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"Courage is the price that life exacts for granting peace.
The soul that knows it not, knows no release from little things;
Knows not the livid loneliness of fear;
Nor mountain heights where bitter joy can hear the sound
— Amelia Earhart
What is Body Image?
How you see or picture yourself. How you feel others perceive you. What you believe about your physical appearance.
How you feel about your body. And even how you feel in your body.
The 'reality' of how you see yourself is an illusive thing, and often reality has little to do with it. It involves
our imagination, our emotions, and our physical sensations. And it can change on a day-to-day basis, at least to some
degree. There are days when we feel attractive, and days we feel the need to hide under the covers. Days we're
confident, and days we have no self esteem. It's apparent there's a clear relationship between the development of
personal boundaries and our personal body image.
For those of us who are struggling to lose weight, we fight society's obsession with utter slenderness. At some point,
many of us stop fighting, and simply join them in their opinions, leading us to self-deprecation. In truth, it's much
more influenced by self-esteem than by actual physical attractiveness as judged by others. It is not inborn, but learned.
This learning occurs in the family and among peers, but these only reinforce what is learned and expected culturally.
For those of us who have lost a significant amount of weight, we often continue to carry the old body image around with
us. Sometimes we're not even aware of it.
To explain, let me relate a personal story. It's just a tiny bit embarrassing, but what the heck... we're family, right?
Long after there was no longer any need to shop 'specialty' stores for larger sizes (Catherines, Lane Bryant, Avenue, etc),
I realized I was still going to these merchants when I browsed for clothes. I was having a hard time finding clothes
small enough to fit me at these stores, but for awhile, it simply did not occur to me that it was time to move on.
One day in a Catherine's, a saleswoman took me aside (I'd been shopping there for years) and told me that they were
kicking me out. She said in her sweetest voice that I was too small to be shopping there. I was being tossed out
of the nest... out of the comfortable world I'd known and into the unknown.
A few weeks later, shopping at a JC Penney, I walked directly through the doors and into the Women's department. (For guys
that don't know, "Women's Department" does not mean the opposite of "Men's Department"... it means "large" women's department.
Further down you'll find "Misses" (that's mostly "average" women's sizes); then "Juniors" (usually smaller still, with a younger
slant); and finally "Petites".
After spending a few moments in the Women's Department (and finding nothing), I mentally chastised myself for shopping
where I had no hope of finding clothes to fit again. I darted over to the Misses Department, found a few items, but realized many
of these were still wrong because I'm only 5'2". Oh my... I was going to have to brave the "Petites." I looked around to
see if there was anyone watching me, and when the coast was clear, I made for Petites. As I stood there looking through the
racks, I kept nervously looking around. But why? I wasn't stealing anything. I didn't have a huge stain on my shirt, or
gum in my hair. Why was I trying so hard to be invisible?
Then it hit me... it's the body image. I was a "fat girl" who had the audacity to look for clothes in the 'thin girl" department.
I was sure I'd be laughed at. Worse yet, I realized I'd been expecting a tap on the shoulder from the well-meaning, kind-but-firm
"skinny lady police" telling me that perhaps I was lost, and that this was the "petites" department.
Finding a few outfits that seemed appropriate in fit, yet unfathomable in label size, I began looking for a fitting room. And as I
searched, a thought hit me... "Wouldn't I be more comfortable if I just brought these clothes back to the Women's Department
and used THAT fitting room?" It was at that moment that the total absurdity of it all hit me. What the hell was I doing?
Why did I still feel 60 or 80 pounds heavier than I was? Why?
Body image... it's psychological in nature, with less to do with physical dimensions or attributes than with our own
ingrained perceptions. Like the person who fears flying, and therefore forces themselves on airplanes to conquer that
fear, I needed to face the fact that fear of the unknown... and the fear of ridicule, were stronger in me than my ability
to rejoice in my success. There's a comfort that comes with what we're used to. It's easier to stay in a bad marriage than
to face an uncertain future, hence many women continue to live with abuse.
So now, I head straight for Misses/Petites. And yes, I still shake when I shop. But as Mark Twain said, Courage is resistance to fear;
mastery of fear — not absence of fear.
Free Bag of CarbSense Tortilla Chips!
The new chips from Carbsense taste great! But don't
take my word for it — place an order by February 21st of at least $60.00, and we'll give you a FREE bag! Just
make a note in the comments section:
"Free Carbsense Chips
LCL" Click here to order!
Judy's Sugar-Free Caramels:
Judy's Sugar-free caramels taste so good that most everyone that tries them buys a lot more of them!
To to make it easier for you to do that, we're having a quantity discount sale on the 6.5 oz bags of caramels! This applies to the vanilla caramels, pecan caramels, triple-treat caramels, almond caramels, chocolate caramels, mixed caramels, and rocky road caramels.
Buy 1 bag for $5.69, 5 bags for $25.95, or 10 bags for $50.00! Mix and match flavors! Order them now!
With less than 3 grams per slice, you can use Joe Bread to put variety back into your diet! It's on special right now for $6.79 per loaf! And it is shelf-stable until you open it, so we can ship it to you inexpensively! Order it now!