Saturday, March 20, 2010

Body Image: Are You a Friend or Foe to Yourself?

I'm at Starbucks. Yes, that's a photo from the photoshoot. Sorry. I don't have a picture to post, but I do have something to say.

I haven't been posting lately. Here's one of the reasons why: food issues. I have been eating atrociously. There are alot of reasons for this, and they tend to be woven together a bit like a cat chasing its own tail.

Here's a fact: I am slightly overweight, but as "normal" bodied as I've ever been in all my life.

I should be happy, right? Right. Except... sometimes I'm not. I fluctuate about 10 pounds and I'm on the high end of that spectrum right now, which puts me a solid 20 pounds overweight. Not cool and not healthy. I should be concerned because carrying that kind of weight is not kind to my body. However, my biggest issue usually lives with the way it makes me feel about myself.

When I weighed 343 pounds, I had much less issues with my self concept. Weird, right? Here's why. I knew back then that my husband wasn't with me for my looks and never had been. Now... well... it's more complicated. I feel incredible pressure to stay attractive for my husband now. He doesn't put that on me. I do it.

Today I weigh less than half what I once did. I can't really explain the number of issues that can create in a person. It's pretty vast and to understand how it's affected me you'll have to ready my book (yes, that was a plug), but I will tell you that it's affected my current marriage as drastically as it did my first. The difference is that this time, I'm aware. I'm awake.

With that said, I hope you didn't come to my blog looking for answers, because I don't really have them. I just have alot of questions. A professor once told me that the mark of a wise soul is when he realizes that he has many more questions than he will ever have answers. That's me, atleast the questions part.

How do you learn to be happy with yourself just as you are? And, how do you reconcile that with knowing you need to be healthier? I'm not going to sit here and tell you that you should just accept that 30 pounds overweight is who you are and not try to be healthier. I've come too far to pretend that's true. I like myself, but I have insecurities just like everyone else. Maybe more, thanks to my complicated body history.

In the midst of my dealing with this, I saw a preview for an episode of that reality show with that girl named Kendra, and she's dealing with the same thing. It's insane to realize a Playmate can deal with the same issues as me, a formerly obese woman writing in a Starbucks in La Mesa, California.  

I suppose this is all just me thinking...

Do you struggle with your body image? Do you fret about the need to fit a certain image in order to keep or get a man? How do you create new and healthier habits that counter these dysfunctional ways of thinking so that you can become a better friend to yourself?

Lots of questions on this Saturday night...

xoxo my friends...


  1. When you figure it out, you should let me know :) I have horrible self esteem and body image. I also have a horrible relationship with food. I'm trying to get better but it is really hard. I'm not sure what the answer is but you are not alone on your quest!

  2. Jasmine, when I look at the photo of you against the wall, I see a beautiful, strong and healthy woman. I know it's tough, but don't doubt yourself.

    For me, I choose happiness. Really. When I wake each day I decide it's going to be good, and whatever obsticals come along, I can't control so I deal with them. It doesn't always go as smoothly as this...but I think happiness is a choice a lot of the time. I have a million things to complain about, I just choose not to.

  3. hey jaz. you're awesome for being so open and letting us in, sharing with us how you feel inside about what you see on the outside. i know it's not an easy thing to do! you're lucky to have such a supportive husband who loves you for who you are. you're a beautiful person!!!

    i fluctuate about the same. in the summer about 15lbs, maybe it's the heat?! haha.

    i do fret about myself and i don't think about others. it's COMPLETELY myself and thinking about how i used to be this athletic basketball player in high school and college. i'm glad i don't say "wow she's skinny i want to look at way" for me i know where i need to be so i try to surround myself with supportive people who understand that right now i'm "counting points" :) lol.

  4. i love that you don't have the answers! none of us do, do we? but i have to say that the best thing that has worked for me loving my body as is is knowing that it's exactly where it "should be" - i'm not depriving myself or overindulging - i'm balanced. and so where my body is how i'm willing to live right now. and that is such a gift to me!

  5. I was going to say the same as Jessica - the picture of you and the wall is amazing - beautiful, happy, and free! We all do it, we're women - we all doubt how we look, how brilliant we may be, etc, and trust me, I know how hard it is to feel good about yourself all the time. Everyday I just wake up and tell myself I'll do the best I can, as well as FEEL the best I can about myself that day. Just remember, you're amazing, and lots of people think so!

  6. Jasmine - I struggle with the same thing even though I more than 10 pounds overweight. I found that I feel better about myself when I know that I am working toward staying healthy. I feel happy when I go to my Jazzercise class because I enjoy what I am doing. When I am in my Jazzercise mindset I am not even thinking about the weight. I feel like the weight will come off. Just stay focused on the health and not weight. Weight will fluctate your whole life but we just have to keep it in check. The picture is way cute by the way. I may steal it and post it on my facebook! Thanks for sharing and you aren't alone!


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