also like most women, my body has been a point of contention most of my life. i exist in a family of extremely physical people - my dad is a cyclist and before that used to run and hike like a madman. my stepmom kite boards and did yoga for years. both of my parents are extremely physically fit - skinny, tiny, slim, everything. and i, unfortunately, am not.
and i'm the first to admit it - my body ain't what she used to be, unfortunately. i was in dance class for 3 years in high school, loved it. but that was my only outlet for physical activity. yes, i do envy the body i had at 18 years old, and i wish i could go back in time to tell my 18-year-old-self to appreciate it. but even then, i hated my body because for some reason, i wasn't as skinny as the 'popular' girls.
the best part about growing is learning - and i still have far more of both to do. i need to learn not to let my family's comments about their concern for my health & self-confidence bother me; i know they mean it from a good place, which i appreciate, but i need to reassure myself that they love me not matter what size or shape i am, because i know i do.
there was a really great 2-part series on gala darling's blog recently about body image in the blogosphere. click here for part 1 and part 2 - you really should give it a read. one reassuring thing is that everyone has body image baggage - even the people you think are 'perfect' or 'have it all.'
i don't think any woman should ever look at herself and hate what she sees in the mirror. it shouldn't be about if you can fit into a designer's sample sizes or having the same body type as heidi klum. i am a believer in if you don't like something about yourself - change it. but: do it because you want it. lose weight if you feel that's what you need to love yourself. if you don't need to hit the gym 7 days a week to love yourself, then don't.