The Elephant In the Room

The question: “Oprah – What is it With Her?” Your answer is: “She’s fat, she’s thin, she’s fat, she’s thin – I mean, come on, pick a body and go with it!”

From a 1992 SNL skit featuring Jerry Seinfeld, Stand Up and Win

The skit could have been about me. I’ve yo-yo’d since I was 14, from a size 8 up to a size 20, and all sizes in between, back and forth, over and over, at least a dozen times. I’ve starved myself, exercised three times a day, vomited, taken drugs, and done every diet known to woman. And throughout it all, I’ve hated my body.

At 51, I’ve had enough.

It’s going to take a lot of effort to stop dieting–to stop yo-yoing. It’s going to take even more effort to love my body–myself–at whatever size I settle. But love (and peace) are what my quest is about.

Mary Lambert, in her Body Love video, says it beautifully.

And now, I’m going for a walk. Because the sun is beginning to set on this beautiful day.


  • I’m actually watching OWN (Master Class) for the first time in at least a year – and I was just thinking Oprah has lost a little weight!

    Sounds like you’ve taken the first step to getting better – self assessment. I think about my weight a lot too; I try to work out a few times a week.

    You can do it. Maybe finding a support group would be helpful.


    • Oprah once told People magazine that she regarded her weight loss as the single greatest accomplishment of her life. I find that very sad.

      It’s actually a larger issue than weight, I think. Some women think they’re ugly or too tall, they hate their curly hair or freckles, their bottoms are too large, their breasts too small. We color our hair, do botox, change our noses, get implants, or gastric bypass surgery. I’m done with all of it.

      Self care. Treating our bodies with love. Not trying to fit an ideal. I know this is not a new concept. But it’s hard work blocking out the messages we’re bombarded with. A support group would help!

      Liked by 1 person

  • Good plan. I hope you enjoyed the walk. It usually gives more energy than it takes, in my opinion (I have a dog, I have to walk 3-4 times a day šŸ˜‰ ).


  • As you’ll be able to discern from visiting my blogs (thank you), I’m a strong advocate for the empowerment of women. By keeping us so intensely focused on our bodies and faces, society effectively oppresses us and prevents us from obtaining any real foothold alongside men.

    I had an eating disorder when very young – late teens – and beat it by making the decision to concentrate on the person I really am inside; my spirit and character. I told myself that no matter what the outside package is like, it doesn’t change the real me. I’m just as worthwhile and lovable regardless. It took a huge effort but it worked. I’ve maintained a steady weight for decades now but I still struggle with the usual concerns of aging – wrinkles, cellulite, loss of muscle tone. I have a chronic illness so have very little capacity to exercise beyond gentle walking and stretching. It’s probably time to give myself another pep talk. šŸ™‚


    • Thank you, Miss Min. It’s so deeply ingrained, this need to body bash, it’s going to take a concerted effort. Focusing on the inside is great advice. Gentle walking and stretching sounds lovely. And loving.


  • I went for a lovely walk as well today! I hope yours felt as good as mine. You know…weight is still something I struggle with daily, but it’s also something I know that I can control. Loving my body as is will hopefully be something I get better with as I age. Also…I LOVE mary lamberts video…flipping perfect!


    • My walk was very nice, jblondie. So glad you enjoyed yours, too. Loving our bodies as is is a wonderful goal. I think it does get easier with age. The pressure to be perfect seems to be easing after 50. Or maybe it’s not the easing of external pressure, but me being easier on myself. Either way, it does get easier with the passage of time.

      Liked by 1 person

  • Since I have come about two fat-accepting blogs (fatheffalump and danceswithfat) I have looked into “Health at every size” (ironically by a Mrs. BACON) – the idea behind this is: do not exercise or eat well to lose weight, exercise and eat well to be fit. Drop this image of yourself that you are unworthy unless you have achieved size 8 or 2 or -100 …
    Just do the right thing – like your walk in the evening, like eating veggies and fruit 5 (3veggies/2fruit) a day, like treating sweets as treats, not as normal part of your food intake.
    Live with less stress, go easier on yourself and on others.
    Smile. Laugh. Don’t wait for the right look to do that.
    And if you are suffering from an illness – do not take that as a punishment for a look that is not what society wants you to look.


    • I follow both of those blogs, Fran. I read HAES years ago, and then began dieting again anyway and lost sight of the practice. After several more cycles of yo-yoing, I’m now convinced this is the way to better health. I want my body to carry me well through the next 40 years and treating it lovingly, instead of as a battlefield, makes sense. It’s very difficult to turn off the old soundtrack, however.


  • You go, girlfriend! šŸ™‚

    I have done some yo-yoing myself and just yesterday I said, “I gotta get down one size.” F that. Today I’m going to enjoy the day in this body size right now. Thanks for the reminder.


  • Ella, as long as the body you have been given is healthy and strong, and youu learn how to LOVE that body, that is all that matters. What anyone else thinks is not important, because let’s face it. Most people point fingers or judge, or gossip. Those people are not where it’s at. Your own Heart is where it is at. Listen to It, and you shall come to know, how to really care and LOVE you, just the way you are. (((HUGS))) Amy


    • Self love, taking very special care of ourselves, that’s where it’s at, Amy. And tuning out the negative voices. I think you’re exactly right–if you listen to your own heart, you can no longer hear them.


      • Right on, Ella. Listen to YOUR Heart and the guidance it gives you. She will NEVER lead you wrong. Your body knows what is best for you, no one else. I am so proud of you for realizing this. You are taking YOUR power back! Good for you! (((HUGS))) Amy


  • LOVED this discussion as I just left one where I was the only one objecting to everyone taking, and talking about, Aloe vera and Tummy blasting…Your discussion is so much healthier for the mind and the body. Thank you!


  • Right there with you. When I had time to do yoga 3 times a week, I was in great shape. When I worked as an assistant director of a huge daycare, I was in great shape (because I never sat down). When I was starving myself, I looked like I was in great shape. When I am not doing these things, I have GREAT abs that are nicely cushioned. I wouldn’t call myself fat (and neither would Hubby, thankfully), but I could drop 30 lbs and be much, much healthier. Maybe even 40. Thanks for sparking the discussion. I think I’ll walk today, too. šŸ™‚


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