In This Skin

Comfortable in this skin.

I’m not.  And I am.

I’ve gained weight.  Quite a bit.

I look at you and I don’t see your size, I see your sparkling eyes, your boisterous infectious laugh, your beautiful hair, your captivating smile, your heart, your elegant hands,  your adorable sprinkling of freckles, the bounce in your step, your sassy-ness; all the things that make you who you are, the things that endear you to me, draw me to you.

And yet.

And. Yet.

All I see, when I look at me… the excess.

I am completely comfortable in my skin, when I forget.  When the image in my head is the one that I believe.. the healthy girl who rocks the hour glass figure and is damn proud of it.

The girl with the strong legs, childbearing hips, curving waist,  powerful shoulders.

But right now.. that hour glass is more an hour and a half.. maybe two.

I want to be healthier. for me.

Tonight I watched a video by a friend and her husband and it brought tears to my eyes.  That’s love. That’s confidence.  She inspires me. I adore her.

She is one of the most beautiful people that I’ve ever known.  You can get lost in her eyes and her laughter and smile…magnetic.

I have a vision of who I am.  I am a cute, spunky, curvy woman… I always have been.

And yet right now… I’m not happy with my outside.

and I struggle.

I NEVER speak of weight, size, numbers or scales.

Because I have a daughter.  A beautiful, athletic girl who thinks that I am gorgeous and perfect and funny and smart and beautiful.

I do not want her to ever see me as anything but.  I do not ever want her to see herself as anything but.

However, I know that I need to be healthier, for her. For my son. For my husband, for me.

I want to put clothes on again and enjoy them.  I want to walk past a mirror and not have it stop me, and slam me back to reality.

I am not a size 6, I am not a size 8… I am a woman with curves and slopes and I love them; I want to get back to the me who loves them again.

My husband looks at me and runs his hands over my curves and I feel sexy, as long as I don’t look myself.

I want to look at myself and love my body again.

I want to rock my hour glass again.

I do not wish to be thin, I am a food lover.  I love to eat, I love to cook, I love to drink, I love to savor.

It is a struggle.  It is my own.

I want my outsides to match my insides.

Confident. Laughing. Strong.

I will do this for me.

I will do this for my daughter.

This is my gauntlet to myself.

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  1. I get this. I so do. I’m here too–I feel pretty good and then I look in that mirror and it’s like, whoa! who is that. I love food too and I am SO not wanting to be a waif, but yes, it’s a surprise when I see myself in the mirror.

    Thank you so much for writing this–I think we all need to know that we’re not alone in these things.

  2. I love you. I think you’re gorgeous inside and out. And I’m proud of you for wanting a healthier life for yourself and your family. You’ll succeed. I know you will because you are you.

    Counting the days ’til BlissDom…



  3. Well, just as the other commenters have said: I think most if not all of us woman GET THIS. And it’s so sad to me. 🙁 I am the exact same way. I have friends who are just like this too. I’m sorry that you don’t feel comfortable in your own skin right now… but I LOVE that your husband knows you rock! Now you just have to fully believe that too : ) *Hugs*

  4. I Love ALL of you. Inside and Out. You are a strong determined woman and I know you can do anything you put your mind to.

  5. Oh Rach. I am there. Or here. Or whatever. Here I am. You’re an amazing, delightful {I use that word rarely :)}, passionate force of nature. You are beautiful. You {and I, and the rest of the women of this world} deserve to be comfortable in your skin.

  6. You, my friend, are beautiful INSIDE AND OUT. What a shining example you are to your daughter….. I am so proud of the woman you are. Whatever you do, remember that one sentence – “I will do this for me”…. I will be right here cheering you on.

  7. I totally get this. Totally.

    My hour glass has become a 4 hour bowl…. I need support. I need a boost.

    If there’s anything I can do help you with your journey, to support you, to boost you, please let me know.

    You know, I love you more’n my luggage! :o)

  8. I nodded the whole time I read this, because I get this. But I also know that you are one of the loveliest people I’ve never met.

    Even if your outsides never match your insides as closely as you hope, please know that I (and many, many other people) love your insides to pieces. xoxo

  9. Oh honey, I get this one. I look in the mirror and all I see are flaws. I recently lost 10 lbs due to ridiculous amounts of stress, (I’d happily take those 10 lbs back btw) I still look in the mirror and hate what I see. And here I thought, “if only I could lose those 10-20 lbs, I’d look at myself in a whole new light.”. Not true. Get healthy, get fit….but fix the way you look at that girl in the mirror because she is beautiful, witty and smart, and above all, a good mom and wife. The girl you see in the mirror deserves that respect.. I’ve been working at it, trying to see what’s good, and happy to report after months of talking myself up a little, me and the girl in the mirror are making some progress.

    Now if my skin would stop breaking out, she and I could have a real love story. 🙂

    Love you sweet girl.

  10. I love you just the way you are. I love me just the way I am.

    But. But. But I want us to be healthy and strong.

    We can work on that.

    Love you babe.

  11. This is EXACTLY how I feel. Working at it though and ignoring scales and mirrors!
    Good luck!!! You can do it!

  12. Girly, you are so beautiful and amazing and vibrant.
    But I know how it feels when there’s a disparity between reality and your self perception. It’s difficult and painful and makes you your own enemy.

    I’m all about health and being active and all that stuff and will cheer you on as you strive to be healthy so you can be around being awesome and healthy for a long long time.

    Love you.

  13. I threw out the scale a long time ago. Then, my husband started a diet plan bought one back. Learned my oldest girls (14 and 16) were weighing themselves and threw that one out with the trash, as well. I have always been very open with ALL my children about body image (the boy, too) still, the temptation to judge ourselves (harshly) by someone else’s measure is just too great. It is a battle. You are worth it, my friend!!!

  14. I so relate to this one, Rach. I have been struggling all fall to take off the “book” weight, but I have been trying to do it in a healthy, reasonable way. No crash diets this time. No cleanses. Just trying to eat healthy foods and not binge too much. It’s slow. It’s laborious. It makes me cry when I can’t fit into my old clothes. But then I think … they’re just clothes. I’m still me.

  15. You are amazing, beautiful, stunning, and the most compassionate and loving friend ever.

    I know you know all that, your mind just needs to play catch up.

    It’s a process.

    We’ll all go through it together, it makes it less lonely.

    Thanks for making it less lonely:)

  16. I could have written this word for word. But you should know that when I see you, all I see is “your sparkling eyes, your boisterous infectious laugh, your beautiful hair, your captivating smile, your heart, your elegant hands, your adorable sprinkling of freckles, the bounce in your step, your sassy-ness; all the things that make you who you are, the things that endear you to me, draw me to you.”

  17. WOW! You just put into words what I have been trying to for…to long! Thanks for this.
    Came here by way of Audrey’s site. I’ll be lurking:)

  18. even though i must be the only person on this earth who has not had the priviledge of seeing and hugging those curves in person, i see your beauty as you pass by in my twitter stream… on my news feeds… You always make me smile. Now you it’s your turn to see that. Be you.


  19. I feel you so much on this, Rachel. I watched your friend’s video, too, and felt so much for her in her struggle. How brave she was to make that video!

    What you wrote is so much how I feel when I look in the mirror, too. I love my curves, but I want to love it when I look in the mirror, or see a picture of myself and not wince at how fat I think I look. I want to be healthier, for myself and for my family. It’s hard to make the time but I think I have to, so that’s my plan.

    Loved this post and your honesty.

  20. Love and encouragement to you Rachel…I want you to be happy with you, both inside and out, (and you are BEAUTIFUL) but I totally understand what a struggle it is to make sure we are the best proponents of self-image to our young daughters, especially. Whatever you decide to do I fully support you and encourage you!

  21. I adore you. So much. Funny thing is that for a long time, based solely on your old avatar, I thought you were a bit heavier than you are. I was all WOAH! LOOK HOW HOT RACHEL IS! when you uploaded new pics that showed you for her you really are. And, you’re hot. 😀

  22. I see such beauty and love when I see you.

    I need you to see that too. I’ve got your back baby, no matter the size of it.

    Beautiful post. (I could have wrote the exact same words for myself. You are NOT alone.)

  23. This is such a complicated thing. Because skinny and beautiful? Not the same thing. At all. But we also very much want to be comfortable in our own skin, and a lot of that comes from being healthy, I think. But healthy and skinny? ALSO not the same thing.

  24. If you want to lose weight do it for YOURSELF and not anyone else! I lost 23 pounds last spring and have gained back 4. I am now in the process of losing the 4 because I love being able to wear attractive clothes and I like what I see in the mirror. I alos am pleased with low blood pressure and eating healthy. GOOD LUCK!

  25. You are nothing but pure gorgeousness and love in my eyes. AND, I can’t wait to set my eyes n you again in January.


  26. Oh Rachel! This post totally spoke to me! You are a beautiful woman with curves. Weight has always been a struggle for myself. Your words are inspiring. Thank you for always being supportive and sweet!

  27. I already posted this on your FB, but just wanted to reitterate it….. Now, let’s have some creamy poblano soup and call it “worth it”……………. Heart You!

    We all have our own perceived flaws — but they are nothing compared to those who lack the insight to see the obvious ones others see and experience. You, my friend, are gifted, talented, giving, loving, nurturing and selfless…. Never forget it is what is inside you that counts …. It is your strength and character that will always shine through whether 30 or 80, whether size 8 or size 18, there was a time when being a voluptuous woman was something most listed for…. God made me and you how he wanted US to be and gave us the strengths we have to help others who are not as fortunate… Rejoice that you have food to eat, a hubby that digs your curves and children that will strive to be and search for life partners with that which you provide to them! I don’t see size…. I gave that up long ago, when being a mommy was more important than a size 10 pair of Rockies! 🙂

  28. Totally have this same reaction. I also believe that healthy is the key. Have lost about 10 lbs just reducing portions and snacks. Then there was Halloween and 10lbs of candy… 😉 Today wasn’t my finest hour.

  29. What a beautiful, intimate post. We all struggle with accepting our *exterior* selves. If you are fit and healthy, maintain an active life-style, eat a good and balanced diet then it does not matter if you have extra curves etc. Size 6, 10, 12. 14 or 20, etc. If you are in good health then that is what is most important.

    Your self-esteem should come from knowing that you are a good person who cares about others and expresses that through her actions. When you look in a mirror, look deeper and see what others see, you from the inside. The more often you do this the easier it becomes to love and accept yourself as other already do.

    You are a beautiful woman. The size of your heart has determined that not the size of your clothes.

  30. This is a wonderful post, and how it resonates with me. I have two daughters, and I understand this battle well.

    Hang in there. You *are* a beautiful woman…inside and out.

  31. I’ve been simmering on this post for a couple days now. I really appreciate it for many reasons. A lotly I wish I could just get to this place. I think I do and then I find that I am totally not comfortable. I keep telling myself it’s temporary, when I finish breastfeeding I almost always lose weight but I am starting to feel skeptical and kind of down about it. But this post was a hug for me.


  32. Oh, sweet Rachel. We all have our issues, no matter the size. I know where you are coming from in trying to get the right message across to your daughter. I want my girls to know that I work out for me and my health-not to fit into some size. I want them to know that being active is important and its part of our life but it is not because of weight. It’s because of queso! Just kidding. Good luck as you get to where you want to go-whatever that looks like.

  33. There’s so much to say here. Me personally, I’ve struggled with weight issues all my life. It seems at 35 I’ve finally found a pretty “happy” place in regards to them but for me it started with drastically changing my eating habits and keeping an exercise routine. But, I will still never be what our society deems as the “right” size. And I’m good with that.

    I watched Brittany’s video and I was applauding her for getting her husband in there to say she’s all good because mine would say the same.

    I’ve not seen you in person (still kicking myself for missing you at BlogHer last year) but I’ve seen you here and I know that you are gorgeous inside and out. I hope you are on your way to your “happy place” too my dear. xo

  34. Wow what a post! It’s funny I am super comfortable, happy and confident but sometimes, usually with tall/full length mirrors when I pass them I cringe. I am working on getting healthier, I will always have curves and love them but the little extra has to go!

    I think you are beautiful, inspiring, funny and amazing! Do what you need to do to be healthy but remember you are always beautiful and you are what you feel you are!


  35. I’m glad you don’t talk about numbers and weight around your daughter. That can be dangerous. The good news is the internet needs more healthy foodies! Desperately! I’m going to put my Mamavation hat on for a second and say that I think the best thing for you to do is take some small steps toward healthy living and master those steps. Then tackle some more. DON”T overwhelm yourself no matter what you do because that is a recipe for failure. I’m glad you love food. So you have two choices: 1. eat less or 2. make your meals less calorie and fat filled. Either will work. But I would LOVE to see some comfort foods given a healthy twinge come from this blog. 🙂

    Oh, and MOVE YOUR ASS more! LOL

  36. I hope this comment comes out the way I mean it to come out 😉

    You could lose 50 or gain 50, but your weight would never be what I see when I see you. I see your smile and the way you glow with warmth and friendship to those around you. I totally understand as the mom of 2 girls what you are saying and I think it is important to be healthy, but your spirit is a gift to everyone you come in contact with. It doesn’t matter if the package that spirit comes in is a size 2. I am blessed to know you.

  37. I think you’ve touched a nerve in so many of us, especially those with daughters. Being okay with not being a size 6, but still not feeling quite ourselves. Wanting to feel better and be healthier for ourselves, but not wanting to disparage the bodies we’ve been given in front of our children. Wanting to be at peace with our bodies, but not give up all of the pleasure good food and drink brings. Thanks for writing this. You are so beautiful inside and out.

  38. A beautiful poem. Most of us struggle with our body image as we get older, yet our loved ones think we’re as beautiful as ever. Or sometimes even more. Its hard to accept the changes. And more important,hard to not voice our concerns when our daughters are listening.

  39. Sorry about the partial comment…on hubs laptop & it hates me. Okay back to it…..

    Beautiful, beautiful post! I think every woman, no matter what size, knows exactly what you speak of. I am slim but I still feel the pressure to be thin-er, pretty-er…it’s death by the ‘ers! I applaud your decision to get healthy. That is what I’m focusing on these days. I do bootcamp and I love it. I haven’t really lost any weight but I now have….muscles! I can now do pushups….I’ve never done pushups! That has helped me quiet the voice in my head that starts on the “need” to be……

    Keep up the great work & keep up the great writing!

  40. “I am completely comfortable in my skin, when I forget. When the image in my head is the one that I believe.. the healthy girl who rocks the hour glass figure and is damn proud of it.”

    Tears in my eyes because boy, do I get this. I’m HAPPY with myself (which is a big deal for me and a long time coming), as long as I don’t allow myself to stop and think, to linger too long in the mirror, to look at myself as a whole instead of a body part or two that I find acceptable. I know I’m so much more than my size/shape/weight, but it’s damned hard to remember that sometimes.

    *big hugs*

  41. I hopped over from Miss Britt’s blog. I love your attitude and your energy. If you look on my blog you’ll see that I also said

    “I want my outside to match my insides.”

    We just want to be exactly who we are meant to be, right?

    ps I’m new to blogging and don’t know how to make a link for Miss Britt’s blog. I’m getting to the bookstore today to learn more!

  42. Ahh, great post. Such a common struggle. I’m still close enough to my standard size, that I can wear a lot of my clothes, but I tend to rock the elastic waistband–and I know I’m enough over right now, that jeans would be uncomfortable. ;p
    Best Wishes for greater health & happiness. 😉

  43. I feel very much the same way, only worse…I don’t feel sexy or confident when my husband touches me. EVER. I feel self conscious and huge and ugly. Ugh. What I wouldn’t give to feel better about myself. Your post was lovely and very much needed.

  44. I thought you were beautiful when I saw you at Blissdom but I wasn’t brave enough to speak to you! lol.

    I’m trying. At 5’0, I’m not a 8 or a 10 or…..well, let’s not get into that. If this weather ever breaks, I’ll be hitting the pavement with a $15 MP3 player and some new shoes. Walking. Cause I ain’t no runner! I just want to be more fit. It’s not about losing weight. Its about getting that confidence back. My husband is forever telling me not to hide, not to cover up from him, that he loves me just like I am. Now its my turn to.

    1. Oh Carrie. I wish you had. I promise it takes no bravery to speak to me! I’m a silly goober and I adore people and new faces. I hope next time we’re near each other you say Hi!

      <3 You can kick butt, woman, and take your husband's love - you're blessed to have it. <3

  45. I haven’t read through the comments but I bet so many of them are saying what I’m thinking. That I adore this post. That I wish I could hug you (in the ‘no, we haven’t met so I hope that doesn’t sound creepy’ kinda way). And that you’ve captured exactly how I feel, too. Kudos to you. I’m in awe.

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