Archive for July 29, 2011

Wow, you look SO good . . . for now.

The above art is from a wonderful Flickr gallery curated by stripy sock studio. Click on photo for more.

 

As I mentioned in my “Diary of a Mad Traveler” post, I was on the road for a good portion of the past month—first in Manhattan for a conference and then in Maryland to see my bio-fam and do more research for You Belong to Us, the memoir I’m writing about meeting them. And after all that, I went to Ohio for a big family wedding on my way back to Kentucky.

All of my travels gave me the chance to see many old friends and numerous family members. It was a crazy three weeks of saying hello, sharing memories, and hugging goodbye. Over and over and over.

And one of the things I learned from this intense period of visiting people is that we often use weight to compliment each other or to evaluate a person’s looks. In fact, we make and hear comments all the time that connect looking good with being skinny . . .

• “You look great and SO thin!”

See the equation between looking good and being thin?

• “You look amazing. Have you lost weight?”

Translation: you must have lost weight if you look THAT good.

• “Wow, you look so skinny!”

As if being “skinny” by itself is by definition good.

• “You’ve lost so much weight! Good for you!”

In truth, losing weight is normally good for people, but again it’s the association between losing weight and being or looking “good” that disturbs me. The message is that you weren’t good—either in terms of your health or your looks—before you lost weight even if you, in fact, were.

And usually when a person receives a compliment on her/his body, the normal response is something like, “Thanks! I’ve lost X pounds!”

(This the physical equivalent of telling how much you paid for your new shoes when you get a compliment on them, which my mother always says is tacky.)

Implicit in these comments is the message that you can’t possibly look good if you are not thin. Or—just as bad—that you must have looked awful when you were a little bit heavier (something I already wrote about in my post on backhanded compliments).

And, of course, that’s a message I hate. Lots of curvy women look fabulous, and we all know that you don’t have to be super skinny to be beautiful (look at my gallery of gorgeous women above if you don’t believe me).

And then there’s the problem of what happens to your self-esteem when you gain a few pounds if all of the compliments you receive are tied to your weight. What happens is that you become demoralized even though you don’t necessarily need to be.

Compliments connected to weight aren’t just a problem for curvy women.

As the woman above explained on Post-Secret, telling a thin woman she’s “so skinny!” can be just as problematic because often it is a coded way of saying that someone is flat-chested or not curvy enough.

The other problem with these kinds of compliments is that they reinforce the idea that we should all be obsessed with dieting and the number on the scale. And I’ve long believed that the unique American obsession with dieting and weight is one of the main contributors to our obesity epidemic. After all, it’s not like the French—with their bread and cheese and wine—have a problem with obesity.

So from now on, I’m going to stop connecting my compliments on women’s (or men’s) bodies to their weight and/or weight loss, but rather connect them to something that doesn’t have such a loaded meaning.

Instead of saying, “You look great! Have you lost weight?” I’m going to say things like:

“You look great! You must feel good.

“You look so happy!”

“I love that color on you!”

“What an amazing dress!”

“You look incredibly healthy!”

Almost anything will work as long as it’s not about the number on the scale.

Of course, if I’m the only one to make this change, it will only affect those people I see in my daily life, so I need all of your help to reframe the way we see beauty.

So what do you think? Are you with me? Next time someone says, “You look like you’ve lost weight,” could you be happy saying, “I feel great” rather than listing the number of pounds you’ve lost?

Diet soda = more reason to hate the word “diet”

Paris Hilton famously said that “Diet Coke is just for fat people.” Well, it turns out that Hilton may have been right.

According to the Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, in a recent study, “The waists of those who drank diet soft drinks grew 70 percent more than those who avoided the artificially sweetened stuff; people who drank two or more servings a day had waist-circumference increases that were five times larger than non-diet-soda consumers.”

Translation: the more diet soda you drink, the more weight you gain.

The problem, as the researchers explain, is that when you consume any kind of sugar—real sugar or a sugar substitute like aspartame—your senses tell you that you’re having something sweet (and therefore store fat and carbs), but the sugar substitute does not satisfy your brain as much as real sugar, which makes you crave the satisfaction you’ve been denied and ultimately causes you to eat and drink MORE.

In other words, your body wants the sugar you’ve promised it with the taste of something sweet, and when it doesn’t get the real satisfaction that sugar provides, your body demands more. This is why diet soda makes you eat and drink more.

Sweet tastes also promote insulin release, which blocks your body’s ability to burn fat.

Dr. Martin P. Paulus, professor of psychiatry at the University of California San Diego, explains that is why “you chase that no-calorie soda with something more caloric, like a salty snack. The sweet taste could also trigger your body to produce insulin, which blocks your ability to burn fat.”

And that’s why people who drink diet soda weigh more than people who don’t.

For those same reasons, people who drink diet soda are more likely to have tissue damage, diabetes, heart attacks, and strokes. And ALL soda drinkers are less likely to get enough vitamin A, calcium, and magnesium and run the risk of being exposed to BPA when drinking out of a plastic bottle.

Ultimately, researchers believe that diet soda—just like regular soda—MUST be consumed in moderation, meaning you can’t carry a diet soda around with you all day long like it’s your pacifier.

The problem is that for YEARS many people have done just that, believing incorrectly that since diet soda has no calories, it isn’t bad for you and won’t cause you to gain weight.

But now we know that’s not true. And we also know that diet soda has NEVER been proven to help anyone lose weight.

I know these are hard facts for diet soda drinkers to swallow, but there is a silver lining: since there is no advantage to drinking diet soda, you can go back to drinking the real thing, which is much more satisfying—both to you and your body. The only catch is that you can only allow yourself to indulge this way on occasion. It’s not something you can do on a regular basis.

But then again, like anything else that you do on special occasions, won’t it be all that much sweeter if you just allow yourself to have it from time to time?

How to be a better bully
. . . a guest blog by Marianne Hale

I might be one of a very few people who has associated negative feelings with The Muppets. It’s not Kermit or Fozzie Bear or even Gonzo with his obviously phallic nose. It’s a starry-eyed, high-heeled pig, and it wasn’t even her fault.

My grandmother nicknamed me Miss Piggy when I was a little girl. I hated it. And I never even knew why she’d chosen that particular name, so naturally assumed that it had to do with me being somehow pig-like. Chubby.

Don’t get me wrong. My grandmother loves me almost as much as she loves getting under my skin. She recently surprised me with a Crock Pot, and I plan to stick a pot roast in it very soon (and by “I” I mean my boyfriend). But the nickname she gave me took a toll on my five-year-old self’s little body image.

And Miss Piggy wouldn’t be the last of my nicknames. In high school I became Thunder Thighs thanks to my first boyfriend. Romantic, right? This one sent me to the mirror to figure out what was so darn thunderous about them.

Then I was Biner, which is a weird sort of play on the word albino and had to do with my super pale skin. I am not albino, but I laughed along with my friends at this one and even encouraged it. It was just easier to laugh than to be laughed at. I had already been to the tanning bed, turned an embarrassing shade of lobster red, and cursed my freckles to go away, all to no avail.

Here’s what I don’t get: Why do we give each other nicknames based on physical appearance? As much as I like to think I’m the center of the universe, I know this isn’t just a me thing. My boyfriend used to be Snack Pack (he was reportedly a “chubby” kid). Another friend was Fatso. And when my mother was a teenager, she had her share of nicknames centered around her large breasts.

I can’t say I’m not guilty of handing out nicknames based on physical appearance, too. I’ve done it. Haven’t we all? But remind me why we’re poking fun at people for things they can’t change without major surgical alterations or in some cases at all.

Look, bullies, I’m not suggesting that you stop doing your thing. I’m just suggesting that you change the game a bit. I can’t help it that my skin is pale and I can’t safely be in the sun with anything less than SPF 45. Besides, that’s too easy. All you have to do is look at me.

But if you’re looking for material to poke fun at me, look within me. Let your nicknames be something to do with my character, those weird little quirks and kinks in my personality, rather than my physical appearance. I’ll even help you. What can you do with a paranoid hypochondriac who not-so-secretly thinks everyone is out to get her? Oh, and she dances. A lot. Mostly awkwardly.

Let me know what you come up with.

 

MARIANNE HALE is a recent graduate of Western Kentucky University, and she fancies herself a writer. After trying to figure out what to do with her life, she decided to start picking up dog poop and doing other odd jobs. She blogs about them at http://theoddjobs.wordpress.com/. Marianne lives in Bowling Green, Kentucky, and doesn’t have time for cats, kids, or housecleaning unless you pay her to.

 

He loves me . . . he loves me not . . . why it’s important to stay away from relationships that make you play that game

I’ve always stessed the importance of self-esteem on this blog. As I say under the “healthy living” button above, I don’t believe that any of us can be healthy—physically or emotionally—until we like ourselves the way we are.

But it’s possible I haven’t yet explained that it’s very difficult—almost impossible—to like ourselves if we are in unhealthy relationships.

Maybe this seems obvious, and maybe that’s the reason I haven’t written about the importance of avoiding relationships with people who undermine our self-esteem, but recently I’ve been hearing more and more about some insanely unhealthy relationships that make me think this idea bears repeating.

I actually just found out that a man I know used to tell his friends that his wife was an “ugly duckling” who he couldn’t get to stop following him around.

Yes, that’s right—he called his wife an ugly duckling. And he said it so many times that the story got around—to his friends, to his family, to me.

Maybe his wife never found out, but that’s not really important. What’s important is that she had to have felt it somewhere deep inside her soul.

I also heard a story a few years ago about a woman who was married to a man who wouldn’t give her compliments because he was afraid she’d get a big head. She was a beautiful girl, and he was afraid she already knew it.

Suffice it to say that woman did NOT believe she was beautiful, and why would she when the man who “loved” her never said it?

I’ve also seen the opposite occur—I know a woman who used to tell her husband that he needed to exercise more and lose weight. That may not sound completely awful, but she said in front of his friends. On a regular basis.

Public humiliation is not the way to help someone—even a “loved” one—embrace healthy behavior.

When I was eighteen, I actually dated a guy who told me he loved me even though I wasn’t beautiful in the “typical” way.

I hope you know I didn’t say “I love you” back and got out that relationship as fast as I could. Telling a person she is beautiful should not come with a disclaimer.

We all know about couples who aren’t good for each other. We don’t always talk about it publicly, but we know who they are. My question is this: Why do people stay in those emotionally abusive relationships? Why can’t they see that being with someone who doesn’t think they are beautiful and smart and fun is only going to hurt them? Don’t they know that they’re better off alone than with a person who doesn’t have their back?

I wish I knew the answers to these questions, but I don’t.

However, I do know this for sure: you can’t possibly like yourself the way you are if the person standing next to you doesn’t like you that way too.

Diary of a mad traveler

I spent five days in New York City last week, and I am still amazed and horrified by the emotional roller coaster I experienced while I was there.

I guess I’ve never thought about it before, but it’s hitting me now that when I’m away from home, my sense of self fluctuates dramtically. Translation: I don’t feel as much like myself or as confident as I do when I’m home. If I look back over my trip to Manhattan, I am mystified by the highs and lows my self-esteem experienced  . . .

Day 1—Dave and I arrived at the Grand Hyatt (sandwiched between Grand Central Station and the Chrysler Building, pictured above) in the afternoon and went to see The Book of Mormon that night. Since I had known we were going to see Mormon for months, I was prepared: I wore my new LBD with black peep-toe pumps (and took a taxi to the theatre), and I felt completely amazing, especially since we sat next to two women wearing jean shorts and t-shirts. Assessment of the day: A good LBD is always a big win.

Day 2—Dave had to meet with his publisher in The Village, so I took a taxi with him to that part of town and spent the afternoon shopping and eating lunch. I knew I’d be on my feet the whole time, so I opted for sneakers. Since I don’t really own shorts anymore (except for workout shorts), I wore dark pants with a casual shirt. (I knew jeans wouldn’t work in the heat.) But an hour or two into my day I regretted the pants decision. I was sweaty and hot, the pants were too big and hanging on me like elephant skin, and every single woman I passed in Soho looked like she’d just stepped out of the pages of a fashion magazine. I felt gross and unnattractive. Assessment of the day: Dark pants in the hot city = epic fail.

Day 3—In response to Day 2’s fail, I decided to dress in more normal Molly fare—skirt, cute top, and sandals—to go to The Strand and Chelsea Market with Dave. The good news is that I felt confident about the way I looked. The bad news is that walking from Union Square to Chelsea in my sandals shredded my feet, leaving them bloody and covered in blisters. So much so that I had to wear sneakers (and carry sandals in my purse) when I made the walk to see Wicked* that night by myself. I don’t think I have to tell you that I felt ridiculous sitting in the lobby of the Gerswhin Theatre changing my shoes alone. Assessment of the day: Looking good is not worth the pain.

Day 4—After two days of failing to find an outfit that made me feel good about myself without causing me pain, my head was f***ed up, and as a result, I couldn’t find anything I wanted to wear or thought I looked good in. I was experiencing some EXTREME self-loathing and wasted an hour in the hotel room trying on everything I packed for the trip and still felt pretty insecure when I walked out the door in a casual skirt, a top I knew was too low-cut, and new sandals I had bought the night before that were supposed to be better for walking. My low self-esteem was quickly exacerbated by the fact that, though the new sandals were a BIG improvement, they were still not meant for miles of walking, which meant I had to pull over on a bench near Rockefeller Center and put on the flip-flop type things I had stowed in my purse in case of emergency. (Sure, young, skinny girls can make flip flops look cute, but most curvy girls know they do almost nothing for us.) It was around this point that I realized almost every woman in Manhattan was wearing either flip flops or sneakers and that the whole Sex and the City notion of running around the city in Manolo Blahniks is a complete myth (unless you never walk farther than the distance from your cab to the door of your office/apartment building/favorite restaurant). I cheered myself up with this realization as I slogged through MOMA in my flat, unflattering shoes, and then my self-esteem got another much-needed boost when I caught an attractive German man staring at my cleavage. Assessment of the day: It’s not as bad as I think.

Day 5—I was meeting my good friend (and brilliant web designer!) Kara and her husband Andrew for lunch and a trip to The Met, so I was determined to wear something that would make me feel good about myself and not ruin my mood. Not wanting to go back to my crappy flip flops, I embraced my black-and-gold sneakers, and found the only thing that would work with them on a hot, summer day in the city—lightweight white pants and a cute black top. The result was that I felt good about myself while also feeling physically comfortable. So much so that when I changed into girly sandals for drinks at The Oyster Bar late that afternoon, I didn’t necessarily feel better about myself as much as I still felt good. Assessment of the day: Finally, success!

I hate that I’m the kind of person whose self-esteem waivers when I’m away from the comfortable surroundings of home, but maybe realizing this about myself will allow me to have more control over this issue when I travel in the future.

I think part of the problem is that whenever I go to a cool locale—NYC, for example—it’s easy for me to imagine that everyone is more attractive and more well dressed than I am, and I bet I’m not the only one who feels that way. It makes me realize yet again the importance of showing women (and men) who look real in film and television. Because if they don’t ever look real, then how can we feel good about ourselves when we do every single day?

 

*There’s more to say about Wicked, and I’ll save that discussion for an upcoming post.

New post coming soon!


Thursday’s post has been delayed due to old friends keeping me up WAY TOO LATE last night! Stay tuned for more.

Looking in the Mirror
a guest post by Yelizaveta P. Renfro

Renfro with her daughter.

As a teenager I—like countless others—spent too much time staring critically into mirrors and wishing myself into someone else. I was too tall, too big, my face too broad. My shortcomings seemed so severe that no amount of dieting or plastic surgery could have ever transformed me into the petite, thin-faced waif I most desired to be. I would have given anything, even IQ points, to be shrunk down to a five-foot, ninety-pound beauty with dark, haunted eyes in a gaunt, hollow-cheeked face.

My teenage self would hardly recognize me now, two decades and a whole mindset removed from those tortured years.

I’m too busy to think about my appearance. I put on makeup about once a year. I wear glasses because I don’t like the way contact lenses feel. I rarely get on a scale or put on jewelry. I don’t wear high heels because they’re uncomfortable. I don’t do my nails because I’d rather be doing something else. I don’t blow dry my hair because the air will dry it just fine and with less effort. On most days I do manage to run a brush through my hair. I might glance quickly in the mirror. I put on whatever pair of shoes I happen to find nearby. I tend to wear whatever is on top in the drawer. Shopping for clothes is a bore. Going to a mall feels like punishment.

I have two young kids and about a dozen writing projects going. I have a lot of walks and hikes I’d like to take, a lot of trees and gardens I’d like to see, a lot of books I’d like to read, a lot of meals I’d like to cook, and a lot of living I’d like to do. I just don’t have time to look in a mirror and wish I was someone else.

I am past all that.

*

Except that I’m not because I have a daughter.

Since the day she was born, we’ve been praising her for her intelligence. “What a smart girl!” we’d exclaim every time she uttered a new word, every time she solved a problem.

She is a smart girl. At eighteen months she could say three hundred words. She was speaking long, complex sentences by two. Now at six, she can speak in paragraphs, in veritable soliloquies, expressing herself in ways that make adults raise their eyebrows, blithely uttering words like precariously, disintegrate, simultaneously, unfortunately, diabolical, vice versa, clandestine, askew, peculiar, unreliable, absent-mindedly. I could go on and on.

And yet, I knew it was bound to come—the exact nature of the “it” unspecified—though I wasn’t expecting it to come so soon, in kindergarten, when she was only five. The “it” turned out to be simply this: a boy in her class called her fat. She reported this to me after school one day.

Outwardly, I tried not to make a big deal of it. I don’t even remember my response verbatim, something along the lines of: what a rude thing to say; it’s a reflection of him and not you; it isn’t true. But inwardly, I was thrown into turmoil: Did he even know what he was saying? Or was it merely a generic insult? Was it just a mean thing to say to a girl, on par with calling her stupid? But if he had called her stupid, I would have scoffed and blown it off: ha, you know that’s not true! Why am I so sensitive to this? Because this offhand insult reduces me to that self-conscious schoolgirl again? Because I don’t want my daughter to go through what I went through?

*

“She’s your little mini-me!” exclaimed an acquaintance upon seeing us together recently. And it’s true: my daughter resembles me. People comment on it all the time. “She looks just like you,” they say. “I can’t believe how much you two look alike.”

She’s a big girl, one of the tallest in her class. I was a big girl, and I hated it. I hated being taller than everyone else. I was mortified when a boy told me, with undisguised repulsion, that I was “huge.” It implied meatiness, solidness, as well as great stature. It implied unattractiveness.

Boys who are “huge” can be linebackers, they can win fights, and they can serve as models for smaller boys, but girls who are “huge” might as well do their best to blend into the wallpaper until high school is over. Or so was my experience.

After being in the world and meeting many people, I learned that I am not, in fact, “huge.” I am 5’8” with a weight within the “normal” range. Yet after reaching my full adult size by thirteen, for a great many years I felt like a hulking giant. And now, I can’t believe I wasted nearly a decade of my life hating my so-called hugeness. And I don’t want my daughter to expend her energies on self-loathing when there is so much more to think about and do.

*

Shortly after the incident at school, I caught her studying herself in the mirror. “I don’t like my face,” she told me. “It’s too wide.”

On another mirror-gazing occasion, she announced, “I want to change something about myself.”

“What do you want to change?” I asked.

“I don’t know. Something about the way I look.”

*

My husband and I believed that if we praised her appearance, we would make her feel that we valued physical beauty over other traits. And yet now, I fear that by not praising her appearance, we undermine her confidence.

My daughter does not watch television with advertising. She’s never had a Barbie doll. She never wore the “Daddy’s Little Princess” pink-and-frilly style of clothes. She’s gone to dinosaur camp and taken a class about trains. We tell her she can be anything she wants to be: a bricklayer or a paleontologist, an artist or a writer, a teacher or a dancer, a doctor or an engineer, a dendrochronologist or an ichthyologist. (Yes, she knows these words.)

And yet, often it feels as though we’re engaged in a losing battle, fighting the images of anorexic women that my daughter sees on magazine covers at the supermarket, fighting the armies of Barbies that infiltrate kindergarten classrooms, fighting the thoughtless comments of five-year-old boys, fighting the inappropriate wardrobes of some grammar school girls, fighting the tyranny of conformity that holds so many of us locked in private grief over issues that are, at heart, ludicrously petty.

*

In “How to Talk to Little Girls,” Lisa Bloom suggests that when engaging a young girl in conversation, we should begin not by commenting on her physical features or dress but rather by asking about her intellectual pursuits, such as reading. She writes:

nearly half of all three- to six-year-old girls worry about being fat…fifteen to eighteen percent of girls under twelve now wear mascara, eyeliner and lipstick regularly; eating disorders are up and self-esteem is down; and twenty-five percent of young American women would rather win America’s Next Top Model than the Nobel Peace Prize. Even bright, successful college women say they’d rather be hot than smart. A Miami mom just died from cosmetic surgery, leaving behind two teenagers…

Teaching girls that their appearance is the first thing you notice tells them that looks are more important than anything. It sets them up for dieting at age 5 and foundation at age 11 and boob jobs at 17 and Botox at 23. As our cultural imperative for girls to be hot 24/7 has become the new normal, American women have become increasingly unhappy. What’s missing? A life of meaning, a life of ideas and reading books and being valued for our thoughts and accomplishments.

I came to terms with the fact that the mainstream media’s preoccupations do not align with my own interests years ago. Most often I handle this by simply ignoring the mainstream. Adults have this option. Children and adolescents, however, often do not—or they feel they do not—because they find themselves trapped within the insular, toxic world of peer pressure.

*

“I’m not into princesses,” my daughter announces. If you ask her, she’ll tell you she much prefers witches and skeletons and trains. And though her friends have Barbies and she plays with them at their houses, she hasn’t—so far—asked for one herself. Her favorite dolls are two handmade rag dolls in native dress from Uganda. They are suitably lumpy and misshapen, as all good ragdolls are. Cradling them, she tells me that today, she just wants to be a mom. When she grows up, she’ll decide the rest.

And there’s this: A man at a Christmas party, trying to be friendly, told my daughter she was “bella,” which, he explained, meant she was beautiful.

She fumed all the way home: “That man called me bella! That means beautiful. That made me so angry! I don’t want to be called beautiful. I want to be called smart. Because to be smart you have to work hard, you have to study and you have to learn how to read and write and you have to use your brain. But to be beautiful you don’t have to do anything. Some people just are that way, and they didn’t do anything to get that way. So I never want to be called bella again. If anyone ever says that to me again, I’m going to yell at them.”

I bit my tongue and suppressed a smile.

*

I catch my daughter looking in the mirror again. “You’re a beautiful girl,” I tell her. She looks at me dubiously. And I don’t know if she doubts the truth of my statement or if she’s questioning its relevance to who she is. Either way, she is a beautiful girl. And I’ll tell her again—but only after I’ve told her that she’s smart, a hundred times, or a thousand, or as many as it takes.

 

 

Yelizaveta P. Renfro is the author of a collection of short stories, A Catalogue of Everything in the World (Black Lawrence Press, 2010). Her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Glimmer Train Stories, North American Review, Colorado Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, South Dakota Review, Witness, Reader’s Digest, Blue Mesa Review, Fourth River, Bayou Magazine, Untamed Ink, So to Speak, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA from George Mason University and a Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska.

 

Size doesn’t really matter

I went to my first sample sale today, and a few things caught me off guard.

First of all, I noticed almost right away that there were no sections marked extra large, which is the size I normally wear. I was a bit put off, but I looked at a few large items and found that, shockingly, many of the sample sale large sizes would be an extra large at the mall.

And here I had thought that “sample sale” meant that these were samples only models could wear.

Admittedly my previous knowledge of sample sales comes wholly from Sex and the City, but I was still pleasantly surprised.

I was also shocked to find that there weren’t any individual dressing rooms—just one big space where dozens of women stripped down to their skivvies in the hopes of finding that perfect dress, top, or skirt.

I knew enough to know that I shouldn’t act surprised by this scene, so rather than letting my jaw drop at the door as I gawked at the unfamiliar display of undress, I snuck over to an open spot in the corner and took my shirt off like it was nothing.

To be honest, it didn’t bother me at all. Everyone was too busy looking at the merchandise in floor-to-ceiling mirrors to notice any of my flaws. Or anyone else’s for that matter.

If only I could say the same about myself.

But as I stepped away from the clothing rack and up to the mirror, I simply couldn’t resist sneaking a peek at the half-dressed bodies surrounding me.

I was shocked by what I saw—not only were all of the bodies I saw imperfect, they were also just as imperfect as mine. Women who were trying on smalls and mediums had just as much cellulite and extra flesh as I did. Some had more. It was revelatory.

In my post about cellulite, “The Cellulite Closet,” I talked about the fact that nearly all women have cellulite, but seeing it in person was shocking. And a wonderful reminder that none of us—no matter how good we look in a strapless sheath—are perfect.

Announcing a new website and a new look!

Great news, sports fans! The new website for I Will Not Diet is up and running, and if you’re reading this here now, you’ve already figured that out.

Like this original site, the new I Will Not Diet has blog posts on Tuesdays and Thursdays, the gallery of gorgeous women, and tips for healthy living/losing weight without dieting. It also includes more info about my history as well as a new section called “Unburden Yourself” where you can tell your stories and, if you’re brave enough, post your weight.

Also, be sure to subscribe here because the old site will cease existence one week from today.

I have to admit that launching the new website is a little bittersweet. I’ve been using this site on blogspot for over two years, so it’s hard to say goodbye.

It’s interesting to think about the fact that when I started I Will Not Diet, I told myself I wouldn’t spend any time or money on the design of the site until I proved that it was something that would stand the test of time—both for my readers and for me.

I honestly never imagined I Will Not Diet would become what it is now—something bigger than me, something about more than just my struggles to lose weight without dieting, which is how it all started. Now I’m not even sure I want to lose weight anymore. This blog has had that much of an effect on me. Yes, I want to be healthy, but I also want to believe what I preach—that beauty comes in more than one size. And if that’s the case, then losing weight is besides the point.

I have to also say that I struggled to create a logo and a website that I thought fit the message fo the blog but also didn’t look too cute if you know what I mean. My web designer, Kara Thurmond, has spent months working through this with me, and I want to thank her for her patience, her tenacity, and her talent.

Hope to see you all on the other side!

P.S. I may have to add the Statue of Liberty to the Gallery of Gorgeous Women since she is the first lady of natural beauty.

  • twitterfacebook