Monthly Archives: August 2012

i’ll have curves with a side of bones, please. hold the cellulite.

Well, readers. I’ve got some good news and I’ve got some bad news.

The good news is that it seems as though the outrage against society’s “thin ideal” is finally being recognized. Magazine photo editors have finally gotten the message and have stopped Photoshopping images of women down to impossibly skinny frames.

The bad news is that instead of Photoshopping women to look skinnier, now editors are adding fake curves. According to the lovely ladies at Beauty Redefined, curvy is the new skinny, but only in places curves are “allowed.”

Sigh. SO CLOSE, YOU GUYS. SO CLOSE AND YET, SO FAR.

Seriously, people? The problem isn’t that images of women have been manipulated to look thin. The problem is that images of women (and men, for that matter) are being manipulated at all. I’ve been dying for magazine photo editors to get this through their heads and with this new revelation, I feel like I’ve spent the better part of my life begging my parents for a puppy, and they just finally agreed to get me one. Only they came home with a beat up Pound Puppy they found at the local Goodwill and hoped it would pass.

And so. Here we are again singing the same song reinforcing the idea that one body type is better than all the others. Where it used to be impossibly skinny, now it’s impossibly curvy; that is, thin all over except where curves are acceptable (boobs and butt, essentially).

As someone who falls in the “curvy” category (or plus-sized, if you can believe it) I’ve always wished that I could have this exact body type — thin everywhere, but with killer boobs and a butt. But even when I was starving myself into misery, I still had the body type I do: curvy, even in the spots where it’s not acceptable (bigger arms, bigger thighs, and so on). I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a conversation with another girl about how we wish we could switch body parts with each other so we could fit the ideal.

ME: Ugh, I hate how big my boobs are. I wish I was skinny all over like you.

FRIEND: Whatever! I wish I had your shape and actually looked the way a woman is supposed to look!

ME: But we’re all ‘supposed to be’ skinny like you.

FRIEND: Yeah, but with big boobs like you!

I wasn’t born knowing that there is a “right” way to look and a “wrong” way to look. I was taught it from a very young age. Sadly, I was also taught that, thanks to Photoshop in the media, the “right” way to look is also the “impossible” way to look.

Either it’s being so skinny that you’d have to have most of your rib cage removed…

 

Or it’s extremely curvy, but only in the places that curves are accepted.

And if you don’t look like this? Well, it’s no one’s fault but your own because you’re the only one not working hard enough.

To learn more about this stupid new trend in Photoshopping, click here to read the article by Beauty Redefined.

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Filed under commentaries, eating disorders, Photoshop, psychology, rants, the media

things i love thursday! (august 30, 2012)

Pfft pfft pfft pfft.

Oh. Don’t mind me. I’m just brushing the cobwebs off my blog.

Each week gets away from me faster than the week before that. I hate it. I only have just over two more weeks until I go back to work. But at any rate, life rules, and here’s why.

THINGS THAT MADE ME SMILE THIS WEEK:

  • My little CK model.
  • Running into Emily all over the place!
  • One-handed nutritional breakfasts and snacks. Again, thanks Emily.
  • Sacred echoes.
  • Affirming lunch meetings.
  • Being able to let Dan have a full day with Dax.
  • Only being ten pounds away from my pre-pregnancy weight! Breastfeeding is magic, y’all. I haven’t exercised a bit.
  • Getting out of the house.
  • Visitors! Especially when they bring baby clothes and a toddler! (Yay Ashley!)
  • Buying “impractical” things for myself. (Read: clothes.)
  • Showing up to church tired and barely put together and having someone I don’t even know call me “gorgeous” for “just having a baby.” Psh. STOPPPP.
  • Special deliveries at the house.
  • Having a “usual order” at the coffee shop. And having the baristas know it.
  • Snuggling in bed with both of my boys.
  • Dax and Hamlet tag-teaming some cuddles.
  • Having curly hair. Yep. You read that right.
  • “Fuss-free” days with Dax.
  • Getting word that Becky bought us tickets to see FSU play this weekend!
  • Libby, for helping us out by babysitting!
  • Mary, for babysitting last minute so Dan and I could go out to dinner last night.
  • Peach sangria.
  • Catching up with Felicite FINALLY.
  • Dream-smiles (he’ll wake-smile soon, I KNOW IT!) and coos from my sweet boy.
  • “Stefon” on SNL: “It’s a hoomba. You know, it’s that thing, where a midget lays on a skateboard and rolls around your house picking up garbage.” OMG I DIED.
  • Gripe water.
  • Baby bath time.
  • Quiet car rides.
  • Having prayers be answered.
  • Sleeping long enough to dream.

What about you? What do you love this week?

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Filed under baby love, commentaries, faith, God, gushes, life

mirror, mirror…

I’ve always been obsessed with my reflection, in both good and bad ways. When I was a kid, my mom caught me smiling at my reflection in the mirror once, and I was so embarrassed. (Nowadays if I were to see a small girl do that I’d love it. I was mortified, though.) And now, if I so much as walk past a glass-covered building, my eyes automatically attach themselves to my reflection, usually for several seconds, just to make sure I still look presentable and am not walking funny or anything. I’ve even found myself having a conversation with someone while walking past my reflection and completely tuning them out while I ogle myself. Bleh.

This week, two of my friends sent me a link to the same story — the story of Kjerstin Gruys, a woman who avoided looking at herself in the mirror for an entire year.

You can read the story here but, in a nutshell, Kjerstin spent the better part of her life fighting an eating disorder. After years of therapy, she finally beat her ED. Later, she got engaged and began planning her wedding. While dress shopping, she found herself thinking the damaging thoughts associated with disordered eating and, rather than subjecting herself to the temptation to fall into old habits, she decided to avoid mirrors altogether.

Yes, even on her wedding day.

When I first read this story, I had conflicting feelings: first, I felt ecstatic for her. What an amazing, liberating thing. But then, I felt convicted. Ashamed of myself and my own addiction to my reflection and the fact that I didn’t think to do it first.

And I thought not straightening my hair for 40 days was a big deal!

When I got married, I got ready in a room with no mirrors (the church nursery). I distinctly remember feeling a sense of anxiety about not being able to give myself the once over before walking down the aisle. How silly — the happiest day of my life spent worrying about whether or not I look okay? (And, as if my Christian, children’s pastor of a husband even gave a crap? Let’s be real, y’all; I could have walked down the aisle in a paper bag and he would have said, “I do” anyway, so long as I took the paper bag off later. Blatant inferences intended.)

As a brand new mom, I haven’t had much time to look in a mirror, let alone analyze my appearance in one. Through this process, I’ve come to realize how truly fleeting and insignificant my looks are. This point was proven when just a week after delivering, one of my TV reporter friends (I used to work in TV news, by the way) was doing a story on breastfeeding and texted me to ask if she could come over to interview me. Without thinking, I agreed, and she told me she’d be over in 15 minutes. Then it hit me — I couldn’t remember the last time I’d brushed my teeth, showered, or changed clothes. And here I was, about to be filmed for television.

My apathy was amazing. You should have seen it. I only changed clothes and brushed my hair because I thought I was doing those in our viewing area a favor. I couldn’t have cared any less about my appearance because my new baby was happy, healthy, and fed. Oh, and I’d gotten to nap that day, too. (Priorities, people. Motherhood changes them.) My baby boy had become my mirror; the way he thinks of me — with blind love and dependence — is the way I’m learning to look at myself.

Instead of a new baby, Kjerstin focused on her new husband as her mirror. His thoughts about her were all she needed to engage with. In an interview, she said that, when he looked at her, he saw all the things he loved, not the things he wanted to change. And she wanted to look at herself that way, too. By removing mirrors from her life, she was able to look inside herself and see everything she has going for her. (Appropriately enough, her first dance with her husband was to the song, “I’ll Be Your Mirror”. How perfect, right?)

I’ve actually considered giving up looking in the mirror for Lent before. But I’ve never done it. Just like giving up social media, I’ve always assumed that avoiding mirrors would be “virtually impossible” so there’s no use in trying.

Psh. If one girl can do it for a year — the year in which she gets married — I can do it for 40 days. Maybe I will…

Thanks for your inspiration, Kjerstin! You truly are beautiful, inside and out.

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Filed under commentaries, Photoshop, psychology, the media, transformation

things i love thursday! (august 23, 2012)

This past week someone came into our apartment in the night and swapped out our sweet newborn for an inexplicably fussy one. Could be a growth spurt, could be colic. Not sure. But either way, there have been lots of tears in the Durrenberger household over the past several days, which says a lot since Dax isn’t capable of producing tears yet. So please excuse my extremely late and sadly short TILT list. (But hey. At least I did one, right?)

THINGS THAT MADE ME SMILE THIS WEEK:

  • Sleep.
  • Saturday Night Live on Hulu Plus.
  • New pants.
  • Being able to see some friends play a rock show.
  • Eating oysters and drinking beer.
  • Shopping for “non practical” things.
  • “Coffee with Moms” small group.
  • Hot showers.
  • Being hounded by Shelby and Josh to post a TILT list.
  • Having lunch and dinner with so many friends.
  • Being taken care of by my sweet husband.
  • My “usual” latte.
  • Cook outs.
  • Seeing Stratton!
  • New pregnancies.

What about you?

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Filed under gushes, life, reasons my husband rocks

check out that sweet bod.

I really love this graphic. I’d seen it before, but a friend posted it on my Facebook this week and reminded me of its existence. It says so much while saying so little — look at all these delicious fruits, whose shapes hold no bearing on how nutritious and yummy they are!

When I first saw this, that’s as far as my brain took it. But after seeing it again this week, I’ve since gotten a new perspective. Even food isn’t safe from being scrutinized for its appearance.

Much of the world’s food is thrown away for not “looking” appetizing enough. Grocery stores are chock full of genetically modified fruits that are designed to be bigger and better looking than their natural counterparts. We’re conditioned to think that because a fruit looks smaller or different from the “perfect”, blemish-free genetically modified foods, that they must be less fresh, less tasty, or less nutritious, while the reality is that the organic ones are actually better for you.

I don’t really need to draw the connection for you. I’m pretty sure you’re smart enough to do it yourself.

BRB, gonna go catch up with the tomato in my kitchen about how my mid-section is too squishy and ask it how it got so taut, while simultaneously offering it advice on how to reduce skin redness.

Peh.

 

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Filed under commentaries, food bytes, life, rants

things i love thursday! (august 16, 2012)

My baby boy is four weeks old today! They grow up so fast, don’t they? Ha. Anyway. This week has been great. Here’s why…

THINGS THAT MADE ME SMILE THIS WEEK:

  • Taking Dax on excursions.
  • Sleeping at night (even if it’s only in 2 hour increments).
  • Snuggles.
  • Sweet Emily coming over and making dinner for us, washing our dishes, falling victim to Dan “forcing” her to eat Marble Slab, and holding my baby WHILE giving me a massage. (Seriously. This lady is talented!)
  • A1 sauce.
  • Onion rings.
  • Having Hamlet sleep with us each night.
  • Bath time!
  • Discovering (and then watching the entire series of) “Up All Night”. YOU GUYS IT’S MY LIFE. SERIOUSLY. I AM WATCHING CHRISTINA APPLEGATE AND WILL ARNETT LIVE OUT MY LIFE kind of.
  • Sweet texts from friends.
  • Mail! Lots and lots of mail! INCLUDING international mail! Baby Dax is sporting some sweet London swag, y’all!
  • Tori visiting from out of town!
  • Being encouraged by my husband via Twitter.
  • Catching up with friends on the phone, even if it’s long overdue!
  • Having friends over for lunch.
  • Blowing through Mad Men.
  • Returning to bible study! And bringing Dax! (He was so good!)
  • Buffalo chicken and grilled cheese.
  • Meaningful conversations.
  • Meaningful conversations… with my cats.

What about you?

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Filed under faith, God, gushes, life, reasons my husband rocks

eat your heart out, girlfriend!

The days and weeks are all blurring together. I can’t remember the last time I wore real clothes or left the house. (Sunday? Was it Sunday? I think it was Sunday.) But each and every moment I spend with my little boy (even the screamy ones, though I have to admit, at a lesser extent) is precious. And hey, who cares, right? I have Netflix to keep me company.

EXCEPT WHEN THE INTERNET AT OUR APARTMENT DIES AND THEN I DON’T. [sobsobsob]

What did new moms do back in the 80s, huh? No Internet? No Netflix? HOW DID THEY SURVIVE?

The first time our Internet died (it’s been dodgy for the better part of a week) I was pretty cheerful about it. “OH! My baby loves to hear my voice,” I thought, “so I’ll read to him. Oh, and BONUS! I have to read all these ‘new mom’ books anyway so why don’t I read THOSE to him and kill two birds? MAN, I’M A GENIUS!”

So I picked up The Girlfriends’ Guide to Surviving the First Year of Motherhood by Vicki Iovine and started reading it to my newborn. I actually finished it in about two days. And bless my son, he was so entertained, even though I could tell he didn’t give two hoots about the subject matter. (I can hear his little thoughts now: “Breast pads? Post-natal incontinence? Mommy, why do I need to know about these things?”)

I really liked Iovine’s first book, The Girlfriends’ Guide to Pregnancyso when a friend of mine loaned me Iovine’s book on motherhood I was really excited to read it. For the most part, it did for me what Pregnancy did — told everything about motherhood to me straight, even the not-so-happy parts. I love Iovine’s “no nonsense” take on all the crazy bizarre things that happen to women during and after they gestate. I was all about to give The First Year of Motherhood my hearty approval until I came to a chapter entitled

I Want My Old Body Back!

Even though I’ve already made peace with the new body I have, I wouldn’t mind being able to wear my pre-pregnancy jeans again (mostly because I’m cheap and the thought of me buying new pants makes my wallet cry). So I read on. Because this book is written from the point of view of my “girlfriend”, I expected good ol’ Vicki to tell me, “Hey, girl, it’s okay. You’ll get your old body back naturally and healthily. No worries, girl. For now, focus on nourishing that babe!” Because that’s what I’d tell any of my girlfriends.

I’ve decided that, based on this chapter, Vicki is not my girlfriend. Check out some excerpts:

Eat Only One Meal a Day. Relax, I didn’t say eat once a day. In fact, I think you should eat several times a day, but only once should you sit down and tuck into those three-coursers that were so much fun during pregnancy…

To avoid feeling cranky and deprived, always include a food that my Scottish friends call “fuller”: you know, something that makes you feel full and satisfied. A light pasta, roasted potatoes, rice or a piece of bread are all good “fuller”.

At least once a week, make a big pot of soup to eat at those other times when your body thinks it needs another meal.

You know what that sounds like? That sounds like an eating disorder to me.

When I was knee-deep in disordered eating, those are the kinds of thoughts I’d have: “To avoid feeling deprived, I’ll do X. To trick my body into thinking it doesn’t need more food, I’ll do Y.”

WHAT?

You know what’s happening when your body “feels” deprived or “think it needs another meal”?

YOU ARE DEPRIVED AND PROBABLY SHOULD EAT ANOTHER MEAL.

For the past week or so, I haven’t been able to eat but one meal a day. Because my baby boy loves me so much (let’s go with that as the reason) he won’t let me put him down. So while Dan is away at work all day, I am literally doing nothing but holding, rocking, and nursing my baby. Even if he is as comatose as someone who is actually in a coma, the second I lay him in his bassinet he wakes up and screams bloody murder. Therefore, when my husband gets home, I practically throw our child at him so I can eat something.

You know what that’s done to me? Nothing good for my figure, that’s for sure. And what’s more, I believe it’s diminishing my milk supply.

At the end of the chapter, Iovine kind of comes back around to say that even though your body will never be the same again, the new you is a “better” you. But I feel like limiting myself to one meal a day is doing nothing to make me better. From what I can tell, it’s making me worse. I’m crankier, more tired (if that’s even possible), and my baby is feeling the effects at mealtime.

So tonight, Dan and I made an agreement that he couldn’t leave in the morning until I had a for real breakfast. Like, with protein and stuff. So that even if I have to wait until he gets home to eat again, at least I’m not starting out on E.

In related news, I’m still jiggly and boy do I WORK IT.

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Filed under eating disorders, food bytes, life, psychology, rants