I read a few blogs about healthy body image. About wellness and health and I have a fair few weight loss blogs. There is often a discussion on these sites about healthy body image. I’m not even sure that most of us, me included, know what or how we would define healthy body image.

Go on, watch me try.

I read a biography about Marylin Munroe. About the clear and cut throat manner that she managed photographs and moving images of herself in the latter days of her career. This image is an image of the proof sheet after Marylin got done with it.

See what she did there? She would send photographs pages and pages that looked like this. The biography talks of her critical eye for perfection. For THE shot that would perpetuate the image. The superstar brand. But I’m not sure that it was always clear where she ended and the idea started.

I think all women have a degree of this.

Where does the idea of who we see ourselves as begin and where does it leave off? Are we aiming for size, shape and allure rather than health and well-being? Some days I would most certainly vote yes! To pull on a pair of sexy jeans and not feel like the top button was going to push its way through to my spine when I sat down would be a victory. I would be womanly and sexy and happy.

But that’s not real, is it?

You know who I love. Athletes. About a month after their big event. They are fit, healthy and somehow in tune with their bodies without the restrictions placed by their rigorous training schedules. That is a body to aspire to. Something to work towards and attain. A goal of health and well-being. But how does that relate to healthy body image?

How does any of this relate to feeling good about your body? Right now?

Well, I think the secret may just be that until you accept and stop resisting what you have, there can be no openings for action to have the body you want. And with the acceptance comes the thing that I, for one, crave most when it comes to my weight and health and fitness. I want to feel good. Comfortable. I want to love myself. To have acceptance. To feel grateful for what I have.

Maybe that is what is truly distorted. That we don’t have that. And someone, somewhere tells us it is ok. And that if we buy this, we will. If we were thinner, smart, richer, we would. Maybe that is the true downfall of body image.  This internal critic. Would you be as critical of a friends body as you are of your own?

Now… discuss!

  • toushka

    I have found I care less about how I look than my younger self. I did an ideal weight calculation thingo on facebook and it said I should be 47.7kilos!! that's ridiculous. That is about 13 kilos lighter than my actual goal weight and almost half my actual weight. I look back on photos of myself and I remember being that age and hating my figure but I'm staring at the photo and wanting to slap her silly because I would kill for that figure now!body image is so tied up in a whole bunch of other crap. It's exhausting really.

  • Bronnie and family

    Oh I'm my own worst critic! Aren't we all? At least now I'm doing something about it though, which is kind of a comfort whenever I catch myself picking on myself! Good luck with your journey!

  • Frugal wahm

    Over from the blog hop Great post I always enjoy reading posts on body image. Especially since I don't have a great one

  • Hmmm. Nothing to say huh. :oP

  • As a guy, this is hard for me to relate to. I am just happy if my gut doesn't hit my knees when I'm jogging.

  • CB – Hahahahaa. Boys. Love to think like them sometimes.

  • this is a fantastic post…you are spot on…my goal is to get healthy and toned but i admit that i often can be heard exclaiming over my butt being too big or my thighs being too flabby…And I am a naturally small build so weight is not really a problem for me. But body image obviously is….Great read, thanks for sharing

  • This is one of the coolest posts on the topic I have read in ages. You rock, Mel, and that you GET this means you WILL succeed in getting that feeling you want.I am currently a size 16.A fit, agile, supple, lush, blooming, glowing size 16 with a curvy arse and big boobs and a wasit to work on.I have lovely lady arms, but a sagging belly, still. (The saggy skin on my belly is the bit that I am never ever gonna feel good about. Kind folk tell me that it is because I have been pregnant three times in quick succession at an advanced age. I would also suggest it is a result of being morbidly obese for far too long. And the fact that my skin is OLD and that part of me can never "spring back". So I have to tuck it in where I can. How gross. Sorry!)Anyway, I am a goddess.When I eat well, drink lots of water, and exercise, and treat myself well, I feel good. Even if I lose no weight, being good to myself makes me feel "light".xx

  • I totally know what you mean about jeans cutting into your spine! I sometimes wear outfits to parties/BBQ depending on whether I will be sitting down or standing or even sitting down but hidden by a table or just sitting in set of chairs facing others….. as a pp said it is exhausting!

  • I think you hit it on the head when you said to accept and stop resisting …. you know the saying 'what you resist, persists". All very well to mouth the words though, but to do it, well that's a whole new shooting match. Time to just find something I like – hhmmmm, my dimples when I smile!

  • Great post. Absolutely with you on the athlete thing – that post afterglow they have in an interview usually a month after they ease up on the training. The key for me is to be relaxed, fit and healthy. I stress the relaxed part – not as in laying on the couch – as in relaxed with myself because I've worked hard, eaten right, exercised well, and enjoy the results it brings. I know you've been reading my running blogs, (thank you!), and I'm sure you'll find yourself out there running before you know it. Couch to 5k all the way baby! 🙂

  • Thanks for sharing ladies. I love getting to know a little bit more about you all every week.

  • Vicki

    Visiting from the blog hop. Love love LOVE this post!!!