Tag Archives: weight

Keeping It Real

This is one of those posts that I started to write a few times and then just got annoyed and stopped, as between Ashley Judd and a pregnant Jessica Simpson being in the news for their weight, the topic of  body shaming is old.

But yet I feel compelled to at least weigh in on the topic—no pun intended, unless it makes me sound witty—and offer a slightly different perspective on the topic.

We don’t need to rehash my own history with OCD and weight and health. Bottom line—the fact is that right now I’m still underweight. I hate that I’m so thin and would pay large sums of money to release myself from my OCD prison and gain a quick 30 lbs. I would have no issue with that.

What I do have an issue with is letting go of those routines that would allow me to gain the weight. It’s not vanity. It’s psychology and anxiety and a million things unrelated to how someone else thinks I should look.

The fact that the common assumption that these behaviors stem from a place of vanity and dissatisfaction with a physical ideal is the very reason I’ve always refrained from classifying my OCD as anything directly related to food and exercise, as it’s so much more complex than that.

I really couldn’t care less what is classified as “beauty” and not fitting some socially (unattainable) ideal has no bearing on how I think of myself. 

Regardless of my weight, I think I’m a pretty cool person.

And although it doesn’t thrill me to share that convoluted background information, it’s important to know in relation to the fact that while “shaming” women for being a little overweight is looked upon as cruel, the flip side of the coin is rarely discussed.

In trying to push acceptance of people who are of “normal” weight and size—in other words, not naturally thin—the reassurance is thrown out that “men don’t like stick thin women” and “thin is unattractive.” And of course, the classic “real women have curves.”

Well, thank you for that.

I’m going to add that real women also have opinions, and I believe that being told to go eat a cheeseburger or that “thin isn’t in” and shaming thin women for their body shape is no different than shaming larger women for their body shape,  yet the former is overlooked and often accepted.

Yes, “real” women do often have curves and I understand that a lot of women—big and small—do have body image issues and seek out reassurance and external validation. Please know I’m not dismissing that at all.

But although I have issues, I do not have curves. This does not make me any less of a “real” woman.

In my humble opinion, real women have confidence.

Real women have a focus on health and not perfection.

Real women have compassion—towards themselves and towards others.

If curves are part of the package, more power to you. But at the end of the day, real women don’t care.

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The last couple posts have been kind of serious, and I promise the next one is lighter and a feeble attempt at humor.  However, I needed to get this off my chest—a chest that is not ample, but that I embrace nonetheless.

Yes, I’m nosy

I had another rather opinionated post that I was working on, but it was interrupted by some hemorrhaging from my head, so you get this instead. It’s probably a good thing that I wait to publish the other one, as I should edit a bit.

At any rate, back to head hemorrhaging.

Along with being kind of large, my nose is prone to bleeding in the winter months when the air is dry. No, I don’t pick my nose and cause it to bleed as so many people remark. But rather the simple act of inhaling and exhaling—rather necessary, I might add — or the occasional nose blowing can cause a nosebleed.

It’s not a big deal at all, other than being an inconvenience, which it totally was last night when I got one while shoveling my driveway with the ferocity of a manic gnat with roid rage. My quest to remove the frozen slush was interrupted by what I thought was the typical “noseous runneous” so common when outside at night in the winter.

Red snow is a bit scarier than yellow snow. Don’t eat either of them.

So I found myself inside, lying on my back in the bathroom staring at my ceiling, tending to what I prefer to call an overuse injury. While I was studying the shower curtain liner, it occurred to me that I’ve never talked about my nose on here. Considering it was basically begging for attention at that moment in time, I figured I might as well.

The thing is, I’ve never really had traditional body image issues. I know that sounds weird coming from someone “with issues,” but if you’ve known me for more than five minutes, you know the deal. Much like bloody noses, we won’t clot up the space with that info once again.

But I have always had a part of my body that I was very self-conscious of—not my legs, not my stomach, but my nose.

See, it’s kind of big and had a bump in the middle of it.

ah

Ever since it matured, I’ve despised it and wondered why I couldn’t get matching bumps a bit lower instead. I would cover my nose up in pictures to see what I would look like with a “normal” nose, started researching rhinoplasty when I was nine and too smart for my own good and went out of my way to make sure my profile was minimally photographed.

My mom always told me I was nuts, but there were a few kids that validated this insecurity for me (the nose, not the mental instability.) Middle school was the worst. I admit I didn’t help myself with bad perms and questionable fashion choices, but that awkward phase is made even more awkward when your insecurity is literally staring you in the face—and if you’re a loud sneezer.

High school was better and I kind of grew used to it. I actually got a body to distract from the schnoz and developed a personality that slowly found validation in things I did and not in how I looked from the side.

But it was — and still is — one of my biggest body image issues.

The irony is that the thinner I get, the sharper and more prominent my facial features become. I look better when my face fills out, and not just because of the nose thing, so if nothing else you would think appealing to the attention whore in me would speed up this process.

You would think.

Anyway, as my nose matured, so did I. The nose I have is the same nose that my grandpa had, my mom has and a majority of my aunts, uncles and cousins have. Along with kielbasa, chrusciki, a love of baseball and politically incorrect humor, carrying on this Polish protuberance is sort of like a family seal.

Do I love it? Heck no, but I do love my family (with a few exceptions.) When I started to look at the profile of my nose instead of my nose in profile, my obsession over it slowly went away. Plus, it’s kind of important for that whole breathing thing. Barring a few nosebleeds, it does it’s job well.

But if offered would I get a nose job today?

Nope, and not just because I’m cheap. But grandma didn’t pass along her ample boobs, so those puppies are up for grabs.

Figuratively, of course.