In response to yesterday’s post, my mom left this comment, that I felt was better suited for a blog post.  She’s a smart lady!  So, in the words of my very wise mother…..

“How well I remember that day, when 2 average sized children crossed the bridge from having a positive self-image to a negative one! How well I remember asking the doctor to call me on the phone, but alas, her goal was not to support and encourage but rather to tear down …

My struggles came at the beginning of 7th grade. I had left 6th grade as a “normal” size, and began 7th with pretty much the body that I have now. To say that the change was drastic is an understatement. Never did I fit into a teensy size, never could I wear strapless or halter tops. And yet, there I was, a girl who rode her bike and played outside daily, and in high school walked home (about a mile) each day. So, now fast forward to 2009, when, at age 51, I work out each day with Leslie Sansone or I walk briskly outside. Over 100 miles in July! That, in combination with eating correctly, should be earning me lower numbers on the scale, correct? Well, incorrect! I have even taken to jogging at intervals on one mile of the trail …. I work with weights and resistance bands ….. and I’ll return to school in September same as always, longing to be the one who has lost all the weight over the summer. But wait just a minute! Is my value reduced to a number on a scale? Is my value reduced to a size tag in an article of clothing? NO! We, as women are so much more than that! When I am working out, the war cry in my mind says, “there, skinny girls, take this! Can you do this? Do you have the stamina?”

When will we, as American women, stop the madness and rally for good health and fitness as opposed to a dress size or a number on the scale? When we will realize that a gracious, comfortable attitude is what others find so attractive? So, here are some ideas I have had this summer to counteract such thinking.

1. Celebrate the figure you are. We were not created as “one size fits all” – we were not created to have the same hair color, eye color and so forth, so why should we all be the same size?

2. Read the magazines with caution. Even women’s ‘home’ magazines often offer conflicting ideas – “bake the best brownies ever” on one page and “how I lost 57 pounds” on the next …. In addition, if one reads carefully from one magazine to another, there are really no foods that one can eat and enjoy, not even the so-called “healthy foods!”. I have come to embrace magazines such as Country Woman, Taste of Home, and Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade as they point is not about perfect figures, but about celebrating the uniqueness of women’s skills.

3. And this one, I have failed at miserably over the years – just ask my daughters about my own dressing room break-downs – Be a good role model to your daughters and to your sons! Eat in a healthy way, exercise as a part of life, look in the mirror and say something positive OUT LOUD! Our sons as well as our daughters need to know that women are to be loved and respected for who they are, not for their dress size.

There is so much more that I could say – but one last piece of advice for today – go ahead and make the “best brownies ever” for your next family gathering. They’ll remember the warmth of your hospitality, not your waist size!”

Thanks, Mom!