Cookie Cutter Body

Yesterday on my facebook status, I asked people if they were either happy or unhappy with their body image.  I wasn’t sure what the results would be.  Of the 38 women that responded, the results were this…

66% unhappy

18% happy

16% on their way to being happy

I didn’t count my vote, which would probably be with the 16% which are on their way to being happy with their body image.  Even after years of working on it, it’s an issue I continue to struggle with.  Progress…not perfection (as my friend Ginette used to tell me).

Why aren’t we happy with ourselves?

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Is it pressure from society to be a certain size and weight?  The elusive cookie cutter woman…

In my humble opinion, the only way we can move away from this is to worry less about what everyone else thinks we should be, and look within ourselves.  Which is funny, because as the results show, most people aren’t happy with their body image. So the girl beside you who looks like she has a body you would kill for probably isn’t happy with her body either.

What is your goal? One of my friends said she was happy with how she looks, but unhappy with her current fitness level.  So her goal is to run and bike easily.  I think that’s awesome!  That’s a goal that she is able to achieve.  It’s not about being a size ___.

I thought about what I don’t like about my own body yesterday.  I don’t like my tummy rolls, and although I can certainly work on that, I got this tummy from having three kids.  My tummy rolls are totally worth it.  Guess what? Most women that have children have the same tummy I do.

Life should be lived with pride.  Throughout my life, I have always looked ahead to the next stop rather than living in the moment. I can’t wait until I fit into that pair of jeans that have sat lonely on my closet shelf.  I can’t wait to tone my arms so I can wear a strapless dress that hangs in my closet.   Guess what, that strapless dress fits me now..toned arms or not.  I’m going to wear it.

The goal to be fit and healthy has nothing to do with being a certain size.   If you aren’t happy with your body image, I believe the solution is to be good to you.  If only we could see ourselves through the eyes of those who love us most, we would treat ourselves with the respect we deserve.  Really look within and ask yourself what part of it is something you can do something about, and what part of it is because you are looking to the outside world to dictate what you should be.  What parts of your behavior is destructive, and what parts will bring growth into your life.

I can switch my body image issue in one day.  One day I can feel horrible about myself because of the food choices I made, or because I’m a lump on the couch still in my pj’s sporting yesterday’s hair do.  The next day I can feel like a million bucks because I’ve taken great care of myself.   For me, this is what living a healthy lifestyle has brought to my life.  It’s given me my self-respect back and the willingness to keep going, to treat myself well.  To be proud of what I can do, and to stop living life on the side-lines.

I’m really curious what your take on this issue is.  Share your comments, stories, and thoughts here.

One thing that struck me from the results of the little poll, was how many of us deal with this issue…no matter what size you are.  So there are a lot of us in the same boat.  Don’t you just wish we could all just be honest with one another and let go of that cookie cutter mold many of us are striving for?  There is something so beautifully freeing in that.  It actually makes me feel giddy inside.

Share, talk, look within, and live your life with your head held high. You are beautiful, loved, and so worth it.


20 thoughts on “Cookie Cutter Body

  1. My biggest issue is infact my baby belly and loose skin from the weight loss. Short of surgery I know there is nothing I can do about it. I am working hard to being ok mentally with having the body of a woman who has experienced life and not wishing for the body of a teenager. I don’t even buy beauty magazines anymore because as much as they preach the same message you have here all their models seem to still be the cookie cutter woman.

  2. Thank you Christine. You are such a wonderful person and you totally motivate me. Remember ladies, one day at a time. I joined the local gym 3 days ago. After seeing my reflection in the mirror, I thought,” oh my God, I have a long way to go, but I can do it. ” Tina 🙂

  3. I love these!!! Such an insightful woman you are Christine! Actually, I bet we are all pretty insightful! I have thought the things you write about but the thoughts get distracted by negative thoughts and they never find their way to the surface! I am guessing there are many woman out their who feel the same way!

    I didnt vote in your poll! But I will say that I am one who is on my way to being happy! Coming into my 30’s! (Well lets get honest here, I am half way through them! ) I have really began feeling comfortable in my own skin! More so than ever in my life! Even back in the days when I was modelling and had a “cookie cutter body” I was not happy with my body! If I knew back then, what I know now! Ha but life doesnt work that way! I recognize this and think that I have a lot to teach my girls about being a girl, a teen, a woman! Things that my mother, who suffered from eating disorders my entire childhood wasnt able to teach me! Maybe this silly cycle can be broken, despite all the celebrity influence and pressures our kids these days have!

    It really is amazing that my mid 30s is starting to bring me an understanding that I should have had years ago! Back in the days when I had perky full breasts, and tight abs that werent riddled with stretch marks… As I walked down the runway, barely dressed with a body most would do anything for, I had more insecurities then than I do now… And I gotta say, I looked damn good back then! What I have discovered, as you mentioned Christine is that we all have our insecurities! And yes we all look to the woman next to us at times and admire something she has that we dont! And that woman is probably looking at us and admiring something we have that they think they dont! Its an endless cycle and I agree, we all need to stop being so hard on ourselves and come together and enjoy our bodies! So here I am telling anyone who might be standing next to me one day admiring something about me! My tits sag, and I have belly rolls hang. I have back fat and cellulite! I have a 4 inch by 2 inch scar on my outer thigh… My body is a story of my life and not for one minute would I trade that for everything that I have today! I am probably looking at you all, and admiring something about you! Perfection is really over rated! And as I say these words I am going to try to remember them and apply them to my life!
    THanks Christine for writing about this!

  4. Tawny, you have me ugly crying here! lol Thank you so much for sharing! I love that you publicly put out there that your “tit’s sag”. I have always appreciated and looked up to your honest nature. You aren’t afraid to put out your insecurities and say it how it is. It is so very refreshing, and brings that out in other women. You rock sista! Thank you for taking the time to comment.

  5. Christine
    I didn’t respond to your poll because I have most days when I am happy and other days when I eat truffles and don’t exercise when I am not positive about my image.
    My 13 year old daughter who is 5’7 and weighs 136 came home crying the other day because her “friends” told her she was fat because she is a foot taller and weighs more than they do. I broke out the BMI scale to show her that she is not and that that is science. (Most of us would kill to be that size!!. ) I am the same height but have a few more pounds on me. but it made me think how it starts already…the negative talk from others and how it can influence us…I am showing her your blog because you articulated so well what I was trying to tell her and hopefully some of it sticks…Thanks so much for being you!!

  6. Ugh, Melissa. Girls can be so cruel. I hope your daughter recognizes that, and holds her head high! Honestly, the scariest part of raising daughters (for me, anyway) is the challenge of fostering that healthy level of self-esteem. I feel like I have to constantly be vigilant to redirect statements and reinforce the positive images. Even from my husband! He started calling the 3 year old a “skinny minny” and I cringed every time. (He hasn’t done it in a while – he’s a dude, he doesn’t understand why I think it’s important, but he obliged me and stopped saying it!!).

    I’m happy with my body and (honestly) don’t even know what I weigh right now because I am determined to NOT project any issues on to my daughters. I *will* show them, by example, that your weight/height/hair colour is not what defines you.

  7. Well you girls have made me take a deep look and think what is it about my body that I don’t really like….I can think of quite a few things, but as so many of you have said if we didn’t have the stretch marks or the jelly belly that I have gotten, then I am sure there would be something else I could be insecure about and yes it would be amazing to look like a supermodel, BUT I have three little bodies and a husband that know me from the inside and they all think I am the most beautiful person in the world. So every time I look in the mirror and wish all my insecurities away I try and think about that and that is good enough for me. So having said that I am okay with my body and I am going to say that every day.

  8. That’s the whole point I think, we all have areas we don’t like about our body. That’s life. It’s just important to remember that those areas we have a hard time accepting mean very little – it’s the relationships in life and the people who love us most that’s important.

  9. Chrissy, thanks for another wonderful post. Someone told me recently that there were too things that i had to learn. 1) self-kindess 2) self-acceptance. That same person asked me if I would talk to my daughters the same way I talk to myself? Hell NO! I was struggling. I thought if I lost the weight from having my last baby I would be happy. I did lose that weight – and then some. Still looked in the mirror disgusted with myself. So I took up biking, running & swimming & burnt myself out! Just this last month everything has clicked. I’m ok with being the size that I am because right now I have found what works for ME. I feel good and I feel strong. I work out hard & I take care of myself. I hope this is setting a great example for my girls.

  10. Tammy babe! I agree with that person. I am so glad that you feel good and strong, because that’s exactly what you ARE! You inspire me in so many ways. I’m so thankful we met ❤

  11. Christine, I may have a roll or two on my tummy, and a little Jello on my arms and thighs!! But, I am happy in my skin, I like me , and because of your beautiful comments to me all the time about how I am confident and beautiful and those awesome pictures I have of myself, I am starting to like myself even more!! I may not be the weight that I wanna see on the scales, but I am healthy and strong, and right now that is what is important to me 🙂 Thanks for another great blogpost, you arae so motivating …

  12. Tammy my friend, you are confident, beautiful, and strong! It totally makes my heart happy that you know that. I couldn’t wait to take your spirit session pictures along with Amy because I see that in you everytime I see you. You made my day 🙂

  13. This is a little off topic… LOL but I needed to share this with someone… So yesterday I was in line at Safeway! There was this woman in her late twenties maybe, she was all geared up in her lu lu wear… I was admiring her great body, particularly her bottom… Not in a sexual way but in an admiring way! Wishing my bottom was perked up like hers was and not half way down the back of my legs… Not really sure how long I had been looking but as I look up there was this handsome young man looking at my that stood in line behind her… He looked away and had a little smirk on his face! THat guy totally busted me checking out this womans behind! LOL… I giggled to myself! Thought it was pretty funny… If only he knew why I was really looking, and not the reason he probably was hoping I was checking her out! Hope this isnt too much info for this blog… I just thought it kinda fit in with this body image and comparison thing we all seem to be doing!!!

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