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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Body Image's LiveJournal:

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Thursday, March 20th, 2008
7:41 pm
This is my first post in the Community 

Current Mood: sick
Monday, June 12th, 2006
11:46 am
Sunday, March 5th, 2006
7:52 pm
new member
Hi. Um...I'm Reiko and I just joined.

It's weird but for a while I haven't given my body much thought, but ever since Elementary school, I've hated my body. I've always hated it and I hate it now. Whenever I want to forget or try to forget, it's always there, reminding me of how much I actually loathe my appearance. I just...I don't see anything good about and even thought family members and some friends have said there is nothing wrong with me, I don't feel that way. I've gone to the doctor to treat my depression, but medication can only do so much.

I don't enjoy crying all the time on account of the way I look and now I'm afraid that people will start hating me because I cannot accept the way I look. I don't cry because I want attention. I hate crying. It gives me a horrible feeling.

I've tried working out, but I always seem to get off track and through the years, their have been a lot of reason why that has happened. I am currently 19 and in college. I've broken every vow to get in shape, but never on purpose. While I was still in high school, I thought my habits would change and I was hoping I would change on the inside and outside. But they haven't and I haven't. Since high school, I've always tried to hide myself. And now, more so than ever. Everyday I wear a white T-shirt, blue jeans, and a gray hoodie. To give you an idea of how big I am, I used to be a size 12, now I'm a size 14. I was pretty happy at being a 12, but knowing that I had to go up in size, lets me know just how huge I am.

Next weekend is my cousin's wedding reception and my mother and grandmother took me clothes shopping, because I have nothing to wear for the occasion. Well, at first I thought we might find something, even though a few days before I was feeling my self-esteem go down. However, after trying one thing on after another, I knew that it was a waste of time. My mother and grandmother kept saying that I looked good, but I didn't feel that I looked good. Right now, I'm trying my best not to cry myself into a headache and it's really difficult. I've done everything I can do to distract my mind from today's activities, but nothing works. I just feel so alone and depressed and helpless.

As far as my eating habits go, I wouldn't brag about them. I do eat things that I shouldn't. And I can't help myself. It's not that I don't like some fruits and vegetables, it's just that I am given an option and my taste buds and stomach decide for me. I want to get in shape because I know that I am overweight, but I find it so very difficult. My mother has said once or twice that I can only work with what I have or get in shape. I've never liked that statement and I don't like hearing it, because I feel that I don't have the discipline to achieve anything. Besides, my schedule is tight because of classes and I get home very very late, so by the time I get home, all I have time to do is, study, take a bath, eat something, then go to bed.

I honestly hope I don't sound whiny but this is how I feel. I could complain about my whole life, but I know, if I can somehow set my body straight, I'd have one less thing to worry about. And if I can't get my body straight, I want to at least have a better outlook. I've tried thinking of positive things, but I failed.

Um...thanks for listening.

Current Mood: crushed
Thursday, February 2nd, 2006
11:09 pm
this really pisses me off
I was reading this article about young women in Fiji who have recently been exposed to Western TV. The eating habits of these teens were studied before they were exposed to TV, and again three years after. The researcher, Anne Becker, found a marked increase in eating disorders among these girls after just three years of exposure to Western TV shows. The article states:

In her 1998 survey, taken 38 months after TV came to Nadroga, Fiji, 15 percent of girls, aged 17 on average, reported that they had vomited to control weight. By contrast, only 3 percent reported this behavior in 1995, just after TV was introduced. In addition, the proportion of schoolgirls who scored high on a test indicating risk for disordered eating was 29 percent in 1998 and 13 percent in 1995.

I find this very disconcerting in itself. Fijian culture places great value on robust eating, and healthy (by their standards) body size. They are a solid and well-muscled people. If you look at pictures of the people of Fiji, you will see that though some of the women are plump, few look morbidly obese. They look healthy. The thought of Fiji teen age girls being subjected to our culture of body self-consciousness and unhealthy obsession with weight just makes me sad.

But here's the part that made me angry -- the article states:

Becker and her colleagues found that 84 percent of village women in their sample were overweight or obese.

Where did the journalist get this data? It's not in the original journal article, which I've also read. And by whose fucking standards did they judge "overweight or obese"? They probably used BMI, which is a useless tool when applied to people of color. It irritates me NO END that this tool is being used by all our medical professionals today. Until they take several thousand Fijian people and dunk them in a tank of water to get an average rating of lean body mass to adipose tissue, there is no way I will believe that our White Ass developed BMI charts can even be applied to the Fiji people. How totally ethnocentric of this journalist to even bring this topic up, as if to say, "Well, these girls are now making themselves gag because, you know, they really are big fat pigs!"


I wish I can say that this rant made me feel better, but it didn't.

Current Mood: pissed off
Tuesday, January 31st, 2006
5:43 pm
All of Me
It's funny. I don't ever remember thinking of myself as pretty. My body was always this thing that I looked at with disgust--the fat of my stomach always standing out clearest in my mind. How many times did I look down at my stomach and hate it, hate it, because it was not thin or sexy like it was supposed to be? Even now I can call up vividly the emotions of despair and hurt every time I looked at myself in the mirror growing up.

Read more...Collapse )
Friday, January 20th, 2006
11:17 pm
I have spent half of my life watching my weight, feeling guilty about every chocolate bar I've eaten, and just being terribly unhappy with my body. I hate diets because they are too restricting and hate eating healthy because I'm addicted to sugar and fried foods. My biggest passion in life is food. Yes, I love food more than any guy I have ever dated.
I made a decision to start taking care of myself 4 weeks ago after flipping through some recent photos. I looked horrible in them. Double chin, big belly, and wide hips. It made me cringe. I took those pictures and ripped them to shreds.
I miraculously promised myself that I was going to eat healthy, not to lose weight but to feel good about what I was eating and not live in continuous guilt over my addiction to fattening foods. OF course losing weight was the big bonus..
Almost a month later I'm sticking with eating healthy, not a diet, but common sense. Fruits, vegetables, fish and whole grains. And no refined sugar.... The first week of my new eating habits was hell. I was soo cranky and irritable I thought I'd die. Every time I thought about M&Ms I kept the same thought in my head, "you are doing this out of self-respect". I really had my doubts with the new "diet". But I feel so much better now. To feel like I have some control of my terrible eating habits. To see my complexion improve. To feel more confident. This is what I've gained from a month..
I don't know if I have lost a pound. I haven't even bothered weighing myself but I do know that I feel better about my body. I've gained a sense of accomplishment. I am nourishing my body with what it needs, good food, water, exercise, and care. So if I lose weight, great but if I don't drop a pound than oh well. At least I have much more self confidence.
Sunday, January 8th, 2006
11:12 pm
I made a vow to get into shape a couple weeks ago and I've been doing quite well but it's so damn hard to get motivated sometimes! Anyone have suggestions on good workout videos or exercises you do??
Thursday, December 15th, 2005
9:48 am
Is anyone familiar with Body Dysmorphic Disorder(BDD)? The condition is characterized by an abnormal persistent preoccupation with one's body part or overall appearance.

I am curious if anyone deals with this problem and what do use as an effective treatment?
Wednesday, December 14th, 2005
7:17 pm
The other side of Splenda..
For all the women in this community I think you should click on the links to fully understand what Splenda(also known as Sucralose) really is and how it can affect your body.



I started researching Splenda production after having unknown physical reactions including rashes and SEVERE itching all over my body, terrible headaches, and insomnia. I eat really well and eliminated everything I thought to be a culprit. Splenda may very well be the cause. I believed that I had found the perfect sugar substitute but feel terribly misled.
Monday, December 5th, 2005
12:49 pm
When I look in the mirror...
When I look in the mirror I see a girl inside of a woman's body plagued with her own insecurities. I feel the lines under my eyes and around my mouth. I see a few grey hairs here and there and try to pluck them. I touch the stretchmarks that have been present since I was 13. I vow to have a better self image from now on. Negative thoughts will be replaced by positive ones. But as we all know, that's much easier said than done. And if I am seeking acceptance from other people than I need to learn to accept myself first.

Today I looked in the mirror and realized there is a strong, beautiful woman hiding deep within my own body. She told me to be proud for being a woman.
Thursday, August 25th, 2005
3:59 pm
Sunday, May 29th, 2005
11:13 pm
new to community
I'm 23 and have been dealing with body image issues since I can remember. No matter how skinny I get, I am never satisfied with how I look. Also, I've been battling bulimia since I was 11. Things are much better now than they ever were, but how I see myself is indicative of potential setbacks. Maybe someday it will no longer be an issue. Until then, I walk on eggshells everyday.

It's just nice to find a community of people who understand how I feel. Sometimes I think that life will be better if I could be thinner. But even when I do get to goal weight (and inevitably I go back up 10-30lbs.), my life is no better. I want to be content with what I have, to appreciate what I achieve (in weight loss), and to stop worrying about how everyone else looks.

I hope this community will help.

Current Mood: sleepy
Thursday, May 19th, 2005
10:30 am
Only Fat One In My Family
My husband and I just watched an Oprah show about being the only fat person in your family. I cried through the whole thing because it hit so close to home. I used to be very thin - dangerously thin actually - in high school, though I was a chubby child. But around age 22 I started gaining and it just hasn't stopped. I can blame it on meds or lack of self-control but so much of it points directly at my family. When studying BPD I couldn't relate to the stories of abuse but then my husband pointed out that by my brothers and dad constantly harping on fat people and/or fat me, that was abuse. What they said to me when I was a child lives in my mind forever. I am so hurt by those words even to this day. I have since confronted one brother and he has apologized but it doesn't make this lasting pain any easier. Now my mom nudges a little saying she worried about my health and happiness, which is damaged because of my weight. I know she doesn't care that I am fat - that she just wants me to be happy and being fat makes me suicidally sad. But why didn't she stand up for me when they were all heaving insults in my direction on a daily basis for years? My sister did. But I needed my mom. All that time I thought my mom was my hero for not ever mentioning my weight but now I realize that by not saying a word, she let them kill a part of me that would never live again.

Current Mood: sad
Sunday, May 1st, 2005
10:16 am
Spa Morning
I don’t go places by myself very often. It’s not that I’m afraid or anything, I just like the people I live with and if I’m doing something, I’d just as soon they came along. Lately, the Pirate and I have come to the understanding, though, that I need a little more time alone. Okay, probably a lot more, but some is better than none, isn’t it?

I booked a morning at the spa. An hour in a tub room, to be followed by breakfast out. Because the Pirate wouldn’t be coming, I booked a room with a sauna, not a steam room.

I got in and undressed and showered off. I took my magazine and headed into the sauna. It says something that it didn’t feel hot to me, although the thermometer read 115 degrees. I sat there for fifteen minutes reading a short fiction piece without breaking a significant sweat. That can’t be good.

I had showered off before I got into the sauna, and when I got up there was the wet Rorschach imprint of my bum and vulva and thighs on the very dry wood of the seat. It was both bigger and smaller than I expected and it looked pleasing, like something that should be framed somewhere. Unlike my lumpy body, the imprint looked smooth and ordered. I watched while it disappeared into the dry wood, and I was only just now beginning to sweat.

At this point, I think I’ve made some peace with my body. I work out regularly, but I know that it’s unlikely that I’m ever going to significantly change shape, and that’s okay. My shape is not the conventional shape of beauty, which I have realized works entirely to my benefit. It means that the people who find me beautiful must make an effort to do so. They come to my body through my mind, and by the time they get there, they are receptive to the way that I am beautiful. Either that, or they stand behind me when I’m wearing tight pants. I’ve been told that works, too.

As I was being shown into my tub room, I realized that all of the people at the spa at that time of the morning were women of a certain age, and by the time I left, I understood what we had all gotten. To walk out of a place feeling that the person you are is the right person for you to be, and that the physical part of that person is every bit as right as the emotional and spiritual parts – that is an amazing gift. It’s a gift that you can only receive from yourself, and it can only be given in private.
Tuesday, April 26th, 2005
12:23 pm
Just realised something
I hate it when someone says, in reference to my weight loss, "You're so skinny now". I'm not skinny. I wear a size 12, not some itsy-bitsy size. I'm just barely inside the "normal" BMI for the first time in about 10 years. I know that the people who are saying this mean it as a compliment, but it squicks me. I get flashbacks to the years when I weighed 105 (at 5'7") through no will of my own, and really was skinny! Why can't they just say that I look nice?

Current Mood: grumpy
Friday, March 11th, 2005
5:56 pm
Was I dreaming, or did I really hear this great radio story?
I wanted to point you folks to this great radio story, but now I can't find it. I could have sworn I heard it on Tuesday afternoon, and I thought that I heard it on All Things Considered, but I'm not finding it on their web site. I know I took a nap that afternoon and heard it while I was drowsy, but I didn't think I dreamed it! Did anyone else hear a radio story about "fat chicks shopping"? The "fat chick" in question was only a size 16, to tell you the truth, but she was shopping in Hollywood, where she was looked at as if she was obese. She told stories about being ushered into back rooms and clandestinely shown the same styles that were available in the front of the store, but in larger sizes.

One of the stories she told really stuck with me. It was about a young woman, six feet tall, a real athlete and very well off, who went shopping for a size 10 wedding dress in Hollywood. She was laughed to scorn at one shop and told that they didn't carry plus sizes there. This is the same kind of thing we were discussing a few months ago. Unfortunately, it corroborates the earlier story.

My friends, the rich and thin are still not living in the same world as the rest of us. It really took me aback to realize that I, at size 12, would be considered fat, maybe even obese, by these women. If I had enough money to shop in these stores, I wouldn't. I'd take my money to a fine vintage boutique or have my clothes made for me.

If anyone knows what show this story aired on, please let us all know so that we can look for a link to it. I'm sure that everyone would enjoy it.

Current Mood: confused
Wednesday, February 16th, 2005
6:58 am
"I'm still trying to find exactly the perfect words that would explain to all of us how perfect we already are."  

--Lucy Grealy

"And then, that evening in that cafe, I experienced a moment of the freedom I'd been practicing for behind my Halloween mask all those years ago. But whereas as a child I expected my liberation to come as a result of gaining something, a new face, it came to me now as the result of shedding something, of shedding my image. I once thought that truth was eternal, that when you understood something it was with you forever. I know now that this isn't so, that most truths are inherently unretainable, that we have to work hard all our lives to remember the most basic things. Society is no help; it tells us again and again that we can most be ourselves by looking like someone else, leaving our own faces behind to turn into ghosts that will inevitably resent and haunt us."

--from the essay "Mirrorings" by Lucy Grealy, poet and author of Autobiography of a Face
Sunday, January 9th, 2005
6:59 pm
emotional moments at the mall
This is my first post in this community, and I am so glad to see a community about these subjects that deals with body image, not on new ways to lose ten pounds before your high school reunion.

What I realized today in the mall is that it is absolutely impossible for me to wear pants. The more troubling part of this is that I realized I am bothered by this fact. I spent a long time shopping today with my mother for a single pair of dress pants, but my huge hips and thighs and little calves make me look like a turkey drumstick. I was practically crying after trying on the fourth or fifth pair of identical pants, all of which clung to my hips, made a little indent where my legs joined my body, and then showed every lump of my thighs. I always wear broomstick skirts, every single day. I wear them because I love them, because they reflect my hippie personality and are as close the historical costumes I adore as I can wear without getting asked "Are you a tour guide?" twenty times a day. They also flatter my figure- no one can see my hips or thighs! Most people think I weigh about 140, and I'm actually 180. They also think I'm an Orthodox Jew, but that's not the worst thing in the world. I try so hard not to care what I look like. I know that my body is strong, I know that it is healthy, aside from certain neurological quirks. I have lovely hair and pleasant face. I found a shirt today that made me look fabulous, but I keep focusing on those pants, and mostly my reaction to them. I can't understand why a confident, intelligent woman, raised in a fervently feminist family, will spontaneously burst into tears because she can't find a pair of pants that flatters her. I tell myself that it's no big deal. I remind myself of friends who weigh more than me and still look attractive and sexy. I'm not bothered by the weight as much as I'm bothered by the fact that I care about my weight. Do any of you have this problem? Have you in the past? I suppose I probably just need to mature a bit, but at eighteen, in college surrounded by girls who look like they walked out of a Cosmo cover, I feel inadequate and hate that I feel inadequate based on something as insubstantial as a reflection in a dressing room mirror.
Friday, December 24th, 2004
2:06 am
On honesty, love, and the cold, hard facts
Good feelings hereCollapse )
Being a college student, I do holidays a bit differently -- so, Merry WinterBreakmas to you and yours. :)
Monday, December 20th, 2004
10:21 am
I Don't Care What You Say...
People who physically represent hunger aren't attractive.Collapse )

Getting out of the hunger world is tough. It takes a lot of work to get oneself out. But when you live in the hunger world, everyone can tell and nobody wants to be sucked in with you.
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