The Skinny on Being Skinny – Part 1

 Ok, my friends,

I feel a bit strange writing this post.  But a lot of people have asked me about how I stay thin.

I want to be sensitive talking about this since weight can be such a challenging thing for many.  If maintaining a healthy weight is a difficult part of your life right now, my heart goes out to you!  I know that internally, for many, it can really be a major hardship.  But I do have a few things to share that might be helpful, so I figured I’d pass them along.

But first, I wanted to open with my thoughts on being thin.  So this is Part 1.  Part 2 will come out tmw.

I wish I could convince all of you that being skinny or your perfect weight, whatever that is, isn’t all that.  I mean, it’s fine.  But it isn’t what equates to real beauty & real happiness.  Weight is like an optical illusion 🙂  I think it’s easy to perceive that weight will make someone beautiful/happy.  But that is not reality!  Weight is always changing.  It’s the last thing we should base our happiness on.  I want so much to advocate beauty in all shapes and sizes because we are all so different & thank goodness we have different genes of all types.  There is so much potential for us all to be unique and to just GLOW!  Some of you may not believe me, but that glow and attractiveness and lasting confidence/happiness really, really doesn’t have anything to do with weight! 

Please know that I say this with so much compassion, as I know this is not an easy thing to conquer….but sadly, one thing that can actually really prevent someone from being “beautiful” is the very act of wishing desperately day & night that they were a different size and moping around about it, complaining about it, having awful thoughts about it, feeling guilty and ugly, comparing themselves to others non-stop, feeling jealous, feeling undesirable, and believing that they will never be happy with themselves until they are a different weight/shape than they are now.  Just think of the negativity that one could carry around (& force upon loved ones.  eeks!) when this desire to be different consumes them.  That kind of life is not attractive.

SO – even in this moment, say to yourself that you don’t have to lose weight to radiate beauty & confidence.  Say it over & over & over.   Try to really believe this.  Try to feel that beauty, regardless of your weight.

For true beauty and long-lasting happiness – the kind that GLOWS – the kind that everyone will be attracted to – the kind that will attract lovely people and good-hearted men, the kind that will just radiate…you must work to give up the misery, emotional suffering, worthlessness, & guilt associated with wanting to be skinny.  I hope within this blog you can find some posts on self-worth, happiness & love that can help you to do that.  We always say that real happiness is not dependent on circumstance….and that includes weight, too.  

NOW, there are these things called health & energy.  🙂  We all know that having an abundance of weight will not do you good in either category.  Having a healthy body & active energy IS important…In fact, it’s DIRECTLY related to being able to face your challenges and do all the stuff we talk about on this blog (it takes a lot of energy to do what we talk about…and so the more you have, the better!  🙂  Physical health is completely connected to emotional/mental/spiritual health.  I know this all too well and so do my best (& often fail) at getting my walk or run in, eating nutrient rich foods, etc.  I often think of this blog and think – – I have to keep myself healthy in order to keep up with the emotional aspects of writing and sharing and giving my best for a greater good.   Or I think of my dear husband and think – I want to offer him the best – and that includes a wife that is full of energy & life.  So no matter what stage we’re in, let’s seek after health & energy for all the right reasons…

To sum it up…….

1.  Give up the obsession that being “skinny” or weighing less will make you attractive & solve all your problems.  Instead… 

2.  Believe that HEALTH will give you the strength & energy you need to face your problems (great side effect:  Being healthy will probably make you look great, anyway!)

3.  Need some motivation to switch this perspective?  Do it out of LOVE for loved ones.  (Yes, it always goes back to love 🙂  haha.  Find a way to let love power anything that you are doing, and it will give you the fuel you need to do really hard things.   🙂

Tomorrow I’ll post some more on this subject, including a list of specific things I do that I think have contributed to why I am thin, in case you’d like some tips on that subject.

For now, I’m curious, do you guys find that your happiness & peace fluctuates along with your weight?
I know this may sound crazy but I look forward to having a big butt and baby weight during a pregnancy.  haha.  I’ve put this stuff into practice in little ways & so I look forward to facing a changing body with this perspective.  It’s really quite amazing & fun to be liberated.



(poster above by Shigedo Fukuda, a Japanese graphic designer/artist who created optical illusions.)

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  1. Nikki Olmstead April 5, 2012 at 7:14 am - Reply

    I just LOVE reading your blog. You are such a great example of positiveness. If that's a word. haha Reading it is always refreshing to me. I love your love story.

    I felt my sickest AND my best while I was pregnant. After the sick part I ate tons of grapes and drank SO much water. I think that just made me have more energy even though I had zero energy because I was pregnant. And then after I had my babies I still had quite a big floppy belly but that was when I felt the best I'd ever remember feeling. I felt confident. Maybe it was hormones I don't know but even though I wasn't as skinny as I was before I felt good about my body because I created 2 lives and of course I was lighter and also my heartburn went away. But then I noticed slowly I faded back into not being as confident with myself. So even though I am still thin this post helped me too.
    Sorry about the rambling…..

    • mara April 5, 2012 at 1:41 pm - Reply

      Nikki – so cool that you felt great & confident after your pregnancy. That's awesome – and a good reminder to everyone to tap into that feeling of empowerment – (again) if needed!

    • kami April 5, 2012 at 10:33 pm - Reply

      I have felt my best (about my physical self) after having babies too! I have learned to eat healthier which helps tremendously but I have a newfound love for my body. Yes the droopy tummy…it's not exactly what the supermodels wear…but I wear it proudly. I work really hard to eat healthy and that is the #1 thing that helps me feel good about myself. I can feel it nourishing not only my body, but my mind too.

  2. Anonymous April 5, 2012 at 8:11 am - Reply

    I actually lost a lot of weight (like 30 lbs) when I was the unhappiest I have ever been – after I found out that my husband cheated on my and had no desire to save our marriage (I consciously made the decision not to "eat my pain")…
    Since than I learned to be happy again (and this blog helped lots) and I am less worried about my weight these days, though I try to be healthier and not gain that weight again.

    • mara April 5, 2012 at 1:39 pm - Reply

      Anon – I also lost a ton of weight when my first husband left. It certainly wasn't intentional, but I think the whole experience can just be a shock to your system. I was so lucky to have friends who were bringing me meals when I guess I didn't have the energy to take care of myself properly. When I met Danny I had been working for awhile to put more weight on and I was worried that the thrill of dating him and the hectic lifestyle of traveling back and forth to Boston would cause me to lose weight again. But luckily Danny was a good cook and we ate and ate 🙂 🙂

    • Paige April 5, 2012 at 7:20 pm - Reply

      JJ, after my husband left last fall I am the same way. I have had tons of people comment on my weight loss. It was not intentional, yet it happened and I am embracing this new found slender body and the energy that comes with it. Good luck to you! My divorce was just final and I find the weight falling off once again.

  3. Anonymous April 5, 2012 at 9:11 am - Reply

    I always love reading your blog and the things that you guys have to share. I apologize for not commenting on this particular subject but would like to ask about something else. I too like many other readers and people am recently going through a divorce. We have been separated for 5 months and still waiting for it to finalize. During this time, I have had an amazing support group at home. I understand now more than ever the the 6 year relationship and 4 month marriage was never going to work regardless of how hard I fought for it. I understand that there are things that were wrong that I couldn't change but I also knew that God would and does not want me to be in the type of relationship I was in. In many ways, I feel ready for the divorce to be final so that I can move on with my life. I have been taking this time to read and study and become closer to my Savior. In other ways, even though I know it won't work with him, I am scared for it to be final. I am scared to be single and to face dating. I feel inadequate to become independent again and take care of myself. And a lot of that problem is that I desire a husband and children to take care of and to love. During the days when you were going through the divorce, what types of things motivated you to move on and stay busy? How and where did your self-confidence begin to surface again and your self-worth pushed you to do other great things, even it your marriage didn't work? Were you both truly confident that your future spouse would come? What are some things that you would suggest to help get through this in-between stage of my divorce and looking towards the future?

    I look forward to a response. Again I apologize for the off topic. I have so thoroughly enjoyed reading every word of this blog and hearing of all of your experiences.


  4. Tiffany April 5, 2012 at 1:29 pm - Reply

    I used to base my self worth upon my weight (which was never good enough) and the saddest part is that those are the type of thoughts that lead people to disordered eating. Exercise (and spirituality) actually helped me to change those thoughts. As I worked on becoming a better dancer (in college), learned to love running (I am running my first marathon in June!), and improved my relationship with God, I began to see that my body no matter what it's shape or weight, no matter how much I hated my knees, my body was a gift from God, given to me in love that I had stewardship to take care of (aka eat healthy and exercise). I also began to see my body as a tool to help me accomplish things. If I want to continue to use my body to run, dance, clean my house, one day have babies, and most importantly to serve others I need to love it, take care of it, and not set stringent standards on what is acceptable or beautiful and what is not. No matter how much weight you lose, you are still not in control of your specific body type, and so many other factors, so just as you say, before you even begin to lose weight or change your life you must change your heart. You have to give yourself love. Thanks for what you share!

  5. Cecilia April 5, 2012 at 2:49 pm - Reply

    I don't obsess over my body, but I wouldn't say I'm super confident in it. I think I just have a healthy acceptance of what God has given me (an imperfect form), and I have confidence that I'm treating it with respect. The difficult balance for me is recognizing that our bodies are material and therefore not as important as, say, our intellect, or our creative capacity, etc., but also recognizing that our bodies are still a gift from God, to be treated with reverence and care. I definitely find that my happiness ebbs and flows with how active I am, how much I'm exercising, how much energy I have. I think the endorphins are at work here, but more than that I think the feeling of being a responsible steward of my body is uplifting.

    Thanks for addressing this topic in a non-superficial way.

  6. JEREMYandCHELSEA April 5, 2012 at 3:04 pm - Reply

    Mara, I finally caught up and finished reading your whole blog start to finish. It took me about a month and can I just say that I love love love you! You are amazing and I hope you know that! Your blog has already made a huge impact on my marriage, my husband has started to notice…he likes it 🙂

    As far as the weight thing goes…I've been struggling since after I got married. I slowly started to put on weight and developing unhealthy habits as more "grown-up" stresses started hitting us. Getting married at 19 definitely had its challenges 🙂

    Now, I am working my hardest to get healthy again. At first it was so I could get back to a weight that I thought was "ideal". It was all consuming and it made my unhappy. It wasn't until I had a heart to heart with my nurse mid-wife that I really started changing my lifestyle for the right reasons. I have genetically high cholesterol and she said that if I didn't loose some weight and work really hard to get my cholesterol down I might not have a very healthy pregnancy. I look forward every day to becoming a mother, and I can't think of any better reason to get healthy – for my future children.

    Thank you again for your blog. You truly are inspiring.

  7. Unknown April 5, 2012 at 3:36 pm - Reply

    Yes, health and energy are the answer. I've found that the best way to embrace your body is to WEAR CLOTHES THAT FIT! If that means getting rid of the old (too big or too small is bad) and in with the new, do it. You'll feel less attached to the number on the scale.

    • Rik April 5, 2012 at 4:55 pm - Reply

      I completely agree with this!! I gained 40 pounds when I was pregnant and afterwards thought it would be no time until I was back to my pre-pregnancy clothes… HA! Not so! I was wearing maternity clothes for MONTHS, completely depressed that I couldn't lose the weight quick enough. Finally I told my husband that we need to suck it up and buy me some clothes that fit. I felt SO much better about myself! Even when the size number was much too high for my liking, I felt great. Even now, 18 months later, I'm not back to my "ideal" size for myself, but I've realized that it's silly to put a number on things. I love myself when I'm healthy. I feel awesome! So who cares what the number on the scale is. Loved this post. A nice reminder about what matters.

  8. Lottie April 5, 2012 at 4:00 pm - Reply

    I think weight is a difficult issue. I wouldn't say my happiness depends on but when I put on a few pounds I don't feel at my best, most attractive.

    But then I have a nother side of me that would love to be curvier and have a little more meat on my bones in places where it will never go.

    I sounds like I have two personalities 😉

    What i think most of the time is you can't change your shape and the most important thing is who you are and what is inside. Try and stay healthy but it's about moderation: life is there to be enjoyed too.

  9. Megan April 5, 2012 at 4:06 pm - Reply

    Throughout high school and college I was quite the yo-yo dieter. I was extremely self concsious about my weight. I wanna slap myself because now, after having a baby I weigh more now than I did then… I should have appreciated it! 🙂 Anyways, one summer everything changed. One morning I was mostly listening to my roommates talk about how they slept in their underwear and would feel confidant walking around the apartment less than fully clothed. In that moment I realized the damage I was doing to myself was so much so that I wasn't even comfortable being with myself in my body. I slept fully clothed all the time. I know this sounds hysterical, but that summer I started to sleep in my underwear! haha. I was also actively training for a half marathon that September. Combining feeling comfortable with myself and training for such a big race almost literally cured me of my negative self image. I didn't loose a bunch of weight, in fact I weighed exactly the same as always on race day–a lot of that fat was traded for muscle, however. I felt powerful. My body could run farther than it ever dreamed of running. I was strong both mentally and physically. Both of these experiences combined, completely changed my life for the better.
    The truth is, I've got curves. I'm not a skinny, small framed girl. But I love it. And thankfully, I found a guy who loves it to. But I also believe that part of the reason why I let him love me was because I had finally learned to love myself in my own skin.
    My moral to all this? I agree with you! Health and the glow are what it's all about. Also, sleeping in underwear is liberating! 😉

    • Mel April 6, 2012 at 3:10 pm - Reply

      Ha ha I love the underwear idea. I never would have thought of that but it makes perfect sense.

  10. Anonymous April 5, 2012 at 4:35 pm - Reply

    Being too skinny and not being able to gain weight can also be a frustration not just wanting to lose weight, people think it's ok to say mean things like "your so skinny" and it can be just as hurtful. If it's not ok to call someone over weight it shouldn't be ok to call someone "skinny" it feels nit picky and I deal with it day after day and I am sick of it, I wish people would be more respectful, just because you are skinny it doens't mean you don't eat like everyone associates it with, some people have illnesses they can't control, I myself cannot eat gluten/dairy so it makes it hard and people just don't get it I would like to put on a couple of pounds and people don't believe me! Ugh what do you do when it goes the opposite way and you constantly have to tell people you don't have an eating disorder! So frustrating!

    • Jacy April 5, 2012 at 4:44 pm - Reply

      I ABSOLUTELY agree with this! My mom suffers from the same problem and we were talking about it just last night. So many people (women) comment on her weight, especially because she's 55 and in great shape, and a lot of the times, it's quite insensitive. I think there definitely needs to be a mutual respect for others, whatever size you are.

      Great point 🙂

    • heidelade April 5, 2012 at 8:20 pm - Reply

      I understand this frustration, too. I'm stunned at how often people feel free to talk about my body, not only to me directly but having conversations with other people about my body right in front of me. They think because I'm underweight that it's socially acceptable to analyze my body, but they would never do that to someone they thought was overweight. My inability to put on weight has caused me health problems, just as it causes problems for those struggling to lose weight. And some of the things said to me were have been truly jaw dropping! I have to just laugh sometimes, but it's also awkward and hurtful. When in doubt, just don't comment on anyone's body size! Tell them they look wonderful and leave it at that. 🙂

    • Anonymous April 6, 2012 at 4:18 pm - Reply

      I feel your pain and totally agree!! When I had to go gluten and dairy free I became very underweight and ill. At first, as I began losing weight people were saying how good I looked–I was so sick and miserable at that time, yet they were only focused on the weight loss. ("Well, sorry your sick, but hey, you've never looked better!") Some people thought the GF/DF lifestyle was some sort of fad diet. As the weight continued to drop they than began commenting on how I was getting too thin and it was time to stop with the whole GF thing– unwilling to believe that Celiac and dariy allergies are real, and that I will never be able to eat those things again. At any social gathering (where food is almost always involved) people want to point out that they feel so sorry I can't eat this or that, but hey…at least you'll always be thin… It's awkward and uncomfortable. I just wish my weight and diet wern't such a topic of discussion!

  11. megan April 5, 2012 at 4:39 pm - Reply

    Really great post, Mara!

  12. Lizzi April 5, 2012 at 4:47 pm - Reply

    Right before I met my husband I had taken a nutrition class that motivated me to try to lose weight. I have always been of a very sturdy build and felt self-conscious about the extra 15-25 pounds that I always had keeping me company. (Ha. 15-25 pounds, what a crisis :)Anyway, I successfully began to lose weight and after about 6 months I became a crazy person. I was obsessed with my health and the nutritional value of everything I ate. It got to the point where I would only eat salsa my dad made from his garden and apples from public apple trees that I knew hadn't been sprayed. It was like I became terrified of food. Needless to say, I wasn't happy. I was a lot skinnier but I was impossible to be around. All I wanted to talk about was food and how sad I was.

    Anyway, that's over. I'm back to myself. Last year I basically stopped exercising and ate whatever I wanted. And I have been very jolly 🙂 No lies, it's been the happiest year of my life. Sometimes I'm afraid that my heart is going to give out, but it doesn't get me down for too long 🙂

    But nothing gold can stay! My midwife exclaimed in surprise at my last exam, "You've gained 12 pounds since last year!". I had no idea I had gained that much weight, somehow my clothes still fit and I was so happy! But, she told me that if I want to have an easier time getting pregnant (and being pregnant) someday that I should think about losing the extra weight. So over the past few months I've started exercising again and I'm trying to cook at home more and only eat when I'm hungry, stop when I'm full, that kind of stuff. So far I'm down 5 pounds, and still just as jolly!

    I think happiness in relation to weight has a lot to do with your motivation. Focusing on being happy and healthy, and being motivated by love for yourself and your life, as you mentioned, is like a dream team for losing weight and keeping it off. Stress is bad news for weightloss. The less you think about losing weight, the better, in my opinion 🙂

  13. Anonymous April 5, 2012 at 4:50 pm - Reply

    I think you are so right to focus on health and energy. Too often, on people's quest for skinnyness, they don't realize that those near anorexic models are more than likely frail and weak. Can they carry a toddler around? can they mow the grass or weed a garden? can they chase kids in the park? I want my body to be fit and curvy; i want to know that i can run a mile, climb a hill, push a grocery cart, anything! We should focus more on being healthy and active, being skinny alone wont help you live longer for your children and loved ones! Even as I saw this I struggle with my weight and I have to remember that society puts that negativity on me, and that I can choose to wear it or not.

  14. Jacy April 5, 2012 at 4:51 pm - Reply

    I LOVE this MARA! Yes! So spot on. 🙂

    For so long I thought all my 'issues' (due to my unfortunate circumstances with my husband) would go away if I had the PERFECT body and adhered to what the world considered sexy. I did it all: lost a few pounds, tanned, breast implants, eyelash exts, hair exts, and you know what I realized?? That I was still the same ol' me… dealing with the same 'issues' and insecurities I did before I spent all the money and time in making myself appear to be 'sexy'. I've finally realized that it's about going back to LOVING myself… who I am… FOR ME and nothing else.

    As for the weight, stuff… I love your take on this… being healthy so you can fight your personal problems… Brilliant! THANK YOU!

  15. Roa April 5, 2012 at 5:14 pm - Reply

    I am so happy I found your blog. You are such an inspiring and interesting person!

  16. hailey April 5, 2012 at 5:16 pm - Reply

    Mara, this was such a great post!
    I have experienced exactly what you talked about and KNOW THAT IT'S TRUE!

    I was in a very toxic marriage and found myself 120lbs OVER-WEIGHT. On top of that – my husband was addicted to porn. So, you guessed it, my self-esteem was in the dumps!

    I found myself in a GREAT recovery program with amazing counselors and through a very long 2 year journey was FINALLY able to love myself. JUST AS I WAS. No pre-requisites. (like "i will be worthy of love when i loose the wieght, or i will be worthy of love if my husband wants to have sex with me….blah blah blah")
    It wasn't until I finally could look myself in the mirror and TRULY BELIEVE that i was beautiful and worthy of love right then and there, that i was FINALLY able to start to heal physically. (as well as emotionally).

    I finally loved myself fully, and that is when the weight came off. BECAUSE i loved myself, i could finally start taking care of myself. and as i have lost the weight, i have loved myself through the ENTIRE process. I GLOW (just like you said) and everyone can tell.

    thanks for sharing your thoughts on this mara. you are SPOT-ON!

    love your blog!


  17. agirlnamedgay April 5, 2012 at 5:27 pm - Reply

    There's this book called "intuitive eating" that is just the best. it hits on exactly what you're saying! and i am a thin person myself but with my old mentality, i definitely felt my happiness fluctuate with my eating habits even though my weight didn't. Its so liberating to separate weight and happiness!

  18. Lori April 5, 2012 at 6:35 pm - Reply

    Just a plug for some fabulous girls who have some similar perspectives on weight gain and body image. Visit

  19. Danielle April 5, 2012 at 7:31 pm - Reply

    Wonderful, wonderful post! Your so positive and I learn from you. Yes I have felt down when over weight-like after having babies, but mostly I am just feel tired and icky. I know and feel the difference when I eat healthy or i eat junk food. And I know health is important. My dad had a stint in his heart last year and both of my parents are taking meds for high chloesterol. The thing is they are in thier early fifties and not over weight-my mom runs more than me!! So I know Im fighting a little of the genetic and it sort of freaks me out.I turned 31 last month and know that I need to take care of my health. I run five and half miles three days a week, and we have very recently bought a juicer and juice for breakfast. I love juicing and the refreshing enegry it brings! But it's just hard-that's it, plain hard for a gal who might possibly have the strongest sweet tooth there ever was. I can't wait to hear more about your diet-because for me-who is not really over weight-okay I have a bit of a belly, but I've had two girls and two c sections-it's more about taking care of my body and improving my health. You look so healthy and your skin radiates and I feel like you have the amswers to taking care of yourself. Thanks soo much!! I really REALLy appreciate you sharing with all of us!!

  20. Tamra April 5, 2012 at 8:23 pm - Reply

    I gained 30 extra lbs. in high school and it took me years to get it back off. I now weigh less than I did before the 30 and I feel great. (However, I DON'T like that my weight sometimes makes other women feel uncomfortable. I always hate hearing "I wish I looked like you" kinds of comments.)

    But even though weight is something I don't struggle with any more (I eat because I need to, and I eat what I want, but then I stop), but it's something that I think about on a near daily basis because my husband deeply struggles with his weight. He used to weigh 70 lbs. more than he does now, and he wasn't even the same person. He was completely Unconfident, self-conscious, guilty and depressed all the time about his weight problem, about his obsession with food. Now he looks great, but is still off the mark where he wants to be, so he's working hard at it again. What still amazes me is how far down into his psyche this problem goes. There are all kinds of psychological issues that I can barely fathom. To me food is food. To him it's … a crutch, a lifeline, a relationship.

    I love my marriage, and I love my husband, but dealing with this issue requires a lot of patience and love, and is probably the one thing that is the hardest – for both of us. (We have a blessed life when this is the biggest issue we struggle with.)

    • Anonymous March 19, 2013 at 3:55 pm - Reply

      Hi Tamra,
      For most of my life, I have also struggled with my relationship to food, like your husband. I feel as if I'm now at place of peace with myself and not struggling with food anymore. And the two things that I feel helped me were this wonderful blog of Mara's, helping me realize my self worth, and a lady who is doing some ground breaking work in the field of eating disorders. I took a weekend workshop with her (life changing) and read her book. The reasons for the misguided relationship with food are not as complicated as you think they are when you are in the midst of the struggle. The book is called "Food is not the problem, deal with what is" by Michelle Morand (available on I know Michelle works with people using skype/video all over the world (she's based in Vancouver, Canada). Her website
      Hope this may help your husband.
      =) S.

      (PS. I have no affiliation with anything I've recommended).

  21. Kelsie April 5, 2012 at 11:16 pm - Reply

    Thanks for posting this! I will definitely pass it on! I'm tall and skinny and it breaks my heart when women tell me that that they would be so much happier if only they were my size. My mother had the same kind of experiences and she shared with me that she would remind people that everyone has different trials. I don't think I'd trade my trials for anyone else's (not that I especially love mine while I'm going through them) and I don't think anyone would honestly want to have mine.
    With your awesome attitude you'll really love being pregnant, Mara! I have so much fun when I'm pregnant because I actually have a butt and boobs! It makes me feel like a completely different person and totally sexy (even with a baby in my stomach).

  22. Bri!!! April 5, 2012 at 11:56 pm - Reply

    I have always been a fit person my whole adult life. I have an athletic body type, yet I have struggled with body image as long as I can remember. What you said is so true. My husband always says how no matter what size a woman is, if she owns it, she is sexy. I have a sister in law who I find so sexy. She is a bigger girl, but hot. She is trying to lose weight, but knows she is beautiful. I love how she can strut around and not be self conscious. I would give ANYTHING to feel that way. I am constantly trying to work on that, because I am a very optimistic person in every other aspect of my life. Don't get me wrong, I can still feel sexy, and there are things I do love about my body, but I still carry issues around it. I also gain quite a bit of weight during pregnancy (for me).

    I'll tell you what though, the most I have ever loved my body was after the birth of our son. It was the most liberating feeling I ever experienced. It was the first time in my life I truly loved every part of me. I felt beautiful, and miraculous. I saw what my body could do, and that it grew an incredible human being and nourished his little body for the first year of his life through breastfeeding. We struggle with infertility, so it was just such a miracle to me. Unfortunately as the months passed, old issues crept back in even though I later was in the best shape of my life.

    I am now 33 weeks pregnant with our daughter and pray I can recapture that experience, yet keep that feeling forever. Our bodies are divinely created. It is our fault for allowing society to tell us otherwise. This is such an important topic. It really is so much better to focus on health vs. size/weight. It's a constant work in progress in my life, and I plan to rock it!

  23. Amelia Murdock April 6, 2012 at 3:05 am - Reply

    Thanks for the extra comment about how you are excited to get some extra baby weight when you get pregnant. I worked really hard to lose over 30 pounds and be the healthiest/ slimmest of my adult life last year while I was courting my current husband. Now that I am pregnant I feel Sooooo depressed sometimes because some of that weight is coming back and I might have enjoyed my slim body a little too much. I didn't realize I would be so upset about sacrificing my body for my baby. But It helps to see you look at it in a positive way. Thanks!!

  24. Kim April 6, 2012 at 5:07 am - Reply

    Amen! I love this perspective. It took me a while to understand and truly think this way. I still struggle with it at times, but the more I try to better myself and become one with God and my husband, the less I worry about my self appearance, in the aspect of me always wanting to be what I'm not. (skinnier, toner, better hair…etc.) I have a 2 year old. And I found I really struggled with the "lose the baby weight" thing. It was constantly on my mind. I felt ugly and frumpy. I even got down to my pre-baby weight and was in no way content with it. My body didn't look the same, my clothes didn't fit the same. Very frustrating. Then the second year of being a mom I had a few experiences and truly wanted to better myself. In the process of doing those things to be better spiritually and physically, I realized one day that my weight/looks suddenly did not matter to me. I saw myself and was happy as could be. I was grateful for bigger hips, stretch marks, and the never "tone" stomach again. Because it reminded me that 1. I am a mother. And that is a huge blessing in of itself. 2. My happiness does not depend on the world's perspective. I don't take much credit for it, I give it all to the Lord for blessing me with this new perspective because of me trying my best to be better. Thank you for your words of wisdom and sharing it so honestly. You have blessed so many. Keep writing.

  25. Sharlee@believinginsomething April 6, 2012 at 3:39 pm - Reply

    I need to go back and read all of these comments, but boy do I have a lot to say about the difference between being thin and feeling good about yourself regardless of your weight. This is a terribly tough topic for me, as it is for most women. I love what you said Mara about it being a horrible negative energy to place upon those you love. If anything, reading this blog has given me more strength to tackle the issue with body image that I have. I have been praying a lot for help on this matter and I've found that I realize more and more what helps keep Satan from persuading me to attack my body. For me, it's doing all of the things you wrote on your part 2 post. If I keep myself eating healthier foods and less sweets (currently I'm sugar-free and that in and of itself makes a world of difference). I also like to make time to get a walk in with my dog and enjoy the sunshine. All things that bring me great happiness. Just doing that has helped me to become more comfortable in my body and pleased with it. I still have an incredibly long journey ahead of me, but this blog has helped me see that I choose whether or not to criticize myself when I look in the mirror and do I really want to expend energy with such a negative thing? How does it affect my relationships? I've become more aware and that's helped even more. Keeping a close relationship with my Heavenly Father reminds me of my worth and that is the biggest key to loving yourself despite physical flaws. Taking care of yourself is the next best thing, I've found. Thick or thin, you will not feel good sitting around all day eating junk…taking care of yourself and feeding your body right yet still enjoying small indulgent treats, that's what life's all about right there! And taking a walk in the sunshine!

  26. Kirsty Kingsley April 8, 2012 at 12:25 am - Reply

    I nearly fell over when I found out I was pregnant after 15+ years of infertility (4months after going on a gluten free diet). It was incredulous to me that I could have gone through my life not knowing that a simple change could make such a life changing difference.
    Now two children later…the most amazing confirmation was when I realised that LABOUR pain was so LESS painful than the period pain I experience for 18 years on a gluten diet..
    Thank you for this post..
    Wishing you many Blessings..

  27. Hadley April 8, 2012 at 1:36 am - Reply

    My husband, the kindest of all men, told me once that there are billions of people on this planet — and only one cares about my weight. Me! That made a lot of sense, and I decided to believe him. I am not thin, nor fat either. I exercise AND eat brownies — both for mental health reasons! Life's too short to obsess. If I'm ever feeling bad about my shape, I think of Marjorie Hinckley. She was dumpy in her old age, and could not have been more adorable. Weight had nothing to do with it.

  28. Anonymous April 18, 2012 at 3:07 am - Reply

    Alright I'm in highschool. Ive always been on the skinny side of the "skinny is beautiful" / "skinny girls are bitches and ugly and gross" arguement. I hate hearing "you skinny bitch" or "anorexic girl" or " I wish I had your body." I have always struggled with my weight because I'm BARELY a 00 I'm health now, but before it was like this: I'm almost into kids clothing because I cant keep on weight. I hate hearing how easy I have it, how boys like for being skinny, how people wish they were me. You don't. I don't eat junk trying to gain weight. I have diet, just like those who lose weight. I exercise. I work so hard. And society tells girls now "skinny is gross, skinny is bad,skinny is.t healthy." It isn't gross or bad or wrong. I'm healthy and skinny and damn proud of who I am. I think I'm beautiful the way I am. But people tear me down with words. The same way girls get offended by "fat" "Chuby" or "bigger" I'm offended by "skinny bitch" "anorexic" or "bulimic". But no one cares because skinny girls have perfect lives right?

  29. Anonymous May 29, 2012 at 1:38 pm - Reply

    im 16 and way nearly 10 stone and 2 months ago i weighed 8? what the hell is going on! i feel so depressed with my weight i look in the mirror and feel physically sick! someone please help me to loose some weight FAST.. it seems inpossible now 🙁

  30. Anonymous July 21, 2012 at 5:50 am - Reply

    Have you ever tried gaining a little weight to help with fertility issues? You're quite thin. I wonder if gaining 10-20 pounds might help with your fertility issues. Excessive thinness and the toll that takes on women's bodies is a major contributor to infertility.

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