Currently viewing the category: "No Fat Talk Tuesday"

photoThe first evidence of a growing bump! (above)

Hello again! I feel like it’s been forever since I checked in with you all. California wine country was absolutely wonderful and I plan to put a full travel post together soon, but travel posts always take me such a long time. In the meantime, let’s sit down and have some good old fashioned girl talk about babies, body image and maternity fashion, shall we?

I’ve always been so excited to be pregnant and have a family of my own, especially given the rocky road we’ve journeyed to have this baby, but, given my body image struggles of the past, I was more than a little nervous about seeing my body grow and change over the 9+ months of pregnancy.

I don’t want this to come across as complaining in any way, because as I mentioned we are so very thankful,  but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that seeing your body grow and change and having it be out of your control can be extremely unsettling at times, especially when you have a rocky body-image past.  I’ve been careful to watch what I say and monitor my thought processes about my growing body, appreciating what my body is doing (growing a human!) rather than what scares me, like the extra pounds and squishy bits that weren’t there before.

One of the things that’s been helpful is to buy and wear clothing that fits my body in its current state, rather than trying to fit into items that used to fit a certain way and now fit quite different. Since I’m on the tall side, I’m just barely showing shy of 15 weeks, meaning most maternity clothes don’t seem necessary but some of my old favorites (especially the waist-defining dresses I love) don’t fit, either.

Last week I went shopping and picked up a handful of dresses from Banana Republic and Gap Outlet that are looser and stretchy, meaning my bump will have some room to grow. I also picked up a shift dress from Anthropologie that I should be able to wear for months to come.

As far as maternity clothes go, I would love your suggestions! I recently splurged on a dress from Hatch Collection (the Afternoon Dress in black if you’re interested) which felt like a total indulgence. Since wearing Hatch exclusively isn’t in the budget, I would love to hear where you found the best fun, trendy and affordable maternity pieces. Anywhere I should be looking ?

Madison

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A few years back I did a year-long series on banning “fat talk” from my vocabulary. I shared stories of women (including many of you!) who had struggled to overcome negative body image issues and are working to ban fat talk from their own vocabulary in an effort to be kind to their bodies and their minds. After finishing up my “No Fat Talk Tuesday” series, I felt accomplished and mostly free from my own form of fat talk and negative self talk in general. But I got a little lax and I let myself slip and gradually, over time, the fat talk slipped back into my daily routine. Sometimes out loud and sometimes just to myself when I looked in the mirror before work.

Over the last couple months I’ve felt out of place in my body, and at times I’ve felt at war with my body, too. Between feeling sick from being pregnant and eating all sorts of strange foods I don’t usually eat (potato chips, anyone?) and then miscarrying, I was left feeling unsettled and strange in the body that I had finally felt so comfortable in for the last two years. Sure, before this my body wasn’t perfect, but I felt like I had found my happy place. But after I miscarried, I started to feel negatively toward my body. In my weaker moments I believed that my body, now a couple pudgy pounds heavier than usual, had failed me.

When I was overcoming some of my issues with food what helped me most was to focus on what my body could do instead of the things I didn’t like about it. But after the miscarriage, that strategy didn’t work quite as well. Sure, I could run a half marathon and countless other road races, I could play tennis for hours and lift heavy weights and do yoga for 90 minutes in a hot room but the one thing I wanted my body to do, carry a child, was the one thing my body didn’t seem able to do (at least not yet!) I started to let the thoughts like “I’m fat and pudgy and I look horrible!” creep back into my vocabulary more often than I would like to admit.

I share this not to get compliments and make myself feel better or to put on a front of humility, but to encourage all you women who are still just human beings, prone to take steps backward now and again. Recently I’ve fallen off the “No Fat Talk” bandwagon, but this month my goal is to be kind to my body and give myself the grace and compassion I would offer any of you reading this post.

Am I a little softer around the middle than I would like to be? Absolutely! Have I felt betrayed by my body? If I’m being honest, yes. But being hard on that same body isn’t going to do me any good. Instead, I’m filling myself up with the good things: God’s word, water, vegetables, exercise, and a re-commitment to putting the scale away. And I’m tossing out the bad things: Unkind words, self punishment, giving voice to the negative thoughts.

Have any of you fallen off the “No Fat Talk” bandwagon? How have you gotten back on track?

P.S.: I’m also participating in The May Challenge over at Thyme is Honey for anyone who wants to join in, it’s not too late!

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One of the topics I’m most passionate about and have enjoyed writing most on Espresso and Cream has been body image. It’s been a while since I talked about anything related to body image, mainly because I find myself in a funny place lately in terms of my body. Joe often says that the things we struggle with the most are the areas in our life that God uses in the biggest ways to help others and connect with those in a similar place. I like to think that there is a lot of truth to that.

I snapped the photo above while trying on the items in my latest Stitch Fix. When I look at that photo a wave of sadness rushes over me. The girl in that photo is absolutely beautiful. She looks healthy and fit, alive and well. But when I snapped that photo, those aren’t the thoughts I had. I examined my body in that dress and evaluated it from every angle. And, I’m sad to say, I picked it apart.

Over the years I’ve come a long way in my journey to body acceptance, but there are still days when I look in the mirror and find flaws, both real and imagined, that prevent me from living and enjoying life to the fullest. One of my prayers lately has been that God would allow me to see myself more clearly and would continue to foster in me a spirit of self confidence. How am I doing this? I don’t have it all figured out, but this is where I’ve started:

1. Seek God and Study His Word: God has a lot to say about His creation! He’s incredibly passionate about His children and the beauty in each one of us. It’s something he talks about a lot in His word. I especially love what is said in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20:
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

2. Ask for Prayer: My husband is incredibly loving and supportive and a great resource for me. If I find that I’m starting to think negative thoughts about my body when getting ready for work or a date night, I ask Joe to pray with/over me, that God would protect my thoughts and allow me to live life fully. I’m not always good about doing this, but I’m working on it more and more. It’s amazing how differently I think after taking just a minute or two to bring my thoughts and emotions in front of God.

3. Just Move Forward: This probably sounds a little too simplistic, but sometimes it’s important to just get over myself and move on with my day. We all have those days when things just aren’t working, whether that is hair, makeup, the clothes we’re wearing, etc. But what’s been the most helpful to me in those moments is to say (out loud) “This is as good as it’s going to get today.” I can drive myself crazy obsessing over the imperfection I see, or move on with my day and enjoy it anyway.

There are a lot of women who are writing about a single topic this month, called the 31 Day Challenge. A whole month of posts based around a single topic. I love the idea of taking time each day to really write with thought and intention. Although I don’t have the capacity this month to participate in the full challenge, I hope to spend a little extra time and energy this month writing intentionally about body image and wellness in the spiritual, emotional, and physical sense. I welcome your thoughts, experiences and insights this month as I try my best to be a little bit more transparent and thoughtful in what I write!

Madison

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I’ve been meaning to write about this topic for a while now, but this is the first chance I’ve gotten to really put thoughts down on paper with all the craziness of our summer schedules.

As a bit of a background, I grew up in a house where we never owned a scale. Once in a while when I was visiting friends, I would step on a scale at their house. But my mom was a big proponent of not owning a scale. My mom has always been fit, healthy and active. Without saying it out loud, she was sending me an important message: the number on the scale doesn’t matter, being healthy does.

Right after college, when I was losing the weight I gained in school and finding my way back to my healthy body, I decided to buy a scale for my apartment. I’ve weighed myself almost daily ever since. The scale, which was located in my bathroom, was the first thing I stepped on each morning after waking up. I knew the general number my body had settled at comfortably, 145, and would monitor ups and downs to keep myself in check. A few pounds up, a few pounds down: As long as I was in the range all was okay.

However, in the past six months or so, I started to notice that my once normal relationship with the scale was starting to edge into unhealthy territory. It’s not uncommon for my weight to fluctuate between 140 and 148 throughout the course of a week. Suddenly, instead of taking the fluctuations with a grain of salt, I was starting to let the number on the scale dictate my day. If the scale read 148 it threw my day into a tizzy with negative body talk and a distorted view of what I looked like. If it read 140, I was elated and felt great. Instead of paying attention to how I felt, what my body was telling me and how my clothes fit, I was allowing a number on a scale to speak the loudest in my mind.

So, one day, I decided it was time to just put the scale away. I moved it out of my bathroom and into the hall closet. Getting it out of sight also placed it out of mind and I found that I was much happier and more balanced without being faced with a number every day. I still get my scale out every two or three weeks instead of daily, which is a much healthier way of monitoring overall weight and health rather than obsessing over minute details like water weight and daily fluctuations.

The funny thing is, weighing myself vs. not weighing myself daily has had zero impact on my weight. The scale wasn’t really helping me stay on track, it was just a tool I used to obsess over something I shouldn’t have been obsessing about.

How do you feel about the scale? Love it or hate it?

Madison

WHO: Jenny Frederick
WHAT: World-Traveling Minnesota Girl
BLOG: Traveling Chic

Hi, E&C Readers! My name is Jenny and I am delighted to be a part of Madison’s “My 5 Things.” I’m a Midwest girl from Minnesota but I’ve also lived in San Francisco, Sydney, Boulder and briefly in Rome. I’m a month away from my 30th birthday, and although it makes me feel somewhat old, I’m excited to shirt into a new decade. I am an attorney by day and the owner and blogger of Traveling Chic by night. When I’m not working, I can be found trying out new recipes (especially from E&C), digging into a good book, trying to convince my boyfriend that we need a dog, and dreaming up my next travel destination. Here are my five things!

1.Saturday Mornings: Whether I am trying a new brunch spot or taking a stroll with coffee, I love Saturday mornings. It is the one time of the week when my boyfriend and I aren’t distracted by other things and can focus on each other! I’d love to have a Saturday morning tradition, but I haven’t come up with the perfect idea yet.

2. The Secret to Happiness: I wish I had the answer! Besides my family and friends, I think that happiness often comes from the simple pleasures in life, like laughing until your belly hurts, watching a sunset, trying a DIY project, catching up with a friend over peppermint mochas, and eating dessert before dinner. All of these things put a smile on my face.

3. A Good Book: I have an insatiable love for reading. There is nothing better than getting lost in a good book. I recently received a Kindle as a gift, and love how easy it is to buy a book, but I miss earmarking pages and giving it to a friend when I’m finished. I usually like to read memoirs, especially about traveling and cooking. A personal favorite of mine is “My Life in France” about Julia Child’s adventures in cooking and living in Paris. The next book I want to dig into is “Berlin Kitchen: A Love Story (with Recipes).”

4. Wanderlust: As you can probably guess from my blog, I love to travel! I am in a permanent state of wanderlust. I worked as a flight attendant for a year, spent a semester at sea, and traveled the world from Havana to Hong Kong. I truly believe that traveling is good for the soul! It allows you to experience new things, meet new people and actually live in the moment. My enthusiasm for life is always recharged after a great trip!

5. Countdown ’til Christmas: Christmas is such a magical time of year. I am completely guilty of going over-the-top with decorating, baking and gifting. I usually keep a strict rule about not listening to Christmas music before Thanksgiving, but I had a moment of weakness the week before Thanksgiving and put on Michael Buble’s Christmas CD. Whoops! Although the holidays can be very commercial, it can be so much more than that. It’s the time of year when you can show the people you love what they truly mean to you. This year I plan to make time for the special people in my life, volunteer, go skiing and sledding (I live in a frozen tundra after all), cozy-up by the fireplace, and spread some Christmas cheer!

Thanks for sharing, Jenny! If you’re interested in sharing your 5 things, shoot me an e-mail (madisonjanemayberry@gmail.com) for more information! -Madison

 

 

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