Body Image

I was out with Jacquie a couple of weeks ago and we got onto a topic that seems to get wayyyy too much airtime as far as I am concerned, but as women it’s hard not to talk about our Body Image’. We both agreed we would do almost anything humanly possible to prolong the aging, sagging and weight issues that contribute to our body image. But there has to be some balance when dealing with your mind, body and spirit.

I’d like to think I will grow old gracefully, without any surgical enhancements or help along the way. (excluding anything that doesn’t involve injecting or cutting my epidermis) I have always been athletic and lead a pretty healthy lifestyle that I think will help me along the path of aging. I would prefer to be like Diane Lane as apposed to Joan Rivers. I may be comparing apples to oranges here but you know what I am getting at, they are on opposite sides of the scale when it comes to obvious procedures. And yes the age difference is also there. In the past, Diane has reportedly said, “It scares the s**t out of me. And I don’t relish the thought of people staring at me, trying to figure out what I’ve had done.” She also said, “I reserve the right to change my mind. Absolutely. I’m a female, that comes first.” I love her attitude, never say never!

Jake and I were talking about our own body images while en route to a party downtown with a bunch of size 2’s. When we entered ‘the keefer‘ we were greeted by Keith, my girlfriends husband. There was a glass bottom pool in the ceiling which was amazing and a great conversation piece throughout the night. The first words out of Keith’s mouth were “your not allowed to swim naked in the pool it’s off limits!” He said it like he thought I might have actually considered it! Twenty years ago, a huge maybe, if I had been shooting Tequila. Now, couldn’t even visualize it in my wildest dreams!

I reconnected with a couple of handsome guys from 30 years ago, Cam and Marcus, within 15 minutes it felt like no time at all had passed, certainly not 30 years! After catching up briefly Cam asked me if I thought he had changed, and if it felt like I was talking to the same guy? He believed that people don’t really change all that much over the years and I had to agree. I still saw the same handsome guys who made me laugh 30 years before.

The conversation eventually led to the pool which was hard to take your eyes off. It was like having an enormous lit fish tank with no fish right above you. I felt like a voyeur checking to see if there was anyone brave enough to take a dip. We started joking about how much money it would take in order to strip down and take the plunge. (keep in mind the pool is above you and seemed magnified to me) The anti kept increasing until it got to be ridonculous. For me it basically came down to body image. There are also specific things I would not do for money and stripping down at 46 years old in public with the lights on is on that list, sex and marrying are two more. Jacquie joked that she would if she could escape through a trap door out the back and not have eye contact with anyone in the room and then have her and her family relocated, hilarious! I giggle every time I think of her coming home to Gavin and explaining how she made a huge wad of cash while out with me.

No matter what way you look at it we all have some kind of body image issues that creep back into our lives at any given moment, this was one of mine. These guys had seen my body really young, not naked but close enough, spandex were popular back then. It would be hard to top that! After the joking stopped Cam told me he remembered me having body issues at 17! It didn’t really shock me, what 17 year doesn’t have issues about their body. What bothered me most was that I am finally comfortable in my own skin, which I believe happened shortly after turning 40, yet I was still putting out the impression that I was not. Why?  I am a confident woman who embraces her sexuality. Maybe out of my comfort zone being single again, revisiting the past? Body image is hard to change for women but absolutely necessary if its negative.

So you see by joking about not wanting to be seen naked swimming in a glass bottom pool only attracted more attention to my enormous size 8-9-10 (depending on my salt intake). Men don’t notice our flaws or imperfections unless we point them out, so don’t point them out! I learnt a lesson that night, I would NEVER talk negative about my body again! It only sets you up for a false insecurity that you bring upon yourself. Embrace whatever body you have, regardless of your size or shape it really is what’s on the inside that counts. Believe me even those perfect size 2’s have body issues that need to be worked on.

PS ~ I just read my “Gusto Post Card” and this is what it said: ” You know how wise people reach a certain point in their lives and realize it actually doesn’t matter what anyone thinks of them? They just sort of grow beyond caring about that, and they start caring a lot more about what they think of themselves? And then they decide they’re going to do what they want to do and be who they want to be and live their lives as they see fit and love every second of it? Well, that wise person lives inside of you. Let that certain pivotal point in your life be today. Your number-one fan, Gusto  And oh…Be you. Live Fearlessly! Timing is Everything!!!!

"Exploring the never-ending desires that fuel all life, while finding lyrical beauty in everyday happenings."


  • Rick

    Well said ! What a great way with words you have. I love it !
    It’s whats on the inside that contributes to our outer beauty in the first place. The healthier we are on the inside is what determines how people view us outwardly.
    Lets leave the fashionable , air brushed out deficiencies to those who are shallow enough to only care about what people look like to their own kind.

    P.S. Lets not let that stop us from staying healthy and working out though.

  • Bonnie Johnson

    I loved that Gusto postcard when I read it too!

    You just spoke horribly about your body to me over the phone this morning and I joined in to bash my own. WE HAVE TO STOP THIS!

    I might still take the plunge…how much is the wager now? We could do it together! Ha ha!

    • Tracy Westerholm

      Ya I know, K starting now! I would do it with you just to kind of revisit the past, I still can’t remember who was the 4th person at New Brighton Pool? Oh and then there was The University of Hawaii Pool with the gorgeous brothers! lol Thanks for the smiles that you have been putting on my face FOREVER ! xo

  • Janet

    2…4…6…8…who do we appreciate…NO-ONE! Body image…what a topic. No women (I’d say some men too) are happy with their image. Why does my size say if I’m a happy person, a good person, a kind person, a honest person, a loving person?….it doesn’t. When will we learn this? Well, I’m getting it…been a 12 for years now. I sometimes look in the mirror, or see a photo, and think whoah, who is that? It’s a ‘mindset’, my mind thinks I’m in grade 12, but I’m not…I am a 12! But, my life choices, lead me to this size, and I have learned that no one loves me less because I’m not the size 10 or 8 I was. I am no less “Janet” than I was 8, 10, 12, 20 years ago….Why do we think that someone will love/like us less??? Are we programmed this way? Ridiculous I say!

    Life is a lesson, and one of our lessons is to be happy with who we are. How we are…how we treat others. As a Mom though, how do we teach this to our kids? Really, I’ve heard it for 20 years…Okay , my lesson learned, but hers/his isn’t.

    I am learning this through life, and my friends, and kids. My friends don’t care if I’m overweight…they don’t love me any less… my husband still loves me even though after kids, I went up in size(s), tough one, but I ‘get it’. My lesson in life….those that will be there in the end…still are…So..My kids…well they are 1/2 Caucasian (some Indian, french, Italian), 1/2 Japanese…well, they have the best of both of us…are they beautiful..yes…are they good people….way more YES! There is a pride in raising children to be happy, confident, good citizens…but…let’s be honest…looks are part of it.

    Perspective…my children are cute. They have been told so…I want them to know that life is NOT about their looks. Jacquie said to my 9 year old this summer…”Rebecca, I bet you are as beautiful on the inside as you are on the outside”…and she didn’t know what to say. Me the 39 year old mom…didn’t know what to say. I never told Jacquie, but will now…WOW, I sure appreciate you telling my daughter that she is beautiful, without her thinking it was JUST about her looks. Which is something I’m sure you learned from raising your BEAUTIFUL children. It is a lesson that I take with me…our children are not only about their looks, they are about their personalities too. I/we work hard to make them good ‘people’. That is a struggle as people…children… anyone…our looks are our worth???Seriously…that is sad…as a society. I choose to see the good in people. I ‘challenge’ everyone who read this to see the good in everyone they meet. You know there is a ass or a beoch out there ‘just waiting to challenge you’.

    So…Tracy…as I enter my 40’s…YEP, BIG YEAR FOR ME 🙂 Can I say…from what I know of you in our brief encounter….No one loved you because your ass was fat…or not…your breastessess were gigantic…or not…you wore yellow and white stripes shorts in the 80’s or was it 70’s… you have 10, 20, 2 children…you are who you are…a good person…inspiring others, with Jake, and Bonnie…Good job, big…small…whatever you all might be…

    • Tracy Westerholm

      WOW Janet THANK-YOU for taking the time to write such a thorough reply I LOVE it! You made so many great points! Perspective is huge isn’t it! What grounds me each day is my kids unconditional love, they see the truth because they haven’t been brainwashed or had time enough on this planet to have learned behaviours that most have concerning what is ‘acceptable’ and what is not. They love you for who you are not your pant size! I went to ‘It’s Complicated’ the movie last night with some girlfriends (Meryl Streep, Steve Martin, Alex Baldwin) and I LMAO throughout the entire movie! At one point Meryl looked in the mirror and says “Oh God is that what I look like” and I just about lost it because her body image through the whole movie was EXACTLY how I imagine to be at her age! She is spectacular and a women who embraces her age at any age. She gave such a wonderful look into the future of how fun life can be in your 50-60’s! Thanks again for taking the time to ‘weigh in’ on this topic lol !! Tracy

      • jacquie

        I think the difference we feel now that we’re older is that we really do know size doesn’t matter (we’re not talking unhealthy size, though. that does matter but for a different reason)
        Yes, we know this on one level, but we still have so many issues around the subject that it’s never completely out of our lives. In weak moments I still think life would be perfect if I could get back into those smaller jeans still hanging in the closet. Then I give my head a shake and come back to earth and I’m frustrated that I still have so far to go when I thought I’d come so far! (Maybe I’m just cheap and can’t bare to part with anything I spent a lot of money on? lol)

        Janet, I grew up hearing I was ‘cute’ or ‘pretty’. That’s just a fact, I’m not trying to toot a horn of any kind here. I remember my sister always being described as ‘artistic’ and ‘funny’ and ‘clever’ so I never thought I was any of those things, just cute. It did affect my confidence over the years and I’ve had to work hard to feel good about my accomplishments. I NEVER just told my kids they were beautiful without adding some other validation in there. Or I left out the pretty talk altogether. I didn’t want them to define themselves by what they looked like, but instead by what they did.

        Svaha and Cheers! Tracy, love the topic as always. Janet, you are an amazing mother and your kids are proof of that. You both are making wonderful people!

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