Poll: Do You Love the Body You Currently Have?

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Last week while I was flipping through the July issue of Shape Magazine catching up on the latest news in the world of health and fitness, I came across the interview conducted by the three cover models for that month's issue. Poised on the cover in the standard bikini attire were Dancing with the Stars and county singer Julianne Hough along with country singers LeAnn Rimes and Martina McBride. All three women looked amazing.

The interview inside was even more enlightening. All three women were quite candid as to how celebrities are judged according to their size. The minute a celebrity packs on a few pounds her photo is splashed across every tabloid. We have seen this happen to celebrities from Jessica Simpson to Kim Kardashian to yes, even Oprah Winfrey.

As par for the course, this got me to thinking how we, as non-celebs, judge others we may not even know, but also how we judge our own bodies when it comes to our weight.

Do you find yourself any less worthy because you may be a few pounds heavier than you would like to be?

Last month Coach Jen wrote a fascinating blog about usernames. While I have always wondered why one would use such derogatory names for themselves, I have also wondered why so many members choose to use celebrities pictures as their profile picture. Is it to keep their identity hidden or is it that they have not accepted who they are and the body they were born with?

A few years ago a friend and I used to share an inside joke about my weight. I would always say, "I am not overweight, I am just under tall." If only I was a foot taller I would have never been classified as obese. But after 48 years, I don't think I will be getting any taller than the 5 foot 1 1/2 inches I currently measure. This is reality.

Sadly, I spent so much of my adult life wishing I was taller, thinner and less muscular, that I failed to embrace each moment and chapter of my life, even to the point of avoiding family photo opportunities.

Now that I am 55 months into my never-ending healthy lifestyle journey, I have no desire to have the body of any celebrity woman my age or younger. I have learned to appreciate the blessing that my legs have allowed me to run well over 3,200 miles in 3 1/2 years, my muscles lifting well over a ton in weight, and most importantly having the opportunity to wake up each and every day knowing that I do not have to face the adversity of poor health.

Have you come to accept the body you currently have? If not, what is the one thing that you would change if you could? Do you believe it is more difficult being a woman with weight issues than a man with weight issues?

Photo of me at the Too Hot to Handle 15K, July 2009

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i can admit that i struggle with loving my body. i do not wish for some perfect or ideal body. while i do not like being overweight, that is just one part of it. sometimes i feel like i am fighting with my body to get it to do what i want it to do, to even function. it is hard to love something that one is fighting against. i think that as i work to change that mentality, i will be happier with my life regardless of what other changes i make. Report
Am I less worthy because of the extra weight my body carries? No! Abolutely not. I love myself, that is why I want to change. Of course, I don't like my aches and pains and my inability to accomplish things I was able to do only a year ago. When I unexpectedly see myself in the mirror, that pear-shaped woman doesn't jibe with my self-image. When I plan to look in the mirror I see a curvy voluptuous woman who is working on being healthier and fitter. Report
At the moment I am not happy with how I look or feel. I have lost all my weight before though and know I can do it again! So it is just a matter of time until I find my happy comfort zone! Report
I, being a man, probably don't think of my body the same way that women do.
Of course I want to have my clothes look good; yes, I want to have a good-looking body.

Most of my life, I've been well-built, except for a few years--when I was married--that I was overweight. (Both my wives were great cooks.) My two marriages, however, lasted only four years, and nine months, respectively--not a major portion of my life.

I have never let my weight define me. Even when 've been overweight--66 pounds in my forties, I never hated my body. I wasn't happy with it, but it never interfered with social functions. Now I'm about 20 pounds overweight,and I get compliments from people who say that I'm in great shape for my age--71.

My main concern is health, and my doctor is very happy with my weight loss and subsequent good lab reports.

It seems to me that if overweight people love their bodies, they won't have an incentive to improve their health. Don't, however, disparage yourself--that is counter-productive. Be thankful for the health you have. Report
a constant struggle... i don't like the way i look, but the further i get in this journey, the more i appreciate all that my body does for me. i love that i can run and swim and bike and zumba and hike and all the things that i take for granted... so maybe i don't like my cankles so much, but i couldn't train for a sprint triathlon or teach spinning classes or anything else i love to do without the body i have. so i'm learning to love it... slowly but surely. Report
I love my body...it is in the right shape, in the right time , for me at this moment! This simply means that I can still love my body as it is and focus on being good to it by exercising and eating right....and the body will do what is right too! I look in the mirror ever morning and tell the person looking back at me that I love them and they are beautiful.....and I am noticing it in my jeans !! It's amazing what a little love can do! Report
I really don't like what I see in the miror, that's why i need this so much. I wish that when I was young I realized what i had. Instead i always thought that I could be skinnier. Boy! i wish that i could re-live that part again. But, if I keep thinking thin I will be able to get some if it back. Report
I am not happy with the way my body looks, and the way that I feel about it. I am learning to love myself. I do have alot of things that I love about me, but I also have alot of things that I dont. My body is one of them, I have a goal of 80 lbs but I will continue to loose as much weight as I feel is necessary for me. It is a struggle to keep the bad thoughts out of my mind, but I am working very hard at it every day. Report
I hate the way I look and am quite upset with myself for mistreating my body by letting it get 65 lbs overweight. I hate the way society takes one look at me and judges me to be fat, lazy, stupid, old, and worthless without ever taking the time to get to know me. Report
I am learning to love my body - Once I loose these 12 pounds (hopefully the belly will dwindle). My legs are in ok shape for my close to 49 years and my arms can carry what I need. So all in all, I'm good!!! Report
I love my body. I just don't like what I've done to it! Thus, my being here to fix it! Report
I don't love the current condition of my body, but I do love myself which includes my body and all that I can do with my body. This includes being able to change my body for the better. I love the potential I see within my body to improve and refine it's self. The goal is not to be thin, but to be healthy, fit and toned. Report
I may not love the way my body looks all the time -- but I love my body! I'm 54 and my legs are strong and can take me anywhere. I can lift things, I'm learning yoga, and all-in-all, I'm doing pretty well! I feel better about myself at 54 than I did when I was 24! Report
Every day in my Yoga practice I thank my body for getting me there and moving me through each and every day. I am not 'pefect' but I am happy that I have a functioning body that gets me through each day and rises to meet the challenges I give it. I am training to run/walk my first 5k and dealing with my huge ankle bones that are now bald from my running shoes that rubbed off the skin even though I was fitted with these running shoes at the local FLEET FEET SPORTS store 6 weeks ago and need a pair that doesn't rise quite so high, it isn't my feet that are the issue it is the shoes that are issue. Years ago I wanted to learn to ski and was told my muscular legs were too big for the boots, I walked away and told my friend who was a skier what I was told she went into the store with me and insisted that someone fit me with BOOTS! It wasn't my legs that were in question it was finding the boots so I could ski. So remember folks the people on the magazines and in the movies are selling products and sex, and the 'ideal' is in question not our bodies that are works in progress and we need to love ourselves for who we are not the size we are or are not. Report
No i am not but i am trying and that is what counts!!! Report
I'm OK with myself. I have gained a bit of weight since I lost a lot 2 years ago, but I am weight training now and my body is changing. I'm at a healthy weight and BMI, but I think I can do a little better. My trainer told me I look great and my nutritionist as well, so I am trying to come to terms with the new "buffed" me who can't fit into size 2-4 jeans anymore. I just take one day as it comes. :) Report
I may not like the weight that is on my body, but my body (though it has had its ups and downs) has served me well. It has protected my bones from harm, carried me through my life and it supported and nourished my son for nine months and fed him afterward. I cannot protest against my body, but I do protest against how I have mistreated it. So today I want to thank my body for not giving in and giving up that one day I might get the clue and take better care of it. The day has come and I am learning to love my body more, flab (it won't always be there) and all. Report
For all the things that I can say that I am unhappy about with my body. I try to focus on the things that bring me joy. These are the things that we tend to forget about in our weight loss journey. Every morning, faithfully, my body gets me up and out of bed. My body moves me through the day. It has performed wonderful feats and acts. I find that everyday, I can do things that I never thought possible. I think that it is all a state of mind. When I think positive, it is reflected in everything I do. Report
My best years for how I feel about myself, is now. (in my low 60's)

My 40's were the years I started to 'grow up' or 'mature'. At 5'1", I was 105 lbs., training for tri's, doing bicycle tours, then three very serious accidents happened - one on a bike while in Vermont, two car crashes that have left me with disinergrating discs in the spine - I ballooned in size. I now realize that those years were a training in my thought process. At first I was very angry at what had happened to me, how could someone take away my life style! Then a slow realization came about, that I could change if I really wanted to - yes others had taken me off the 'main highway', but the 'side roads' have been amazing. I have become a stronger person inside, my weight is starting to come down, I am slowly starting to get back to jogging (cannot run anymore) and taken up roller skating (outside) to get back the thrill of the run, and I like how I am looking. I will never be 105 again, but 118 would be AWESOME! Besides at my age and with the slowing metabolism, that's my 105.

I hit plateaus where nothing seems to happen and that's okay - although frustrating at times. I will never wear a bikini again, but a bathing suit is looking good now and to top it all off, I have a wonderful daughter and son-in-law who think I am special - what better motivation to feel good about myself! Report
The more healthy things I do for my body, the more I am learning to love it~~ baby steps, but I am getting there. I beginnging to be proud of who and what I am. Human. Someone who admits she has daily struggles, yet works hard to overcome them. I LOVE BEING PERFECTLY IMPERFECT!~~~ Report
I can honestly say no I do not LOVE my body...at this time. However I am not giving up on myslef. I lost a lot of weight in 2006 but gained all back and than some. So now I am going through it all again and don't have the best out look on my body but I am trying. Report
I am learning to love my body. Since being on sparks and losing about 35 pounds thus far , I am loving the definition and the way I feel . I agree with another post, women have it ruff because we always obsess over our weight and you see so many starving models on tv, so we feel like we need to be thinner. Some people at work are calling me skinny and it bothers me. I like to be curvy but more in shape and toned so it is hard to say I am completely happy but I am learning to love my body and stick to working on toning my problem areas. Ladies it is harder on us than it is for men but we will make it!! Report
I love my body more now than I did a couple of months ago, as I am almost at the 20 lb mark. After getting on the scale this morning and saw almost another 2 lbs gone, I put on a pair of shorts and T-shirt and I am starting to look a lot better. I was impressed. Report
No, but I believe I can get there. Report
i really envy all of you who say you love your body because i have major issues with mine. i have been dieting for years now much of it to no avail. my belly seems to steadily get bigger and bigger even though i have dropped a little weight. i joined spark people just today hoping for some help at last, some motivation. please God. Report
Honestly, no I am not happy with my body even after losing almost 50 pounds. I seem to have lost it in every spot but my trouble spot. I don't think men obsess over it like women do. I don't know that it is easier for them. I hope one day I can say I am happy with my body but I am not there yet. Report
Well as a man I know I have issues with how I look and always want more as well. Not sure who has it harder, I think men's clothing is simpler and makes it easier maybe to hide. Not sure, it is kind of like getting older when it comes to men and women, they say men get better with age. So it is hard to say what we are tought to think and what we actually think. We are all going through the same things but have been taught differently on how to view them as men and women. Report
The more I exercise, the more I appreciate my body for what it does rather than what it looks like in comparison to anyone else's. Even when in "perfect" shape I tend to be more muscular, so I have long given up any ideals of being svelte or willowy. However, my body type is part of my heritage, and I've learned to love the unique combination of more compact muscular bodies from my mother's side and taller curvy bodies from my father's side that is me. Instead of seeing the flaws in my body parts, I try to think of where they came from. Maybe my hips are too big, but they are just like the hips upon which balanced generations of my ancestors. Maybe my calves are abnormally large (It is a rarity to find a pair of knee-high boots that actually fit over them) but they are similar to the legs that walked many miles of dirt roads. And maybe my nose could be a little cuter, but it's very much like the one that breathed in the fresh ocean air, as the glimpse of a strange new country appeared on the horizon. Report
I am currently working on changing shape from a letter B to a figure 8 Report
I loved the body I had, but after 20 years of being unkind I do not like the body I currently have. That is why I am here to lose 40 lbs and get back MY BODY!

No. That's why I am here and I keep at it. Report
BUT I WILL NOT GIVE UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Report
My stomach is still much too large but I keep going at the exercise and trying to be conscious of what I eat. I find or try different exercises constantly.
I do find that overweight men are much more accepted than women. Although I see and can even be interviewed by overweight men, my weight is criticized although I don't hear comment directed at the men. If anything, they may say "Oh, he's a man" or "He just drinks too much beer." Never have I heard "He eats too much" or even heard anyone question a man's diet. Report
I agree with those of you who say you love your body.

My body has served me well - it has carried me through 49+ years, it birthed my children and it has arms to hold them and to hug and love.

It is in the shape that it is because of the choices I have made and the lack of care it has received from me. When I first had that "aha" moment, I stood in front of the mirror and apologized for my neglect and bad choices. My body is at the mercy of ME - and it is my responsibilty to honor it and care for it as my gift.

I know I need to make improvements to the body I'm in for my health..... Report
My legs make me angry because they always hurt and I dislike my pooch from pregnancy. I also hate the spider veins and cellulite and I have issues with a slipped disc in my neck. Overall I just feel frustrated with my body most of the time. Report
Yes. And I think that is making it easier to continue losing the weight and getting 'toned'. My self-esteem is so much improved! Keeps me motivated! Report
I go back and forth...I know I am beautiful and that I am actually very blessed to look the way I do. At the same time, I have an antiquated image of 'beauty' in my head that I find hard to get rid of. Like you, I am a short girl, and like my family, I have a sort of squatty body which will be squatty whether I am skinny or fat. Sometimes I find myself so jealous of girls who it all comes easy to and who are tall and slender. But I kind of know it's all in my head! There's room for all sorts of kinds of beauty. So I practice accepting myself, and reminding myself that while I am envying some beautiful creature at the gym, there may be some one else who is envying me. I think its about learning gratitude for everything given to me in life, including this mortal shell. Report
It could use a little improvement, but I'm okay with it. Report
I love my body. Report
I love my body. It is not perfect but it is healthy and strong. Even when I was heavier I liked it - I considered myself "Rubenesque" - but I like it even more now! :D Report
QUALITYONE09, you took the words right out of my mouth!!! It's taken me a long time to get to that place in my head and unfortunately I've done awful things to my body in the process. But as much as I might admire another person's figure, what I'm really admiring is either abstract beauty or that person's dedication to being fit. I truly love my body, but I have a hard time expressing it every moment of every day. They say you always hurt the ones you love the most, right? Report
After losing 70lbs over the last 3 years i can say that I accept my body the wayit is. It is not perfect but it is pretty good for a 45 year old and I am blessed with great health and the ability to do good things with it. Report
I love the body God gave me, but I hate what I have allowed it to become. I'm here working on changing the latter! Report
While I also do not love the body I am in, I am slowly becoming more comfortable with it. There are a few tweaks I would make and one major overhaul. But, I may never have the physical body I want. But I can continue to work on it as well as my spiritual body. I am a work in progress. Report
Helping to care for an elderly lady in a wheelchair has helped me to really appreciate what my body allows me to do. I can't say I love my body, but I do like it. I love to exercise. My body allows me to kickbox, liftweights, run, and do other things. My body allowed me to have 3 beautiful children. Overall my body is strong. I've sure put my body through a lot of ups and downs with my weight gains, and losses over the years. I am trying to keep my body, strong and lean for the future too. I come from a family history of some obese members. I've seen first hand how it has pacted their health, and their lives. It always reminds me to keep going for me and my family. Report
I know I am not as healthy as I could be, so I do not like the shape I am in right now. I have struggled with self esteem issues my whole life. I have since learned to love myself for who I am and my outlook on weight loss has changed. I am making a life style change for me, not anyone else. I am doing this so I can live a healthier and longer life. Before I was doing it so I could change the way others saw me. The simple fact is, the more you love you, the more others will love you! Report
I do not loathe my body any more, which is a start, but is also why I had lost the motivation to stay on that healthy lifestyle. I have regained some of that motivation, thanks to spark. I am trying to focus in the benifits to being healthy. I know when I am living my best life and am at my healthiest point, i dont look half bad, infact, I can look pretty good. I always have wished to have my mothers boobs(she was beautiful in every way) but I got my fathers side of things in that area, which I do not like. Many issuse around this that i am working on.:-)
I realize that there is so much more to who we are and how people see us than the certain things we do not like about ourselves. our body is just a part of what people see. other things are our genuine smile and concern for them, our overall care for the way we present ourselves and just our general zest for life.
I am wanting to learn a balanced way of life and veiw of me. i really like who I am and am trying to know this in my heart not just in my mind.
In addition, I really want to be here for my husband and kiddos when they arrive and want to enjoy the wonderful things that are in my life, even now, along the way. To do this, I should be the healthiest that I can be. focusing on being healthy rather than being so thin, is my goal. I know this inlcudes losing some of the pounds, but it also includes being more phisically active, joining in in the community, developing more relationsips, developing more spritually, and overall balancing my life even more.
I am thankful for anyone who reads this and my be inspired. As a spark family we can learn to love ourselves even now how we are and enjoy getting to where we are going. this will take time, but we all must inspire each other to stay on this healthy journey.
I guess what most people don't realize is it doesn't matter what size you are.. most people want to change something about themselves, their nose, their calves, their hair... I am so blessed that I have never struggled with not liking who I am. Sure I may be fatter than the girl on the right, but I am smarter than her too. I may be skinnier than the guy on the left, but I am emotionally more stable. I am not a religious person... but I think we all need to be thankful for what we have... cause if you are basing your happiness on your body image.. then you will soon realize that being a size 4 doesn't really make you happy. Then what are you going to do... mmm I don't know.. maybe love yourself for who you are Report
I was just talking with a friend about the fact that I'm not modest about being naked or semi-naked with other women. I guess I don't think of them judging me, and don't really care if they are. I don't necessarily love my body the way it is, but I do accept it. I don't love my scars, but they are part of me. I don't love my fat, but I'm doing my darnedest to make it go away, and until it goes it is also a part of me. I love myself as a whole. I am a good person, I care about people, and I do my best to take care of this body in which I live. That's the most important thing to me. Report
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