from my state – literally and figuratively – and other places. i'm not in florida any more, but i haven't given up the sunshine.


body conscious despite myself

in high school i was well, overweight. it was embarrassing and impactful to the point that i have vivid memories of my skinny girl friend’s telling me that the boys said i’d be pretty someday. (at the time, yes i was interested in what the boys thought.)

several years later (and several years ago), i was buying a bra when a salesperson offered to measure me to make sure i was buying the right size. i’d lost much of the weight so it seemed like a good idea. that is, until i was informed that my ‘c’ cup was actually a ‘b’. i laughed it off with friends, but it had a definite impact on my self image.

after another more recent bra measurement, i was informed that i’ve lost another cup size. (seriously, next time they’re going to try to put me in a training bra) so the weight discussion has taken a different turn and i’m on this quest to gain weight in a healthy way. it’s not even noon. i’ve consumed a ridiculous number of calories and at least 34 grams of fat in the form of pistachio nuts and whole milk yogurt. and i’m already feeling like a giant tub of lard despite the fact that apparently i’m supposed to consume 62 grams in a single day.

the truth about the bra size is that they wanted to put me in a contraption that created unnatural cleavage elevated to just below my chin. i did not buy the smaller size. but i did buy a push-up and the whole experience has re-ignited my anger at how much our self-image is bombarded with ridiculous commercially-designed ideals.

i know many brilliant women – most of whom are feminists even if they choose not to use the word – and still we waste a hell of a lot of useful mind space and conversation worrying about weight and carbs and fats and the latest health reports when really no one knows the right answers.

it's a sad waste of a lot of amazing energy.


Blogger Estelle said...

Yes, we do waste far too much time worrying about it.
I don't know how much I weigh and haven't known for years. I do not allow doctors to weigh me unless I am getting a prescription that would be weight sensitive. I was weighed when I had a breast reduction several years ago because of the anethesia thing.
It's not that I am self conscious, it's that I don't care. I know how I feel. My clothes fit fine, I can run a mile or climb stairs or play with my kid without getting out of breath. My cholesterol is fine and my blood pressure it actually very low and is a cause for concern at times, but weight doesn't matter in that. And I know if a doctor weighs me, they are going to look at their little chart and say "you need to weigh this. Fix it now." they won't take into account the fact that I have a lot of muscle (which weighs more than fat) or the fact that I am as active as hell and hardly eat anything, owing to the basic biological disease that they have proof of sitting right in front of them. Nah, I don't want the headache, so I skip that part.
I hate the way people are made to feel about their bodies. It's sad. If YOU are happy with your body, and it's not affecting your health, then ignore everything else. Change only if you want to (or need to for health reasons).

On the bra note... I waited until about 6 months after my reduction to buy new bras. I walked into the changing room with about 7 different sizes. The girl acted like I was insane and asked WHY, at my age, I did not know what size bra I wore. She was being snotty and I was pissed off, so right there in front of everyone I pulled up my shirt and showed off all the scarring and said "That's why, ya little bitch." She didn't say another word.

Try that next time. It's fun :)

2/28/2006 11:54:00 AM

Blogger betsy said...

okay i just shot coke out of my nose. that is a great story- and i love your spunk! people need a reality check sometimes, don't they?

2/28/2006 12:06:00 PM

Blogger Kiker said...

Ah, body image...

I haven't had a lot of fun contemplating how I view my physical self lately. Really, I don't like how I look right now. But I am working (slowly but surely) toward changing that.

I am sorry you are feeling self-conscious, Betsy. I believe--and have since i met you--that you are incredibly beautiful, both inside and out.

2/28/2006 12:59:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

glad you are eating ... no one wants an invisible sister!!
-angie pangie

3/01/2006 08:33:00 AM

Blogger Miss Kris said...

Don't go by the fat calculator - if you eat that much fat w/o balancing the rest of your diet, it will do you no good!

I have fun using the meal planner thing at Spark People. I often do not eat their recommended meals but plug in what I do eat to help me eat better.

With my weight gain, I actually went from an A cup to a B cup. My breasts still look the same to me, but my shirts & bras tell me otherwise.

Just so you know, you have nicely shaped breasts. Many women (including myself) would love to have boobs that look like yours. They are appealing no matter the cup size!

p.s. Everyone is self-conscious about one thing or another. Don't beat yourself up about it. Love you!

3/01/2006 02:05:00 PM


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