Sunday, September 11, 2011

On weight and body image.

In the last year I've had a really rotten run of bad luck. Last winter I broke my arm and was unable to work for a long time. Then I had the misfortune to go on a cruise (I know, poor me) and gained about 5 lbs in my vacation induced eating frenzy. Coming back from the cruise I picked up a really nasty virus and the end result was severely damaged lungs, an inability to get enough oxygen, and a 4 or 5 month recovery time. Then I went on another vacation to visit my family in the US and I ATE EVERYTHING IN SIGHT.

The hamburgers were like a sweet, sweet dream from which I never wanted to wake. I exercised as much as my healing lungs would allow on the trip, fully planning on starting a great workout regimen when I got home, healed and whole (as in 10lbs more whole than usual).
Then I got home and broke a rib, and had another 6 week recovery time. My clothes are pretty snug, I have enough muffin top to make me cry, and the only thing I find comforting in my current bummed out in Norway, unable to get a job climate, is grilled cheese... which I have so far avoided with massive will power. Depressing.

I'm just enough overweight now that I don't want to sew anything for myself in a size bigger than I'm used to sewing. It's a matter of principle for me. So this week, my husband started me on the Navy Seal workout plan (cause he's crazy, and has already been doing it for a couple months now, the beast). He's a fantastic, sweet, and encouraging personal trainer who has managed to make running my first mile in a year an actual enjoyable activity.

The way I see it, its a count down. 10 lbs till I can sew myself a fantastic wiggle dress for the many more pointless job interviews. I recently didn't get a really great job because I was"absolutely perfect for the position, but being a military wife, they didn't want to take the risk of my husband getting orders and me having to move away."
So on this note, I read a great blog post today on New Vintage Lady. She's a strong, talented and intelligent woman with a great flair for all things vintage. Her post, "Just another fat girl" had me sad, frustrated, and ANGRY that body image (how we see ourselves, AND how others see us) has to be such a fight for so many of us. Why can't people just see us as the amazing creatures we are. Why can't we see it ourselves?

Here are some lovely vintage ads for the stout and mature from a gorgeous 1920's clothing catalog in my collection. These people are just beautiful!


  1. Anna, That does seem like rotten luck! I am also on a similar road but I have 4.5 stones to lose! Lots I know. But I know I can do it and I've been sewing smaller to entice myself into lower sizes. You know you can do it, and were all behind you! I think its brave to be able to talk about your views on body issues on your blog and support from everyone really does help! I've lost half a stone and encouragement from everyone makes so much difference! Good luck! x

  2. @StevieThanks so much, Stevie, you're awesome, and good luck to you too!

  3. I really feel for you, what a tough time you have had.Stuggling with body image is rotten, and madia and even ourselves don't help. I started making my own clothes because I was unhappy with my image after having my 4th son. I wish you luck, and remember all the amazing positives about yourself.

  4. Wow, you've had one rough year! I'm sure you can achieve anything if you put your mind to it and with such great support from your hubby, you'll be in that wiggle dress before you know it ;o) I have awful body image issues and it's actually stopped me from sewing for myself recently. I know I'm not massive, but I'm about a dress size bigger than I used to be and I'm finding it hard to shift the weight. I'm working out and eating healthy to lose the weight, as I have a sewing list as long as my arm! Good luck to you!

  5. Wow, you have had a rough year with all the injuries and illnesses, I am hoping from here forward you will be in the pristine of health. Such a wonderful husband to be kind when getting you on the workout track, you are sure to lose those extra pounds.

    I know I like to maintain a certain body shape, exercise for toning is involved, just so my clothes look good on me. Once my metabolism slowed, due to aging gracefully, I started to put on weight. Of course eating large muffins for breakfast and sitting in a classroom all day didn't help.

    So, one of the tricks, you are so diligently working on, to weight loss is to exercise to reset your metabolism to burn those calories. You go girl!

  6. Dear Anna - I completely understand what you are going through. Two years ago I was running 30 miles a week - and then got injured. I continued running on the injury until I could barely walk and then decided I needed to see a doctor. Well, it has been two years and I still haven't been able to run. My body does not feel like mine anymore. Unfortunately, there is not a lot I can do as result of my injury so I am not sure I will ever get back to the me I used to be. I wish you the best of luck with your hubby's coaching. Oh, and you are still beautiful!

  7. I feel the same way about sewing for myself, and it's terrible! We should just be able to love ourselves enough to dress the body we have. Good luck, honey, I'll be rooting for you!

  8. Good luck!!

    please follow meee! and comment!

  9. I feel for you, as it is something I'm also currently going through. In my case, it's my own body rather than bad luck that led to weight gain (undiagnosed thyroid problems in the wake of pregnancy that led to weight piling on AFTER giving birth, and which despite now being medicated makes it a hard task to lose; followed by the discovery that I have congenital hip dysplasia which also flared up during pregnancy and now makes most exercise, even walking, very painful). Funnily enough, learning that I'll need hip replacement soon was almost liberating. As one hip is completely buggered anyway, I figured I might as well start swimming again, as a non-weight bearing exercise. Although it leaves my hip very unstable afterwards, at least it doesn't hurt while I'm doing it. It's only been a month now but I swim 1km every other day and I'm seing the weight on my arms start to melt away, and the tummy following. Hopefully bum and thighs will be next! It's a really gratifying feeling and although I'm not yet at the stage where I can size down on my patterns, I feel I'm on the right track. So good luck with your regimen and looking forward to seeing the wiggle dress!