Go On THIS Diet if Social Media Is Ruining Your Self-Esteem

Can Fashion Influenced Social Media Be As Unhealthy as Pornography?

My self-esteem or more exactly my body confidence has taken a hit recently. Sure, I slap on a happy face and put pretty pictures on the internet. But, after evenings scrolling social media, I realized I was going to bed every night with a pit in my stomach feeling like I could barf up every shred of body acceptance and self-esteem I’ve worked so hard to build. It got me to wondering if fashion influenced social media is unhealthy for my self-esteem or do I just need to go on a diet? The answer to both is YES, but maybe not the way you think.

Is Social Media Ruining YWhat to do if social media is ruining your self-esteem || ||  Body Positivity ||  Plus Size Swimsuit  || Body Acceptance

This is a long post and if you read to the end you’re either gonna love me or hate me. No, it’s not because I’m using the “F-word“… FAT. But I’m going to spill about something that has been bugging me for a while now. I’m really not sure how to say it without sounding like a whiny-butt so here goes:

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Is It Just Me or Do People Love Skinny People More than Fat People?

Why is it, if someone says they’re on a diet or has lost any weight at all or puts a photo of themselves half naked on the internet or in real life for that matter, they get a bazillion “likes”? Maybe I’m just jealous, but…

No wonder the average Jane who is struggling with her weight or who simply don’t have the genetics or the time to be super buff-n-stuff feels less-than when comparing herself with those images. You’re likely saying, “We shouldn’t compare ourselves with other women.” You’re right. But, we all do it! (If you don’t, tell me how you manage it.)

I’ve noticed that the most popular posts seem to be those who over-sexualize themselves either in their attire (or lack thereof) and/or poses, those who are touting their weight-loss success or are embarking on a get-fit plan. And I’m not just talking about women my size or larger who may actually need to lose weight. I’m talking about skinny women getting skinnier

Is Fashion Influenced Social Media As Unheallthy As Pornography? ||  Self-Esteem || Body Posititivty

Social Media Contributes to Body Dysmorphia

In these instances, are we, yes we, the “like-ers” reinforcing their body dysmorphia by “you go girl-ing” their hollow checked selfies? Is their “cheering section” perpetuating this idea in their head that if skinny is good, skinnier is better? 

And, is it further instilling in us fluffy girls that there is something less attractive about being bigger? 


Don’t Value Yourself Through the Diet Industry’s Eyes (or Anyone Else’s)

Every diet guru and their brother are literally banking on us feeling horrible about ourselves. There are new fad programs going around, and most aren’t even new at all. 

One popular plan is a regurgitated carb cycling diet very similar to the Fast Metabolism Diet. They’ve only added intermittent fasting to the regimen and wrapped it up in a new bow with a different name and an abundance of slim online influencers marketing it for them. This is only one of a slew of diet protocols being branded as THEE way to health and happiness.

The diet industry barrages us with the idea that fat = unhappy. They’re counting on it all the way to the bank with billions of dollars. I know of one everyday Jane with no degree in nutrition or health nor medical experience who created and branded a “program” that mimics, to the letter, another popular diet method. They then created meal plans and sold them for a reasonable amount of money at first. Then, based on few successes, tried to pass the program off for over $150 a month (no food was supplied)! Weight Watchers doesn’t even charge that much!

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If It Were Truly About Being Healthy

I have no problem with making choices that help us get healthy. However, I’ve watched as thin women, who may really only need to tone up, talk about needing to lose weight to feel happy. I’ve seen them get thinner and thinner and continue to spread the dangerous message that this is what we might need to do too. It’s a lifestyle you know. ;-( 

Right about now you might be saying, “But Paula, you’ve admitted your struggle with body acceptance, maybe you need to try one of these programs.” Maybe so, but I won’t. Why?

I Was THAT Skinny Girl Getting Skinnier

As they say, “been there done that”. I bought into their thought process, and I’m still trying to shake it. I was THAT GIRL, on every diet who thought if only she could get down under into the next 10’s spot, it would be enough. I have religiously power walked in the rain, cold, and even once in a blizzard. My internal clock had woken up on vacations, before my family during the wee hours of the morning in a dark hotel room and laid blankets on the yucky floor so I could do a Pilates routine (or what my boys called, “Mom’s Farting Exercises”). I made diet and exercise an obsession. 

And, I was her, the skinny girl standing next to her fat friend saying, “I just HAVE to lose this weight”. Yes, once upon a time, I was part of the problem too. But the tables have turned and now I’m the fat friend. And you know what? 

This is really a post about saying that the perfection we ourselves chase, “like”, and envy, has made it so the human body in it’s unadulterated, unfiltered form seems less-than.

Being overweight is not the worst thing in the world like I thought it would be. Life happens and there were bigger things to worry about than my weight. Would I like to be thinner? Yeah, but there are other things that have to get fixed first, sleep and hormones are the top on my “fix-it” list. 

Ladies, this is getting really emotional for me and my thoughts are rabbit trailing. I don’t want you to think this is a post about justifying my overweight body

This is really a post about saying that the perfection we ourselves chase, “like”, and envy, has made it so the human body in it’s unadulterated, unfiltered form seems less-than. We don’t see a fluffy, dimpled body as beautiful as we see the slim, smooth body. 

You might also be interested in Body Shaming, Just Say NO!

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Is Fashion Influenced Social Media Like Porn?

Once upon a time, before the prevalence of social media, we weren’t inundated with images of all the “everyday beautiful (skinny) people” except those celebrities on screen and in print. But now we’re viewing these images possibly for hours a day.

Maybe it’s kind of like porn. (Oh goodness, did I say that on the internet?) When someone is constantly looking at pornographic images, they develop a distorted impression of not only how a normal body looks but what true intimacy is about. The more those unrealistic, sexual images are viewed, the more they begin to distort a persons thought processes which can lead to all sorts of personal issues and relationship breakdowns.

The same is true with all the beautiful, thin and probably retouched bodies we’re visually consuming online. We like them because they’re pretty. And maybe we like them because they offer us hope beyond our current reality. But the more of those type of images we see, the more distorted we can become about our own body. 

Could the constant (social media) diet of perfect bodies with tans and thigh gaps be ruining the relationships we have with our own bodies?  

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Accepted Beauty 

You won’t see me strutting around in a bikini with my rolls hanging over the top to prove any “body positive” points or to garner “likes”. However, I did decide to post these photos even after I showed them to The Hubs and said I didn’t know if I could post these “unflattering” shots of my drumstick-thigh looking like it’s ready to sag at any minute (Eeks! He kind of agreed). 

But these photos are for me, for you and for our sons, daughters, and grandchildren. 

Last year I was featured in SheSpark magazine and was asked why I pose in bathing suits when other people shied away from it… I said,  “the more we see imperfect, unretouched bathing beauties in swimsuits we would realistically wear, the more that becomes the vision of accepted beauty in our own mind’s eye.”

Picking Myself Up

It stings a little to be putting myself out there at this size. The sting is even greater when my already skinny friends and sisters talk about their diets and how much weight they’ve lost. To be honest, I’m not sure if it burns so bad because I’m envious or because I’m sad because their happiness is size dependent. But, if they’re bodies are unacceptable to them, what must they think about me

I might get down in the dumps on occasion, but I have to ask myself this: Would I get discouraged if I saw more “me’s” represented in a beautiful way?  How much more lovely and valued would I feel if current culture saw bodies like mine as beautiful? I’d like to think all our body images would be better for it.


If Social Media Is Ruining Your Self-Esteem, Here’s THEE Diet to Try

I’m not telling us to unfriend or unfollow all the skinny peeps, but if these images are bringing us down, instead of trying a fad diet, we’ll feel better a whole lot faster if we go on a social media diet

Just like with food, in social media, moderation is key. There’s a little room for treats but mostly feed yourself the things that visually nourish your heart and mind

And definitely limit or eliminate social media consumption after dinner. You’ll only go to bed with “heartburn” of a different variety. 😉

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I’m Still Figuring Out How to Deal with Certain Negative Triggers

And I’m at a loss as to what we’re supposed to do about our real-life friends and family who obsess so much about all things diet/workout/weight related it makes you want to shove fists full of donuts in your mouth while lovingly rubbing your stomach right in front of them. I guess you can do as I do until I come up with a better solution – swallow that lump in your throat, put on a full of confidence facade while going to a happier place in your mind

I hope I didn’t come across as a “mean girl”. I’m definitely passionate about the subject but mean wasn’t my intention.

Most of how we think about diet and weight are based on what we’ve seen and heard. So, if we want perceptions of average bodies to change, it starts with each one of us and how we talk and think about our bodies.

You might also be interested in This IS My Fighting Weight

Let’s Talk Nice To Ourselves and To Each Other

Well, do you hate me? I hope not but if you have any thoughts on the matter, let’s open up a friendly dialogue.

Keep shining bright, living happy and nourishing yourself with all the good things you need.



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Is Social Media Ruining YWhat to do if social media is ruining your self-esteem || || Body Positivity || Plus Size Swimsuit || Body Acceptance
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58 Comments

  1. Donna Lukens
    /

    I follow you because you are beautifully real! Thank you for being open, honest, lovely, funny,and a great role model!

  2. Karen Miller
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    I LOVE this! I have a lot of the same feelings as you. Yes, I too get jealous of my “skinny” friends, but then I try to make myself think it’s ok to be the size I am. No, I don’t like how I look/feel very often, so I blame it on age, menopause, hormones, whatever! I try to watch what I eat, (not a fan of diets) but, I can never stay consistent. I’m trying to be ok with the size I am. It’s hard to look at all the thin gals on social media/Pinterest, but then when i’m out running errands, most of the women my age are my size too! So, to me , that makes it ok! I applaud you for your pictures! It’s not always about what you see on the outside, it’s about your heart and your confidence! ❤️

    • Paula
      Author
      /

      Thank you Karen. I’m not sure how up get out of the comparison game except to stop looking and compare apples to apples. I feel it most on social media.

      Let’s keep positive.
      Paula

      • Cheryl Walls
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        Paula you are a true inspiration. I to now struggle with weight- I thought fighting breast cancer was the hardest thing I had ever done. Trying to accept the new me is a real struggle. Thank you for sharing and helping us fluffy women accept there is nothing wrong with us- we are still beautiful!

        • Paula
          Author
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          Thank you so much Cheryl! We’re in a fluffy majority. 😘

  3. jodie filogomo
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    It’s amazing how numbers affect us so. Our age, our size or weight. And yet why do the numbers define us? We are so much more than that!! And we need to see ALL of us to realize it’s okay to be us.
    Thanks Paula!!
    XOXO
    Jodie

    • Paula
      Author
      /

      Thank you Jodie. You’re right.

  4. Deb Schmidt
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    Thank you this was a great post. Love the swimsuits.

    • Paula
      Author
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      Thanks Deb. I’m loving the higher neckline swimsuits these days. My chest has plenty of sun in this lifetime.

  5. Anne
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    I love this and you for saying it! I’m that person who is always looking for the way to lose weight, with thin friends who always talk about their weight issues. I always feel “less than”! I also need to lose weight to relieve knee pain. I admire you, your confidence and your joy.

    • Paula
      Author
      /

      Thanks Anne. It’s hard as I have two skinny sisters who are still trying to get skinnier. One even offered to bring me some of her special diet food when she comes for visit in a couple of weeks. It was well meaning but also, hurtful. And for a split second it tempts me to fall back into the diet rut of looking for a magic bullet, which if it works, it doesn’t last. Diets also cause me to think about food CONSTANTLY. 😬

      • Anne
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        Me too! I get obsessed and after I quit, I’m still obsessed just not about “healthy food” anymore.

        • Paula
          Author
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          😀 After I found out I have a genetic MTHFR mutation (broken genes) I try to ”obsess” or at least create a mindset where I focus more on what my body needs to nourish it rather than what I ”shouldn’t” eat. I’ m not perfect but it’s a healthier attitude with food.

  6. Gina D from Texas
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    I agree with you completely and I appreciate your honesty. I put myself on a social media diet a while back and I felt so much better. Even now I sometimes just delete the email or click out of the post. I also scroll past anything I see with a “skinny” girl saying she needs to lose weight or selling a diet or exercise. Don’t get me wrong some of them may very well mean well. But I know there is no magic program. It will take my watching what I eat and exercise. And for many women it’s not even that but a hormonal or other issue. So I don’t judge. But I love it when you – or any woman – is honest about who they are. ❤️

    • Paula
      Author
      /

      Thanks for commenting Gina. I agree, most are well meaning, but it either tempts me to fall back into old, harmful “diet” thinking. Or, it makes me want to shake them and say stop talking about it in such a way that a new generation of young people will be growing up with the same dysfunctional thinking about size and happiness.

      • Karon
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        Paula,

        I also follow you BECAUSE of the positive body image you project in your blog! I try and stay off of social media because it is SO freaking harmful to my self esteem. I search for normal people like you to follow and leave the rest. I dont need to purposely make myself feel less than. I love your honesty and im grateful that you have the courage to put what you feel out there for the rest of us to gather our courage from!!! There will always be haters, we will never change that, but we can change the role models we choose to follow and whose voice we listen to!! ❤

  7. My friend your total realness is one of the multitude of things I love about you. Your words are so accurate…if we’re being honest there’s no one without some form of body image issue. I have had weight/eating issues along with “I’m not pretty enough” issues my entire life that stem from cruel comments from “family” when I was a kid. I’ve gotten to a place where most days I beat the negativity down, but it’s a struggle. Now throw aging into the mix & dayum…lol! I love social media however you’re right on point. Seeing it 24/7 as opposed to once a month when the newest magazine issue came out makes it tough. I love seeing real women rocking on with their bad selves & I’ve been seeing more of it in my Instagram feed which is awesome…you keep on putting your fabulous beautiful self out there because I for one look forward to seeing you keepin’ it real & showing everyone that’s how real beauty looks! XO
    Debbie
    http://www.fashionfairydust.com

  8. tina
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    I love everything you said. I also agree with it, especially with how it’s like porn in a desensitizing, unrealistic view and expectation sort of way. I have been noticing also how supportive the social media users are of e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. just because its a social media post. I get it, we need to spread the love. But what would happen if stopped clicking the hearts, the thumbs up, and just scrolled past the posts that were overly filtered or made us feel less than. What if everyone did that? I dare to say it might change things if we react to posts authentically.

  9. Gale
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    I have loved following you because of your honesty and your acceptance of where you are right now! I too am “fluffy” but I try to make the most of what I have been given without always feeling like I need to be smaller. Although in the last year and a half, I have been diagnosed with atrial fibrillation. So, for my health, I have sought help on eating healthy and getting an exercise regiment. Healthy is beautiful!

    By the way, I love the bathing suit on you!

  10. Charlene Burroughs
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    You are BEAUTIFUL!!!

  11. Cindy Hale
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    I love reading your blog; you reflect more of what I see as what “real” … when I first saw your blog recommended by another blogger … forgive me, I forget who it was … I knew I would follow YOURS more closely. You reflect more of what I see in myself … I recently transitioned my hair as well (go gray sisters!!), I am married to my hubby for almost 31 years; we met and 4 months later married! I have 2 daughters and 8 grands ♥ I have had weight/food issues all my life and I remember cruel comments from my Father when I was young. I have been thin also, but as my age has increased, so has the weight … again! I’m tired of trying to struggle to “take it off” again and wonder, why am I not good enough right where I am!!! Thank you for your thoughts and thank you for just being you!! “Before you were born, I set you apart.” Jeremiah 1:5 … good reminder ♥

    • Paula
      Author
      /

      Thank you SO MUCH for the scripture reminder. Sometimes we forget that we are daughters of a King and are highly favored. 😘 Glad to have you on my team.

      Hugs
      Paula

  12. Susan Hinesley
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    Great post. So true. In real life people love their friends and family no matter what size they are. I am much more judgmental of people who are sloppy and tacky than I am of people who are not skinny. Haha. I give people makeovers in my mind all the time. . I think you are the cutest thing ever and LOVE your swimsuit. People, just look around. I don’t think you will see very many skinny people except online. It is just not real. Thanks for posting this!

  13. Janice
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    Paula, I relate to you completely! I am 72 years old and was always the heaviest kid in my class at school. I was teased quite a bit about my size, then I had to lose weight to get a factory job. This was 1965 before discrimination laws were passed. It was hard, but I lost the weight with diet pills from my doctor, which I continued to take to keep the weight off. I did gain quite a bit after I got married, but joined a program and exercised my butt off to keep it off for many years, then in 2003, I was in a bad auto accident and was layed up for almost 6 months. At first, I could not eat and lost 20 pounds in 6 weeks! When I started eating, I could not stop eating, plus I was menopausal ! Then I had to have open heart surgery to replace a valve (probably caused by those diet pills), I packed on more weight. I have not been able to loose all the weight gained, but my cardiologist tells me that I need more weight as I get older in case I get sick, there is something to fall back on. I am a size 16 and not an ideal weight, but I have tried to just be healthy and happy. That to me is what is important! I still want to dress nicely and fashionable. I do get lots of compliments! I am enjoying being ME, with wrinkles and more weight then I would like, but I am healthy and content with ME. For anyone who struggles with issues, I would recommend reading Sally at Already Pretty! She blogs a lot about accepting ourselves as we are and her posts have helped me a lot! She also does some fashion articles. Hope this long post may help someone! Paula, you rock!

  14. Heide V
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    Absolutely LOVE this and agree with you 💜 I’ve found myself getting uncomfortable with the over-emphasis on skinny, and began filling my Instagram with woman in all different shapes, sizes and colours, ones that were truly body positive in the way they spoke…. women that inspired and GAVE hope as opposed to taking it away 😊 Keep going girl, you ARE making a difference (and seriously rock those bathing suits, which is far more helpful to us; seeing how nice or not nice suits look on normal bodies 👍🏽)

  15. /

    Paula, i enjoyed reading this blog so much today. I follow you because you are honest with your feelings and I think you are beautiful on the outside as well as on the inside. I have the same issue except mine is about age. Please keep up the great work.

    Thanks

  16. Cindy
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    I love everything you said! I really try to find fashion blogs that show women with my weight. But it’s hard. So many at super skinny that you have NO IDEA how their outfit would look on you!!
    Keep up the good work!!

    • Paula
      Author
      /

      It’s true. We fluffy girls can wear it’s if what the skinny girls do with modifications. I just grow weary if seeing the glorification of ”thin” people seeking thinner. It behind to play on our psyche!

  17. patty k
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    Well said! Thank you for having the courage to say what many of us are thinking and feeling. I think you look great in your bathing suits. You are a beautiful woman. Wishing you a wonderful day : )

    • Paula
      Author
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      Thank you Patty! I appreciate the support. My words see like my babies. They’re personal to me.

  18. Lisa
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    Love this post! It also made me wonder…. Anyone else ever feel “food shamed”? Like ordering a soft drink and the person taking the order glances up and says “DIET coke, right?” Or you decide to not order the sundae that you really wanted because of what people might think? Confession: I always try to find out what everyone else is eating before I order – don’t want to order a burger when everyone else is having a salads. Is it just me?

    • Paula
      Author
      /

      My friend and I talk about this a lot. We both have family who are constantly talking about ”good” food or ”bad” food. But then if we order the fries (bad) they’ll just eat some of ours. 🙄 Or we’ll have the same thing but the skinny sister has to put it in her calorie counter before eating it. I don’t want to obsess about food one way or another. I like the nook Intuitive Eating. It’s about breaking the ”diet” mebtality. Have you ever read it?

    • Gina D from Texas
      /

      Lisa – not just you! I’m always the last to order for the exact same reason. But truth be told, I think most women order a salad instead of what they really want right off – for the exact same reason – they don’t want to be shamed. I heard someone say once “there are no good and bad choices, only better and best – it isn’t all or nothing”. I like that. It’s not the end of the world if I order a cheeseburger and fries. Could I eat a salad instead? Yes. But I wouldn’t feel happy or satisfied. And sometimes I do order a salad because that’s what I “want” to eat at the time. 😊

      • Paula
        Author
        /

        That’s the best way to be Gina. Eat what we want, no guilt. Stop when we’re satisfied because we know we can have more when we want it. 🙌

  19. Starla McKinney
    /

    Paula, THANK YOU for your wonderfully honest and open post. I literally get excited when I see you have posted (and I follow many other bloggers) but I enjoy yours the most because you a so REAL!! You’re so cute, and I love the clothes you style, but even more so, I love the person that is reflected in your blog. You are so fun, and I wish I could be your friend in “real” life! 🙂 I do struggle greatly with my own self-image, not only about wishing my body was different so I looked better in my clothes (or out of them HA), but spending WAY too much time thinking about it and stressing over it! I don’t want to compare. . . but I do! I know it’s wrong, but I find myself thinking that skinny people ARE more beautiful and desirable. It’s extra hard when social media and television are constantly reinforcing this into our brains. I have come to realize that my mind has been brainwashed into thinking something that isn’t true. I have allowed these thoughts to rob myself of MUCH joy in life. That’s not how my Heavenly Father sees me, and I am working on “taking captive every thought” to try and change my thought process. It’s a work in progress. . . . I appreciate you!! Keep fighting the good fight!

    • Paula
      Author
      /

      You are wonderful Starla. Joyce Myers book title explains it best… The Battlefield of the Mind. It’s in our own head, but it’s being driven home day after day by the images and information we allow in. We are beautiful! Artists used to paint pictures of women just like US!

      Just think of all we could do and be for God if we didn’t spend so much time worrying about it all. But it’s a battle that we can win. Let’s stick together sweet FRIEND!

  20. Bobbi Jo
    /

    Paula, you are so great! This post was everything that’s in my head, every day! Thank you. I, too, wish we were personal friends. You get it and speak it like no other. Peace, from my heart to yours…

    • Paula
      Author
      /

      If we all near each other we would go out to eat and order everything we wanted and then come and swim in my pool with all our lumps hanging out while eating ice cream drumsticks (if we wanted them). I also have a suspicion we might laugh until a little per came out. 😳😁😂🤣😂

      • Gina D from Texas
        /

        I’m laughing out loud in my cube. 😆😅😂🤣 But I agree 100%!

      • Robin OSBORNE
        /

        I see posts all over blogger land with blogger girls getting together for trips. I say “Fluffy Girls Unite!” (I will bring the dessert!)

        • Lisa
          /

          Robin, a meet up would be fun! We could do Dimples-in-Destin! 🙂

          • Paula
            Author
            /

            Or The Fluffy & Fab Meet up. 😃

  21. Rozanne
    /

    I applaud all of your truths that you and all the rest of the ladies are sharing today. I was a fat child who was always told it was too bad because I had “such a pretty face”.
    Fast forward to 22 years old and engaged. I lost 68 pounds before my wedding. Totally ruined my stomach. Developed dysmorphia. I am now 56 and hover around 90 pounds. I have osteoporosis in my hip. I have so much trouble finding clothes that fit me. I hate going out to eat with people. I order last,also, because now , with stomach issues, I have to be careful what and how I eat. I dread the inevitable “that’s what you’re eating”, or “that’s all your eating”.
    I have had “ well meaning(?) friends” tell me how sickly I look. I’ve had people tell me, just go eat a donut.
    Everything in life is perspective, and how our own issues color how we see the world. I’m not a social media fan. Pinterest gives me anxiety. I see beautiful clothes I can never wear because they don’t come in my size.
    I truly identify with a lot of things all of you have been saying, just from the other end of the spectrum. We are all beautiful and valuable in our own right, regardless of the number on the scale. Beauty should come from within, being a beautiful soil, is so much more attractive. We need to learn to be comfortable in our skin, in spite of what social media is putting out there. After some truly needed therapy, I have learned to be the friend I need, not only to myself, but to other people.
    You, Paula, are truly beautiful! You put yourself on the line every time you post, showing us all what a genuine woman is. You should never feel bad about your size. You are always dressed beautifully, your hair is wonderful, and you give people a great example of someone who is larger than the social media nymphs, and how amazing they can look!
    I love your swimsuit pictures, I read your blog because , in some way, it makes me feel more accepting of myself, and I am so grateful for that.
    Getting off my soapbox now. Sorry for running on. You all have a great day!

  22. Lisa
    /

    Sounds 100% wonderful!

  23. Peggy
    /

    Great post Paula. I am 65 and overweight. Sounds like the beginning of some type of meeting, doesn’t it! However, with age comes the realization that I do not care what others think of how I look. I dress nice, wear makeup and do my hair. If someone wants to judge me because I am not skinny, it is their problem and loss, not mine. A lot of freedoms comes with age. I am just going to say it, “I am so sick of ‘A FASTer Way to Fat Loss.’ It seems like the majority of bloggers are or have been on this weight loss program. I skip over their posts regarding this diet. What became of the food pyramid, eating 3 well balanced meals a day, then 5 smaller meals is better than 3 large meals. What about breakfast being the most important meal of the day and do not skip it. If you miss meals then you will begin to lose muscle. Now we should fast for 16 hours a day. Geez, what is next??? Do I need to lose weight? Absolutely. However, I need to lose weight for my health, not so I can fit in smaller size clothes. All my life, my weight has been a roller coaster ride, up and down. Will I lose weight? I hope so but I will not obsess about it. Personally, I think WW has the best program – moderation. Don’t eat the whole cake, just a slice. We should love and respect people for who they are inside, not what they look like on the outside. Don’t judge a book by its cover! I will say it again, great post. Have a wonderful day!

  24. /

    I’m a fairly new reader of your blog and I’m so glad I found you. This post is absolutely fantastic and needed. Thank you for it, and for allowing yourself to be vulnerable in this way. I agree that we need to see more real, un-retouched women in media, and thank you for being one of them. This part particularly resonated with me:
    “The sting is even greater when my already skinny friends and sisters talk about their diets and how much weight they’ve lost. To be honest, I’m not sure if it burns so bad because I’m envious or because I’m sad because their happiness is size dependent. But, if they’re bodies are unacceptable to them, what must they think about me?”

    I’m thinking of a workout class I’ve been taking regularly for years–the things the other (much thinner) women say about themselves make me cringe, not only for myself but for them.

    I’ve been learning more about fat and diet culture recently, as well as watching my own weight rise and body confidence fall as I deal with menopause and a series of minor injuries/issues that have kept me from being as physically active as I’ve been in the past. I have been trying so hard to love my body–or even to just accept it rather than loathe it! I finally decided that every time I looked in the mirror and started to criticize my appearance I was going to flip that and think about how grateful I am for what my body has done and is doing for me. My health is generally excellent and I’m beyond grateful for that. It’s a work in progress. Now I just have to get through my annual physical next week where I’m pretty sure I’m going to be at my highest weight ever.

  25. Marsha
    /

    First, I’m so glad you’re posting more regularly. I read your blog for a couple of reasons…you’re from Indiana! And, you’re real…real in your words, real in your thoughts, and real in your photos! Now, about this post. I did read it all the way to the end! And, all of the feels! I’m 61 and have been overweight for most of those years. My battle with weight started because I overheard an aunt (now, I know she’s just a vicious hag) talking about the size of my legs…at my dad’s funeral! I was just right back then. I was 16 and weighed 123 pounds. When I was fitted for my wedding dress, the alterations lady commented on my small waist! But, all I could think of was “the size of my legs”. And, that began my battle with body dysmorphia, binge eating, and yo-yo dieting. I did follow a blogger who also touted the benefits of a FASTer way to lose weight. She also showed off her Peloton bike along with so many other (buy me) items! I stopped once I realized she had one agenda…get free things, make me want those free things, and get more free things because I bought said things. When that agenda becomes so blatant, you lose me! So, I seek out blogs that address me…my size, my age, and my life. If the blogger doesn’t meet that criteria, I’m done…plain and simple! I do think you’ve hit the nail on the head, though. We are exposed to these photo-shopped people constantly, and we are old enough to figure it out. Imagine the damage being done to younger women…those who don’t have the knowledge we have…you know…the knowledge that comes with age and experience. Thanks for the beautiful photos today! You are gorgeous!

  26. Jennifer
    /

    You look beautiful, thank you for bringing this taboo subject out in the open, it has given me much to think about

  27. Robin OSBORNE
    /

    This post is exactly why you are one of my absolute favorite bloggers. I am middle aged and “fluffy” as well. I know for health reasons I should work on losing weight, but dang it I like to eat good food and some of the good stuff isn’t good for me.
    Earlier this spring in response to seeing depressing and ugly posts on FB, I decided that rather than responding to what is probably a troll I would post a quote about kindness or tolerance instead. By doing so, I reminded myself of the good instead of the bad and the ugly.

    P.S. Thank you for being brave and sharing your feelings along with your pictures. (You look great!)

  28. IreneTara
    /

    Paula thank you for having the courage to post this. I have been struggling with this body acceptance thing for along time. You are spot on about the “social media diet”. I removed my self from Facebook because after I was done I felt like I had the worst life. I now only follow certain blogs, like you, and I sleep better. Whilst your bathing suit pics are not what this world we live in thinks is beautiful, they truly are. Why ? Because your beauty comes from your heart and it shines through. Plus I think you look smashing in these pics! Keep on inspiring us!

  29. /

    Thanks for this post!! You have hit the nail on the head and make some heads turn to see the beautiful person splashing at the pool. I not only have thin friends who are always on a diet, but a Mother who loves to remind me of how my body used to look back in the day (and she is not a slim chick either) LOL! All of the negativity does sting and it took me years to get over it. I have never gone to purchase clothes and not find something to fit my ever changing body, so I never called myself fat. I just cursed my lumps, bumps & love handles every chance I got. Because of diabetes and the fact that my Dr. threatened me to give up starch. I have given up my beloved bread and I do feel a lot better about myself. But I’m not on a diet. I still eat plenty of good food while trying to keep my blood sugar at normal levels. Continue to Be strong Sis. . .

  30. Yelena
    /

    Thank you for opening the door and sharing with us. I say “”Amen” to everything you wrote!! I appreciate you being vulnerable and opening up with us. I too struggle with my weight, for decades now. Its not a simple or easy journey to accept yourself as you are. I am selective which bloggers I follow….some just aren’t good for my self esteem. You, on the other hand, are a keeper!!😉

  31. /

    I never understood the hole issue with weight.( I have to be honest, I never had a problem with my weight, so it’s easy for me to say). Isn’t it about feeling good in your body? I have seen a dietitian now since a few months because I wanted to GAIN a few pounds! Yes, you heard that correctly, gain! And the dietitian also taught me to eat better because of my disease and working out. That is way so much better then Weight Watchers. They don’t teach you how to eat better, they teach you how to lose weight! But it’s all about someones personality. I mean , what good is it to be very very ,,beautiful,, and have the perfect body and you are a totall bitch!

    • Paula
      Author
      /

      You are fortunate to have never had a an issue with being overweight Nancy. Once upon a time I thought I never would either. 😏
      But life and hormonal imbalances, illnesses, medications and injuries happen that can derail the best intentions and all the nutrition knowledge we might have. I’ll venture a guess that most overweight people have enough knowledge of diet & nutrition to earn an honorary doctorate. 😂

      You are correct in that eating well, to nourish our bodies is the key regardless of our size. And finding an exercise we enjoy is as good for the spirit as it is for our bodies.

      You’re also correct that being a good and kind person with a great personality creates the BEST kind of FRIEND!

      Hugs,
      Paula

  32. Suzanne
    /

    Paula I follow several fashion bloggers and some of the specific type you mentioned, encouraging weight loss when they’re already too skinny😫. I look forward to your posts the most. We are of the same age, group, body type and point in our lives where we are taking care of aging parents. I look at your pics and I’m encouraged to try new things with a confidence I didn’t have before. You are an influencer of confidence and bravery and I choose to follow someone who can relate to what I’m going through and who does it with great style. I want to thank you for being you.

  33. ann
    /

    Its all about health, if you don’t have high blood pressure or elevated cholesterol or a pre-diabetic condition, do as you please. Eating for health does have benefits, better skin, better sleep and sometimes weight loss.

    • Paula
      Author
      /

      You’re right, it is about health. I think moderation is key all the way around.

      Thanks for stopping by.
      Paula

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