#bodiesNudity: The Great Equalizer

9 comments | July 27th, 2012

misery loves company

(by @Laurenne from

A man crossed the street in front of my car yesterday. Since I was hiding behind my windshield, I had a rare opportunity to stare at him without the possibility of awkward accidental eye contact. He had what some call a FUPA, or Fat Upper Pussy/Penis Area.  It was as if he had a monster truck tire strapped into his underwear, and he had to hobble across the street with a cane in order to carry all that extra weight. I stared without shame and followed his body from the very bottom of his ankles up. And at the top, I saw his face (Obviously. If his face weren’t there, I would have screamed). His huge bottom lip sagged down as if it were pulled by the extra weight of his FUPA. His mouth hung open, surely sloshing fellow pedestrians with uncontrollable drool.

I wanted to run out of my car and talk to this man. I wanted to know what it’s like to grow up with such a FUPA and such an uncontrollable ...

#chestismsLessons Presented As Challenges

11 comments | June 14th, 2012

rising podos

(story submitted by Tara, a 21 yo Chestist) I want to be free. I feel like I'm sitting on a fence. I was born on that fence and realized I was there when I was 4. Now I want to jump off and run away. I just feel like it's time. I want to leave my old ways behind, my weed smoking, wall kicking, screaming, angry, scared self. I want to say "fuck you, thank you" to everything in my life that is a lesson presented as a challenge. Fucking pain in my body, lessons in my archive. I'm going to be fine, I just have to be patient. {end story}

Have you learned any lessons that were first presented as challenges? 

#bodiesShit Happens

12 comments | April 18th, 2012


(story submitted anonymously, by a Chestist)

OK, so this isn't a typical story for us to post, but it's not a typical story for us to get either.  The reason we're putting it up is it made us think.  it made us think about how we do and don't overcome embrassments, and why some of the things that are most common among us can still be so shameful and embarassing.  Yes, a couple of very deep thoughts from a story about poop.  Here it is:

I pooped in my pants the other day.  I was driving home after a night out with my GF when my stomach started to cramp and I started to sweat.  I knew right away I needed to find a bathroom and I also knew there was no way I was going to.  To make matters even worse, the Freeway was all backed up and I couldn't even get off to find a dark place on the side of a road to get sick.  It was like a Bridesmaids moment - except it was happening to me and it wasn't funny.

I was panicing, ...

#chestismsWhen Things Don’t Go The Right Way

8 comments | April 7th, 2012

chestist threads

(story submitted anonymously, by a Chestist)

There's something so sweet, simple and inspring about this reader's advice to all of us.  Here's what she wrote:

You can take as many quizzes as you want or go to as many fortune tellers as you please but life isn't as easy as 1-2-3. You never know what's going to happen, no matter how much you wish you would.

You never can predict what will happen in life. Don't be so hard on yourself when things don't go the right way for you. And as much as it is hard to, you have to believe. I know how corny it sounds and how ridiculous it is. But it's the truth. Insecurity is just a way to doubt yourself. Don't doubt.  (end story}

Don't doubt.  Such simple advice, sometimes so hard to do.  You doubt yourself much?  When?  Why?  What's it going to take for you to stop?  Go on and do as she says...believe in you. 



12 comments | March 29th, 2012

Get Busy Living

(story by 'A Mountain Momma', a Chestist; originally 4.25.11)

I have things I need to do. Supposed to do. Have to do. They are not done. I think about them constantly, but I do not do them. And I feel guilty about it. All. The. Time

I thought if perhaps I unloaded here and made a list it might prompt me into doing these things, these chores, these monkeys on my back.

I am going to print out this list and put it on my fridge and check them off as I do them. Let's hope it works and this list does not instead start mocking me instead of helping me.

Here goes:

1. I need to change my name. It has been 2.5 years, really get on it Girl!

2. I need to change my oldest daughter's name. **See above.

3. I have to call the cable company and bitch at them about our bill. I just need 3 hours to set aside to be on hold is all.

4. I have a laundry basket, dryer, and washing machine upstairs full of laundry in various stages. Calling my name.

5. I need to ...

#bodiesGetting Pregnant. And Not.

6 comments | March 26th, 2012


(story submitted anonymously, by a Chestist)

As far as we can tell here @OOC, procreation the "old fashioned way" is increasingly unusual.  So many of our friends (to say nothing of us) have had struggles with pregnancy - both when it's wanted and not - (and as a tangential aside, Rick Santorum can kiss our ass, but we digress).  Here's her story, a story of struggle - and optimism:

I made the conscious choice, as a single woman, to stop taking birth control 2 years ago. I had been on it for almost 20 years, in some shape or form! (Patch, Pill, Shot.)

I know I want children, and was worried about the effects of these types of drugs. When you're younger, the fear is so the opposite!  My partner and I now are trying to conceive. It’s scary, not only having put my body through the abuse of genetically altered hormones, but a family history of failed pregnancies, and infertility.   My partner is a huge support, and has been by my side every step of the way. We have conceived once, unfortunately ...

#lifestagesI Struggle Everyday

8 comments | March 20th, 2012


(story submitted anonymously, by a 20 yo Chestist)

Sometimes we're held back by things within our individual control, and sometimes by things outside our control.  And then sometimes the things that might hold us back actually push us forward.  Here's her story: My disability feels like a lead weight around my ankle.

Thanks to my ADD, it takes me so much longer to do anything than it does my friends. It takes more effort to pay attention to everything, even just a conversation. I'm in college, at a public university with classes commonly as large as 500 students. I want to go to vet school, one of the hardest professional programs to get into. I struggle every day. I never get a break. And sometimes? I feel like I'm just lazy. Or that I don't work hard enough. That I'm using it as a crutch. It doesn't help when people say that it isn't a real disability or even anything other than looking for an excuse to fail.

But the thing is, as much as it breaks me down, beats at my confidence, makes me completely ...

#chestismsDespair Ain’t Got Nothing on Me

4 comments | March 19th, 2012

Chestist Shares

(story submitted anonymously, by a 22 yo Chestist)

You know that expression about every journey begins with a single step?  Sounds like she's quite a few into her's and she has some advice to share:

I've spent a lot of time over the past few years punishing myself for not being good enough in each and every way. I've been feeling so low for a very long time.

But by making an effort to understand myself, I've come to accept the experiences of my past and look to the future. I felt like i'd failed at life.  Despite only being 22, the future looked bleak, and there was a voice inside my head telling me that I wasn't good enough or capable enough to do the things I wanted. Then there was the guilt that came with it, because I also didn't feel I deserved to feel this way, I was healthy, had friends and freedom.  I only now am starting to feel like I'm no longer beating myself up. I came to a realization the other day and thought here would be a good place ...

#chestismsAmy Sedaris, a Chestism

7 comments | March 14th, 2012


(first submitted by OOC: 12.14.10, then again, today)

Here's Amy Sedaris, in an interview for Psychology Today:

"They assume that I want a boyfriend, and yeah, that I'd probably like to get married and have a baby - but they're wrong."

Why do we love it, you ask?  Because it speaks to the expectations of others, and how Amy acknowledges them and dismisses them - as not what she wants for her.  To us, in a lot of ways, it's the essence of what we're hoping OOC helps you do for you...realize what you want, and what you don't...get closer to understanding the things that hate on your happy (and why they do) and the things that make you happier (and why), so you can spend more time on the happier than the hating. ever find yourself confronting the expectations others have of what you should want, and thinking nope, they're wrong?  You ever say anything to them?  Tell us about the when, whos and whys.  Yea, expectations can be such a buzzkill.  #Discuss.


#bodiesI Am

14 comments | March 8th, 2012

chestist threads

(story submitted anonymously, by a Chestist; posted originally in May and again now)

When we saw this from one of you, we smiled. BIG.  Here's her short (just 9 words) and wonderful story:

I love my body, just the way I am. [end of story.]

Her feeling good made us feel good.  So let's talk about feeling good.  Name one part of you (or as many as you want) that you LOVE (or like) just the way it is.  Could be a body part or your generosity, creativity, or fashion flair.  Whatever.  Us, we hope it's the whole of you, because we think you're awfully swell.  XO

#bodiesSeeing Small Differences

4 comments | February 28th, 2012

exploding flowers

(story submitted anonymously, by a Chestist)

There can be extraordinary beauty in small things and small differences, if we're present enough to see them.  She has, and here's her story:

I finally embraced the beautiful day and went out running, and found myself surprised by the fact that I ran an extra half mile and noticed good changes in my body. This is the first time I've seen results from workouts in months. Just keep sticking with routines even though they suck. You will be so grateful when you see even a small difference. It means the world. {end story}

We're suckers for a happy story, especially one that reminds us all that regardless of what types of change we may want to see, change always begins NOW, in this moment, with this step, breath, beautiful day.  Routines can suck and can seem like such drudgery sometiumes.  How do you keep yourself motivated and going in between seeing the changes you want to?  Any tips or advice to share with others here to help them keep on going?  An OOC thanks to this writer for sharing hers.

#bodiesGet Naked, More Often

4 comments | February 7th, 2012

plus sized

(OOC via

We came across this piece at one of our new favorite sites,  The author's premise is that to escape our own body dysmorphia and dissatisfactions - we should be naked more often.  But as he makes clear, not necessarily in front of other people (unless you and they choose to).

The reason this struck a chord with us here is that we watch our 5 and 6 yo kids run around naked all the time...totally carefree and free of inhibition, insecurity, judgment, and self-consciousness.  And as we watch them, we wonder when this will change; why it will change; if it has to change...

What do you think?  Can being naked help you embrace you as you are and maybe help diminish body image issues?  And, tangentially, how often and where are you naked?  Is it just the shower and bed?  Are you a nudist or ever thought about doing the nudist thing.  Come on, let's speak our naked truths and see if we can feel more better.

(for more of the amazing mindbodygreen go here)

#lifestagesStop Comparing Yourself

2 comments | January 30th, 2012

chestist swirl

(story submitted anonymously, by a Chestist)

It seems to be an unforunate part of the human condition that we compare ourselves to others - sometimes to make oursleves feel better, but often to make oursleves feel less than and worse.  Buzzkill.  Here's one younger reader's story - and advice:

We're always comparing ourselves with others. I don't know why we girls do this, maybe it's just the way it is. We never really believe it when people say were pretty or smart or something. When my friends or other girls complain about how fat they are I look at them and I look at me. A lot of times they're skinnier than me and I think - wow if they're fat then what am I? There is the first step of self conciousness.

Then when others bag on how ugly they are I look again and compare and think - well they're prettier than me so what am I? Everytime someone says something bad about themselves I ask myself if they're better or worse than me.  Eventually you stop believing what good things others say about you ...

#bodiesMade My Day

3 comments | January 30th, 2012


(story submitted by Flat Girl, a Chestist)

Here's a happy tale, from what we presume is one of our younger readers.  But no matter your age, feeling good about being you is what we're all about.  Here's "Flat Girl" speaking her truth:

I'm finally going to say this. I'm flat-chested. Very. 32-A!

I've always been tormented for how puny I am. My sister used to call me a 'concentration camp kid'. I'm not anorexic. I'm just tiny. Women with big breasts always seem to get the men. Always. Not just in movies, in real life too!

Then one day, I was shopping for bras. I was embarrassed because I had to buy the smallest ones. But a woman working at the store came up to me and was so nice.  She told me not to be embarrassed, and helped me pick out some really cute ones. She told me she used to be just like me, afraid to change in the locker room. Then she pointed out how many beautiful women are flatchested too! She made me feel so good, now I show off my chest like they ...

Love & SexHigh School Romance & Lessons Learned

3 comments | January 27th, 2012

chestist blue

(story submitted anonymously, by a Chestist)

If you manage to make it out of High School in one piece it can be easy to look back on those loves, lusts, and infatuations and laugh at the intensity and future-of-the-world import they all carried.  When we're going through them though, there's nothing funny about it them all.  Nope, nothing.  Here's her story:

I'd had feelings for him since we met. We’ll call him Lewis. My sophomore year he asked my friend Nicole to homecoming after playing us both at the same time for a while. It was a slap in the face, so I asked him to Turnabout. He said yes, but then started dating a girl we’ll call Shelly, so I told him he could go with her instead. He then asked another of my good friends (Elizabeth) to prom, a third slap in the face, to hide the fact that he had been cheating on Shelly with my friend Claire. They broke up and, as you can expect, started dating Claire for real. I pretended not to know about the cheating because Claire is one of ...