Wednesday, August 24, 2011

More to Love

I feel like the shackles are gone! I am free to spread my writing wings and fly! Free at last free at last! I have some many topics I have been holding back on for so many stupid reasons. Which to start hmmm? Whats on my mind this very moment. Something that just right now popped into my head as I scan some recently tagged photos of myself on Facebook is this; I am far too hard on myself when it comes to my weight. Especially with this issue I feel like I want to be some kind of activist and scream from the roof tops. I get so upset when this topic comes up because it always boils down to the same thing. How other people (more specifically mainstream culture) make me feel.

By Russian or Croatian standards I didn't grow up in a Russian/Croatian household. Well math those standards! By MY standards I did. There are some parts that mesh very closely with traditional mind sets. Living in Sacramento you bump into a lot of Russians and the one topic that seemed to be similar hands down was food and weight. This is how it works in, what seems like, most eastern european homes. If you eat too much and get fat, or plump or curvy or whatever you want to call it Baba will say something like this, " oh you've been eating a lot lately?" or some indirect snide remark about being fatter. Or in the case of when I was 18 call you just plain fat. Don't get me wrong, I love her and dismiss this as cultural. Baba wont be the last one to say something if you are looking skinny (this is not typically a good thing in Baba's mind... Following still?). I tell you though, the moment you are looking slimmer (or not, it really doesn't matter) this woman will offer you every speck of food she has in the house. Refusal is NOT an option. You take a lot or a little. Shane can very much vouch for this. Upon first meeting Baba I recall begging him to take something or she would never stop offering.

Thats where it started. Believe that body image is genetic. This Baba tactic was used on my mom and so it was used on me. I can bet you it was used on my Baba and my Dida and all my family. Boys however don't seem to get it as much. As a result of all this negative body image mess I was born (or rather my self loathing was). I can't name a single day in which I  felt good about myself. I have fluctuated weight all my life. Not to mention I didn't have the easiest growing spurts as a youth. No one ever told me to love myself no matter the size of my jeans or what the scale said. I don't think anyone around me knew to say anything like that. So now, as a 25 year old woman, I do nothing but pick myself apart. Every time I look in the mirror, or at a picture, or anything! I try not to focus on scales (I weigh myself maybe three times a year!). I sure as hell try to ignore the number on the clothes I'm trying on. Buy what fits (thats a struggle).

How am I supposed to successfully go into a store, especially since women's sizing is completely inconsistent, and not walk out feeling terrible!? There is a place in me that is screaming, " this is wrong! Size 10, 4, 6, 8 it doesn't matter!!! Like, no LOVE, the body you have. Its OTHER PEOPLE making you feel bad and FAT!" But there is an overwhelming voice thats had years of hold on me saying, " you really need to run more (which is totally true)" "You should watch what you eat more" "your thighs need to be slimmer" "you can't wear that your stomachs not flat enough". I feel like with this outside societal reinforcement telling us, me, that I need to look a certain way its a loosing battle. I'd have to never buy another magazine, never turn on the TV, and never look on the internet. How do you cut yourself off from society?! I don't know about in other states but California is really bad about it. The "California girl" is so perpetuated!
Oh, BTW, my good friend Stephanie got married. Yaaay!
So as I sit here picking my body apart in these pictures I get happy when that little voice creeps in saying "your arms aren't as fat as you think they are. And even so, you look really good in that picture or in that dress. Why are you so hard on yourself?"


  1. I just found you through Danielle's blog @ Sometimes Sweet. I saw your feature as I was perusing her Tattoo Tuesday (I'm a tattoo virgin and am trying to work up the gumption to get my first one next week) and thought I 'd check out your blog. Sooooo glad I did. I love your style, your writing and the fact that you live in Sacramento (I live and was raised in Roseville). So looking forward to future posts!

    p.s. I truly appreciate your battle with body acceptance as I too have struggled with it my whole life long. Thank you for your honesty and openness!

  2. first of all you look adorable and that dress is so pretty on you! Second, I love this! So many times I go into different stores and just from having to go a size up ruins my entire is so stupid since all of their sizings are completely off. I need to get that little voice into my head to remind me not to pick out every little thing I see that is wrong

  3. Thanks guys! @Caitlin I totally tried on two pairs of jean shorts both size 6 and both from Loft and they BOTH fit completely different. One a tad too small and one waaaaay too big. WTM?! What I notice most when I pick on myself is it snow balls. It starts with oh arms this, then oh I don't like the way this fits here....before you know it you've tried on 5 shirts, 2 bottoms and STILL haven't left the house. Thats me.

    @ Sarah (I totally had to search for your name hehe, promise not a stalker), Thanks so much! I feel like if we as ladies are more outward about how we feel other chicks around us will soften up and let go of their body issues. I notice I always think something is specific to me, but when I talk to another girl friend and they are like "oh thats normal" I feel so much better! You totally put a smile on my mopey face. BTW, I LOVE your over night bags!!!!! They have pockets inside!!!!! <3

  4. You look beautiful in these pics! Yeah for embracing our bodies and loving them! We are so lucky to even have such functioning, lovely bodies!