Poem: Rondel – “Unique: Not Only a Body”


 

http://www.litebook.com
 
——–

I’m extraordinarily original.

I’m incomparably unique.

You’ll think, not good enough to speak —

To — but my value is untypical.

—-

I’m compassion, genuine.

You’ll not see past my sublime shine.

I’m extraordinarily original.

I’m incomparably unique.

——

Only trying to make you seek,

Me for being someone that’s kind.

Someone whose worth isn’t resigned.

To value merely, her body reaped.

I’m extraordinarily original.

—–

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

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Weighting to Exhale 


I have some thoughts to share tonight just about my life and hopefully some of you out there can relate. I have touched on this topic before but not for awhile.  Weight is always a touchy topic because it relates to body image. 

We are taught these days that women are beautiful at whatever size they are, a size two or a size twenty-two. I think that’s wonderful and I hope that girls can be satisfied with their weight and looks as they grow and become young women. I’m happy to see models in fashion shows in New York and Toronto, who are plus-sized models because the average size for a woman is around size 12 to 16 in North America at least. 

 When I was young (maybe six or eight) I was shamed for being fat. Body image is something that it is engrained in you when you are young. I ate healthy food and only small amounts of junk food. We had a large garden, raspberry bushes, and an apple tree — all organic food. My Mom froze beans and peas, we always ate whole wheat bread, we hardly ever had sugary cereals for breakfast. We biked and walked regularly. But fat has always been something I’ve been afraid of being. It’s a demon I left in childhood only to be met again in my mid to late twenties. It’s too late for me I’ve already developed in my mind a picture of the ideal woman figure. I was never her, even when I played sports and/or worked out regularly. I was always that fat little girl, and in my mind I still am. 

Currently, I think for me body image and fat are something that I’m struggling to reconcile. We all have that number on the scale that we think, we are very overweight if the scale reads that number. We feel that we’ve got a major problem on our hands because the number is too high a weight for our bodies. I have reached that magical number and I am pulling out all stops to get back to a healthy weight. Believe me it’s going to be a lot of work. 

You see, as much as I want women and girls to be satisfied with their bodies, I also want them (myself inclusive) to have bodies that are healthy, whatever size or number on the scale that might be. It’s all fine to say that you are happy being over weight and you love your body; I’m glad if you do. But lately, I don’t feel that way because I’m not fit and I’m not eating right. If I don’t develop some type of plan to deal with my body, fatigued or not, my weight will only increase, and my physical health problems will increase.

Some of my weight issues probably have to do with genes on my Dad’s side due to the fact that many of my relatives put on weight as they get older. But also, having a mental illness and chronic fatigue almost all the time has lead to my weight gain. Mostly, due to weight gained through the side effects of medication — clozapine most recently. I put on roughly ten pounds each time I am on a psychiatric medication for awhile, they usually all cause weight gain. I try to be okay with it. I’m too fatigued to do significant cardio to counteract the weight gain.  But I think part of my problem is not paying attention to what and how much I am eating. 

This means going back to portion control and also not drinking my favourite drink that’s bad for you – Pepsi, especially in copious amounts. It means not ordering burgers, even though my smaller and fitter mother does, and ordering a salad with water not pop. It means trying my hardest to do some type of exercise a day, this will require all my effort. 

I’m trying to do two types of exercise: yoga, just some gentle stretching to keep me limber, and walking for 20 minutes, even though it still feels weird walking without a dog. Sadly, I will feel worn out after 20 minute walks for awhile, that is what seven years of fatigue does to you. It makes it harder and harder to be physically fit. 

The last part of my plan is that I am trying  a few products that have worked for some people I know to lose weight, but they are the kind of products that could work or could not — you never know with diet products. The first is a product that involves drinking veggies, so I receive all of my veggies in my diet; the second product is a product that helps break down fats in your body around meal times; the third product is wraps that help break down fat in your body from the outside  (I don’t know about the wraps but maybe they too will work). I will try these products for three months and if they work they work, if they don’t, it’s no significant financial loss. But I am hoping the products help together with portion control, adding back in some exercise, and getting rid of Pepsi by drinking water and green tea blends. 

If I can lower my weight I can improve the image I have of myself because I’d feel more positive about my body being healthier, especially around my middle. Your stomach is the worst place to have extra fat because that fat is visceral. In addition, I would feel and be healthier because my BMI and waist would be smaller. These are two major indicators of good health, although, they are not one-hundred percent accurate. My limbs would also feel less stiff if I did yoga and my cardiovascular activity even walking would be better then just sitting. And clothes would fit better as well.  I could even drop a size or more and have  a greater of variety of clothes to choose from. I’m a size 14 US right now (sometimes a 12) and not all stores go that high in sizes. 

 I know my weight doesn’t devalue me as a person, it doesn’t define me; weight doesn’t devalue or define anyone. But in my case, I feel I have little control in my life, especially with my health. That is another reason losing weight appeals to me, because it is a small piece of life that I have some control over. I can do little to change my mental health and the fatigue it causes, but I fight it because at somethings I can win. Maybe, I will never be a size 8 again but being a 12 or a 10 that’s in better physical shape then I am now, that is worth the effort, worth the fight.

We can’t control everything about our size or our weight. Woman exist into a variety of shapes and sizes. Weight is often a grave subject to talk about because many woman can’t do anything about it due to health problems such as medication, thyroid issues, having kids, lack of time to exercise, and many other reasons. But there has to be a point where you say I will control what I can and at least change that. Take the initiative to be healthier, no matter how small the change. Make changes you can live with through out your life and keep your body physically healthy. 

Love the Skin You’re In


Image
http://www.zimbio.com

Physical body image is an issue I believe all women struggle with in one form or another. We all have at least one part of us that we would like to change. We may want our thighs to be thinner, our butt to be smaller, or our breasts to be bigger, or our tummy to be trimmer. Often woman think that if something were different about their body and if they received their ideally thinner thighs for instance, they would be happier and live a better life. In some cases, I think this is true. If you are overweight and make the healthy lifestyle changes such as exercising and eating better to get those thinner thighs I think you will be happier because you will be living a healthier lifestyle and this will affect you positively all around.

However, physical changes that are actually problems with our self-esteem, will only make us happier for a little while. Then, other problems will arise that can make us disgusted with our body image. Suddenly, you may have trimmer thighs but now you really want to weigh as much as you weighed in high school so you become unhappy about your weight, instead of focusing on the goal you did achieve and that you do have trimmer thighs. It can be a sad cycle, improving one part of yourself, only to be disappointed by one of your perceived other flaws later on.

For me, body image has often been a struggle starting from about the time I was in Grade 1. My mother never overfed me, I had little to no junk food, and I had plenty of exercise but I was still a pudgy girl. Boys were especially mean to me at this age calling me fat and bullying me even though I was just a little pudgier than the other kids. By the time grade 6 came around I had lost all my baby fat and now many of the boys liked me. I maintained a weight I was happy with until I finished my Bachelor’s degree.

When I was 23 years old I got my first job as a receptionist and suddenly I was putting on weight due to copious amounts of food around the office. I threw myself into exercising 40 minutes for 3 times a week on the elliptical at very hard pace, and weight lifting an hour along with each of my elliptical sessions, until I suddenly fell ill with depression and lost 25 pounds in a month.

The problem with losing so much weight at one time is you gain it all back and then some. I sky rocketed from 161 lbs. to 191 lbs. over the next 3 years due to medication, inability to exercise, and perhaps, the fact that I was so no longer 23 years old anymore and was naturally putting on weight. I managed last year to lose 10 lbs. on Herbal Magic and even though I have quit the program I have kept the weight off. I never reached my goal weight of 165 lbs. although, it seems that no matter what I do my body sits comfortably around 180 lbs.

For me height 5’6,” my weight is a little heavy even though I have always been about 10 lbs. heavier than what is recommended by doctors for my height. I would dearly love to be thinner so I could buy smaller clothing and have my body look the way my body looked in university. But if I think about it, I have always been unhappy about my weight, it is just one of my hang ups. Even when I had no reason to think I was fat, I was unhappy about my weight and when my weight didn’t bother me something such as the condition of my skin would.

This is my point that we will always find something in or on our bodies to be upset about, to fantasize how happy we would be if we didn’t have that flaw. But the thing is our flaws make us who we are. I may have a bigger tummy now and have gone up to a size 12 from a size 10 in jeans but I know have bigger breasts – this is a plus. Not to mention, I am never stuck in-between sizes as I was often before. I fit a size 12 or a size large and in most stores those are the sizes I am, I never have to guess.

In addition, I have a boyfriend who loves my curves. He liked them when I met him and I was 191 lbs. and he likes them now that I am 181 lbs. He would like them if I got bigger again or if lost weight and got smaller. He is one reason I really have learned to love my body. People have tastes for partners in all shapes and sizes and just like our partners love our bodies we need to learn to love them too, to be self-confident, and self-confidence is sexy. Curvy is in even if most of the woman we see in the media have thinner body types.

There are celebrities that I admire that are in the entertainment business that are bigger than the average Hollywood sized 0, 2, or 4 woman. Sara Ramirez for example, who plays Callie on Grey’s Anatomy, is said to be 160 lbs. She was a size 12 when she began acting on Grey’s Anatomy and I feel very proud when I see her act as she is both talented and weighs a weight the average woman can relate to.

Someone else I really admire is Lizzie Miller, a model who for Glamour magazine posed “jiggly bits and all.” In her picture, you can clearly see a tummy on Lizzie miller who is 5’11” and considered too big to model even for plus size. Yet in 2009, there she was bearing it all, flaws and everything. Lizzie really inspired me and made me think that it was okay that I have a have a tummy too, I always have. Some of us are never going to be model thin and Lizzie personifies beauty in any body weight. Woman are beautiful and worthy to be loved with tummies, thighs, and butts that are considered too big, so are woman who are incredibly thin and wish they had curves, and so are those woman who are somewhere in-between in their body weights. We are all monumentally blessed to be who we are and have the bodies we do have, of this I am certain.  To read a fascinating article on Lizzie Miller you can go to: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1210814/Lizzie-Millers-Glamour-magazine-shoot-How-models-picture-shook-world-flabby-tummy-all.html and read all about Lizzie’s brave model shoot in 2009.