The No Body-Snark Diet and Full-Length Photo Challenge

June 20, 2013

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Things are about to get heavy around here.

Pun totally intended.

You see, guys, I’m fat.

And I don’t mean this in a I-feel-kind-of-puffy-today way. Or a Do-these-jeans-make-my-butt-look-big way. Or even a I’m-going-to-say-I’m-fat-so-that-you-guys-tell-me-I’m-not-fat-okay? way.

The truth is that I am fat. As in overweight. As in medically and scientifically so.

And I always have been – at least as an adult.

Just sometimes I’m fatter than others.

Even when I was living in Japan and running marathons and eating tofu on a regular basis, I was still technically overweight.

Does this ninja hood make my arms look fat?

Does this ninja hood make my butt look big?

And then I moved to Thailand where I ate ALL THE PAD THAI and then to Malaysia where I ate ALL THE ROTI and then on to China where I ate ALL THE DUMPLINGS.

MUST. EAT. ALL. THE. DUMPLINGS.

MUST. EAT. ALL. THE. DUMPLINGS.

And I went from running every-single-day-and-extra-on-weekends to running every-other-day-kind-of-sometimes.

And then the next thing I knew I had gained forty pounds. In three years. Because I’m talented like that.

When I came home last summer, everyone was like, “Wow, you look well fed. Weren’t you just in Asia? Where they eat tofu and don’t have any cheese? How come you can’t fit into your pants anymore?”

I was even a little worried I had some kind of weird medical condition. Something to explain all the pounds I’d managed to pile on. Something, besides, you know, ALL THE DUMPLINGS. So I went to the doctor and had a whole bunch of tests done.

It turned out that I’m totally healthy.

Besides being, well, you know, fat.

While I can’t say I’ve been completely honest about how much weight I’ve gained over the past few years, I have talked about my size before on my blog.

But usually when I write about my body it’s in a way that’s not very nice.

I make jokes about my cankley man-calves.

I snark about my lack of upper body strength.

I poke fun at how I can’t fit into my pants.

I don’t talk about the fact that I have pretty kick ass collarbones. Seriously, you guys. Check these bad boys out.

Collar bones. With sparkle.

My kick ass collar bones. With added sparkle.

Or how my eyes can change color depending on what I’m wearing. Or depending on the color of the barn I happen to be standing next to.

Don't mind my eyes. They're just NINJA CHAMELEONS.

Don’t mind my eyes. They’re just NINJA CHAMELEONS.

Or how, sure, I have man-calves, but they’re rock hard which I’m actually, really proud of. I mean, I could bench press an ox with these puppies. Is it even possible to bench press with your calves? Is that a thing? Because if it is, I should totally be the Olympic champion of calf-bench-pressing. I really should.

I also very rarely share full-length photos of myself on this blog.

This is partly because I travel by myself so I’m usually doing the one-arm-above-the-head-selfie thing. Which automatically makes everyone look like a Brazilian super model. Seriously. You should try it sometime.

Yes, my name is Giselle. How did you know?

Why, yes, I AM a super model. Was it my amazing cheekbones that gave me away? Or my complete lack of body fat?

Even when I do get a full-length photo of myself, I usually don’t post it because I only see the bad stuff. The double chins. The flabby upper arms. The squishy middle bits and the bursting-out-of-my-pants bottom parts.

Like this photo from my 10K run on the Great Wall of China. Which I never posted because I felt like it made my body look too lumpy.

IMG_1135

Nevermind that this was the exact same body that had just spent the afternoon climbing up this:

IMG_1114

Well, you guys, I’m writing this post to say it’s time for me to stop it — all of it.

I’m going on a diet.

But not the kind you think.

I’m not cutting out the carbs. Nope. Because, seriously, you guys, I did that for a month once, and I wanted to KILL ALL THE PEOPLE.

Instead, I’m cutting out the mean comments and thoughts about my body.

I’m keeping the snacks, but I’m getting rid of all the body-snarking.

I’m going to stop saying stuff like “Cankley man-calves.” And start saying stuff like, “Kick ass collarbones!”

Because here’s the thing, guys, all the put-downs and insults aren’t helpful. Not even a little bit. Telling myself I have cankles doesn’t make me want to eat less cupcakes — it just makes me want to eat more.

I'm going to need three of these -- one for myself & two for my cankles.

I’m going to need three of these — one for myself & two for my cankles.

Plus, I’m starting to realize how incredibly lucky I am to be in the body that I’m in — a body that is healthy, even if it can’t fit into my pants.

So it’s time to cut out the self-hate and start amping up the self-love.

After all, if this was a stranger or a friend or a boyfriend or even a family member making all these mean cracks about how my thighs touch and my upper arms are slowly growing wings, I wouldn’t put up with it. I really wouldn’t.

So why am I letting myself get away with this?

Who do I think I am anyway?

Not only am I going to cut out the body-snarking, I’m also going to start posting a lot more full-length photos of myself on my blog.

Because, sure, my thighs touch, but those are GREAT WALL OF FREAKING CHINA CLIMBING THIGHS, OKAY?

They are also bike-riding-around-Mackinac-Island thighs.

IMG_4762

And 5-K-that-I-kind-of-forgot-to-tell-you-about-but-there-were-drag-queens-and-it-was-awesome thighs.

IMG_8218

This isn’t just about me, you guys.

I know, I know. This blog is pretty much always about me.

But I’m trying something different today.

I’m writing this post about you, too.

Yes, you.

I’m writing this to say that it’s time for you to stop it, too, okay?

Because chances are if you’re a girl, you’re a total snarky jerk to your body. Heck, you may even be a snarky jerk to your body if you’re a guy. I don’t mean to discriminate. I just don’t really know how boys work

And, well, you need to stop it.

All of it.

Like, now.

You need to stop being a jerk to yourself.

You need to stop seeing your body as something you need to change and start seeing it as something you need to cherish.

You need to stop focusing on the parts of you that wobble and start focusing on the parts of you that totally and completely kick ass. And  keep on focusing on those parts – those kick ass parts of you – until they become more than just parts, they become the whole.

Until you’re more than just a really awesome pair of collarbones and some bench-pressing calf muscles.

Until you become the awesomest, most kick-assiest person you can be — the kind of person who doesn’t put up with any kind of snark from anybody.

Not even from yourself.

 

I usually write a question at the end of each of my posts, but since I’m already changing stuff up this week, I’ve decided to end this post with some challenges.
First, I challenge you to stop being a jerk to yourself. Like, now.
Secondly, if you’re the type of person who hardly ever takes full-length photos of yourself because all you see are the bad bits, I want you to stop that, too. I want you to take some full-length photos of yourself and share them with the world, so everyone can see your awesome shoulder bones/shins-of-steel/what-have-you. If you have a blog, post some full-length photos of yourself on your blog. Leave the link below, and I’ll share it on Facebook and Twitter. Or if you don’t have a blog, then send your full-length photo* to unbravegirl@gmail.com and I’ll post it in a photo album on my Facebook page.
 
*And, umm, by full-length photos I mean FULLY CLOTHED full-length photos. Because I love you, but I don’t even know you, really.
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I've blathered on long enough! Now it's your turn!

  1. On June 20, 2013 at 9:02 am Heather said:

    This is exactly what I needed today. Two years after arriving in Bali – and moving here and making a new life for myself – I shamefully look at the photos of me when I arrived and wonder why I waited two years to get back on the athletic horse! But it’s okay – the great feeling only four days at the gym has given me is, well, PRICELESS. As is making a new life for myself in a place that feeds my soul.

    Thanks for keeping it real – I can’t imagine how difficult this was to write – except for the fact that my last blog post was about something I think is equally challenging: travelwithheather.com

    xxxxxxx

    • On June 21, 2013 at 7:40 am Sally said:

      Good for you for getting back on the athletic horse. I definitely find having a better attitude about my body makes me want to work out more. When I’m all like, “Ahh, I hate my thighs,” all I want to do is curl up on my couch and eat ice cream. It’s when I notice the effects the running has had on my thighs — that’s when I want to get out and run more!

  2. On June 20, 2013 at 9:02 am MaryAnne said:

    Right on. Utterly, doubly, triply right on. I’ve been really trying hard this year to be kinder to myself but it isn’t always easy. I don’t body snark on my blog (I just snark about everything else) but I sure do it internally. Goddamn internal monologue. I get pissed off for not being, say, the weight I was back in Turkey (between 5-10kg lighter, depending on my current status which has been pretty variable over the past few years in Shanghai), not even acknowledging that back in Turkey I was 11 years younger and still in my 20s. It’s like we’re not allowed to accept that we change as we get older. I’ve got a lot going on right now (like, a LOT) and I don’t know what’s going to happen to my shape and I’m trying to not be hard on myself.

    I do, however, post full length pics because I have no shame.
    MaryAnne recently posted..Here Be Dragons: Laser Cat Goes to Pudong to Renew Her Visa (Comic Book Edition)

    • On June 21, 2013 at 7:39 am Sally said:

      And why would you need shame? You’re beautiful! (And feel free to share them with me for the FB album. The more lovely lady full-length photos, the better!)

  3. On June 20, 2013 at 9:03 am Lisa (@MsBoice) said:

    sally, Sally, SALLY! You’re killing me. Best. Post. Ever.

    I finally came to terms with my body a number of years ago. Though, right now, my fight with it has become a fight against aging which is WHY WE NEED TO LOVE OUR BODIES NOW! Because they become our enemies later. (sigh).

    My hair, though, has always been my challenge. I’ve had a hate/hate relationship with it all my life and only recently learned to love it –> http://babyaspirinyears.com/2012/03/04/most-outstanding-achievement-in-hair-over-four-decades-award-goes-to-me/

    Rock on, Sally-with-the-awesome-collar-bone-and-über-athletic-thighs!

    -Lisa
    Lisa (@MsBoice) recently posted..Letter to my readers: Some people at TBEX taught me about writing. The good kind.

    • On June 21, 2013 at 7:38 am Sally said:

      I LOVE your hair. Probably because it’s just like my hair and my hair is the one thing about me that I do totally love. I think we need to get together and talk hair one of these days.

  4. On June 20, 2013 at 9:21 am Talon said:

    LOVE it! Best diet ever. I’m guilty of doing the same thing to myself, and I worry about not only because of the effect it has on me but what it’s teaching my son. Occasionally, he’ll make a comment about his body size or something, and the kid has like 2% body fat!

    I gave up hiding from the camera after an experience in the Philippines that I blogged about. Now I am not ashamed to show off my bodaciousness or my plentiful chin, but even while I’m hitting submit I still catch myself thinking “Wow, that angle makes my chin look like there’s 5 of them instead of 2-3.”

    I need to quit that crap, too.
    Talon recently posted..My introduction to Saigon street food

    • On June 21, 2013 at 7:37 am Sally said:

      Definitely coming home and being around my young nieces and nephews has made me really take a hard-look at the way I talk about myself. I would HATE for any of them to grow up and say the same things about themselves that I say about myself. So I’ve definitely found myself watching my words around them — but I think I need to go further than that. I need to watch my words around myself too because it’s obviously not doing me any good.
      And I’m awaiting your full-length photo for my photo album. I know you already post them on your blog, but we need more boys to join the FB album and show the world this is not just a “girl thing.” This is an “everybody needs to start loving themselves already” thing.

  5. On June 20, 2013 at 9:30 am Charli l Wanderlusters said:

    This is such a great piece, I think Governments around the world should hire you to go into schools and talk to teenage girls about body image.

    I know every woman will have stared at a photo of herself and snarked at it, I know I do it far too often. But hey, I’m up for a challenge, and the snarking stops……now. I’m off to take some selfies and clog your inbox!!!
    Charli l Wanderlusters recently posted..Limitless Travel | Anything Is Possible

  6. On June 20, 2013 at 9:33 am Brendon @ Nerd Travels said:

    Really great post. I think your totally right people should stop giving their bodies so much hate. Just be happy that your healthy :)
    Self hate doesn’t get you anywhere.

    PS. You do have pretty awesome collar bones. You’ll have to tell me how you get them to sparkle :D
    Brendon @ Nerd Travels recently posted..Banos Bridge Jump & Why I Won’t Be Doing It Again!

    • On June 21, 2013 at 7:32 am Sally said:

      Glad you could relate. And glad to hear this isn’t just a “girl issue” — although I don’t know if I should be glad about that. Wouldn’t it be better if less people in general had to deal with this?
      And how do I make my collarbones sparkle? Oh, you know, just the usual: unicorn wishes and fairy dust!

  7. On June 20, 2013 at 10:00 am Lia said:

    Hahahaa I guess it all depends on what body size you are happy with. I was a size 10-12 all my adult life but then, because I got older, was moving less and eating more, I crept up to a size 16 and became so snarky about my body that I decided that feeling hungry now and again was ultimately better than feeling bloated and snarky about my size all the time. I gave myself a year to eat the amount of calories my ideal body size required and found myself back to size 12 again within four months. I now feel great and would rather go hungry every now and again than go back up to size 16 and snarky all the time. What I learnt is that there are way too many calories, way more than our bodies need, in most foods you buy nowadays. Too much salt, too much sugar and too much fat!

    • On June 21, 2013 at 7:32 am Sally said:

      See, the funny thing is that when I was smaller and in really good shape while living in Japan, I can remember feeling the EXACT SAME WAY as I do about myself now. All I saw were the wobbley bits. And every time someone took a full-length photo of myself I cringed (and then promptly deleted it). Now when I look at those photos (at least the few that I didn’t delete), I’m so angry at myself. Not because I’ve gained weight — but because I looked amazing but I never knew it.
      So that’s what I need to work on — feeling better about myself no matter what size I am. Yes, sure, I should probably focus on eating less and working out more. As is, I do tend to eat very healthfully and I work out regularly. But before I can lose the weight, I need to lose the attitude.

  8. On June 20, 2013 at 10:06 am Christy@SweetandSavoring said:

    Oh my goodness, you say such wonderful things. Who doesn’t need to hear this stuff?
    I’m sure it wasn’t easy for you- don’t we all carefully choose which photos of ourselves to post online, selecting only the most flattering ones? But I think you’re helping a lot of people today with your honesty/humor and the challenges.
    For me, it’s mostly bathing suit shots. I like waist-up pictures, but generally cringe when they’re full-body. Thanks for motivating me to re-think how I see myself.
    Christy@SweetandSavoring recently posted..Celebrating Pride in Hudson, NY

  9. On June 20, 2013 at 10:22 am Sarah said:

    Yes! I’ve been trying this for the last few months and it’s incredible how freeing it is. That kind of constant body snark and negative talk takes such a toll and you don’t even realize it. I am so, so much happier. (I also took the step of refusing to read anything that made me feel body-snarky and started visiting more websites where being kind to yourself and living for yourself were emphasized, and that helps, too.)
    Sarah recently posted..On Jumping

    • On June 21, 2013 at 7:25 am Sally said:

      Sarah,
      Yes, the change of reading material is a definite must. I’ve already stopped reading Cosmo and other girlie magazines. The only magazine I read with any regularity is Oprah because OPRAH. I even found myself picking up a copy of Real Simple yesterday and than promptly putting it back when I read the headline, “Is Your House Making You Fat?” I don’t need Real Simple to shame me and my house, thankyouverymuch.

  10. On June 20, 2013 at 10:34 am Cailin said:

    Awesome motivation lady. I need to stop thinking and talking about myself that way too. Also don’t forget an important thing. I’m pretty sure all girls see themselves in the mirror with an added 50lbs. I’m telling you as a chubby girl, you my friend are not chubs and to hell with the medical people telling us what our actual weight should be. I honestly remember being in highschool many years ago and roughly 80lbs ago and I thought I was soooo fat. I look at photos of myself now from back then and I look gaunt I was so skinny. But I remember exact memories of thinking I was fat. Its so wack – our brains are messed up and if people don’t like us for how we are now then we don’t need em’ :) Now if only I could become a runner and enjoy it like you haha Nice seeing you at TBEX :)
    Cailin recently posted..Brindisi is my destination

    • On June 21, 2013 at 7:22 am Sally said:

      Oh, Cailin, YOU are not a chubby girl either. None of us are. That’s a horrible and inaccurate word and we need not apply it to ourselves anymore.

  11. On June 20, 2013 at 11:24 am Roxanne Rockett said:

    THIS IS A GREAT POST! I’ve read your posts & they give me a giggle often, but this is the first time I just HAD to comment. Proud of you. For an active lifestyle (running, cycling, etc) & for experiencing local cultures foods AND for deciding you’re worth more love & respect. Looking forward to the full-length pics. Kudos!

  12. On June 20, 2013 at 11:27 am Brenda said:

    So LOVE this one!!!! I am so ashamed of my body, this body has had it’s fair share of trauma, 5 pregnancies, riddled with calcium deposits,which cause kidney stones (19 years worth) which caused one of my kidney’s to shut down, old lady signs like wrinkles and vericose veins and age…..never mind that I am a WONDERFUL mother, have led a very interesting life so far, and am intelligent, too bad the way we think isn’t right, we shouldn’t bee looking at the covers of books but what is IN the book….Thank you so much for your post!!!

    • On June 21, 2013 at 7:19 am Sally said:

      But I do think we SHOULD be looking at the covers of the book and LOVING them just as much as we do the insides — no matter the creases or bent edges or coffee stains. In fact, we should love them even more because of those things and we should think, “This book. This one right here. It must be a keeper. Look at all those signs of wear and tear and love!”

  13. On June 20, 2013 at 12:51 pm Gigi said:

    You GO girl!

    I had a similar epiphany before I started traveling – and I went out and bought myself some really pretty clothes that fit me for real (not just on my best days) and flattered what I had. I tossed every single pair of someday-I’ll-fit-this pants in my closet. And DEAR GOD did I feel better.

    Rock on, Sally. Beautiful post.
    Gigi recently posted..How to Kick Fear in the Gonads, Part II

    • On June 21, 2013 at 7:16 am Sally said:

      Pretty clothes definitely do make a difference. I spent most of my year and a half in China feeling like an unattractive, schlump because I was so tired of the 5 outfits I had and it was technically impossible to buy any new clothes. I’ve loved buying cute new outfits since returning home — even if they’re in a size that’s much bigger than I’d like them to be. At least they fit and look cute!

  14. On June 20, 2013 at 12:57 pm Jill said:

    THANK YOU!!!!!! I recently found your blog and love, love, love it. This post was was just what I needed to read today. Keep up the great work and you should totally high-five yourself for being awesome. I would high-five you, but it would be creepy if I showed up out of nowhere. :)

  15. On June 20, 2013 at 1:00 pm Heather said:

    Go on with your kick-ass collarbones! Why are we all consumed with so much self-loathing? My confidence issues started in Middle School when the boys started calling me “mosquito bites.” I was well into my 20s before I finally felt comfortable with my body. But that doesn’t mean the snark ended. Once I finally got some curves, my eyes zeroed in on the cellulite on my hips and haven’t looked away since. Two years of eating my way around Asia haven’t helped the cellulite “problem” one iota, but I enjoyed every damned bite. Sure some of my pants don’t fit any more, but I don’t care as much as I used to. I’ve been less hard on myself since I stopped reading all the celebrity gossip sites. It seems like they only exist to pick apart women’s bodies and make us normal folk feel increasingly horrible about ourselves. Thank you for this reminder to be kind to myself, always. (And I love that the post showing up in my CommentLuv is one about food!)
    Heather recently posted..The Best Meals I Ate in Hong Kong

    • On June 21, 2013 at 7:13 am Sally said:

      YES. Despite the forty-pound weight gain, I wouldn’t give up a single dumpling. For me, traveling is so much about the food. Food is the culture and the people and the place. I could never travel and only eat salad — especially in China where salad doesn’t exist and if it does it will be boiled and deep-fried and grilled and coated in the most delicious MSG. I do think I maybe need to not go so crazy when I travel — you know only eat SOME OF THE FOOD and not ALL OF THE FOOD. And maybe do a little running while I’m at it. But, in general, I wouldn’t give up my 3-year Asian eating binge for a smaller size of pants at all.

  16. On June 20, 2013 at 1:06 pm Carmel said:

    This is the best diet EVER! Because I’m completely guilty of the same self-imposed snark. When I was fattest in college, I used make the joke about myself before anyone else had the chance. It’s so destructive. It also gives others around us to either not show respect for us and/or give in to their own insecurities. It’s not healthy.

    Shawn sings me a little song when I do it around him. It’s the “Self deprecation” song. I have been hearing it a little less since I’ve been better about not putting myself down. He told me once (during our pre-marriage counseling) my self deprecation was the thing he liked least about me. That was an eye opener.
    Carmel recently posted..TO DO LIST

    • On June 21, 2013 at 7:09 am Sally said:

      That IS an eye-opener. I always thought my self deprecation was an appealing quality. Because, hey, look at me! I can make fun of myself! That must mean I’m not an arrogant jerk! LIKE ME! But, now when I think about it, the times I hear my friends making similar self deprecating comments about themselves, it doesn’t make me like them any more. In fact, I’m totally turned off and angry — angry because they would ever see themselves in the light they see themselves in. So why would I think people would like me more because I make fun of myself? Yep, eye-opener for SURE.

  17. On June 20, 2013 at 1:25 pm Priya said:

    THIS WHOLE POST IS LIKE AN EPISODE OF THE TYRA BANKS SHOW.

    I laughed. I cried. I smiled. I laughed some more. And then cried some more.

    Self-imagine in a constant problem for girls/ women all over and I’ve definitely been there(and go back there from time to time).

    My family/relatives are always commenting on my weight (whether I’ve gained or lost). Some even made insulting jokes, and I never know how to respond to that.

    When people tell me to exercise and to lose weight, I’ll sit in front of the TV and eat. But when I tell myself that I should go workout because I want to feel better about myself and I actually believe it, I’ll usually do it.

    Accepting yourself is the only thing that matters.

    You’re beautiful at any shape and size.

    PS: I totally love your thighs.

    PPS: was that too forward? I know we haven’t even met in person yet but I really do love your thighs.
    Priya recently posted..Blogging Professionally [Insert Question Mark Here]

    • On June 21, 2013 at 7:06 am Sally said:

      “THIS WHOLE POST IS LIKE AN EPISODE OF THE TYRA BANKS SHOW.” Best. Blog Compliment. EVER.
      Also, WHERE IS THE FULL-LENGTH PHOTO YOU WERE GOING TO SEND ME? You WERE going to send me one, RIGHT?

  18. On June 20, 2013 at 1:58 pm Rose said:

    Sally!
    I see your challenge and raise my own. I totally do need to stop the internal snark. I also need to lose some weight. I am going to do it not by brow-beating and body-bashing myself into submission, but by being happy about what I can accomplish.

    PS: I didn’t have any full length photos because Emily is my photographer and explaining the finer points of photo composition is lost on a 3 year old.
    Rose recently posted..A Challenge From My Sister

  19. On June 20, 2013 at 2:02 pm Alyson said:

    You’re right, totally. But it doesn’t make it any easier to find clothes that fit, that is my issue, I want to be able to wear anything I like, not be restricted to elasticated waists.I’m not hard on myself, I don’t expect miracles at 47, after 2 kids and lots of incredible adventures. I’m very aware that this old body, with it’s gargantuanly muscled calves, has done things many people will never do. I just want some nice trousers. I’m losing weight right now, through travel, naturally and it’s making me very happy.
    Alyson recently posted..What We Don’t Like About Kuala Lumpur

    • On June 21, 2013 at 7:01 am Sally said:

      I agree that it definitely makes it harder to find nice-fitting clothes the bigger you are. And I wish designers would really do something about that. But I’m trying to look on the bright side — at least I’m spending a LOT less money on clothes. Back when I was smaller (and this was after years of being bigger), I would pretty much buy anything that fit — because, YEAH, it fit and it looked cute… kind of. And then I would get home and be like, “Why did I buy this? I’ll never wear this.” Now, when I go shopping, I find a lot less stuff that fits and looks cute… and, hence, I spend a lot less money. (Although, I still have an entire closet full of all new clothes bought in the past year. I’m not sure how this happened. Maybe I’m totally off on my theory.)

  20. On June 20, 2013 at 2:47 pm Daisy said:

    Great post, great message, and great attitude! Thank you, Sally!
    Daisy recently posted..Pan-Roasted Lamb Rib Chops with Mint Chimichurri

  21. On June 20, 2013 at 2:49 pm Ceri said:

    This is a fantastic post, Sally. I was actually exactly the same as you a few years ago but it wasn’t until I moved abroad that I developed a whole new way of thinking and just started focusing on the positive parts of my body, like, I love that I have super duper long legs, and I love that I have a teeny tiny waist, rather than go on and on about how my ass and hips are massive, and counting how many chins I have. It feels so much better to focus on what you love about your body. :D And more people should embrace what they’ve been given. Love this.
    Ceri recently posted..NY Bucket List: #5 – Visit the Dakota

    • On June 21, 2013 at 6:57 am Sally said:

      Moving overseas had a weird effect on my body confidence. In many ways, I did feel a lot stronger as I was doing lots of races and I was more physically fit than a lot of the women I met. (In China, at least where I lived, women very rarely lift weights or do any kind of heavy physical exercise because they don’t want muscles to make them appear “bigger.” Or at least that’s what all my students told me!) But, for some reason, even though I felt stronger, I didn’t feel more attractive. I just felt kind of like some kind of big, strong, monster woman.

  22. On June 20, 2013 at 3:55 pm Montecristo Travels (Sonja) said:

    We can’t be our own bullies. It just isn’t right. Cheerleader … yes. Bully? No. Women’s rights still have such a long way to go don’t you think? When we as a gender still worry about looks more than we do about our smarts. When worrying about double chins, thunder thighs and “bad hair days” over shadow the amazing chances and opportunities we have in life. It is still considered more important to be pretty than smart. Getting a good husband is valued above a good education. We still thrive on a concept of a single ideal. In the middle ages large women were the “thing”. It meant you were not starving. You had made it! Then things changed. Then like today we continue to tell women they must look a certain way. We haven’t really abandoned the corset … have we. We now create and weave our own imaginary lines, bars … prisons. Good for you Sally!! Your beautiful!! Your strong, funny, vibrant and those are amazing collar bones you MUST get more off the shoulder tops and share those babies with the world!! Good for you … get out those pom-poms and CHEER!

    • On June 21, 2013 at 6:50 am Sally said:

      Thank you, Sonja. Yes, pom-poms and off-the-shoulder tops are definitely in order. And your comment reminds me of the book I’m reading “How to be a Woman” by Caitlin Moran. Have you read it? I think you should read it. In fact, I think all women (and men) should read it. It’s funny and powerful and has the most reasonable argument for feminism ever — which is basically there shouldn’t be an argument. Her basic point is: Do you think women should have equal rights and be treated equally? Yes? Then, BAM, you’re a feminist.

  23. On June 20, 2013 at 4:02 pm heather said:

    I TOTALLY get this! I wish more “real-bodied” women would post full-length photos of themselves to prove that we’re not all super-model-thin and that it’s okay to be whatever size you are and that you can be successful and STILL eat M&M’s and pizza! I typically don’t post a lot of pics of myself on my blog because, duh, I’m the one behind the camera… but I have a helper now and have also figured out how to use the delay-timer, so I will definitely be posting more pictures of myself because someday I might want to look back and see what I looked like. Just last week, I braved-up and posted a full-body pic with my blog post, and honestly, I feel pretty darn good about it! I think of all the people out there that wish they had legs that worked so they could go hiking and then I don’t worry about the squishy bits. You gotta enjoy what you’ve got while you got it.

    You can check out my recent full-body pic here: http://hikingwithheather.blogspot.com/2013/06/ice-age-trail-plover-river-segment.html

    • On June 21, 2013 at 6:47 am Sally said:

      I love how your full-length photo is also a full-dog photo! AWESOME. And, yes, it is kind of hard to get full-length photos of yourself when traveling solo. I’m usually pretty shy about asking people to snap my picture. But I’ve found that if I find people who look like they want someone to take their picture, and I volunteer to do that, they’ll easily volunteer to take my photo. Win-win-win!

  24. On June 20, 2013 at 4:16 pm Charlie said:

    Wow. I’m in. I am even going to try stopping all the negative talk in real life, not just on the blog. I can see the little double play in this. If making horrible comments about your ankles makes you eat the cupcakes, then maybe the nice things you say about your collar bones will make you eat brussel sprouts and pump iron. Unfortunately I already subject myself to a full photo a day. I mean, happily. Maybe instead I’ll stop trying to get my photographers, when I have them, to ‘shoot from the flattering angle’. Thanks. You’re a genius with amazing collarbones and magnificent powerful thighs!
    Charlie recently posted..Day 171: Oh For The Love Of Lists

    • On June 21, 2013 at 6:45 am Sally said:

      Aww, thanks, Charlie. And, yes, tell those photographers to shoot from any old angle they please. I’m sure you’re beautiful from them all!

  25. On June 20, 2013 at 4:32 pm nicole | the wondernuts said:

    We do take full-length photos. But, they rarely go up on our blog because I want it to be all about the places, you know?

    It’s like, nobody’s tuning in to see my face. But, hopefully they’re tuning in for the writing. =)
    nicole | the wondernuts recently posted..Wednesday’s Wonder: The Fortune Cookies of Lantau

    • On June 21, 2013 at 6:43 am Sally said:

      You’d be surprised. I know people read blogs for different reasons, but I read blogs because I like the personal stories they convey. If I want to learn about a place, I read guidebooks or check out Wikitravel or TripAdvisor. But if I’m reading for fun, I always turn to personal stories. And, honestly, the travel blogs that I read, I do not read to find out where they’re traveling to — I read them because I want to know what the person is up to. I also read a few cooking blogs, too, and, trust me, this is NOT because I cook — it’s because I honestly like the bloggers’ voices and personalities and am curious as to what they’re doing. And, yes, I totally want to see photos of them along with all the photos of the stuff they’re cooking!

  26. On June 20, 2013 at 4:37 pm Heather said:

    Only in my 30s am I coming to accept my body more!

    I tell my friends to be kind to themselves all of the time but I’m often not kind to me. Ridiculous how we do that to ourselves.

    Even with accepting myself more I was still analyzing how I looked in wedding photos and my gosh, I weighed less and have been eating healthier than I have in years.

    I’m not allowed to work out for a month or two due to a new injury and I’ve been beating myself up about it as I keep looking at myself in the mirror.

    Thanks for the reminder I need to BE KIND to myself.

    We’re going to hold you accountable now <3
    Heather recently posted..Zipping over Upcountry Maui with Piiholo Ranch Zipline

  27. On June 20, 2013 at 5:18 pm Deirdre said:

    I love this. As women we are always saying things like “my butt is so big”, when was the last time you stood in front of a mirror and said “I love my hair” or “I have beautiful eyes”? We need to start cutting ourselves some slack.

    • On June 21, 2013 at 6:38 am Sally said:

      The funny thing is when I look in the mirror, I don’t really mind my image. At least not when I look in the mirrors in my apartment. It’s probably all the soft lighting in here. (Dressing room mirrors, that’s another story.) It’s just when I look at pictures of me and I’m like, “Aggh! Is this what I REALLY look like? Why don’t I see that when I look in the mirror? And why didn’t anyone tell me I look so horrible” But that’s about to change. I got a new camera and it takes MUCH better photos of me, so I’m excited to crack it out & start taking photos of myself that don’t make me feel so bad.

  28. On June 20, 2013 at 6:14 pm Tillie said:

    Love, love, love, squishy-love this! Awesome, awesome, awesome! True! You should change the name to Brave Girl Blog! ;) Love this!

  29. On June 20, 2013 at 7:24 pm Elizabeth said:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. Funny, witty and so needed. It inspires me to want to share with everyone I know and start an epidemic of self love. Time to celebrate the beauty in each one of us. Having a daughter, I hope to build in her the self confidence and love for her body but realize it is something one has to emulate. This is a wonderful challenge…game on!!

    • On June 21, 2013 at 6:33 am Sally said:

      Oh, I so hope we can all start an epidemic of self love, too! It’s about time. Because this epidemic of self hate? It sucks and needs to be OVER.

  30. On June 20, 2013 at 7:36 pm Kim said:

    Beautiful. Love it. I have gained so much weight traveling. I’m a marathon runner too who hasn’t been running much on the road. I am so mean to myself about my body. My STRONG body that carries me up mountains and everything else. Thank you for this reminder to thank my body instead of criticize it. I need and want to get back into the best shape possible but making myself feel like crap about the size of my butt is not the way to do it.

    • On June 21, 2013 at 6:32 am Sally said:

      Yep, it sure is NOT the way to do it. It’s funny because for months I was not really exercising much at all — maybe a few walks here and there but I had totally given up on running and had kind of convinced myself I couldn’t run anymore. And then about a week ago, when I felt this post kind of burbling up inside of me and all of my body issues started coming to a head and I was finally starting to forgive myself, I went running for the first time in a long time. It’s amazing what we can do with our bodies if we just appreciate them for the fact that they’re our bodies.

  31. On June 20, 2013 at 7:54 pm Jess said:

    I honestly wasn’t sure if I even had any full body photos of me – they tend to get pushed into the ‘delete because I don’t like how I look in this one’ pile. I am going to work on that, because I think your diet is an awesome one.

    I did finally find one, from last year, of me practicing my ‘heroic adventurer’ pose. (I do that a lot.)

    http://icecreamandpermafrost.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Arctic-circle-sign.jpg
    Jess recently posted..Little Things I Love About: Chicago

  32. On June 20, 2013 at 7:58 pm Kate - CanuckiwiKate said:

    This is brilliant. I’ve been on the road, literally road tripping since May 1st, trying all of Canada’s food from west to east (I’m still in Ontario though) and I haven’t been running regularly, despite all my best intentions…

    I just tried on my bridesmaid dress for the wedding I’m in one month from today, and “no more carbs” came out of my mouth when I looked in the mirror, even though the dress totally fits. I saw my flabby bits and bobs. Then I sat down on the couch, continued drinking my Rye & Ginger, someone opened a box of Triscuts, and I was there. My intention lasted less than 3 minutes.

    I need to start taking more full body shots because I’m pretty sure hardly any exist to even put on my blog, but I am completely with you 100%!
    And Cailin too, I would love to have my “I was so fat in highschool” body back…
    Kate – CanuckiwiKate recently posted..The Jerky search in Kelowna

    • On June 21, 2013 at 6:27 am Sally said:

      Ah, traveling! I’m always mystified by those people who are like, “I lose so much weight when I travel.” Personally, I’m pretty crap about doing any kind of exercise when I’m traveling — besides, you know, the four miles hikes I inadvertently do while getting lost. I would love to be a bit more balanced while traveling — only eat SOME OF THE FOOD and exercise SOME OF THE TIME. Instead of ALL OF THE FOOD and NO EXERCISE EVER, TOO BUSY EATING FOOOOOOD! Maybe one of these days!
      P.S. Your trip sounds like THE BEST TRIP EVER. And have fun at that wedding! Remember dancing like a madwoman at the reception TOTALLY counts as like 12 cardio workouts.

  33. On June 20, 2013 at 10:40 pm Teresa (@TTs Trippin) said:

    Just finished your post TBEX article and LOVED it (of course)! Wrote a rather lengthy comment (we DO speak the same language). It was my favorite so far…….then I read this one! You’re killing me here :-) You have such a gift for writing what we all want and need to hear and the humor you invoke just makes it such a pleasant AND fun read. You are a real treasure my dear, please NEVER stop writing! I have become fat myself in the past few years (Can I blame menopause??) and pretty much keep myself covered in those great maxi dresses that hide everything. I have a couple great pics of me (where for some reason I don’t look fat, or like me anymore) that I have been keeping as my profile pic and know I am doing a bit of false advertising. Time to fess up, stand tall and take a new photo in all my (fully clothed) glory!

    • On June 21, 2013 at 6:17 am Sally said:

      Teresa,
      In a million years, I would never describe YOU as fat. You are simply gorgeous and vivacious and I’ve never met a single person who is capable of having as much fun as you do while being completely sober. And, yes, take those photos and share them with the world. Because the world needs to see what it’s been missing!

  34. On June 21, 2013 at 12:34 am Diana Edelman said:

    Oh my god, I love you so much. That was the awesomest post ever. Seriously. And if I could only count how many times I have said I am in love with my collar bones!!! :)
    Diana Edelman recently posted..Daily Wanderlust: the vibrant Valley of Fire

  35. On June 21, 2013 at 8:10 am Aggy said:

    Gosh I love this post and just what I need!
    I avoid so much of those full-length photos but yes you are right! I need to stop making fun of my own body and start loving it. So more full length photos this summer yey!
    Awesome Sally, you rock!
    Aggy recently posted..Turning One: Travel Adventures, Friends and Beyond

  36. On June 21, 2013 at 8:24 am Ali said:

    Great post Sally! Weight is such a tough issue. I’ve been overweight for as long as I can remember, and slowly over the years gaining even more. I got really sick a few months ago and lost more than 20 pounds. It was the only upside to being really ill and hospitalized for 5 days. Unfortunately the medicine they had me on from mid March until the end of May (because it takes so freakin long to wean off of it) made me gain back most of the weight I lost. I was so determined NOT to gain that weight back, and I’ve been beating myself up about it. Not fair to myself, I know. I HATE pictures of me because I always think I look fat. I don’t often make negative comments about myself on my blog or publicly but I do say stuff to myself all the time that I should really stop. Thanks for writing this post.
    Ali recently posted..What If You Could Visit All of Europe in One Day?

    • On June 22, 2013 at 9:22 am Sally said:

      Ali,
      Totally feel for you about the medication weight gain. I was going through depression earlier this year and started taking medication and gained 10 pounds because of it. Talk about not helping my depression. (Well, the medication has helped, but the weight gain did not.)

  37. On June 21, 2013 at 9:16 am Casey said:

    Great post. I needed to read this. I do this all the time. I have two daughters and I am setting a poor example. I should be the person and speak to and about myself with pride. The way I want my girls to be.

    • On June 22, 2013 at 9:19 am Sally said:

      Thank you. I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Being around my young nieces this past year has made me really watch what I say about myself and my body — and in many ways sparked this change in attitude.

  38. On June 21, 2013 at 9:23 am Tom @ Waegook Tom said:

    Guys totally do this, too. Especially gay men. I wrote a post a little while ago about feeling super image-conscious in Miami. Then I decided that it’s ok to eat fried chicken in South Carolina and not worry about it too much.

    My belly is the body part I get the most snarky with. Heck, it’s probably the ONLY body part I get snarky with. But I love my eye colour. And my legs. I have nice arms, and a great booty. Yet I always focus on the one negative.

    Loving the concept of this and, like you, I rarely, if ever, post full-length photos of myself. Because of my stomach. Which isn’t that big, but I live with it and I notice it. Yet I’m healthy. There’s nothing wrong with my body. I walk everywhere, I’m active. The snark stops today.

    Now I need to go and find some Hungarian food that hopefully comes with a carton of sour cream on the side. And I won’t worry about it.
    Tom @ Waegook Tom recently posted..Food in Choco, or Pescado, Pescado, Pescado

  39. On June 21, 2013 at 11:13 am Jaime said:

    Agree with Tom guys do this too, but I think it’s even worse for GAY MEN. Seriously I think I have a great body for a man, but in the GAY WORLD my body is like below average, because all that is ever shown EVERYWHERE for EVERYTHING is men with an 8 pack, beautiful sculpted pecs and arms that can bench press the world. I too get snarky with my body and I think again I agree with Tom it’s my belly and well chest other than that I LOVE MY BODY. I love my legs because thanks to 13 years of Dance I took when I was younger they have been in shape my WHOLE life. So anyway I too finally came to terms with it a few weeks ago and I am actually TODAY going to go SHOPPING. Sally it’s seriously been YEARS since I’ve gone like actual shopping. I am going shopping because most of my clothes just doesn’t fit me anymore and is clothes I wore before I left on my 2 year trip around the world. To go shopping because your clothes no longer fits you is one of the hardest things to do, because when you finally do you are no longer in denial. I know my pants barely fit and that I have suck it ALL in to fit and I’m tired of that. Im going to go buy clothes that fits MY body… that fits who I am NOW!

    Anyway thank for this becuase it came at a good timing since I am also going through the same thing. I think we all do, but just never really talk about it. As for full length photos… I post photos of my whole body all the time on my blog and on FB I am just VERY picky about them too and well I always show my body when I Toe Touch. Can I still share a photo? Kidding I don’t have too.

    P.S. I’ve seen you in person and you LOOK AMAZING.
    Jaime recently posted..The evolution of Cairo’s Street Art.

    • On June 22, 2013 at 9:17 am Sally said:

      Oh, Jaime, you look AMAZING too. I don’t know if I’m relieved that this is also a guy thing or saddened. Personally, I think the less people that have to experience this the better. But it’s nice to know that others understand. And I can’t wait to see you in your new pants. I’m sure you’re going to ROCK them.

  40. On June 21, 2013 at 11:58 am Katie said:

    Absolutely love this! I have always struggled with my weight and have been beating myself up over the 10 pounds I gained on my trip that I have not been able to drop since returning home. But my weight gain tends to show up in my face, so I haven’t just avoided full-length photos, I’ve been avoiding all photos because I feel like my face looks horribly fat and I have a massive double chin (I seriously envy people who have faces that stay thin now matter how much weight they gain elsewhere!). I’ve also been avoiding seeing people I knew before my trip because I am afraid they’ll take one look at me and think how much I’ve let myself go. Silly, I know, but the insecurities are there!

    At the same time, I just ran my fastest 10 mile race ever and am training for another half marathon in July – thanks for the reminder that those things are what I should be celebrating – that even if I’m carrying a few extra pounds, I am still in great shape and should be proud of myself rather than beating myself up.
    Katie recently posted..How You Can Make LinkedIn Work For You

    • On June 22, 2013 at 9:14 am Sally said:

      Oh, I totally understand about the avoiding people. I’ve been doing some of that myself. It’s just so awkward running into people who haven’t seen me in years and I think, “Omigod. They’re going to think I look so fat now.” I’m sure people have noticed, but nobody has said anything. Probably because they really don’t care. I should probably really not care too.
      And CONGRATULATIONS on your FASTEST 10 mile race. Wow. GO YOU!

  41. On June 21, 2013 at 11:01 pm Tracy said:

    I love this. Thank you so much and thanks to Heather for sharing on fb so I saw it. I am going to live this starting now.

  42. On June 22, 2013 at 8:05 am Rachel said:

    I absolutely love this post. It makes perfect sense too, why put up with something you wouldn’t like it if other people said to you?

    I accepted the challenge and blogged about it today on The Penniless Traveler =)

    http://pennilesstraveler.com/2013/06/22/body-loving-full-length-photo-challenge/

  43. On June 22, 2013 at 10:07 am Liz said:

    Great post Sally!! Thank you so much for writing this :)

  44. On June 22, 2013 at 4:03 pm Jenni @ Traveler for Good said:

    A standard request when my sister and I want our pictures taken is “chest and up”, so I relished this challenge.

    Can I say that bike shorts humble me every time….

    http://www.beatravelerforgood.com/2013/06/no-body-snark-saturday.html
    Jenni @ Traveler for Good recently posted..No Body Snark Saturday

  45. On June 22, 2013 at 9:43 pm Jasmijn said:

    Humor is my way of dealing with things usually, but it stopped being humor a long time ago. I am so obsessed with how I look and how other people see me that usually I feel the need to comment on myself (Because people would then think “Oh, good, at least she knows.” That’s what my brain tells me anyway.) I need to stop snarking too, thanks for making me realize!

    Spreadin the word:
    http://jasmijndecuyper.wordpress.com/2013/06/23/the-no-body-snark-diet-barcelona-edition/ :)
    Jasmijn recently posted..The No Body-Snark Diet (Barcelona Edition)

  46. On June 23, 2013 at 4:31 am Janice said:

    Thank you Sally! This was a bit of a wake-up call. I realized that in 10 years of blogging, I’ve only published 1 full-body photo…and that was at a costume party.

    As of today, and thanks to the No Body-Snark Diet, I have now doubled that number. =)
    Janice recently posted..Adventures in the No Body-Snark Diet…

  47. On June 23, 2013 at 10:09 am Erik said:

    This is an inspirational post, for sure.

    I’ve made only occasional jokes about my body on my blog, but people in real life hear them all the time. It’s a defense mechanism, and one that I’m sure annoys the people around me who have to listen to them.

    I’ve been heavy since I gained 55 pounds between the start of my freshman year in college and Christmas of my sophomore year. I’d gone to school in Chicago (where all the food wants you dead- deep dish pizza, gyros, Chicago style hot dogs- and is available until 4AM) and I’d stop playing sports, which I did almost year round in high school. I’ve never gotten below that initial weight surge- and it’s gone up incrementally since.

    I’m fighting two things in this battle- stress and genetics. I’m a classic stress eater. There is no logic to it other than when I am stressed, I care only about is stressing me out and not that the half pizza I just consumed isn’t probably going to help me too much. The genetics part is a real thing, too, but also something I know about, and, unlike my mother and sister, who also know about it and do a very good job of working at staying thin, I do not do such a good job of working at it.

    That’s the other thing- I could work harder at being better to my body. It’s silly to make snarky comments about my body when most of the reason I have the body to do it is my own fault. I do workout most of the year (well, part of the year…) (weeeeelllll, a few month-long attempts to get regular at it a year…)but I hate working out, and even though I do feel better when doing it, that rarely inspires me to say with excitement “Yay, I’m going to the gym!”

    What you said about being kind to your body really hit home, though. I am fat, but it doesn’t restrict me from doing things very often. I’ve run 5 5ks- in each, I was the heaviest person doing them, but the point is I was doing them, and finishing ahead of some thin people (but still behind 7 year old kids, men with one artificial leg, and a woman with a walker.) But I finished and didn’t die (even though I’m pretty sure it was close). Before my last trip to Europe, I had a lot of people express how concerned they were that I was backpacking around like a college student. There were a lot of nervous, beating-around-the-bush comments, including a couple people who came out and said “You know you’re not 25 anymore, right?” (Thankfully no one came out and said “You know your fat, right?” but I still think that’s what some meant…) The thing is, I pulled it off. And didn’t just pull it off, I walked all over the place, got up early most days after being out late the night before like Europeans do (The staying out late part, not getting up early- Europeans do NOT do that), and survived on about half the sleep I need when I did take that trip at 25. Sure I came back exhausted, but my body got me through it, and after this post, I realize how little I thank it.

    On that note, I’m going to continue to post full-length photos of myself on my blog and social media. I don’t do it often, but I will (and have) posted them when I like what the picture is of and am proud to have been there with my hefty body and all. I may write a post about it- I could probably just copy this lengthy comment :-)- but I usually don’t write a lot of deep, personal stuff on there (not really sure why, though, since it is my blog, and it’s unlikely I’ll offend my three readers- my mom, sister and that one guy on a mental ward somewhere)

    Oh, and, as we discussed, I’m not giving up my love of and passion for good craft beer. I may need to moderate it a little, but if I’m going to be a bit heavy my whole life, I’m going to continue to indulge that which I love :-) (As I type that I realize the post listed below from my blog is about my favorite beer bar in Europe. Irony is everywhere.)
    Erik recently posted..Moeder Lambic, Brussels- Beers & Bars of the Europe 2013 Trip

    • On June 24, 2013 at 8:54 am Sally said:

      Oh let me tell you, I know all about the stress and genetics. I’m not a big stress-eater, but I definitely have my moments when I NEED CHOCOLATE RIGHT NOW OR EVERYONE’S GOING TO DIE. For me genetics is a much bigger factor. All the women in my immediate family and many in my extended family struggle with their weight (my father and brothers somehow seem exempt). And none of us are slugs. I work out pretty regularly and walk all the time. My mom is always doing home renovations and yard work and heavy lifting and my younger sister is the same. Of course, we all like to eat, but I’d say we usually eat pretty healthfully. But, yet, we all are overweight. There are definitely days I wished I ended up on the other side of the family tree — the one with a much higher metabolism!

  48. On June 23, 2013 at 10:20 am Élan said:

    What an awesome time for me to stumble on your blog for the first time! I’m guilty of all those snarky comments about my body, even now as I’m seeing real improvement from eating well and exercising. I should be the most positive and proud of myself right now, but I find myself poking at all of my jiggly bits in the mirror.

    Totally joining in on the no-snark diet. Will take some photos too! Maybe even in tight-fitting workout gear.

    • On June 24, 2013 at 8:48 am Sally said:

      Please do! You should be proud of yourself & how far you’ve come. But I can totally relate to being impatient and only seeing the “non-progress” and not the progress.

  49. On June 23, 2013 at 11:31 am Kerry @ Planes, Trains and Plantagenets said:

    I feel like this is one of those things that everybody secretly feels but nobody talks about. I’m so, so glad you’re helping make it A Thing People Talk About (If We Want To). COMMUNICATION IS REVOLUTION (or something)!
    Kerry @ Planes, Trains and Plantagenets recently posted..Great, great, great idea: The No Body-Snark Diet

    • On June 24, 2013 at 8:48 am Sally said:

      Communication really IS a revolution. I think this really should be something we talk about — and, honestly, not just if we want to but because we HAVE to. All this body-hate is causing too much damage for us to just shut up about it.

  50. On June 23, 2013 at 5:34 pm Amanda said:

    Thank you SO much for writing this! I always hate pictures of myself because I am focusing on what I don’t like about myself. I come back from my wonderful adventures without so much as a selfie most of the time. You have opened my eyes! My body is far from perfect, but it has taken me on fabulous journeys. It’s time to show it the respect it deserves!

  51. On June 23, 2013 at 8:38 pm janet said:

    i live in the land where everyone looks good in bikinis (SE Asia). it’s hard because even at 120 lbs, with my slight, petite 5’1″ frame I feel like I look like I have some extra weight and I hate how I look in a full body photo! and I know i’m not even FAT but then some guys still mention how chubby i’m starting to look in a swim suit….. ugh!
    janet recently posted..$2/Day Update: Challenges & Learnings

  52. On June 24, 2013 at 10:17 am Clare Appleyard said:

    This post rocks. On the day that my partner decides to start a 1 year (note: NOT 1 month) sugar-free lifestyle, and I guzzle a bag of crisps for lunch, this was a much needed read.

    Thank you!
    Clare Appleyard recently posted..Paris, my humblest apologies

  53. On June 24, 2013 at 11:57 pm choi kum fook said:

    Miss Sally, enjoy reading your posts always! From photos,your shape or figure more or less remain the same compare to few years ago at the farm. So why worry!? Just keep on writing, traveling,photogarphy and teaching to enjoy your life.

  54. On June 25, 2013 at 4:08 am Natasha said:

    I really enjoyed your take on self empowerment towards your body. Rehabilitation Certainly starts in the mind and positive affirmations are the cherry on the top. I have always been self consciousness of my body as well. For me it’s my tummy and butt and skinny ankles and big boobs and freckles… Yeah there’s more but I will stop here as I too have recently decided to embark on a self image correction route. However mine is slightly different. I’m going to expose myself in a two piece bikini in December 2013. If you are interested in reading – http://tashastraveltroves.com/to-bikini-or-not-to-bikini/
    Regardless, I really appreciate your candidness in this post and as you note you have inspired many people in a beautiful positive way – keep going – you are doing just fine :)
    Natasha recently posted..A Romantic Spa Oasis In Bangkok – where serenity commands a presence.

    • On June 25, 2013 at 9:24 am Sally said:

      Good luck with your bikini challenge. Personally, I think it shouldn’t matter what shape you’re in. If you want to be in a bikini, put on a bikini. Simple. (Of course, I know it’s NOT that simple. But still I think we shouldn’t shame ourselves into not wearing one if that’s what we want to wear.)

  55. On June 25, 2013 at 9:16 am Deedee said:

    This entry was really timely. In my blog I document the trials as well as the triumphs, and while you were posting this I was posting my most recent entry in which I discuss the pessimism that pervades my success. Reading your entry helped put my situation in perspective. That’s not to say I won’t still be challenged by my bingo wings and my melting thighs and all the other parts of me that are beginning to resemble a deflated balloon, but it did help me realize that maybe I am being too hard on myself. I have a long way to go, but you helped push me in the right direction. :-)
    Deedee recently posted..Some Days the Glass is Just Half Empty

  56. On June 25, 2013 at 9:59 am Mona said:

    I saw a link to your blog on Facebook. I’m so glad I did. You are hilarious. I love the way you write – and think. You are a kindred spirit, even though I don’t know anything about you. But as all kindred spirits know, head knowledge isn’t necessary to a spirit connection. Keep up the good work and good thoughts…and amazing life.

  57. On June 25, 2013 at 1:14 pm Jo said:

    I know this isn’t the correct place to ask this But when I try to access your “Contact page” I get “Sorry, no posts matched your criteria” same for “ebook” and pretty much all the links at the top of the page. I also can’t access the “Archives”! How do you expect me to “Stalk-you proper like?!”
    Thanks for your reply in advance and hopefully it can be fixed! (it’s been like this for the past two weeks) D:

    • On June 26, 2013 at 8:29 am Sally said:

      Thank you for letting me know about the problems with the pages. I knew there was a problem with my Archives page (I had to take it down a little while ago because the plugin I was using wasn’t working — but hopefully it will be back up soon.) I had no idea about the other pages as they all were working fine when I checked them on my home computer. They seem to be back up now. Although I suspect this will be something of a recurring problem until I’m able to figure out exactly what the problem is. :(

      • On June 26, 2013 at 11:34 am Jo said:

        Thanks Sally For your reply! The little orange links at the top (ebook, contact) are up and running again! YAY! Hopefully you get the arcives figured out soon!

  58. On June 25, 2013 at 2:06 pm Lyda Ann Baker said:

    I did it!! Thanks so much for getting this revolution started! Why do we accept these criticisms from ourselves that we would never allow from anyone else?

    You rock!
    Lyda Ann Baker recently posted..Time to be Brave and Show it ALL!

  59. On June 26, 2013 at 9:47 am Lisa (@MSBoice) said:

    Oh my gosh, Sally. You made me do it. I did a whole blog post with gobs of full-body photos here: http://babyaspirinyears.com/2013/06/26/how-one-man-changed-my-body-snark/

    -Lisa

  60. On June 28, 2013 at 2:16 am Cherry said:

    Thank you for this post!

    Especially because this line: “Telling myself I have cankles doesn’t make me want to eat less cupcakes — it just makes me want to eat more.”

    This just resonates so well with me. When I feel good about myself, it’s so easy for me to pass over the sweets (okay, much easier… not ‘so easy’). But when I’m feeling down about my body, it’s just so hard.

    I’m not even particularly over weight. I’m just much heavier than I used to be.

    And you’re such a bad-ass for that Great Wall 10K. I’ve been meaning to do it for years, and I just keep wimping out.

    • On July 2, 2013 at 8:15 pm Sally said:

      So glad you enjoyed the post. And, yes, I agree that it’s much easier to eat better and be healthier when you’re feeling better about yourself. After writing this post and finally kind of accepting the weight I’m at, I’ve been so much healthier and active. Not that I haven’t still had plenty of pie — but I’ve also been balancing it out with lots of healthy stuff and exercise.

  61. On June 30, 2013 at 11:30 am Jessi said:

    I seriously felt inspired after reading this! I feel like you took the words from my own mouth and put them into sentences on here! It is nice to know your not alone in making the snarky comments to yourself. Thank you for sharing this, I took up your challenge and took a full length photo and posted it on my blog in hopes to inspire others. Thank you again.

    http://whatjessieats.com/2013/06/30/no-body-snark-full-length-photo-challenge-from-unbrave-girl/

  62. On July 1, 2013 at 12:01 am Dawn (Lola) said:

    Inspired to post on my blog as well! Thanks so much for posting this and lighting a fire for this :)
    http://lolabits.wordpress.com/2013/07/01/self-image/

  63. On July 2, 2013 at 11:01 pm Eileen黃愛玲 said:

    Tis the reason I don’t post pictures of myself. I still haven’t to this day. This week I had a wake up call cause I got sick due to over exercising. I think this is a great post. Don’t think I will do it any time soon, though.

    • On July 3, 2013 at 6:39 am Sally said:

      Really? It’s been surprisingly liberating for me. I’ve also been really affected by all the photos people have been sending me for the challenge. I always thought this was kind of a “big girl” problem. But I’ve been getting photos from people of all shapes, sizes and genders — including lots of photos from people who I would never think would have body hang-ups because they look so darn perfect. That’s made me realize that we’re all a little bit (or a lot bit) insecure about certain parts of ourselves and we all just need to stop it.

  64. On July 6, 2013 at 12:35 pm Sine said:

    ” traveling is so much about the food” – you are SO right! And it is through the food that you meet people, isn’t it? How boring it would be if you didn’t meet anyone and just ate your salad in silence.
    Great post, and kudos to you for writing it. Including pictures. And you are so right in your last comment – a lot of people are insecure about our bodies and (maybe this is a female thing?) always want to change something or other about ourselves. You look into the mirror and immediately find something to criticize, zero in on all the bad stuff, and never once being grateful for what we’ve got. Isn’t that sad? I’m not really religious, but it seems to me we could all use a bit more gratitude for what we’ve been given rather than constantly moping about what’s not perfect…
    Sine recently posted..Vermeer, Hagelschlag, and Magic Mushrooms

    • On July 10, 2013 at 7:02 am Sally said:

      Yes, especially as I get a little bit older (ahem), and more and more of my friends and relatives and friends’ relatives have been diagnosed with illnesses — including some pretty serious ones — I’m really starting to realize how terribly lucky I am to be in a healthy body and how I should just be nice to my body since it’s been pretty nice to me.

  65. On August 15, 2013 at 5:13 pm Heather N said:

    Hi there. I loved reading this post when you first wrote it. Today, my sister was on Facebook talking about how much she hates her body. I thought of this post right away, so I shared the link in the comments thread. Thanks for all of the blog posts. Your blog makes for one of the best breaks in my week!

  66. On September 20, 2013 at 5:05 pm Janelle said:

    I’m new to your blog and couldn’t love this post more! This is something so many of us struggle with, and you’re 100% right – we would never accept this kind of treatment from others, so why should we put up with it from ourselves?!?!?!? Gotta love ourselves, lumps and all :)

  67. On March 12, 2014 at 1:46 am Lucy said:

    What an incredible post. It is beyond refreshing to hear this and I only hope that more people take your wonderful attitude. Thank you so much for writing this. And you look gorgeous in all of your photos!
    Lucy recently posted..The C Word.

    • On March 16, 2014 at 12:37 pm Sally said:

      Thank you, Lucy! It’s been a while since I wrote this post… I’m feeling a need to revisit it. May have to write an update on how the no body-snark diet is working.

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