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Monday, March 22, 2010

Dealing with My Body Image...or how I went from being JLo to Mr. Burns from the Simpsons

I must confess, in my 20s and 30s my body was pretty hot. I was known for having perfect abs, small tight waist, and a totally flat stomach. And my butt, well let's just say it was perfection. For most African American women, having a nice fat round butt is the platinum standard. That concept didn't hit the rest of America until Jennifer Lopez, who by the way was my body or should I say booty twin!

Even though by time I hit the magic age of 35, I had gained over 20 pounds and my abs had totally disappeared, I still looked good.  My stomach was still flat and my butt was still stellar, at least until I got pregnant. Three times. The compilation of my pregnancies left my body unrecognizable. The only good thing that came out of my pregnancies were my children and my big boobs! I'm talkin the big Double Ds. That made up for the fact that my eyeballs couldn't even fit into a size 4...or 6...or 8...or 10. But I didn't have a body image problem. I knew I was chunky, and although I wasn't head over heels in love with my chunky self, I wasn't depressed or freaked about it either. So what I couldn't claim hot body status anymore! "Hey," I told myself, "This fat is only temporary"

My body issues started when I lost the weight! Every single extra pound! I was "back in the day" skinny. I lost over 40 pounds altogether. And you know what else I lost? I lost those big beautiful boobs,  I lost my flat stomach, now I have a roll of skin and fat that would make the elephant man jealous. But the most horrific thing of all...I lost my magnificent booty. My beautiful butt was a droopy, flat, stretch mark ridden mess. I went from looking like JLO to Mr. Burns from the Simpsons. Flappy, floppy and wrinkled. Ok I am seriously exaggerating.  Actually, my body still looks kinda good, it just doesn't look how I remember. And that's the rub - so to speak.

I confess, I am buying into that cursed Superwoman lie, that 40 is the new 21. The media machine flauting Demi Moore, Iman and other over forties. Damn you Helen Mirren! Who told you to put on a bikini and dance about for the photo hounds - at 63!!!! 

Untll I raise tummy tuck cash or run into the fairy godmother of "make-the-fat flab dissapear", I will continue to buy my knock-off spanx, suck in my stomach and simply morn the loss of my beautiful - beautiful butt.  Time to let it go!

The truth is I will never have that perfect body back. I just need to remind myself every now and again, that I am relatively fit and very healthy.  I look nice in my clothes, and nobody (enter Jon my husband) ever complains about my naked body.  It is all in my head - or mirror. 

And those of you out there who really have weight struggles and body image issues, think of me, I lost  those 40 pounds, I now fit into a size 6 and look pretty good in my clothes. And you know what, I still fell prey to the lie that it wasn't enough.  But it is enough, and whether you are at your ideal weight and body shape, or whether your perfect size 8 has been transformed by life...you are enough.  Let's take the pressure off...and stay out of the magazine aisles at the supermarket!

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