Body Image Mathematics

As I’m currently in Hawaii on vacation, I felt a need to share with you that I’ve been struggling this week with my body image. It might have something to do with me being as pale as one would expect an author from the Northwest to be in the middle of February, as well as the fact that I’m in prime PMS bloat mode. Anyway…I thought I’d let you in on what’s been going on in my head, since my irrational thought process might sound familiar.

So, here goes. As far as I can tell, there are a number of factors contributing to the perfect storm of low body image I’m experience this week. The following mathematical equation is what I’ve come up with so far:

New low-rise bikini + PMS x 1 box of mini peanut butter crackers + too many carbs to mention – current issue of US Weekly + wall-to-wall coverage of the Academy Awards = a 2 on a scale of 1 to 10 of my current body image status

There are so many bummers about this current state of affairs:

  1. I go through this same hormonal shift every month, therefore I should remember that this is all in my head;
  2. Eating poorly for four days does not result in an instant weight gain of ten pounds;
  3. I know that the way I see myself in the mirror this time of the month doesn’t reflect reality;
  4. Comparing my own body with what Hollywood has deemed the ideal is a no-win situation;
  5. I know that being healthy is much more important than fitting into a size 4;
  6. And most importantly, I know that what I look like doesn’t have anything to do with my value as a person anyway, so what does it matter?

All day long I’ve been thinking about Jessica Weiner’s great book, , and wishing I had it in my beach bag for a little moral support.

In Jess’s book, she talks about the “language of fat,” and how the words we use to talk about ourselves and our bodies can have serious emotional side-effects. So, I’ve been trying to replace my unhealthy language with more positive words, or better yet, just not say anything at all. I’m sure my husband is tired of me complaining about this roll or that chunk, and I know I’m seriously over hearing it come out of my mouth.

I wonder what would happen if tomorrow I spent the whole day feeling good about myself and my thighs. Would I tailspin into a spiral of negative self-talk? Probably not. Would I burst from keeping my language of fat descriptives inside? Nah…can’t see it. Would I stop focusing on my irrational thinking and start enjoying being in the moment, new low-rise bikini and all?


I tell you what… I’ll give it a try and report in later. In the meantime, if you’ve got some tips for how you handle your irrational thoughts when it comes to body image, share them here!

Love & Peace,


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NOTE: Because I may not have internet access after tomorrow until late next week, I’m not going to be posting an Affirmation of the Week on Monday. I’ll resume with my weekly postings on Monday, March 5th.

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