May 10, 2010

part two: open at your own risk.

happy monday, y'all!
last week, i brought up how it's not what you eat, it's what's eating you that causes weight struggles.... and you guys had some pretty inspiring comments, yourself!

part two: let's talk about self-image.
girls are martyrs when it comes to what we feel about our own bodies.
... and well, i'm tired of it.
we talk about "the issue" of body-image, but never really come clean about how we personally struggle. it's a good start, but it's missing something crucial: ourselves!
i've been guilty of this, for sure. it's easy to talk about something in theory, but it's really hard to be accountable for something personal!
we worry people will judge us, or will change how they look at us if they know what we are really thinking...
- will my boyfriend still like me if me knows how much i weigh?
- will the girls still invite me to parties if they know i don't want to eat the cake?
- will i still have friends if they know about my eating struggles?
- am i a freak for feeling this way? why do i feel this way???

we help others, sure, but why can't we help ourselves?
we're isolated in our own thoughts from the fear of being exposed.

we live in the hardest time to be a woman. no longer is "just being yourself" acceptable. we must be flawless, powerful, talented, and never grow tired of our hectic schedules...
at all times, we must be the most perfect version of ourselves, with no room for failure. no wonder we're self-conscious!

so, what was my deal?
i felt like such a hypocrite for encouraging others, when inside - i felt like such a failure.
i hated my body. i hated how i looked. i hated how my clothes fit. i hated how i had no confidence. i hated how i felt utterly defeated. and most importantly, i hated myself for feeling that way.

i always thought i could deal with my body image by myself. maybe if i kept quiet, the thoughts would go away, and no one would ever have to know. i would still seem together, confident, and strong, when on the inside, i just wanted to hide.

the truth is? we all doubt ourselves, at one time or another.
i wish someone had realized what was happening and asked why i thought i had to be ashamed of my struggles. so what - i hated my thighs. show me a high school girl who doesn't?!? what did i think was going to happen if someone knew that? why did i feel the need to pretend everything was ok?

we all are going to have those self-destructive days, but we can heal and move on if we share our pain. that's why a support system is so crucial... the fact that i had struggles didn't make me a freak - it made me a human!

... because i'm pretty sure i'm not the only girl who's hated her un-airbrushed, un-photoshopped legs, amen?

i wasn't able to conquer my negative thoughts for years because i hadn't confided in anyone. if i had, i would have realized 1) i was obsessing over something that WASN'T REAL, and 2) i was completely normal. i had no reason to feel isolated and alone in a room full of people who saw me for who i really was - strong, athletic, smart, and a great girlfriend.
and besides, who wants a friend with no flaws? i'll never rely on someone who seems to have no problems... what experience would they have with what i'm going through?

i would love to think that my daughter will never have to go through being disgusted at her thighs, but i know that's not reality... thank you people magazine for that. however, i won't stand for you guys to continue to go through what i did. it breaks my heart that my story is so normal, it's just a part of life. but why should hating yourself be normal??? why does it have to be a part of anyone's life?

so, if we can't eliminate it, what can we do to break the cycle of negative body-image?
we're already well on our way to loving ourselves, thanks to a few powerful ladies who have made a difference!

may i propose a solution?
let's talk about this. let's tear down the taboo of being honest. let's get raw and real with each other. because if you want to heal yourself, you have to reach out to someone.
... you will never become whole if you keep your pain to yourself.

so what's my part in this?
this blog is a vehicle for change. it is a safe place for you guys to express what you might not have before, or what you think you can't say. i wholeheartedly commit to you guys - i will always be honest. i will always say what needs to be said. i will never stop until something changes. i will never judge you, and criticism will not be tolerated here. you guys deserve better!

once a week, i'm going to collect my thoughts on something we can tear down together. let's generate something better, something real, and something honest. let's beat this, for us. because if we don't think we deserve the best, why would anyone else give us the best?

what's something you've been scared to say about your body image?
ok - i'll start.
1. it doesn't matter what the scale says, i'm always going to be a bit fearful to end up where i started (50lbs overweight).
2. i know who i am - strong, powerful, and healthy, but i still find myself sometimes wishing i looked more like so-and-so, or i could run x-amount of miles.
3. sometimes i still feel like that hypocritical girl - encouraging others, but struggling herself. but not for long!

your turn!
- rebekah


  1. Awesome post! I always find it so sad how hard we are on ourselves.

    -I am not a fan of my legs :)

  2. 1. I know I'm a healthy woman and have even been told that my body is the 'ideal image of fitness' by a fellow yogi, and yet I constantly strive to be more toned, less body fat.
    2. I weigh myself too much! My body weight fluctuates, it's normal, and yet I let it scare me a little bit after a weekend of indulgence.
    3. Even my boyfriend tells me that I care about my body image too much.

  3. jared still looks good! i mean he used to be SO heavy right! k so he gained 30.. oh well.. doesnt look like a HUGE dif from 190 id say. but then again he's also a dude.. if that was a woman, i bet people would say "WOW SOMEONE FELL OFF THE WAGON!!!!!" sad... :( xoxo <3

  4. Rebekah, where to start? Honestly, this is a post so important that it should be front page of national newspapers.
    To struggle with body-image is not abnormal- most of us do. Why do we focus on what we do not like about ourself in the first place?
    Why do we not focus on our amazing abilities as human beings? Our ability has less with our thighs and boobs to do, and more with the person inside of us. I am convinced that the human brain and body is able to do huge things, if we only allow ourself to respect our body and treat it well. In order to do that, we have to start loving ourself.
    I am not ashamed to say that I think we should love ourself as much as we love the people around us, because we are all equal.
    I want to participate in your project to change the way we view our body. I do not want future generations to have a twisted relationship with body, food and weight. Life should be about so much more.

    Since I do struggle with anorexia, my body image is coloured by it. But each day I get better at separating what is eating disorder, and what is me. I do not fear to gain weight, my anorexia does.
    I am constantly trying to appreciate myself, to be the best friend I can be with my body. I owe it that after three years with abuse. If there is one thing my struggle has taught me is that happiness does not lay in thinness.

    Thank you for this post, and sorry for writing down your wall!

  5. Such a strong post! It's sad how much energy we put into body image. I to have struggled with my body image and at times still do. I just try to be happy with me and not worry about what others may think. Its hard to do but at least I try.

  6. Gahhh, you make me SO inspired, it's crazy. You just put everything SO perfectly, and I respect you most of all for being REAL, like you said. And I agree - I wish this whole body image thing would just is it that we live in a world where obesity is growing, yet EVERYONE in the media is never skinny or perfect enough? Can't there be a grey, rather than black or white?

    I've always been self conscious about my stomach and legs. I know it's ridiculous, and lately I'm not so bad, but growing up I was. Now, I think it's more shyness than shame or anything. I've never been one to wear skimpy clothing in public. Of course, I wish I wasn't so shy!

  7. Wow!! Nobody could have said it better.
    1. I am worried I will never lose this 10-15 lbs., but I really don't want to count calories/points.
    2. I wish I were tan and am often tempted to go to the tanning bed.
    3. You don't see many picture of me on my blog because I am so critical of myself.

  8. Let me just say that as much as I enjoy The Hills, Heidi is GROSS. I think I have a strange fear that not working out X amount of times per week will suddenly make me turn into a whale. Nooot true!

  9. Rebekah, thank you for this. I'm going to be completely honest.
    1) As a child, I was overweight and teased. I put myself through hell at the end of the high school and lost all the weight. By the age of 21, I had a full fledged eating disorder. It's crazy that after losing 50 lbs, I hated my body more.

    2) I have an amazing boyfriend who loves me. My mind, body, and soul. Yet I feel so insecure and think that on the inside, he thinks I am fat.

    3) I am tired of being called "beautiful" by others, but still feeling so badly about myself. When will I be satisfied.

    4) I know that restricting isn't good for me. But no matter how much I exercise, I am still struggling with my belly.

    5) I am a feminist. Yet I feel this way? So hypocritical...

    6) I expect more from myself.

  10. tanya - for some reason i can't access your blog, but shoot me an email at i'd love to hear more about your story! you ARE strong.


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