Stansstad schwimbad and a WAVE of body image issues

I don't know who the artist is but I feel like they were watching me at the pool.

I don’t know who the artist is but I feel like they were watching me at the pool.

Nothing like a day at the Swiss Public Swimming Pool to bring on a wave of self loathing for the shape I have let my body slip into. To borrow the Yo-Yo description I have made progress with fitness over the years and then slipped back into survival mode (which does not include exercise or eating right). At one point I was feeling pretty confident about my strength, energy, and even my shape was coming along. I could find clothes I liked almost any place I shop, and I was happy to dress up. Today however I was not feeling so powerful while trying to “swim” my non-swimming 4 year old around the pool, and I could not help but compare my broken veins, jiggly thighs, belly rolls and droopy chest to all the more beautiful bikini bodies that surrounded me.

I think it is fair to generalize the Swiss people as small. They are usually small in stature compared to some of there European neighbors like the Germans or the Scandinavians. They are also rarely overweight from my personal observation. It is an admirable quality I keep hoping will rub off. They are active, always biking and walking everywhere. They also eat very little meat and the sweets are actually not that rich or sugary. I suppose those are just peripheral observations but I’m sure that they are relevant to a healthy, skinny, toned, and beautiful body.

After noticing all the great bikini ab’s I started noticing so many beautiful pregnant ladies. It brought back memories of my own summer pregnancies. Funny thing is that even though I hated being pregnant because of the constant nauseousness, It was the only time that I didn’t feel fat compared to other pregnant bodies. I will pause here to admit that we should not be comparing ourselves, but lets face it- it happens! I remember after loosing about 20 lbs. during pregnancy and gaining all baby in my belly that my stomach was smooth and round, no fat rolls. I felt like I looked normal in a way. It is the ONLY thing I miss about pregnancy but I think it’s a little sad for me that I was feeling so crummy, and wishing the pregnancy would be finished, that I didn’t really enjoy that body confidence the way I should have.

Fast forward to today. I quickly gained back all my pregnancy losses after the babies came and my appetite returned. I worked off a lot of it at the gym after number 1 and then again (almost) after number 2. But with the moving this last year and a half I have completely fallen off any strict eating and fitness routines. My body really misses it. I am feeling rounder and lumpier and more tired than ever. I just want to note that I never feel like working out gives me more energy, (so please pass along secrets to that formula) but at least I feel stronger! So whilst on vacation in France I started my couch potato 5-k routine again. It is slow progress but at least I am doing something. Even more reluctant to make changes is my diet! I am certain that the bread here is holding me back. After all we are doing a lot right. We eat a balanced diet. We are eating less meat and much more fruit than back home. I know however that the delicious fresh breads are going straight to the belly rolls and I worry with all I read about gluten free diet advantages that it might just benefit me too? Are the results that every one raves about based on them having allergies or sensitivities? Or can anyone who gives up wheat suddenly expect clear skin, more energy, and overall better health? Because I LOVE me some Gluten! I love me some pasta and some bread and some big southern style chocolate cake ~ as if it were the only food group I really don’t want to ever -ever give up!

And then there is the ultimate – Plastic Surgery. I hope by just mentioning it I will get some comments on this post. Please Please share your experiences and advice if you know anything about it?! You can always comment anonymously. I am not suggesting that overweight people can slap down a wad of cash and expect to leave an out patient surgery with a “Swiss bikini body” but I wonder what weight loss goals I would have to meet to actually get my belly looking decent? With the added help of plastic surgery too… lipo, tummy tucks, boob reductions or lifts or what ever needs to happen to them… they are all worth consideration.

O this post is just a lot of rambling about whats on my mind, but since I know all of you (are there seriously people that exist with out some sort of body image issues?) must think about it too, I want to hear some advice or some of your thoughts!

**** on a side note, I did eat a lot of gelato this month-LOL

8 thoughts on “Stansstad schwimbad and a WAVE of body image issues

  1. Hollee, first, I have always thought you to be one of my most beautiful friends inside and out and would never see you in that painting. However, i understand why you would think that b/c I have never felt comfortable in my own skin, and it makes me sad…not just for me, but that I have fear if passing it on to my girls. I tell them almost daily as I look in the mirror and see a fT person looking back at me, to not become like me b/c it’s miserable. Right now, I try to work out at least 5 days a week (which after over two years of doing so, I still HATE and have to force myself to do, so when people say you will begin to love it, I’m asking how long will that take cause after 2+ years it’s not happening for this girl. Lol), watch my calorie intake and am in the best shape ever. I have actually had a few people tell me that I’m starting to get too thin, yet I still don’t feel good about my body (my boobs sag, i have wrinkles and the list goes on), and often feel fat. I hate living like that it is miserable. I feel like I have allowed myself to become a victim of what society deems thin/beautiful. I’m trying to get past this. I keep asking myself why when Heavenly Father creates us all with different bodies, talents and abilities do we seem to strive to go against that and want everyone to be exactly the same? I don’t think that is how it is suppose to be. Does that make sense? I’m not saying we should not take care of our bodies, or eat right, after all, The Lord has given us the Word of Wisdom (which I heard a good friend of mine say that she lost all her weight when she started living it fully. When she told me that, I thought, huh, now that’s an idea! Funny how I often look for outside sources to tell me what to eat and put in my body and how often I over look what The Lord has told me). Now, I’m the one rambling. I don’t have any magic answers, but I have learned (or still trying) that fruits and vegetables are great, but that I can’t ever go my whole life w/o bread, cookies and ice cream for then I’m truly setting myself up for failure. I find moderation is the key! I can have a cookie or two, not an entire plate! Yes, some days I don’t eat as good as I should, but not everyday. I’ve been praying to Heavenly Father to help me to love the body He has given me, and to help me take care of it and that I can see myself as He sees me…cause I think not until then will I truly be happy with myself no matter what size. Sorry to go on and on, but I have so many thoughts on this issue , yes even more than I’ve written! lol and I’m really not sure what is right…
    I love you beautiful friend!

  2. I wanted to share these with you. You may have already seen them, but if not they are worth seeing/reading. The first is The Dove Beauty Sketches and the second is a letter a women wrote to her mother as an adult. Both, I think touch on the whole body image issue, and gave me things to ponder. Hugs!
    Dove Beauty Sketches

    Article: when Your Mother Says She’s Fat

    • Thanks andrea! You should be the one blogging! Especially about this! Do you mind if I share the above links? I need to read and digest but It might be worth extending the conversation.

  3. Please share the above links! I think they are awesome. Ariel actually shared the Dove one with me when she got back from EFY this summer. The director’s wife taught a self image class to all the young women. I love them both!

  4. Try Tim Ferriss 4 Hour Body ( – simple to follow and you can even eat out and still stick to it. The bit I like best is that you follow it 6 days a week and on the seventh, you eat what you want so you don’t get to miss out – you just save it for one day a week. Good luck 🙂

  5. I think the keys to feeling good about the body that I have been given – adequate rest, more fruits & vegetables, yummies in moderation, and moving my body more. I am not at a good place right now physically and it alters everything – how I treat my husband & kids, how I dress & act, etc. Going to the beach or the pool is not too much fun. And then I went home and visited my mom, my sisters, my aunt, and my grandma. I realize that so much of my body shape is predetermined. We all eat differently & exercise various amounts or not at all. With a huge amount of exertion, mentally & physically, I can alter the way things are. But ultimately, I end up looking like a variation of my family’s female shape. I am lucky that I was super thin until I was in my twenties. For a long time, I didn’t carry around a poor body image. Now, 100 pounds later, I am feeling the effects of the second half of my life. Elder Holland gave a great talk – I couldn’t find the link – but I am striving to love myself for who I am.

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