set realistic goals and embrace your curves
Thank you for tuning in again! This week I've been really thinking about what it is exactly that I want to accomplish here. I got into my skinny jeans, took a look in the mirror and decided I like the butt God gave me!
Granted, I want the scale to tip at a lower number, but I don't want to lose weight in my chest or butt (don't you just wish you can pick and choose where to lose weight from?). This made me realize I didn't make myself clear in my first column entry, so I will dedicate this entry to discussing why curves are sexy!
Don't hate your curves
Face it, ladies: You were born with breasts, hips, a belly and a butt — no matter how big or small they are — and they're meant to be there for a reason. So why do we measure and stress over losing the lovely bumps we were granted? Why do we cringe as we grab our love handles or poke at our muffin tops?
Images in the media
Well, of course that's what we're told is unattractive by media around us. What's attractive instead, we are told, is zero body fat and bones traceable through skin. During my master's degree studies, I happened upon a book about advertising that had one of the most interesting covers I've ever seen. On this cover, a diagram illustrated three female bodies from advertisements of different decades.
The body from the 1930s was full and had average measurements and weight. The body from the 1980s was taller and thinner, except the measurements in the bust were larger. Finally the body from 2011 was shown to be even taller and much thinner, except for the bust area again, which was larger. What's funny is that the body from the 1930s would be considered chubby or even overweight by today's media standards, while the body that belongs to today's models, which is unhealthy and almost impossibly underweight, is sexy instead.
Yet we continue to strive to be like the unhealthy model out of those three. We even gawk in awe when a magazine like Redbook proudly displays a gorgeous size 14 model — Erin Tinsley — in swimsuits. Our eyes dart to her belly, and we notice she has rolls like us, her ribs aren't jutting out and most important — perhaps most shocking — is that she is comfortable and happy. While she looks more like us than the size 00 model on the fashion runway, Tinsley is still different. This comfort to bare it all with her head held up high is what makes her extra sexy. She has curves, and she's proud of them.
What I don't understand is how we can admire Marilyn Monroe, who was and still is the most famous sex icon, even though she was a size 14 (a size found in the "plus" section of clothing stores today), yet cringe at our own reflections. When did curves become overweight, "fat" and not sexy? Why should we strive to belong to the miniscule percentage of the world's population that is almost impossibly thin instead of to the realistic and more relatable population of healthy and happy people?
Now, I'm no Marilyn Monroe, and I don't solely blame the media for my weight and body image struggles, but this week I drank more water, ate more greens, ate dinner earlier and pushed myself a little harder for a little longer at the gym (5 hours of exercise in total). As I stepped on the scale and happily learned I'd lost 2 pounds, I realized that even though I do intend to lose weight and tone up, I also intend to keep the curves my mama gave me!
If that means more toning to get rid of the jiggle that losing a lot of weight in the past left me, great. If I magically lose too much weight (yeah right!) and my curves begin to melt away, I know that even though I may be surpassing my weight loss goals according to numbers on a scale, I'm not accomplishing my ultimate goal: to feel confident and positive about my body. To feel happier in my skin, I need to tone up and find a balance between keeping my healthy curves and losing the bit of excess weight.
Still skeptical and think this is just a way to make myself and my readers feel better? Think about it this way: Would you rather wear a tight skirt that showcases the womanly bumps on the lower half of your body, or would you rather wear a tight skirt that makes people want to feed you a sandwich? Embrace and show off your sexy curves. Take care to keep them, because you've worked hard for them, ladies!