It Was About Time

I've been at war with my body ever since the first signs of puberty appeared and for me they appeared while I was still quite young. I had my first bra when I was ten and my first period exactly one month after my tenth birthday. How I hated my breasts! I would sleep with my bra on in the hope that the material would somehow stifle them and keep them from growing. I would cut off each pubic hair that would appear until I realized that this was completely futile.

At twelve I went on my first diet because of a comment one of my aunts made when my mother and I went shopping to buy me a new pair of shorts. I wore a ladies size 12 then and my aunt said ''she wears a 12 at twelve, imagine what she'll be wearing at my age''. The diet started the next day and today it would be considered anorexia. I lost over 30 lbs. in very little time. My mother was beside herself when she noticed that I had stopped menstruating. She pleaded with me to stop dieting and exercising but I wouldn't listen. I finally stopped when I was told that one of my favorite cousins was in the hospital and near death, she had been on the same diet as I was.

Throughout my adult life I have been on and off diets. I weighed 95 lbs. when I married my first husband. After I had gained 10 lbs. he demanded I lose the weight so I went on a protein diet which I had to stop when I started passing out at work. After that I went to Weight Watcher's which was a much better balanced diet.

I did notice though that every time I would lose weight with Weight Watcher's, even if I followed their maintenance program I would put the weight back on. I was eating less and still gaining.

That is when I decided to stop. No more diets. I am who I am and I finally accept that. I'm short and curvy and I like that. I have broad shoulders and a small waist and I don't want to change that anymore. I'm done wasting my time wishing I was something I am not and will never be.

I haven't dieted in ten years now, but I eat well and walk regularly. I look in the mirror and I like what I see, womanly curves and all. I only wish I had had that attitude when I was younger, it would have saved me years of hunger and self-loathing. 

jojewel jojewel
56-60, F
33 Responses Dec 15, 2009

So what you look like now


*sigh* I just can't understand family members that perpetuate obsessive, unhealthy behaviors. Do they think they are helping? Are they concerned that a family member's body type or eating habits will reflect on them (how they raised you? what they taught you? what they feed you?)? Is it just malice? Ignorance?<br />
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None of it amounts to a good excuse ... I guess I'm just interested in what motivates people to make the kinds of comments that lead loved ones down a path of self-loathing and sickness.<br />
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As a recovered anorexic and bulimic ... *virtual high-five* to jojewel. Thanks for sharing.

It takes a while to accept your body...I had anorexia too, and my hair started falling out and my period stopped. I eventually was just too tired. I just got sick of hating myself. It's exhausting. I've embraced my body, because it was a do or die, okay, I can be sick and hate myself for the rest of my life, or I can just accept myself, curves and all.<br />
It was a life, yeah, I don't look at myself every day and say "DAYUM YOU SEXY THING" but I also don't hate what I see. I've embraced my curves. I've learned to love my hourglass shape, and ignore the fashion magazines that say you have to be a size 0 to be fashionable and take style risks, because I'm a size 6 (U.S.), and you know what? I've finally figured out what looks good on me, and love to play with my style. I'm not obsessed with looking like a pre-pubescent girl anymore.

You are absolutely right, some women are very critical of others and that is a shame. I have also never thought that shallowness was gender specific. It seems to be quite evenly distributed between the sexes.

I also think as you get older it becomes less important , . experience of life makes you realise what really matters , some of us guys are not as shallow as you think , in fact some of the worse comments i have heard have been from other women .

Acidosis and Thesuitelife285, I truly hope that both of you will one day come to love and appreciate your body just as it is. There is a difference between depriving yourself so that you can reach an unrealistic ideal and changing your eating habits to benefit your health.<br />
I just decided one day that I was better off being healthy, happy, and curvy than miserable, hungry, and skinny.

That's so great that you are so happy with yourself. I also suffered with anorexia 2 years a go when I was a sophomore in high school. I am still not happy with my weight even though I am under what I should weigh. I don't think that I am completely cured yet, but I hope that someday I can learn to be as confident as you. <br />
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You know, these diets jus kick our ***** big time! I really liked ur attitude though!! However, i wonder if would ever be able to make up my mind for being so optimistic! "positive thinking" , according to me, is something which is nice to hear about and speak about but i find it almost impossible to follow! Provided the right environment and favorable conditions exist, optimism is really not the best option! I really dont know if i am the only pessimist around! Nevertheless, i appreciate ur courage!

I have always been an energetic and thus active person, lucky me I know, so I have always had a fit body, never fat but not too thin either. I think if we got into how our body feels we'd be much better off. Activity burns calories. Instead of all this emphasis on dieting, on starving ourselves, we could stay fit by using our bodies, by seeing them as 'our vehicles'. There seems to be a resistance to expend energy but walking is SO easy and natural, enjoy it!, and dancing burns calories while creating joy - those are just two simple, everyday ways of physically loving and using your body that cost no money; there are many more.

bravo..!! stay healthy ... nd dont listen to wat others say ( ur aunt ) it will make things worst if u start blieving these kinds of commnets dat ur aunt made... buh i am happy that finally you are happy with wat u are... n how you look like..!!

Am very happy that you finally accept who you are..because there is always someone out there who likes your shape.<br />
I was a lucky one..was thin tall and am 66 still tall and beautiful but very curvy and it hasn't stopped the men from chasing me..only now its men who love curvy women hahah.. so you see there is a taste for all kinds and who cars what people think..I sure dont..actually am going to be a live model for artists and painters on the 20 jan..dressed as a viking woman.. horned helmet and all... so you see.. i havent stopped living and surely I will get eyed at...hahaha.. keep it up and enjoy

i love it! a healthy attitude & body! :) <br />
i love my broad shoulders.. they give me speed in swimming & strength in wrestling!<br />
yes, the focus should be on health & fitness- that's what it's all about. <br />
i would have liked to say to your husband, "sure dear, whenever you reach 95 pounds, i will too!" <br />
Bravo for you for loving your body :) our bodies are what keep us alive!

Anybody can have men lusting after them. Who needs it? The right men want a woman who likes her self, has strong self confidence, strong values, and a good sense of humor. If you're going to invest in a relationship, you might as well get yourself the best man you can find.

People come in all shapes and sizes. Many men prefer women with a fuller figure. I certainly do. Some just allow stupid culture to dictate to them that they shouldn't. Just stay healthy, eat good foods and exercise. You're particular weight or shape is unique to you and you should enjoy it. There are plenty of men out there who will enjoy it too. Hope you find or have found one!

Bbonetuba, I can add nothing to your comment as it so exquisitely worded!<br />
1LawDog, I agree with you completely. Women with no pores selling us face creams-ugh! Thank goodness that some companies are trying to turn things around. I'm thinking of that Dove clip that showed exactly what goes into making that perfect advertising face.<br />
Beenstuck, that comment is both sad and funny as I'm sure that this man's wife was certain that her thinness was attractive to him.<br />
I wrote this story after reading ''A History of the Breast'' by Marilyn Yalom. In the last chapter she says that a woman's self esteem is directly related on how she feels about her breasts. This brought back all those memories on how I had tried to stifle their growth. Then it dawned on me how I had grown to love them. They have brought me much pleasure and they have also nourished my two children. And my new found love and appreciation for my breasts has extended to my whole body.

I once read a comment from a man whose wife was so thin he felt like he was sleeping with a bicycle. It made me laugh, but also realize how pathetic our fashion magazines are. I'm over 40, a size 10/12, and have been struggling to lose 15 pounds for years. My new year's resolution is self-acceptance. I've got a very curvy body--big boobs and all, and my boyfriend can't keep his hands off me. What more validation could I possibly need? I was anorexic as a teen and no matter what size I've been, I've always focused on my so-called flaws. What a waste of time.

Be who you are, not who you think others want you to be. Glad you finally got that message too. I know you've got to be happier now.<br />
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It's safe to say that a lot of girls, women grew up with this culturally-imposed message of "This is what you should look like." Little did we know about airbrushing in magazines/computer-edited photography! <br />
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Having done that dance with anorexia, I know the kind of physical, psychological pain you were in. <br />
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Princess Di was no stranger to eating disorders/a demanding husband either. Remember her bulimia problem because he thought she was "a bit chunky"? (I'm not a Royals follower, but I read her book). And that was while they were dating! Infuriating! <br />
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"Older & wiser" does play a part in it. We develop a "take me as I am" attitude which is much healthier all over. Bet you feel much better now! Bravo for reaching that stage...

As all of us, you are the result of every experience in your life. You are wonderfully individually unique. This is true beauty. Reorganize all the events of your life within this description, realize your true beautiful soul, and let no opinion including your own steal your soul. Accept a man with no preconceived notions and you will be within reach of the one meant for you and vice versa. Enjoy fully the rest of your life.

It is sad, DesignerDan. But it's not surprising when you think of how nasty the media were to Jessica Simpson when she put on a few pounds. Then when the articles are on the net, just reading some people's mean spirited comments is enough to make any woman self critical.<br />
Thank you, MissLinds!

I love this !

I'm glad you're happy with your body. I saw an old friend last night and she looks seriously anorexic. It's so sad. As a young guy, I don't know why people put such emphasis on women being skinny. It's not healthy. Besides, men don't walk around with a scale anyway. I can't estimate how much someone weighs and I don't care either.<br />
Anyway, I'm glad you're comfortable with your body now.

AgeingThinker, I used to be more active, but I've had to curtail much of my physical activity since I've developed psoriatic arthritis. I still walk a great deal, but anything more strenuous would put to much stress on my joints. If we had a pool in this town I would do some water exercises, they say that's good also.<br />
Dogs certainly are good for forcing us out, grfynn. My Mom walked her little dog til just a few days before she passed away.<br />
You are so right, emrldpeeps! I have been maintaining my weight for many years now and I feel much better than when I was yoyoing with diets.

Gryfnn - in other postings, Jewel told us why she was not comfortable in her early years. That is not something we want to repeat here over and over. But it just proves the point: the discomfort wasn't really caused by physical appearance. I know many cases (perhaps myself included) when a traumatic childhood resulted in a withdrawn personality, which of course keeps people away from sports and physical activity. <br />
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Surprising as it sounds, I maintain that in most cases, an unpleasant, un-sporty, neglected appearance is not the cause, rather than the result of some psychological trauma.

I think that people-men or women-are most attractive when they are comfortable....what Ageing Thinker said about exercise is really true...I got out of the habit of my long daily walks when my dog's amazing how many aches and pains I've accumulated since I stopped hiking---am starting to get out every day now--no matter what the weather is like---am already feeling better.

jewel, you ROCK. To hell with appearances, just feel good in your own skin. Having said that, I must confess I feel much better since I started regular exercise. You can try the same - just don't push yourself. Buy some good shoes to avoid shocks to the joints, comfortable cotton clothing shirts for the treadmill, etc. It makes a difference. Not for the mirror, rather than for yourself.

Oh my, gryfnn, that is funny. Your daughters must be very attractive and self assured to cause such commotions!

I have two beautiful daughters---neither one was or is particularly thin..the oldest one was walking down the street when she was a teenager....I saw a man so busy looking at her that he drove his car into a telephone pole lol.<br />
The youngest one was walking through a store--I observed a young man nearly fall off a ladder--looking at I said--neither one was particularly thin :).

Amen, ersatz. I'm glad that I came to that realization also because I've known some women who have obsessed over their weight till the end of their lives and they had no reason to as they were perfectly fine.

Fy, even when I was skinny I didn't look like a stick figure, I don't have the bone structure for it. I think that is why that when I was younger I never thought I was thin enough.<br />
Newday, I like that word-lush-nicely descriptive. Thank you!

May I add "Lush"? The body you describe is what I refer to as a full grown, mature woman's body, lush with potential and it comes with a mature woman's mind attached. The combination is exactly what an experienced man desires. Womanly curves indeed! You my dear have the body and mind of a women that will cause my lust to rise.

Lol, Coyotegray, I like that description. I certainly am ripe like a well aged wine!<br />
It is sad, gryfnn, that this obsession for thinness has gone on for so many generations. Too many young girls have done irreparable harm to their health trying to attain an impossible media imposed ideal.<br />
CPAguy, I once heard an interview with a French designer who said that clothes always look better on hangers. He was trying to explain their use of ultra skinny models.<br />
Windy, I wish I could see you walking down the street swinging your hips. You must exude self assurance!!!!

Lol, Aunts and husbands say stupid things---my grandmother once paid me a weekly clothes allowance, if I kept to a certain size...can you believe it? Of course I did--cashmere sweaters and stylish clothes are quite a motivator to stay thin--I don't think it's a very good thing to do to a teen age girl. I had a bout with anorexia myself`````````````````````````````this whole culture that puts such emphasis on appearance- rather than health, is very harmful and stupid.