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Body Image -Then and Now

A journey to loving my butt....

· Body image,self love,strong

I’ve always been athletic. As the youngest of 4 daughters – I think my dad really wanted a son! So, my closest in age sister and I both got involved in softball (dad coached the town’s Cinderella Softball team) and I got involved in every other sport I could in addition to that. Soccer, basketball, track (because my boyfriend was in track but this didn’t stick as I hated to run…). I was good at most sports as I’m built for it with strong legs and big glutes. I’m also 5’11” tall so I’m not "little" either! So here’s the beginning of the problem… I had bigger thighs and butt than most other girls. I wasn’t too concerned about it until I discovered BOYS. One day at school my boyfriend decided to come up with a song, “Julie’s got a big ol butt – said what? Julie’s got a big ol butt!” Although I laughed it up with the group at the time – that would stay with me for YEARS and my body image was forever changed.

It wasn’t until I met my husband (ex-husband) that I started to shift a bit. We had just started dating in the early 90’s when skinny black jeans and long sweaters were the style (thankfully covering my butt). We were making out on the couch when I got up to get some water he said, “Wait a minute”. I stopped and turned to him, he said “Lift up your sweater.” I was facing him, kind of puzzled as to where this was leading but I was already totally into this guy so I lifted my sweater to my waist and said “What?”. He says, “No, turn around”. I thought to myself – OH NO! I’ve lost him… once he sees my gigantic butt it’s OVER. I stood there for what felt like an eternity – which was probably only a few seconds when he said, “You have a great butt – why do you always cover it up?” AAAHHHHH!!! I couldn’t believe it!!!! He loved my butt!!!

Here is where my journey began to loving my body. I joined my first gym in my early 30’s – so I was a little late to that party. I hired a personal trainer so I could get over my fear of the gym and not knowing how to use free weights or the other equipment for that matter. I started reading books about nutrition and even gave Vegetarianism (is that a word?!) a shot for about 3 years. Slowly but surely I learned about this amazing machine I live in that takes me everywhere I want to go. If I eat right and exercise I feel good – and that makes me look good - and that is the ongoing process for me to love my body! My body that is strong, sexy and beautiful. It hasn’t happened overnight, but every year I move in the direction of accepting my body, accepting me.