Monday, 8 October 2012

If Ms. Jones is fat, well then...

Enjoy author Ivy Bateman's great post! So many of us can relate to this one!--Faith
So, I just got back from a whirl wind trip to see my in laws. This trip was full of family time which was great and it was also full of a lot of meal time. So what, you ask? You've got to eat. Yes, I know...but when we travel to visit my husband's family we eat out a lot or have big family meals and it stresses me to no end because the thought that enters my mind about 93 times a day is "Will my pants still fit when I get home?" or "Will the comfy pants I wore on the plane, the pants I wore specifically because they don't chafe in places, will they still be comfortable and fit on the way home?" I know it's ridiculous. I have self-control and can say no to a third helping of dessert, but it's just that this weekend, every time we went out it seemed like every meal was a big meal. I know...whine, whine...but the problem is that

1.) When I'm really hungry, I can really pack away the chow.
2.) I have the metabolism of a sloth—or some other animal out there that has a really slow metabolism and doesn't burn off their food very quickly.

This is seriously annoying to me. I love to eat, I love food, but if I go a couple days in a row without exercising, even if I'm careful at big meals, the pants feel a bit too snug and discomfort becomes my middle name.

So, when we go away and we're busy and I don't have time to even go for a walk, I wince every time the topic of food is brought up. On Saturday night, while at a church spaghetti dinner, my in-laws asked us if we wanted to go for breakfast the next morning after church. We said sure, but my husband caught my wince and asked me about it later.

"Do you not want to go for breakfast?"

"No, it's fine," I said.

"It's just you made a face..."

"Yes, I know...I didn't mean for you to see the face because it's stupid. I was just thinking about how when we get home my pants won't fit."

It's ridiculous and I realize that. However, most days I battle with my internal fat meter. I know I'm not fat, but I'm not skinny and I try to keep my attitude and body issues in check because I'm trying like hell to NOT pass them onto my daughter. I tell myself every day that "I'm not fat!" And that my ass looks pretty good in the jeans I took longer to decide to buy than I took deciding to buy my house. I actually have great self-esteem days and stretches of time where I truly believe that I'm lovely the way I am.

And then I watch Bridget Jones's Diary.

Sigh...I love this movie. The characters are wonderful and Colin Firth makes me melt. As a huge Pride and Prejudice I love that he is the Darcy character again. Bridget herself is fun, has great lines and is someone I'd love to go drinking with EXCEPT, according to the movie, and I suppose according to the person who wrote the book the movie is based on, Bridget is fat! It's ridiculous and even though I really enjoy the movie, every time I watch it I end up hating my body for a while because I'm essentially the same height, the same weight and the same body shape as Bridget. The scene that makes me feel freakishly huge the most is one near the end where she's telling Mark she likes him while she is wearing a black dress. I have this dress; I wore this dress to my brother -in-law's wedding and when I put it on and looked in the mirror I thought "I look like Bridget Jones." And then, logically of course, I went plummeting into a shame spiral and assumed that to the world, I looked fat.

I am fully aware that this is all insane and over the years I've gotten better at beating my negative and often emotionally vicious internal dialogue into submission. In the world of la, la land, Bridget Jones may be considered heavy by some ridiculous standard of beauty that can only be met by people who deny themselves one of the basic necessities of life, food, but in the real world, there is nothing wrong with her size.

I don't like feeling down about myself and I get tired of my negative side. We live in a world that is so focused on the outside that worrying about it often makes my insides hurt. This trip that we went on this past weekend really put a lot of things in perspective and I know that I need to focus my energy on more important things and not my pant size. Now that we're home from our trip, and my pants are a wee on the snug side, I honestly don't care. I'm going to get back to my normal routine, think about the things in my life that are really important and be able to tell my daughter with honestly that as long as you are healthy, what you look like doesn't matter.

And of course, not watch Bridget Jones's Diary.

I hope you all have a lovely, positive day and thank-you to Four Strong Women for letting me vent on their fantastic blog.

Ivy Bateman

Ivy's Blog: Ivy B Misbehavin'
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The Fifth Story By Ivy Bateman Book Trailer
The Fifth Story is available at Breathless Press

Blurb for The Fifth Story

Every day we encounter doors. Some of these doors are open to us and some of them are closed, but when we pass through any door, a different truth or mystery lies beyond the threshold.

The night Bryn is pulled into a world of her own stories by a shadowy being, her reality is changed forever. Souls and danger, hauntingly beautiful witches, sexy and dangerous vampires, a soldier with a dying wish; she knows that each door leads to a story and to outcomes she can't control, but in order to return home, Bryn must complete a set of tasks for the enigmatic and strangely sensual Darkness.
With four stories to enter, four items to retrieve, Bryn takes part in plot points so out of character that she almost loses herself in the tales she's written. More than once she questions her sanity and curses herself for creating such perilous realities, but she always remains focused on her goal; the creation of the fifth story.

Excerpt from The Fifth Story By Ivy Bateman
She walked quickly around the counter and headed to where the sign indicated where the washrooms were, but she couldn't find the women's room. Then she almost slapped herself with ridiculousness. Who cared if she went into the men's room? She marched over the door and pushed on it. Immediately she fell back. The door was stuck. She pushed on it harder, but could only open it about a foot. Something, or someone, was lying in front of the door. Bryn squeezed her head through the narrow space and looked down at the floor. Coran was lying passed out on the cold tile.

Bryn thought maybe something strange had happened in her story, and Coran was already dead. How lucky would that be? However, she realized that the story hadn't changed that drastically when Coran groaned, revealing that he was very much alive. He rolled over, away from the door.

With his weight suddenly off the door, and Bryn's weight still being pushed against it, the door went flying open. Bryn stumbled and fell into the washroom. None too gracefully, she hit the floor with a satisfying smack, and knocked her head against the tile floor with a hard clunk.

"Ow," she said, as she rolled on her back and pressed her hands against a rapidly rising goose egg on the right side of her head. "Ah" she yelped as the door closed on her foot.

"Are you okay?" asked a voice with a gentle Scottish brogue.

Bryn turned her head and opened her eyes. Coran, who looked like he'd been through a rough time, was leaning over her. His blond hair was a mess and it fell into his gray eyes. He had soot on his face and he smelled, not unpleasantly, of smoke. He gave her a little smile. "My dear, are you all right?" he asked her again.
She smiled in return. She was touched by his concern. The ash on his face and the apparent absence of anyone else in the castle told her she had come into the story not long after the first time she'd entered with Darkness. Coran had every right to ignore her and he really had no time to get involved with a stranger and yet, he didn't seem to be in any rush at all. Instead, he helped Bryn sit up.

As soon as his hands touched her skin, Bryn gasped and felt her heart beat quicken. Coran looked embarrassed and quickly, on unsteady legs, he stood up and got a paper towel. He wet it with warm water and kneeled down a couple feet away from Bryn. He handed her the paper towel. "Your face, it's quite dirty."

"Oh, thanks." Bryn said, trying to avoid looking at him too much. Her heart was pounding in her chest. Why had she written Coran to have this effect on women?

"It looks like I'm not the only one that's recently been in a bit of a scrap," he said with a chuckle. Bryn couldn't help beaming at him with amazement. He was just as kind as she'd written him to be. However, if she was correct, this man should be putting all chivalry aside and be searching the castle for Melusine. He should be calling upon the ancient gods to help him in battle with the sea witch, but instead, here he was, watching Bryn wash her face and being concerned about her well-being.
"Is your head very sore? Can you stand?" he asked as he gently touched the bump on her head, but quickly pulled hand back when Bryn sucked in her breath at the feel of his hand on her hair.

"Yes, I mean—no, it's fine, and yes, I can stand," she stammered as she pushed herself off the floor. She again tried to avoid eye contact with him, but it wasn't helping. Coran was having a profound effect on her senses—something which she should have remembered could happen, but had completely forgotten about. In her story, Coran had a powerful effect on women and it was something he could do nothing about. Whether it was his aura or his pheromones, no one could tell, but women, upon meeting Coran, not only couldn't control themselves around him but didn't want to. Their thoughts would travel immediately down a sexual path as soon as they stood close to him and they would offer themselves to his every whim. Even the most reserved women would find their bodies pulsing immediately with desire for the tall blond stranger. Only those who knew how to, could control their passions for Coran. Katie, his assistant, was usually one of them, but sometimes, her guard would slip and she would be overcome with sexual longing for her handsome boss.

Bryn was finding her own guard was slipping rapidly and started thinking about very naughty things and wishing that she had time to explore her hidden bad girl side. Was this happening because she'd written him this way or was it because he looked so much like Tyler?


Faith said...

Great post, Ivy! I liked the first Bridget Jones movie, but didn't care for the second one.

Linda Kage said...

I nver thought Bridget Jones was fat. And I bet you look lovely in your little black dress!

I think fat is all mental. You're only as big as you feel. Now, how does a person make themselves feel perfect is the question.

Boy, I feel philosophical this morning. Congrats on your new release and hugs to Ivy Bateman, the perfectly-shaped author!!!

Pat Brown said...

Movies and TV disgust me when they do that. Bring on a normal size woman and call her fat and then make her the brunt of jokes.

But consider this. Marilyn Monroe would be fat by today's standards. What women in film today (and modeling) film today (and modeling) film today (and modeling) are expected to be are emaciated. Anyone remember the Mariah Carey comment that she wanted to look like those African kids who were all skin and bone because their starving "except for the flies."

Faith said...

Hi Pat! You are so right re Marilyn. Mae West was another one today's fashion industry would dub plus size or more. I did some research on them a few years ago for a blog post. If memory serves, Marilyn was a size 14 dress and Mae a size 16, and both were short gals. I think Mae was only like 5'1". Both were two of the most beautiful women ever to live, imho.

Ivy Bateman said...

Hey Faith...I completely agree with you...I'm fine with movies straying from the book as long as it's still in keeping with the spirit of the book...but the second one went crazy away from the book and not in a way that I liked.

Linda. :)It is so really are only as big as you feel. It bothers me that some days I can be so influenced by what I see...however, I'm getting better and being more positive. You know what I mean when I say how important having your health is. Tight the long or short run...don't matter...

Pat...yes, it is really quite tragic how the media plays on the insecurities of woman. Fat jokes drive me crazy! I also get so so weary of the fact that it's ok for the guy in a lead role be "normal" but the girl he gets has to be un realistically perfect looking. And if she's not, if she's's pointed out and how lovely that he likes her in spite of her being a size 9 instead of 0.
And I never heard that quote of Mariah Carey's...that's really, really unbelievable.

And by the way, I mean no offense to anyone out there who is thin. This is just rant about how I feel about me...not others.

Anthology Authors said...

ARGH! Must we go over this again about Marilyn Monroe? First, a size 12 in 1960s is not the same size 12 in 2012. It's not even the same size 12 in 1980. A size 12 in 1960s was someone with a 27" waist. Size 8 was a woman with a 25" waist. I know this because my mother used to sew and has patterns from that time period. A size 8 in the 80s was about a 28" waist. That's what my waist was in high school. Here's a link about Marilyn Monroe's measurements (from her dressmaker):

or you can just read this:

Height: 5 feet, 5½ inches
Weight: 118-140 pounds
Bust: 35-37 inches
Waist: 22-23 inches
Hips: 35-36 inches
Bra size: 36D

This is a myth. Another link about the auction of her estate:

That being said, Bridget Jones is not fat, and it's horrible that this crap is perpetuated. It drives me nuts that the women are always pencil-thin (and in real life often unhealthy) and the men can have flesh on their bones. In Hollywood, I am considered fat, and even when I was skinny (weighing in at 118 lbs and being 5'6"-5'7" that is too thin), I occasionally saw myself as fat. And, no, it wasn't an eating disorder. It was stress. I was gaunt and, looking at photos now, unattractively so. And that is sad. No matter a woman's size, it is never good enough. We are not allowed to love the size we are.

BTW, Mae West's measurements were, according to designer Edith Head:

height: 5'2"
bust: 38"
waist: 24"
hips: 38"

How much of that 24" was corset? Hard to tell, but she was a beautiful woman regardless.

And some other measurements of stars:


Valerie Mann said...

Great post! Most women have body image issues - I sure do. And I felt every bit of your turmoil. But you sound like you're dealing with it as healthy as possible given our society's penchant for finding anyone above a size zero FAT!

Ivy Bateman said...

It's true, Anthology Authors, that sizes certainly have changed over time...I didn't ever know the exact stats of MM or MW, I just knew that by today's standards, the fact that they were curvy is considered wrong by Hollywood standards. The last time I weighed 118, I was unattractively thin family members accused me of having an eating disorder...sigh... (but that's a topic for another day!).

Valerie, it is very sad that most women do have body issues. One of things I find interesting is that most guys I know don't care about the size of girl...or their girlfriends...or quote Brad Bird from "The Incredibles" commentary "They're just happy we're around."

Thanks for all the comments. I think I've very far to right, time zone wise, from many readers so if I miss you tonight, I'll catch you tomorrow.

Fiona McGier said...

I've heard that the reason models are so thin is that the designers used to be upset that people were admiring the women INSIDE the clothing, instead of the clothes. So they pitched their heads together and decided that they would use the most unattractive, least feminine-looking females they could find, and that way people would focus on the clothes.

Fly forward a few decades and here we are, stuck with the media-influenced idea that you can't ever be too rich or too thin. News flash: women have died from being too thin! And others suffer health issues from being too thin! Being overweight may damage your body in the long run, but hey, none of us live forever anyway! But the problems stemming from being chubby pale in comparison to heart issues, losing teeth, and no periods, like some anorexic woman deal with.

I'll take my ultra-curvy body that produced 4 your adults anyday. I may not be able to wear a size 6 ever again, but that's okay. I wore a size 6 when I met my husband, but back then he swam in a Speedo! As long as we don't mind each other's extra weight, we're alright.

Love yourself, ladies! You look fine the way you are!

Fiona McGier said...

That's YOUNG adults! Sheesh! I work too much! Getting slap-happy and it's not even 6 yet!

Ivy Bateman said...

Hello Fiona...meant to comment earlier! But if that really is the reason for why they chose the models they did...ones that would show the cloths rather than the seems as though they lost their focus...or why they were designing cloths. If people were talking about the models and how good they looked in their designs...wouldn't that be a good thing? I'm not sure I'm being clear with my point...anyway, it doesn't make sense to me really.

And yes, we should all embrace who we are. Beauty is every where and in everyone.