Fighting the Shame

Free flowing thoughts today, no editing. This has been on my mind a while but I haven’t been able to eloquently get it out. So a brain dump is what you get:

I’m a believer in body positivity. I truly believe that we should love our bodies and what they can do for us, and not hate them because they don’t look like people in the magazines. I know this all can seem confusing for readers who come here looking for a weight loss success story (of which I’m trying to shift away from).

  • I don’t believe positive, healthy change can come from disliking your body or individual parts.
  • I don’t believe that others have the right to comment or make judgement on any body other than their own.
  • I don’t believe that cellulite, jiggles, pooches, and rolls of skin have anything to do with your health, strength, or value as a person.
  • I believe that everyone should be able to wear whatever they want, revealing or covering whatever they want without worrying about others opinions.
  • I believe that the only step required to having a bikini body is to put a bikini on.

All this being said, this past week all I’ve seemed to be able to do is think about my stomach and hips. I have poked and prodded at them. I ordered more shapewear. I seem to be aware of them everywhere I go. A few things triggered it: I think it started with my archery photo from this post, and then from seeing a photo I was tagged in and realizing I was the biggest person in a group of many people. Then I saw a reflection of myself sitting down at a restaurant in side profile with slumped over shoulders and a round stomach. Negative thoughts started flooding my mind.

I’ve always had a large lower abdominal pooch, even as a child. I distinctly remember a photo of me from swim team in the 4th grade where my pooch was very visible. The past week, I’ve just become hyper aware of it, more than usual. Then, in a moment of complete stupidity, the words “front butt” entered my mind and I looked at it on urban dictionary. Such a huge mistake.

I’m not re-posting what the entries say because I don’t want to ever see them again. But ever since seeing it, I’ve had the words “front butt” enter my mind at least twice during the day: when putting my clothes on, and taking them off. Sometimes, they would pop back up in my mind when I passed a mirror.

Then today, I actually clicked on this headline:


And as soon as I did, I realized I was participating in my own body insanity. By clicking on that post, it was like my media-trained brain went back into the “slimmer is better” place it existed the majority of my life. This inevitably leads to more self hatred, and the cycle just picks up steam.

It’s not that I mind that Jessica Simpson lost weight – that’s her choice. But for the media to dictate the loss as news, and being “Great” and “Incredible” is to invalidate her “before” body. It just makes me stabby to think about.

don't judge any body

For now I’m actively working on not triple-checking my side profile, not poking at my stomach, and not thinking about the awful words I googled earlier this week. It’s hard, but it’s worth it to not experience those feelings of shame.

/end of random notes for the night

  • Lisa

    As I was walking into the office this morning, I felt pretty good about myself. I felt like I looked nice, l liked my outfit . Then, I walked past the three windows of our office. I normally don’t ever look at my reflection. This morning I did…I immediately hated my outfit, my body…my everything. I could see how big my stomach is, how big my arms are, my butt and in a five second glance I was in a rotten mood and lost any of the good feelings I had just had. I know I would be happier with me in a smaller body…I was happier but trying to train my mind to accept this body is a huge challenge.

  • Alexandra Sherriff

    Yes. This post is so perfect. Thank you for being so open and honest about a topic that is hard to talk about and close to your heart.

  • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life

    i so needed to read this post this morning. I’m presenting this morning and have just spent time trying on different shapewear to see which holds me in more. I like my outfit and I DO NOT look bad.

  • Kelly Dane

    I so needed this today! Yesterday someone asked what do you love about your body? Not I have a great smile, but your body. I still can’t think of one thing. It makes me sad. I thought I was doing so good on being happy with myself and my body. I guess I still have lots of work to do.

  • Beverly

    Great post! I too started with a weight loss blog but after discovering the body acceptance and HAES movement I’ve changed my blog to focus more on the health aspect! Thank you and glad you’re more of aware of things like this.

  • SassySarah

    Love how honest you always are, Emmie! I think everyone gets those “moments” of where they start becoming self critical! And honestly that archery photo you mentioned- it might not be your favorite, but think of all the series of BEAUTIFUL pictures you take, in the prettiest clothes! You are so photogenic and could seriously have an entire book of you in fabulous photographs, looking gorgeous! I say Screw the archery photo &negative thoughts/definitions, and check yourself out in all those great pics you post, because you are simply beautiful!:)

  • Toni

    Great post! I’m pretty new to body positivity, but I guess I was raised in a fairly Body Positive family, my mom never fat-shamed me, but did participate in diet-talk etc about her own body. Anyway, I find myself doing the SAME thing. New meds and stress have compounded in me gaining about 25 pounds over the last two months and some of my clothes don’t fit anymore, it’s seriously disheartening. But I try to remind myself I am so much more than the sum of my parts. I too have the lower belly pooch. I saw your archery photo and thought you looked JUST LIKE ME (and amazing by the way, you go Katniss!) I love your posts, your positivity, and when you talk about failing too. Makes me feel better about standing in the mirror imagining myself without any pooch. Thanks Emily.

  • Dacia

    I love this post so, so much! Thank you! I am really trying to be kinder to myself and kinder to others on a daily basis. Thank you for always putting out the good stuff- even if it stemmed from you feeling all stabby. <3

  • Jody R. Goldenfield

    I always love your honest sooooooooooooooo much!!!!! I have so much I want to post sometimes about my own struggle – to get where I am now & the lingering effects from when I was heavier & more the effects from not mattering to the media, magazines & all due to looks – nobody says that but we know it matters…. I have stopped trying to get in magazines as a reader model or even present what I have accomplished with my bod for my age – it always comes down to looks & yes, weight.. I know people think I am bitter & yes honestly, I am in some respect but more, it is just the endless all about looks & weight out there… even how much muscle I have plays against me in certain realms… HUGS!!!!!!

  • Leah (Just Me Leah)

    Ah, I feel you so hard on this. As well as fighting off 30 years of diet crap (I was put on a diet by my mum before the age of 10) I’m dealing with a whole load of body-altering f*ckery from chronic illness and I’ve been picking myself apart recently despite 2 years of working in the opposite direction. It’s tough, but so worth working on, as you know. I’ve also had a pooch since I came out of the womb.

    The magazines are awful – strip away our worth and sell it back to us. Meh.

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  • Cassandre

    I so appreciate your honesty. I has come along way with loving my body and all it’s curves. But I am human and there are days even weeks where the rolls on my back, chub rub of my thighs makes me really self-conscious and not happy with me. When those moments happen, I slowly try to remind myself that I can’t let these thing define me and I have to lover and the body I was blessed with. It’s hard but doable.

  • Denise Elliott

    Oh, Emmie, I can so relate to this entire post! I, too, have had my abdominal pooch since childhood, and I’m still obsessed with it. Even as people around me comment on how trim I look, inside my head when I look in the mirror or pictures, the only thing I see is my pooch. Most of the time I can keep my focus on my health improvements and how happy my doctors are with my lab results, but then I can’t zip a cute dress past my abdomen and the critic inside my head starts in. As much as I hope we both find a place without these thoughts, I’m so glad I’m not the only one!

  • deb roby

    Thank you for this.

    I see you as such a positive body-image person, that reading this helped.

    I hate my body at the moment. I hate my boobs and my stomach and my face. I hate being in photographs (and heading to Fitbloggin in 2 weeks? avoiding photos is going to be tough).

  • Camilla Gigi

    Although I’m more comfortable thinner, I remember the days when I was heavy. I love hiking and moving fast (bicycling) and Emmie, I love your blog and think you (although I don’t know you), are fabulous. Please keep it going. :)
    p.s..and I think you are gorgeous!

  • dutchlifeadventures

    I think you’re beautiful, Emmie. I do recognise thoughts like these, but when I catch myself thinking like that, I think about what Geneen Roth said in Women, Food and God: your mind is mad!

  • Jaime

    I can relate exactly to this post. I have come a long way in body positivity and have stopped a lot of the negative chatter in my head. Sometimes it comes out of no where, though, and can really get you down. I can be feeling great, but whenever I go to get my hair done I feel miserable. Just sitting there staring at myself why she’s mixing up color. Every bump and roll more visible as I sit. This past week I was there and it hit me hard. I decided to grab my phone and journal about my feelings and counter the negative with some positive self talk. It helped. I think it’s funny, well awful, how we can swing from feeling great to the old habit of shaming ourself.

    Know you are doing great and are not alone! You’re awesome

  • Angeli Yuson

    Hi Emmie,

    I have just discovered your blog through “The Token Fat Girl”. So sad to hear that Lorrie has passed (I know i am late) but just found out. Hope she RIPs and that you and her friends / family are ok.

    Anyway, back to you. I think you are exactly right. No matter what size you are, you can’t hate your body and be negative. I feel the same way and I am undertaking a fitness journey too and sometimes have these down days. Good luck and I believe in you x

  • Lyndsay Marvin

    This is perfect & thank you SO much for sharing it!! I can completely relate. This is the exact reason I left weight loss coaching as a career. And by the way, you’re really, really beautiful. <3

  • Brooke: Not On A Diet

    I can relate to this so much. Even after I shouted from the rooftops that I love my body, I still have days where I pick it apart in the mirror. It’s ridiculous that we do it, but it is how our brains have been conditioned to think. All we can do is try our best to continue to be kind to ourselves and each other.

    As always, thank you for being you. <3

  • Abby

    Love this post. I hope you remember how pretty you are. We all think so.

  • Simone Cameron

    We are our own worst enemies and critics! I do try to compliment myself and the progress I have made, but I know the days come where we look at ourselves, find everything wrong, make puke faces….

    One day at a time and also I think if we as women, start being more vocal with compliments too each other, it would make a huge difference.

  • Valerie Mills

    Unfortunately, we live in a society that is focused on how we look. I always keep in mind that those who comment negatively have one motive – making themselves feel good by degrading others.

  • Suzie Kornblum

    Thank you as always for your honestly. It’s really hard to not hate some parts of my body when I’m trying to be happy and strong just as I am. A daily battle. Your “I believe” mantra will help! PS I love that someone else pokes their stomach, I thought I was the only one….I’m particularly guilty of it when sitting at a stoplight and my tummy pooch is particularly pronounced. :)

  • Leslie T

    I so agree with you!!! It is hard though to practice it on a daily basis. I love my body more than I ever have, but it is hard to put myself out there as someone who wants to help inspire others. I have lost 85 pounds, but when I got out the door people don’t know that. I just have to keep telling myself that I need to go after my dreams regardless of my size. WE have to live now!!! Now is all we have!!!

  • Kristin Hansen

    Emmie, you are changing my life. I am 39, 5’8″, and 250+ lbs. I found you as a plus size fashion blogger while trying to inspire myself to take some risks in my wardrobe. You so beautiful, confident and articulate. You talk about your body, like I talk about mine. Thank you for helping me see than I am more than a number on a scale and that healthy comes in all shapes and sizes!

  • Katie

    I just stumbled upon your blog from the Kohl’s post and started reading. I needed to read this. We are our own worst critics. I love how you are finding your confidence through your style and working to change you as you feel. You are an inspiration, not because of you are on a weight loss journey, but because you are being real and honest when others wouldn’t be. Keep being real!