#bodiesSelf-Loathing, Just Like Mama Taught Me

10 comments | July 12th, 2012

Chestist Shares

(story submitted as a comment, by Lana a Chestist, and reposted here, now)

The writer first posted this as a comment to our story on Mothers, and what they teach us about ourselves - for good and ill.  Here's her story:

When I was 14, my mom told me that, for her, 130 lbs was "big." At that time, I weighed about 165 lbs. In that moment, I wanted to kill myself.

She wasn't telling me to lose weight, she was expressing her own dissatisfaction with her body. My mom has a curvy hourglass figure - she's wears a 32DD Bra and size 12 pants. Her waist is tiny but she has our family's hips bodacious booty. My whole life, my mother talked about food, and she still does. She decides to "hate" foods that have "too much fat," like cheesecake, which, I recently found out, she actually loves but told me that she hated it my whole life. She won't even drink a latte because it has "too much milk." She has been on Weight Watchers my entire life and when we went around the table ...

Body Image Liberation

3 comments | June 28th, 2012

rising podos

(story submitted by Esia, a Chestist)

I've never liked my body.  My proportions are wrong, I'm usually a little overweight, and I seem stuck in a perpetual bad hair day.

Fashion has always been my way of hiding what I don't like and showing what I do.  It's been how I help myself feel prettier.  As you can imagine, summer has been a hard season because we begin to unwrap and the beach or the pool, sheer terror.  Until last weekend. 

We were in the Hamptons and at a beautiful cocktail party on the beach.  It was summer afternoon perfect.  The water is still freezing and so only a few people were crazy enough to go in, but everyone was running around or milling around in bathing suits and various stages of Hampton's elegant causal undress.  I felt like I was hiding, and that by hiding I was keeping myself from having fun that I should be having. I decided not to do that anymore.  Dropping my wrap and taking off my little sweater to get down just to my bathing suit was an odd ...

#lifestagesHappiness Makes Old Age Cooler

2 comments | June 27th, 2012

Get Busy Living

(OOC via psychologytoday.com)

This getting older thing can be funny.  Seems few of us want to do it, and our milestone birthdays often seem like millstones around the necks of our happy (or maybe it's just our longevity).   It's stranger still when you consider, as this reasearch did , that it's those over 60 who are the happiest amongst us.  Or at least they're the happiest amongst the Brits, where the research was conducted.  From the psychologytoday article:   "Research on the happiness of different age groups in the UK has found - surprisingly, it might seem at first - that it's actually the over 60s. This research showed that happiness levels are quite high in the 20s, then dip through the 30s and reach their lowest point in the mid-forties. But after 50, they start to rise, and continue rising through the 60s, when they become even higher than young people's. Similarly, a recent world wide survey found that, so long as they are in fairly good health, 70 year ...

#lifestagesI Am No Longer Comparing

5 comments | June 20th, 2012


(story submitted anonymously, by a 33 yo Chestist)

Sometimes what we see is not what we get.  Check out her story:

I was staring in the mirror.  Noting every flaw, every change, every thing I wished were different.  I was picking myself apart - more observationally than negatively, and wondering how what I had once been had become this 33 year-old version of me now, when I found myself saying "wow, you don't look very good."

Just as suddenly and actually taking me by surprise, I found myself saying "it is what it is and you are what you are."  And I smiled at my reflection, and walked away feeling pretty good about the me that I am and no longer comparing it to the me I used to be :-) {end story}

Truth, the happy ending here took us by delightful surprise.  How's about you, Chestists? What do you see when you look at you in the mirror?  However it makes you feel, why do you think you feel that way?   What needs to happen or change for you to feel (even) better?  Let's #discuss.   

#bodies“She Has a Problem, And You Know It”

8 comments | June 18th, 2012


(story submitted anonymously, by an 18 yo Chestist) The bedroom lock clicks as she blasts on some music. Once satisfied with its volume, she mindlessly walks into the bathroom and locks the door behind her. She heads over to the sink and washes her hands. As she directs the soap on her index and middle finger, the conversation she heard after dinner plays back in her head… ------------------------------------------- The knot in her stomach tightened as she peered through the cracked door. Her brother grabbed their father by the shirt, making himself heard. “She has a problem, and you know it.” ------------------------------------------- Working quickly, she pulls back her hair into a tight knot, and finds a large headband to cover up the rest of the mess. Her father switched to Tamil; everybody was in for it now. “She has as much of a problem as my son does taking his eyes off a damn computer screen. No one’s stopping you! It’s just something she does to cope.” Her brother persisted in English. “But it hurts.” ------------------------------------------- She looks at the toilet, and washes her hands again. “Is ...

Surrounded By Youth and Beauty

6 comments | June 13th, 2012


(story submitted by Mirror Stalker, a Chestist)

I'm no Homecoming Queen but I used to think I was "cute".  Lately it's like I'm surrounded by youth and beauty and it makes me feel old and unattractive.  Every where I look, I see women skinnier thsn me, prettier than me, younger than me, and looking like they're having more fun than me.

I don't know if it's that I'm turning 35 in a few months, or living in New York, or working in the industry I do.  It's not about having a guy, it's about feeling pretty and confident when I look in the mirror or see my reflection in a store window.  I can't stand comparing myself to other women but I have been and not favorably.  I'm seriously thinking about cosmetic "enhancements" to look younger and feel prettier. {end story} 

How we feel about how we look can influence our happyness and self-confidence in so many ways (go ahead, you can quote us on that).  You find yourself comparing you to others?  You ever win that competition or is it alwys self-defeating? 

#thecumulativeeffectSpanx on My Mind

8 comments | June 7th, 2012

50s chestist

(story submitted anonymously, by a Chestist)

Did you read that Adele wore 4 pairs of Spanx to the Grammy's?  A week ago I read that the woman who invented Spanx is the first self-made female billionaire. 

Isn't it just fucking ironic that the first female billionaire is one because she invented a way to change how we look and help us pretend our bodies are different than they are?  I can't decide if it's a genius invention or so sad.  I've worn them before and I'll wear them again. Still, I think it's one thing to want to look differently and another when we pretend that we actually do.  Wouldn't we make fun of a guy who wore lifts?  Why is that any different?  {end story}

Ok everyone, what do you think?  Ever worn Spanx or some equivalent?  Would you?


#bodiesEating Disorder

7 comments | May 26th, 2012

cloudy talk burst

(story submitted Anonymously, by a Chestist, on rewind)

I was never the fat girl, but I was never the thin girl either. I wasn't the ugliest girl, but I was far from attracting the attention and admiration of anyone either. I had flaws, but I wasn't a flaw. And this is how I felt during my years as a teenager.

I went through puberty at a very early age. Nine years old to be exact. I always felt special-- being the tallest, being the biggest. But those feelings changed once I entered middle school and learned thin was in.

I continued to gain weight a grow, and by seventh grade I was 5'3" and 150 lbs. No one ever said to my face that I was fat. I only felt that I was because I was surrounded by prepubescent girls and t.v. shows like America's Next Top Model, that praised and glamorized size 0 bodies. And growing up in a home with a constantly dieting mother and Barbie Dolls to play with, I knew I should have been thinner.

And to be honest, I could have eaten healthier and ...

#bodiesIn The Mind’s Eye

9 comments | May 17th, 2012


(submitted by Chan, a Chestist, an OOC rewwind)

Sometimes what we think we see and what we think others see may not be the same thing.  Sometimes that's good; sometimes it sucks.  Here's what one reader sent us:

"I have this... thing where, in my mind's eye, I'm thinner than I actually am.  Catching a glimpse of myself in the mirror can be devastating.  It's not that I don't know I'm overweight: I just don't *see* myself that way, so when it's shoved in my face, it's startling to say the least." [end of story.]

Does anyone else have this mind's-eye glitch? What's the difference - if any - between what you see in the mirror and what's in your mind's eye?

Bikini Season

9 comments | May 17th, 2012

chestist threads

(story submitted anonymously, by a 25 yo Chestist)

My summer house-share starts next weekend and I am not in bikini-season shape, physically or emotionally.  I love summer but sometimes I really hate bathing suits. {end story}

Ah summer, the stuff of warm nights, cold drinks, the smell of suntan lotion...and bathing suits.  Is "bikini season" something you think about it?  How's it make you feel?

#bodiesTime Magazine and Breastfeeding

12 comments | May 17th, 2012


(story submitted by Renea, a Chestist)

One of the things we've found so interesting about the Time cover is (and we have a sneaking suspicion those crafty editors knew this) it sure does create conversation and opinion.  Us?  We looked at it and were all, wow, that's weird.  Then we got past the visual and were like all, that's how they do it, and who are we to judge or hate on their happy?  So we stopped judging.  We didn;t start agreeing we just stopped judging.  You know, live and let live and all that. 

This is  Renea's story.  She's pretty funny: In light of the recent SHOCKING Time magazine cover, with the toddler breastfeeding while standing on a STEP STOOL in front of a CAMERA CREW... I thought I would share my personal story from my blog www.thinkandponder.com My story is called:  Breastfeeding... FOREVER. I knew before my child was born that I would breast feed.  I didn’t even take the free formula home with me from the hospital.  I took a breastfeeding class, read books, and watched You Tube videos.  I was ready....

#bodiesBetter Body Image Through Skinny Dipping

26 comments | May 14th, 2012


(story by Mir, from WouldaCouldaShoulda.com)

I spent my summers, as a kid, at sleep-away camp. And at summer camp, certain things are predictable. For example:

1) One night a group of boys will come rushing into the girls' camp screaming "PANTY RAID!" even though they have no idea what that means, and everyone involved is generally too young for this to be anything other than an excuse to stay up late and make a lot of noise. 2) The phrase "you kill it, you fill it" shall be used to make sure whoever took the last food item from the dish on your communal table goes up to get some more for the rest of you. 3) Older campers will claim to be dating each other, and this generally means that they will hold hands on the sly just once or twice before heading home to their respective hometowns at the end of summer. Later, they will write each other plaintive letters for a few months before deciding they hate each other's guts. I suspect that this items are still true for ...

#bodiesA Grey Pubic Hair!

7 comments | May 13th, 2012

WTF Burst

(story submitted anonmously, by a 36 yo Chestist)

I just found a grey pubic hair!  OMG, a-grey-pubic-hair.  I don't have any wrinkles and have never felt old before.  I've never wanted to get a Brazilian before.   I feel old now.  I am in shock. {end story}

Aging can creep up on you and then BAM there it is right in your lap.  Do you remember the first physical sign you were getting older ~ even if it was puberty?  Do you worry about getting "old"?

#bodiesSo Tired

5 comments | May 10th, 2012


(submitted by J, a  Chestist)

I think I have that Yuppy sickness from years ago.  You know the one where you're always tired.  I am always tired.  I wake up in the morning and all I want to do is go back to sleep.  I get out of bed to start my day and all I can think about is when I might be able to sneak a nap.  On the weekends, I nap on Saturday and Sunday.  No matter how much sleep I get, I'm, still so tired.

I've had my blood checked and I'm no more depressed or not depressed than I've ever been. I feel fine but  I'm just so tired. {end story}

How we feel can have such an affect on...how we feel (sure, you can quote us on that).  When your energy is low, how do you recharge?

#thecumulativeeffectPretty Is As Pretty… Dresses?

19 comments | May 7th, 2012

seriously pretty

(Story by Mir, from Woulda Coulda Shoulda)

I decided to conduct a little experiment, just for the heck of it.

We've all heard the phrase, "Dress for the job you want," right?  When it comes to my "professional self," I've always adhered to that old adage. When I meet clients, go to conferences, or am otherwise representing myself as a business entity, I dress professionally. (Let's not get into the irony of this, given that most writers are believed to work in their pajamas 24/7.) And there are differing understandings of what dressing professionally means, too, but let's just say that when I'm "on" in the business sense, I'm generally wearing a nice dress, or a skirt and blouse, or nice slacks, etc. I don't go meet a client in jeans. I probably don't give a lecture in a t-shirt. I clean up pretty good and know when to do it, is my point.

Now: I've always known that dressing accordingly boosts my confidence in those situations, too. It's a win/win because I look like someone a client can depend on, plus I feel capable and ...