body that day. Some days I am almost crippled – all determined by what I “see” in the mirror. I am at my heaviest now but when I was 3 dress sizes less than I am now I felt the same way. Sometimes when I look in the mirror – for a split second I actually think I look good but then that “voice” always tells me that I actually am not seeing what is there – someone unattractive, monstrous, unworthy and someone kidding herself. When I see photos of myself I feel sick. This is not about vanity. This is about what is happening to us women that our view of our ourselves can be so sabotaged by how we look. How do you break out of this crippling cycle?