Thursday, February 01, 2007


I've been following the Tyra Banks controversy and I gotta tell you, to me, it's pretty interesting. She is a tall woman and has gained 30+ pounds since her modeling days. The whole tabloid industry is all over her...calling her fat and putting every nasty picture they can take on their magazines. She, in turn, went public with the fact that yes, it's hurt her and no, she is not going in hiding to only come out after she gets to where "they" fell she is attractive again. Nope. She is going public with this in order to try and make some changes.
Since I've got this blog...and hey I gotta put my two cents in somewhere I thought I'd comment. I have struggled with my weight for as long as I can remember. I've been up and I've been down. I've starved myself I've excercised I've dieted I've not dieted and gone the other way. It's exhausting! It is a very tender subject for me. See I was the little girl the kids made fun of at school. I learned to be invisible because if I stood out I ran the risk of being called fat. It hurt so much that when I was in high school and thin I dropped out of the race for Homecoming Queen because I couldn't take all those eyes on me. You know whats funny about that?? I was my thinest then becuase I would only eat one meal a day and STILL people told me if I lost 5-10 more pounds I could look like a model. Never enough. I've even had my husband talk to me about it. That took two years to get over. I now am a little older and a little wiser. I have to be. I have two daughters. Here is what I've learned from all of this...

We never, in my house, tease anyone or talk about anyone who struggles with issues. Whenever it comes up I tell my kids what I've gone through and how much it hurts and how it stays with you in the tender places of your heart. It has made my kids more compasionate.

You have to love yourself or else how can anyone else be expected to.

What if you never change...can you love yourself as you are?? Start from there.

Forgive yourself. Everyone has something they struggle with! Everyone.

And lastly, use what you've gone through to make some good come out of it. I teach Childrens Church and at times have worked with the teens. Sometimes when we have our lessons on kindness we talk a little about some of the things I've gone through and let me tell you...when a kid knows that you have been there done that and know where they're coming from...well you can change the world and how others treat people.

Do I still stuggle today? Yep. But not as much as I used to. I think the "straw" was realizing how much it hurt when my own husband brought it up...and I was thin then. I told myself that I wouldn't spend one more day feeling "less then". Nope. Enough of my life had been spent on that. I now focus on the wonderful things I do have to offer. I try to be the best momma I can be. I've got three of the most terrific kiddos to show for it if I do say so myself. :) I focus on being kinder. I try to embrace life. I love to get out there and explore. I don't hide in the back anymore and I really like myself for the first time in a long time. This is an issue I feel strongly about which is why this post is sooooo long. If you've read it to the end you rock...A LOT! :) If you have a daughter..or a son..who is struggling with this. Give them a break. The world is a tough place and they will get their knocks from it. If we start to teach compassion in our own homes we can make some good changes. And lastly, look at your own self in the mirror today. Let your mind go blank for at least a minute and then say, okay. This is me and you know what...I'm pretty awesome. If we start there maybe our own daughters won't have to struggle with this as much as we have. I'm thinking that's something to work towards.
I also promise tomorrows post will be lighter and more fun!! heehee thanks for loving me anyway!! :)


Anonymous said...

Dawn, I loved your post. I agree whole heartedly with everything you said. My son is having trouble at school and I wasn't sure how to handle it. But thanks to your post I think I know a good place to start. Thank you sooo much from the bottom of my heart.

5th floor Tanya

Jenna said...

I think you are an incredible woman! Of course I tend to look at the inside of the person opposed to the outer. I know what you are dealing with, as I am myself. I've had people tell me I'm "hot", but would be a lot "hotter" if I lost some weight. Those who deal with the weight issue, it is a very tender subject to them. For whatever reason, they(myself included) have to deal with this day in and out. I strive to be more positive about the weight issue. Yes, I would like to lose weight. Not because anyone tells me I should, but just to be a healthy Mom and I'm around for them!

You ROCK girlfriend!! If you are wondering...yes, I did have to get a tissue when reading your blog today!


Rebekah said...

You tell things sooo well! You speak to everyone's heart! Such a wonderful woman, momma, and wife! Love you!

Susie said...

Good post filled with information that many teens would be wise to read. I just recently read a story at another Dawn's site of her view on her daughter's struggle with annorexia. Her daughter wrote her story on her own blog. I'll send you the links if you want to read them.

Jodi said...

Good for you!

I never had weight issues (although I thought I was too fat) but had severe acne for all of my teen years and it got to me.

You are right that everyone has issues. I always say it is not our right to judge anyone.

Leigh said...

You said it perfectly! I think that we all struggle with something or we have in the past and all that we hope for is for our children to not go through it too. But, unfortunately, kids are cruel, more so today, and it is a really sad thing. Such wasted energy on something so hurtful. We all need your positive outlook! Can you bottle that?? Maybe we need to have a weekly "Happy Self" gathering to celebrate who we are!

tami said...

You are so right. It is so sad what our society is valuing. All of the reports on Tara notwithstanding, think of what we are offered in the media. The "reality" shows that are so far from what is actual reality. The magazine ads that are airbrushed so that they are not even close to reality. And all of the news reports on Paris, Brittney, Lindsay..... and their fights and excesses. Again nothing like real life. It is so hard to combat that at home, especially when some other parents try so hard to help their kids conform.

Tracey @ozcountryquiltingmum said...

I am so with you on this!! I've recently read all the Tyra stuff and take a keen interest as skinny girl who is now reasonably more cuddly post babies!-and with an 8 year old girl. My husband is very happy with the curves, my mother is not, she's exercise aand size obsessed and while I can cope with that for me , i am extemely watchful of what she says to my daughter who is built upon sturdy lines-and there have been a few pointed ones!This is such a huge issue and can do so much damage. The worst part is that most photos are airbrushed.

Tracey @ozcountryquiltingmum said...

Sorry hub came in so I got rid of comment quickly-most mag. photos are airbrushed so we are just getting this hugely unrealistic picture of 'beauty' ALL the time. Most people actually look just like us! Great post, LOL Tracey

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this wonderful post, Dawn ! It was not long at all, I found it sooo interesting and full of compassion. I fully understand your meaning, and I agree with you. Thanks again !

Big hug and smiles !

Shelina said...

Dawn, thisis a great post (weight). You are right, the key is to realize how awesome we each are individually - the things we and our bodies are capable of doing. Sure, we can work on improving things, but feeling down about it isn't going to help matters any. It's about making things better, not criticizing ourselves for hat we haven't accomplished yet.