Bottoms Up to the Hourglass Figure

by Ann Marie Michaels on April 26, 2012

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Joan-Holloway1

I just put the “Baby Got Back” ringtone on my phone:

So Cosmo says you’re fat?
Well, I ain’t down with that
Cuz your waist is small and your curves are kickin’
And I’m thinkin’ ’bout stickin’
To the beanpole dames in the magazines?
You ain’t it, Miss Thing
Give me a sista, I can’t resist her
Red beans and rice didn’t miss her

There has been an obsession with women being “thin” and “lean” ever since Twiggy in the 1960s. Which is relatively recent, when you think about it.

Until very recently, skinny was not attractive. It wasn’t too long ago that the hourglass figure was de rigueur.

Check out this clip from my favorite TV show, Mad Men:

Christina Hendricks, who plays Joan Harris (one of my very favorite characters) is gorgeously well-endowed.

I think we’ve all gone a little crazy with the whole thin thing. Don’t you?

I mean, especially those of us who are into traditional food.

That Hourglass Figure...

This is not traditional.

The obsession with being thin is a modern sickness.

Do you really think it’s a coincidence that we have an ever-growing number of women who have lost their sex drive, don’t menstruate, can’t get pregnant, and/or can’t nurse their babies?

What is up with that?

Could it be the fact that we are starving ourselves? Living on salads and Diet Coke. Cutting out the bread and the butter, skipping breakfast, forgoing dessert, doing whatever we can to try to get back to that size 6.

I want to bring back the hourglass.

After all, some of the sexiest women alive have been curvy.

Like Marilyn.

























And modern-day sex symbol, Scarlett Johansson.













If you’re worried about gaining weight, and you’re restricting your diet because of it — going low carb, skipping meals, cutting out grains and sugar — maybe it’s time to let go a little.

Maybe we should all let go a little.

Ask your boyfriend or husband. Does he really mind a few extra curves? I bet you he doesn’t. Go ahead and ask him.

And have the ice cream for dessert.

Because if you can’t eat the ice cream, what’s the dang point anyway?

There’s a reason they call it La Dolce Vita (the sweet life).

And speaking of La Dolce Vita, let us not forget Sophia Loren:



























Baby got back!
Yeah, baby … when it comes to females,
Cosmo ain’t got nothin’
to do with my selection.
36-24-36?
Ha ha, only if she’s 5’3

– Sir Mix-a-lot, “Baby Got Back”

Thanks to Laura of Ancestralize Me and her awesome post, Paleo Women are Phat, which inspired me to write this.

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{ 222 comments… read them below or add one }

Suzanne Ledford April 26, 2012 at 9:50 PM

Love it!

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Lauren Grosz April 26, 2012 at 9:57 PM

I think most women who are looking to loose weight would love to look like the women you mention in this post. The problem is that for many, the extra weight has nothing to do with added curves, and everything to do with simply getting fatter. So where have the hourglass figures gone? Why are women struggling with thick middles?

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cheeseslave April 26, 2012 at 10:02 PM

I think starving ourselves combined with stress and sleep deprivation causes the cortisol-driven “thick middles”.

I also think a lot of young women who are growing up on a low fat diet are ending up with slim-to-none hips and breasts. Cate Shanahan writes about this in her book, “Deep Nutrition”. We need the fat soluble vitamins to develop a healthy, normal figure.

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Amanda April 27, 2012 at 5:40 AM

That’s how I grew up. I am skinny as a rail. I’ve always been able to eat whatever I wanted without gaining a pound. It never changes, no matter what I do. :(

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Julie January 2, 2013 at 6:55 PM

I tried to post this earlier but this is the right spot for it. The slim hips and busts are not all from a low fat diet. Let me tell you?, after being in Asia for a year, I can tell you that the women are built with smaller breasts and hips, and frankly, they eat mostly traditional foods. It is a nice theory of the author but it doesn’t hold much water. Out of all the cultures, asians should be some of the “curviest” women out there with the quality of food….healthy fats, offal, fresh sea food……but they’re not.

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Julie January 2, 2013 at 7:16 PM

Oh and just as an fyi, the diet that the Deep Nutrition author upheld as so traditional and healthy was the Filipino diet. The Philippines was where I lived for a year, so I have some firsthand knowledge here. Per the author’s theory , those well fed Filipinas should be hippy and stacked, but they’re not. Kinda puts a stop to that line of thinking.

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Leo July 11, 2013 at 6:06 PM

I must be an anomaly then – Filipina, hippy AND stacked.

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Leo July 11, 2013 at 6:09 PM

also, in general not everyone can have a classic hourglass figure – a lot of it’s down to genetics and body type. Pear shapes seem to lean more in that direction. and in retro photos those women were cinched up within an inch of their lives in corsets.

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A.B. April 27, 2012 at 6:04 AM

I don’t mind my bigger bust and hips….but my 32″ waist and belly fat is what worries me. If only I could figure out what’s causing my high cortisol/insulin resistance!

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cheeseslave April 27, 2012 at 9:09 AM

I wrote that post a while back called Cortisol Belly. I truly believe that most of us with bellies (myself included) are under way too much stress. And this includes restrictive diets (yes, even low carb) which cause stress.

I still have my cortisol belly, but I KNOW I am healing my hormones.

My body temperature is up from the 97s to 98.3-98.6 every day. My menstrual cycle has completely balanced. No more breast tenderness and cramps, and I have a normal flow now. My sex drive is also beginning to come back — after 5 years with zero sex drive (after the baby was born)

In addition, these little red spots which started appearing on my skin a couple years ago are fading form red to pink.

What is working for me is greatly increasing the amount of food I eat, upping my carbs to 40-50% of my diet, and increasing my sleep — I’m up from 8 hours per night to a minimum of 9.5 hours per night (I shoot for 10-12). Thanks to Matt Stone for his advice!

I don’t mind the fact that I’ve gained a little weight and am a size larger. I feel like I”m getting my life back!

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Lori April 27, 2012 at 10:04 AM

@Ann Marie,
I love what you wrote above, but gaining weight via Matt Stone’s high carb diet is STRESSING ME OUT!!!! Sorry, don’t mean to yell, but it’s really doing a head trip on me. I hate the bloated feeling in my tummy.

Of course there are other things that are stressing me out.

Turning 42 and trying to get pregnant is stressing me out. I had this stupid fertility test done called an HSG where stick contrast die up your fallopian tubes and then x-ray them. I don’t know if it was the stress or what, but ever since then my cycles have been short. Another cause for stress. And then I don’t sleep well.

I feel like a frigen’ mess! Sorry to unload. I wish I had your attitude. Of course when I added carbs, I was already heavier-somewhere in the 180s.

BTW, I always hear people talk about Marilyn Monroe as if she’s plus sized. I read somewhere a long time ago that she would be the equivalent to about an American size 4. She was hour-glass shaped, but not huge. None of the women you show are huge–they just have big bust. It actually gets me because compared to them, I’m still huge, even if I somehow got a thinner waist. Scarlett Johansson is not big. She just has big boobs!!! Maybe these comparisons make some women feel good, but they don’t make me feel good because the women you pictured are all relatively thin, they just aren’t stick straight like Twiggy.

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Literary Mom April 27, 2012 at 10:54 AM

Thank you for saying what I was thinking. While appreciating the overall point, I don’t totally think the point was made the best way. Until motherhood/turning 30, I was Twiggy – I could eat anything I wanted without exercising or dieting. The weight I’ve put on since then has not turned me into having an hourglass figure – I’m more of an Asian pear (apple-pear) – the tiny waist and large boobs in all the pictures she posted provide yet another unrealistic image/ideal for women to feel pressured to live up to. The only difference with the culture is that they’re saying women have to be both Twiggy and voluptuous – hence the surge in implants and anorexia. Oh, and I have always preferred fats to carbs, so my figure isn’t from that.

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Lori April 27, 2012 at 11:32 AM

@Literary Mom,
I saw your comments in my email subscription, but I didn’t realize you were replying to me. Yes, it’s Twiggy or Twiggy with boobs!

@Ann Marie,
I love your posts, but I think you are just playing into another stereotype and another image that is difficult to live up to.

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cheeseslave April 27, 2012 at 12:11 PM

“the tiny waist and large boobs in all the pictures she posted provide yet another unrealistic image/ideal for women to feel pressured to live up to.”

I disagree.

I included the Victorian woman, who is NOT thin by any stretch of the imagination. I also included the African tribal woman. Not thin!

And you know that Victorian lady is wearing a tight corset to get that thin waist.

I’m not advocating that.

I’m just saying learn to love what you got!

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Literary Mom April 27, 2012 at 3:51 PM

Even still, the majority have small waists…and they all are top heavy! In an age when parents are “gifting” their teenagers with reconstructive surgery, I think it’s important not to reinforce breasts as the standard of femininity or beauty, which I think the images in this post inadvertently do. I know that’s not your intention, and if you changed up the pictures, you could easily fix that – just show more body types (thinking outside the hourglass) and we’ll stop griping :)

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cheeseslave April 27, 2012 at 12:08 PM

@Lori

If you are 42 and trying to get pregnant, the LAST thing you should worry about is gaining weight!

I am 43 and also want to get pregnant. I decided that I HAD to ditch low carb and restricting food if I want to balance my hormones and be healthy enough to have a baby.

The good news: my hormones ARE healthier! After a few months of eating more, eating 40-50% carbs and getting more sleep, my period is totally regular, the terrible cramping is gone, breast tenderness gone, and my sex drive is increasing. YAY!!!

So, I went up a size in clothes. Big whoop. I feel great!

We are so hard on ourselves, so mean to ourselves and each other.

Why not just appreciate what is GOOD about our bodies? Why not just learn to love what there is to love, and do our best to downplay what we don’t like?

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Lori April 27, 2012 at 12:25 PM

@Ann Marie,
You’re right. I shouldn’t be concerned about my weight although people say that being overweight can be a hindrance to getting pregnant.

My question regarding this post is why didn’t you put up pictures of rubenesque (sp?) women? Why only women with thin waists? Even though the Victorian woman is rounder, she still has a waist (even if it’s cinched), and well we can’t see what the African woman really looks like. All we see is her big boobs! I think your heart is in the right place. I know what you are trying to say, but the images don’t really support your message as well as they could. Sorry for criticizing. I usually don’t.

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cheeseslave April 27, 2012 at 12:48 PM

I wish I could please everyone when I write blog posts. But I can’t. I’m not perfect. None of us are.

Which was the point of this post!

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Jeanne April 27, 2012 at 12:42 PM

“We are so hard on ourselves, so mean to ourselves and each other. Why not just appreciate what is GOOD about our bodies? Why not just learn to love what there is to love, and do our best to downplay what we don’t like?”

I just love what you said. Blessings to you and your family.

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Holly May 3, 2012 at 9:34 AM

Wow! Thank you for making me feel better. I’m still nursing my 22 month old daughter and cannot seem to lose this belly fat! I felt terrible going to the regular doctor last week (tick bite freakout) when they weighed me and gave me a “look”. I’m over the optimal weight for my height, but I’ve once been that “optimal” weight and I was too thin according to my husband and my periods were all over the place (if I got them at all).

And little red dots!!! What the heck are those? I have them on my body and on my boobs which my daughter finds fascinating. How do you get rid of them?

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Liz H April 27, 2012 at 10:12 PM

I believe that the ol’ muffin top phenomenon is a result of all the xenoestrogens we are exposed to. I look at the teen girls at my daughter’s school and they all have it. The vast majority of girls I went to school with did not have this issue. Estrogens are stored in fat tissue and build up. Our bodies are not designed to deal with these environmental estrogens and I have read that they build up and we can’t release them very well.

These girls are being set up for a lifetime of hypertension, diabetes, autoimmune disease and more. I have toddler girls also and am doing everything possible to avoid exposing them to these substances. I’d like to have grandchildren someday…

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cheeseslave April 27, 2012 at 10:30 PM

@Liz H

I think you are totally right. That and the stress of modern day living — not enough sleep.

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puddleduck April 28, 2012 at 11:44 AM

Hmm maybe it has something to do with these funky estrogens. I have no idea. But I do know that the kids I know who have muffin tops are the ones whose mothers’ but them on weight watchers. =/ Oddly enough, they eat very little, and are quite picky. The kids with flat stomachs have hearty appetites.

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Jody Kristina September 9, 2013 at 1:40 PM

In those days, women were also cinching their waist. People still do it, I did it years ago.

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Skye April 26, 2012 at 10:03 PM

Thank you, Ann-Marie!!! Love this post, and love your healthy view on life! You are SO right! And anyway, a real woman’s body is just soooo much more beautiful and sexy than a bony one! Any guy will tell you that. I’m proud to say that after being brainwashed by the thin thing for so long, I have spent enough time questioning that ridiculous ideal that I no longer find thin beautiful. Yayyy!!!!

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cheeseslave April 26, 2012 at 10:11 PM

@Skye

Men have no hangups about this. We women read too many magazines.

To quote Sir Mix-a-lot again:

“So, fellas! (Yeah!) Fellas! (Yeah!)
Has your girlfriend got the butt? (Hell yeah!)
Tell ‘em to shake it! (Shake it!) Shake it! (Shake it!)
Shake that healthy butt!
Baby got back!”

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Vienna April 27, 2012 at 10:47 AM

“And anyway, a real woman’s body is just sooo much more beautiful and sexy than a bony one!”
That is so harmful, so hurtful, so horrible on so many levels. First the obvious: every body is REAL. I’m thin, and guess what: I’m REAL. It hurts so deeply when people say “REAL WOMAN” and they mean only some women. I have a vagina and two X chromosomes. I’m REAL. Deal with it. Second, it’s never ok to identify any body type as more or less sexy than others. Respect all people of all shapes and all sizes. Third, you’re obviously from an older generation than mine, because in my 20-odd years on this planet, all I’ve ever heard is that curves are best, thin is hideous. The tide has completely changed to where thin people are overlooked for jobs, thin people can’t get a date, and thin people are vilified, harassed, dissed, picked on, heckled and told flat out that we’re ugly, undesirable, and disgusting. Trouble is, I wasn’t around for when thin was in. So if someone hurt you, take it out on that person. NOT on people who are naturally thin now. I’ve never dissed any body type; why do you have the right to dis MY body type? Why are non-thin women so mean and hateful toward thin women?

It truly is what’s on the inside that counts. And you reveal so very much about your insides when you say that bony ones aren’t sexy, thin isn’t beautiful. You’re putting down others to feel better about yourself. That’s what will never be beautiful. Hateful, hurtful words are ugly. Body types are not. I truly hope you don’t raise kids to be as denigrating to others as you are.

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Skye April 27, 2012 at 12:57 PM

Goodness, Vienna, they are very hurtful and cutting words. But I understand that I have offended you, and might have offended others, and for that I do apologize, as I hate to think I have hurt anyone.

You need to hear something from me now, though. You have made a LOT of huge assumptions about me as a person, and those assumptions are just as wrong as someone assuming a thin person is unhealthy or starves themselves to be that way. I am nearly 5’6, and I weigh about 117 pounds. So I am thin, like you. I have (barely) A-cup breasts. I am 29 years old, so we are about the same age. I grew up in the same world as you. I had eating disorders for many years and forced myself to be BONY THIN because that is what I believed was beautiful. Thanks to traditional food I cured my eating disorders and no longer idealize thinness. I am still thin, because I am naturally thin, but I do not starve myself and force my body to be dangerously underweight.

Please understand that my choice of words came from a personal triumph over and liberation from idealizing society’s impossible, unhealthy, and damaging ideal of thinness. When I said “a real woman’s body,” I certainly did NOT mean to exclude thin bodies – after all, that’s my own body! To me, a “real” body is any body that is naturally the way it is. I am thin and flat-chested, but my body is “real” to me because I no longer starve it to be even thinner, and I take loving care of it with nourishing foods.

Again, I understand that I have offended you and I continue to be sorry for that. But Vienna, I really don’t see how your cutting words to me are any different to the way you felt about what I wrote. We must all embody peace and love and acceptance if that is what we want to see in the world.

Cheeseslave’s post was written as a CELEBRATION of fuller bodies, and was definitely not meant to offend thin people (I’m thin, and I wasn’t offended, because I can still relate to the striving for impossible thinness). It is a fact that society currently prizes and idealizes thinness more than it does average or heavier bodies, and personally I think we need to see far MORE celebrating of fuller bodies to outweigh this trend. Please remember that when someone celebrates a fuller figure they are NOT necessarily denigrating those of us who are naturally thin!

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Bebe April 27, 2012 at 1:39 PM

Well said Skye. You have a rare and uncommon gift in communication.

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Skye April 27, 2012 at 3:12 PM

Thank you, Bebe, I really appreciate that! : )

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Leo July 11, 2013 at 7:00 PM

I do agree with you that ALL women are real, regardless of size, and I’m sorry that you felt bad about being thin, but I still don’t see what you mean about curvy being “in”. As long as the media, fashion editors and designers rule over all (and they do, as far as fashion and the female form in media are concerned) thin will ALWAYS be in. I’m personally tired of hearing how models like Gisele are “voluptuous”. wha??? these are the people that unfortunately dictate tastes – it all trickles down from them. that’s just how the industry works. so it’s GREAT to see women like Christina Hendricks, and Scarlet J get some attention. It’s about time!

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Kelsy at The Liberated Kitchen April 26, 2012 at 10:04 PM

Every woman is beautiful, whether she’s fat or thin or somewhere in the middle. Shame on you for implying otherwise.

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cheeseslave April 26, 2012 at 10:08 PM

You are missing the point. Go back and read the post.

To wit: “There has been an obsession with women being “thin” and “lean” ever since Twiggy in the 1960s. Which is relatively recent, when you think about it.”

If you don’t think women are obsessed with being thin these days, you must be living under a rock.

Thin or curvy, it’s all good.

I didn’t write this to put down thin women. I wrote this post to help those of us who have issues with our curves.

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Ima @ kyndfamilyfarm May 6, 2012 at 6:44 PM

It seems all too possible though that even just posting the lyrics, may cause the exact opposite result ( and it seems it has) in those who are thinner. “bean pole dames in the magazines… You ain’t it miss thing”. Not really that cool no matter how you package your clean up effort. I think you missed the mark on your delivery. Your point seems lost in the rubble of offenses. Fair enough in my opinion. You are right in saying ya can’t please em all but kyndness goes a long long way…

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jason and lisa April 26, 2012 at 11:14 PM

yea… totally missing the point.. the pressure is on girls to be way too thin.. i dont see how anyone can deny that..

the only guy on the blog i think,

-jason and lisa-

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Joy at The Liberated Kitchen April 26, 2012 at 10:11 PM

I agree that dieting for the sole purpose of weight loss & striving for some super-thin “ideal” is damaging. You don’t need to put skinny women down in order to make that point, or say life isn’t worth living if you can’t eat the ice cream, sugar and grains. I always dreamed of having an hourglass figure, but my ass and breasts didn’t cooperate. Blog response coming soon. In the meantime, check out Health At EVERY Size for some truly body positive food for thought.

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cheeseslave April 26, 2012 at 10:16 PM

@Joy

I don’t see how I put skinny women down.

I think you’re reading into it.

Why pick on those of us who want to eat ice cream, sugar and grains?

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Ima @ kyndfamilyfarm May 6, 2012 at 6:54 PM

Back to those lyrics you chose to open your post with… ” to the bean pole dames in the magazines… You ain’t it miss thing”. I can see how those words could be hurtful. Regardless of your initial intention it has obviously caused hurt amoungst your readers. It makes me sad to see you being seemingly insensitive in your replies. I’m puzzled as to how you cant see how this post might seem off color. No ones asking you to say you dogged anyone on purpose. Maybe some sensitivity??

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Olivia Scott April 26, 2012 at 11:00 PM

The point is to remove the stigma surrounding women with healthy full figures. When I read it I didn’t think it was an endorsement of obesity or an indictment of lean individuals. I agree that you are reading into it more than is written. Does it make you feel defensive? You can’t seriously be suggesting that we should all just ignore the patently obvious societal pressures that have driven record numbers of young girls into anorexia and other eating disorders. Why can’t someone write a feel good piece about curvy women being proud of their curves? I’m all for it!

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Joy at The Liberated Kitchen April 27, 2012 at 9:33 AM

I love feel good pieces about women loving their curves. I follow lots of great body positive bloggers including The Fat Nutritionist, Fat Heffalump, Adipositivity, Jasie Plays at Adulthood & Stacy Bias. I’m a huge proponent of Linda Bacon’s Healthy At Every Size, as well. But this post missed the mark. Here is why:
http://theliberatedkitchenpdx.com/basics/curvy-hot-skinny-not/

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Julie April 26, 2012 at 10:15 PM

I think a big part of the problem with this is women not liking themselfs and wanting to be something different “if I will be thin I will be happy” and then I see women who are already thin thinking things like “if only my nose was different I would happy.” Those things never create happiness. Recently my co-worker, who has been on a diet for quite awhile and was already thin, and now really thin looking, was shamfully talking about her body fat percentage being higher than her husbands. Me, and my other co-worker (a male), were letting her know that that is OKAY, women need more fat on their body than men do. My male co-worker was even telling her to be round, whats the big deal? Which was great to hear him say that, but I dont think we got through to her. So many people have similar issues. I had similar issues when I was young. But really, its okay. I doubt elderly women look back upon their lives and wish “if I was only thinner when I was younger..”

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cheeseslave April 26, 2012 at 10:19 PM

@Julie

“I doubt elderly women look back upon their lives and wish “if I was only thinner when I was younger..”

So true!

My grandma Ruth died last year. She was always overweight. She always said, “I’d rather be fat and happy than thin and mean!”

We all stood around and cried like babies at her funeral. She was so loving, so happy. We all loved her so very much.

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cheeseslave April 26, 2012 at 10:30 PM

Retraction: I should not say she was “always” overweight. She was not overweight and was quite the “looker” when she was in her teens. She started gaining weight in her 20s I guess, after she started having babies (she had 5 kids).

She was 86 when she died. She was one of the most loving, most giving, and dearest people I’ve ever known.

I miss her every single day.

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Norma April 28, 2012 at 3:28 PM

OH, your gramma sounds like a beautiful woman.:-) How many people are going to remember someone after they go if they have a bit of too much weight on them…….people are remembered more by what they do for someone and how they treat people. Yes!! to carbs, (good ones) and some ice cream here and there.
I think most of us are overweight because we sit too much. Not enough exercise, we make ourselves too busy to take care of ourselves.

I’ve never had an hour-glass figure and figure I never will. I would love to lose 10-20 #’s but I think I still have healing to do from candida; hormone imbalance, etc. etc. etc……. I have upped my carbs too, still am not comfortable with it, but I am going to pursue it and keep eating them and see if my thyroid gets back in balance.

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Robin April 26, 2012 at 10:32 PM

so now it’s not pc to talk about being curvy? good grief, people, where exactly is Ann Marie putting down skinny girls??? Our culture is so freakin’ obsessed with being skinny that girls are literally starving themselves to be that way, and THAT is the point she is making here, she is NOT that there is anything wrong with being naturally thin! geez….

Anyway, Ann Marie-I thought this was awesome! in preparation for our trip to Italy, I’ve been pouring over guidebooks, booking museums, etc., and have been struck many times by all the pics of the statues (mostly nudes) and how curvy the women are in them, and all of them beautiful. And yeah, sometimes I think that my figure doesn’t look all that different from theirs and yet I can sometimes really beat myself up over it, thinking I really should drop 10 or 15 pounds. But hey, if I lived in the 15th century in Florence, I’d be perfect! ;-)

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cheeseslave April 26, 2012 at 10:38 PM

@Robin

“But hey, if I lived in the 15th century in Florence, I’d be perfect!”

LOL!

Exactly right!

Where are you going in Italy? I want to hear all about it! I LOVE Italy!

I am leaving for Portugal/Spain 2 weeks from today. SO EXCITED!

I’ve gained weight since I doubled my caloric intake and increased my carbs to 40-50% — but I only went up one size, so big deal.

And you know what, I’m loving it! I get to eat all the foods I missed — ice cream, bread, potatoes, jam, waffles, etc. I never stress about eating anymore. I just eat what I want.

I’m never going back to low carb, or to any form of dietary restriction.

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Robin April 27, 2012 at 6:41 AM

We leave exactly one week from today!!!!! I am sooo excited but still have a lot to do to get ready, although my to-do list has been growing steady smaller, thank goodness! And also so thankful to finally get my passport this week, yay! Don’t know if you remember, but I had posted on facebook that I couldn’t find it and had to get it expedited (it sounded like you had to do the same thing???).

And yes, I LOVE Italy-I was there in college and just fell in love but haven’t been back since. Now, I get to take my husband and share Italy with him, as he hasn’t been to Italy or anywhere in Europe, so I’m super excited for that! Also, I was just a broke college student the last time, so it will be fun getting to stay in some fun places and actually eat out this time.

So excited for your trip, that sounds awesome too! Once we hit up Italy, I’m thinking we still have a lot of Europe left to explore next time. Have a great time on your trip!!!! :-D

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Ana April 28, 2012 at 1:43 AM

Hi, Ann Marie!

What part of Spain are you visiting? :)

I live in Bilbao, in the North of Spain.

You are gonna love it here and the food is delicious.

Ana

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cheeseslave April 28, 2012 at 10:26 AM

We are going to be in Seville

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Elizabeth April 27, 2012 at 5:49 AM

Robin, I agree! I lived in Italy for two years (my husband was in the military) and I also noticed how much of the art depicts curvy women. Back then, skinny women were usually poor. (I’m not agreeing with this, just stating a previously-held value.)

No one is putting thin women down here. Ann Marie is just trying to get our heads out of magazines and back into what is healthy for SOME women. Our culture is obsessed with thin-ness. Let’s celebrate every body type. We are all beautiful.

As a side note, while living in Tuscany I noticed the “average” body type of Italian women was quite different from what I was used to seeing. There were less overweight people in general, yes, but the women tended to be more hourglass overall. And beautiful, btw. I wonder if it has anything to do with their non-obsessive eating habits?

I think I’m making pasta for dinner tonight. ;-)

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Bebe April 27, 2012 at 10:06 AM

Sophia Loren was quoted as saying she maintains her gorgeous self by eating spaghetti w/ tomato sauce every day!

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cheeseslave April 27, 2012 at 10:19 AM

Mmm pasta. Maybe we’ll go out for Italian tonight.

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Bebe April 27, 2012 at 10:34 AM

I think the tomatoes are an important part too, especially for the skin. My favorite pasta sauce is tomato cream with garlic and tons of basil! I totally believe basil is an aphrodisiac. Just sayin’… ;)

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Robin April 27, 2012 at 8:45 PM

mmm….pasta. and pizza. and gelato. I plan on eating plenty of all of it while we’re there…:-)

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cheeseslave April 27, 2012 at 10:38 PM

I’m only going on vacation for 2 reasons: food and rest.

Beaches, seafood, wine, early bedtimes, naps, tapas, cava (Spanish Champagne), lazing around, reading, dessert, lots of sun — it’s all part of RRARFING — rehabilitave rest and aggressive refeeding.

No pasta, pizza or gelato in Spain/Portual, but we’ll make up for it I’m sure.

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Beth May 1, 2012 at 8:30 PM

Maybe there will be gelato in Spain/Portugal. They have it Germany and it is just as yummy as gelato in Italy (our landlady’s sister owned a Gelateria that was just up the street from us and we ate free gelato a lot). :)

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Jeanmarie April 26, 2012 at 10:37 PM

I would love to have Marilyn Monroe’s proportions! (Christina Hendricks, not so much.) However, eating Real Food won’t give you an hourglass figure if you don’t have the genes for it. I’m always going to be a pear shape, and I’m ok with that. I see so many big women with enormous hanging boobs that are anything but sexy, and I’m so glad I’ll never have to wear one of those industrial-strength bras to lug mine around. I have the child-bearing hips but no children, so I guess I don’t need the boobs.

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cheeseslave April 26, 2012 at 10:51 PM

I think Christina Hendricks is absolutely gorgeous and perfect.

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Olivia Scott April 26, 2012 at 10:39 PM

AnnMarie! Love it!
This makes me want to stand in front of the mirror naked with a glass of champagne in hand and cheers myself. Lol a little much maybe?
I am itching to read Deep Nutrition now. I really really want my weight to distribute properly. It goes to my boobs and stomach. No hips and just a little to the butt. GRRRR. And you’re right…my husband says don’t lose weight…I like your butt! Lol
My mom ate macrobiotic while pregnant with me and I grew up vegetarian/vegan (22 years) I have been doing WAPF for 2 years now and I see a little improvement in weight distribution.
Do you think there is hope for my body to ever develop normally into an hourglass figure? I’m 24…

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cheeseslave April 26, 2012 at 10:48 PM

@Olivia

my husband says don’t lose weight…I like your butt! Lol

Write this down on a piece of paper and put it under your pillow:

“So, fellas! (Yeah!) Fellas! (Yeah!)
Has your girlfriend got the butt? (Hell yeah!)
Tell ‘em to shake it! (Shake it!) Shake it! (Shake it!)
Shake that healthy butt!
Baby got back!”

I don’t know if you’ll ever have an hourglass figure — I think that happens when your bones develop.

My mom ate ice cream every day when I was in utero. I always had an hourglass figure — and I was ashamed of it for as long as I can remember.

I think we just need to love ourselves as best we can. Life is short, and we need to just enjoy it as much as possible.

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cheeseslave April 26, 2012 at 10:50 PM

PS: Your icon with your big smile shows your positive attitude. That’s the spirit!

Don’t worry so much about how you look and just eat the ice cream.

Life is to be savored and enjoyed!

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cheeseslave April 26, 2012 at 10:52 PM

This makes me want to stand in front of the mirror naked with a glass of champagne in hand and cheers myself. Lol a little much maybe?

And NO not too much! Sounds just right to me!

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cheeseslave April 26, 2012 at 10:55 PM

I take that back. See the comment below by Sile. Maybe you can have your hourglass figure. You just need to eat chocolate ice cream and fried plantains before bed!

;-)

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Síle April 26, 2012 at 11:03 PM

hahaha yes, the magic food! ;-)
I’ll probably never have a classic hourglass figure, just because of my body shape, and thats fine with me. I’m just thrilled with what I finally got now!
I don’t think that your hip bones can actually grow when you’re 27, but I SWEAR they look wider LOL…and there really isn’t that much fat on them.
Maybe more muscle? :-) Whatever it is, I like it!

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Olivia Scott April 26, 2012 at 11:06 PM

I’m smiling ear to ear!!! haha!
Thank you AnnMarie :) I try to be positive and love myself because after all we are so blessed.
Since I don’t have any champagne on hand, I’ll cheers to hips with a glass of raw milk!
Keep on doin’ what your doin’…we love it!!!
p.s. Sile, thanks!

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Emma June 27, 2012 at 1:54 PM

Diet can affect how your body distributes weight??? Where have I been? I’ve never heard of this. I’ve only ever heard that how we distribute weight is because of genetics. I’m assuming the book you mentioned speaks about that?

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Síle April 26, 2012 at 10:50 PM

What a great post! I’m a “thin” woman, but I don’t feel like you are saying being naturally slender is bad. When I was low-carb, I lost a LOT of weight (down from my normal fairly skinny already weight) and just felt weak and not good. My whole life, I’ve had no hips, no butt, and basically looked like I hadn’t quite finished puberty…:-S
Now that I’m following the research of such people as yourself and Ray Peat and Matt Stone, I’m eating all healthy, but whatever I feel like. I just had homemade chocolate ice cream and fried plantains for my bedtime snack. YUM!
And, I FINALLY am starting to get a womanly, hourglass figure for the first time in my 27 years of life! I actually have boobs, hips and butt!!!! Love it!! ;-)) I feel SO much more sexy this way, compared to being stick-thin.

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cheeseslave April 26, 2012 at 10:53 PM

@Sile

And, I FINALLY am starting to get a womanly, hourglass figure for the first time in my 27 years of life! I actually have boobs, hips and butt!!!! Love it!! ;-) ) I feel SO much more sexy this way, compared to being stick-thin.

Wow that is really encouraging! YOU GO, GIRL!!!!

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Síle April 26, 2012 at 11:07 PM

<3 YAY, Thank you!
I actually loosened up my diet for other health reasons (based mostly on reading a lot of Ray Peat's articles on treating MS), and my changing body shape is a totally unexpected side benefit.
And its only been a month or so since I started this (eating lots of delicious food and CARBS!!!, supplementing thyroid etc.) so I'm hoping it just keeps getting better. :-)

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Emma June 27, 2012 at 2:08 PM

Okay, can y’all lead me to what books/blogs your reading? I would love to learn more about this. I’m still flabbergasted by this concept. My daughter has a gorgeous hour glass figure that she didn’t get from me. I grew up eating the horrible SAD diet, and then spent my post baby years trying to lose the weight I gained during my pregnancies. Thankfully, I learned about nutrition, and fed my kids healthy food. My daughter has always had a stable, healthy weight and has never dieted. I wonder if the difference between our upbringing and dieting/no dieting is the main factor in our different body shapes. I was a string bean as a child, and when I gained some weight it was all in my torso/hips/butt region (never made it beyond a B cup except when nursing) with my arms and legs remaining thin throughout it all, even during pregnancy. This subject really fascinates me. This is one area of nutrition that I don’t know anyhthing about yet.

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Emily @ Butter Believer April 26, 2012 at 11:51 PM

That’s so encouraging to hear, Sile! I’ve also returned to eating “whatever I feel like.” After a stint on the GAPS diet, it feels amazing. I’m hoping for those curves to start coming my way, but in the meantime, I’m refusing to put myself down for not meeting anyone else’s idea of a sexy body image.

I’m an abnormally skinny gal and took no offense to this post at all. Actually, I read it to imply that striving to meet our culture’s standards for an “ideal” body is damaging no matter what end of the scale you’re coming from. I’ve spent my whole life just aching to be more “shapely” and have at least a little bit of an hourglass figure. See, when you’re naturally skinny, you STILL don’t meet the magazine/model standard. You don’t have boobs! Or any “back” (as per Mr. Mixalot’s standards, lol). So really, there’s NO one who actually looks like those airbrushed and surgically “enhanced” Victoria’s Secret models — not even the models themselves do in real life.

Here’s to real women, at every size. :)

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puddleduck April 28, 2012 at 11:52 AM

It feels awesome, yeah. :D I struggle quite a bit with keeping weight on also. I just gained fifteen pounds after struggling to regain following an unfortunate weight loss during a low-carb diet in 2009. So I can relate to how great it feels to gain those curves. :)

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jason and lisa April 26, 2012 at 11:08 PM

oh my good gosh!! agree women dont look like the did in the past.. they honestly look like boys.. 28 year old male here and there is nothing wrong with a woman looking like a woman.. from the boobs to the hips.. i’ll take a butter eating hour glass over a diet coke drinking muffin top any day..

off topic, am i the only guy who hates modern girl jeans?? ultra ultra low rise that can somehow fine rolls on a 95 pound size 0?? really?? what about jeans that show the hips and hug the curves?? what happened to those??

and scarlet johansson…… yea…

-jason and lisa-

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Mary @ Homemade Dutch Apple Pie April 27, 2012 at 3:30 AM

If you find jeans that do this please share!!! I am a size 0 (naturally a petite person) and simply can’t find jeans that fit well…and are appropriate for a 32 year old mother of 2. I basically have to shop for juniors clothing…and yes get the low rise muffin top jeans. Makes me feel gross even though I’m a size 0! Sad. I’d feel a lot better about my shape if I could actually find clothes for a small woman that fit. Most “women’s” clothing only goes down to about a 4 or 6. And they are just too big on me. So I’m stuck with the high school look.

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Kate April 27, 2012 at 7:08 AM

I hope people won’t hate me for pointing this out, but jeans are just ugly on women. Jeans were designed as work pants for men, and they only look marginally attractive on someone with a boyish body — no hips, no butt, with long, thin legs. Look at the pictures of Christina Hendricks and Marilyn Monroe — they are dressed like a woman should be, and they’re beautiful. We women with hourglass figures look so much better in a pretty dress or skirt. Speaking as an 18th century reenactor, it’s somewhat shocking to see the ladies, who look so lovely in the 18th century clothing, when they take it all off and return to their jeans and t-shirts. The graceful hourglass silhouette disappears, to be replaced with frumpy muffin tops under t-shirts and jeans. If you don’t like the way you look, you might consider changing your wardrobe. Luckily, the likes of Christina Hendricks have made pretty clothing trendy again.

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cheeseslave April 27, 2012 at 9:52 AM

I think jeans can be beautiful on women. They just need to fit right.

Check out this blog that someone posted on Facebook:

http://girlwithcurves.tumblr.com/post/8128528253/casual-charm

Apparently this girl is a size 20. She is gorgeous! Even in jeans.

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Mary @ Homemade Dutch Apple Pie April 27, 2012 at 10:43 AM

I should expand my wardrobe a bit I guess. I definitely feel more comfortable…and curvier in strechy pants (my mom/at home wardrobe) :) Maybe I’ll have to invest in more dresses for the summer.

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jason and lisa April 27, 2012 at 10:44 AM

i havent thought of that. women dont wear dresses anymore. i think jeans can be good but it does have to be the right pair. i hate skinny jeans but everywhere you look you see them. you cant move in them. to me the only thing worse than seeing girls in skinny jeans is seeing young boys wearing them. i may be wrong but it looks to be girl jeans that they are wearing. and then to “bust a sag” wearing them just looks terrible.

-jason and lisa-

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Bebe April 27, 2012 at 10:50 AM

Is there really one way “a woman should be”? What if a beautiful woman, curves or no curves, tends a garden and animals? Manages her husbands firewood business and hunts moose and caribou? Teaches back country search and rescue? Runs a remote lodge? I know all four of the examples I just mentioned. I think they would look totally inappropriate in fashion wear and some of them go further than jeans and wear Carharts… and look beautiful. Beauty is totally in the eye of the beholder. Let’s find it everywhere.

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jason and lisa April 27, 2012 at 10:35 AM

i have the same problem mary.. now im a guy but still its the same.. i have a 28 inch waist..if i buy jeans im usually looking at a 30.. this means the jeans only fit me right out of the dryer.. once they get loose they are baggy on me.. ive actually started wearing more hiking type clothes because i dont want to look like a “skater boy..” so usually im in some hiking shorts and my toe shoes.. i kid you not.. it is easier to find a size 48×29 than a 30×30.. that a 48 inch gut and 29 in legs for those who dont know.. or my fave.. the 29×48.. maybe not quite that bad but you get the point..

lisa has a bit of a dunk going on and we buy her jeans at the country and western store.. if you sift through the paited on jeans and the jeans with western beads already attached; there are some normal fitting woman jeans that make booty look nice..she cant wear the ultra low rise because if she even thinks about leaning over, the crack comes popping out..

i for one suffer from whiteboyitis.. i have no caboose..

-jason and lisa-

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Mary @ Homemade Dutch Apple Pie April 27, 2012 at 10:44 AM

Ah yes, can’t bend over…that’s me. Constantly tugging my pants up b/c they get stretched out and slide down after 5 minutes…yep. If they had a higher waist it would really help.

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Laura N. April 27, 2012 at 10:51 AM

The only jeans I ever wear any more are the Gloria Vanderbilt “Amanda” jeans. I find them at Kohl’s and they are often on sale. These look flattering even if your hips and tummy are not itty bitty and they’re especially good after having a baby. The waist is very comfortable, at least on my body type, so I have some in each size from 6 to 12 to fit my changing needs in between babies. These jeans come in lots of different colors, too.

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Beth May 8, 2012 at 5:03 AM

I find normal jeans at thrift stores.

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Heleen April 27, 2012 at 12:13 AM

Love it! Now sharing it with my fellow curvaceous girl friends ;-)

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Rick April 27, 2012 at 3:20 AM

I am surprised at the women saying you are ripping on the skinny… I did not get that. I love my wife’s curves! Now she is VERY FIT… but still has curves like a woman is suppose to. Now I do think self control in WHAT we eat is essential. A fat and flabby body is a sign of bad health and your systems natural reaction to bad foods and lack of exercise (but more to do with food). We don’t need white sugar and white flour… and if we want health bodies we should restrict our diets from those things.

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Soli @ I Believe in Butter April 27, 2012 at 3:50 AM

A long time ago I realized I would never be “thin.” My body is simply not built for that. Large frame, broad shoulders, hips, and, er, stacked. :) Now for designers to remember again about women having SHAPE.

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Carrie April 27, 2012 at 4:29 AM

“Even white boys got to shout!”

Haha, this post is great and I had a couple of thoughts.

- If you don’t have “back”, it may be because your alignment and posture are out of whack. Katy Bowman talks about this on her site: alignedandwell.com. Many modern women tuck their pelvis under which flattens the booty. When we walk like that, we lose muscle tone too because we’re not using our buttocks muscles properly. This is fixable.

- The fat tummy/waist phenomenon that’s common even among smaller women is probably due to the yo-yo dieting starvation cycle they’ve subjected themselves to, plus a high sugar/crap carb diet.

- I seriously think the low fat craze is affecting marriages. I have a good friend whose wife left him recently. We talked about what was going on – she stopped wanting to have sex with him. I’m sure there may have been other issues going on, but he’s a great guy, handsome, everything – she was a vegan and marathon runner who was built like a 10 year old prepubescent girl. I told him she needed to eat some fat to keep her menstrual cycle going and desire sex again. He said “yes, I know eating some fat would make her feel better on a lot of levels.” – intimating she had other emotional problems.
– to the commenter who was defensive about being skinny – heck, I’m a size 4/6 when I’m not pregnant but I still got curves! It’s not about your size, it’s about being ok with being womanly.

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cheeseslave April 27, 2012 at 9:54 AM

Wow that is really sad about the vegan lady. That is an obvious eating disorder, but sadly, she can’t see it.

Keep in mind, you can get that way on low carb paleo as well. They eat lots of fat and meat, but they can also lose their sex drive and periods eating that way.

I have come to believe that any kind of restrictive diet is dangerous.

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Kate @ Modern Alternative Mama April 27, 2012 at 4:47 AM

I’m a bit heavier now than I was after my last baby but I don’t “look” like it. This weight was gained on real food.

Also I have always had pretty “extreme” curves for my size. I am only 5’3″ but have very wide hips and large breasts. It’s kind of ridiculous. Sometimes people think I am not wearing a bra when I am because it looks so crazy (I probably need to get better bras, though). My mom and husband have encouraged me to look into reduction surgery…but I’m not so keen on surgery…and I refused to do it before having kids because I wanted to breastfeed.

I showed my 4-year-old all these pictures and explained to her what is healthy and what is not. I want her to start out with the idea of healthy body image. She has just picked up on the idea that some people (“who eat junk food”) are too heavy, and others are too thin. I’m explaining to her that everyone is different and it’s about HEALTH though, not ‘beauty’ per se. We need to raise a generation of girls who are more concerned with their health at whatever size they become, than some stupid ideal of beauty.

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Mary April 27, 2012 at 7:41 AM

Please do not conform to the desires of those around you. Reduction surgery would just be glorified self mutilation if not done for a true medical need. When God, the best artist ever, formed you in your mothers womb He knew what you would look like at every age. Love yourself and then if others follow its a bonus.-m

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Bebe April 27, 2012 at 10:22 AM

I have a girlfriend who had reduction surgery and says it was one of the best things she did for herself. Huge breasts can be troublesome for posture and exacerbate back pain issues.

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Christie September 9, 2013 at 1:28 PM

If you really do need surgery do as you need.

However, I had terrible back pain and shoulder pain until I got a properly fitting bra. Get a properly fitting bra first…it can do wonders for both your figure, your posture, and your body over all. I am a size 36HH and struggled for years with poorly fitting bras. Is it cheap…not really. We are talking $40-60 per bra. But you really only need 3. Surgery is a-lot more expensive than $180.

I have been able to breastfeed all four of my children to the age of 2. Don’t cut yourself up unless you really really need to.

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Sarah @ Real Food Outlaws April 27, 2012 at 5:01 AM

Love this! That’s really all I have to say! Love, love this!!!

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Elizabeth April 27, 2012 at 6:07 AM

I’ve always found it interesting that women in Victorian times were quite “fluffy!” We would definitely call them fat! But those full figures were considered to be very desirable in that time of history. For more reasons than one, I think I was born in the wrong era!! :)

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cheeseslave April 27, 2012 at 10:23 AM

I like the word “fluffy”!

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Lillian Davenport April 27, 2012 at 6:25 AM

I love this idea of celebrating hourglass proportions, an ideal that is rarely portrayed in the media except in the case of plus-size models.. who, by the way, I think are living examples of vibrant health and an ideal that is possible for all women to achieve with reasonable amounts of exercise and a healthy, pleasurable diet (you can tell they eat well due to their glowing skin.)

I used to frequent the message boards on a popular bodybuilding site because I enjoy lifting weights and being strong. Many of the women on these boards opted for breast implants once their body fat dipped so low that their breasts disappeared. Um, yeah, if you’re breasts are disappearing, that should serve as a warning sign!

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Ann Katherine Richards April 27, 2012 at 6:32 AM

You do have a point…But skinny is pretty to me. Can’t lie to myself. Maybe skinny is healthy, maybe it is inborn in us to think skinny is attractive especially the little in the middle bit. People with small waists have less tendency toward cardiovascular disease.

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cheeseslave April 27, 2012 at 9:24 AM

We are brainwashed to believe that skinny is attractive. I do not believe that it is “inborn”.

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Jennifer R April 28, 2012 at 6:27 PM

“cheeseslave April 27, 2012 at 9:24 AM

‘We are brainwashed to believe that skinny is attractive. I do not believe that it is “inborn.’ ”

And, yet, you argued above that you weren’t advocating one body type over another. I was totally giving you the benefit of the doubt until now. OMG.

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Saeriu April 27, 2012 at 6:32 AM

Enjoyed this post!

Also, I have to share, when I read the words to the song I had to sing them in my head. That song used to be a ‘pump-up’ song that I’d listen to before swim meets in college.

Saeriu

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Amy April 27, 2012 at 7:23 AM

I’m pretty sure my boyfriend would not like at all if I got fat. I’m very thin, and tend to attract guys who like petite women. BUT, he definitely loves my hips and butt – I was blessed with curves on my thin body. I have a very small waist and stomach, and I think if those were to get big he would not be happy. An ex-boyfriend of mine once got very unhappy when I gained some weight (bringing me up to maybe a size 4 – this is when I was recovering from an eating disorder, there’s a reason he’s an ex!). But , I’ve dated a lot of men who made it clear they like a slim woman – curves, yes, but fat, no. My current boyfriend expects me to stay in shape, and I actually expect the same of him.

BTW, on growing curves, I’ve heard maca can help with that.

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cheeseslave April 27, 2012 at 9:34 AM

@Amy

I’m sorry you are dating guys who expect you to be thin and who would be “unhappy” if you gained weight.

My ex-husband was like that. He used to always say, “You have a good body but you could have a great body if you would just go to the gym.” Keep in mind, this is when I was 27 and was a size 6/8 (5’5). I didn’t have an ounce of extra weight on me.

And yes, he is an ex as a result.

My current husband would NEVER EVER say that he would be unhappy with me if I gained weight. And I have gained weight. I’m a size 12/14 now. Ever since I had a baby, the weight has not come off. He has never said a single word. In fact, he thinks I am beautiful just as I am.

He has gained weight, too, since we met, and I don’t mind it at all. Why? Because I love him. I love his spirit. I love who he is. A few extra pounds don’t bother me a bit.

My grandmother Ruth put on weight when she started having babies. Her husband, Earl, never minded — not one bit. They were the best example of a happy couple I have ever known. They got married when she was 18 or 19 and they were together until he died a few years ago. She missed him every day until she died last year at 86.

My opinion, based on my own life lessons: Real relationships that are loving and authentic don’t put demands on how you look.

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Doina April 27, 2012 at 10:58 AM

That was so well put, Ann Marie. My husband is the same way. I pity those who don’t experience relationships like that.

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Amy April 27, 2012 at 11:48 AM

Ok, I think there’s also something to be said about wanting to be with someone who takes pride in their appearance. I live in NYC so I think there’s a different standard here as well, but for the same reasons that I would not cut off my long hair or dress in schlumpy clothes, I would take efforts not to gain weight. Going up a clothing size or two after kids is one thing; letting yourself go is another. I think there’s an expectation among many men that you will make efforts to keep yourself sexy, and I personally think this is a good thing. Men are very visual creatures, and , superficial or not, they will likely be happier if you 1) look good and 2) want to have sex. I’m comfortable with that.

I have letters written by my grandmother, who came of age in the 30s, complaining about getting fat as she went over 120 lbs at 5’8″ so I don’t think wanting to be thin is a new thing. She put on a few pounds after kids, but always maintained a very trim figure throughout her life and is still going now in her 90s. She and my grandfather had a wonderful marriage, and he always loved how beautiful she kept herself. She always dressed well, had a great figure, did her hair and her nails. I keep her as my role model. My grandfather kept himself up, too, always dressing nicely and maintaining his athletic build. I can only hope to have the marriage the two of them had.

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cheeseslave April 27, 2012 at 11:52 AM

I live in LA — it’s just as bad here as NYC — if not worse.

I’m not advocating OBESITY. I’m just advocating that people learn to love themselves, whatever their size. I think people get way too hung up on looks.

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Amy April 27, 2012 at 11:54 AM

Yeah, I get that, but I still think pride in appearance is important. Anyone who’s ever read :French Women Don’t Get Fat” will get what I mean. That’s my basic life philosophy.

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Emma June 27, 2012 at 5:45 PM

I loved that book! I like that she spoke about eating real food, and preparing and eating it in a relaxed manner. It’s books like that which remind me that the joy of food/eating is important; it shouldn’t be a chore if given the choice. And, I personally think, that our food choices don’t HAVE to be determined only by the nutrient density scale. This is what I love about Ann Marie’s balanced point of view with food and eating.

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Kelsy April 27, 2012 at 4:12 PM

My husband and I have been trying to RRARF lately, and although we don’t own a scale, I know I’ve put on a couple of pounds. I’ve always been very skinny (although I have always had hips, just no chest), so it was a little shocking last night as I was getting dressed to go to book club and noticed how much tighter my jeans were fitting, and I felt a little self-conscious. But then I walked into the living room where my husband was, and he gave me a long look and said “Hurry home tonight.” I think he was pleased! :)

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cheeseslave April 27, 2012 at 6:32 PM

Haha! That is so cute! :-)

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Julia April 27, 2012 at 7:23 AM

I blissfully never thought I was fat, (though by today’s standards I totally am), because my parents had a bunch of old books and magazines about sex lying around in the attic. All those old statues of naked Italian women and even Penthouse’s from the 70′s fostered a healthy self-image, I’d say. The only trouble has been squeezing into the clothes we’re supposed to wear! I second the comment about today’s unflattering-on-anyone-over-100 lb’s jeans. I have no issues with body image whatsoever…as long as I’m naked…

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cheeseslave April 27, 2012 at 9:36 AM

@Julia

Yes when I gained weight in this attempt to heal my hormones, I hated the fact that I could not fit into anything! So I went out and bought some clothes that fit. What a revelation!

I just don’t look at sizes anymore — I buy what fits.

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Julia April 27, 2012 at 9:44 AM

Yeah, getting hung up over size is silly. I actually got a little over zealous in embracing my bigness the other day and ended up trying on clothes that were many sizes too large on me! Ha! You know, I find that the trouble isn’t so much the sizes, it’s the styles. I’m better off in dresses than anything else. I keep thinking I should start making my own damn clothes, but I don’t know if I’ve got the talent or patience for it.

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Síle April 27, 2012 at 10:22 AM

This is why I learned how to sew my own clothes! I am 6′ tall, so I can’t find pants long enough ANYWHERE. Its so nice to know how to make your own. I have kind of odd proportions, so I make my own patterns by tracing clothes that fit me. But you can also work off of already-made patterns! Its not as hard as people think! :-) Just takes a little practice!

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cheeseslave April 27, 2012 at 10:24 AM

That is so cool, Sile

I wish I could sew. Maybe I will try to learn one of these days.

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Kendahl @ Our Nourishing Roots April 27, 2012 at 8:29 AM

I love posts like this, and I don’t think AM was saying that thin wasn’t pretty (at least I didn’t read it that way).

I think we can run into trouble if we push to see “pretty” or “healthy” only one way. That’s why I love Health at Every Size so much. I don’t judge my health by my scale anymore, but by my temperatures, my energy level, and how I feel.

I’m happier the last couple of years, and I am positive it’s from good real food, lowering my stress, and just being happy! (And I haven’t lost any weight either).

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Annie Dru April 27, 2012 at 9:12 AM

Ha! I don’t think our culture has any problem whatsoever with the figures of the women in your post… big knockers, tiny waist, ‘child-bearing’ hips. As Dr. Shanahan illustrates so eloquently in Deep Nutrition, it’s the ‘golden ratio’ that’s at issue here. If you’re lucky enough to be a ’36-24-36′ then of course you should embrace it! Men love it, and trust me… flat chested, flat bottomed women envy it.

The human brain is just not as attracted to figures that don’t represent something close to that ratio… regardless of dress size. A too large middle in relation to top and bottom, or a too small top and bottom in relation to middle is not sexually attractive. I spent my whole life wishing my ‘boy figure’ would magically transform itself into an ‘hour-glass’. I was raised on fake fats, no doubt starting with baby formula, then graduating to things like Velveeta, Parkay, Miracle Whip, Cool Whip, Skippy, etc, etc. I was a ‘bean pole’ kid, and puberty came and went with no boobs, no booty. Even at 15 I knew my figure was not the type likely to capture the attention of the opposite sex. Luckily I had a vivacious personality and very long legs!

It wasn’t until I’d had four kids (which made no difference whatsoever to my stick-straight figure) adopted a doomed macrobiotic diet, made myself sick and even skinnier, and then finally came home to a traditional diet, that at last I achieved something closer to a womanly form.

By all means Anne Marie, embrace your hour-glass figure, but have a little compassion for Twiggy… regardless of her fame, I’ll bet she secretly wanted to look more like Marilyn Monroe!

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cheeseslave April 27, 2012 at 9:42 AM
Annie Dru April 27, 2012 at 10:48 AM

Ah yes… but do you think she looks “great” in her ‘skinny’ photo? (:

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lulu April 27, 2012 at 9:20 AM

I completely understand that this wasn’t your intention at all, but looking at the photos and mostly from reading the comments from some, I started hating myself a little bit again.

I have always eaten whatever I want, but I have a very high metabolism, so no matter how much I eat I don’t seem to gain much weight. I have always been thin with child bearing hips and a severe lack of breasts.

I’m 30 and I have had three kids (zero problems with fertility) and I’ve nursed every one of them. After having children and nursing, my breasts are even smaller than they were before. The only thing curvy about me are my hips and that’s because of my hip bones. I would love to have a chest…I have even gotten to the point of low self esteem that some women get with looking thin. I look at my chest and feel like less of a woman, like i’m not good enough with no chest…completely unattractive to anyone.

When I see people celebrating their body type, I’m very happy for them that they love themselves as they are. However, when I see comments referring to women with “boy bodies” and “flat chests,” it reminds me of how inadequate I feel. Women are so good at putting each other down, sometimes without even realizing it. The world is full of women of different shapes that are natural and don’t need changing, rail thin or curvy. The world is also full of men that have an appreciation for different types of bodies on women. There is no such body type that defines a “real woman.”

No one should ever have to feel the need to go to drastic measures to change their bodies, whether with surgery or unhealthy diets. Whatever you look like you will never, and I mean never, please everyone, which is what most of us are trying to do, whether we admit it or not. Might as well just love yourself as you are…confidence is the most attractive thing a woman can wear anyways. : )

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cheeseslave April 27, 2012 at 9:45 AM

@Lulu

We all have flaws. I have a big belly, back fat, wide duck feet, and newly appeared cellulite on my butt and thighs.

Instead of focusing on our flaws, we are better off accentuating the positive. Nobody will ever be perfect. But we are all beautiful in our own way.

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Vienna April 27, 2012 at 11:02 AM

cheeseslave, you should have apologized to Lulu for putting down thin types.

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cheeseslave April 27, 2012 at 11:09 AM

I did not put down thin types.

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lulu April 27, 2012 at 2:02 PM

No worries. I don’t need an apology. I don’t feel personally insulted or attacked, just more insecure. At the end of the day, my body issues are my own. My post was almost more of a theraputic way to talk to myself about getting over it. Reading this article and the comments following just made me more aware of my already low self esteem. I’m trying to embrace who I am for what I am, but it is a long road.

I know that no harm was intended by the article, and honestly it was more comments from some people on here that brought those feelings to the surface. Like I said, anyone calling my body a “boy body” does not make me feel very womanly. My issues are about just feeling like a woman, not about feeling beautiful. I just think some might want to rethink their wordchoice when referring to those with no curves especially if they are saying how glad they are to not be that way. It stings a little bit.

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Norma April 28, 2012 at 3:33 PM

I don’t know you nor have I ever seen you, but you look good the way you are. Tell yourself that and beleive it. Due to handcrafting no 2 will be exactly alike!! :-)

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lulu April 28, 2012 at 8:40 PM

Thank you so much! I’m getting there slowly but surely. : )

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lulu April 27, 2012 at 2:12 PM

Thanks for trying to back me up, Vienna, but I really don’t think the intention of the article was to put down thin types. Like I said it was more the comments from some of those on here and the photos that made me feel like I’m not woman enough. I hope someday we all realize that woman = beautiful, no matter what the size, and we stop trying to pick ourselves apart. : )

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Emily @ Butter Believer April 27, 2012 at 1:51 PM

@lulu,

Just wanted to point something out. Our culture has somehow managed to reduce the science of metabolic activity to the simple notion that if you’re thin even though you eat, you must have a “high” metabolism, and conversely, a “low” or “slow” metabolism if you can’t seem to lose weight. The latter may actually be true, but underweight people actually tend to suffer from the same sluggish metabolism that overweight people struggle with.

I thought for many years that surely I must have that high metabolism everyone was labeling me with — I was rail-thin and couldn’t put on a pound to save myself. But lately I’ve been digging into some research about the issue and found that’s just not usually true for skinny folks like us. Do you have cold hands and feet like I do? Do you get tired easily? Do you become bloated after you eat certain things?

Take your temperature. I’d be willing to bet that, like me, you’re not anywhere near a burning 98.6. The good news is, this is fixable! I’m working on raising my temps so that my body weight (and overall health) can normalize. I will never look like Christina Hendricks, but I don’t believe I’m doomed to be a stick figure forever.

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lulu April 27, 2012 at 2:34 PM

I’m actually not rail thin. I pretty much just look thin. I am 5’5” and weigh 130lbs. My hands and feet are only cold if the room is cold…I don’t know if that makes a difference or not. And it is difficult to gauge feeling bloated after eating certain things, cuz I think that happens to everyone. You may be on to something though. Honestly, I think my chest is small due to heredity and I don’t think it would be wise for me to change my diet just so I can have a bigger chest. I just need to love myself more.

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Melissa April 29, 2012 at 2:52 PM

You should check out the book Why Women Need Fat. It explains why your body has changed after children and provides a theory that may prevent it. I almost totally lost my chest when I lost weight and I didn’t mind that much really. I guess I never cared that much about it and I liked not having to wear a bra. And you are right that a lot of men love that kind of figure for some reason.

But then somehow it came back, I think because I changed my diet around to include lots of seafood and certain carbohydrates. I think some women with boyish figures just assume that it’s the way things are for them genetically and I’ve stopped believing that. I’ve seen too many women like me get curves after changing their diet. But of course you can be without curves and have good fertility, many developing nations are full of malnourished women who have very high fertility rates, it depends on your hormonal setpoint (usually determined during adolescence). However, I still think it’s undesirable and might account for some of the rising rates of certain diseases in these countries, since the women have low fat stores to begin with, lose them because of childbearing, and then just don’t have these particular fats (DHA) to protect them from disease as they age. I wouldn’t worry about your chest at this point, but I would view it as a sign that your fat stores have been depleted by childbearing and you’ll need to make sure to get lots of DHA in your diet.

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cheeseslave April 29, 2012 at 4:24 PM

Great comment, Melissa!

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lulu April 29, 2012 at 9:33 PM

Thanks for the book suggestion. I just don’t want to pursue changing my diet in the hopes of changing my figure. I want to learn to be happy with myself as I am first and then work on my health. The reason being is that if I do a diet to change the way I look and it doesn’t have the desired affect, I will sink even more into the pit of low self-esteem. So many women try diets to make themselves thinner and when they don’t work, it causes more stress and heartache than they had to begin with.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I don’t eat healthy. I have been gradually working on switching to organic foods and eating healthy fats…i love me some avocado! I just don’t want to hunt down this book looking for it to “fix” me. Does that make sense?

Also it is a bit of a challenge to think that for me personally this is all diet related. The reason being is that I grew up eating the same foods as my four other sisters. My mom’s menu didn’t stray from her set meals in the the time that we kids lived at home, and we didn’t hold back on eating our fill.. Three of my sisters hit puberty and are like me…very small chested. However, my youngest sister hit puberty and blam…D cup. I honestly don’t know what to make of that one.

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Melissa April 30, 2012 at 5:42 AM

Could be differences in neonatal hormones or many other things. I mean you can feed any group of siblings the exact same thing and of course they are going to be different. My sister and I look TOTALLY different. Genetics aren’t the same, even if they are similar, neither are epigenetics. One of my main points was that it isn’t really about looks or feelings, that this fat has a purpose and if it’s shrinking it’s a sign of something. But if you are so caught up with self esteem issues, you can’t tinker with it, you should see a counselor first.

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lulu April 30, 2012 at 9:19 AM

Have you ever been pregnant or nursed before? I’m not trying to be snarky…I am genuinely curious.The reason I ask is that I have a large group of friends and every one of them has mentioned that their chest is just not like it was before. Pregnancy changes a woman’s body in ways she never anticipates. It is not that after each of my pregnancies it kept getting smaller and smaller. I was definitely an A cup before I had children. Then, after my first, I never filled it out again. It has been that way ever since, unless I am currently pregnant or nursing, then my chest is almost a full B. Also I don’t know that your chest is the only part of your body that stores good fats. For me, my weight is carried in my thighs and butt. I honestly believe that not every woman has her fat stores in the same places.

I think you make some very good points. I just have trouble saying that no matter who the individual is, a small chest points to health issues.

I don’t know, you seem to have more medical knowledge than I do…What would be some other signs that someone isn’t getting enough healthy fats?

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cheeseslave April 30, 2012 at 10:23 AM

Having a baby definitely changed my body!

I used to be a size 6/8. I never gained weight no matter what I ate.

Since I had my daughter 5 years ago, I’ve retained an extra 15-20 pounds that will not budge no matter what I do. Most of it is in my belly/midsection, although there is also extra flab on my arms and thighs.

I truly believe it is hormonal because I have had many other symptoms of low thyroid/adrenal function. Insomnia and waking up in the night night (I never had that problem before — I would always go to bed and sleep the whole night through except for rare times when I was under stress like a breakup or loss of a job or something), total loss of sex drive, red dots on my skin, irregular menstrual cycle, etc.

This is why I have been doing Matt Stone’s RRARFing (rehabilitative rest and aggressive refeeding) program. I started eating more in November and in January I more than doubled my daily caloric intake, stopped exercising, and greatly increased my carbs up to 40-50% carbs. Since I did that, my period is normalizing (I have no more cramps or breast tenderness whatsoever, I have no more spotting — just have a normal cycle now that lasts 6-7 days, and my cervical mucus during ovulation has increased quite a bit), my sex drive is slowly starting to come back, and the red dots are fading from red to pink. I’m still waking up at night but now it’s only once per night and I go right back to sleep — I used to lie awake for hours — or just get up at 3 or 4 am and stay up.

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Amy April 30, 2012 at 10:39 AM

Anne Marie, maybe it was because of your change in eating habits that accounted for the weight gain. It was right after pregnancy that you switched to a WAPF way of eating and ate more fats and fewer carbs. Just saying.

Melissa, I totally agree with you on French Women Don’t Get Fat! Best book ever – everyone should read it. The french tend to be down on breast feeding, BTW, but I think the main advice is a jet of cold water to the breasts during pregnancy. Can’t remember what the author said in FWDGF.

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cheeseslave April 30, 2012 at 1:18 PM

@Amy

Yes I think eating fewer carbs after the baby was born was a mistake. But I definitely think the baby had a lot to do with it because I ate a “normal” diet until she was 4 or 5 months old when I discovered WAPF and I already had most of the symptoms (low sex drive, weight gain).

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Amy April 30, 2012 at 10:40 AM

And I mean that they could have caused the adrenal and thyroid issues – not denying that the issue is hormonal in naturew

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lulu April 30, 2012 at 11:12 AM

Yeah, pregnancy and probably a good year after pregnancy, those hormones are something else! I’m glad to hear that you found something that has helped you so much! : )

I guess for me I don’t have irregular periods unless I’m stressing out about something. I also don’t have the skin issues that I had as a teenager. I sleep like a log and fall asleep relatively easily. All this makes me feel like I’m doing ok health-wise.Maybe there is something I’m missing though…I don’t know.

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Emma June 27, 2012 at 5:34 PM

I remember when reading The Schwarzbein Principle , she said that most people gain weight when they go through the process of healing their metabolism and getting their hormones balanced with healthy, real foods. She told clients/readers to try not to let it upset them but rather view it as evidence that the body is going through it’s healing phase and, once healed, will settle back into it’s normal weight.

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Bonnie April 27, 2012 at 9:21 AM

I love this. It’s a great reminder. As I get older and start into peri-menopause the pounds do come on easier. I find that any grains really start the hormones fluctuating, not only with weight grain but for mood. I am however, VERY sensitive to wheat. My frustration is that although I have always had large hips, no tummy and not too much in the breast section, now I gain weight on my upper arms. Then dressing up starts making me look like this little fire hydrant (I’m barely 5’3″) because all you see are my arms. Certainly it would be better if I started dressing better but I do love my comfort too!

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cheeseslave April 27, 2012 at 10:20 AM

None of us are perfect and we never will be. Time to let go of perfection and focus on enjoying life!

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AmandaK April 27, 2012 at 9:28 AM

Outstanding post! Thank you!

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Erin April 27, 2012 at 9:29 AM

Thank you for this wonderful post! It’s the perspective I am trying to adopt after gaining about 10 pounds on paleo. I think I’m finally feeding my body the way I need to. It has been “starved” for years! Again, thank you!

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Vienna April 27, 2012 at 10:36 AM

It’s wrong when people put down others based on body type or value one body type over another. It’s wrong when people assume from a glance at someone’s outsides whether or not she is healthy on the inside. Apparently, those two sentences I just typed are words you don’t believe. After all, instead of putting down curvy gals, you’re putting down the thin ones. Wow. Putting people down is cool. NOT.
You have some facts wrong. Humans have been thin forever. Curves didn’t come along until the 50s. You call thinness a ‘modern sickness’. But the cold hard fact is that the true sickness of diabetes, heart disease and many cancers has increased exponentially, directly as a result of the ‘curviness’ (fat) that’s increased since the 50s – which is very modern. So your assertion is dead opposite from the truth. That’s dangerous for readers who believe you. Humans have always been thin, and never before the 50s was there any effort to be a particular size or shape. The only heavy people historically (like Henry VIII) were fat because they did no physical activity and ate bad foods all day. Sound familiar? That’s the current problem in the US.
You also accuse people of skipping breakfast to be thin. SKIPPING BREAKFAST MAKES PEOPLE FAT. So, again, you’ve lied to your readers.
The problem with thin hate (apart from the obvious, hate is awful) is that it is based on so many horribly false assumptions. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the overwhelming majority of thin people are healthy, and the overwhelming majority of people with eating disorders are OVERWEIGHT. The excess fat leads them to the disorder. So, accusing thin people of skipping meals, or of being unhealthy, or of aiming to have a thin body as opposed to being born that way is DEAD WRONG. Also, thin people tend to eat everything and anything. Duh.
Finally, if you think calling someone fat is rude, and should be substituted with curvy or voluptuous, then give thin people the same respect. No skinny or scrawny or twiggy or beanpole. Stick with THIN or SLIM or SLENDER.
TREAT ALL PEOPLE OF ALL SHAPES AND ALL SIZES WITH RESPECT. ALWAYS. NEVER MAKE ANY ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT ANYONE’S HEALTH EVER. STOP DISCRIMINATING AGAINST PARTICULAR BODY SIZES AND TYPES. WE’RE ALL HERE ON THIS EARTH TOGETHER. START GETTING ALONG!

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Bebe April 27, 2012 at 11:19 AM

Wow. That’s a lot of angry bravado but there’s little fact in your cold hard claims. Overweight leads to higher death rates in certain causal areas but underweight people have an overall higher death rate from “all causes”.
Where did anyone voice disrespect for skinny girls? The blog is about how unhealthy the attempts of curvy girls trying to be skinny are
Ann Marie’s comment where skipping breakfast was mentioned was correlating it and the other bad habits she listed with the paragraph directly above it: women are a hot mess these days!
Stress is not given a lot of play time in this particular post but it’s really at the top of the list for damaging our health… and you seem *really* stressed.

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cheeseslave April 27, 2012 at 12:01 PM

@Bebe

It’s funny how much hate mail I get for telling people that it’s OK to eat pie and ice cream.

On a recent post I wrote about chocolate cream pie, one lady called me a “fraud” and called the recipe “garbage”.

Stress, indeed!

Me? I’m taking my daughter out for pasta tonight.

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Vienna April 27, 2012 at 1:09 PM

There is definitely no anger or bravado. There is a lot of hurt and stress. I respect people of all sizes, but I don’t receive the same in return. So many women are quick to say that curves are hot, and that unhealthy is ugly. But people assume I’m unhealthy because I’m thin, and that’s where the big problem comes in. You can’t know from looking at someone. You can’t assume a heavy person isn’t active or that she doesn’t eat her fruits and veggies. You can’t assume a thin person, even ‘rail thin’ (that’s so mean) is one of the unhealthy people who tries to be thin, who made herself that way in a dangerous way. You simply can’t know from looking. Which is precisely why it’s not okay to say unhealthy is unattractive. People are assuming that healthy people are unhealthy, simply because they’re thin, then allowing themselves the ‘right’ to say that person is unattractive, because they justify that they ‘know’ she’s unhealthy and unhealthy is unattractive. It’s just plain hurtful. I have total strangers approach me everywhere to insult my body, tell me to eat a cheeseburger, tell me I look unhealthy, that I look hungry, tell me that I’m a bad example, that I must be vain, bitchy or insecure. I have people yell out car windows at me as they pass! It’s hurtful and makes me a hermit. I don’t want anyone to feel bad about his/her body. I come on these pages to remind you gorgeous curvy gals to not make assumptions about thin women and to not be hurtful or judgmental. People always assume that I used to be ‘normal sized’ or a ‘real woman’ or ‘curvy’ and that I must have chosen unhealthy measures to get this thin. I’m trying to inform people that according to the Centers for Disease Control, it is far more likely a thin person is naturally thin than unhealthfully thin. That is a cold hard fact, even though you have dismissed it.

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cheeseslave April 27, 2012 at 11:56 AM

@Vienna

“Curves didn’t come along until the 50s.”

I don’t know where you got that information but it’s untrue.

Go back and look at paintings by Rubens who was painting in the 1500s.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Paul_Rubens

That’s why they call a womanly figure “Rubenesque” to this day.

“You also accuse people of skipping breakfast to be thin. SKIPPING BREAKFAST MAKES PEOPLE FAT. So, again, you’ve lied to your readers.”

I skipped breakfast for years and I did OK but when my thryoid function tanked after having a baby, skipping breakfast did make gain weight. Eating breakfast (plus 2 more meals) a day has not helped me lose any weight but it has helped my hormones.

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Vienna April 27, 2012 at 12:59 PM

Those paintings and paintings of historical figures are showing you wealthy people who sat around all day. They were unfit, unhealthy, and fat. They are not the world’s population. They were but a tiny percentage. The non-elite were toiling away all day, quite a bit fitter and slimmer.
Humans have always been thin.
Humans were on their feet, hunting and gathering in the early times, and working on farms or in factories in recent times. We were built to be grazing, eating small meals frequently, all day. Here’s Skip Breakfast, Get Fat from WebMD: http://www.webmd.com/diet/news/20090615/skip-breakfast-get-fat

In 1946, the US Government first started regulating school lunches. There was still post-Depression malnutrition in a lot of areas. Corn, corn syrup and other carbs were pumped into every kid’s lunch to bulk them up. Unfortunately, no exit strategy was put in place. School lunches have continued to fatten kids up ever since. In the 1950s, cars became more common making people more sedentary, chemically altered food, and pre-made frozen food came along, putting to rest the struggles of the Depression and WWII was causing people to eat everything in sight, and televisions came along making people congregate on the sofa. Also, the curvy pinups were popular, magazines were showing photos instead of drawings, and even Rosie the Riveter made women want to look bigger, rather than delicate.
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition explains the effects of our changing diet here: http://www.ajcn.org/content/81/2/341.full

In general, your post is about loving a particular body type. Isn’t that unhealthy no matter what the shape? Praising one type is always going to make others feel less positive about theirs. Also, saying curvy is attractive and unhealthy is unattractive is hinting that those who don’t look curvy look unhealthy. I’m very thin, and people tell me to eat ice cream all the time. They say flat out, ‘you can’t be healthy,’ and I was getting that vibe from your post. No doubt curves are hot, but a lack of curves does not automatically equate to body issues, intentional thinness, being unhealthy, or failing to eat enough ice cream. There’s a huge difference between the positive statement “yay for curves” and the negative statement “yay for curves because obsession with thinness is a sickness and people aren’t menstruating and skinny obsession is unhealthy.” While those problems and sickness and unhealthy desire to be thin exist, you seem to make a quite a leap. You’ve set up two camps: curvy and attractive camp, and not menstruating, unhealthy camp. That makes healthy thin people feel that you’re relegating us, as non-curvy, to be labeled unhealthy.

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Leo September 9, 2013 at 12:35 PM

I don’t understand why this blog upsets you so, Vienna, YOUR camp has been the one that’s been celebrated in the media the last 40 years (since the 60′s – thanks a lot, Twiggy – and up until the rise of Mad Men and curvier actresses) and is STILL favored by couture designers and fashion editors! and probably will always be. so if a blog post wants to celebrate curves, how does that hurt you??

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Anneliza April 27, 2012 at 9:00 PM

Curves didn’t come along until the 50′s? I’m sorry, that is incorrect. In the late 18th century, Lillian Russell was 5’4″ and around 200 lbs. She was considered the greatest beauty of her time. There have been many slim beauties as well. Society, especially companies with something to sell, have their own agendas in convincing women that we are never good enough. Surgery, self-starvation, self loathing over our appearance? Madness. Beauty is only skin deep. But it is also humor, lust for life and a sparkle in the eye. It is pretty hard to have that when you are undernourished and obsessing over the mirror. Love your life and ignore the critics.

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cheeseslave April 27, 2012 at 10:31 PM

“Beauty is only skin deep. But it is also humor, lust for life and a sparkle in the eye. It is pretty hard to have that when you are undernourished and obsessing over the mirror. Love your life and ignore the critics.”

Beautiful!

Thank you, Anneliza! xoxoxo

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Katie April 27, 2012 at 11:13 AM

I am someone who naturally has a fairly curvy “child-bearing” figure (36-29-40). Growing up, I knew my curves were an asset and I tried to embrace them as best I could (although having a C cup at 13 can have its own challenges). However, I did actually start trying to starve my body into submission sometime in my early twenties (I’m in my early 30′s now) in order to attain skinny thighs and whatnot. The motive? I wanted to fit into those damn “fancy” jeans. There was a change in the fashion industry that took place about 10-12 years ago, where suddenly curves were no longer acceptable. “Long and lean” were the buzz words. Everything was low-waisted (muffin-top, anyone?), tops became long, and the silhouettes became much more stick-like than hourglass. And it wasn’t a matter of vanity sizing…the largest size that was made didn’t fit me. And I was a small size 8 at the most. The material just wasn’t cut for me. I wanted to look good in the latest fashions, and if that meant I needed to change my body, well, okay then. Obviously this is flawed logic, but it just goes to show how integrated the whole problem is in our society. Which came first? The bad nutrition or the ill-fitting clothes. Chicken and egg.

Today, for the most part, I wear vintage dresses, because I simply cannot find pants that fit me and I am no longer willing to deny my body the nutrition it needs. I am still paying for a decade of damage I did to my body in pursuit of those stupid jeans.

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Amy April 27, 2012 at 11:53 AM

I am very thin but with good curves, and agree it is extremely difficult to find pants that fit. I think it’s because women don’t have the hips they used to. Some brands are still doable, though. I also am good friends with my tailor.

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cheeseslave April 27, 2012 at 11:59 AM

I even notice this with my 5-year-old daughter. She is wearing a size 6/7. She towers over other kids her age. They all look waifish and she looks, I don’t know, more stocky, more well-built. She’s not fat — she’s just solid.

I truly believe this is because she eats differently than most kids today. We don’t eat low fat. She drinks whole milk all day instead of drinking juice or water.

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Amy April 27, 2012 at 12:59 PM

This will probably change as she hits adolescence. I was a “solid” kid, too. She’ll probably have proper curves but still be slim. That’s more how people used to grow, from what I can tell.

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Nicole April 27, 2012 at 1:09 PM

You ladies have to look at this clip! I love the move Eat Pray Love, and this scene is so brilliant and true. Julia Roberts is “having a relationship with her pizza” and her friend is uncomfortable eating because her pants have gotten tighter….

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZY86k2NjTY

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cheeseslave April 27, 2012 at 6:48 PM

LOL!

I saw that movie and I LOVED that scene. Thanks for the reminder. I’m going to post on Facebook.

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Nicole Melnick April 29, 2012 at 7:22 AM

You’re welcome. That scene helped to remind me that we just need to STOP trying to be perfect and just live. Pizza is a great way to do that, haha!

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leigh May 17, 2012 at 3:38 AM

I know exactly what you mean. I’m a 41-29-41 and I can’t find clothes anywhere. I’m in my mid-twenties now, but I remember sobbing in a junior department dressing room about 10 years ago (because junior clothes looked ridiculous) — and my mother looking at me, laughing, and bringing me to the misses department.

I think that a lot of the anger here has to do with combined issues:

1. For being the so-called ideal type, why can’t I find clothes anywhere? Legit, the only clothing that is flattering is vintage clothing or dresses. Looking for jeans=pain.
2. Why do all of the stick-thin models call themselves “hourglasses” when they are clearly “rectangles?”
3. For an ideal figure, why do I still get weight loss comments from an occasional friend? (though, I do enjoy small children saying “Why is your fat so hard?” -> “That’s a bone, honey.”)

My best friend is quite thin and built similarly to a super model. She envies my boobs and waist and I envy her thighs and small bone structure. That’s just how it goes. :)

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Lillian Davenport April 27, 2012 at 12:06 PM

Wow, size is such a sensitive issue for most!
Beauty is a side effect of good health, whether a size 4 or a size 14. If one has a sedentary lifestyle, eating frankenfoods all day and getting sauced most nights of the week, it won’t matter what they weigh… they will look unattractive. It will show in their skin, their posture, their demeanor, their attitude.
I think what AnneMarie is getting at here is that the PREVAILING taste shown to us in movies, television, magazines, fashion shows, and websites is impossibly thin, that if one is not devoted to calorie counting and working out then they are defected; they are wrong. One need not go to extremes to be attractive.. in fact, extremes are never attractive. Keeping reasonably fit–functionally fit, energetic, positive, and glowing–is an attribute that can be expressed in a range of sizes.

curveappeal.tumblr.com is a site that I frequent that shows body-positive images of women of all sizes. I look at it whenever I feel that my 37-30-39 self is being pressured to look differently.

No matter what size you are, unhealthy just looks bad, period.

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Carie Toeller April 27, 2012 at 1:03 PM

Amen Sister! Thank for the reality check Anne Marie!!

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Karen April 27, 2012 at 1:08 PM

I posted about this over at Joy’s blog too, but I wanted to post it here too. I think we are missing the point by focusing on body types at all. I think the missing link in our health is HOW MUCH food we eat, as Matt Stone has pointed out several times.

Now, I don’t agree with everything any one blogger says. But one I thing I’ve learned from reading Matt lately is that we don’t eat enough food. I’ve suffered from anxiety for 6 years, been on all kinds of meds and supplements, but it wasn’t until I started really packing in the food that I started to feel better. Now, I eat as cleanly as I can afford. All my meat is grass fed, my grains are sprouted, my veggies are organic . . . but in the past, I was eating only enough to get my hunger to go away and not feel hypoglycemic because I thought it was the “healthy” thing to do. I focused very hard on only getting around 1,500 calories a day, which is just enough for living & breathing, and not near enough for actually getting up and being a productive member of my family. And my body was in starvation mode because of it. And when our bodies are in starvation mode, everything in our body quits working properly (hormones, digestion, etc) so our cells can focus on survival – because our body assumes we are living in a famine, unless we eat until we are stuffed. then eat some more soon after that. A long time ago, if food was there, people ate it. Traditional people did not care how many calories were in the milk they were drinking. They just drank as much as they wanted because it was good for them and gave them energy and health. It’s much like a baby does now – a baby listens to it’s body, eats until it’s full, and then turns food away. But when we become adults, for some reason we add a negative stigma to eating a healthy amount of food -healthy meaning, until our body says “no more”. Once a person starts eating until they are truly full, the funny thing is, that you know when you hit the “full” point . . because you can’t eat another bite if you tried. Your brain, body, hands and mouth just won’t do it, becuase you’re FULL. And once a person starts eating until their full at every meal and snacks, then their body starts to relax, realize that it isn’t starving, and goes back to doing it’s normal bodily functions the way it should. Hormones balance, digestion gets back on track, you poop several times a day, and sleep through the night. What follows is a feeling of well being – that all is right with the world. Because your body is finally getting the message – we are not living in a famine, so we can just relax and live.

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Cristina April 27, 2012 at 1:41 PM

Wow — this post sure spurred a lot of reaction. I loved the post, and found it to be poignant at this time in my life. (I’m currently couch-bound (somewhat) due to an injury, and my flab is increasing at an exponential rate! OK, that’s an exaggeration, but you get the idea).

I think the point of the post is “acceptance” — to accept who we are and love ourselves no matter what. In doing that, we stop the internal fighting and learn to live at peace with ourselves.

The post made me chuckle, and I truly think it was one of Ann Marie’s best. “Ask your boyfriend or husband. Does he really mind a few extra curves? I bet you he doesn’t. Go ahead and ask him” Excellent statement. My husband loves my body — naked.

Thank you for the post, Ann Marie.

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Cristina April 28, 2012 at 1:00 PM

As I’ve been following this intriguing conversation thread, I feel compelled to add to my previous comment, being that this has turned into a virtual confessional.

I am now 43 years old, and it’s just been in the last couple years that I really started to truly accept my shape. My sizing has not varied too much since high school, and when I look back at how much I fretted to look like someone else (Gabrielle Reese comes to mind — fit and thin, hardly any hips to speak of), I realize what a waste of time it all was. I’ve had two beautiful children, my stomach is now flabby (not tight like it once was, even though I thought at the time it wasn’t tight enough) and has gone from 29 inches to 31, boobs have gone south, but gained two inches ( now 38), and hips are still the same size at 40 inches. ( A high-schooler with 40 inch hips was really traumatizing, let me tell you!)

Not too long ago we lived in Central America for about half a year, and the women there flaunted their curvaceous figures — that is where I realized curvy was OK.

I have learned to make peace with my size, and that is why I loved this post about curvaceous women. I have learned that I cannot find pants that fit my bum and my waist; dresses and skirts have become my staple, with sweat pants to lounge in…

When I made peace with myself. I couldn’t believe how long it took me to get there and how much time I wasted in the process. There are so many more important things in life to worrying about and invest time in. I have learned to focus on eating traditional foods, pouring my heart and soul into my family, and taking time to learn to dance and love myself.

It has made me sad to see the posts from women who took offense and felt less of themselves; I would hope they could read it from the writer’s perspective and the implied internal struggles she has gone through, and not take it personally that they are less of a woman if they are thinner than the pictures in the post.

I interpreted this post as a sincere expression of accepting your body as it is.

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Skye April 28, 2012 at 1:30 PM

Beautiful, Cristina. Beautiful and inspiring. Thank you so much for sharing your experience and your point of view! You are in the place that we can all be in – true love and acceptance of our body (whatever that body is). I agree that there is SO much more in life to focus on – I think that’s what Ann-Marie meant when she questioned what the point is if you can’t have the ice cream! To me, that ice cream represented all that is more important than the shape and size of our beautiful bodies. : )

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Renee April 27, 2012 at 5:58 PM

Gah! People freaking lighten up. If you are a follower of Cheeseslave you would know her intent wasn’t to slam – and man the repost that Joy did at Liberated Kitchen – now that is a slam – completely uncalled for and might I add I kinda felt like I was back in high school – in my opinion super unprofessional.

Anyway, Cheeseslave I wanted to let you know that I NEEDED this post today. i have been feeling F.A.T….and you know what – I’m 138 pounds and 5’5 – I’m not fat. But I don’t look the way I want to. I have had 2 kids in the last 2 1/2 years – things are…not where they should be! So after my 1 year old weaned I hopped on the no grain no carb band wagon trying to lose the baby weight and what I thought was gut issues when really it was my freaking stress hormones and thyroid that were the problem. A couple months ago when you started your posts on pulling the grains in more I just couldn’t do it. I barely even ate grains while I was nursing because I was so afraid of them. My daughter weaned herself but I did have supply issues here and there and I think some of it is my own diet restrictions I made on myself. In the last month I have noticed however how much warmer I feel when I have a meal with carbohydrates and I have more energy. I never was much into soaking and sprouting since I just didn’t have grains in my diet much and it looked like “work” ;) But I have incorporated that into my schedule and I feel so much better with carbs in my diet. I have even started getting mad at myself for not giving my almost 3 year old many carbs because I have been so “trained” that they are bad – I have been working on healing that mindset and introducing easily digestable grains to the girls now. PLEASE keep up the posts on how to incorporate carbohydrates in diet – I really need the help!

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Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist April 27, 2012 at 6:57 PM

I’ve been curvy (when pregnant and breastfeeding) and I’ve been slim and I personally enjoy slim more. Fortunately, my husband thought I was hot either way so who cares? :)

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Sile April 27, 2012 at 7:35 PM

Another thing I forgot to mention is posture, and how it makes your figure look. Seriously, you’d be AMAZED at how proper posture can make almost anyone look more attractive!
Growing up, I was always taller than all the boys in school, so natrally I kind of hunched my shoulders to appear shorter, while swaying my lower back in an effort to “stand up straight” like my mom told me. Needless to say, it didn’t work haha!
After hurting my lower back repeatedly at work (as a CNA, than a nurse), I found Esther Gokhale’s “Primal Posture” information online. She also has a book. AWESOME stuff!! She traveled to countries that are unaffected by western fashion and also looked at photos of people from long ago, kind of like the Victorian lady that Ann Marie posted, and learned proper posture from these people.
Its a bit of work at first to re-learn how to walk, sit and stand, but SO WORTH IT!!! If there is one thing you do, to increase your self-confidence and sexiness, do this! :-)
(p.s. I don’t work for her company or anything; I just think its a great method to learn good posture).

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Jessica April 28, 2012 at 7:29 AM

I am fairly thin and pair-shaped, and I wasn’t offended at all by this post. I LOVE the looks of these “full figured” women. I am learning to love my body, but I really struggle with having NO breasts (I’d be happy if both of my boobs were as big as HALF of one of Christina Hendrick’s. haha). My teenage years were spent counting grams of fat (no more than 10 grams a day!), eating processed low-fat everything, and doing step aerobics. I dealt with horrible menstrual cycles (periods so bad I’d have to leave work and spend the whole day tossing and turning in bed from the pain), and developed an autoimmune disease in my 20s. I’ve been on the GAPS diet for 2 1/2 months, and guess what! I think my breasts are growing! I’ve noticed my whole body shape changing, but yesterday was the first time I noticed bigger breasts. Now they still aren’t filling out my A-cup bras, but they ARE growing. My other body changes are a bit more curvier than I previously viewed as attractive (rounder hips and thighs), but I’m learning to embrace it all. I think I’m liking this womanly look that’s coming from all these healthy fats I’m eating.

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Lynette@Victory Homemaking April 28, 2012 at 8:47 AM

Love this post. Thanks for makin’ it real.

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Beth April 28, 2012 at 9:54 AM

Wow, I’m not feeling very good about my self-image after looking at all of those gorgeous big-busted women :(. I was flat skinny and I’m flat fat. Right now I just want to be healthy and overcome my health problems that started with an insidious bacterial infection called Lyme. IF I had a physical role model I think it would be *moderately* athletic.

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Milla April 28, 2012 at 11:01 AM

Not to create a battlefront here…and I don’t mean to be confrontational at all, and you have a great point, but there’s something I disagree with.

I’m a model. I’m quite thin – not unhealthily thin the way some girls in this industry are – but a lot thinner than women like Sophia Loren. I have the smallest boob size there is, and I’m not naturally curvy. And, you know what? I’m happy with that, I love the way I look. To me, the girl on the New York magazine is not what I’d want to look like. I’m not giving a general opinion to represent everyone – she’s gorgeous, but thinner women can be gorgeous too, and I’d like to stay the way I am.

I think its important to keep the focus on stopping the promotion of semi-adolescent bodies, which is the extreme. And not to say that all thinness is bad. I agree with what Vienna says, its been so overblown that now skinny people – I mean here, people who are healthy but not as curvy as the women pictured – are all the ‘anorexics’ and not really women, and to be a real woman you have to look like Nigella Lawson. Nigella is gorgeous, but that’s not the kind of gorgeous everyone’s after. Its fine to be a size 8…

Ok, I’ve got that off my chest, now feel free to shoot me.

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Julie April 28, 2012 at 2:04 PM

Hello,
I’ve frequented this blog quite a bit, and am curious as to your thoughts on the impact of your iodine supplementation on your hormones and health? This doesn’t really pertain to your post, but it would help me a great deal!!
Thank you very very much!!
Julie

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Becky April 28, 2012 at 4:43 PM

Oh my gosh I love this post!!! Thank you so much for writing it I could not agree more!!

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Caroline April 28, 2012 at 8:45 PM

I have an hourglass figure. Size 6, small waste, size 32 F bra. And I am not healthy. I have PCOS and a million other health things. I agree that I want to live in a world where I don’t feel like a freak, and I believe that a good dose of confidence and peace would do me well, since currently I feet “FAT” and frankly, miserable (RRARFING). However, if ideally curvy meant health, then I would have it!

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MelissaB April 29, 2012 at 7:16 AM

Hi Caroline- have your hormones checked. Read Ray Peat regarding progesterone deficiency and estrogen dominance and how those affect the rest of our hormones. Don’t take anything synthetic no matter what the docs say. There’s also lots of info on the Internet about our issues.

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Caroline April 30, 2012 at 6:04 PM

Hi Melissa, You have actually started me on a Ray Peat reading rampage! Thank you!

Have you had success with similar things? It is hard to tell exactly what he recommends as far as taking progesterone/thyroid go. How does he recommend the hormones be taken?

Last time I had my hormones checked (a few years ago before I gave up on doctors for a while) I had low low progesterone and elevated testosterone so this is all very interesting and relevant. Pointing in the right direction would be much appreciated! (I am already eating along his guidelines as of yesterday :) )

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MelissaB April 30, 2012 at 7:17 PM

Hi Caroline- wish the Internet had been as robust when I was your age 10 years ago. I have had many signs of estrogen dominance but never really snapped (until like last month!)that was what was causing my problems-fibroids, cysts, Pam’s, weight gain. Check out dr John lee he has tons of stuff about female hormones. The verdict is out on whether to use progesterone cream or oral drops ( ala ray peat). . I’m waiting for my oral progesterone to arrive then I will start them on day15.
I used the cream last month but messed up the dosage. So I am just beginning my hormone balancing journey. Keep reading And learning.

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lulu April 28, 2012 at 9:41 PM

I actually think the problem is much deeper than what the media holds as the standard of beauty at any given time. I think the real problem is that the media generally sees women as body parts first and people second…if at all.

How many women’s magazines are full of nothing more than how to make ourselves look sexier? Apparently looking sexier is more important than being smarter, kinder, or more compassionate. What do men’s magazines have…well other than half-dressed or naked women? Do they typically give men pointers on how to look as sexy as they can?…Not really…so why is sexiness depicted as the ultimate for us women? Perhaps men are just more visually driven creatures so it is more important for women to look their best. But if that were true to the point that we need the media telling us who’s hot and who’s not or “how to make him drool,” than why do so many men tell their wives/girlfriends that they are beautiful without makeup, that they don’t care about cellulite, or that they didn’t notice our “tummy bulge” until we pointed it out to them (and even then they couldn’t really see what we were talking about.)

The media makes us question our bodies all the time to see if they are good enough, and ultimately… if we are good enough because of them. However, our bodies don’t wear us, we wear them…and as women, I say we lift our heads and smile that we are wearing a one-of-a-kind us. : )

Whew, that was longer winded than I intended, and a little stream-of-conscious going on too.. : /

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Mali Korsten (The Korsten Chronicle) April 29, 2012 at 1:56 AM

I LOVE this post! I always thought I was on the “curvy” end of the spectrum (and hated it), but compared to these women I’m actually thin – just goes to show how far left of centre we’ve gone. We shouldn’t have to compare ourselves to unrealistic and unhealthy standards. Health and beauty comes in all shapes and sizes! P.S. My favorite hourglass is Sofia Vergara!

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Michaela April 29, 2012 at 10:00 AM

Hi
I am realy love this post please can you write down what you are eating right now short example of food journal please. I want to get pregnant too. I lost my period when I was vegan for 2 years(9months without period) I got it back but it is still irregural. I eat paleo diet plus lots of butter raw homemade sheep kefir and raw cheeses.. I am confused now cause I was reading that carbs are bad for insulin leptin etc. I very please you to write me similar Breakfast lunch dinner and ratio carb protein fat.
Many thanks to you

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cheeseslave April 29, 2012 at 12:56 PM

Hi, Michaela

Breakfast is usually one of the following:

1 or 2 eggs and hash browns (fried in expeller pressed coconut oil)
Homemade sprouted granola sweetened with maple syrup with whole milk or yogurt
Cinnamon toast (sprouted bread, cinnamon, coconut sugar and butter)
Sprouted whole grain pancakes or waffles with butter and maple syrup
Plus organic decaf coffee with whole raw milk

Lunch is usually:

A sandwich (cheese or turkey or PB&J) on sprouted bread, often with store-bought potato chips fried in olive oil or avocado oil
Or leftovers from dinner the night before
Or whole wheat crackers with cheese or pate
Yesterday we went out for lunch and I had a chopped salad and a flatbread pizza with sausage and ricotta

Here are some of our staple dinners:

Shepherd’s pie with grass-fed beef, homemade gravy, mashed potatoes, corn and peas
Steak or lamb with potatoes or brown rice and salad
Seafood stew made with mussels, lobster, shrimp, clams, scallops, broth, tomato puree, with brown rice
Pizza – homemade with 1/2 sprouted flour and 1/2 white flour — with tomato sauce and mozzarella
Nachos made with tortilla chips fried in expeller pressed coconut oil, refried beans (with coconut oil), and grass-fed cheese with sour cream
Brown rice cooked in broth with black beans, served with salsa and sour cream

I usually drink a couple glasses of wine with dinner.

If we go out to dinner, it can be anything — seafood or pizza (with white flour) or pasta. I usually order Eggs Benedict when we go out for breakfast. I don’t stress when we eat out — I just get what I want.

Sometimes I will have ice cream for dessert, and if I’m hungry, I’ll have a snack during the day — usually fruit or a cup of sweetened yogurt

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Michaela April 29, 2012 at 10:06 PM

Thanks a lot I appreciate your help.

I have just got the ebook from Matt Stone, he is writing about 30 days period of feedeing. Are you still in 30 days of feeding? How many pounds have you gained during feeding?
I have gained 10 pounds after I have stopped with my low fat veganism but I wanted to gain I was very skinny, and also my doctor told me it will be easier for my hormone to get extra fat to help my period come back

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cheeseslave April 30, 2012 at 1:16 PM

I didn’t stick to “30 days”. I started eating more in November of 2011 and then massively increased the carbs in January-February. In March I stopped eating as much because I was not as hungry and didn’t feel like eating as much — but I’m still eating double what I used to eat last year.

I don’t have a scale so I have no idea what I weigh. I increased from a size 12 to a size 14 since last year. Had to buy new jeans.

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Melissa April 29, 2012 at 2:43 PM
KBcooks April 29, 2012 at 5:40 PM

What I don’t understand, is that those women (pictured) had stress all their own. Where are their cortisol middles? Is it today’s PUFAs and concentrated fructose that’s causing it? My mom (easily hourglass as young woman) said in New York in the 60′s, people had 2 hours for lunch. So people ate better and more tranquil. Lunch was a time to relax and enjoy. Now, look how we spend our 30 (if lucky) minutes. Even worse, how are kids spend it during school lunch.

I’m like a lot of us mentioned here. Started RRARFing in this year after low carbing my way to poor health (just cost me my PhD program – at 43, couldn’t get my mind clear enough for a 3-day writing test w limited sleep). Got curves galore, but also a thick heavy middle. I know it’s supposed to be a year before my body relieves itself of unnecessary weight (Keyes starvation study), but I’m getting ancy. High waisted dresses do flatter me, but being 5′ even, it’s tough to not miss being size 4. Overall there are BIG cues that I’m getting better (clot-free periods, no migraines, healthy cervical fluid especially during ovulation, less hypoglycemic).

Question, Anne Marie. Matt recommends just ETF, but knowing milk and eggs trigger allergies (acne, tiredness, bad mood), should I just keep doing it? Gluten I eat sparely b/c there is a more evident reaction (stiff painful neck and shoulder that leads to headaches – but no more migraine). If I get pregnant, I don’t think it would benefit the baby, particularly w breastfeeding. Staying away from those foods would make me more sensitive to them. So, what would you do?

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cheeseslave April 30, 2012 at 10:39 AM

@KBCooks

Re: “where are the cortisol middles”?

Christina Hendricks doesn’t have any kids, and neither did Marilyn Monroe. I’m not sure when the Sophia Loren photo was taken but I think she was pretty young then and probably hadn’t had any kids yet (she did later have children). I don’t believe Scarlett Johansson has any children either.

I think it’s pretty common for women to get thick middles after having children, especially if they have children later in life. I think this is largely due to hormonal exhaustion. It is so hard on the body to bear children and to nurse them.

“My mom (easily hourglass as young woman) said in New York in the 60′s, people had 2 hours for lunch. So people ate better and more tranquil. Lunch was a time to relax and enjoy. Now, look how we spend our 30 (if lucky) minutes. Even worse, how are kids spend it during school lunch.”

SO true! It’s the same in Europe — they eat long lunches and dinners, and take 3-4 weeks for vacation vs. our 1 week.

“Got curves galore, but also a thick heavy middle. I know it’s supposed to be a year before my body relieves itself of unnecessary weight (Keyes starvation study), but I’m getting ancy. High waisted dresses do flatter me, but being 5′ even, it’s tough to not miss being size 4. Overall there are BIG cues that I’m getting better (clot-free periods, no migraines, healthy cervical fluid especially during ovulation, less hypoglycemic).”

I can relate! I hate my belly and my back fat! But YES I have the clot-free periods now too (HURRAY) and no spotting, no breast tenderness or cramping (AMAZING — don’t have to take ibuprofren anymore!) and my cervical fluid is incredible. I’m less hypoglycemic too, and my sex drive is just beginning to come back after having completely disappeared (Hallelujah!).

Re: your question about milk and eggs… are you on a good probiotic? I think the majority of food allergies/sensitivities can be cured by getting in enough good probiotics (increasing good gut flora) and helping the thyroid and adrenals function better. I still take a probiotic, just not every day — I don’t stress about it. But I take it whenever I think about it. And I’m taking Iodoral too for my thyroid (not every day, but when I think about it).

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Rachael April 29, 2012 at 8:54 PM

Appreciate the post. I feel supported in my healthy eating habits. I don’t feel that from my thin candy and soda based diet family members, so it is nice.Thank you everyone for your comments. I feel pressure for being 20 pounds over where I was before my second child. People tell me to lay off the butter of course. I did notice all the women in the pictures have boobs and hips and was disappointed because I don’t have either, so while I was not offended I appreciate the back an forth on the topic. I do have “back” though and i’m proud of that!
So I was thinking about what our bodies should be like to be healthy and able to bear children.I started to wonder if my lack of hips was due to a nutritional deficiency.Maybe for some but not for me I think: I don’t have boobs or hips but I could provide milk for ten babies (my boobs go back to a barely B after a year of nursing). I nursed my first son through my second pregnancy and nursed my sons tandem for a few months. Also one of my midwives told me that I have a particularly roomy pelvis and large uterus. I siaid really? But I don’t have hips?! She said it doesn’t matter. My hip-less figure comes down through my mom’s side at least three generations that I know of, all of these women had no problem giving birth. So My point is even though we tend to think of “child bearing hips” as being a sign of health and fertility , my figure and ability to bear and nourish my children with ease is proof that there isn’t an ideal healthy womanly body. Am I articulating myself clearly? We can have different shapes and still be perfectly built to bear and nourish children. The number of women around me whose milk dry up is astounding. I will keep eating my butter and seek to reduce stress and increase sleep, maybe the muffin top will go away, maybe not. But i have to healthy boys who got all the mamma’s milk they wanted and that is the whole point of this beautiful gift of a body, with it’s procreative parts, God as given me! Oh and my husband worships my body, even the muffin top.

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KateMn April 30, 2012 at 11:19 AM

“Am I articulating myself clearly? We can have different shapes and still be perfectly built to bear and nourish children”

My mother and her sisters, and their mother (my grandmother), have the tiniest hips, and they are tiny women, skinny, and short; none of them have had problems getting pregnant, they had very easy pregnancies, no problems with breast feeding, and all natural easy births.

My grandmother (with tiny hips, and a small body) had 8 children without problems, my mother (again tiny hips, very skinny) had four without problems. She also has perfectly straight teeth and a wide palate, as do I ( I am the oldest of her babies).

One of my sisters is a model, very, very skinny frame (she’s the only tall one of us), she just had a baby without any problems, she also has perfect straight teeth and a wide palate, the baby has a wide palate too, no problems with breast feeding either despite her being so skinny, and she got back to her pre-pregnancy frame straight after giving birth.
She does eat a ton of ice cream everyday though :)

None of the women in my family have ever been on a diet, we have never had margarine etc. as a staple and so on, but none of these women stuff their faces with food either.

Something doesn’t add up with the whole “be chubby and you’ll be healthy” thing here, just my two cents.
The skinny women I know (lots of models for example) are healthy women with easy pregnancies, the chubby ones I know seem to have diabetes, heart problems, infertility etc.
I do think that some of normal trying to get to a model weight will have problems with a tanking metabolism, but most of really skinny people with small frames are that way naturally. And do take a look at the palates, hair etc. on models, they have thick hair, wide palates, all signs of excellent epigenetic heritage, and healthy metabolism.

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Amy May 1, 2012 at 11:38 AM

I totally agree. Thanks for your post. I think it’s good to get the other side here. I guess the question is, if you weren’t born with a wide palate, etc. what do you do now?

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Mo April 30, 2012 at 11:18 AM

If you truly believe “bottoms up to the hour glass figure” why do you use a picture of yourself on here that looks anorexic? Why not embrace your curves and use a current picture of yourself on here? Seriously take a look at the picture of you with the spoon in your mouth- you look gauntly in it!

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cheeseslave April 30, 2012 at 1:14 PM

I just love that picture. We were eating dessert in Paris.

I was a normal weight at the time — 130-135 at 5’5.

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Amy May 1, 2012 at 11:39 AM

You don’t look anorexic at all in that photo. Just healthy and happy. Thin does not equal anorexic!

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Emma June 27, 2012 at 5:10 PM

I love this picture of you, too! The very first time I saw it, I thought it was a fun picture, and after reading about your travels I assumed it was probably a memorable photo from one of your trips.

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nichole May 1, 2012 at 7:46 PM

Why must you attack a person that you do not even know? Do words like this make you feel better about yourself? You are just adding to women’s hate of their appearance with cruel unfounded words like this. Shame on you.

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Mali Korsten (The Korsten Chronicle) April 30, 2012 at 1:33 PM

Reading these comments makes me realize how many of my problems are actually caused by hormones. I couldn’t understand why 3 years ago I just started waking up at 4/5am and not being able to get back to sleep (I’d previously had opposite problem!). This correlated with my periods getting unbearably bad (OB reckons I have endometriosis) and my digestive symptoms getting worse. I also started getting those red dots (I might add I was only 19). These events all came immediately after a period of going seriously low-calorie (and as a result low-carb and low-fat) in preparation for my wedding. If present me could meet past me, I’d give her a slap round the face (and then feed her some carbs).

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cheeseslave April 30, 2012 at 5:20 PM

Very interesting, Mali!

“If present me could meet past me, I’d give her a slap round the face (and then feed her some carbs).”

Haha!

Me, too!

And I’d give her a nap.

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Mali Korsten (The Korsten Chronicle) May 2, 2012 at 6:45 AM

Past me would appreciate it! Actually, present me would appreciate it!

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nichole May 1, 2012 at 3:30 PM

I really enjoyed this post, but was baffled by the conversation that ensued afterwards. I don’t think that this post was meant to bash any type of body type, but was rather meant to glorify the body types that no longer get the positive attention that they deserve. The fact is, that in today’s society we glorify only thin body types. In order to promote body equality we must first pay more attention to the types of bodies that have been neglected. Once they have been given the praise they deserve, then we can focus on that fact that they are equal to all other body types. That is to say, that there is no one body type that is inherently greater than another. The fact is, that healthy women come in all shapes and sizes. Of course there will be those who are healthily sporting a size 0, but there will also be those who healthily fit into a size 12. As long as we are nourishing ourselves with whole foods, and we feel good in our bodies, then who is to say which body type is best. Thank you for your post, and we as women should be praising posts like this, not reading so far into them to create messages that aren’t even there!

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Skye May 1, 2012 at 3:35 PM

Very well said, Nichole.

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cheeseslave May 1, 2012 at 5:39 PM

Thanks, Nichole.

That is what I was trying to say.

It seems that no matter what I write, someone is always offended.

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nichole May 1, 2012 at 7:44 PM

Which is too bad. We have to team up, not oppose one another on issues like this.

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Rachael May 1, 2012 at 7:45 PM

Amen! I think you said what a bunch of us were trying to say!

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Sarah W May 2, 2012 at 11:04 AM

Very well said. Amen. I loved this post, was very encouraged when reading it, because after two kids, my curves became extreme, and I feel fat all the time. I’m 30, 5’3, and 170. Can’t lose a single pound since having my second 3 years ago! I would love to be a bit slimmer, for my boobs to be a bit smaller so I don’t have so much back trouble and bruised ribs from boobs sitting on my ribs. I don’t know how to get slimmer, but I’ve enjoyed reading CHEESESLAVE and Matt to try to love me right now. I need to accept myself now, stop stressing!! Thanks Anne Marie for this post!!!

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Coreen May 4, 2012 at 3:27 AM

I don’t know, man. I’m not embracing my “Matt Belly.” I’ve got *chunks* in places I’ve never had them before.

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Shareef May 6, 2012 at 4:23 AM

My anaconda don’t want none unless you got buns hon!!!

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Cherie @ Pink-Nightmare.Com May 8, 2012 at 1:39 PM

I would like to tone up a lot, for sure, but I am feeling much better about myself now that I am eating healthier. I haven’t lost much weight, but I know that if I’m putting good stuff in my body that I am healthier — it doesn’t matter what the scale says.

I think women with curves are much more attractive than their stick-thin counterparts. I think there is beauty in every size — as long as it’s healthy. There is a point when too much is too much (whether it is too much dieting or too many twinkies). I think finding a balance is important, and feeling good about yourself.

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lara May 15, 2012 at 12:22 AM

Hi there

I love your post and your website. You always stress how important it is to eat nutrient dense food properly prepared. How is it you can be so relaxed about eating out when we all know the food is cooked in rancid oils, contains preservatives, is sprayed and feed chemicals and hormones etc etc . I agree with you totally about stress and weight. You could be describing my life when you talk about your insomonia, lack of sex drive, weight around your tummy. I strive to feed my family traditionally but it causes me so much stress re eating out, school events, birthday parties , friends houses-literally everywhere we go is BAD food. How can you be relaxed about this for your family when you know what is does to people?

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Rachel @ Rediscovering the Kitchen July 11, 2012 at 11:06 PM

I think women would be more inclined to aim for an hourglass figure if the clothing and bra companies would actually make clothing that fits that figure. As an hourglass shaped woman, (42-30-42, baby!) it is insanely difficult to find clothing that just doesn’t make me look frumpy, let alone actually shows my figure off. It’s all very well to look at stars with their tailored clothing, but the fact is, there are a bunch of very lovely ladies wandering around who just can’t afford to have every piece of clothing, and especially the undergarments, specially made. And lets not even get started on the issue of suggesting a woman be above a D cup.

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Julie January 2, 2013 at 6:42 AM

I don’t like the implication that Deep Nutrition makes about women having slender hips and such because of poor nutrition of our ancestors. If this were the case, then all of Asia is malnourished. I lived there for a year, so I have some experience. The women are more “boy shaped” there, flatter chested and narrower hipped, yet they tend to be healthier than us. This example kind of blows that theory out of the water.

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KarlaB January 11, 2013 at 7:40 AM

Wow, congratulations Anne Marie. This article is still gathering comments. It’s one of my favorites. I wanted to respond to the last comment. I have a background in sociology and am myself half Filipina. I don’t think the observation on Asian women is that simple. Asian cultures have not had the abundance over the years as Americans have. Asians are very vulnerable to diabetes particularly because of the historical famines (environmentally and man-made produced) that they as a group have been exposed to. We here are a product of abundance. I do believe curvy is the reference in a stable, nutrient abundant environment. I also believe the more they adopt to our diet and culture, the curvier they’ll become, albeit with all the problems we’re seeing now in our population. My SIL, who came from the Philipines to marry my brother a few years ago was very slim (eating rice with every meal). Three years later, she’s as curvy as the photos above. I definitely wouldn’t call her slim anymore but healthy, but I’m sure her BMI now would be something the doctors would flag.

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MIchelle G. April 7, 2013 at 3:44 PM

I’m a rectangle shape. Or as I say… I don’t have an hourglass figure…I have a potato figure. Been this way all my life… huge boobs, with a waist and hip measurement that is the same. Jeans sag off my non-existent butt. And I grew up on sugar cereal and processed junk (I had young and low-income parents – they just didn’t know!) Now that I’m working to fix my adrenal function, I’ve lost 10lbs. (so far, unfortunately in my butt and hips. *sigh*) Sooner or later, I’ll get there.

Yesterday I bought a size 24 dress in Magenta. It’s the first fitted item I’ve bought in a long time, with a tiny belt at the waist and a flared skirt. Do I look thin in it? NO! C’mon…I’m a size 24! But you know what? I’m not going to hide anymore. I’m embracing what I am… and that body may change with time and work, it may not. But at 35 I’ve finally come to embrace my fatness and let my personality be the thing everyone likes best about me – not how I look. So long as I’m healthy, I don’t give a damn what anyone thinks.

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Jenni April 7, 2013 at 5:21 PM

Hi Ann Marie!
I really enjoy your blog as well as your Facebook page. I glean a lot of useful information from reading the comments from your posts.

I wanted to thank you for this post. I guess I would fall into the skinny category. Some of this is genetics, some of this is adrenal fatigue, and some of this is having three babies in a little over 5 years. We did practice spacing but compromised on 2 1/2 years since he wanted them closer and I wanted 3 years apart. Anyway, I recently weaned my 21 month old and as a result have been putting on weight in my butt and sadly not my chest. Despite successfully nursing all three children I am an A cup at best. Anyway, my husband and I have committed ourselves to getting me back into a healthy state. We have been eating traditional foods for 4 years now with plenty of cheats along the way (but only for us the parents, not the kids since their taste buds and bodies haven’t been tainted by 25 years of a SAD diet!). I think you arena inspiration to me. I do not struggle with keeping weight off, but struggle with keeping healthy weight on. I want to feel healthy again.
Thank you for your work and encouragement.

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JK May 1, 2013 at 12:52 PM

Great post, I definitely agree that the obsession with being thin is out of countrol in our society, and there’s nothing wrong with a little extra “meat” on our bones!

With that said, even though the curvy figure was “ideal” back in the day, women still went though extreme measures to reach that ideal. Stuffing themselves into corsets to tightly they could barely breathe, forgoing confort for the sake of vanity, ect. It’s really not much of a difference than obsessing over the gym or calorie/carb in take.

I also wanted to point out that “curvy” is more of a body type, rather than indicator of weight, but it seems as if society has morphed the word “curvy” into a PC-term for thicker women. Adding a few extra pounds to a skinny person who is naturally a square or apple shape isn’t going to really make them any more “curvy”, since curves has more to do with measurement ratios than actual weight. I think “voluptuous” is a much better term and is more fitting for the marilyn monroe types.

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Nep July 7, 2013 at 7:40 AM

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Lacy July 11, 2013 at 6:09 PM

I have an hourglass figure and eat low carb and no grains. I eat this way because I have blood sugar issues, celiac and I’m allergic to gliadins in grains. Sometimes you restrict because you have to in order to be healthy.

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Christie September 9, 2013 at 1:46 PM

There are a ton of comments on here. Alot of them are very sensitive.

As a curvy woman in my youth (38, 28, 38–age 17), to four kids later (43, 35, 42 age 33) I say you should be who God made you to be. If God made you to be skinny as a rail and you are healthy being that..then God bless you and be free of the societal push to be curvy. If God made you to be curvy and you are healthy being that…then God bless you …be who you are meant to be and be free of the societal push for you to be twiggy.

Do not try to make your body fit the clothing. Find clothing that fits your body. Be active, but don’t beat your body up.

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Elizabeth September 10, 2013 at 6:58 AM

I enjoyed reading your article, because I do believe that we are WAY too focused on being “thin”. HOWEVER, you are mistaken about weight having anything to do with basic body shape. We are born with a certain bone structure and pre-determined weight distribution pattern, and nothing we do can change that. Some women are hourglass, some are straight-figured, some are triange, some are inverted triangle. Regardless of weight, they will still be those shapes. I’m a size 2 and I have a clear hourglass figure. The fact that I’m skinny does not make my hourglass shape disappear (I love cheese, butter, and bacon, btw…and never eat diet or low-fat anything). Twiggy is a straight shape, and she would just be a larger straight shape if she got heavier. Putting on weight will not magically give a woman an hourglass figure. Why do you think corsets were so popular back in the day?! To artificially create an hourglass figure on a woman who was born a different shape. Being a size 14 does not suddenly turn someone into a voluptuous, curvy Marilyn Monroe. Most size 14 women (or 10, 16, 22, whatever) look NOTHING like the photos you’ve shown above, because they just weren’t born with that hourglass shape.

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Sarah January 20, 2014 at 5:34 AM

All the ladies you refer to are still slim. Hourglass does not mean that you are not slim. I am a slim woman with an hourglass figure. The hourglass is a shape, not a size. Twiggy was a different shape, while also being a bit too skinny in my book. However, I don’t think it is wise to encourage people to accept being overweight, as obesity is a very real problem. And to those who refer to dress sizes, do not forget that those have changed over recent years. Monroe for example was a tiny woman. With curves. If she went into a shop today, she would probably buy a US size 4. The models today simply sport a different, more boy-ish shape and, for the most part, are actually severely underweight and unhealthy, so not a good point to compare yourself with anyway.

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