Tag Archives: self image

How to be Obnoxiously In Love with Your Body

The following was a guest post that I did last July for Outlier Collective, which is now gone (Booo! I miss my friends over there very much), so I decided to re-post it because it’s a perfect representation of the BBB philosophy and is hopefully, helpful. 🙂

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Picture this: A woman, say, in her late 40s, standing in front of a full-length mirror. This woman is grey-haired, heavy-built. She’s looking at her body, up and down and smiling, widely. She giggles, reaches down with both hands and grabs her full, chunky belly, squeezing it as she says to herself: “You are so friggen’ adorable!” This woman clearly loves her body and relishes its size, shape, and bearing. She’s clearly happy with how she looks and loves her girth, despite the fact that her body is “socially stigmatized” as undesirable, unattractive, and unhealthy by large segments of the population. She doesn’t care; at bottom, it doesn’t matter. She is fat. And, she’s completely fine with it. In fact, she’s madly, obnoxiously in love with her body.

Does this scenario seem improbable, maybe even impossible? It’s not. This demonstration of body-love is real and anyone can attain this state of being, regardless of circumstance, body state, fitness, appearance, or health. How do I know this? I’ve done it. The woman that I described above is me. And, if I can do it, anyone can do it.

How did I get to a place where I’m obnoxiously in love with my body? It wasn’t easy, I tell you. It took me years and years to get here. I write about it often on my blog. Ultimately, I think that I got sick of fighting. I got tired of dominating my body and criticizing her and measuring every mouthful of food and obsessing over how I looked. I got sick of caring what other people thought of me. I just got worn down by the struggle and the negative emotions, but beyond all of that, I wanted peace. I deeply wanted happiness. I didn’t want to feel so bad all of the time. I wanted to like my body and relax. I finally, finally let go, dropped my arms, and decided that if I had to be big (like my body so clearly wanted to be), I had to stay healthy. That was my only goal, my only concern, my only rule. And, I’m perfectly healthy, vibrant, active, and thrillingly alive at 5′ 5″ and 245 pounds. My blood pressure is always 110 over 60. I feel and look great.

So, why would any of us want to fall obnoxiously in love with our bodies? Lots of reasons. Primarily, acceptance. Acceptance of the self and others. Acceptance that the body is an integral part of our experience here as human beings and a vital tool, an important element in how we expand as spiritual beings. Without the body, we cannot do the work that we, as souls, crave doing and have come here to do.

At the periphery of our minds, we know that our lives mean something far bigger than our day-to-day concerns and struggles. We know there is a reason we are here. We know that we really should love our bodies, and yet so, so many of us hate our bodies or dislike key aspects of our physiques. So many of us, particularly women, struggle with the body and suffer, truly suffer over how our bodies look, measure up, or perform. Men have this affliction, too, but women. Oh, women. We are largely miserable creatures when it comes to the body. Women are so hard on themselves and by proxy, other women. It does not help that we have these plastic, air-brushed, and computer-manipulated images of “perfect bodies” barraging us from every flat surface.

We, as a species, so dislike the body that we have thousands, maybe millions, of industries devoted to altering, reducing, beautifying, and fixing it. Everything from drastic, brutal methods, such as compulsive exercise, plastic surgery, liposuction, and chemical peels to the less-severe skin and hair treatments, adornment, and concealing clothing. We so dislike our bodies that we mostly will not show what “real bodies” actually look like in advertising, films, art, and other media. This is, thankfully shifting in recent years, but we, for the most part, honor bodies that are not real or representative of the vast majority. We honor the seamless, the young, the endlessly underfed and photo-shopped aliens who peer placidly from the pages of fashion magazines and reality TV shows. So, when your body does not follow the socially agreed-upon convention of beauty, what then? You begin to despise it and this happens at a very early age in this culture.

I really believe that most people want to feel better, happier, more centered, balanced, and loving. Falling in love with your body is an excellent way to increase positive thoughts and emotions. Falling in love with your body is a perfect way to live a richer, happier, and more loving existence. It’s not easy to get there, but loving your body and honoring its needs, rhythms, messages, and life apart from you, the consciousness inhabiting it, is a delicious way to get deeper into why you are here as a human being. I argue that mankind cannot advance to his greatest potential without a healthy love or respect for the body.

So, how does one do this? Start small. Following are three ways to start falling obnoxiously in love with your body.

  • Start with your thoughts and beliefs. Think about the beliefs, thoughts, and ideas that you have about your body. Where did these opinions come from and who influenced your ideas about the body? Think about your shape, fitness, and health. Are you happy when you think of your body or less than joyous? What are you wanting from your body that you do not have now? Think about it. Then, you can try sitting down and writing it all out. Write down how you feel about your body and how you want to feel. Do this so you can create a dialog with yourself and get comfortable thinking about your beliefs. Our beliefs hugely influence the way that we look. Yes, genetics plays a role and also environmental factors, but nothing affects the body greater than thought. If you can get to a place where you can more quickly pin-point an idea that does not serve you, you can change it.
  • Understand that our cultural ideas about beauty have nothing to do with reality. I’m sorry, but women have cellulite. Women make babies. It’s a fact of life. We need some pudge. We need curves. Whoever came along and decided that cellulite was ugly and had to be air-brushed out probably had body issues, but that doesn’t mean that we have to accept this opinion. Nor do we have to shame our bodies because they don’t measure up to some false ideal of beauty. That is a choice that many of us make, but we can change it. Bodies are varied and multi-faceted and miraculous. Bodies serve us in the exact dimensions that we need in order to expand as spiritual beings. Sometimes those bodies need to be big and dense and sometimes small and light. It takes all kinds of bodies to make all of this living work. So, realize that the opinions we are being fed by way of the media are simply opinions of others, are to be heavily questioned, and do not have to be accepted.
  • Realize that you are an electromagnetic being and a powerful creator here in this body. Your body is vital to the process of your expansion. The body is doing exactly what you have commanded of it by way of your thoughts and behaviors. If you continually crab about the shape of your body guess what you are concentrating on through your attention—the current shape of your body. This focus on the negative disallows any number of other realities of which your body is capable, because you are focused, with your thinking, on the problem, not the solution. Try instead to sit quietly for five to ten minutes per day and think of all the things that you appreciate about your current body. Send your body loving thoughts. Maybe you like your toned arms. Well, tell your body that. Maybe you love your skin. Tell that to your body. Have a discussion with your body. Ask it what it wants and needs. Even if you do not “hear” anything in response, know that you are creating bridges of understanding between your consciousness and your body and its particular consciousness. Be willing to listen and this will create huge openings inside of you. You will start to feel better, slowly, but surely.

This is what I know: all of us can change our minds and learn to love our bodies. We have ultimate power and control over what we think, feel, and how we react to life’s circumstances. All of us can decide to change our thinking and thus, our beliefs about our bodies (or any topic). We do not have to hate or be critical of our bodies. We can choose love and appreciation. If we choose to facilitate a deeper love and respect for our bodies, lots of positive things will result. The most important of them: you feel better and you have more happiness. Consider falling madly in love with your body just as it is and see how your life unfolds. Just watch the universe mirror that love and appreciation back to you.

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OMG, She Said What?!

Want to giggle? Want to snicker? Want to feel some serious self-love and joy flooding through your lovely body? Of course you do! So, listen up, my peeps.

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Your friend, Big Lizzy, maven of all things body-love and self-esteem is being interviewed this Saturday, December 14th by the remarkable and transcendent, Claudia Moss, on her Live radio program.

Tune in to Claudia Moss Live for an energetic, fun, and riveting discussion of the body, how to develop greater appreciation for your physical expression called the body, and some background on me and my philosophy. Come on, you know you want to! 🙂

  • When: Saturday December 14th, 8 am (Pacific-time), 11 am, (Eastern-time)
  • What you do: Call 724-444-7444, and use the ID #125101 to enter the Virtual Studio.

Note: If you have some trouble getting in, keep trying. Sometimes the lines get jammed with users. Or, you can visit the show later and listen to the podcast.

More information is available at the Claudia Moss Live show on TalkShoe. See you there!

 

Breaststrokes: Shotgun T*tties; A Guest Post

By Claudia Moss.

Before she identified us, as though we were standing in a line-up, her words a poke in the ribs, a shove to the shoulder or a definitive finger to the tip of the nose, we were nonexistent. Just twin mosquito bites with a dark-brown, unblinking eye on both sides of her chest. Not much different from her twin brother’s chest. And we were okay with that.

Yet, the moment shifted when Aunt Marion named us. Just like that.

Said it before everybody in the room: her oldest sister, my mother, my Aunt Suda, and my sister, all of whom had a “bosom.” That was Mama’s word for us. Maybe that’s why we caught her sister’s attention, us poking persistently through a white T-shirt, no training bra to tame us, considering Mama didn’t think us big enough to bother about hiding us respectfully away from society and its groping eyes. So, Aunt Marion opened her mouth and exercised her right to name us, as if God had given her dominion over everything under her gaze.

“Shotgun titties!” Everybody looked around, but there was no mistaking about whom she was speaking. We would have fainted and receded back wherever we’d come, if we weren’t smooched under tight cotton. The sound ripped into our preteen world and parted the curtain on everything that held no prior importance…until then.

Laughter fountained from every corner of our mother’s bedroom. We hardened in embarrassment. And as if her words weren’t enough, Aunt Marion made twin pistols of her hands and fired them at us. “Pow! Pow!” she joked, blowing the smoke from her manicured nails. “Bet those little peaks could hurt somebody in a traffic jam.”

That’s when she turned and raced out of the room, heading for her bedroom. Safe behind her locked door, we rose and fell on her chest for several long minutes, her belly trembling, until she could pull herself together. Then, she domed us lovingly under her palms, although the seed had already been planted. All we thought about from that moment on was how to get into the cup of a bra. With white pads. Obsessed, we were willing to do whatever to be larger and favor two perfect pyramids under blouse or dress, preferably her low-cut ones.

If other girls could boast of having to adjust their bra straps, their titties nestled daintily in A cups, then Mama should do the same for us. She owed us that. Didn’t she know her baby sister had already poured the cement for a major complex?

After that, we couldn’t go anywhere or meet anybody without studying her chest. Did she have boobs? Titties? Bump? A rack or a bosom? Floodlights? Flashlights? Candles? Party hats? Raisins? Breasts? Sugar babies or teats? Maybe, like my teacher Mrs. Ferguson said, “sugar teats,” molasses in cloth, like the slaves used to keep the babies quiet on the railroad to freedom? Every word I’d ever heard to name us seemed better than “mosquito bites,” though “shotgun” still left a sour taste in our mouths.

Months afterward, Mama eventually stood in Sears and Roebuck with a woman older than her measuring us, top and bottom, for our first bra. Why they insisted on referring to it as a “training” bra was a mystery? What was it supposed to be training us to do? Not be visible? Not show our nipples? Quit being so noticeable for hands other than our own to palm us? We never learned the answer to any of this trivia; the only thing we did learn was Mama’s commandments: “Keep these bras clean. Don’t go showing off at school. And, never come out of it for anyone, definitely not boys.” We tingled all the way from downtown to our front door.

And, would have promised Mama anything only to get behind our bedroom door, strip, slip on a delicate bra, one behind the identical other, adjust and readjust the straps, and admire our creamy brown skin against soft, white cotton. She smooched us together, her hands making us strain to form cleavage, what we admired most about the women in Uncle Junior’s girly magazines.

But we stayed “tee-notchy,” our Grandma’s word for little, for years afterward, no matter what she did to make us bigger. We might have gained a tad more plumpness when a new girl appeared in our class the year after we tired of being suffocated by bras every moment of the day, except nighttime. (And, sometimes she’d sneak and wear a bra to bed, sweating us horribly, until, gratefully, Mama caught her and made her stop, saying she was wearing out too many bras and money didn’t grow on trees.) Anyway, she was a big, peach-colored girl, country, although she came from the North. Name was Cathy. Cathy Robinson.

Her claim to fame was the song she taught the girls in our class. “I must…I must…I must increase my bust!” She crooned it as if she were on Broadway. Her hands flew over her own huge titties, massaging them like they had to hear as well as feel the song. We liked the ditty at first. And then it got old, unless somebody else was doing the massaging, and then it started too much stimulation in lower places, not to mention news getting back to Mama we was being felt up in public and she was being fresh to let it happen.

For all the times we stared proudly back at her from the dresser mirror or the bathroom mirror, who’d have guessed that one day we’d contemplate being enlarged so as never to slip down her stomach as if we were on our way to her navel? We might have started out as shotguns, but we eventually found our way to C cups that favored little brown balloon boobs. Just didn’t know we’d take a whole half of a lifetime and a baby to do it!

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This wonderful guest post is provided by the incomparable Claudia Moss, author, radio personality, speaker, dancer, and all-around AMAZING WOMAN! Please share your thoughts here, BigBodyBeautiful friends, visit Claudia’s links below, and revel in the power of another woman squarely in her body and lovin’ it!

Claudia Moss

Heaping Praises on Yourself

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Do you have any idea how amazing you are? No, really! Don’t roll your eyes. You are amazing. Right there, sitting there in your body, reading this post, pulling these words through your mind. No matter what your circumstances or what you have done in your life, good or bad, at your core, you are love and you are amazing. How do I know this? We all are.

Hey, it’s hard to be human; it hurts to be here. We make a great sacrifice to leave our happy, soft nest of warmth on the Other Side and incarnate again. We seriously take one for the human team when we come back here and work out our dramas and karma with each other. Of course, coming back to earth over and over is how we advance as souls, so there are huge benefits to us, but we all know that being human is not for wussies. It’s a pain in the keister to be here. So, my official stance is that YOU ARE AMAZING. Just for being here. So am I. Can you feel it? I hope so. If not, I have an idea to help you address it. Read on.

After you digest this paragraph, stop, close your eyes say to yourself (for at least five minutes): “I am amazing. My body is a miracle. I am amazing. My body is a miracle. I am amazing. My body is a miracle.” Keep saying it. Repeat this to yourself so many times that the words lose their meaning. Then, open your eyes. Do you feel any different? Was this hard for you? Did you resist the exercise? Did your ego step in and tell you to stop being full of yourself? What came up for you?

At first, for me, I felt kind of silly doing this. My mind/ego immediately started poking holes in the practice and telling me that it was stupid, but I kept going. After a few minutes, my head started getting a little bit buzzy. It was so strange. I got kind of floaty and tingly. And, weirdly, it felt like it made me high. I’ll be honest with you, I liked it. I liked how I felt when I came out of the practice. I was actually calmer and more centered. I felt happier.

Heaping praises on yourself is a great daily practice that can totally alter your outlook, instantly elevate your mood, and improve your health. It’s true. People who praise themselves and others are happier and healthier. And, here’s the kicker: you don’t even have to completely believe the praises you heap on yourself at first. Obviously, it works better and faster if you find things that you really like about yourself and repeat those, but even if you do not yet believe your own words, your subconscious will and miraculous things will begin happening for you. It’s like you get a reset. Your energy  becomes softer, more pliable and others all around you register it. It’s seriously fascinating to watch this happen. Anyway, try to do this practice for at least five minutes every day (but, ideally 15) and see what happens. Go on. Heap some praises on yourself. Then, come back here and share your story with all of us.

Y R U SO FAT?

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Do you remember Richard Simmons and his license plate that spelled out YRUSOFAT (or something similar to that)? I always crack up when I think of this. I always smile when I think of Simmons’ valiant efforts to help people tackle their weight issues. He was a pioneer in the field of weight loss, by way of exercise. He was flamboyant (still is), funny, and oh, so chipper. I appreciated his methodologies and his humor. But, the thing is: he and every other person out there, trying to help others change their bodies by way of exercise or dieting are going at it from a less-than-effective foundation.

I know. That’s a very bold statement. Lemme explain.

If lasting weight-loss was simply an issue of taking action–you know, as in, exercising, getting gastric by-pass surgery, or dieting–we would all be thin. But, we are not thin. And, when most of us lose weight, after a time, we see it come right back on and then some. For example, I once knew a lovely woman who weighed 280 pounds and got what I feel is an incredibly violent method of weight loss–gastric by-pass surgery–, lost 130 pounds in the first year and by year two, managed to whittle herself down to 110 pounds, only to see the weight and then some come back on in years three through five. She ended up at 340 pounds, without hope, and deeply, savagely depressed. My heart broke for her. It’s simply devastating to be that morbidly, dangerously obese and to have something like this happen. It’s awful to believe that something will work for you and then have to face such an incredibly visual, public failure.

The problem is not that we do not move enough, try hard enough, diet enough, or work enough. Lord knows that we do. Fat people work harder than anyone else at losing weight and trying, striving, killing themselves to be thinner. Hell, we “weight lift” just crossing a room. But, in my thinking, it’s not about taking action; it’s about something else. It’s about responsibility. The core problem is that a majority of people do not take utter and complete responsibility for their thoughts, emotions, emanations, and lives.

Now, before you lamb-baste me for saying this, just consider that it’s possible.

While you know that I don’t often focus on the negative, there are times where I need to dip into the inky-human-darkness in order to get to a solution. So, here’s the take-away: Many of us act like victims. We think like victims. We believe that we’re victims. We’re victims of genetics or our thighs or our big ears or our relationships. We believe that we have no control over what “God gave us”. For the most part, we believe that our bodies are out to get us and that we’re at the whims of nature, genetics, or our early upbringing. We continually look backwards and point to the ways that we were damaged or betrayed.

We blame the body for holding us back, embarrassing us, or keeping us apart from others. We refuse to take ownership of our thoughts and emotions. We uses statements like: “He makes me so mad” and “She makes me want to scream” instead of realizing that no one can make you do anything. That reaction inside of you is a choice. Those statements could, with some consciousness and awareness be replaced with “I feel so mad right now”. Or, When I talk with her, all kinds of emotions come up inside of me. I wonder what that’s all about?” These are examples of taking responsibility for our feelings.

For the most part, human beings refuse to accept that we manifest reality by way of our thoughts, our attention, our utterances, our feelings. We do not question what we were taught by parents, parents who, in a majority of cases, had very little mastery over what they were doing. We know this. Most of us came from childhood situations that were dysfunctional in key areas.

We’re largely taught to look outward for our answers. We are told “ask God,” “pray,” or, worse, “do as I say” (parents say this alot). We’re raised to constantly look outside of ourselves and to look to other people for clues about how we’re doing, instead of being taught to go inward, self-analyze, take an inventory of how we’re feeling, and to consider how our behaviors affect different situations and the results we receive. We’re largely taught that emotions are suspect, our thoughts are “just thoughts”.

And, this wide-spread human reluctance to question what we’re taught and analyze and accept our own answers is why we’re often in victim-mode and why we cannot affect a lasting, positive change with our bodies. This is not to say that working out isn’t a good idea; it just can’t replace or fix our core issues. This is not to say that fitness coaches and other people in the health industry are not doing a good job or helping people, they are. But, there are only so many results one can get from dominating the body with exercise and adhering to stringent food restrictions without addressing the emotional self in tandem.

What we need are deep, core-level changes. We need to penetrate our own psychology. We need to question what we were taught and abandon the ideas that don’t serve us now or at least analyze them and see if there is still a fit. We might do well to take ownership of our emotions and embrace them, not distance ourselves from them. We need to understand the physics involved with our being electromagnetic creators. We would be greatly served by understanding our role in creating physical matter by way of our thinking and embracing that we are not victims of any circumstance, ever.

No fitness coach in the world can truly help a person, who seeks to address bodily issues, without addressing the emotional person, the thinking person, the feeling person, the psychology of the person. Until we begin addressing the core reasons for our reactions and take responsibility for the quality of our lives, whether good or bad, we cannot supersede our station in life in a lasting manner.

The answer is to go inward. Think. Ponder our quality of life. Ask our body for answers. Talk with our higher power, if that’s our belief system. Meditate. Seek help at times, but ultimately know that the answers you seek lie within you and no construct of man, from religion to strength-training can give you the answers to questions that you are not willing to ask. This is an inside job. No one outside of you can do for you what you cannot (or refuse) to do for yourself. The answer lies in looking into the darkness of the psyche and holding your ground, asking yourself why you feel the way you do, what are you being asked to learn and getting as comfortable with the inner processes of your existence as you are with the outward.

When fitness coaches start encouraging this approach, we will make quantum leaps forward as a species and not just in the arena of body shape. Until that time, getting to a place of self-acceptance is the best that we can do. What are your thoughts? Am I out of my tree? Tell me what you think. ~All my love and light to you, BigLizzy

HuffPostLive Discussion on “Love Your Body” Campaigns

Hiya, body-lovers! Following’s a link to the panel discussion in which I participated with other lovely women on HuffPostLive this morning. Had the best time with these wonderful, gorgeous women. It was a great discussion. Proudest moment of my body-lovin’ life. 🙂 Please take a watch and, as always, feel free to share your comments. All my love and light to you, BigLizzy

 

Breaking News! Participating in a HuffPostLive Body Image Discussion Today!

Hi, body-lovers! Quick post to tell you that I’ve been asked to participate in a conversation about body image today on HuffPostLive at 10:30 am, pacific, 1:30 pm eastern. Woop!

The panel of women will be discussing how the “Love Your Body” campaigns are or are not working. One of the panelists, Isabel Foxen-Duke feels that the campaigns are not helping women overcome their body issues and posted a compelling HuffPost Women article on her stance.

So, so excited to be doing this! Thank you, universe. Thank you, my loyal body-lovin’ peeps. Thank you, HuffPostLive. : )