Wednesday, June 18, 2014


September, 1978
Freshman move-in day at Boston University

When I found this photo buried deeply in a huge pile of photos last week
my first thought could have been,
"Oh, how special! A photo with me and both of my parents!"
{other than my wedding day, not sure if there's another one}
My first thought could have been,
"Cool! Beacon St. back in the day. Look at those cars!"
"Wow, I remember that day so clearly. Moving into my dorm,
saying good-by to my parents,
on my own in Boston for the first time!"

If I'm going to be completely honest
my first thought when I saw this photo was
"Who in their right mind filled my head with the notion of how fat I was?"
"Who put that same awful thought in my mother's head."
That's all I could think about.
When a well meaning mom with her own body image issues
puts you on a 
{may I just say}
completely unnecessary diet
when you're eleven....
When you hear a rumor that someone in high school called you thunder thighs....
When you spend your childhood being told that 
you really shouldn't wear that cause you're not built like other girls....
What's a girl to do?
I mean seriously.
Makes me want to scream.

I'm 53.
I am no longer
guilt ridden.
And the voices of self loathing
have long since been silenced.
I have grown to trust myself.
To believe that I am loved.
And I own my journey.
A journey that,
in spite of this ever-present knot of pain,
has been filled with joy and love and crazy adventure.

So, don't feel bad for me.
That's not what this is about.
It's just about saying it.
Cause it's not something I love to talk about.
But I am talking about it.
The shadows that kept me hidden
and some of the demons that have convinced me I couldn't
be healthier
have lost their power.

To all who share this space with me,
I am grateful for your listening hearts.
You have given me more strength, courage and inspiration
than you'll ever know.

Stay tuned....

Joining Kim for Little Things Thursday
and Mama Kat's for her Writer's Workshop


  1. Many women have faced the eame issue since Twiggy came on the scene. If my mother and grandmother were alive they would roll their eyes at me. When I had my third baby my grandmother came to visit me one week out of the hospital, she said, You're putting on flesh, Jenny! Duh. Love your photos of all the kids. xo Jenny

  2. Ditto.....and how sad!! You are a really beautiful woman, then and now. Weight is a number, a number I don't even care to know.

    I don't know anyone more beautiful or the inside....and out!!

    Now stop, it did not matter then and it really doesn't matter now!! Shame on anyone who tells you it does!!

  3. You are beautiful. How sad that those thoughts were planted. You are you and that is all that matters. Love you, because you clearly are an amazing person!!1

  4. I'm so sorry you had to live with those untrue messages. Mothers really do have a powerful influence on how daughters see themselves and they can pass it on, for good or ill. I've already determined to never say anything negative about my body in front of my daughter. Even if I think it, I don't have to say it!

  5. UGH! I have the same memories....although mine weren't brought on by family, but by classmates. I, too, share the memory of being called "Thunder Thighs"! When I look at photos of myself I get so myself....for having let others control my thoughts of myself.

  6. I have to agree--why are we so self conscious and doubtful at the time in our lives that is the best? Little do we know how fast we will age, and yet I feel more confident now than I ever did in that brief window of time when I was young and thin. There is so much else out there to make us weak, I am very sorry you had it coming from so close to home as well. One of the things I want so much to avoid with my girls. You are a beautiful person, and it shows here with every post!

  7. I love the picture! But it makes me sad that it brings back such memories - yet I can relate to the haunting message you received in childhood. That is why I am so careful about any comment I make related to my children's appearance. BTW - I think you look gorgeous in the picture!

  8. Once again our histories are so similar. When I was as young as 7 one of my older brothers thought the nickname Fatso Fogerty was so hysterically funny for me. To this day I have no concept of my size whether I am at my most healthy or have grown (no pun intended) out of control. What I do know looking at my 7 yr old photos is that I was not fat then. Words can do so much harm. They can also do good too...which is why I stop by here so often!

  9. No, dear...that is not fat! You are gorgeous! It's so crucial for mothers to know that the little remarks leave lasting impressions to work through. I was always told I was too skinny, short, little, etc... It made me so insecure. Now, I embrace what God gave me and enjoy His design. Of course I still have little insecurities, but overall I feel free of old comments.

  10. what a great read - I love your blog! and I did not expect that coming when I looked at the photo - but well said - and cheers! <3

  11. The pressure that girls and women are put under - through media - makes me sick. It was bad when I was young (I'm 62 now) but it's even worse now. My students at school are slaves under the image of a 'perfect body'. It's so sad.

  12. You looked beautiful...and still are!

  13. A recent study showed that calling young girls fat often causes them to gain weight. People need to be kind to their children!

  14. All I can say is: Good on ya! You are truly beautiful.

  15. It is just too easy to fall into that harmful mindset, both as an individual and as a parent trying to raise healthy kids. We spend far too much time comparing ourselves to what other people look like. I'm glad you were able to break out of that cycle!