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My thighs are flabby, and I’m trying to love them anyway.

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The other day on my Facebook wall I asked if people could have one wish, what would it be for. About 95% of you said you want to be skinnier, or be able to eat what you want and not gain weight.

I should also add that people wished to be richer too. I wouldn’t mind that either.

But as far as weight goes, let me try and help. Ladies listen up.

I want to tell you that you are just fine.

You want to fit in that swimsuit because online websites like E!Online post pictures like this one-

with a headline called ‘Bikini Body Wars’ and have viewers vote on which one looks better. Really? There’s mommy wars and now bikini body wars? Because I think it’s great to line up three women who look amazing all in their own way, and let the scrutinizing public pick which one ‘rocks a bikini’ the best.

Insert big eye roll. Oh wait, I just saw my brain.

The Girl made a comment to me in the car when I pointed out someone we know who has what I called, ‘a beer gut’ (he does like beer). She said, “well you have a mom gut.” Ouch.

That stung. I told her that I have a perfectly fine tummy that has squishy skin from having babies, but please don’t imply that I am fat.

I sat in the front seat facing forward and pouted a little. How am I to continue my own body love and try to encourage her to love herself, if she makes flippant remarks about my flab?

She apologized and said she was only joking. But it still hurt. Now this isn’t to get all down on Emma. She was just being a sarcastic teenager, which 90% of the time, we banter back and forth and have a good laugh afterwards.

But that particular moment, I wasn’t feeling it. I felt like crying instead. I felt like screaming, “I can’t be perfect, I can just be me!”

Later, she and I had a private exchange that ended in hugs and tears. She apologized again and told me how beautiful and chic I am. Which surprised me because I thought she thought I was a dork.

I told her that I’m always praising her wonderful body for the way it is. And it means a lot if she would do the same for me. That even though I’m older, my thighs are dimpled, my butt jiggles when I run, and my boobs look like sad, sad strawberries left in a food dehydrator too long, I still need acceptance. I work for how I look. I try to take care of myself and do things for my health, inside and out.

And then I realized, I need to stop describing myself with these words- flabby, jiggly, strawberries…

I think she saw me as a woman at that moment, and not just her mom. I’m hoping it was a breakthrough. This is when the tears came and we hugged it out.

I want us all to have these breakthroughs. To be forgiving of each other and ourselves. To know that if you are doing what you can to eat reasonably well, get in some exercise and look after yourself- you don’t have to look like Gisele Bundchen or Jennifer Aniston or Kate Beckinsale. Do I try to improve how I look? You bet. Here’s one way I’ve done it- read here.

I want to be sinewy and sleek. Toned and taut. But hey, I’m okay if I’m not those things. Remember this post about me in my bikini? Am I Fat?  I’m a little soft and squishy, but I think I look damn good.

I want you to say that about yourself too. I want you to look in a mirror and realize that you look damn good. Whatever you’re trying to change- if it’s for your health and strength- keep doing it. Great! If it’s because you think you need to because of what 3% of other gals in this world look like, then pause, and tell yourself how good looking you are right now in THIS moment. Not tomorrow. Not after your diet. Now.

And dear sweet Emma; you are beautiful now and you will be beautiful in 30 years when you have the same stretch marks and cellulite that I have. And I hope you have a child that tells you that you are the most wonderful woman who is beautiful inside and out, just like you told me that night.




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  1. Sadly, my oldest seems to always be ‘just kidding’. I try to impart upon her that sometimes what she says, even if only in jest, cuts deep and ‘just kidding’ doesn’t always suffice as a get out of jail free card. Sometimes I wish she’d understand how harsh her words sound to others.

    I’ve always had a ‘low center of gravity’ and try very hard NOT to beat myself up over it and to accept it, and try to explain how important a good self-image is to both my girls. Not always easy, but it’s necessary to teach them to love themselves for who they are, not how they look.

  2. Tears. Oh, the tears.

  3. sandy tabick says:

    TO focus on the ‘whole’ not just the parts is whats best for all of us…and the offspring will learn to do likewise…… there are all ‘sorts of shapes, sizes, conditions’ in this world that they see, so help them focus on the ‘whole’ person and which will help take the pressure off ‘the perfect self’ …..

  4. Thank you for this reminder – I think I’m getting better about this, but I’d like to get all the way there.

  5. I have a child, and she is beautiful inside and out! xox

  6. Oh, how perfect. I caught myself being mean about myself in front of my daughter the other day. It is not good, especially since she LOVES the fact we look the same. Thanks for the reminder and I love how your story played out. How sweet and beautiful. {Oh and you ROCK that bikini! I am impressed!!!!}

  7. Love this post. I will never again rock a bikini but I’m okay with that. I’ll take my girls over a taut tummy any day.

    Oh and BTW – you look fab!!!!

  8. Yes! We must love ourselves now. Before the diet or before those last 5 pounds come off or whatever that arbitrary number may be. Not only for ourselves but for our daughters. Love this.

  9. You, my dear, (even if you weren’t a knockout) are so beautiful on the inside that it radiates outward. THAT is real beauty. Ellen

  10. I’m with Ellen of Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms on this. You’re definitely rocking your own bikini! And what’s more, you’re incredibly nice and generous, which I’ll take over toned biceps and belly any day. I’m so glad you made a point of “catching” your own words for describing yourself. We are our own worst critics and we permit ourselves to use language to describe ourselves that we would never use (or think) about a friend. How much better we might feel about ourselves if we stopped behaving like “mean girls” TO ourselves.

  11. You made me cry. Firstly, you look amazing. Healthy, curvy, strong, happy. Secondly, thanks for reaffirming for me that I’m doing the right thing by only talking about my body in a positive light. And when my 3yo daughter stares at herself and pulls faces in the mirror, asking if she’s “pretty,” I tell her she is beautiful – on the inside, where it counts. I tell her it’s fun to get dressed up and feel pretty, and yes we exercise and eat healthy because we want to be healthy – but not because we’re trying to look a certain way. Sometimes I feel like I go to the extreme in this regard, so submerged in “princess culture” are we parents of girls… I actually feel stupid talking like that to a 3yo… but I’m not going to fawn all over her with praise for her beauty, which is really nothing but an accident in genetics, and an arbitrary definition imposed by society. Good for you for setting your daughter straight and having that beautiful moment with her. My tears are only now drying.

  12. This was beautiful, sweet, funny and inspiring all at once. You are gorgeous, lady. And I love hearing about how open and cool you are with Emma – you are obviously really good friends. I hope I can be like that with my little lady when she is older.

  13. I don’t see much difference between you and the ladies above! Keep in mind they are likely miserable from having to make sure they stay looking like that forever.

  14. Good for you! I struggle with this all the time and I am really hard on myself about my appearance, always comparing myself to others. I have three daughters and want to set a good example for them, but I struggle to find that confidence.

  15. I just saw you in Chicago and can attest to your fabness. I would be very happy to rock a bikini, but of course I would also need to push away from my beloved food. Decisions, decisions, decisions.

  16. Fantastic post. Having a one year old little girl, I am worried about the day she comes home in tears because someone has remarked about her physical appearance. Whether it be weight or whatever. I’m hoping from a young age I can teach her to love herself, inside and out. Thank you for the inspiring words.

  17. I definitely don’t “rock” a bikini, but I wear one anyway b/c it’s the only type of swimsuit that kind of cuts my gut off at the hilt, sort of separating the top from the bottom and making it look smaller…does that make sense? Haha. But seriously, I am with you. It dawned on me several years ago that as long as I’m living a healthy(ish) life and keeping my body strong by working out 5-6 days a week, I’ll be happy. That’s not the formula for everyone; I know some people don’t enjoy working out and don’t want to do it 6 days a week. But it’s the formula for me, and whether or not my belly abides (no matter how many crunches or planks or core exercises I do, it still insists on sticking out), I’ll be happy. And I am! And you–you really do rock that bikini!


  1. […] Frugie at Frugalista Blog: My Thighs Are Flabby, and I’m Trying to Love Them Anyway (A nice reminder to love yourself and a good story about ensuring our children love themselves, […]