Shapeshifter Me

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Call it a rant. Call it me opening up. Venting. Just sharing what it feels like to have a dramatic weight loss. I can only hope by me being completely 100% open, it helps one person today. Because you are all beautiful. And we, each one of us, struggles with something. I recognize that there are those of you struggling right now with a diet. I know. It is hard. And I have been there. Will always be there. Each and every day. Struggling.

I know there are people out there that see past the scale when it comes to measuring a person’s worth. My husband is one of those individuals. And for that, I love him. And for so much more, I love him.

If you are one of those rare individuals who do not see a number when looking at a person, I thank you.

From the bottom of my heart, I thank you.

Here it is. The unedited me:

After years of being heavy, I was quite used to being ignored by people. It sucks. It’s sad that weight matters to so many people. But it does. I can tell you from experience that it does. And some people are not nice about it either.

There were good things about being heavy. I learned to blend in. I could quietly observe. Quietly judge (this being my own flawed characteristic and obviously not a characteristic of all heavy people. Thank God).

And, oh, was I good at judging.

The very best, you see. Bad habit. The worst. Trying to quit. Is there a patch for that?

But, I digress.

I could go to the supermarket and no one would speak to me. I would walk down the street and not one head would turn and not one eye would blink. Let alone wink.

And it was peaceful.

And I never even noticed it was happening. Or not happening.

But then I lost weight. And I was exactly the same person. But for some odd reason, people treated me as an entirely new one.

And it sucked.

Nobody warns you this will happen. The crappy part of weight loss.

The inevitable conversations. The putting down of the old you.

The, “You look SOOOOOO much better.”

“Wow! I didn’t even recognize you!”

“I wish I had your discipline. I’m so fat.” And I want to shake them. And hug them. And tell them I think they are beautiful. Because I do. Because weight is not important to me. And I don’t know what to say. Because all I did was lose weight. That’s it, folks. It did not make me Leader Of The Skinny Body Crusade.

I want them to realize that it’s me. It’s still me. The girl without the discipline. The same flawed girl. Who struggles every single day. Who has the same damn problems as them. Who absolutely does not have all of the answers. Sometimes. None. At. All. Who might judge. But who would never judge someone’s weight. Or what they eat. And I hate that looking at my new body makes some people question their own. And feel bad. And feel like they have to explain their bodies to me. I have a conversation like this one at least once a week. And it makes me want to track down the true Leader Of The Skinny Body Crusade…and do some serious judging on that misguided soul.

“What does your husband think?”

The askers of this question are my favorite, because they almost always answer their own question with, “I bet he thinks he got a whole new wife!”

And then they stand there waiting for an answer to the answer they have just given themselves.

Men are obsessed with this question and answer game. I just stand there blinking. And I imagine they are the Leader Of The Skinny Body Crusade if they also add, “Lucky him!” Or in one case when a man actually said to my husband, in front of me, “I guess you’ll keep her now.” Oh, that poor leader. The things I do to him in my head. “Lucky” would not be quite the word I use to describe those things.

The crazy part is, I was happy being heavy. This seems to be such a foreign concept to people that I mostly keep it to myself.

And chuckle.

Okay. Not happy. There are a lot of bad things that go along with being heavy. And I suffered all of them. And I was not happy about it. In fact, I was pretty miserable.

I hated not being able to wear the clothes I wanted to wear.

I hated the unhealthy aspects that went along with the extra weight.

I hated that I did not fit into society’s box of “beautiful.” And then I wondered who built that damn box? Was it that leader again? Boy has he been busy. Or was it all of us?

I hated the way people treated me. That is what depressed me. And made me doubt myself. And become the judgier judgiest judge of others.

But the way I looked? Nope. Never bothered me. Or more correctly put would be to say, I was comfortable in my own skin. I always have been. No matter how much skin I have at the time.

So, I lost the weight. I get to share all of the fun new clothes I get to wear. It is fun. And it is exciting. And I love it. And I am happy. And I am comfortable in my own skin.

Still.

Always.

What makes me uncomfortable is not knowing how to behave as a “skinny” person.

Not understanding why this body gets more attention than the old one.

Why people are nicer. It boggles my mind. But it is true.

I hate that.

I do not know how to react to people. There is a whole new language to learn. A different social understanding to reach. And skinny people? They have been in the club for years. There is no room for a rookie. Or time to teach the dialect and actions of the average waist. I have always been a terrible learner. Especially when the material is the width of your belly and the textbooks are the mere letter on the tag of your shirt.

I find myself lost in translation.

Awkward.

Not knowing where I fit in.

It’s just a body. We all have one. I have just taken on many forms with mine.

I guess I am a real-life shapeshifter.

I have been able to sneak my way into scenarios that only half of the world ever gets to experience at one time. And I have lived both halves. In both scenarios. In this world. In one life.

And I can report skinny is not always better.

Of course, being heavy isn’t either.

Why does it have to be such a strong division? Why does one way of life have to be different from the other? Who decided that our girth would be our worth?

I yearn to take a backseat. To not have random men try to hug me. Or randomly strike up conversations with me. Then I wouldn’t misinterpret what they’re saying. I sometimes feel like an alien that has landed on this planet. Everything is so different on the side of skinny.

And it shouldn’t be.

I feel like I don’t belong anywhere.

There are no words to describe the puzzlement I feel at each encounter where I am treated differently because my pants’ size shrank.

No measurement to equate the mass of my soul.

I know I will never comprehend the language of the folks who speak with weighted tongues. Who seem to view the form of your body as a misguided representation of the form of your soul. Who place so much value on how little there is of you that they don’t see how much bigger they could be. In their hearts.

So I might be lighter.

But I’m heavier, too.

What body language do you speak?

Me, myself?:

“All of them.

And none at all.”

49 thoughts on “Shapeshifter Me

    • Thanks Brynne. It shouldn’t matter. And it makes me sad. I have had a heavy heart about it all day.

      Have a bright and cheerful Thursday!

      Jenni

  1. Well-written, well-said! As a new follower of yours, I had no idea about your weight loss. I saw your photos on your blog and thought, she’s gorgeous and has a beautiful life. It goes to show you have NO IDEA what is going on beneath someone’s skin by his or her appearance alone. It’s too bad there are so many people in this world who can’t see past weight, color, and what society deems as “beautiful.”

    • Thank you so much. I agree you never can tell. And it is not just weight struggles. I remember a few months ago I was very judge mental towards a man I had seen in the emergency room. I assumed he was a speed addict. But then he started speaking. And he was very kind. He was homeless but not a drug addict (that I could tell) and it made me sad that I had put an opinion on him based on his looks.

      I called my very zen friend and we talked about how hard it is to get past assuming with people. It is something I work on every single day.

      Thanks for commenting. I appreciate it. And for your kind words. I wish society was different.

      Have a harmonious Thursday!

      Jenni

  2. What a great post Jenni. For years and years, I settled into a weight and was very happy with myself. I dressed in clothes that flattered my shape. I remember telling one of my good friends once, and she always reminds me of this: “This is my body shape. I will never be stick skinny and I am okay with that. I am happy with who I am.” When I got pregnant, of course I wondered what my body would be like after I gave birth. I thought as long as I could at least get back into my clothes I would be happy. But then something I never expected to happen, happened. I lost 20 more pounds than my original weight from breastfeeding. It was magic. I could eat whatever I wanted and it just kept coming off. I would never have believed it unless it actually experienced it. Now though, that weight has crept back on. I have no one to blame but myself because I do not control what I eat. But I hate dieting and excercising! It sure is a constant struggle because now I know what it feels like to be lighter (not in a vain way, but in a healthy way). Just about every women I know struggles with this – I wish it didn’t have to be that way.

    • Thank you for sharing Heather. I had the same thing happen to me with breastfeeding. Except I didn’t lose more than I gained. I simply lost my pregnancy weight. But then I stopped breastfeeding and kept eating the same. And I gained and gained. Every woman I know struggled with some sort of body image or weight issue. And it just makes my heart break. I appreciate you sharing. I despise exercising, too. So I don’t. But I do watch what I eat. I have to now after being prediabetic. You look beautiful to me!

      Have a lovely Thursday!

      Jenni

  3. Thank you! Great “rant”. I’ve been there too, still go up and down, still feel very much the same way. Keep on keeping it real!

    • Thank you Tami! And thank you for sharing! I had debated about posting my “rant” but I am glad I did.

      Have a wonderful week!

      Jenni

  4. Long time lurker (I mean, for as long as you have had a blog). There is so much I love, love, love about your blog and your personality. This post prompted me to comment for the first time. You said you want to write a novel. I know you are a reader, and you probably already have a book in mind. But . . . the characters in this post–the leader of the skinny people, and the conversations you would want to have, and then the two yous, who are actually the same yous . . . in all of this, there is a wonderful story waiting to be written. It would take some control and the right tone. But it’s a marvelous idea. It would be funny and savage and true. And unlike “She’s Come Undone,” it would be written by a woman. Finally, again, I love your blog. Your clothes, your house, your dedication to your family, your recipes, your love of fun and your humor. Etc. I hope you blog for a long time.

    • Thank you so much. I have thought of your comment all day. And I have thought about how I could write the story. And you are right. I think this might be an angle worth pursuing. I love this idea. Thanks for it. I think this weekend I will try writing a chapter with this story in mind and see what comes of it. Thank you also for your really nice words. I appreciate it. Whenever I write something this heavy, it makes me extremely down all day. Your words definitely lifted me back up. Thank you.

      May your day be light and cheerful!

      Jenni

      • Remember that a first (second, third, fourth . . . ) draft does not have to be perfect. A book and a story are “made” things. We get to shape them. You are very smart and very imaginative. Enjoy the writing. xox

      • Thank you for that. Seriously. I never thought of it that say before. It makes the whole process less scary. And thank you so much for your kind words. I appreciate them. Very much.

        I hope your weekend is filled with bliss!

        Jenni

  5. Jenni I love this, I have to say that I am from a different spectrum. I was so overly skinny that I got teased and pointed at growing up. It has actually skewed me in the opposite direction, I compare always to the super skinny! I think that the important thing is like you say, being happy in your own skin. Unfortunately I think that no matter what size you are or what you look like we all have something we want to change! Sad but true!

    • Thank you Andrea. I was thinking of that when I wrote this. That there is definitely an angle that I have not experienced and that is being very thin. And I know there are hardships to that as well. I am glad you brought that to light. I think every woman and sometimes men feel frustrated at points with the way they must look for society’s acceptance. On the night I wrote this, I was just fed up. Thank you for responding and sharing your point of view. I really appreciate it.

      Have a perfect Thursday!

      Jenni

  6. Thank you for sharing this. Without giving you my whole story, I am struggling to lose the 40+ lbs left over from being pregnant over 18 months ago. I know I am the same person, and heck I have a beautiful little girl because of it. But now I am plus size. And I have a closet full of pre-baby Anthro dresses taunting me. And some days I feel that I am worth less. I see it in people’s faces, comments, and working with the public does not make it easy. Thank you for sharing your journey, and I love reading your blog for inspiration, and this just made my day a little brighter. Again, thank you for sharing.

    • Thank you for sharing Katie. I am glad my post made you feel better. I went through exactly what you are going through. I am so sorry that you are feeling this way and that in the aftermath of your beautiful daughter, you have to deal with the self doubt. I went through that for so many years. You are definitely not alone. I had the Anthropologie dresses in my closet. I was plus size. And instead of the dresses being a motivator to me, they just made me feel bad. Not to mention, having an eighteen month old is hard. They are into everything. Their schedules are constantly changing. I remember at one point I had a knot in my hair for three weeks. No joke. And it didn’t bother me, because I was so exhausted caring for my children. I think every woman goes through something like this. I wish we could all just get together and hug. Because you are worth so much. You are beautiful. If you ever need to talk more or share, feel free to email me at gnomelover77atgmaildotcom. The dot is just a dot. And the at is the at symbol. But if I put the right spelling those darn junkmail drones will find it.

      Enjoy your sweet baby. Sending you hugs! You are not alone.

      Have a gorgeous Thursday!

      Jenni

  7. Thank you for the post! I remember losing @ 25 lbs. on WW and people would always make huge comments and compliments. I walked away thinking “Was I really that fat before? Why didn’t my husband tell me?” So now I just enjoy how clothes feel (yes, I got a whole new wardrobe!) But with a big house/town move last year I have put on a couple of lbs. that just won’t go away – and I have been very hard on myself. Not because of what I think I look like – rather my tummy feels heavier. But all of the new clothes still fit so why am I so concerned. And like your husband, my dear man always thinks I look wonderful so that says something for our taste in men! If I get down on myself and my weight my husband reminds me that he does not like bony women! So there!
    I love your taste in clothing and have been following you now for @ 1 month. I do not purchase lots of clothes – but I certainly would purchase many of the styles and items that you are drawn to. It really is inspiring me. Thanks!

    • Hi Lori Ann! Thank you for sharing. And for your sweet words. I know exactly what it feels like to gain some of the weight back. I actually have gained it all back before. This is my second time on Weight Watchers. I was so upset at myself for the weight gain before that I gave up and gained more and more. I think us women are so much harder on ourselves than anyone else ever truly is. I am always so concerned I am going to offend someone that I often hold things in. My husband always has to say, “Would you be offended by that?” And when I answer, “Of course not!” He makes me realize that most other people would not be offended either. I like to think weight is another one of those instances, but there are some real jerks out there! It is funny, because I really believe us women are supportive of one another and we all banded together, we could silence these vile standards that society has placed on us.

      Uh oh! I’m ranting again! I just wanted to say it is great that you can wear the clothes you love! That you have a supportive husband (yay for that). I hope you go easy on yourself. Moving is one of the hardest things to do. Congrats on getting through that! Please write me if you ever need to talk!

      Have a lovely week!

      Jenni

  8. Wow Jenni – I have been on both ends of the spectrum too – both thin and overweight, and it angers me to this day when I see people looked at/treated differently because of their weight (both as someone who has experienced this firsthand and then just on the outside looking in.) I know how I have felt when I have been overweight so I try really hard to encourage other people who are struggling with that. I currently have a thyroid condition where I toggle back and forth between hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism; which causes my weight to go up and down as well; overweight in the “hypo” phase; slimmed down when I’m “hyper”. I am currently in the hyper phase and have lost 15 lbs., but have other unpleasant side effects from being “hyper”, including constant sweating, hand tremors, and bulging eyes. I LOVE when people ask me what my “secret” to losing weight is and I tell them it’s a jacked up thyroid – wait 6 months; I may have blown up like a balloon! When I was thin for years I used to think that overweight people could “help” themselves, but now I know firsthand that’s not necessarily the case! I’m so glad you are able to be open and express your feelings about this – I think it will help alot of other people going through similar struggles!

    • Thank you Judi! And thank you for sharing your story. I am so sorry you are having to deal with a thyroid issue. I can imagine that would be extremely scary and also frustrating. The older I get, the more I realize that everyone has something they are struggling with. Oftentimes many struggles. And I get so upset when I feel that not only is someone being treated with unfairness, but also with unkindness. It makes me see red. Unfortunately, I see it much too often. Even with myself and people I know. I actually know the man who made those rude comments and I can’t decide if that made them sting more or less. I think more. I also recognize that they only actions I can control are my own. And also to teach my children that a person’s weight, sex, race, or sexual orientation do not define a person. And definitely have no impact on their personality or soul. It really is the only small part of the world I feel I can teach. And so I do. And they are definitely listening to me. But they are also watching me. And that is most important of all.

      I know it is lame to say I hope you feel better soon, when this is a condition that is not so simple. But I do want to say you are in my heart. I hope this week is an easy one for you and that it is also a great one.

      Thank you again.

      Jenni

  9. What a great post Jenni and I entirely sympathise, well except to the part about being hugged by random men but I know what you mean. I noticed very similar things as a guy who lost over 4 stone and is currently at the moment on the rise again after several years ๐Ÿ™

    I have decided my current problem is down to sugar. I don’t like sugar, I’m a savoury person and yet all my supposedly healthy low fat foods are high in sugar; yoghurt, branflake cereals, even crackers and don’t mention fruit juice. It is back to the drawing board for me, I think the drawing board will be mostly root vegetables and chicken/turkey and full fat but not at all sugary yoghurt.

    • Thank you Stephen. I am sad to read you are struggling. You have also been sick, so don’t be so hard on yourself. Plus, you had a tough year and last month was hard. I would definitely not worry about your weight right now. I have the opposite problem with salty foods for my son. He is supposed to limit his salt intake and so I buy him low-salt chips. And low-sodium peanut butter. All he drinks is water. It is amazing how much sodium is in our foods. And now you are telling me sugar, too! Aaaahhh! It’s too much.

      I hope you are feeling better. I will write you tomorrow. Promise! It is on my to do list!

      Have a lovely week!

      Jenni

  10. Thank you for sharing this! I have also experienced both sides, I gained 85 lbs after having my beautiful daughters and then lost it because I wanted to feel healthier.
    I haven’t forgot the comments about how “I was so pretty now”
    Or the way I was ignored when I was heavy..
    I pray for our daughters sake that one day a person will be judged by their soul and not their size!

    • Thank you Terry. I agree. It stings. On both sides. I hope my daughter never ever has to go through that. It seems society is always looking for one more thing to create intolerance for. Thank you for sharing your experience. I think each person sharing is helping another woman out there feel better about herself. Thank you for that!

      I hope your Thursday is beautiful!

      Jenni

  11. Oh honey, I wrote you the most enormous email after I read this, and just to reiterate – your body is nobody’s business but your own. Just try looking someone straight in the eye and explaining to them how their “helpful” comment has made you feel – just summon some ice in your stomach and say it how it is – and then maybe you can start turning the tide of “helpful prejudice”, one helpful idiot at a time.

    For what it’s worth, I like you SO MUCH and I would like you no matter what size you were, okay?! ๐Ÿ™‚ Sure you’re slim and pretty, but you’re also a damn cool lady. Keep telling yourself that, because it’s 100 true! Hugs from across the ocean! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thanks Gwen! You are so sweet. I like you SO MUCH, too! It is hard when you are in a situation like that, because the comment seems to come from nowhere and I am never prepared for it. Plus, it is usually when I am feeling the situation could get really ugly. So, I just ignore it and go home and cry. Because as much as I would like to be a tough chick that isn’t bothered by it, I am. Plus, I think no one would ever use the words “Tough Chick” to describe me.

      Your email was so nice and i read it and reread it throughout the day. My day was so busy and I did not get home until 5:00. Then I had to do laundry, dishes and feed my little rascals. And I didn’t have a post ready for tomorrow! So, I wrote a post and did the above. But I have not written you back yet. I promise I will tomorrow. Because I desparately need to talk to you.

      And also, I tried to comment on your new post like ten times yesterday and it wouldn’t let me. So, I cut and pasted it to my notes. Do you know what happened?

      Have a rad Thursday! Talk to you soon!

      Jenni

      • I have no idea what might have caused that, but didn’t you have problems commenting on Liz’ blog too? Maybe you need to update a program on your ipad? I have no idea about these things… ^_^;
        It will be wonderful to chat to you or read your email, but don’t stress out over it please! Anyone who has kids gets an automatic “free pass” from me, anyway! ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • Hmmm. Maybe I do need to update a program. There always seems to be something that needs updating. I will check it out!

        I’m still writing you tonight! : )

        Jenni

  12. What a great post Jenni! It is amazes me the body issues that people have and how they express them. You are beautiful inside and out at both weights. Thank you for sharing this well written piece. I enjoyed another reader commenting that being skinny can be hard too. It is important to remember that this issue can affect everyone. I have even had negative fat talk directed toward my dog. Sometimes people tell me my bully is “fat” or to stop feeding her. She is a healthy weight and eats a healthy amount of food. They don’t seem to get that greyhounds and bulldogs have different but beautiful body types. It breaks my heart when people say mean things about her. I tell her she is beautiful and that I love her very much. I hope she can’t understand them. If the negative fat talk is bringing you down today, know that your readers think you are pretty amazing. One of the best ways to promote positive health is to talk about it. Thank you for talking about it today.

    • Thank you. I completely agree. It affects everyone. There are both sides of the spectrum. I have never experienced being very skinny. I have only experienced being slightly obese and 130 pounds. But I think it is important that women band together and get rid of these stupid rules! Because the vast majority of us wish they would be gone.

      Oh man! Ollie is right there with your bully. He lost fifteen pounds last year, but he is still a big dog. He also gets half the recommended food for his weight (by vet’s orders). And he will always be heavy. Bullies are so adorable. I love bull dogs! And I definitely know your bully knows that, too. Plus, they’re smarter than humans. They would never buy into any of these standards!

      Have a lovely day!

      Jenni

  13. Wow, so, so beautifully written and so spot on! I’ve struggled with weight my whole life and I’ve really had to learn to try and silence all my negative self talk. I’ve banished the “f” word from my vocabulary, which has helped. You’ve really eloquently provided such an anthem for people who struggle with equating the number on the scale with what’s inside. You my dear are a beautiful person. It radiates from the inside out. Thank you for sharing your story!

    • Kindra, thank you. You made me so happy tonight when I read your post. I was struggling with getting laundry done and still spending time with my kids. And then I read your comment, And I felt better. I, too, despise the “f” word. I made a very conscience decision to avoid using it. I think it is degrading, because so many people use it to be demeaning. I am glad you learned to silence that negative voice. Mine always seems to crop up when I least expect it. I need to do better!

      Thank you again. I appreciate it more than I can express. I hope your week is calm and beautiful!

      Jenni

  14. Incredibly powerful post, Jenni. This is one of your books. I am saying this very seriously. Between this subject, your Grandmother, and other subjects – you have interesting points of view, passion, eloquence, and something important to say about people and life. You connect with your audience in a very personal way. Please keep going!!!

    • Awww. Thank you Cynthia. I am seriously considering it. I am passionate about it. And I do have much more to say about the subject. Thank you for the encouragement! You are so great! I appreciate it so much. I am still doubting myself in so many levels, thank you for always bring me up!

      Sweet dreams!

      Jenni

  15. Hey Jenni

    I found this so sad to read…and so interesting too. My experience with being bigger (and I think from previous discussions that it was about the same size you used to be) was almost opposite in a way – in that I constantly felt like screaming that it wasn’t me, that body. Because I knew my natural weight and I knew there was something wrong. So my time being bigger in this world was very coloured by the fact that I wasn’t comfortable in myself at all (and the fact that I was extremely sick and that was part of it). So I don’t think I could possibly even try to separate that from how I may have been perceived by others or treated. And, really, I guess I was barely a part of ‘the real’ world in any true sense.

    I know I’m way too guilt of judging – myself and others – on appearance. And it’s strange, because I’m so offended by the standards that are imposed (on women especially, but increasingly men too) upon us by the media. The implication that we are ‘more’ if we fit society’s picture of how we ‘should’ look. But on some level I buy into it…I must, to feel that way. To act that way.

    I would LOVE to live in a world where beauty is celebrated in all its guises – where being human and being different is seen as something to rejoice in not be ashamed of. But at the same time I can’t quite imagine a world like that. Hasn’t every society and culture we’ve ever read of had an ideal? I wonder why…

    It’s ‘just’ a body, isn’t it? But we all seem to be awfully attached to them.

    I want to come back and read this again some other time – it feels like there is so much to take in and my brain is struggling. But your musings are so thoughtful and beautiful in their truth.

    Keep writing, keep sharing.

    Kirsten

    Oh, and I came across a blog post today I think you may find interesting (head isn’t functioning well enough to have done more than scanned it, so I’m sorry if it’s not what I think it is:

    http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-12360/what-losing-100-pounds-taught-me-about-how-we-treat-overweight-people.html

    Also, have a feeling you may like this one:

    http://www.elephantjournal.com/2014/01/i-want-you-to-look-at-my-body-missi-rasmussen/

    • Hi Kirsten, first I am sorry to hear you are struggling. It made me so sad to read that. I hope you are doing better.

      I think many people going through a medical weight gain would feel so similarly. I imagine it would feel like an out of body experience not understanding what is going on.

      When you said, that we are all attached to ours (bodies), it really made me think. That is incredibly truthful. I never thought of it that way.

      Thank you for your insight and for making me think a little deeper today.

      Have a marvelous Saturday!

      Jenni

  16. PS – I just looked through the comments really quickly, and part of one of your responses gave me whole-body chills and brought me to tears:

    ‘I think more. I also recognize that they only actions I can control are my own. And also to teach my children that a personโ€™s weight, sex, race, or sexual orientation do not define a person. And definitely have no impact on their personality or soul. It really is the only small part of the world I feel I can teach. And so I do. And they are definitely listening to me. But they are also watching me. And that is most important of all.’

    You are the kind of person the world needs. The kind of parent children need. All of that is so true, so aligned with my truth anyway.

    And it touches on something I had just been thinking of – something I think about quite a lot. Which is, how we have to lead by example. How we cannot tell the children of this world one thing and show them another (and expect them not to see the hypocrisy). I may not ever have the opportunity to be a mother but I want the girls – and boys – who are in my life never to learn to feel less than they are in that kind of way from me.

    • Thank you so much Kirsten. We, all of us adults, I think need to realize that the opinions we form are not just our own. But affect the younger generation watching us. I know how often I look at slavery and segregation and women’s rights and think how incredibly ignorant previous generations were. I would hate to be one of the ignorant folks future generations judge.

      We sit down for family dinner every night. Sometimes the conversations are light and carefree. Other times they are more serious. I cannot assume because I know something my children do, too. Seriously one of my kids asked me about “zombie rights” the other day. It was definitely a conversation I never imagined having!

      Keep well! And have a peaceful evening.

      Jenni

  17. Thank you so much for sharing your experience so openly. What a powerful post.

    I’ve heard it said that fat shaming is one of the last acceptable prejudices. It’s so sad that people judge or make assumptions based on weight.

    I also hear what the two other commenters were saying about being skinny being hard too. I’ve always been thin, but I also think we have to acknowledge that “thin privilege” exists. Yes, people sometimes assume that I’m weak or vain which hurts my feelings but it’s impossible to deny that there are real, tangible benefits from being thin. What I experience is not the same as the pervasive, systematic discrimination that overweight people experience on a daily basis.

    • Thank you Liana. I have never heard it said like that before. “Thin privileges.” Very interesting concept. I do think society is harshest on the heavy. But I also think the way anyone feels about their body that makes them feel sad based on another’s judgements are very real to that individual. So that would be the case for the super thin as well. I just wish women could in any way just say, “Enough!” And embrace our sisters with love and respect. I have seen and heard so many fellow women do the opposite of that and it makes me feel helpless that the stigma will ever go away.

      Thank you for making my mind think today. I love that you brought up a new point to ponder.

      Have a happy weekend!

      Jenni

  18. I am really glad that you are teaching your children to look at people that way – that one aspect of a person doesn’t define who that person is – that you have to look beyond appearances and see people’s hearts. I have always been pretty much an open-minded person who tries to look for the good in others – I’ve noticed though that the older I get, the harder that seems to be! Also, just kind of want that in return, and sometimes feel like I don’t always get it! Life is hard for so many people these days; if we can just show a smidgen of kindness and understanding to others! I appreciate your kind words regarding the health thing. Yes, this is one of those things that you don’t even think about, and then you have it. Nothing compared to what so many other people are dealing with health-wise, but yes, frustrating! But I’m on the right track I think – I am going to see an endocrinologist (FINALLY!) and I think/hope she can straighten all this out! Enjoy your posts so much!

    • Thank you Judi! I hope the doctor ( can’t remember how to spell it) gets it all sorted out. Not feeling well in any capacity is simply the worst. Hopefully you will completely yourself again soon.

      And I, too, find it hard not to judge others daily. It is something that I work very hard on to correct and show compassion. I think this is the one area it is okay to be hard on myself about.

      Let me know how it works out. You will be in my thoughts. In the meantime, I hope your weekend is splendid!

      Jenni

  19. I think you are amazing, in so many ways. Being able to gather your thoughts and then share them with all of us is a gift. A gift that goes way beyond your dress size. I am so proud of all your accomplishments, your weight loss being one of them. (So many drugs would not be prescribed or needed if the rest of us had some discipline.)

    You are able to express your free spirit in your home decorating, your clothes, your writing.
    Your children are bright, fun and thoughtful. Your husband adores you. (All this says so much about you as a person.)

    Sometimes I know I am guilty of thinking how you’ve got it all! Quirky, fun self-confident, open — and forget about the person underneath there. You have always been Jenni to me. Your dedication to your blog is admirable. You can cook a meal that turns out looking delicious and take pictures as you go. (Never happen in my kitchen, and what I cook never looks as good.) You put together outfits and yourself (on a regular basis) that look great. Mostly, you let us laugh and cry with you thru your stories about your life, your family.

    Thank you. Love you, Auntie M

    • Oh. I love you Auntie M. Thank you. I would not be the person I am nor have the stories to tell if you had not been such a strong female presence in my life.

      I think it is so hard for so many women because they do not have a support system. Thank you for always being there.

      The blog is a lot of work. I struggle daily with the task of it, but it has provided me a much needed release. There are so many nights when I am wiped out and devastated by things happening in their lives. But out of respect for them, I keep it in.

      I definitely do not have it all, but I don’t think anyone really does. And I am happy 90% of the time, so I consider that to be a blessing.

      This blog takes me away from that even for just a bit. And it makes me happy. And I hope it makes others smile as well.

      Thank you again! I love you!

      Jenni

  20. Excellent post, Jenni! It was so eloquently written that it should be shared all over the Web. I know you’re humble about your writing, but I’m really serious about that! ๐Ÿ™‚

    I heard a girl sitting in front of Chris and me at a basketball game last night telling her boyfriend how someone she knows “would be really pretty if she would just lose some weight.” Her boyfriend was making some really ignorant comments about that person’s body that left her hysterically laughing, and the whole thing just made me really sad. If she WOULD be pretty if she lost weight, then I’m sure she’s gorgeous now; she just doesn’t fit into society’s stereotype of what it means to be beautiful. I think that a lot of people blame the press and the entertainment industry for such mindsets, but I think it’s so important for all of us to remember that we- the “regular people”- are the ones who have the power to trash those ideas or reinforce them.

    I’ll stop ranting now, but I want to end by saying I think it’s so great how you lost the weight for yourself and your overall health rather than to conform to someone else’s definition of beauty.

    • Thank you Casey! You are too kind. I do hope this post spoke to people’s souls, because it means a lot to me. I am so intimidated about sharing my work, I am content just putting it out to my readers. I am not a self promoter. I wouldn’t even know how the heck to do it. So, I just have fun and share with my friends ( everyone who reads this little blog). It is nice and cozy and safe that way.

      I cannot imagine overhearing that! Well, I can! But it makes me so mad! If I ever heard my child say something like that… Oh! I cannot even imagine! There is just so much ignorance and hate in the world. If I really sat down and thought about it, I am not sure I would get back up.

      Thank you for sharing! The anger is good for my housecleaning. I bet I get all of my laundry folder and put away thinking about that conversation!

      Have a sweet and peaceful Friday!

      Jenni

      • Haha I agree it is great for housecleaning! ๐Ÿ˜‰ But in all seriousness, I used to let my feelings about such ignorance really bring me down, whether they were spurred by unfair comments about someone’s culture, or our general perceptions of others. It still does eat at me sometimes, but now I try to channel it into spreading positivity myself. If someone’s outfit catches my eye at the store or I love a gutsy blog post someone has written, I always try to say something; you never know what kind of mean-spirited people they may have encountered earlier in the day!

  21. Great blog post and also enjoyed all the comments/storied shared by other women.

    I recall having lost about 15lbs doing WW. I was not overweight, but weighed a little more than I should for my frame, but sure by Hollywierd standards i was overweight. I had always been very skinny until i was about late 20’s and took a desk job. However, I was the skinny girl that didn’t have skinny legs. So fast forward a few years, slowing metabolism and i’m now heavier or filled out. So I lost the 15 or so lbs and my cleavage went away, hips/butt got a little smaller. Had to have clothes taken in since I went down probably a size in waist and hips. So I’m in the office and some guy I never knew his name says to me “OMG, you lost weightโ€ฆ..you look fantastic!” I got a few of those from the folks at work and a few guys in particular. I remember walking away thinking I didn’t know I was fat and got annoyed because, well, I wasn’t and how dare someone think it’s okay to say stuff like that to folks? Like seriously? Clearly he thought it was a compliment, but I was offended. I also didn’t know how to handle the attention that came from men with being thinner and I guess more “acceptable”. SIGH.

    I think American society, in particular, is so obsessed with being skinny as the ideal. Now there are women who are very naturally slender and that’s great or not so great for them. I’ve heard ladies complain that they’d LOVE to gain, but just don’t. I’ve heard it said can a woman ever be too skinny? Yes would be the answer in my opinion. There are women who struggle with their weight and have a few extra lbs. There are women who are just average sized and neither a size 0 or a 16+. I don’t understand about all the boxes society, fashion editors and ourselves put woman’s bodies in.

    A friend mentioned that her VERY thin daughter (who was going to an exclusive private school in NYC) was concerned that her thighs might touch and you were only skinny enough if there was that gap? A gap. A gap between your thighs is the measuring stick for skinny. Well, when I was 5’6″ and weighed about 105, I still didn’t have a gap between my thighs and no one would say I was overweight. I was very, very thin. Her mother & parents were upset because she was spending a lot of time working out, not eating, etc. to fit in with the girls at school and her parents jumped in quickly to remediate the situation. Nuts as this was a young girls thoughts at 16!!! The pressures these young girls must feel today by the media and from each other is horrible.

    Until we learn to be comfortable in our own skin and also speak out against those that chose to covertly try to put is in a box with a big ‘ole label, things won’t change. We’re the same folks before or after a weight gain or loss.

    Sorry for the long message, but this kinda thing really bugs me and your post really spoke to me :).

    • Thank you Bronzi. I have really enjoyed everyone sharing as well. It just makes you realize we all have a story. This stigma affects us all. I sometimes spend hours thinking of ways to change it, but I don’t know that it can be done. Some people cannot be taught.

      I know exactly how you feel with those comments. They really sting. It is almost as if people do not realize that the heavier you was you, too. That putting that person down is still putting you down.

      These days I think it is awful to be a teenage girl. With the media. And instant access to some many things on the internet, there are an infinite amount of ways to spiral into feeling bad about one’s body. I just hope that teenager is okay. It made me really sad to read that. If you ever get an update, please let me know. I hate to think of a kid going through that and thinking that way.

      Thank you for sharing! I appreciate it.

      Have a lovely Friday!

      Jenni

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