Category Archives: Life in Love

For the Love of Women series Part 5

puzzle-140904_640“Body image is the mental representation we create of what we think we look like; it may or may not bear a close relation to how others actually see us. That is, it is subject to all kinds of distortion from internal elements like our emotions, moods, early experiences, attitudes of our parents, and much more.” Psychology Today 

 
So how do we change what we think we look like? Can we find peace with our bodies? And is it possible to break the habit of bad body image with our children?
 
I think so, if you really want to. It’s not a quick over-night happening. It takes work. You need to change your perception of others, yourself and your children. It’s important to know that you will always be a work in progress and you will slip up. But a slip up doesn’t mean you give up. It means you try harder and avoid the action, situation or person that made you falter. The following are things I changed about how I perceive others, myself and my children. 
 
I started with working on my perception of others. I thought it would be the hardest, but you know what, I was wrong.
  • See the beauty in people. I’m not just talking about outward appearances. I mean see people for who they are, their personality, heart, attitude, etc. Society’s idea of beauty doesn’t mean beautiful spirit, unfortunately, so although a person maybe perceived as “beautiful” or “handsome” they could have the nastiest spirit. 
  • Realize that everything in life comes in all different shapes, sizes, colors and styles. That includes people.
female-163758_640
Learning to not judge others on their looks was easy compared to the internal dialog we give ourselves. I had more problems with this than anything else. I had judged myself for so long and so hard. I had allowed it to tear me down. And I still catch myself thinking of some part of my body with disappointment, so I’m not completely “cured” by any means. Like I said before, I am a work in progress. These are the thing I resolved to change or let go.  
  • I don’t need to lose weight to be sexy or hot or because someone thinks I should. If I choose to lose weight, it will be for myself and to be healthy so that I can enjoy my life and watch my children grow. 
  • I refuse to allow others to define me. 
    • Call me fat….Duh, guess what I have a mirror.
    • Call me a ginger….Yeah and I paid for the box it came in.
    • Point out the gravitational pull of my body….I’m 40, it happens.
    • Point out my big butt….so this Baby got back, never had any complaints on that.
    • Freckles…Yep got those, Nope I don’t cover them with make-up.
    • Brain….Why,yes, thank you for noticing….that doesn’t usually get acknowledged.
  • I refuse to define myself in a negative way also. 
  • I determined to realize that I am beautiful. Maybe not in the way that you are beautiful or the way these women are beautiful. But my beauty is unique to me and yours is to you. 
  • I decided to let go of toxic people in my life, I may not be able to rid myself of them (i.e. co-workers, family, neighbors, etc.) but I can limit the contact I have with them. 
My babies and I....they love me....just the way I am! And I love them just the way they are.

My babies and I….they love me….just the way I am! And I love them just the way they are.

The only way to end the war on #bodyimage , #girlhate , and #womenvswomen is to change the course of the future. Well, that sounds daunting doesn’t it? Well guess what? Most of us probably already do some of the suggestions I’m about to make. As cliché as it sounds, our children are the future and to change the future’s outlook on body images, we need to help them learn how to value beauty in everything and everyone. We need to:
  • not allow others to define them. 
  • show them how to love themselves just the way they are. 
  • show them how to not focus on physical attributes only. Appreciate a person’s mind and heart not the size of their jeans. 
  • teach them the difference between being healthy and overweight/skinny, because neither one means you are healthy. 
  • teach them that television/media/advertisers are out to make money. They don’t care about the message they send out as long as it sells the product/look/show. 
  • make a point to never voice a dissatisfaction of their body or your own. This is important. No child should ever hear their parent tell them they are fat, ugly or skinny. 
  • tell them not only are they handsome/beautiful every day but tell them they are smart, friendly, and a good person. 

We all have enough pressure on us about body image in every magazine, advertisement, tv show and movie that’s out there. The last thing we need is to be negative toward our children and ourselves. Besides, don’t we all deserve to be treated as the beautiful beings we are? 

 
Live your Life, perfectly crazy~~~<3Kathy<3
 
Advertisements

For the Love of Women series Part 4

beach-323453_1280

When I started this series, I was thinking mostly about the way women always put down other women. How we evaluate ourselves within the realms of other people’s opinions. How we feel hatred within and towards our own bodies. But it is so much more than that. How we treat others and ourselves teaches our children how to treat others and themselves. How we define ourselves will directly influence our children’s definition. 

I’m sitting here at my computer to write this post and I look over to see my daughter looking at me from her high chair next to me and she smiles, showing both newly arrived teeth. I turn my head just a bit more and I see my son setting at the table playing educational (and fun) games on daddy’s computer. We do this often, sitting together so I can get some of my computer work done. It works out pretty good, even more now that Michaela is able to play with toys.

100_1778

On two occasions, these precious children have been referred to as “overweight”. Michaela is almost 7 months old, and is just now starting to be mobile. Jacob is almost 5 years old and is constantly moving. It angered me. It angers me that these “weight guidelines” are so generic and one size fits all. Why do my children need to be the same size as yours? Or vice versa? Why is it so wrong to be individually sized?

In Part 3 of this series I stated all the things about myself that are not to my liking, my inner dialog. I feel those thoughts often. But you know what? That was the first time in a while where I have given them voice outside of my mind. I refuse to allow my son and daughter to hear me put myself down. Why you ask? Well let me share my thoughts.

100_1853

If my son hears me talk about how I need to lose weight, have a tiny waist, a smaller nose, etc., then what am I teaching him? . When he starts dating (you know, when he turns 30…J), he will think the most important thing to look for is slim, tiny waist, perfect face instead of a beautiful mind, kind heart and loving spirit. Then he is just another guy who only judges a woman by her outward appearance instead of her inner qualities.

100_1852

And my daughter, what does she learn? It will affect her the most. She learns that she is not good enough, not slim enough, not pretty enough. She learns that it’s not about being healthy but about having a tiny waist. She will fall for the first guy to pay her a compliment.  When we pass on that body hate to our daughters, guess what? They pass it on to their daughters and they to their daughters and so on. It’s a generational curse of sorts.

The recent stories of model pictures being Photoshop edited to look smaller and the new clothing sizes established by some clothing stores/lines are promoting an unhealthy and unrealistic challenge for impressionable young girls.  They are bombarded on the television, magazines, internet and from their friends.

Don’t they deserve to have someone show them that they are beautiful however they look? Shouldn’t that come from us the parents, the mothers showing them that they should love their own bodies?

valentine-256938_640

In the next installment, its time to start changing things. Time to find out how to be a body love role model and teach our children how to love their bodies. Time to break that generational curse and societies standards.

For the Love of Women series Part 3

 

face-66317_1280

Do you ever look at yourself in the mirror and criticize everything you see?

Do you talk about your forehead being too big or your lips too small?

Those are just examples but most women have issues with one or more of their body parts.

I do. I am overweight. I’m jiggly in way too many areas. Things have fallen and they no longer even try to get up. My hair is half box Red/half natural gray, (the gray started at 25). I have a stomach covered in stretch marks. Not to mention the three scars from my gall bladder surgery. And those are only some of the things visible.

Why do we do that? Why is our idea of what is beautiful so messed up? Do we have to look a certain way to be sexy?

puzzle-140904_640

About a year ago, give or take, I reached the decision that despite what my internal message to myself might be, I would stop putting myself down and start acknowledging my beauty. After all, I’m the only me there ever will be. And I will embrace the sexy that I have within me.

My stretch marks are my badges of honor from forming two precious lives within me, nurturing and letting them grow.

My gall bladder scars are a daily reminder to watch what I put in my mouth. As a result, I try to cook healthier which is opening up more family time around the table as opposed to eating out or grabbing a snack.

Although I’m not sure that I am ready to stop coloring my hair, my grays are a legacy from my mother who also went gray at an early age and colored her hair. And it is a somber reminder to act my age at times. Not often but sometimes.

And yes, I’m overweight and that’s a health concern. I have started to workout. But I don’t do it to make myself more pleasing to someone. To be honest, if you don’t like me as I am now, then I can guarantee you that I won’t like you when and if I ever meet your approval. I do it because I want to breathe better, live longer and play harder with my children.

woman-295450_640

I was recently involved in a conversation about being sexy and others perception of us and how we allow that to affect us. In the process of the conversation I made a comment that I thought was pretty profound. It is as much applicable to ourselves as to others view of us.

sexy

Continuing to ignore the beauty of YOU can eventually spill over into areas you would rather it not. In Part 4 of this series, I will discuss what happens when that happens and how it affects your children, daughters especially.

 

For the Love of Women series part 2

girls-344334_640

Did you know that there is a word for hating women? I didn’t. The word is misogyny and it’s recorded as being used as far back as 1656. Yeah, that’s not a typo, I really meant 1656 A.D. 

Think that just refers to men who hate women, who think women are second-class citizens, property, nothing more than something to take care of their needs. Think again. This definition states simply a hatred of women. Very common now is the practice of “being a hater” and the most proficient persons at this seem to be women when talking about other women. 

 The “funny” thing about women being misogynistic is that it’s not usually based on a perceived notion of wrongdoing but more an emotional aversion. Emotional in that there is no consistency about what they like/dislike or the type of woman who falls victim to the hate.

 Slender is considered too thin, anorexic or bulimic.

Overweight is considered gluttonous, lazy or frumpy.

Showing skin is considered slutty, attention-seeking and inappropriate.

Staying covered is considered prudish, plain and matronly.

Big breasts are considered too much, to be hidden, and slutty.

Small breasts are considered too small, boyish and unwomanly.

 These are just some of the insults that I have heard and read that women say to or about other women. In the same breath one woman will be slutty because of the cut of her top while another is a prude because her skirt goes to her ankles.

girls-380618_640

 

Does the way someone else dresses really alter your life in such a way that you need to insult them? Or is it just an attempt to feel better about yourself? 

 I used to fall into that misogynistic state of mind, and to be honest, still do at times. But I decided to do my best to uplift women that I come into contact with instead of putting them down.

 

girls-153300_640

Stop the Misogyny…stop the #girlhate. #Empower others and be empowered!

In the next installment, the discussion turns to our inner voice, and what it says about us.

For the Love of Women series part 1

girlfriends-338449_640Women.
 
Short, tall, thin, curvy, pear-shaped, apple-shaped, hourglass shaped, long hair, short hair, curly, straight, redhead, brunette, blonde. So many endless labels we put on each other and ourselves. 

 
The original plan was to write about why women hate on other women. You know what I mean. You see a woman walk by and whether out loud or in your mind, you start talking about her. 
 
“She shouldn’t wear something like that.”
 
“How much make-up does she need?” 
 
“She sure is showing a lot of skin.”
 
“She just thinks she is HOT!” 
 
“She really didn’t even try with her hair.”
 
We have all done it. Maybe it was when you were a teenager. Or maybe you still do it. You aren’t alone. It’s safe to say that a good majority of women have at least one time had catty comments about another woman. And the majority of those continue to do it on a frequent basis, if not daily.
 
Why? Do we hate our own gender? 
 
As I said, I originally planned to write about why women hate on other women but after doing some research on the subject, it has evolved into a series, For the love of Women. In For the Love of Women series, I will discuss how we as women cut down each other, ourselves, and pass it on to our daughters and how to go about finding peace with our bodies and each other. 
heart-283146_150
(Posts in this series will post every other day. Please follow and feel free to comment throughout the series. I hope to read your comments. Thank you!)