A little bit of Thin-spiration

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Ask any woman in todays modern society exactly what they consider to be the perfect body and you can pretty much guarantee that the word ‘thin’ will be in there somewhere. Average statistics show that at any one time 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men will be on a diet or weight loss program of some form or other. In an increasingly media driven society models of perfection are paraded as examples to aspire to and aspire to it we do. 

Despite an ever expanding population the diet and fitness industry continues its popularity explosion with companies like Weight Watchers pulling in a hefty $1.452bn (1) in annual revenue. Definitely no slim sum by any means and a clear indicator that the diet industry, in the western world at least, is definitely big business. As the media continues its glamorous promotion of those body beautifuls, we in turn fuel the trend and flock in our millions to buy into the illusion that they sell.

So much of a change from a small few decades past when icons and idols sported more ‘womanly’ curves. Glamour oozed from such well rounded starlets as Marilyn Monroe, Brigitte Bardot and the timelessly sexy Bettie Page. Yet it is a true indicator of todays media influence when many questioned nowadays truly consider those afore mentioned sex symbols to be overweight. Indeed on more than one occasion this writer has seen the beautiful Marilyn described as ‘Fat’.

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But how accurate is this media bandwagon and are those ideals of perfection really so perfect after all? Well on camera it seems so. Glossy celebrities smile those perfect smiles and flaunt those flaw free bodies across magazine covers the world over. Enviously we admire everything about them and hurl ourselves desperately in the direction of anything we believe will make us like our idols. Billions each year are spent on diet, cosmetics and now on an increasing trend of cosmetic surgery as industry cashes in on our need to be perfect. The ‘quick fix’ surgery solution has rocketed in the last few years with millions of us opting for an invasive procedure as a way to give us that which we desire so badly. There is no doubt that this growing trend will not be seeing a decline anytime soon and the industry sees set to boom to massive proportions. 

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Sadly many recent media revelations reveal that perhaps the perfection we yearn for so badly may not be such a reality after all. Articles galore adorn the internet screaming the reality of an illusion we are all to ready to buy into. It seems there is a route to perfection after all but it does not lie at the end of a surgeons scalpel, nor indeed as the result of any super hyped diet program. To achieve the body of your dreams it seems all you need to do today is get yourself airbrushed. Stars have been no doubt cringing in shame as the internet buzzes with before and after photographs showing the reality of alleged perfection. With a few clicks of a computer mouse the pounds are shed, cellulite banished and perfect wrinkle free skin glows with health. Not such hard work after all then and certainly a look we can all manage with ease. Amusing then that men are among those most easily taken in by the images fed to us. I have encountered shock and surprise from more than one gentleman when i explained the wonders of airbrushing to them for they really did believe such flawless beauty existed. There is no doubt that there are indeed many beautiful people out there but nobody is perfect. So as we embark upon yet another diet in our efforts to be thin and spend billions on anything we are led to believe will get us there, perhaps we need to be a little more realistic in our efforts. Maybe one day the media will step up to the mark and take responsibility for the monster that it has created. But in the meantime we will all try just that little bit harder and spend just that little bit more. 

Because you can be perfect……can’t you?

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(1) source – google finance

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How to tame your inner fat girl

Yet again this weekend sees me chained to Ebay, watching as auction after auction ends. Why?? Well those items. they’re all mine you see.

I blame it on my inner fat girl!

Very few of us have accurate body perception and women in particular will obsess about their most hated flaw until it reaches a tragedy of epic proportions. That extra inch on the hips and thighs suddenly becomes 10 and you no longer want to be seen out in public. You fixate and self deprecate until your perception of yourself is distorted beyond all recognition.

My weight loss journey has been shared on here and if i face reality i am a very acceptable 5ft 10 and size 10/12 yet most of the time i cannot see it. Several times lately i have had to return clothing to a store because habit see’s me purchasing size 14’s and L/XL when i am so far removed from this now. Then i find i am greatly annoyed when the coveted dress/jeans hang like a sack on my much smaller frame and i have the hassle of returning and reordering or,as i frequently do., throwing it in the wardrobe to hang forever unworn.

Sometimes. like today, i find myself overloading ebay with my wrongly sized purchases and i vow to buy things in my proper size next time but still often i never do. I still see the curvy girl you see. Only when confronted by a mirror do i actually see and register the transformation and i would be lying if i didn’t say that it comes as a shock every time. I guess the reality is how many of us actually look at ourselves in a full length mirror and actually SEE what we look like??

Not me that’s for sure.

Only recently after a conversation with my trainer did i acknowledge that i am no longer the girl i was and i should be proud of how dramatic a change i have effected in only 3 months. I can run, i’m slim, i weight train and i’m fit and healthy. Sheer hard work has gotten me here and i am not about to let it all slide any time soon. Maybe when i’m 80 i shall relax and eat chicken burgers and chocolate but for now i adore the gym and i love being slim.

”Start looking in a full length mirror every day” my trainer advised wisely ”There are plenty of women at this gym who would love your figure”

Really?? My squirming impulse immediately was to self criticise as i usually do. A fault i developed long ago to run myself down before anyone else could and it became a terrible habit. Any self confidence is well and truly trampled and you are the worst culprit for it, yet you do not see that. So upon his advice i started to look in the mirror and actually LOOK properly for a change. No i am not perfect but i look good especially for my age and i am starting to slowly accept that when my lovely boyfriend calls me beautiful it is because he see’s me as such. I do not believe he would lie but the inner me could never accept it and always brushed his comments aside blaming him as having bad eyesight. You see the instant self criticism??

So my inner fat girl and i we confront each other daily and i try on a pair of jeans that used to fit and chuckle as they instantly fall into a puddle around my feet. Then i stick out my tongue and tell her she isn’t coming out any more. She sighs but she knows she cannot win any more and so she is resigned to it. With tape measure in hand i confront myself with the inches i have lost and then i tell myself 

‘You look great, you have done fantastic and you are almost there keep going’

You can beat your inner fat girl you just need to face the truth. Buy a full length mirror and look, look ,look!! Give yourself the right to be proud of your own achievements and when someone tells you you’re beautiful? Just accept that to them you probably are and simply say thankyou.

Nobody is perfect, even those famous faces have something about them that they do not like. Beauty is after all in the eye of the beholder. My inner fat girl and i are off to the gym and we’re going to run and run, because we can. 

Aside

A better sense of achievement

So for those of you who follow my blog and more specifically my weight loss journey today is a little bit of an update. Cue a drumroll as i announce that today i reached my initial weight loss goal that i set right at the beginning of this little sojourn of mine yet strangely having reached here it felt like somewhat of an anticlimax. I should be shrieking with delight and turning somersaults up and down the street but instead all this is replaced with a rather flat sense of ‘oh okay, now what’

I guess i could describe it rather like thinking you are going to New York for a holiday and suddenly finding yourself in a B&B in Clacton clutching a soggy egg sandwich and a bucket with a hole in it. Yes you have it exactly and i’d be most disappointed too, deflating faster than a well holed balloon. Perhaps though it is all just down to a sense of perspective and it was only when talking to a newly adopted young friend of mine that i actually realised how far i have come. Like many my young friend struggles with weight issues and self esteem and from the first i felt such sympathy that i took her under my wing and try to help her where i can.

Being the character she is she will listen often but also ignore advice i give then come to me with tears when she finds that she has failed but i do not mind this for she needs to make mistakes in order to learn. She is at this time where i once was a long time ago and i understand so well the mountain set before her and the feeling you will never get over it no matter how you try. Frequently she exclaims to me about the weight i have lost and the work i have had to put in to get here and it is only then that i actually realise just how changed a person i am.

How comical to think that at 43 i look younger now than i did 10 years ago at 33 and just over half the woman i was back then. Yet for all i reached my goal and am now slim and perfectly in the middle of my ideal weight range for my height i decided to reset my goals and aim for more.Yes i look good, i know this for i have worked so hard for it believe me, but i know i can look better and this spurs me on.  A gym addiction that i never could have believed leaves me with a fierce determination for an athletes body and the sleek definition of a weight lifter and i know i can have it. So 10 more pounds and lifting with renewed vigor and yet again i have a goal to aim for.

I have my eye on the ultimate dress for christmas, i know it will fit and look good already but i want amazing. Watch this space!!

The downside of weight loss

Yes its all been totally amazing, the pounds are melting off and i’m heading towards the body i always wanted. Whilst this is all so positive and the urge to hop up and down with delight there are however one or two downsides to getting slim…

1) You occupy less space in the bath therefore needing more water for a long soak. All well and good but in the end this costs more. I find i am somewhat of a mermaid, i love my bath and am not good at doing a quick paddle so i guess i shall have to live with the penalties.

2) You get to eat less and i mean a WHOLE lot less!! For someone with a raging sweet tooth like me this was pretty hard at first and the smaller you get the less you need to consume. Tragedy in itself when the purchase of a much loved Krispy Kreme Donut requires considerable deliberation and more often than not lands on the NO side of the argument. If ever you pass a Krispy Kreme and you see some woman with her nose pressed firmly against the glass then this will be me.

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3) You know the calorie content of almost everything in the supermarket and could quite happily win a series of Mastermind experting on the subject. Supermarket trips take twice as long as you scour the labels and manage a three minute mile past the bakery section. 

4)You suddenly find yourself looking like you are wearing someone elses clothes and feel a sudden need to run out and purchase vast amounts of belts while silently praying the sack look is in this season. You awkwardly become aware your trousers are too big right in the middle of a fast paced gym class as they begin merrily creeping down your hips. The rest of the class passes with you mentally praying ‘please dont fall down’ in time to the music.

5) You occupy less room on a bus seat and when that ‘oh no’ person boards he quite happily shoves himself on the seat next to you. Desperately praying please dont sit here does little to help and you suddenly wish you were not so slim after all. 

6) Cosy nights infornt of the tv and early morning lie ins are replaced with killer gym sessions and a mad desire to take off on very long walks whilst humming along tunelessly to your ipod. Missed gym sessions are accompanied by feelings of intense guilt and increased activity the next day. 

7) Chocolate becomes an alien concept

8) You suddenly find your vocabulary consists of far more utterances of the word NO than of the word YES.

9) You encounter strange lumps on your body and panic that you may be a member of an alien species.Only after much googling do you realise they are called ribs and hips and you spend considerable time prodding them in fascination. 

                           

10) You suddenly start feeling the cold and wonder if some arctic front has swept over the country without anyone telling you. Sitting down on hard surfaces becomes considerably less comfortable as your inbuilt seat cushion slowly dissipates. 

11) You find yourself looking at chicken fillets and push up bras and hold a remembrance service for your dearly departed bosom

12) You eat your vegetables without someone standing over you and telling you that you’ll grow big and strong if you do. Lettuce far from being something you feed to your pet bunny becomes a frequent visitor to your plate and you horror stuck hear your own voice uttering the word YUMMY as you eat it.

13) You find an odd desire to watch the adverts mostly because they are mostly calorie laden forbidden foods and then feel guilty for the mental ten pounds you put on whilst watching

14)  You stop biting your nails because you cant find anywhere on the internet that tells you how many calories are in them.

They say there is a flip side to everything and as the positive moments stack up so do the negatives. Perhaps it is only my own quirky take on life that leads me to see these things or perhaps i just need to peel my nose away from Krispy Kreme and go and eat one. Maybe a treat then when i reach my final destination but for now pass me the pineapple…..

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