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I’m All About that Bass

I turned on the CMA Awards show tonight.  Miranda Lambert and Meghan Trainor teamed up on Trainor’s hit song All About That Bass.

I’ve sort of heard the song a few times.  I think some pros danced to a few bars of it on Dancing with the Stars one night.  It might have been playing in the background in a store or two when I was shopping.  Honestly, all I knew was the one line, “I’m all about that bass.  ‘Bout that bass.”

I didn’t even know the “no treble” part that comes right after.

Until tonight.  I listened to the song as the women performed and instantly fell in love with it because of the lyrics.  It’s all about self-acceptance and acknowledging your body and your beauty – regardless of the fact that you aren’t a size two.

Just check out these lines:

I know you think you’re fat 

But I’m here to tell ya

 Every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top 

Love it, love it, love it!  I think that this is currently my favorite song.  Any time I’m tempted to get down on myself or berate myself for “still” being fat — which is something I can easily do after a rough day — I’m going to sing this song to myself.

If you aren’t familiar with the song, here are all of the lyrics.  It’s a very catchy tune, too.  You can check it out on YouTube or iTunes.  I hope it’s a big hit with women of all ages because we sure can all use the positive reinforcement for our self-images.

“All About That Bass”

Because you know

I’m all about that bass
‘Bout that bass, no treble
I’m all about that bass
‘Bout that bass, no treble
I’m all about that bass
‘Bout that bass, no treble
I’m all about that bass
‘Bout that bass

Yeah, it’s pretty clear, I ain’t no size two
But I can shake it, shake it
Like I’m supposed to do
‘Cause I got that boom boom that all the boys chase
And all the right junk in all the right places

I see the magazine workin’ that Photoshop
We know that shit ain’t real
C’mon now, make it stop
If you got beauty, beauty, just raise ’em up
‘Cause every inch of you is perfect
From the bottom to the top

Yeah, my mama she told me don’t worry about your size
She says, “Boys like a little more booty to hold at night.”
You know I won’t be no stick figure silicone Barbie doll
So if that’s what you’re into then go ahead and move along

Because you know I’m
All about that bass
‘Bout that bass, no treble
I’m all about that bass
‘Bout that bass, no treble
I’m all about that bass
‘Bout that bass, no treble
I’m all about that bass
‘Bout that bass
Hey!

I’m bringing booty back
Go ahead and tell them skinny bitches that
No I’m just playing. I know you think you’re fat
But I’m here to tell ya
Every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top

Yeah my mama she told me don’t worry about your size
She says, “Boys like a little more booty to hold at night.”
You know I won’t be no stick figure silicone Barbie doll
So if that’s what you’re into then go ahead and move along

Because you know I’m
All about that bass
‘Bout that bass, no treble
I’m all about that bass
‘Bout that bass, no treble
I’m all about that bass
‘Bout that bass, no treble
I’m all about that bass
‘Bout that bass

Because you know I’m
All about that bass
‘Bout that bass, no treble
I’m all about that bass
‘Bout that bass, no treble
I’m all about that bass
‘Bout that bass, no treble
I’m all about that bass
‘Bout that bass

Because you know I’m
All about that bass
‘Bout that bass, no treble
I’m all about that bass
‘Bout that bass, no treble
I’m all about that bass
‘Bout that bass, no treble
I’m all about that bass
‘Bout that bass
‘Bout that bass, ’bout that bass
Hey, hey, ooh
You know you like this bass

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Objective Body Image

I’m going on a trip in the near future. I’ve talked here and there about picking up some new clothes. Today I pulled out everything that I thought I wanted to take with me on vacation and tried on different outfits. I always used to hate seeing myself in the mirror. Seeing my supersize body always made me feel like crap. I never ever looked good. At best, I could sometimes train myself to look and see good-enough-considering-the-extra-200-pounds. Not that it felt good, but it was the best I could do at the time.

Even when I was on a losing trend, I always had “fat eyes”. I still struggled with that “objects in the mirror are larger” mentality and vision even after surgery as my weight loss progressed. The inside of my brain is sometimes like an old time funhouse mirror that distorts the image. No lie, I despaired of ever developing the honest objectivity to see my body image as it truly is, without my diseased thinking and poor self-image picking out only the flaws.

The journey has helped, particularly this blog and posting pictures of myself along the way. Just taking pictures of myself was a big step. I’m used to hiding behind others, attempting to minimize my size. I never wanted pictures of just me or at least no full length/whole body photographs. Ugh. They all made me cringe and hate my body even more. Somewhere along the line of these last two plus years, a healthier vision began to develop. I’ve become more comfortable looking at myself and am learning to accept and like what I see at every stage. This is terrific progress, particularly when I know I still have about 25-30 pounds to use. Are there still flaws? Oh sure. The skin of my thighs and upper arms is incredibly loose and wrinkly. Although the two stomach rolls I have are much, much smaller, I am still not roll-less. However, when I look I don’t want to immediately look away or cover my own eyes. I’m objective. I can really celebrate my overall smallness and pat myself on the back for the improved muscle tone and shaping from my fitness efforts.

Today I tried on outfit after outfit and looked at myself — really looked — in a full length mirror. Rather than dread, I experienced joy. There’s real happiness found in putting on that flirty party dress with its tiered ruffles and the bold pink/black/gray splashed print of the fabric. I was in love with the funky, almost steampunkish styling of an awesome blouse that I found on Friday and the way that it nips in at my waist. One new top has a really great neckline that shows off just the right amount of chest, including collar bones that were previously buried under fat. It also has an asymmetrical hem and a festive, eye-catching print. It makes me feel like partying just looking at it.

Admittedly, I selected styles and designs that minimize the flaws and accentuate the positives. I’m not at a place yet where I am comfortable showing my bare upper arms and I want dresses and skirts to be long enough to cover the wrinkly-jiggly thighs. But I’m not hiding behind voluminous outfits. I have tailored blouses and pants that show off my improved waistline. That flirty dress still hits above the knee. You know I’ve come a long way when I can twist to get a rear view and not even wonder if my ass looks fat. Instead, I smiled at the lack of “shelf butt” and the smooth lie of the fabric over my behind.

There was a time when I really had to go through these trips with blinders. I had to work hard not to think about how I looked and block out to the best of my ability what I imagined other people thought when they saw me. This time, I am delighted that my suitcase will be filled with fun, beautiful, perfect-for-me, fashionable clothing. I can’t wait to wear every single garment and will do so knowing that I truly look my best.

It might not be my ultimate best, but it’s pretty darned great!

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Taking Off My Fat Suit

From time to time a news reporter or a talk show host dons a fat suit and makeup to experience life as an obese person. I think Dr. Oz recently did it but I can’t remember which news reporter(s) I’ve seen. I remember in most of the stories I’ve seen they shared that they felt awkward, stared at, scorned by others and, in general, made to feel “less” than other people. They also discovered to a smaller extent than reality, the physical discomfort of being obese.

Right now, I’m in a physical state where I’m still overweight but have achieved significant weight loss and really improved my overall body and shape. I don’t suffer with “fat eyes” to the extent that I used to. I can look in the mirror and see my real body and be happy with my appearance. The only self-love allowance I need to make is over my sagging skin and the drooping flabby belly that I still have. Some of that will go away as I lose the remaining weight and the rest will go with surgery. I’m not happy with the wrinkly skin, but I accept it as a temporary state.

This alone is a huge, healthy step forward. “Fat Eyes” is a horrid, destructive, self-esteem crushing syndrome. I don’t know if it’s akin to what people with anorexia experience, but anytime we don’t see our physical selves the way that we really are, I think we mess with our minds and how we feel about ourselves. I’m grateful that I’ve recovered in this area, too.

At least I have when I’m looking in the mirror and when I’m in situations or places or with people I’m familiar with and comfortable around. When I go into the unfamiliar, I sometimes still struggle with the mental picture of myself as an obese person. Then I start to anticipate how others see me, react to my presence, all that kind of junky stuff. It doesn’t take over, but I’ve learned that I need to be aware that I do this and proactively guard my thought process and feelings against the junk. I’m going to think of it as taking off my fat suit.

Like the reporters who only had to be fat during the time they wore the prosthetic suit that packed on the pounds, I don’t have to think or act like an obese person any more. I have the power to choose to what extent I let the old thinking and reactions affect me. And that, my friends, truly is a powerful, liberating thought.

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Not Skinny

Every once in a while someone tells me how skinny I’m getting, how skinny I look, or they call me “Skinny Minny”.

For the record, even when I get to goal weight, I will not be skinny. I could go 15 pounds below my goal weight and I still wouldn’t be skinny. It’s not my shape. I’m curvy and big boned. Understanding that I will never be skinny does not upset me in the least. The word, the description, does not call up a lovely image in my mind’s eye. It doesn’t sound flattering to me.

It makes me wonder why people have to assign a label to body descriptions?

The problem is that I can’t go up and ask people I know to stop using the term. Okay, I could but I’ve learned that co-workers and acquaintances don’t get it. My good friends understand. They offer encouragement. They reinforce that I’m looking great or tell me that they’re proud of me for my effort and exercise, but the people closest to me don’t hang a label on me. I appreciate that always, but even more so when I’ve heard the skinny thing.

The people who use it mean well. They are happy for me and want to be supportive. If I say anything to them, some of them get very offended, as if I don’t appreciate their support. I find that I need to not flinch and just smile and say thank you. So, that’s what I do, then I come here and bitch about it process what I’m feeling.

Thanks for listening. 🙂

Before I end, I wanted to share something. This morning I woke up and decided that I would decree today would be the great start to a terrific week. I invite everyone to join me in this attitude choice. Who’s in? Let’s put that energy out into the universe and see what we can manifest!

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A “Hey Baby” Look

Friday night was the annual fundraising performance at our local community theater. I made plans to meet a friend for appetizers and a drink beforehand. I ran home from work to shower, do my hair and dress up for the evening. Dressing up is a relative phrase in the Keys. On that evening it meant a cute, casual dress, kitten heels instead of flip flops, more makeup than I usually wear, etc.

I parked the car and walked toward the restaurant. I passed by a couple of stores that were still open A couple of men stood at the curb. As I approached, one said hello and gave me a definite, “Hey, baby, how you doing?” look and said hello.

It’s been years since I got a look like that from a man, but a woman doesn’t forget. I have to tell you, it put a little extra pep in my step. I smiled, said hello back, and kept walking, pretty sure that he was checking me out even though I could no longer see him.

I don’t know if I’m ready to start following up on expressions of interest. I still have some issues about my body, particularly how it looks now with sagging skin. At the same time, I really can appreciate that I’m gaining a nice figure, with, dare I say it, sexy curves. That there are men who might, from time to time, give me that appreciative, interested look and throw out a little flirtation feels great. Booyah!

In other stuff, I haven’t quite hit 10,000 steps yet on any given day, but I know that I did the equivalent and more so yesterday. At the end of the day, my FitBit step count was at 8876 but I also did an 8 mile bike ride! Definitely a good fitness day. Today the wind is blowing more than 20 mph with gusts to 23. This pretty much kills any long bike rides. I can muscle through with winds up to 15, but it’s hard to do that for more than a couple of miles. I’m trying to compensate and took the dogs for a longer walk this morning. I have several things to do around the house today, and plan to work in some additional fitness somehow — even if it’s the two mile in-home walking DVD along with practicing Tai Chi. I’ll plan on another long walk with the dogs this evening. (They don’t do as well in the bright sunshine on their furry bodies.)

This week I really need to prep my mind to stay on track. In a fit of terminal helpfulness, I volunteered to bake six dozen cupcakes this week for a fundraising event next weekend. I honestly don’t know why I put myself in this position. Although I have baked my brownies for different things, I usually can get through that without too much damage to myself. Baking over a couple of nights is going to challenge my willpower. I’ll make sure to not do it until right after I’ve eaten dinner so that my stomach capacity is full. At least I’m not making the frosting. That would definitely trip me up. It’s much more tempting than raw cupcake batter. I won’t eat the baked cupcakes themselves since they’re intended for a specific purpose. Once more into the breach!

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Reducing Self-Criticism

I’m going to post a really crappy photo.  That’s not a judgment of me.  The quality of the photo is crappy because I took it of a mirror image of myself in low light with my phone.  Here goes:

Mirror picture

Sorry for the lousy quality of the shot, but I didn’t think of this blog post topic until after I was already home from the community function I attended this evening. If I’d thought of it sooner, I would have had someone else take a decent shot. Anyway, onto the reason.

I bought this dress and found the hot pink shrug when I went to Ross some weeks back. I loved the colors and the fit and thought it would be great in my wardrobe. Plus it was on sale for a ridiculously low price which fit with the overall plan to not spend a lot of money on clothes while I’m still losing. When I tried on the outfit in the store, I almost didn’t buy it because the sleeves on the shrug are sort of short and my upper arms are really showing their flab and wrinkly, saggy skin. I do not wear sleeveless tops. Most of the time, if I’m around other people when wearing a bathing suit, I also wear a sun protection shirt or rash shirt. Some of that is to guard against excess sun, but mostly it’s because I don’t like how my upper arms look.

Even though I was unhappy with showing too much upper arm, I still bought the dress. Ever since I’ve looked for a pink shrug with longer sleeves, but I haven’t been successful with that quest.

Tonight when dressing for the event, I almost selected a different outfit, but the colors and pattern on this dress made me smile and I really really wanted to wear it tonight. I put it on and drew on the shrug. Honestly, it was like all I could see were my arms and I wasn’t happy. I looked straight on, then to the side. I even went to a couple of different mirrors. It felt like my upper arms flashed a message that said, “Look at us! Look at us! We’re hideous. Look at us!”

I was thisclose to taking off the dress and putting on my second choice, but all of a sudden I got really pissed off at myself. I see plenty of women down here wearing tank tops, bathing suits, or sleeveless outfits with upper arms that are much larger than mine. Trust me. Their arms aren’t the first thing I notice, and when I do it’s never with the thought of, “Holy crap. That woman has arms like a ham. She’s brave to go sleeveless.”

Nah. I only direct that sort of thinking at myself.

Before I could change my mind and my outfit, I said the hell with it and walked out of the bedroom. I was going to the event in this outfit, short shrug and arms be damned.

From the time I picked up my boss/friend to the moment we left, saying goodbye to people we knew at the event’s end, I didn’t hear one negative comment or see anyone recoil in horror. All I heard were compliments on how pretty I looked, how great I looked, how much someone loved the outfit — all 100% positive. If anyone noticed the part of my upper arms that showed beneath the shrug sleeves, they didn’t mention it. I’m pretty sure that nobody cared. If they gave it any thought it all, it might have been, “Wow, she’s lost so much weight, she’s a little saggy in some places.” Honestly, I think the only person it was an issue for was me.

I didn’t worry about it at the event. I certainly didn’t obsess. Instead I just enjoyed myself, hugged a lot of friends, spoke with several acquaintances — you know, all that regular interactive stuff people do at such events. It was a fun evening.

On the way home I took a few moments to bask in the afterglow of the compliments. That’s when I thought of using the experience as a blog post and decided to take a photo when I got home so you could all observe and give feedback.

My takeaway message from all of this is that even now, I am my own harshest critic and when I think negative thoughts, it’s a good indication that I’m not being objective. I can do better. Moreover, I owe it to myself to keep working on reducing this form of self-criticism. It serves no healthy purpose. I can foster much more positive reactions to my changing, evolving body and build on them for the future.

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