Do These Pants Make Me Look Fat?!

Do these pants make me look fat?!  Come on now, I know that if you're a woman reading this, you have asked either a friend or your man that very question.  And most likely more than once.  I know I have.  Even the skinniest of gals have asked that question.  And today, I ponder the reason,  we as women,  are so obsessed with our physical appearance. Namely our weight.

I'm standing in the dressing room trying on clothes and those 3 mirrors are in there I think sometimes to torture me.  I put the clothes on and can get a view at every possible angle.  Just like anyone who would possibly see me in the outfit.  As if they even probably care about how I look in it.  It is my critical eye that then asks whoever happens to be in the dressing room with me:  "Do I look fat in this?!"  Well, that's a trap question just waiting to happen because if they say yes, I'm totally crushed and if they say no, I will say, yes, I do.  Let's face it, it's a lose, lose situation.
                                                   SEE WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT?!

I grew up in a decade where looks and weight in general were very important.  Everybody wanted to be Twiggy.  Don't know who Twiggy is,  you say?  Gosh, you sure must be young.  Google it, friend.  Yea, as if it were even possible to look like Twiggy.  I was born a chubby child  and was never super skinny, however, now in my fifties I've decided that I should be.  OK, stop it; I can hear you laughing out loud.  But it's true.  And why do we feel that way?  One Word:  Hollywood.  More specifically, society, in general.

I suppose this unrealistic body image phenomena began around the time I was graduating high school.  Dieting was the "thing".  Because really, could anyone be too skinny?  As I would flip through the teen magazines there were "perfect" girls with "perfect" completions and "perfect" teeth and "perfect"  bodies.  That was sending me a message that if I wanted to be liked and pretty, I needed to be a skinny, clear-faced "perfect" girl.  In the movies the actresses were not just pretty they were gorgeous.  Skinny bodies and beautiful faces.  It was etched into my (and many other young girls') minds that THIS is what I should look like.  Hmmm...what I had not taken into account, what my immature mind had not been able to understand was that we come in all sizes and shapes.  And it's OK.

How could I not understand that it is normal and OK to not have your bones protruding?  How could I not understand that it is normal for teenagers to have pimples?  How could I not understand that not everyone is going to like you whether you are physically beautiful or not?  How could I not understand that beauty is not just on the outside?  How could I not understand these things when society is influencing every single thing I think about my body image?  How could I??

It took many, many years for me to understand that I'm OK.  Am I aways satisfied with how I look?  Do I still have a critical eye whenever I look in the mirror?  Of course, I'm human.  However, as I have aged, I have looked deeper inside myself.  I turned to yoga as a form of mental and physical exercise.  (No, I'm not Buddhist; I'm Christian.)  Yoga has made me turn inside and allow me to see who I really am.  To not judge myself too harshly.  To slow down.  To love myself for who I am and not who I want to be.  It's kinda my thing.  I have chosen to focus on being "healthy" versus being "skinny".  But for me, this has been a struggle because as we all know, "Old habits die hard".  But I am a work in progress.

If you are a mama out there raising a girl I beg of you to encourage your child to embrace who they are and not who they want to be.  Praise them.  Complement them.  Let them know that being different is OK.  Show them that you adore them for who they are.  Trust me, it will make a world of difference in their lives.

                       "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are
                         wonderful, I know that full well."  Psalm 139:14  


Why I'm Breaking Up With Facebook

Yes, I am involved with social media just like millions of other individuals.  And yes, for the most part it is fun and entertaining.  However, lately, I've grown tired and a bit cynical of it; especially FaceBook.  The reason I ever entered the social media world was because whenever my daughter went off to college, she told me it would be a great way for us to keep in touch and that I might actually enjoy finding some of my long lost friends on there.  And I did.  I found family that lived afar and friends from high school and college.  She was right; it was fun.  That was in the early days of my relationship with FaceBook.

But then, FaceBook became somewhat ugly at times.  It was two-faced, with people seemingly  living  perfect lives suddenly turning up divorced by infidelity.  It was angry,  with people who shouted, "Free Speech" but only if I agreed with their opinions.  It was innocent adolescents who were tortured into suicide by their peers.  It had become a liar and hate monger with whom I had slowly become totally disenchanted.  It was time for us to break up.

To me, FaceBook was like a relationship gone bad.  It had not happened suddenly and I don't think it was one specific things that caused me to say, "Enough'!  It was the culmination of everything that began to look sad and angry and dirty.  Did I really want to bring this into my life every day?  But how to break up with something that had become such a habit?  I feared I would not stay connected with others.  How would I know what was going on in the world?!  And that's what social media does to you.  It's addictive.  You say you're going to break up but then you don't remove the app from your phone or i-pad.  It won't hurt to just peek in on things every now and then.  It's like that toxic relationship where you can't totally let go although you know it's not good for you.

And so I turned to Instagram.  On Instagram I don't find ugliness.  I don't find political crap.  I don't find hatefulness.  I do find lots of cute children and mom owned businesses and inspirational quotes.  It appears to be a more friendly environment.  And I don't feel angry or sad whenever I'm scrolling through the posts.  I'm happy with Instagram right now.  It fills my need to stay "connected".  I hope it stays that way.  Because I have found that I do not need to know what people are doing every moment of the day.  I know, I know...they put it out there.  But really, do I NEED to know it?  I've always sort of liked my privacy.  I've never been much of a gossiper and have often said, "If information has gotten around to me, that everyone else must already know it...because I'm the last one to find out everything."  FaceBook has caused me to put certain people up on a pedestal and then I am totally crushed whenever I find that they have fallen off of it.  I don't want to be like that.  I want to show love and kindness to all.  I want to realize that everyone is imperfect, however, FaceBook tends only to show the perception of perfection and that is a lie.

So, good-bye FaceBook.  You were lovely for a while but now you've got to go.  I'm sure I will miss you but I think my life will be better without you...