Sunday, June 10, 2012

This post may make me unpopular. . . Part One

This post may be make me unpopular with some people and may run contrary to fitness perspectives.   Conversely, my goal with Cave Princess is to be inclusive and accepting of all individuals interested in understanding their bodies.  With that comes the acceptance of different beliefs and different body types.  That is why I research numerous books and articles on different diet philosophies: vegetarian, vegan, paleo, raw, and allow all of them to influence my food choices.  Clearly there is no "one size fits all" solution to healthy living.  Consequently, my research is focused on best practices from a variety of resources.  Again, my objective is to share knowledge with those individuals who are pursuing their healthy living goals.     

I recently read a rant written by a particular woman who was experiencing insecurity from within the paleo community.  In short, she felt that people considered her to be not “lean” enough to represent a nutrition movement.  Initially, I felt connected to the writer.  After all, it is not easy being a girl; we have a ton of pressure to be petite and pretty!  As I read further I grew very uncomfortable with the scale and scope of her analysis. 

The writer threw around what “appropriate” bodyfat levels for women should be, and how women who go below a certain percentage (which happened to be rather high) might experience fertility issues.  You have to dip pretty far down into the low teens/single digits to stop menstruating.  How do I know?  Because I’ve been about 12-14% BF (measuring bodyfat is not an exact science-count on 2-4% inaccuracy) and my cycle was completely normal.  I chart my fertility consistently and found I ovulated on a regular basis as well.  Women don’t have to be 25% BF to be considered fertile creatures.  We should be applauding each other for reaching our goals!  Women can be sexual and fertile at various bodyfat levels.  I'm not advocating single digit BF levels; however, a woman can remain and lean and fertile! 
The subsequent comments at the bottom of the post were incredibly harsh.  "Real women have curves; men don’t like women with six packs".  Guess what?  I naturally have a six pack.  Losing fat comes from my stomach first- not my waistline, not my face, not my arms or legs,,,,, from my abs.  (Don't ask about my butt...fat loves to linger there!)  Am I not a feminine woman because that is where I lose fat first?  Why bash?  Are your insecurities so pervasive?  I follow various Facebook fan pages.  On one of those pages Cameron Diaz was featured.  I'm not a huge fan of Cameron Diaz, but women were bashing her for having "man" shoulders, muscular abs, and no boobs.  Really?  Is that where we are?  Insulting women for being too strong and lean?  Making fun of women that dedicate part of their lives to fitness?  Now women are either too fat, too skinny or too fit?  No wonder young girls suffer from distorted body images.

This is a picture of me (I just ran to the bathroom to take it).  It is the end of the day, I had some Greek frozen yogurt (cheat meal), and my stomach is bloated; I have been eating clean but not monitoring my diet closely and exercising sporadically this week due to my move to North Carolina.  My abs are still visible.  Does that make me less feminine?  I hope not!  




My daughters already talk about wanting to look pretty.  I heard my three year old daughter Brielle mention she didn't want to wear a particular outfit because it didn't make her look pretty.  I could not hide my tears.  This is Brielle eating one of my gluten-free paleo chocolate chip cookies during her last day of (three year old) preschool.  How can that precious little thing worry about being pretty?  I already monitor what I say about food and fitness around my children. 




We should be thinking about our daughters, our nieces, our granddaughters, our friends, our sisters when we judge and comment negatively on the appearance of other women.   I'm proud of my body, even my abs- though some may find them unfeminine.  Maybe one day I will be confidant and brave enough to share a picture of my least favorite part!  If you can't discern what that is.... scroll up and read again! 

Tell me what part of your body you're most proud of. . . I hope some of you will say your brain!

28 comments:

  1. Great post...but you lost me when you posted a pic of yourself and your abs? Why?

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  2. Thank you, Janey .... for your comment and honesty.... I wanted to show that I am proud of my body despite what others may deem beautiful. For years, I've been called too "functional" looking and "unfeminine" because of my body type. Sorry that message was lost in the translation. I should try to make the link between my picture and thoughts more clear :)

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  3. Kathleen O'MalleyJune 11, 2012 at 5:23 AM

    I think it's a great post for several reasons....(1) It made me reflect upon my own feelings toward my body and the conflicted feelings that I have had over the years in regard to my body and my image. I spent all of my teens, 20's, and 30's (thin) and with a very nice figure, healthy BMI, and healthy percentage of body fat. While I think I could have eaten more healthfully (more veggies and fruits), I looked good and felt good. But, I didn't fully appreciate my body then and how good I looked. It was only when it didn't come so easily (and I gained weight) that I realized I should have been focusing more on the health of my body and on a healthy clean diet; one that I could have maintained when I got older. (2) It made me reflect upon how we view women in society. It's like we are never satisfied (either too big, too small, too skinny, too fat, too muscular, etc). I agree it is a societal issue and that the only way to change that is to be confident and proud of your body (as I believe your blog consistently supports). In addition to that, your blog supports a healthy clean diet so that we can be "our individual best" whatever that may be. In my opinion, posting the picture that didn't show your face (only your abs) was to make a point which wasn't lost on me. I got 'it'. Bravo to you for feeling healthy and strong even on days that you may not have stuck to the diet that you'd prefer. You work hard to be healthy so that you can feel good about yourself. And, it's positive attitudes (like that) that will begin to shift how society treats and feels about women. Only we, as women, can change society's view. And, as a mother of your two young girls, it's a great attitude to project. They are being taught at an early age that healthy eating will result in a healthy body, healthy mind, and healthy spirit.

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    1. Kathleen,
      Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments. You made me feel really great this morning. As I sit here and type a response, little Bridget is kissing my arm and laughing at the picture of my belly. I created this blog not only for a creative outlet to share all of the knowledge I've gained through the years, but to hopefully be yet another reminder that we only have one body... we should love it, appreciate it, and take really good care of it!

      Thanks for the support.........

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  4. I have always liked my feet and my hair - sounds strange probably but it is true!

    Found you from the blog hop! new google friend follower, twitter, and pinterest. would love follows back

    http://cumminslife.blogspot.com/

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    1. Kathryn, I can see from your picture that your hair is gorgeous :) It feels so much better taking pride in ourselves! Thank you for visiting me. On my way over to you!

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  5. I like my heart...me from the inside out. I am not what you'd call fit and lean, rather fluffy is more like it. LOL!
    I'm a new follower from Monday Mingle. Thanks for visiting me, too!
    Huge green hugs,
    Pat

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    Replies
    1. Pat,,, that is so perfect! Loving yourself is the biggest battle. Thank you so much for coming by today :)

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  6. I think it is important for women to accept themselves regardless of shape and size. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder -- and my husband thinks I'm gorgeous, so what else matters? I also think that we, as women, need to be kinder to one another.

    I'm a new follower form the blog hop. I hope you'll drop by and say hi. :)

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  7. I love your abs!

    I saw your blog from Mom's Monday Mingle
    and now your newest follower in GFC.
    I hope you follow mine back. Thanks!

    http://www.momfashionworld.com/

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  8. My butt! It is the first thing I'm ever able to notice weight loss in and well, it's nice. I hate when women criticize others for being too fat or too skinny. None of us know what anybody else is going through, their personal challenges to a fit and lean body or what their health is like. There is no one size fits all. Being skinny or fat or in between doesn't make you less pretty. I am a firm believer that what's inside is more important, and that all good things come from within. If you eat well, exercise and take care of yourself, then whatever size you are is perfect.

    As for your daughter not feeling pretty, that breaks my heart. At three, how can she know? I think people are mean and we have to do our best to counteract that in our homes. Like you said, monitor your own comments. If they never hear us bashing others, then they're less likely to start-although you cannot help what happens outside your home. Like I said, people are just mean.

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    1. Heather,
      Ha! I love that you "love your butt"! So great :) Confidence is the key. I hope to instill tons of it in my children. As for Brielle,,, she is a little dolland still innocent! I don't think she understands the concept of "ugly" just yet. She knows people expect girls to be pretty, however. It bothers me greatly knowing that she already questions whether she fits into that societal expectation, but don't worry that little one has a ton of fire! Thank you for your kind words :)

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  9. Hi! I follow you on facebook and also found your blog on the Monday Mingle. I am def. obsessed with how I look..sometimes I feel like a big whale, sometimes I feel skinny. I know that my body image isn't the best, but I'm working on it.
    I followed you GFC. I hope you will follow me too!
    www.cassandrazcorner.blogspot.com

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  10. Jenny,
    Knowing you have body image issues is half the battle! I've struggled with my own throughout the years... I hope to spare my daughters and son!
    Looking forward to visiting you back!

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  11. Jealous of those fabulous abs, girl! I found you via the Mom's Mingle. I love your blog! I'm excited to be your newest follower! I'd love for you to follow me back at http://www.two-in-diapers.blogspot.com! :)

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    1. Cassie,
      Such kind words! Thank you for following my blog. I'm headed over to see what life is like for you with two in diapers :) I am a mother to twin girls, so I remember those days!

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  12. Love your abs, wish mine were more defined. I find my baby skin is the problem, stretched from four different pregnancies.

    Following you back on twitter. We should follow each other on GFC.

    One Chic Mom
    http://fabmom12.blogspot.ca/

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    1. I'd love to follow you on GFC, Iva. Your blog is so great! Four pregnancies will do it... my skin bounced back after my son but was forever changed after the twins. If you look closely my belly button is stretched out from a hernia surgery. Sigh... the joys of pregnancy :) But,,, you sure look fabulous in all of your fun and classy fashions!

      Krista

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  13. Great post, minus the "I have natural amazing abs".

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  14. Thanks for your honesty. It took me a long time to feel comfortable in my skin. I hoped to inspire others to appreciate their strengths despite what others might think about your appearance. :)

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  15. I have always suffered from body dysmorphic disorder - I can even pinpoint where it all started, sadly. Years and years of not feeling adequate - years of too skinny and then years of too fat. It is a daily struggle - :-(

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    1. Pamela,
      I feel your daily struggle... There are times I'm confindent and times I wonder how I can "preach" about health and fitness. I truly hope you find peace in your journey to optimal health...

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  16. Hi. Stopping by to say "hi" and "thanks" too for linking up with us at The ALOHA Friday HOP. I so love having your voice in the mix. And today, I am even more madly in love with your blog. I'm so grateful that you shared your perspective and that we can all be reminded of how easy it is to slip in to tearing each other down when really we are so much more powerful and beautiful when we build each other up.

    I hope many other women find you from the hop. This is a post that shouldn't be missed.
    xo,
    Nicole
    localsugarhawaii.com

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    1. Nicole,
      You have put the largest smile on my face. I love, love, love your positive energy! And,,,, ALWAYS enjoy catching up on your localsugarhawaii blog. See you next week!

      Hugs,
      Krista

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  17. Great post! You look great and you should be proud!

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    1. Thanks! It took so many years to feel proud:)

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  18. Wow, Krista. You're a force to be reckoned with. I've just spent the morning going through your blog and this post of yours really spoke to me. I'm not a paleo and I don't like the hard-bodied look on women but having lost 100lb over the past 18 months (with way more to go), I can only ever respect others who have found what works for them as I know first hand how difficult it can be. Girls should be supporting each other, not "chicken dinnering" (ie, picking apart) each other. It makes me furious that we still haven't evolved enough to understand that the world is filled with ALL types of bodies. Grr grr grr!

    Anyway, great post, great blog. Thanks for stopping by mine on the recent blog hop. I'm adding you to my reading list. :)

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  19. Ren!
    100lbs! Wow! What an inspiration you are.... many congrats on your success! Your comments mean so much to me. I'm so glad we linked up in the blog world :)
    Hugs,
    Krista

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