Rae’s Rules to Remember #15: Love Your Body

I came across a video with Nev Shulman and IO Tillett Wright (Co-hosts of MTV’s Suspect) talking about how body image in the media is completely unrealistic. I can’t figure out how to get the video from Facebook to post here so these are some of the things that were shared:

  • 91% of women are unhappy with their bodies
  • Only 5% of women naturally have the body type portrayed in American media
  • Most models weigh 23% less than the typical woman
  • 20 years ago, that difference was 8%
  • This issue affects men too (Look at movies like Magic Mike)
  • 25% of average weight males think that they need to “bulk up”

Not a lot of people know this, but I have a thyroid disease (called Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis) that causes me to gain weight unexpectedly and causes my hair to fall out. For a long time I couldn’t gain weight and then all of sudden I was having trouble keeping it off. Do I try to workout often and eat healthy to combat this? Yes. Do I compare myself to other people while doing so? Absolutely not. Quite frankly, I don’t give a damn how you think I should look or what you have to say about my appearance, so keep that shit to yourself.

The majority of my family has made a point of telling me (and everyone else in the room) that I’ve gained weight as if it’s really any of their business. What none of them know is that I have this disease so every time, I walk away because if I stay and say what I’m really thinking, there will be hurt feelings.

I know that I’m not the kind of person that cares what other people say about me, but I really wish that I could project that onto other people. I cannot stand when girls watch things like the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show and then body shame models or themselves. Let me be clear, I love the VS Fashion Show and I gladly watch it making note of how gorgeous the girls are and simultaneously eating pizza. Judge me if you want to. I still don’t care

Why is it that people think that EVERYONE has to look just one certain way? Why do people buy into the bullshit that society puts in front of us? For example, Kim Kardashian. Men and women are constantly raving about how much they love her body BUT let’s not forget that it is not real! She had plastic surgery on her face and had the fat taken out of her stomach and put into her ass. I’m not saying this is a bad thing since she is obviously much more comfortable with her body now. That’s great, but don’t hold women’s bodies to a standard that 1. is not real and 2. unattainable for many people. You cannot tell me that if a girl that you knew personally did the same thing, that she wouldn’t be judged by the people around her. So then its damned if you do and damned if you don’t. She doesn’t look good enough as is but if she follows the footsteps of the woman you can’t stop talking about she’s fake. Seriously people get a grip. If Kim K is happy with the way that she looks (which she obviously is) then good for her, but you are not her and there is nothing wrong with that.

What everyone needs to understand is that everyone’s body is built differently. Some people have slow metabolisms, some have curves, and some naturally have a lot of muscle mass. You might not look like Channing Tatum and Adriana Lima but so the fuck what? If you are ever uncomfortable with the way that you look, take a second to ask yourself why. Is it because someone told you that you need to look differently? Is it because you compared yourself to someone else? If your body image is distorted by the people around you and/or the media, then you really need to take the time to think about the influences around you.

To ensure that I don’t sound like a hypocrite, the reason that I workout and eat healthy (or try to) is to make sure that my health isn’t too badly affected by my thyroid disease. Also, because I played sports for a really long time and I love how great I feel after a workout. Sometimes it does help combat the disease, but the symptoms are so unpredictable that I really can’t tell if it makes a difference or not. When I workout, I use videos from FitnessBlender.com. Husband and wife duo, Daniel and Kelli Segars, are big on eating real food, getting in shape the right way, and not torturing yourself in the gym so I love them. Since I’m talking about body image check out Kelli and Daniel’s rant on the topic:

Also you can check out Kelli’s personal story about how she realized that starving herself is never the answer to getting in shape. She was overweight, combating and eating disorder and literally killing herself in the gym. Now she’s in amazing shape, healthier than ever and never skips a meal:

 

This is a prime example of why you really need to listen to your body and make sure that you’re getting the nourishment that you need. With all of the people shoving diet teas and weight loss pills in your face, it is so easy to fall into those kinds of things, but is that really what you want for yourself?

One thing that I loved about my university is the Wellness, Alcohol, Drug, and Education (WADE) Office. They do events like Wellness Week and Love Your Body Week that focus on the importance of loving yourself for who you are and making sure that you understand that wellness is more than just your physical state. I always participate in these events because the importance behind them is so worth the time.

Okay, my rant is over.


Moral of the Story: Never let anyone, especially the media, tell you that you’re not beautiful.

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Author: Bookmark Chronicles

Hi! I'm Rae. 23. Avid Reader, Book Blogger. Intersectional Feminist. Gryffindor.

22 thoughts on “Rae’s Rules to Remember #15: Love Your Body”

  1. This is a great post Rae and I totally agree! It seems that when it comes to weight, you can never win in terms to listening to others. If you’re really thin, you’re too skinny, if you’re overweight, you’re called fat. I’ve always wanted to weigh what I should for my age/height. I’ve always been underweight and while I don’t like that, it’s pretty much because I know that it probably isn’t the healthiest thing (however I weigh more than I ever used to which I’m quite proud of!).

    I understand how hard it can be not to listen to the criticisms of others. I know that those who are overweight get teased more than those who are skinny, but I know for a fact that those who are underweight get teased too. I remember being in elementary school and someone putting their two fingers around my arm, making fun of how thin it was! I also had doctors constantly getting all over me to gain weight. It wasn’t that I didn’t eat, I just wasn’t good at putting on the weight! It was difficult at times not feeling self-conscious about it.

    I guess what I’m saying is that the important thing is to be healthy, not to let others make you feel crappy about your weight! Thanks for sharing this great post Rae!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks B! I’m a little skeptical of the age/weight chart because it doesn’t factor in different body types or that some people might just have a fast metabolism. If you’re proud of it and you’re properly nourished, that’s all that matters really 🙂
      Yeah it’s annoying that people dismiss skinny shaming because it is just as serious and people think “skinny people don’t have body image issues” which is stupid because if you harass someone about how they look they will become self conscious. But yeah you’re right and thanks again.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I totally agree! I remember watching on The Tyra Banks show that this lady was saying how she got made fun of for being thin. Tyra Banks came back with how overweight people struggle way more with that and how the woman had little to complain about. I agree that overweight people get made fun of more, but as you said, that doesn’t mean you should dismiss the fact that thin people get made fun of for being underweight too!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Yet another thing we have in common (besides trying to fight like H*** to love our bodies, of course): I have Hashimoto’s too! Which makes me wonder… (bein’ nosy again!), is there a reason you haven’t told your family? I’m sure whatever reason you have is reasonable & what’s best for you, so, if you don’t want to tell me exactly what it is, you can always say “yes” or “no.” Either way, totally your business.

    What I can’t stand is people who claim to be worried about a person’s health when they’re making a comment on their physical appearance. You can’t know what a person eats, how much exercise a person gets, or the person’s quality of life from looking at them. All you can know is your own personal biases.

    My Dad (who also has Hashimoto’s, as does my sister, since there’s a genetic component) is very overweight. He had his stomach stapled twice (he had it done back when the procedure first came about – 2002 – & they screwed it up, so they had to essentially do it over). He gained a lot of weight back. However, the man goes to the gym 3+ times a week – cardio, weight training, & aqua exercise; his vitals are amazing. Still, his students would question him (before he retired): “Don’t you care about your health?? Being so fat is so unhealthy!!”

    He quipped back: “Do you know your blood pressure? Your cholesterol? Your resting pulse? No? I know all of mine & they’re great, so don’t question my health because you don’t like how I look. Don’t like it? Look somewhere else.”

    He & I were talking about this just yesterday & we determined that you can be fat & healthy just like you can be skinny & healthy & everything in between. Couching your own biases in “concern for a person’s health” is bulls***.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No freaking way! You’re the only person I know that has it too!!! My parents and grandparents know but I don’t see my extended family that often anymore so it’s always aunts and cousins that mention it and I don’t feel like it explaining it because usually their comment pisses me off so I don’t want to talk to them. My grandmother and aunt (on my dad’s side) have some thyroid problems but I think it’s just us three.
      I work out 6 days a week with FitnessBlender and it’s a mix of cardio, HIIT, strength training, and power yoga for at least 30 minutes a day. Bet if I told people that, they’d shut up lol
      Kudos to your dad! That come back is perfection. If he’s healthy that’s all that matters. I would have never said anything like that to a professor that’s so damn rude.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oddly enough, I know a few people who have it. Sometimes the symptoms are so vague that doctors don’t know to test for it (I had to tell my endocrinologist that I thought I had it; he laughed at me, patronizingly patted my hand & told me to let him be the judge of that… until the test came back I was right), so chances are good that you know someone who has it… but they don’t know they have it.

        I totally understand not wanting to talk to people who think your body is an appropriate topic of dinner conversation. Plus, whether or not you have a medical issue causing weight gain doesn’t excuse their behavior. They shouldn’t talk that way to someone who doesn’t have hypothyroidism. No one should discuss another person’s weight unless it’s requested… & maybe not even then.

        Wow! What an intense regimen!! I’m impressed… your heart could beat up my heart. LOL People should shut up without knowing your exercise program or what you eat.

        Unfortunately, in my experience, people’s preconceived notions about overweight people are that they’re lazy & eat poorly. Correcting them usually doesn’t change anything. Doctors are especially horrible. 😥

        Yeah, my Dad’s a sharp wit (& a total a**hole). You’d be surprised by all the stuff he had students say to him (high-schoolers are notoriously rude, though).

        Another good one he told me was:
        Student: Move out of the way or I’m gonna punch you!
        Dad: Alright, but if you do, you’d better make sure that you knock me out with one punch. You know what they say, “The bigger they are, the harder they hit.”
        Student: *scoffs* It’s the bigger they are, the harder they fall, stupid!!
        Dad: Well, what do you want me to do: hit you or fall on you?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Wait, really your doctor did that? that’s terrible. My physician noticed that my thyroid was enlarged but no doctor had ever done anything about it. Good thing she did at the time because my hormone levels were all out of whack. I have to see my endocrinologist every six months to make sure its stable.
          haha true. I feel like at some point im definitely going to blow up at someone though. It’s really only a matter of time. I actually think I’ll feel a lot better if I do lol.
          hahaha it’s a good thing my heart doesn’t want to be your heart 🙂
          Wow your dad is great with comebacks, I love it.

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          1. Yeah. & that’s not even the worst thing that doctor said to me. I stopped seeing him for about 10 years after the worst thing he said to me, but eventually I went back to him because, despite it all, he’s a great endocrinologist.

            Unfortunately, I’ve read about doctors saying even more screwed up stuff to patients – for example: http://fathealth.wordpress.com/. I wouldn’t read those stories if you want to keep any faith in humanity, though.

            I’m so glad your doctor caught the problem. Trust me, I know all about how often a person goes in for testing!! I go every 6 months too. My doctor has me on a synthetic thyroid hormone & a synthetic T3. Have they done any ultrasounds?

            I would definitely see how going off on them would make you feel better!! It would put them in check, not to mention making them feel bad for thinking poorly of you due to your weight. Your freaking WEIGHT! How stupid is that?!

            Yeah, Dad is great for comebacks. & crazy stories. & some bad traits, linked to what makes him so great at the former 2.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. I had an ultrasound when I was first diagnosed. My endo can’t give me anything though because after I was diagnosed my hormones recovered remarkably well even though all of my symptoms are pretty bad. He’s monitoring it because he’s afraid its all gonna go to hell again lol so for now I kinda just have to deal. He and my physician think that if it plummets again I may have to get it removed.
            Do the medicines take away or control the symptoms?
            Yeah, I was kind of hurt the first time. Even though they didn’t know about the disease I expected them to ya know…be supportive. But guess not

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          3. Oh wow…that sounds incredibly annoying!! & they want to go straight from no treatment to removing your thyroid? That sounds a bit extreme, in my experience.

            You might not know off-hand, but did the doctor do a TSH, T4, or a full thyroid panel? I only ask because, if you’re still experiencing symptoms, you might want to think about asking for a full panel or getting a 2nd opinion. Also, like I said, that “0-surgery” assessment has me worried.

            My meds vastly improve the symptoms. I still struggle to lose weight, but I think that has more to do with my screwing up my metabolism than my thyroid condition.

            I’m guessing that, after your diagnosis, you did some research on hypothyroidism/Hashimoto’s (because I know you’re a smart cookie), but if you have any questions – don’t hesitate to ask! I’ve had this for around 13 years (my thyroid looks like Swiss cheese lol) & I like to think I’m pretty knowledgeable lol

            Imo, it shouldn’t matter if they know about your condition. It’s rude to discuss someone’s weight gain (I’m assuming with the implication that it’s a bad thing). Picking apart your body, discussing perceived flaws, is freakin’ wrong. My grandmother used to do it to everyone (she was & still is, unfortunately, obsessed with weight) & it was infuriating.

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          4. it wouldn’t necessarily 0 to surgery but when I was first diagnosed it was pretty bad and literally every other doctor that I had ignored the fact that it was enlarged.
            I don’t know about the panel I was diagnosed almost three years ago now I think.
            Yeah I researched it just not medicine cause I’ve never had to take them lol
            I agree, it shouldn’t matter but a lot of people in my family seem to think they have a say in certain things or that I actually give a damn what they think. They’ll learn the truth when the time is right

            Liked by 1 person

          5. Oh good! I’m glad that the doctor who’s handling your care now is taking it seriously (totally not surprised that other doctors didn’t; they often think women are being hysterical when they have legitimate medical issues).

            You can always ask your doctors if they’re doing a full thyroid panel the next time you see them. Sometimes a person’s TSH will be normal, but their other markers will be off (like the T4).

            That makes perfect sense. I take Levothyroxine (synthetic TSH) to bring up my TSH, which the body uses to turn into T4 (the body uses T4 to turn food into energy). I also take Liothyronine (synthetic T4) because my body wasn’t using the TSH properly & I needed some T4 to turn food into energy. My nails & hair are much healthier & don’t break as easily, I’m not constantly cold anymore, my depression improved, I can lose weight (it’s still a struggle, but that’s a result of having an eating disorder that screwed up my metabolism something fierce), & I don’t need a nap after lunch with regularity.

            I still nap sometimes, but that’s because naps rock. 😀

            It’s awesome that you walk away from those rude & judgmental people when they start picking your body apart like it was some kind of object right in front of you. It will be even better when you finally put them in their place, but not until you’re ready. When you’re ready, let ‘er rip!! 😉

            Liked by 1 person

          6. If I remember in December I will definitely ask.
            Are brittle nails a symptom too? That explains a lot. The constantly cold one is the worst. That and the weight because I do work hard its kind of annoying that I’m exactly getting progress. That’s good that the meds work well. Is there anyway to reestablish (not sure if that was the word I wanted to use) your metabolism?

            Liked by 1 person

          7. My recommendation (which is always the same because of my love for them) is to make a note/list of questions to ask your doctor. I see a lot of doctors, & I have a lot of lists! LOL

            Brittle nails & hair are a symptom, yes. Your body thinks it’s not getting the energy it needs through calories, even though you’re eating enough. It can be really frustrating. Low energy, constantly being cold, weight gain, & depression are also strong indicators. It might be a good idea to get a full thyroid panel.

            Hm… I understand completely what you’re trying to say. I just never thought to look it up. I should look into it. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

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