Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Great Body Debate

Happy Thursday!

I hope all of you are doing well today!  Just 24 hours and it will be Friday afternoon and almost time for the weekend!  I hope you all have super fun plans.  I have a dinner with Jess and a graduatoin party for a girl I used to babysit who now is a gorgeous soon to be college freshmen. I'm proud to say that we're now friends and she still is like my little sister.  So excited for her!  College was the best 5 years of my life and I'm excited for all the memories that she is going to make.  But in reality, I do feel really really old!  How can my little babysittee be graduating from high school?!

Anyway, today is a link up that I am very excited about.  I think it is a serious conversation (way more serious than most things you will find on this little bloggy) that is extremely important.  The topic today is body image.  Body image.  Two little words that plague most of the human (eh hem mostly female) population.  I will be the first to admit that I am not immune to the body image or as I like to call it Body War:  Forever.  Raise your hand if you feel like there are times when you are at complete war with your body?


I do.  Every day I feel like I am on a hamster wheel of chasing "the perfect body".  And everyday I lose this game, this battle, this war, this epic war against humanity.  Because that's what it is.  It's a war against women and humanity.  My struggle with weight began when I was in middle school.  I was always an active kid.  I danced 3 nights a week since I was 7 years old (before that was one-two days a week since I was three), I practiced Kenpo Karate from the time I was 6 until I was 12, I played basketball from the time I was in kindergarten until 8th grade, I swam from 3rd grade to 7th grade, and I played soccer for a few years.  I was an active kid with an active kid body.  I was a size zero from the time I was in 5th grade until 9th grade.  I wore those size 0 pants as a badge of honor.  I was proud to be the skinniest kid in class.  I weighed about 100 pounds and was 5'8".  I was awkward and gangly but when I looked at the models, girls my age (13-15), they were my size.  They were my size and they were models. They were perfect--something my Type-A personality strived to be.  I remember how closely I wold judge my body when I changed into my size XS Soffee shorts for cheer practice in 8th grade.  If I had even a smidge of fat hanging over the non-forigiving waist band I would "diet".  Thus beginning my downward spiral and negative relationship with food.  Let me preface this with no one, not a single person, ever told me I was fat or needed to lose weight.  This was/is/will always be something in my head.  

My "diet" for most of 6th-8th grade consisted of Cheerios for breakfast, Smartfood popcorn and a water bottle for lunch, and then half of whatever we ate for dinner.  Total calorie count?  Around 1,000.  I also downed a soda with dinner because I needed energy.  Something 1,000 calories of processed crap doesn't give you.  Go figure.  Do you want to know why I ate 1,000 calories?  Beacuse I read in a People magazine that Jennifer Garner ate 1,200 calories a day.  I thought ok, she's thin but I want to be thinner.  So I went with 1,000.  Also I only drank 2 bottles of water a day because I was afraid of "water weight".  Sick.  I now drink 100s of ounces of water a day.  

My exercise plan, as laid out by aforementioned People told me that these stars exercise 4-6 hours a day.  SO What Did I Do?  I exercised 4-6 hours a day.  Every. Single. Day. I not only went to five times a week cheerleading practice (2 hours a day), but then I went to dance class (45 minutes to 1.5 hours 3 times a week) followed by basketball practice for 2 hours twice a week.  Then, I did an hour of cardio OnDemand followed by a half hour of yoga and half hour of Pilates.  Pretty sick.  Sure I maintained my size 0 status, but I wasn't healthy.  I felt that if I went over 100 pounds I was done.  Done with cheerleading, done with dance, done, done, done.  I began to realize this was crazy.  I remember crying really hard when I went to the mall and bought a size 27 Levi's 501.  That was insane.  A size 27?  I had failed. I was no longer perfect.  I remember feeling so badly about myself that day at Kohl's.  

Later that week, my 8th grade math teacher passed out our report cards.  I received a B.  A B?!  Are you freaking kidding me? Now my perfect A streak was over.  My immediate thought was, if you were skinnier, that size 0, you would have gotten an A.  That is insane and I now know it.  I started working on my "diet" again and working out like crazy.  I once did 1,000 sit ups 3 times a week while I watched TRL.  (The good ones with Carson Daly) Why did I do this?  Because Britney Spears did 1,000 sit ups thrice a week.  Note to self-seek help when you start making lifestyle choices because Ms. Spears tells you it's a good idea.  

Then, high school started.  I started cheering 5 days a week, dancing 3 days a week, and lifting weights twice a week.  Suddenly, my little 8th grade body began to be a muscle machine.  Cheerleading does that to you.  I remember trying on my Sweet 16 dress at Jessica McClintock and crying because it was a size 3. A freaking size 3 made me cry!?  I started hating the very muscles that enabled me to be a great cheerleader and dancer. 

Suddenly I became incensed that my size 0 jeans didn't fit my new athletic and womanly shape.  I had hips and boobs and a booty.  I couldn't wrap my mind around the fact that I didn't look like the size 0 little kid body I once had.  

As high school wore on I began to feel better about myself.  College was pretty good, too.  Suddenly I was surrounded by people who cared more about grades, academia, and education than how much they weighed.  These were good people to be surrounded by.  I also was surrounded by healthy choices.  I ate healthy proteins, healthy fats, and healthy foods at every meal.  I also visited the gym regularly and established a healthy routine.  I was teaching dance (a job I loved and desparately miss) and therefore felt a responsiblity to be a good healthy role model for the little girls who told me weekly, "Miss Erin when I grow up I want to be you."  I started making healthier choices.  Every time I felt the need to "diet" to lose 3 pounds, I would say to myself, what if so and so saw you?  What would they think of their hero?  That was powerful stuff.  

Then I turned 22.  My super-high metabolism slowed down a little and suddenly I actually had to work out if I wanted to keep myself a size 2.  When I lived in my own apartment in college I cooked three meals a day for myself and rarely ate out.  I still drank a soda a day and ate chocolate but most of my eats were clean.  I learned how to cook healthy meals.  I still cried when I didn't fit into my size 2 pants, but also was surprised that now I could easily run 5 miles a night.  I began seriously weight training and felt even better about my newly defined arms.  I hadn't had guns like these since my high school cheerleading days.  

Now I feel like I do fight a battle against my body.  I know that it is unrealistic to wish to be that 13-year-old size 0 girl that I was 10.5 years ago.  I'm a woman and I love that I have a woman's body because it means I can one day have a baby and live an active life.  I now work out daily and eat very healthy foods.  I don't drink soda anymore and I consume way more than 1,000 calories a day.  I feel good about myself--for the most part.  Sure I have some moments where I go what is that?  Where did that come from?  Recently I started asking myself what I would really accomplish if I lost 5 pounds.  How would I feel?  Then the scariest thing ever happened.  I said, "I'd be happy!"  HAPPY?  Are you kidding me?  I'd be happy if I lost 5 pounds?  What do I have to be unhappy about?  I have a body that lets me train for half marathons, dance, lift weights, laugh, stretch, and play.  I have a family and friends that most would be jealous of.  I have a life that is better than anything I could have imagined.  I have a Master's degree and have had a world class education.  I'm  a blessed woman.  From those blessings I should find my happiness--not from a number.  I'll be compeltely honest with y'all here:

Erin's stats

Weight-140 pounds
Dress size-2/4
Bra size-34 C/D depending on their mood.  Does anyone else have boobs that vary depending on their mood?  Mine do.  
Shoe size-8.5

I think we should all take time to say one thing we love about our bodies.  I love my legs and my arms.  They are long and toned from lifting weights and years of dancing.  They are healthy and strong.  Sure my thighs are thicker than Jennifer Aniston's, I don't have a thigh gap, and I have cellulite on them.  But guess what?  They are mine and I am fortunate to have them.  Sure I'd love my stomach to be flatter and my 6 pack to be more defined (I can feel it under the layer of sugary sweets that have claimed my stomach as their home) but guess what?  When I was a size 0 I wasn't happy!  I was miserable.  I am much happier now as a size 4 than I was then.  So let's all say screw the magazines, the models, the media, the public.  Do you know what the public wants us to look like?  

This girl!  This is NOT HEALTHY!  I don't want this body!  


This is rambly.

This is not fat.


She's hot, no?!  

We all need to take a beat and realize that health is more important than skinny.  We don't all need to rock a 6 pack and ripped arms.  We need to find happiness outside of our body image.  We as women have so much to be proud of.  By design we are beautiful.  We are also smart, funny, kick-ass, and awesome!  We need to find a sense of purpose, self, and happiness  in something besides our bodies and our sizes.  Ladies raise your forks to a life where we are not judged by our sizes.  To a life where we don't walk down the street and judge other women and their bodies.  

Happy Body Image Love Day,




  1. You have hit so many nails on the head here girl. It's hard to quit the comparison game when there's so many "tips and tricks" to keep us all the same shapes and sizes ...Even though genetically we AREN'T all made to look the exact same way. I realize the women that I find most beautiful are the ones who are curvy and confident regardless of the size of their waistband.

    1. That's exactly how I feel! I think the most beautiful women are the ones who are not size 000, but the ones who rock what they have! Every day I try to be one of those ladies! Some days it's easy and some days it's super duper hard!