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Veronica
01-20-2006, 07:38 AM
I've been thinking about this a lot lately - especially on my commute.

I'm 39 and my husband of nearly 20 years tells me it's taken me a LONG time to make peace with myself and my body.

As a teen and 20 something these were the images carved into my brain by society:

Long and lean meant beautiful and elegant.
Petite and small meant perky and adorable.

Sturdy and average meant .... sturdy and average. Come on, who wants to be that?

I see the same thing happening with my 5th grade students. I have a girl who can kick butt on the soccer field - but she's bigger than the other girls. She thinks she needs to lose 20 pounds. It's ridiculous. She's as tall as me and has some darn powerful legs. She doesn't need to lose any weight.

Being healthy is so much more important. I have 3 sisters and two brothers. Only two of us aren't on high blood pressure meds -me and my horseback riding sister! My two very overweight sisters insist it's genetic. Yeah - partly it is. We all have the same portly shaped thighs. That's not going to change. But eating healthy and getting some exercise would help. Those portly shaped thighs keep from purchasing the latest fashionable pants. I can't do low waist. But they are also getting me through a very difficult double century.

In conclusion - LOVE YOUR BODY AND TAKE CARE OF IT! It is the only one you're going to get. :p


V.

Grog
01-20-2006, 07:56 AM
Can I be your cheerleader V?

ladyjai
01-20-2006, 08:07 AM
thank you V. How did you come to be happy with yourself? that's a story I want to hear! or did you just wake up one day, and go.. duh! silly me! ? I "know" these things, then tend to "forget" them... it's all around us, pressure to be a certain photoshoped way... maybe we should issue free copies of photoshop to all the ladies, and let them fix themselves in pics, since that's all we really see of the models? - though I think some companies that cater to cyclist women, have sizes messed up. I'd be a large or XL at some of these places... what's with that? there was that bib thread that got a few discussion points - an extra skinny model - medium???



You know, I have a theory on why men in general seem to be better cyclists than women (in general) - they weigh more, more muscle mass... not so say we can't hold our own, and I'd really like to see a woman in Tour de France, though that isn't likely going to happen any time soon.

runnergirl
01-20-2006, 08:18 AM
There is a women's tour! It's just 1/3 the length and completely ignored by all media, except fot the one paragraoh blip it gets on cycling news.:mad:

dont' get me started on the state of racing for women.:(

Awesome post V! Health and fitness matter so much more, it's just darn hard to remember that all the time.:o

SadieKate
01-20-2006, 09:25 AM
Good post, V. I read LadyJai's post last night and have been mulling over it but you put all my thoughts into words for me. I'm 46, have had weight challenges since college and body image issues since puberty when I developed curves way before the other girls. It's only recently I've come to peace with my body all the while my husband has been spouting the same stuff V's hubby is. 36 friggin' years of my life and 18 years of marriage. So, I'm a slower learner also.:o

Personal experience is that men have absolutely no problems at all with lots of curves. I attended a Covert Bailey presentation where he said to the men in the audience, "Am I right, guys? Women are supposed to jiggle?" The guys roared their approval. Yet, the print and film images we see from youth revere the women who are almost emaciated. It is a very difficult set of contradictions with which to come to terms.

I read an interesting article a few years back by Gabrielle Reece in which she talked about the same issues and that when she finally realized she stayed healthier and was a better athlete at a heavier weight than she could be as a model her whole mental outlook and confidence changed for the better.
http://blogs.health.yahoo.com/get-healthy-now/ghn06fitness/bio/gabriellereece

LadyJai, I can't tell you to stop worrying about your weight. I still think about it because I love to eat. However, I have finally realized that my body is strong, healthy and has some darn attractive features so my weight no longer controls me but I control it.

Veronica
01-20-2006, 09:34 AM
thank you V. How did you come to be happy with yourself? that's a story I want to hear! or did you just wake up one day, and go.. duh! silly me! ?



I have always been fairly active, but not slim. I was distance swimmer in college and a lifeguard. When I started teaching I got less active and the pounds crept on. As long as I was in the 160s and could wear a 12, I was unhappy with myself, but figured that's what happens as you age. The school year of 2000 - 2001 was very difficult for me. I had a good class, but I had a lot of other responsibilities and I wasn't getting a lot of support from administration and I was totally stressed out all the time. In retropsect, I suspect I was depressed. I ate - a lot. I would eat an entire bag of minature hersey's candies in a single sitting. By the summer of 2001 I weighed 180 pounds and could not fit in size 12s anymore. I gained 20 - 25 pounds in that one year!

For my body, having to buy 14s, meant I was fat. I was okay with plump, but fat was not okay. There is a thread called Losing Weight where I talk about what I did to get the weight off. Now I wear an 8 or a 10 depending on the cut.

But it's really been in only the last two or three years that I have really become content with what I've got. I would love to have a figure like akaKim. Which I'm sure cracks her up. :p But I don't and I can't. Yet I know that I am strong, not just in my body, but determined. Some would say stubborn. I've ridden to the top of mountains when I feel like puking and with saddle sores that are bleeding. But I also know enough about my body to determine if this is pain I should stop for. I may not be the sveltest or the fastest. I have yucky bulges in spots when I wear lycra. But too bad... I'm riding my bike and having fun. I know I'm making the most of what I've got and that's all that matters.

It helps too to have a totally loving and supportive husband. He's always been there, cheering me on.

V.

Trekhawk
01-20-2006, 10:07 AM
Well done ladies. Its good to see woman standing up and saying Im happy with my body even if it isnt the Magazine image of what is perfect.

I was standing in the line of a check out the other day glancing at the mags which I refuse to buy and saw on the front of one learn how to loose weight like a certain actress (sorry I cant remember her name) with a picture of this bird in a bikini on the beach. I came home and latter was checking the news online and I see the same actress with headlines that she came out on some TV interview and told how she was bulimic. Im wondering is this what they listed inside the mag as the secret to how she lost weight hmmm Im thinking probably not. Its very sad.

Now at 41 I actually like the way my body looks more than I did at 20 dont get me wrong Im not saying it looks better I just like it more and respect the amazing things it has done for me like giving birth to three beautiful boys. Ive come to accept that I will never have an ultra flat belly again and things jiggle more but my husband tells me he loves me more each day and that his heart still flutters when he sees me after returning from a trip away.

I feel strong and healthy and happy.:)

Grog
01-20-2006, 10:14 AM
It helps too to have a totally loving and supportive husband. He's always been there, cheering me on.

I think that's part of the picture, too: when a man (or women, or both, depending on your preference, or anyone, anyway) tells you you're beautiful, believe it, smile, and say "Thank you", which will make you even more beautiful. Even if it's someone you don't know on the street (in which case a smile and reply will make you feel and seem more confident than if you rush past without looking at the person in the eyes, anyway). Smile at people and let them smile back to you.

I am quite convinced that those skinny models are there for women to look at, not for men.

(However, in defense of tall and slim ladies, which I am not part of, I have to say that that Asos model was a tall girl and would not feel happy or comfy in a size S. Not that she cycles anyway. But I don't think the S-M-L-XL system is really to be taken as an absolute measure of who/what we are.)

aka_kim
01-20-2006, 10:16 AM
I would love to have a figure like akaKim. Which I'm sure cracks her up. :p Why thanks. But since I wear a size 8 too, we must not be that different. But I've never been happy with my body either - and padding in all the wrong places is only one of my many problems. I just try not to obsess (too much), and to stay active.

Veronica
01-20-2006, 10:27 AM
Why thanks. But since I wear a size 8 too, we must not be that different.

It's the legs Kim. I want your long, lean, strong legs.
:D

V.

aka_kim
01-20-2006, 11:20 AM
Sorry, but just as with cars, bodies come in packages. If you want the legs then you gotta take the pancake flat chest. :D

luv'nAustin
01-20-2006, 11:21 AM
I have spent my entire life feeling like I've been overweight and as long as I can remember I have been denying myself meals. I am 5'2 and until I reached my 30's (I am now 43) I weighed between 105 and 112. I look back at pictures taken of me from those years and I can see that I wasn't overweight...at all. Why the poor self image?

Not sure what happend when I hit my 30's, becuase somehow I managed to creep up to 130 while still avoiding most meals. Now I didn't just feel fat, I was, and my metabolism was completely wacked! And tell me, just what kind of example did I set for my daughters? I know...terrible! They are now 18 and 20 and eat like normal people. Thank goodness I don't have to carry that guilt around with me.

I must also admit that I have been an active gym member for the last twenty-three years. However, these last three years I kicked it up from five (one hour) workouts a week, to seven. Most days I train for two hours, but when preparing for a tri, or getting ready for a Grand Canyon trek, I can easily kick it up to three or four hours a day. So how does one drop the extra pounds? I'm not sure if it possible for me, but with the extra activity these last few years I have become very strong...and fit. My doctor thinks the weight is fine and I am coming to terms with how I look. However, deep down, I still yearn to drop some weight and look as "fat" as I did in my twenties!

Pedal Wench
01-20-2006, 11:34 AM
..... I'm 46, have had weight challenges since college and body image issues since puberty when I developed curves way before the other girls. ....

Wow. I think you just nailed it for me. I had posted a long reply to V's initial response, deleted it, read LadyJai's, posted, deleted, but now it all kinda makes sense. In the fifth grade, when I was about 11, 12 years old, I was the second tallest person in the class. Boys and girls. I also felt like the biggest, weight-wise too. Developed early and teased constantly. Well, the problem is, my wishes came true - I never grew any taller. So, today, at 5'4", I STILL feel like the awkward giant that I was when I was twelve. I know what size my jeans are, yet I still feel huge. I just KNOW I tower over people who are much taller than me. I feel like I'm the same height as my boyfriend, except that every once in a while, we're hugging and I have to look UP into his eyes. How is that possible? In the same way I distort my height, I know I distort my weight. I'm 43, but inside, I'm still the clumsy, big girl I was at 12.

Dirt Girl
01-20-2006, 11:39 AM
A topic that really hits home. I'm short but have never been described as petite or small and never perky or adorable--but "you're muscular" people say. I'm 41 and I finally understand that muscular is a good thing. Body shape has little to do with one's fitness as I've witnessed in my local outdoor group. None of these people look like a model, but boy can they bike, hike, ski, climb, etc. Seeing people 10-30 years older than me be active and healthy has really been a motivation for me. When I joined this group and started riding a mountain bike, it literally changed my life. The little light bulb finally clicked and I understood it was about a lifestyle and being good to your body, not just being thin.

It all came into even better focus in the past year as I struggle with perimenopause issues and a bulging tummy. I'm stronger than I've ever been, I'm riding/skiing better each year, I'm healthier, I'm exercising and eating well yet here I am with this stomach that won't allow me to wear my "skinny pants." It doesn't seem fair, but a growing acceptance of it sure makes life happier and more simple. I don't think I'm at the point that I can say I LOVE my body, but I sure like it more and more each day.

massbikebabe
01-20-2006, 11:42 AM
V;

Well said on both posts!!! I hope your little school girl does not develope an eating disorder. To me bein able to kick some butt on the soccer field is most important!! My daughter is very petite...she is 18 years old and 4' 9"...but she is a my "Tiny Toughie". She is into all sports, excels at field hockey, and rides like a "little warrior"...she too has had body image issues. I remember when she was in 5th grade, and had just gotten her period, she was mortified
because she was the first in her class. I felt so bad for her and spent hours
talking about healthy eating, good bones etc. AND SHE LISTENED (YEAH!) Now she gets on my back about balanced nutrition etc. Society today makes it so hard for women to be women. Every ad, commercial, has women as toothpicks and not with appropriate weight. It sickens me that we have become a society that only looks on the outside of a person and not at whats on the inside.
FYI, when I got sick I was the thinniest I have ever been, but 6 months in the house has really packed the weight on for me:eek:

karen
looking for my weight watchers scale

DirtDiva
01-20-2006, 11:45 AM
I am (if I translate into american ;)) 5'3", 130-odd pounds and a size six. A perfectly healthy body, but I can't imagine I'll ever be truly happy with it. :( There's nothing wrong with the arms and the legs and the head; it's all the flobby bits in the middle that bug me. Still, I'd rather do a million sit-ups than give up good food and alcohol... :p

SadieKate
01-20-2006, 11:53 AM
A size 6? It's those pesky numbers again. I'm 5' 3 1/2" and weigh 133 lbs. I am pretty balanced top to bottom (an hourglass not a pear). I am absolutely thrilled when I fit into a size 8 pant. Another reason to revel in a healthy body rather than a label manufactured for commercial reasons.

CorsairMac
01-20-2006, 12:25 PM
I posted a reply to LadyJais post but to restate it here:

one brands size 8,10 as anothers 10,12 is anothers 6,8! I hang around between an 8-10 in the winter and a 6-8 in the summer.....half the time I don't know what size I'm wearing, but they're comfortable and I can wear them all day! That is more important to me then what "size" they are! oh...and that I can climb that dang-blasted mountain home every night! ;)

DirtDiva
01-20-2006, 12:26 PM
Well, I'm a GAP size six. I don't have any other pants that have US sizings in them as well as UK ones (which seem to be the same as NZ sizings). It's all a crap-shoot really, isn't it? Not hard to wind up with clothes in three different sizes all from the same store, in my experience.

runnergirl
01-20-2006, 12:43 PM
sizes are a joke!

I can wear a size 4 at banana republic, but need a 10 in most patagonia pants. The rest of my clothes are in between, but a 4 is so far from a 10 it seems a little crazy!

Selkie
01-20-2006, 02:47 PM
As I said recently in another thread, Brava Mz. V! I remember those photos you posted---you are beautiful and from everything you've written here, I suspect you have an adoring husband (no reason to wonder why, either).

I hate the media for the number it does on women--ok, you can weigh 90 lbs, not counting your breast implants, and then you're considered beautiful. No, not until you get your nose fixed, lips pumped w/collagen, and forehead injected with Botox. So let's see, "beautiful" means you can't eat like a normal person, have to work out 4 hours a day, and then, schedule "maintenance" surgery at least once a year. How can anyone be happy, having to live like that? I don't view models/actresses as 100% real people anymore. Remember J-Lo with brown hair and a little meat on her? I thought she was stunning then. Now she seems to look like every other blonde celebrity female.

Veronica
01-20-2006, 03:15 PM
Thanks! - I'd forgotten about the pictures. Thom loved the one I picked by the way. :D

I just wish someone had told me when I was younger, and that I had believed them, that what you see in the media is not "perfection." Bodies come in all makes and models. The important thing is to treat the one you have well and to rejoice in what it can do. Reading about the difficulty others are having with their image, just made me want to say, "Hey you're okay!"

V.

yellow
01-20-2006, 06:47 PM
I don't know many (any?) women who haven't struggled with this, even those that are chronically thin. I had troubles as an adolescent (I remember so clearly being labeled "thunder thighs" in high school) but now I try not to think about it. My weapons:


no scales allowed in the house!
no full length mirrors!
judge by how the clothes fit!
direct stress to the abs...build core strength without even really trying!


I pretty much only get weighed when I go to the doc. There is a scale at the gym I go to and I weighed myself once...and decided not to do that again. I'm in pretty good shape, my clothes fit, and I'm feeling pretty strong, yet the number that popped up made me think I should be thinner, in better shape, whatever. I've been both in better shape and in worse shape. But now that I'm older and a little bit wiser I know that if I were to cut back on calories to lose that extra (perceived?) weight, I wouldn't be able to do what I do. That's just how it is. I don't wear short shorts. Never have, never will.

HOWEVER, these days I am pretty gripped about this whole aging thing. I look in the mirror and see skin that has lost elasticity, lots of sun damage, bags, and wrinkles. I wish someone would have lectured me on skin care when I was 20. Oy! Not that it probably would have made a difference since I spent my entire childhood in the sun and continue to participate in activities that are hard on the skin. My 18 year old neice is prolly tired of hearing my "wear sunscreen" lecture.

So I think I've come to grips with the body image/body shape bit...now I need to learn how to live with my aging image in the mirror. I've made DH promise that he won't leave me for some young, wrinkle-free, fly fishing wonder, skinny-legged girl. We're going nymph fishing tomorrow so I can keep my edge!

Veronica
01-20-2006, 07:20 PM
But Yellow - you're one of those adorable, perky people! :D

V.

Lise
01-20-2006, 07:59 PM
It's good to read these posts. Although I'll admit that the topic is anxiety-provoking, so I haven't read everything closely, just did the best I could. I'm 5'8", currently weigh 150#. Since becoming athletic about 3 years ago, I lost 30#, and became much more muscular. I am so proud of the muscles in my legs and arms. I've still got a blobby belly, big breasts, and a flat butt. I don't care about the flat butt. I wish the front were as flat as the back.

I feel huge--like I tower over people. Like my femurs are unnaturally long (they're not). My breasts started to grow in my late teens, and they are now 36D. I don't like the attention I get from them, so I'm not fond of standing up really straight! I forget to suck in my belly all the time. I hate seeing pictures of myself in lycra. Yet...here's a picture of me running the marathon. I love the way I look. I look strong and happy. I'm aware that the black running shorts sort of hide the belly. So what, I have a belly! Sheesh!

My mind SCREAMS that I don't look like an athlete. I respect the women who post here--strong, smart women, cyclists, racers, etc. It helps to hear that your bodies aren't what you think they should be. Because I "see" you all in my mind as heros.

Lise

Veronica
01-20-2006, 08:09 PM
Ahhh... anyone who can actually run more than a mile is an athlete in my mind.

It's easy for me to say from 34 B ness.... But stand up straight and be proud Lise. Anyone who thinks you're just a set of boobs is a twit! Besides standing up straight makes your tummy look smaller. I'm speaking from experience here.

V.

nuthatch
01-21-2006, 05:12 AM
My mind SCREAMS that I don't look like an athlete. I respect the women who post here--strong, smart women, cyclists, racers, etc. It helps to hear that your bodies aren't what you think they should be. Because I "see" you all in my mind as heros.

Lise

You know what I see when I look at your picture? A cute, happy athlete! In fact, you kind of look like me (also 5'8", 150#, short blond hair) Hey, I look darned good! :D

This is such an issue of perspective! Nothing anyone else says can change that "body image" picture we have in our mind. And, YES!, it starts at puberty and the things that happen to us at that age stick with us the rest of our lives. It must be some sort of cavewoman thing...

Age helps with this, but it's still an everyday struggle to remind myself that I'm okay in this department.

Trek420
01-21-2006, 07:16 AM
Wow, what a great thread. I'm not sure where to start in applauding it you all wrote such great stuff. Somewhat related thought...I've been mulling this question over, the thought bubble works something like this: do you think we (meaning we TE'ers, athletes in general, endurance athletes in particular) are different? And if so why? nature or nurture that sort of thing.

We've all been there; the family or friend who looks at you like we've got two heads when you say "just a 30 mile training ride", "you're training for WHAT? :eek: " "you ride to work? :eek: ". much less the date thread that's somewhere here.

For me even if it's a lunchtime walk, it's what my body feels it must do like breathing.

Weight has been a life long battle, I could stand to loose 30 or so lbs but even my Dr. agrees as he points at the weight chart "this has nothing to do with you. this is based on people who do not ride. Loose some weight but don't loose any muscle. If you feel weaker, stop." Good doc!

So I don't have a scale, I go by how the clothes fit (tight right now) and how I feel and how I perform on the bike (pretty good). Thanks TE gals for the reminder, work on the core.

It's always relatively easy for me to ramp up the workout. Not more hours because I don't have a lot of time but harder, add a hill, sprint, spin, more weight. We all see ads for New Years Resolution gym memberships, Fitness Equipment Sales etc that's never been hard for me to do.

So I was thinking that's genetics, my (and therefore Bikeless in Wi's) parents are what you'd call vibrant elderly, my Dad right up to shortly before his death, Mom still thinks little of walking to town although she gardens less than she used to, both sib's and their resulting kids are active-bike, swim, cc ski, climb, have a cousin who does double centuries...is this genetic?

Veronica
01-21-2006, 07:37 AM
I don't know Trek - based on my own family - I'm pretty much an anomaly. My oldest sister was state champion in hurdles in high school. She's now at least 100 pounds overweight is my guess. She's 5'8" and weighs 280.

My next sister didn't get cursed with the bulging thighs and she's in pretty good shape. She rides horses. She was NOT at all athletic as a kid.

My three brothers were not into sports as kids, but were boy scouts. One is deceased, one has quite a big belly and the other is doing okay, but his jobs are a bit stressful and cause some blood pressure problems. He's got a little bit of a belly.

My third sister has never been athletic and I would guess weighs 200 - 220 at 5'2".

I'm the youngest and I've always been pretty athletic. Even when I was heavy, I was at the gym a couple of times a week.

My mother is overweight, has been all my life. My father was a smoker and his jobs kept him active so was never overweight.

I was neither encouraged nor discouraged from being active as a kid/teen.

Don't know what it all means. Probably nothing. :) I wish I could encourage my sisters to have a healthier lifestyle. But I know, change must come from within.

V.

newfsmith
01-21-2006, 09:26 AM
I'm about to turn 59 this spring. At 5 feet even (and shrinking) I would still like to get down to 118 from my present 130, but I am slowly coming to terms with the fact that that is not in the cards for me. Annie has met my mother who is 88. She can testify just how much like her I am. The biggest difference is that she has never liked any activity other than shopping. I will have osteoporosis, hopefully as mild as hers. I will get a belly, hopefully a little less than hers. I will get arthritis, I've already had to go up a 1/2 size in my surgical gloves; but hope I will have the courage to do the hip replacement/knee replacement at the right time to maximize keeping an active lifestyle as long as possible. As an adult I have gotten down to the sub-110 that all the charts suggest as a healthy weight for me only during 3 serious depressive episodes. During the latter 2, my DH kept telling me "my body might be considered sexier when I was skinny, but I wasn't. I love when you can laugh, play, cook for us and eat with us. That makes you alive and someone I love." Thanks to modern chemistry, I came out the last episode able to believe him. It took me 83% of my life to get there and I look forward to that percentage shrinking faster than my height. It doesn't matter how long it takes to get to accept yourself, just that you do it (and ride your bike with joy as you do).

Grog
01-21-2006, 11:04 AM
Lise!!! I looked at the picture and said to myself (or out loud, I'm afraid...): What a great poster girl for fitness! You look wonderful, smiling, strong. That's fantastic!!!!!!!

profŕvélo
01-21-2006, 11:42 AM
Dove (as in the soap) has made a step in the right direction, proclaiming, "Real women have real curves." Check out the campaignforrealbeauty.com (http://www.dove.us/).

abuelitodimetu
01-21-2006, 01:00 PM
Maybe if the dove women were selling underwear, I would buy their BS laden campaign about loving your curves. However, dove wants us to love our bodies, but not too much, since we must be sufficiently disatisfied to want to improve it with their miracle cream. And if the creams do not work (which is most likely the case), well, you are still left with the self hatred of having a soft body.

Lise
01-21-2006, 06:45 PM
Besides standing up straight makes your tummy look smaller. I'm speaking from experience here.

V.
Ahhh! Thanks for the tip! :p

And thanks for the encouragement, all. I'll reflect it right back at you. What I love about that picture of me is the look on my face. That was about mile 16 of the marathon, and I was flanked by two dear friends who came out to cheer for me. I was happy and proud, and hadn't yet hit "the wall"!

I was thinking today about the questions concerning endurance sports and genetics. Probably something there, although no one else in my family is a runner. My mom and aunt both became cyclists in their 50s/60s. My brother's always been sort of a jock--baseball, hiking, mtb on vacations. My sister...no. Walks, does Pilates. My dad was an athlete, coached high school baseball, died when he was 35 of a brain tumor.

For me, endurance sports "fit" because I know that I have the capacity to endure difficult things. Hard childhood, abusive ex-partner. Even my job is something of an endurance sport--I'm in the middle of a 24 hr shift right now, and delivered 3 babies in 3 hours. So I have the body-knowledge that I can keep at it. I am not fast, but I can keep going. As the marathon wore on, and I wanted to quit, I'd say to myself, "It's a marathon. You might as well keep running."

I know my body image comes from childhood and teen years--I was fat, smart, unpopular, etc. I diligently studied Seventeen and Glamour magazines. I rode my bike, loved to ride my bike, but didn't really know people did that for fun, long distances, or trails.

Ah, well, here we are, and I bet we'd all have a great time riding hard, cooking and eating together. I envy those of you on the coasts who get together! I'll bet there's a lot of laughter.

Best to all,

Lise

btchance
01-22-2006, 09:56 AM
I understand what you guys are going through, as I face many of the same problems myself, even though I've never been overweight. (I'm 5'2 and 125lb and usually a size 5) Growing up, I always heard from family about how tiny my mom was, and how I was so much bigger than she was at my age, and I would look at how my mom looks now, and see that she is overweight, just like the rest of my family, and it always worried me that I would end up overweight also, or worse, since I was already bigger.

I've done ballet for most of my life, and still take the occasional class. Once again, I always felt big next to the tiny dancers (many of whom I know have eating disorders), and we were always encouraged to watch our diet and size, when in actuality I was already pretty small, and looking back at some of the videos, I didn't look the least bit out of place. I also competed at horse shows, and in the equitation classes, many of the girls made the dancers look big, and to top it off, anytime one of the other mom's would make a comment to my mom about how tiny they thought I was (I was a few inches shorter than almost everyone), my mom would always go into the "well, how much do you think she weighs?" "about 100, 105lbs," "oh no, she's 115lb" That never helped any, for sure. (I promise I'm not trying to blame my mom here)

But I can still wear many of the same, form fitting clothes I wore 10-15yrs ago. I mean, I still wear the leotard I wore back in the 5th grade, and the same breeches I wore in the 7th, so I know I have nothing to worry about with my size, even though the weight number is increasing.

However, the main thing that has helped me was when I was going through the nutrition class at med school, and I kept seeing all of these numbers saying that I needed to be 112lb to be at my ideal weight for optimal health. I mentioned to my preceptor (a doctor we work with in groups of 4) that according to the charts, I needed to be 10lbs less, and I was wondering how accurate they actually were. He looked at me like I was insane for even thinking that I might need to lose weight, and said that this was an example of why we are doctors who actually who see patients, and look at each perosn individually, and not just getting info off of the chart without ever seeing them, because each person is different and does not go eactly by the book, and that anyone who would think I needed to lose any weight was insane.

I still have issues with my weight, but I have to keep reminding myself that that number comes from my muscle, and that I have nothing to worry about. Sorry this was so long, but I wanted to share.

bikerHen
01-25-2006, 10:23 AM
OK, so now a REAL heavy weight with body image issues will wade in! You all think YOU look bad in lycra, try being 5'6"ish and weighing over 200 lbs :eek: It's not a pretty sight, especially when you throw in the lack of plus size jerseys, but I do it because riding a bike is going to save me. I have this mental image of myself as an old fat lady pushing a walker and carrying an oxygen bottle. :( While I can't do anything about the old, I'm turning 50 on Friday, I am doing something about the weight!!!!!

It's an uphill battle and I have to fight for every step I gain. I get depressed because I'm always the fattest person at bike meetings, spin class, and rides. When I tell people I ride a bike, I get the "sure you do" look. I am instantly put into the slow rider/can't keep up catagory. I went on a new group ride last fall that was about 15 miles. The group leader took me aside to ask if I had ridden that far before and was it going to be to much. When I kept up with the leaders through most of the ride she was nice enough to tell me that I was a pretty strong rider.:rolleyes: That's why I'm working so hard this winter. I want to start with group riding this spring and definitely want to show the high and mighty, lean and mean riders that THIS Fat Bottom Girl can kick some a$$.:D

So I press on, because I have no other choice. And what's really depressing is that the process is so sloooow! My husband keeps tells me to be patient, but now that I have comitted to the whole process I want to see results NOW! I no longer get on the scale, the whole muscle weighing more than fat thing, so I look for changes in the way my clothes fit. After all isn't that what it's all about. :) BikerHen

Veronica
01-25-2006, 11:05 AM
It's so easy to judge other people by how they look. You keep fooling them BikerHen and slow weight loss really is better. If you keep biking and eating well, the weight will come off. And even if it doesn't get where you hope, you'll be SO much healthier.

V.

nuthatch
01-25-2006, 11:08 AM
Well said, BikerHen!!! :D

CorsairMac
01-25-2006, 12:21 PM
each day I come here I read yet another motivational, positive reinforcement post! You go kick their lean lil hinneys Banty Hen! I'll ride with you Any day over them "others"! :D

Dirt Girl
01-25-2006, 12:27 PM
I'm turning 50 on Friday...she was nice enough to tell me that I was a pretty strong rider.

Well, HAPPY BIRTHDAY bikerHen! If I didn't have plans, I'd try to brave the cold and go on a birthday ride with you. And I've ridden with you--I KNOW that you ARE a strong rider. Like I told you at the meeting the other night, I admire your endurance. I know I didn't last two hours on my first mtb ride like you and the chick did last fall.

Just keep on riding and remember to focus on having fun!

bikerHen
01-25-2006, 01:07 PM
Yeah, I know slow is better, but still, slow can be SO slow sometimes. It never seems to take as long to gain the weight. :( I know it WILL happen, and I'm also realistic enough to know I will never be thin, but dropping 80 pounds will certainly put me in a much happier place. And I'm sure the hills will be a whole lot easier! My current goal is to be able to wear, in public, the XXL club cut jersey for the LRRH Ride in June. :D BikerHen

Trekhawk
01-25-2006, 01:38 PM
Yeah, I know slow is better, but still, slow can be SO slow sometimes. It never seems to take as long to gain the weight. :( I know it WILL happen, and I'm also realistic enough to know I will never be thin, but dropping 80 pounds will certainly put me in a much happier place. And I'm sure the hills will be a whole lot easier! My current goal is to be able to wear, in public, the XXL club cut jersey for the LRRH Ride in June. :D BikerHen

I continue to be inspired in riding and life by you wonderful ladies. Wow and havent any of those ride clubs learnt yet that sometimes big legs etc means a big powerhouse. I never judge any athlete by how they look it can be so deceptive. Looking forward to seeing you at LRRH and maybe riding some or all of the hundred with you.:D

bikerHen
01-25-2006, 03:58 PM
Dirt Girl - Thanks for the offer to ride, even in the cold! :p I so want to do a 50 mile ride for my B-day. My day is filling up on Friday so I might try for Sunday! I have the route figure out, but will have to use my mtb. I'm not sure if I want to go 50 miles on the mtb.:eek:

TrekHawk - I'll be more than happy to hang with you at LRRH as long as I can. :D BikerHen

Melody
01-25-2006, 06:26 PM
I've been meaning to post to one of the last few threads over the past few days but just haven't had the time but now I do. :)

I have pretty poor self-esteem alot of it stemming from when I was growing up. I'm 5'10.5 (so pretty tall) and when I graduated high school I was just shy of 300 pounds. I've been overweight for as long as I remember but I'm healthier today than I have ever been. I'm now 33, weigh in at 220 and have unfortunately plateaued in my weight loss but I'm persevering.

Losing the weight was not easy but it was something that I really had to do. In college I was diagnosed being diabetic (580 blood sugar) and had been for years. The diabetes had done severe harm to kidneys, livers, heart, etc. :( I was also diagnosed, at the time, with a condition called nephrotic syndrome where the kidneys no longer function as a filter correctly. At the time we had 3 different doctors estimate that if my lifestyle, diabetes and weight didn't change I wouldn't live to see 25.

Strangely, until this point I had been fairly active and never could understand why I didn't lose weight. I played tennis since I was in 6th grade on nearly a daily basis and later got involved in Amtgard (medieval recreation/Live Action Role Playing [LARP]). I'd go out in 40 degree weather to "hit a few balls" and be out all afternoon on the courts.

When I've gotten my sugars and hypertension under (relatively) good control the weight finally started coming off. Unfortunately for a few years I kind of went through a depressed phase which had me more sedentary but had a huge wakeup call just before my 28th birthday -- I had a stroke. Due to that I started really working on control of my health issues and exercising. I have to be careful since those same health issues can be exacerbated by exercise. An enlarged heart and severe hypertension (at time of stroke 253/163) are some of those. :/

These days I'm still not really happy about how I look but I am happier now about it than ever before. I'm still working on the weight loss and working on becoming a stronger cyclist. I miss playing tennis but just haven't had the same motivation as I did when I was younger to play but I may be able to convince my sister to join me. She was really into it also. :D

Rambling Mel

spazzdog
01-25-2006, 07:10 PM
Hey Mel, I'll play tennis with you... haven't swung a racket in years (wondering if mine will still work?) but I'm game. A few times meeting up to knock them around then before you know it we'll be able to have 'matches'.

As to body image... I don't know. I never got sucked into the whole "gotta look this way" hyped by magazines. I never learned to apply makeup... if I had to go to a fancy thing I'd have someone do it for me. My weight if I'm not smoking is abt 145 lbs... I'm 5'7". But since I smoke my norm is abt 124.

In my current state, (to quote Million Dollar Baby) I'm trapped somewhere between nowhere and goodbye, thusly the depression has stripped me down to abt 110. Normally mirrors don't affect me... these days I avoid them if I'm nekkid... I look too much like the skeleton hanging at the doc's office. It will get better once I'm away from here.

All I can say this; I've been involved with thin, lithe athletes and I've been involved with full-bodied, curvy, soft, round women. They were all beautiful in their own unique ways. You should all know that you are beautiful as you are and while you worry or obsess abt a part or parts you don't like, there's someone standing across the way thinking you're the most beautiful woman they've ever seen.

Lise
01-26-2006, 12:25 PM
Biker Hen--Happy Birthday! I hope you get in a great ride for your 50th. I got smoked last summer on a metric century by some older ladies who had to weigh around 200# each. It was humbling. They were stronger. Older, heavier, and stronger. I'm 45, and like you, I don't want to be old and incapacitated. My mom used to love to ride her bike, but lately her inattention to her diabetes has robbed her of that pleasure. I am sure your Chick gets a lot of pleasure out of getting out there and getting muddy with her mom.

Mel, you make me think of Jayne Williams, who wrote a book called Slow Fat Triathlete. the subtitle is "Live your athletic dreams in the body you have now." Her website is www.slowfattriathlete.com Her message, like yours, is really clear: Get out there and do what you love to do. I am glad that cycling is working for you. I think Jayne is 5'10", too. Her story about trying on a wetsuit for the first time is hilarious. I re-read it before I tried on my own first wetsuit, because the internal messages about not looking like an athlete were so strong. I think I've finally got it that an athlete is some one who does athletic stuff. :p And you've been an athlete from the git-go, it sounds like to me.

Take care, Lise

SadieKate
01-26-2006, 01:16 PM
And it appears there are things BikerHen isn't telling us! :p

http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b310/SadieKate/bikerhenacronym.jpg

bcipam
01-26-2006, 01:49 PM
BikerHen:

I'm 5'8" and weigh 220 lbs. I need to lose 60 pounds or more. I will never be slim and in fact, don't want to be. I'm curvy, full chested and that is just me. I do want to be fit and not suffer from disease when I get older (I'm 55 now) so I'm trying to lose weight.

My size (and I have been bigger topping out at 260!) has never stopped me from riding or hiking or going to spin class, or doing anything physically. The only thing my size does is cause me to be gravitationally challenged and I can't climb hills as fast as I would like. I'm a strong climber but physics are what they are and it's hard to move this much weight up a hill fast.

One thing I've learned about men... they are happy if their women are happy. They could care less of you are fat, or skinny, tall or short, they just care if you are happy and well, want to make them happy as well (hint hint). It's in our own minds that out men will reject us if we don't look like Heidi Klum. Sure they fantasize about Heidi, but they are with you!

My philosophy: never let my size, or my age, or my inclination stop me from doing what I want to do.

PS: Terry (terrybicycles.com) makes beautiful plus size jerseys. I have a fairly large collection of them (I have more bike clothes than street clothes - yes sad I admit). I have lost some weight so many no longer fit. I wouldn't mind sending you the jerseys if they fit and you can use them. Send me an email if you are interested.

Melody
01-26-2006, 05:16 PM
Hey Mel, I'll play tennis with you... haven't swung a racket in years (wondering if mine will still work?) but I'm game. A few times meeting up to knock them around then before you know it we'll be able to have 'matches'.

Works for me. :) I really loved playing. When I was down or frustrated I'd hit the courts to work out... or at least exhaust myself where it wouldn't hurt any more.


As to body image... I don't know. I never got sucked into the whole "gotta look this way" hyped by magazines.

I never got sucked into trying what the magazines hyped... but I'd get depressed by the fact I wasn't looking that way. Luckily I'm mostly over that sort of thing but at times it does come back.


I never learned to apply makeup... if I had to go to a fancy thing I'd have someone do it for me.[quote]

heh. I can apply makeup... but I *suck* :rolleyes: So I just go without. And like you I have someone else do it for me... usually a salon or somesuch. :)

[quote=spazzdog]You should all know that you are beautiful as you are and while you worry or obsess abt a part or parts you don't like, there's someone standing across the way thinking you're the most beautiful woman they've ever seen.

I know for me it's hard. It's the years of just really poor self-esteem. Getting called whale jokes as a kid didn't really help either.


Mel, you make me think of Jayne Williams, who wrote a book called Slow Fat Triathlete. the subtitle is "Live your athletic dreams in the body you have now." Her website is www.slowfattriathlete.com Her message, like yours, is really clear: Get out there and do what you love to do. I am glad that cycling is working for you. I think Jayne is 5'10", too. Her story about trying on a wetsuit for the first time is hilarious. I re-read it before I tried on my own first wetsuit, because the internal messages about not looking like an athlete were so strong. I think I've finally got it that an athlete is some one who does athletic stuff. :p And you've been an athlete from the git-go, it sounds like to me.

Take care, Lise

Lise thank you for the link. I just went over and read the wetsuit section and just about spewed my coffee. :) Her writing style is very very humorous. I also think that it's pretty darned cool that she lives in the same town that I do! (At least according to the bio)

I'm going to have to go pick up a copy of her book and read it. :)

I have to say that I never really felt like an athlete growing up. Athletes were those fit, trim jocks in high school. I was very much one of the non-in crowd. Quiet, shy, a nerd and a bookworm. Tennis was just something I enjoyed and was ok at. :)

Mel

DirtDiva
01-27-2006, 05:51 AM
I have to say that I never really felt like an athlete growing up.
Me niether. Far too unco. That's one of the reasons I enjoy biking and snowboarding and the like so much - good balance is way more important than that pesky hand-eye stuff, so I don't, like, suck. :D

bikerHen
01-28-2006, 08:10 AM
Thanks everyone for the birthday wishes. Winter has decided to resume for the weekend, wet snow yesterday, and snowing heavily this morning. So no 50 mile ride this weekend! :( DH suggested I do fifty miles on the trainer?!! :eek: I passed on that idea! BikerHen

Trekhawk
01-28-2006, 10:17 AM
Thanks everyone for the birthday wishes. Winter has decided to resume for the weekend, wet snow yesterday, and snowing heavily this morning. So no 50 mile ride this weekend! :( DH suggested I do fifty miles on the trainer?!! :eek: I passed on that idea! BikerHen

Sorry about the weather Bikerhen - no snow here but its raining if that makes you feel any better. Perhaps 50 pages of a good book might be a nice alternative.:)

RoadRaven
01-28-2006, 12:26 PM
Well, what great thread

It is good to have a place to share anxities and realise that there are more normal woman out there than the media images we are presented with to emulate.

I am interested to know how many of you remember comments by family members.
Although peer pressure plays a huge part in how we perceive ourselves, there are quite a few studies which suggest that a woman's "problem/issue" with food and her body stems from a family member or close family friend.

For me it was my grandmother telling me everytime she saw me I had big upper arms and thighs... I was anorexic at 13, got through that and now battle weight with a healthier attitude as I face middle age post-children.

The power of our family approval can be huge.

My own children have had very little to do with this grandmother (their great grandmother) because she still talks to everyne like this, and I have felt like smacking her for a couple of the things she has said to my daughter - fortunataly my daughter and I have a good relationship and have talked this through and she seems to be a healthy well-adjusted 17 year old who still eats chocolate without feeling guilty... phew...

nicolezoie
01-28-2006, 03:44 PM
Sorry if this is kinda long...

I was a hyper kid. My parents were wise enough to know that the REAL solution to my hyperactivity was to put me in sports. Soccer in winter, swim team in summer, and eventually swimming year around. I was always active and was a super athlete, with *real* Olympic aspirations as a kid - coaches from prominent swim teams tried to recruit me starting from age 7. I kinda got a big head about myself for a few years, but nobody messed with me because I could kick some serious butt. Then, puberty and health class came into my life, and I started to seriously question the mirror, and lost that hard-edged confidence in myself. Even though I achieved Varsity all 4 years for swimming in high school, I still didn't like how I looked in the mirror.

When I moved out on my own at 18, away from family & friends to a different state, I started shedding the "everyone's looking at me" paranoia, and I started to be a little more comfortable being me. I remembered how my mother told me that I was one of those people who had to have some sort of physical activity or I just wasn't right with myself, so I started commuting to work daily, and got praise from everyone in my life for having the discipline to ride so much, even in bad weather. I started to feel a little stronger within myself.

But, to this day, I still have ALOT of body image problems, and I don't really think I'll ever be able to get over them. It's not a fat or thin thing anymore, it's both. From the waist up I think I'm too thin, but from the waist down, I think I'm too heavy. I carry all my weight in my wide hips and workhorse legs. It's still very hard for me to accept my athletic figure, but at the same time, I'm utterly terrified of losing what I have worked so hard to build. At 5'4 1/2", 145#, size 10 pants, in *theory* I look fine, but what I still see in the mirror is completely different. I know in reality that I'm physically and mentally tougher than most everyone I know, but it's only in passing. I don't think I'll ever really be happy with myself.

Selkie
01-29-2006, 02:53 AM
Well, what great thread

I am interested to know how many of you remember comments by family members.
Although peer pressure plays a huge part in how we perceive ourselves, there are quite a few studies which suggest that a woman's "problem/issue" with food and her body stems from a family member or close family friend.

The power of our family approval can be huge.

...
Wow, this hit home. My oldest SISTER was quite cruel to me when I was a kid/teen, telling me that I had a "fat butt" that I was stupid, uncool, etc. At the time, it really hurt me and it ended up making me insecure about myself for a long time. I now realize that my sister was, is, and always has been jealous of me for some complex "family" reasons that I won't get into here. Suffice it to say that as sad as it is, I can't have a relationship w/my sister and it's much healthier to let go of the toxic relationship & move on.

Brandi
02-28-2006, 09:20 AM
From what I can see in your little picture of you you look to be a beutiful women. I hope I can have your outlook on life when i grow up (I am 37). I am having a few hard times with getting older right now. I am 5'3 145 pounds. Gained a lot of wieght when I was on steroids a couple years ago for a rash that took 3 months to go away. Wish they had never given me that stuff. I could loose 10 to 15 pounds and i would be happier.but when i try i just seem to not loose any weight. Sigh!! I have a dh who i have been with for 19 years.He knew me when I was 120 pounds yet he still thinks I am sexy. Guys are easy! Or should i try and see me through he's eye's. Curious? anyway like I said I hope when I grow up I can be as cool as you and just be happy!

Veronica
02-28-2006, 10:41 AM
I'm only 39, so you've got just two years to grow up. :D

V.

snapdragen
02-28-2006, 11:24 AM
I'm only 39, so you've got just two years to grow up. :D

V.

Ha! I'm going to be 49, and I refuse to grow up yet!:D

DirtDiva
02-28-2006, 12:12 PM
Growing old is compulsory, growing up is entirely optional. ;)

susiej
02-28-2006, 12:50 PM
Sorry, but just as with cars, bodies come in packages. If you want the legs then you gotta take the pancake flat chest. :D

My 5'8", size 0 niece complained at 16 that she had "no boobs" and wanted implants. Well, she had very nice boobs, just not flotation devices. In addition to telling her the usual, that she's still growing, she has nice boobs, I also mentioned that busty women, like her aunt, tend to be overall padded, which she isn't.

And of course, I have my own issues. Long story short: 145 lbs looks skinny when you're down from 200 lbs, and I have to laugh now at how "fat" I thought I was at 145 lbs when I was gaining weight.

--S.

SnappyPix
03-01-2006, 08:13 PM
Maybe if the dove women were selling underwear, I would buy their BS laden campaign about loving your curves. However, dove wants us to love our bodies, but not too much, since we must be sufficiently disatisfied to want to improve it with their miracle cream. And if the creams do not work (which is most likely the case), well, you are still left with the self hatred of having a soft body.

Whilst I realise that Dove's intentions aren't purely altruistic, it's certainly a step in the right direction to have real women used in advertising (how novel!) and it's a damn shame more companies don't follow suit.

Why is it that when guys put on weight, they might just feel sheepish or sluggish, but women feel a failure? It says so much about western culture.
I don't mean to sound like a complete man-basher, but the thing that really does get me angry is that the fashion and media industry (especially TV & film) is dictated by men who construct their own unrealistic expectations of how women should feel about themselves. And the real rub? A large percentage of these guys are gay and aren't even attracted to the images they depict.

I've battled with body image issues all my life - and only recently am I starting to love my body. Cycling has been my saviour because it helps me stay healthy and grounded - I've begun to love my thighs and now marvel at the muscles that are developing as I grow stronger and fitter.
My mum is 77 and is constantly dieting because of catty remarks from her b*tchy sisters; it really upsets me because she doesn't have an ounce of fat on her and was hospitalised on a life support machine around 4 years ago on the brink of death - yet still the drive to be the perfect shape seems to outweigh the pure joy of being alive and well.

latelatebloomer
03-02-2006, 05:00 AM
I've been loving this thread - finally had to steal a few minutes to post. Oy, growing up chubby (not obese, just chubby) and having to deal with every GROWN woman's body issues applied to me was...crappy. My mom lived on black coffee, cigarettes, and No-Doze to keep her weight down, and boy, that regimen does not sweeten one's temper:( . I started being put on diets by 3rd grade, and we know what diets do - THEY CREATE FAT PEOPLE!!
OK, I'm all over that now, at at 46, work out hard damn hard, take great care of myself, and am really beoming a cyclist. I stay off scales, but I've gone from a size 24 to an 18, and last night at spin class, I had control of my breathing (and a wee, proud smile on my face) as my heart rate hit & hung at 181.
People still make ignorant comments sometimes, as some of the other curvy posters here have noted. Then I have to check in on my own truth, go to DH for a hug and kiss, and hang out at TE til the boo-boo goes away.
One downer - ok, great, at the store trying on them size 18 pants and feeling like Xena...tried on a pair of light-colored jeans and they look...awful. Hey, I know I've got a little celluite but it doesn't usually look like that...jeans come off, and in the harsh, harsh light of the dressing room...BAGGY SKINeek:
My legs are getting smaller, but my skin isn't.
Ok, I know, stiff upper lip, choose clothes just as carefully as ever, etc, and DO NOT RUN OUT AND BUY EVERY MIRACLE CREAM ON THE MARKET - this I know - but does anyone out there had luck with anything that helps?

bentforlife
03-02-2006, 09:26 AM
although I sit here with a cratered knee and hope I can keep the weight off until I can start riding again.

My story. I grew up tall and skinny,I was 5'6" by the time I was 12 and towered over most everyone in my class at that time. I don't know how many times my mother told me not to slouch. I was also heavy into competitive swimming, freestyle and butterfly, so I had shoulders that made me look like a defensive tackle on the football team. I wasn't into "girly" stuff, no makeup, very few dresses, rode horses alot, a real "tomboy". My senior year I tore a rotator cuff and had to stop swimming. On to college and I didn't become a couch potato but not in as good physical condition. I was slow pitching for an intramural softball team and running to stay in shape for that. I also grew another inch in height for some weird strange reason.

Once I started having children after getting married I started gaining weight and really couldn't get it off. The last baby was a real kicker, gestational diabetes and early labor problems. After she was born I found myself at 250 lbs. 6 years later I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and hypothyroidic. I was very determined to lose weight and managed to lose 70 lbs in one year. It has helped but now I'm a insulin dependent diabetic using an insulin pump(which is fantastic). I still would like to get about 30-40 lbs off and riding was helping and will again.

Self image problems were few and far between for me. I tend to be a realist and knew I was obese(not a pretty word, is it). But I'm also am in the process of becoming a diabetic educator and want to be an example to those I will be helping. I still wear very little makeup. Most people guess my age 10 years younger than I am, and I just turned 49. I have to thank my families good Swiss genes for that and wearing sunscreen religiously.

So what's the point? Not all of fell for the skinny model image our soceity said we had to look like. Even when I was "fat" I was happy with myself as a person, happy with my marriage and happy with my kids(maybe not as much when they were younger teens).

In my eyes I would rather see someone who may be somewhat "overweight" but content about life than someone who is skinny as a rail and miserable trying to live up to unreal expectations. I think this is something we need desperately to teach out teen girls coming up. My daughters are very different from each other. The older is naturally"thin" but not very athletic. She wears size 2, sometimes a size zero. But I don't think she's as healthy as the younger daughter because of her sleeping habits, no exercise, and stress. My youngest daughter is taller with an athlete's body, very solid muscle. She rides her bike alot, walks and runs more, and is happier with herself even though her grades are not as high as the oldest daughter's ere in high school. Attitude makes a real difference. i grew up with an overly critical dad. I was never good enough for him. Once I was on my own and away from his influence I began to realize I WAS a person of worth. Life really changed for me once I changed my outlook.

This is what our kids need today. To know they are a person of worth.

Sorry, I'll step off the soap box now.

Donna:cool:

ACG
03-02-2006, 09:51 AM
I love this post. All ladies look in the mirror and smile while saying-You are a beautiful person!

I have 2 daughters; 22 years old-the other 15. The youngest is still growing, but she will be the curvy one. I am 5'2", 140 lbs, medium frame, size 8 to 12 depending on the store, style, etc. Some people have told me I'm chunky, some people say I'm too thin. I am muscular because of the cycling. When I was younger I was really thin, like 100 lbs, I thought I was fat. I now know I was not healthy.

It is really, really hard taking young girls shopping for clothes that don't make them look trashy or feel fat.

I was told once by someone that I could improve in cycling if I lost weight, then in the same breadth I was told that I could never get that thin cuz I was 'built like a big girl', then I was told how attractive one of the other cycling ladies in my group is, she does triathalons 'now she is a real knock out'. My interpretation, you are ugly and fat.

I try to tell my girls that what they see on TV, movies is not how realy women are, I tell them look at me, your friends, your aunts, etc. They are a variety of shapes and sizes, this is the norm.

Again I love this post.

maillotpois
03-02-2006, 10:58 AM
Great post - I have read and re-read it a couple of times now. There are so many great stories here, but a common thread: You are all strong, kick-a$$ women!!

My body image issues really started with my perception of myself as being unathletic. I grew up chunky and uncoordinated - not good at ball sports, etc.. They put me in remedial PE in elementary school. This really did a number on my self-image! (These days we don't even have funding for regular PE!) Anyway, even though I grew up on a ranch and was running and riding horses outdoors all day, I believed myself to be unathletic and fat. So that's basically what I became. Finally, in college, I joined Weight Watchers and lost 60 pounds over a year. I started running, which helped, but I never really enjoyed running. I actually got a bit too thin for my Amazonian frame, as my periods stopped for a year, but I levelled out and maintained a healthy weight and active lifestyle til I got pregnant 8 or so years later.

After the kiddo was born, it has been an up and down 10 years to get back to a healthy weight. I also developer an auto-immune thyroid disorder which adds an extra complication to the weight loss picture. Discovering cycling 6 years ago has really helped, as I never enjoyed running and riding a bike came so naturally. (Now I realize what my big thighs were made for!).

I seriously NEVER thought of myself as an athlete or athletic until I started cycling. Now I have done countless centuries, 3 double centuries, the Death Ride (twice), have raced in crits and road races and have cycled in the Alps! And cycling has made weight loss a bit easier in that I am not looking to get to certain # to weigh, but looking to IMPROVE my cycling PERFORMANCE - specifically climbing - by dropping some pounds. (I'm 5'9" and have probably another 15 pounds I should be rid of by the end of summer. I am losing slowly - and that's fine. It is really all performance motivated. The reduction in pants size, etc. is just a bonus!)

So that's my story.

Great thread. You all ROCK.

bentforlife
03-02-2006, 11:17 AM
Sounds like we have a lot in common, kidwise. My oldest daughter is 23 years od and in college, still living at home. The youngest daughter turns 16 in 6 weeks(everyone make sure your insurance is up-to-date):eek:

How well do your girls get along? There are times when they act like they could rip each other apart, and then 2 hours later they are fine with each other. It's enough to drive me crazy at times. I have 3 sisters, one is my identical twin. We would get into fights at times but not like my two can, or maybe my memory is fading a bit. I know I spent a lot of time outside and doing other things so I wouldn't get into trouble for fighting with my sisters. It was better that way, my mother says I had a hair trigger temper. That changed a lot when I had my own children.

Donna :cool:

ACG
03-02-2006, 01:23 PM
I have 2 older sisters! They are 4/5 years older. I watched them get all dressed up for prom and I was the noisy younger tom-boy! Sadly both of my sisters are larger and don't share my desire to be healthy. I do not ask them about it either.

My girls get along good. 22 year old lives at home, works at Nordstrom's, she acts like a 2nd mother sometimes.

Worst/best problem is that we all wear the same shoe size, thus we have lots of shoes!

I went to an all girls HS, so did/do my girls. We wore uniforms. Told to act like young ladies, NOT. Thing is that my eldest tells me that she learned how to be very independent, very proud of herself as a female in the all girls environment. And you know what so did I. It was not until I was out of the all girl world, did I feel really self conscious about my body.

My girls are very proud of me and my cycling, the brag to all their friends and that is what I love the best. They are the best cheerleaders I have. I hope they know that I am theirs too.

Lise
03-02-2006, 02:15 PM
Hi, all, I hadn't been back to this thread for awhile, nice to see all the "new" posts (new to me!).

Mel--You live in the same town as Jayne Williams?!? Cool! I emailed her last summer, I was so blown away by reading her book. She emailed me back, and we've written several times. If you wanted to, I'm sure she'd be happy to hear from you. She's currently training to do a marathon on 3/19.

Bent--how great that you're training to become a diabetic educator. I would listen to someone like you, who really knows from the inside out what she's talking about.

On the body image thing: I ran into my ex-boyfriend Monday. I haven't seen him since we broke up last April. One of his first comments: "You're so skinny!" Now, I'm not skinny. I haven't lost a pound since he saw me last (5'8", 150#). What I have done since we parted ways is race three tris, run a bunch of 5Ks, some 8Ks, a 1/2 marathon and a marathon, gone on many long bike rides, and continued to run through the winter. What a great perspective for me. It's not really skinny, it's strong. Of course, he wasn't looking at the belly...:rolleyes: ...and he never will, either! :p L.

Melody
03-02-2006, 05:27 PM
Hi, all, I hadn't been back to this thread for awhile, nice to see all the "new" posts (new to me!).

Mel--You live in the same town as Jayne Williams?!? Cool! I emailed her last summer, I was so blown away by reading her book. She emailed me back, and we've written several times. If you wanted to, I'm sure she'd be happy to hear from you. She's currently training to do a marathon on 3/19.

Lise, yeah. :) I thought it was pretty darn cool. Just seeing the work that she has done to get where she is amazed me. She's one of my heroes. :)


Bent--how great that you're training to become a diabetic educator. I would listen to someone like you, who really knows from the inside out what she's talking about.

Bent, I think it's awesome you're becoming a diabetic educator. :) I'm also diabetic (I know I've mentioned it a few times. :rolleyes:). There are times, especially these days, that I wish I really listened earlier. Now, after the last nephrologist appointment, they're estimating that I'm down to about 50% renal functionality left. So, we're really cracking down on my sugar and bp levels since I personally don't want to have 0% function at 40. :/

You could always use me as an example of what _not_ to do ;) :p

Mel

bentforlife
03-02-2006, 06:38 PM
Are you T1 or T2? Are you on insulin? I was on oral medications until about 2 years ago when my pancreas decided to poop out. I went on Lantus(24 hour acting insulin) and Humalog but could never get good results. I was put on an insulin pump in November and what a difference. I had an A1C this last checkup of 6.1. That's the best I've ever had!! A pump might really help you if you're on insulin.

I have been very fortunate in not having any complications. Kidneys are good, vision, feet, skin. I feel very blessed.

Keep working on that bs level and bp level. Exercise will help a lot with both things. Keep a positive attitude too. You've got a lot of good years ahead of you.

Donna :cool:

lawyergirl
03-08-2006, 04:52 PM
I just want to say thanks to all of you for your posts. I had an incredibly crappy day today food wise and was sitting here wallowing in my self pity and I stumbled upon this thread. It makes me realize that I am not alone! I am at about 148 right now at 5'5 and while I was at 170 about 4 years ago, I have bounced between 138-150 for the last 3 years of law school. Currently being at the upper end of that, I just feel plain crappy about my weight, and especially this week since the scale is not moving. But then I remember all the things I can do, like go to a hard spin class or ride 40 miles on some hard hills and I realize that it's not all about the number on the scale or the number on the tag inside my pants. It's about being healthy and fit and strong, with or without a few extra pounds. You are all an inspiration!

maillotpois
03-08-2006, 05:55 PM
Hey Lawyergirl - I'm one too and struggle with stress (and boredom!) related weight issues. 2 years ago in one trial I put on about 20 pounds in 8 weeks! Blah! What sort of law do you practice?

enzed
03-09-2006, 08:31 AM
Here's my thoughts. When I hit my teens, I started getting curves. Around my late teens, I went on the occasional diet regieme. I did this by being strict with my diet & powerwalking. Yes, I did lose weight, but I soon gained it back.
So now I'm 27years old, size 14(australian) bottoms & size 12 on top. I've got "child bearing hips" with a curvy butt & thighs. I'll never be a model, but who cares.
I ride my bike most days of the week. I ride 150-200Km a week. I get up at 7am on Sunday mornings to spend the morning on my bike. Last year I cycled my first supported week-long bike ride (560Km) & had a awesome time.
And just last week I was a full-time catering volunteer on the NSW Big Ride (supported bike ride). It's a nine day cycling holiday with a "tent city" at the end of each of day. Being a full-time volunteer means that my bike stayed at home all week. But, I managed to borrow a flat-bar road bike for a 65Km section of the ride.
Having just finished breakfast duty, I jumped on the bike & 3 hours later I was at the next campsite (at a 23km average). People whom I had been serving food all week were surprised to see me. I was passing other riders & hitting 30km on the flats. Maybe it was because my legs were fresh, or maybe it was the tail-wind, or maybe the lighter bike, but I've never felt so good on a bike. Oh, and other people were surprised to find out that yes, I can ride & I'm not that bad at it either.
Cycling is the one sport in which I have some abililty. And I have a greater appreciation for my body (somewhere in those curves, there's muscle).
I can put on lycra, over those curves, and not feel too self-consious. How cool is that!

gromit68
03-10-2006, 05:39 PM
I feel like I'm not the only one now. This is a wonderful thread. I've had self esteem problems since I was 16 or 17 and had to switch to a different epilepsy medicine that caused me to gain weight. I have gone back and forth ever since. I'm currently trying to lose weight again but for health reasons since I have high cholesterol and teetering on high sugar. I have a twin sister(identical) who I have always thought was better looking because she is smaller. I know that is ridiculous but I guess it is just the s/e issue.

Thanks to all of you for sharing in this thread because it really gives me a boost that I'm not the only one with these thoughts and that I'm fine the way I am.

lawyergirl
03-13-2006, 04:34 PM
Hey Lawyergirl - I'm one too and struggle with stress (and boredom!) related weight issues. 2 years ago in one trial I put on about 20 pounds in 8 weeks! Blah! What sort of law do you practice?

Hello, Sarah. I am not yet in practice yet - finishing my last year of law school right now. About 2 more months and I'm outta there!! How about you?

maillotpois
03-14-2006, 10:47 AM
Hello, Sarah. I am not yet in practice yet - finishing my last year of law school right now. About 2 more months and I'm outta there!! How about you?

Well, good luck finishing up. I know when I was in my last year I was SO ready to be done with school! I have been practicing for 14 years. Yikes! Ready for my next career now... :D