Being Comfortable in Your Skin


 Is anyone out there completely happy with, and proud of the shape their body is in? It’s a hot topic this time of year as people suddenly realize their clothes don’t fit anymore.

Oprah is reportedly mortified by how she’s looking these days. Larry King had her whole team of fitness/medical/spiritual gurus on the other day. They were trying hard to explain what happened to Oprah. Bottom line seems to be that Oprah eats too much.

Yes, that’s grossly simplified. I know there are a lot of emotional issues around food. From day one we’re taught that food is a big part of celebration. We find out “little treats” make us feel better when we have a boo-boo. And then we carry that on to greater or lesser degrees throughout our lives.  They call it “emotional eating”.

So this is Oprah’s thing apparently. It’s kind of scary that she has all the money in the world to buy gurus and trainers and chefs and any doctor she needs and she still has major weight issues. What hope is there for the rest of us?

Urban Panther was also recently mortified to discover she’s packed on a few pounds since she hooked up with a man who’s cooked his way into her heart. Like Oprah, she’s going public with her battle of the love handles.

I, too, have been overindulging the last few months and am feeling a tad more confined in my clothes than I’m comfortable with. Whenever I get to this point, I always find it’s the perfect time to do something about it. I refuse to go out and buy new clothes in a larger size. I don’t know why people do this. It’s a very slippery slope.

For me, when my clothes get too tight, that’s when I know I  have to cut back on the amount I’ve been eating; knock off some of the crap that’s crept into my diet; and maybe throw an extra walk in every day until I can zip up again without passing out.

The trick is finding a place where you feel good and strong and energetic and healthy (never mind what Hollywood tells you you’re supposed to look like or what the scales say) and then maintain that through conscious eating and regular physical activity.[1]

Maybe I’m just lucky that I come from a family of 7 and my mother only ever knew how to cook for 5. Or that we grew up on old country fare with tons of fruits and vegetables from the garden and nothing at all in the way of junk food. Of the 7 of us, only one brother has a real weight problem, (and that didn’t start until he married the she-witch). So, there’s probably a lot to be said for learned food behaviour (and marital stress).

But now we’re all grown up now. And we’re carrying around all this emotional baggage and the resulting physical baggage. And we really want, and need to do something about it but are too depressed or stressed or tired or overwhelmed or otherwise messed up to know where to begin.  

I’m in awe of all the people who’ve managed to drag themselves out of this place and emerged healthier and happier and feeling good about their bodies. I’m in awe of everyone still fighting to get to that point.

I know there are lots of blogs and websites devoted specifically to this topic, but it’s an important issue with a lot of different perspectives and I reckon it never hurts (and sometimes helps) to talk about it in a friendly place like this.

 [1] For a long time now I’ve been all besotted with the book, French Women Don’t Get Fat. It’s kind of silly and the author is a bit annoying, but the overall advice is good. It just talks about living in a way that will help you be comfortable in your own skin. No crazy diets or insane exercise routines. It’s all very gentle and very sensible.