Blogher, body image, Jimmy Choo, Letter to my body, Monolo Blahnik, self-esteem

Dear Body, I’ve been meaning to tell you…

I visited a women’s online community for bloggers called Blogher. There is a theme going on called “Letter to My Body.” I thought this might be terrific fodder for a blog post, so here is my letter to my body. Stop by Blogher and read other women’s letters and maybe you’ll be inspired to write your own. Isn’t it time you had a heart to heart with your physical self?
Dearest Body,
I’m so glad I finally have the chance to tell you how I really feel. You have been with me through thin and now, thick. Although thick is not my preferred size, I am grateful that even now, at this late stage, together we have maintained a healthy balance both physically and mentally.

Even though most women desire to be tiny, I am grateful to you for being larger in frame. Because of your plus size skeleton, we’ve been able to birth five babies like a pro. We did it so effortlessly, even Dr. Bromberger told me (after the speedy, bare-handed delivery of#4) I was made for having babies. Now,we know all women are physically designed for making babies, but, we were really made for the job. Lucky me. Thanks to you, I bounced back from each delivery quickly, feeling peppy and deliriously happy with my new baby. Believe me, at a time when you’re passing an 11 lb baby naturally is the time you thank your lucky stars you have hips like battleships.

I want to tell you how delighted I am that we’ve stayed healthy even unto now. We’ve had normal blood pressure, low cholesterol, and healthy breasts with each mamogram. We’ve been able to manage quite well without taking vitamins and you always give me warning when a virus invades-suddenly, I can’t get enough sleep. Somehow, this helps us overcome what could potentially turn into a nasty cold or flu. I thank you for providing strong teeth. These pearly whites have endured the test of time and were even able to tolerate chomping on sweets for the last 35 years. Only one poor tooth has lost the chance at perfection by being terribly aflicted with multiple cavitites. That tooth will be getting crowned in May. What a royal honor for such a hapless tooth.

Despite my contentment with almost all of my physical traits, here are a few things I wish were different. For one, you have huge feet. This doesn’t make it easy to buy sexy high heels, you know, because shoe designers don’t usually make their stilettos in a size 11EE. Hmm. I wonder why Jimmy Choo or Monolo Blahnik refuse to make their designs in larger sizes. Don’t they think women with monster feet can be sexy? That really is too bad. They just don’t get it. If you remember, our feet used to be a size 10, since 5th grade (!!) up until the babies came along, then the hormones designed to help spread our bones apart in preparation for birth, never seemed to float the metatarsels back into place after delivery. Now our feet are larger and wider and seem like they’ll be this size forever. Something else that isn’t so wonderful is our chin-or should I say our lack of one. This is the one place on you that I would seriously consider changing with plastic surgery. How I hate the double chin factor. It’s awful. Things could be worse, but honestly, not much worse. And this metabolism…you have to work on this one. The weight just isn’t coming off fast enough, and I know you’d love it if there was less to lug around on a daily basis. So get working on it, okay? The last thing I would like to gripe about is our eyes. Oh, I love the color. They are a sea blue hue which I love, but, as you know, I haven’t been able to see 2 feet in front of me since the first grade. Why does it have to be this way? Our eyes are worse than ever now-and I can’t even see to read if I wear contacts. I need those funny reading glasses or it’s hopeless. I might as well learn to read braile.

After 43 years of being active, but never having a formal exercise program, you are aware I started going to the gym, to build up the muscles and to make the internal organs healthier. Losing weight is my secondary goal. What I want is for the blood pressure, and heart health to continue to be just as it has been-perfect. Sure, our shoulder joints crunch and pop and our right knee hurts when I work out. Sometimes it seems like you are working against the greater good by inflicting this pain on us. But I sweat and forge ahead in spite of it all. Are you trying to tell me something?

Thank you for maintaining strong bones, giving me regular periods, the ability to conceive at just the sight of sperm (when I was ready to conceive), and for the little invisible button on my back that seemingly grows this beautiful mane of blond hair that my husband says is by far my best feature. I hope, that down the road as we weather menopause together, you will somehow manage to maintain the quality and quantity of my hair. Even as the time ahead is bound to involve the exchange of blond strands for white or grey ones, I will embrace what ever color I end up with. I won’t dye it and try to hide the real me. I will be natural and carry myself with grace. More than anything you’ve kept us healthy and happy. I believe the positive attitude that emanates from a healthy mindset is what keeps us in sustained health, feeling energetic, and accepting of the changes ahead.

Despite the fact that this body is carrying around extra weight, I’ve been making a full fledged effort to not be disparaging about ourphysical imperfections. Sure, I sneak a cupcake in on occasion-but not often enough for you to go and have a heart attack over. All through my life, I was never one to take chances. I didn’t hang from the sides of cliffs, jump from planes, drink excessively or even smoke. I didn’t do the types of things that would put my life or my limbs at risk. I realized from a very early age, that you only get one life to live and I was not willing to take a chance at losing mine by doing stupid, risky things that could bring on an abrupt, early death. Not to mention the fact that most of my life I’ve been a klutz and generally speaking, klutzes can’t (or shouldn’t) take on the same kinds of physical challenges that more dexterious and graceful people do.

You have been a wonderful companion to me all my life. I wouldn’t trade you for a carbon copy of Cindy Crawford’s DNA. There is something just so special about the unique me. I have you to thank because, more than anything a great body is a healthy body and you’ve provided me with just that. How can I really complain? All I can say is, thank goodness turtlenecks are always in style. I think as time goes on, I’m going to need a closet full.

aging, menopause, middle age, self-esteem

I can see clearly now, to my horror…

Yesterday I was wearing some trial contacts all day with the hope that they will be comfortable enough to commit to. My desire is to finally chuck the eyeglasses that have become a part of my face since 1st grade. A few things happened after I suction cupped those babies to my eyeballs.

1. Everything looks larger to me, including my feet and my body. When I check myself in the mirror, I don’t look the same as I did before when I was wearing my glasses. Is it possible that eyeglasses can make things look smaller ? (I do have a super strong prescription.) Nevertheless, I’m not as small (haha) as I thought. And my size 11’s seem gynormous. My feet even look wickedly wide. GASP.

2. My glasses, I find, have masked diagonal smile lines that run from the outside corners of my eyes, right down towards my cheeks. I never noticed them so much as I did yesterday.

3. I can see so much clearer with the contacts and have confirmed what I kind of suspected-I have a crop of grey/or white hairs replacing my blond. Oh my gosh.

4. With the contacts, I can’t even read small print. With my specks, I had no line bifocals, and was able to read somewhat naturally. With contacts, I have a blaring reminder that I’m frickin’ going blind and getting old, too boot. In order to read anything, I have to wear +1 reading glasses, combined with the contacts. I’m already scouting out those chains that will hold the reading glasses around my neck. My husband said I looked cute, sitting there reading with my +1’s and looking out at him over the frames. Sounds like I looked like an old bat to him, doesn’t it?

Okay. Deep breath. I am aging. Surprise! Did I actually think I was immune to the wrinkle fairy? (Yep. I did.) I’m going to be 45 next week on the 27th. Yes, this flighty bird has just hit the window (er the mirror) and has realized she’s not young anymore. And as for the apparent magnification of my body, well, I guess the only cure for that is continued exercise and healthy eating.

(Here comes the pep talk. You know, I’m not gonna end this on a negative note. My job is to empower and lift up myself and everyone else who might be reading this and going through the same thing as me.)

As harsh a realization as all of the above is, to some extent I do welcome it. I definately don’t dread it. Sure, it would be nice to be young, sexy and whatever forever. But, that doesn’t match what’s going on in my brain. You see, pretty much all women, during their 40s suddenly get this amazing dose of self confidence and a wave of wisdom that hits us seemingly overnight. And if it hasn’t happened to you, trust me, you will not go unscathed. Where does it come from ? Physiologically, it’s a brain thing-A new stage in our life. But, it’s what I call a gift from the heavens. How incredible it feels to finally come into my own. For me, it arrived on my 40th birthday, along with my very first night sweat that so thoughtfully introduced itself that same evening. To console myself, I think back at how I enjoy the company of smart, confident older women. I see them as post menopausal mentors. I love how self confident some of them are-how they seem to be so sure in their shoes. They don’t even seem to care if they have wrinkles. After all, there are more important things to concern themselves with like learning new things, speaking their minds, and fostering relationships with their families and girlfriends. And who needs youthful looks anyway, when you can finally navigate through life on your wits alone?

I’m even thinking about my ‘older lady haircut’. Should I keep my hair long and let it go naturally grey, (which is where I tend to lean toward) or should I succumb to the norm of most older women and have a shorter, more mature style? For me, that would be a chance to try out the ‘stacked inverted bob’ that’s really popular right now. I love how it looks on other women, and when it’s cut right, it’s fantastic. I’m dying to try it, much to the disappointment of my husband who loves my hair long and tells me my face is too fat for short hair. (He is brutally honest, he is. Or is he just trying to manipulate me into keeping my hair long by poking jabs at my vanity?) Whatever. This confident gal will someday have the nerve to say, “Hey! It’s my hair. Listen here, grandpa, it’s time to let me wear it the way I want to wear it, for cripes sakes!” Something tells me I love him too much to be that harsh. After all, if he loves my mane that much, how could I be such a bitch?

I would like to delay the inevitible lines on my face, if possible. Lately, when I whisk my make up on, I notice my skin isn’t tight anymore. I’m getting a bit saggy under the eyes. Crap. So, I ordered the new Anew day time, night time and eye cream from Avon. I’m $80 in the hole, but maybe it will work magic on my face. I just want to help myself look better if it’s possible. That’s all. I just want to be a natural, unpretentious woman with smooth skin, long gray hair and a youthful mind set. I’m sure I will get to that “devil may care” stage in my mature years, but in order to get there, I’ve got to notice the changes in myself and mourn them just a little. After all, the face I used to see everyday is changing and that young girl is going away. I must acknowledge her departure and accept it before I can move forward. I wouldn’t be human if it didn’t make me just a little bit sad. And with any luck, that woman waiting just around the corner will be a new, more confident, wiser version of my old self that will accompany me as I march ahead on my journey. Now it’s time to pick myself up by my bootstraps, pinch my cheek and look forward. It’s just going to be us-me, myself and I no matter what-so it’s time for us to all be on the same page psychologically. I can’t change the future or stop the aging. All I can do is make the best of it. The recipe for that is to be positive and accepting, and make my life as stress free as possible. And that’s just what I’m going to do.

Oh, and as for the contacts, the verdict is still out. I haven’t found a pair that are comfortable enough for my right astismatic eye, that’s about as oval as an Easter egg. I just may have to stick to my old friends, the eyeglasses. They’ve never let me down, in fact they worked really hard to hide me from the truth. This time, however, I’m gonna get artsy looking frames that scream ”Self Confident Middle Aged Woman!” That way, I can read naturally and not have to scour the the Chicago suburbs for those silly neck chains.

Goodbye Em. Hello Emily. Onward.

body image, girlfriends, plus size, self-esteem, Sex and the City, women

I’m remodelling just a bit…

As you can see, I’m changing things again. This time, I’ve gone web shopping and found something that I think is the perfect ‘fit’ for this blog and has the feeling and essence I’m trying to evoke. It has a shabby chic vibe, and makes me feel put together for once. I love the vintagey pink with white polka dots-it reminds me of pretty pastel decorated cupcakes, and we all know I go weak in the knees at just the site of them.

If any of you know me by now, you realize that I can’t stand to have things stay the same. Once and a while, I even have to turn my living room upside down and rearrange it, or repurpose some element of my house with a new, more exciting line of work. I hope to keep this layout now. I will add fun, beautiful and interesting photos and promise some thought provoking posts every once in a while.

If you notice my banner, there within it is a quote from Carrie Bradshaw, that shoe loving single girl in Sex and the City. I thought it perfectly spelled out what my philosophy is very quickly becoming, and is what I’m trying to promote here at Blond & Blithe-be yourself and love you regardless of your size, or style. Find someone who loves you for your true self and surround yourself with people who love that genuine person you’ve worked so hard all your life to become. And if you do, well, that’s just fabulous. Don’t feel compelled to change anything to make yourself more acceptable or appealing to another person-let the real you shine through. I read a quote on one of Mary Engelbreit’s drawings recently, and it went like this: “Be yourself. Who else is more qualified?” Keep looking until you find someone who thinks you’re really groovy, despite your slightly annoying habits. It’s when you do, that will probably feel most comfortable in your life. That banner is meant to empower, and I hope everyone who reads it, gets positive meaning from it.

I have a couple friends who are attempting to change their entire body shape just to make themselves more appealing to the mainstream single males out there. It’s a lot of work to achieve those results, and there are no guarantees you will stay that way. In my opinion, it’s walking on fragile ground to make such drastic physical changes with the anticipation that everything we always wanted will suddenly fall in place by thinking, “if I could just…” Remember a while ago, I said make the mirror your friend? Find something you love about your body and focus on it. Who am I to tout this advise? I’m no professional, I’m just speaking from my heart and it just seems right. Don’t you agree?

I’m beginning to permeate gradual bits and pieces of myself through this blog. I just love it! It’s begining to feel like a perfect fit. This place gives me a place to channel my literary creativity, as well as be a pinboard where I can display photographs and other fun things that make my heart sing and excite me. Construction is almost over…then the real fun begins.