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346th Friday Blog Roundup

Thank you for the blogoversary wishes (and apologies for both posts becoming so damn long). Someone joked that I must grow tired of hearing nice things and… well… no.  Because I tell myself such shitty things about myself. (I am seriously the worst sort of bully because I can’t even report myself to the principal.)  I know I’m not alone (right?) in being a terrible, relentless critic of myself, therefore, we need these kind words to counterbalance the damage we do to ourselves.  It’s probably the real reason for awards and birthday wishes and retirement parties — we all collectively know about our private self-esteem issues and we do each other a favour of trying to balance out the internalized negativity with external words.  I always hope that your external words get closer to the truth than my internal monologue.  At my best moments, I believe it all.  At my worst moments, my internal monologue convinces me that it’s the rest of the world that has it wrong.

At all moments, those posts are the ones I return to when I am feeling crappy about myself.  So your words don’t just affect me today.  It’s such a simple thing — you leave a comment, but know that your words are used many times throughout the year.  And they are what makes the difference.


I started running again this week.  A big part of why I stopped running this year had to do with time.  The only slot I had for running was 6 am, and I tried it a bunch of times before giving up.  The reality is that I’m not fantastic at waking up, probably due to the fact that it takes me so long to fall asleep that I live with a constant sleep deficit.  So running first thing in the morning failed miserably because I spent the first five minutes after the alarm went off wishing for a power outage so I wouldn’t have to workout. (I run inside.)

My schedule opened up so I’ve gone back to my much more realistic running time which comes after a cup of coffee and three pee breaks.  I actually enjoy running when I’m fully awake.

I have a notebook where I record miles run and estimated calories burned.  I also record my weight from time to time, though I’ve stopped stepping on a scale because I was becoming obsessed with the number.  On Monday, I leafed back through the book to the very beginning to see my weight back in 2001 when the notebook begins.

I thought I was so heavy back then.  I was so self-conscious of my body.  Of course, I was nine pounds lighter than I am right now.  It is this bizarre thing, trying to get back to the weight where I thought I was unattractive.  I have in my brain right now that if I could just reach that weight from 2001, my clothes will fit so much better.  Back in 2001, I would do anything to not be that weight.  Right now, it seems like perfection.

Funny how things change.

What did you think of your body ten years ago?  And how do you think about your body from ten years ago now?


And now the blogs…

But first, second helpings of the posts that appeared in the open comment thread last week.  In order to read the description before clicking over, please return to the open thread:

Okay, now my choices this week.

My Lady of the Lantern has a post in bullet points, each one a little kick to the gut.  All of them will hold you for a moment, but it was the last one that I sat with the longest.  “I had a dream today. In the days after knowing of CheekyBub’s death and later, I begged God to not make me have any visions or dreams or such. I had one today, and am glad to report it was positive.”

The Port of Indecision has a kickass post about the financial side of infertility.  She reeled me in with her opening point about infertility being discussed differently from the rest of medicine.  “Face it, folks, the entire field of medicine is an industry. It’s why Big Pharma sponsors clinical trials. It’s why commercials urge you to ‘talk to your doctor about [new drug here]’ instead of actually being a patient and seeing what the doctor suggests.”  This has always been one of my annoyances too, especially because the label is simultaneously unspoken commentary about the patient.

I love this post about what it means to have it all by It Is What It Is (or It Is?).  Both her ideas on why the waiting during adoption is so difficult for her, but also deconstructing the idea of having it all.  I think her ideas on wanting will resonate with a lot of people, especially in an age of immediacy coupled with the means to obtain inanimate objects.

Lastly, Write Mind Open Heart has a post not about why bad things happen to good people, but simply the fact that they do.  From the idea of the flattened orange peel (really, you’ll want to read this post and understand that) to the lesson her daughter learned, she captivate me with this idea of how no one human can escape disappointment.  And the trick is learning how to love your blemishes rather than only focus on how to remove them.

The roundup to the Roundup: Thank you for the blogoversary wishes.  I started running again and it made me reflect on what I thought of my body 10 years ago.  And lots of great blog posts to read.  So what did you find this week?  Please use a permalink to the blog post (written between June 17 and June 24) and not the blog’s main url. Not understanding why I’m asking you what you found this week?  Read the original open thread post here.


1 tash { 06.24.11 at 9:01 am }

I was just thinking about this yesterday (stepped on the scale at my annual). I wrote a post recently about finally fitting into pre-Maddy jeans, and I thought if I ever got to that place I’d feel so much better. My grief, my body image, everything would just be easier to handle if I got back to that place and get back into my jeans. Know what? Same problems, but could now wear old jeans. I guess I’ve decided to get back to the plan of maintaining and being a healthy weight rather than trying to get back to some magical place. Face it, given what my hips and rib cage have been through, even if I did get down to that weight again, I probably still couldn’t wear the tiny clothes I once did. I hope in 10 years I still have this level of understanding and acceptance.

2 Heather { 06.24.11 at 9:14 am }

Yes!!! Sorry you just wrote everything I’ve been feeling lately. I had such a rough day yesterday, as I think I was getting down on myself about everything. I also cannot exercise first thing in the morning, so that means that when my schedule is busy as it has been lately, there is no exercise going on. I need to get back to that as I know that fuels the negative talk in my head too! I think in a lot of ways I look better than I did 10 years ago. I definitely feel I know how to take better care of myself. How I will feel about myself in 10 years will depend on if I keep practicing how to take better care of myself.

3 Valery { 06.24.11 at 10:34 am }

20 years ago I didn’t understand what was so special about my body. 10 years ago I did and enjoyed it. Now, still the same body on the outside but barren on the inside. And in 10 years time I hope to be proud of my body for giving me a miracle. A flat stomach might look hot/fit to some, but I know it is just empty to me.

4 Gail { 06.24.11 at 10:59 am }

10 years ago, I had my whole life ahead of me and had just gotten married. I liked my body at the time and was proud of it and enjoyed wearing clothes that showed it off. Now, I feel so much older and weigh 20 pounds more, but I am still happy with my body. I don’t think I’ll ever get back to my newly-married weight, but I am healthy and happy on the outside. The inside is a whole ‘nother matter and I don’t know if I’ll ever come to terms with the fact that it has betrayed me.

5 Denver Laura { 06.24.11 at 11:00 am }

10 years ago I was worried about a wrinkle inbetween my brow – the frown line. At the time I was doing a lot of frowning I guess. Bad marriage. Anyway, I didn’t realize that even though I had gained 10 pounds I was still quite skinny. No matter how many times my ex told me I was fat. And to think I believed him.

Now I look back and want to get back into those “fat” jeans. I have about 30 pounds to lose to get into them ha! My frown line isn’t as prominent now. I never thought about gray hair and I’m not just seeing one or two now, but multiple. It’s OK. I’m not skinny, I have wrinkles and gray hair. But ironically I’m happier now with my body than I was 10 years ago. I think it has to do more with where I am inside and it just radiates out to the outside.

6 serenity { 06.24.11 at 11:01 am }

{raising hand} I am a relentless critic of myself as well. Always, every day. It takes a LOT of energy to put aside the self-aggression and I’m not very good at it. That’s why I see a therapist.

Ten years ago, I WAS fat. I was unemployed and miserable and ate my way through my emotions.

Today, I’m actually getting to a point of acceptance with my body. I’m lighter than I’ve ever been, yes, but running regularly has made it so that I don’t need to be AS vigilant as to what goes in my mouth anymore.

And running gives me this feeling of USING my body, of being fit and strong and healthy. Somehow the numbers on the scale don’t really MATTER as much when I’ve just done run fast or a far distance or whatever.

Actually, this is good fodder for a post for today. My view of my body has really changed in the past year, and really it’s all BECAUSE of my running. I’m less beholden to the scale because I am working on USING my body the way it’s meant to be used. It’s a good place to be.


7 robin { 06.24.11 at 11:40 am }

I am now in the process of trying to get back to the weight I was 10 years ago, when I also thought I was fat, when I thought if I could just lose 10 pounds I would feel good about myself. I’m actually pretty close to my 10-years-ago weight and I’m feeling good about it, and the same thought has crossed my mind – funny how 10 years ago this weight was “fat” to me, but now it’s my goal.

8 Tigger { 06.24.11 at 2:09 pm }

10 years ago I was 50 pounds lighter than I am now – which was 40 pounds heaver than I was 10 years before that. Each time I hit a weight plateau I think “If I could just go back…” and then I go beyond it instead. I think it’s odd that our definition of “fat” changes with each plateau. For example, 10 years ago I thought I was fat. I thought the same thing 5 years ago, and that the prior version was acceptable. I think the same thing now, and that 5 years ago would be a spot to go back to. If I keep up this trend, in 10 years I won’t be able to get out of bed!

9 Queenie { 06.24.11 at 3:03 pm }

This post by Lucy really resonated with me this week, as she articulated just what I’ve been feeling about TTC#2: http://bodydiariesbylucy.blogspot.com/2011/06/am-i-delusional.html

10 HereWeGoAJen { 06.24.11 at 3:26 pm }

Okay, this week I have links for you!

http://creatingmotherhood.com/2011/06/24/tori-amos-song/ Calliope is talking about old friendships and how they change.

First I wrote about my idea of heaven (http://herewegoajen.com/?p=2017) and then Mrs. Spit added her thoughts on her own blog: http://mrsspit.ca/?p=2687

And my last link for the week, from Four of a Kind, Kathy talked about the Father’s Day blessing in her church. http://chicagobensons.blogspot.com/2011/06/unusual-fathers-day-blessing.html

I was blessed with good genes, so my body has remained rather the same for the last ten years. However, I have rather a lot of extra skin around my middle that means I need shirts that cover my stomach now. And I asked Matt yesterday to check to see if my butt jiggles more than it used to. (He told me that he’d be willing to check that for me whenever I wanted. Hehe.)

11 Elizabeth { 06.24.11 at 3:40 pm }

Open thread:
This post by Jen at Here We Go Again was heart-breakingly beautiful, as she shared her image of what heaven is and where Luke is:

And then Mrs. Spit followed that up by sharing a vision (I’m not sure if that’s the right word, but it was more than a dream) of heaven she had after losing Gabriel:
Also incredibly beautiful and heart-breaking, but heart-mending as well. Jen’s too.

12 Justine { 06.25.11 at 12:17 am }

I bet my bully can beat up your bully. 😉 (No, you’re right, I shouldn’t start that nonsense!)

I’m still trying to get rid of pregnancy weight. Not trying very hard, though, because I”m eating my way through anxiety about not-working or what-comes-next. And not running, because I have no time to do so and the 4 month old doesn’t yet fit in the jogging stroller. I’d like to be healthier again … I know that comes with peace in my head, too, though. One day at a time. 🙂

13 C { 06.25.11 at 10:17 am }

Congrats on running again!

I’ve always had body image issues, and ten years ago, I thought I was huge (all of 120 lbs). Ten years later, several years on fertility drugs, depression, and finally a baby, I’m now at my heaviest. It’s an awful place to be and I avoid the mirror when possible. I easily have 40-50 pounds to lose. If this IVF cycle is another failure, I’m going to really push myself to get back into shape. I owe it to my daughter.

14 kateanon { 06.25.11 at 1:30 pm }

Ten years ago, I hated my body more than I do now, but now I wish I could get back to that weight. One of those weird things women go through I suppose.

15 Chickenpig { 06.25.11 at 7:38 pm }

Oooh you had to bring the body thing up, didn’t ya, you meany.

Ten years ago I was 30 and my body rocked! Now I’m 40 and I’m scarred, saggy, totally out of shape, and a bit over weight. Ten years ago I had a pretty physical job and had yet to start ART. The inactivity from going through treatment, then major abdominal surgery, and then a twin pregnancy has really taken its toll. At least now that my daughter is older I can take more time to exercise.

16 Kristin { 06.26.11 at 2:32 pm }

Once A Mother wrote the most incredible post called For Better Or For Worse http://onceamother.blogspot.com/2011/06/for-better-or-for-worse.html talking about the true meaning of love. It truly is a must read post.

17 Lori Lavender Luz { 06.26.11 at 10:42 pm }

I second the post of Calliope’s that Jen mentioned. I’m gonna throw it into the Stone Soup.

It makes me sad that you talk badly about my friend, my fabulous friend Melissa. She is beautiful in every way, and her imperfections are part of her beauty.

But I do the same to myself so I get it.

10 years ago was about the time I figured out I would never be any younger, so I might as well start loving What Is. But it took me 5 more years to start up yoga.

Yay for you for running!

18 Barb { 06.26.11 at 10:43 pm }

“terrible, relentless critic of myself” OMG you are SO not alone there! I am a horrible critic of myself.. more on who I am than how I look. 10 yrs ago, I thought I was looking pretty good (though I hated my skin and nose) as I was horseback riding and fit. Emotionally though, I was pretty depressed and down on who I was and my abilities. But MUCH of that had to do with my thyroid issues. Though I still have enormous insecurity, it’s not as bad with a better thyroid.

What I see now? I think pretty much the same thing. I’m hard on me no matter what.

Becca at What I Really Meant to Say had an interesting post on this:

19 Grace { 06.30.11 at 5:37 am }

I have a default weight. It is a whopping number: 195. And I’m 5’3″. How is that for a BMI?

It doesn’t run in 10 year cycles but, on occasion when I have the time and money to focus on exercise and nutrition for significant stretches of time, I have been able to bring that number down. The first time, my body called bullshit, hit the reset button, and shut down until I hit the magic number again. The most recent time a maelstrom of circumstances (introduction of kiddo – equaling loss of time for and increased cost of gym attendance, fertility treatments, and laparoscopy for endometriosis) drug me back to the inevitable number.

In my early twenties I was satisfied. I knew I was outside of the norm and it didn’t keep me from feeling beautiful. But each time I hit that number it comes with changes to my body that are hard to live with. Each time the weight is redistributed in far less flattering way. Each time there is more fat and less muscle. The hardest part is that I used to be happy at this size.

Now I’m at a point where I’m trying to figure out how to make the changes I need to feel healthy again. I eat well, but I don’t move enough. Current circumstances seem overwhelming and it is hard to figure out how to get moving again.

I hope that in 10 years I’ll feel healthy and beautiful no matter what my weight is.

20 It Is What It Is { 07.01.11 at 11:11 am }

Thanks for the props, by the way. It is always a good thing to receive a nod from you.

(c) 2006 Melissa S. Ford
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