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Body Image: Acting Like I Don’t Care

I have heard from so many of you, both here and on Instagram, about this topic of body image … and it’s clearly something that resonates with so many. Obviously we all face different challenges, but I find it so inspiring how open and honest you all are willing to be here; and it is so rewarding to see and read how our discussions here have helped or motivated you.

Following last week’s body image post, I received this very moving email from Hilary about her lifelong struggle with weight and body image. I thought some of you may relate to her story, so I wanted to share her very honest look into the body issues that have shaped her life. 


Body Image: Acting Like I Don’t Care

by Hilary Elizabeth Winiarz

A lot of people say, “I don’t care what anyone thinks of me, this is who I am, and if you don’t like it, that’s fine.”  I say it, too.  And I put my money where my mouth is, because I don’t just give that platitude lip service, I act like it. And that’s exactly what I’m doing. Acting. Because the truth is that I actually DO care. Not about the person I am inside, I’m very confident about who I am, and I like who that is very much whether other folks do or not. But I feel very differently about what’s on the outside. I don’t like what I look like, I never have, and I care a lot about what other people think about it. I pretend it isn’t there, but my body image gives me daily anxiety. I feel like my body, my face, my cankles, my big arms, my six chins (ok, there’s only two) – all the visuals are like a great big secret that everyone knows and agrees not to talk about so that I can go on acting.  

Now it’s not all bad; I have great hair, and I have great boobs.  But as far as I’m concerned, that’s about it. The anxiety I feel about the rest of this package being a great, big plate of meh runs below the surface every single day, and it drives every decision I make. 

Hilary Black at age 7
Me at age 7, the last time I was thin.

The last time I saw skinny was age seven. So from childhood, my body image has been whispering at me, warning of what others will see. It heard the kids call me fat. It heard my vice principal tell me when I was ten that he didn’t cast me in the school play because fat girls don’t get roles. It made me a self-conscious teenager, positive that my looks were the reason I had friends who were boys, rather than real live boyfriends.  And there was no way it was ever going to give me approval to wear something sleeveless. My body image served as my gatekeeper year after year, warning me about what people would see so that I could minimize the ugly as much as possible.  

Today my body image doesn’t whisper so much as scream its warnings at me. From deciding what I’m going to wear, to where I engineer my placement in a photo, to how I stand in line, to which seat I choose in a restaurant, to even the way I walk, I am always thinking, how does this look? Usually, my body image answers me, Ugly, girlfriend, why do you keep asking? You know it’s completely homely and unattractive and fat and oafy. Wanna ask me again? No, I really don’t. Yet, I do it, anyway. I ask myself constantly, the answer is usually the same, and my anxiety about my appearance stays at the peak levels that I’m used to.

Me, bottom right, At a my friend Marla’s 10th birthday.

Now, immediately upon turning eight, I realized that there were two ways I could go with this.  I could become an introvert and hide on the periphery of life so that no one would see me at all, or I could do not that. I think a lot of people like me who feel so conspicuous and negative about their body image tend to go the introvert route. But I was a born doer. I am outgoing and vocal, and I am naturally social. I want to walk around the room and meet everyone and find out who they are. I want to have the same experience everyone else is having so I can share it with them. I want to ride Space Mountain and race down the waterslide and go sleeveless on hot days and go to the college parties making the same general ass of myself that everyone else my age did. I want to get on that stage and be seen in my performance. I want to be in the picture with everyone. It’s been one hell of a dichotomy. I have always hated what I looked like as it all happened, but the one thing I’ve always hated more was being left out. When I look bad I’m upset; but when I’m not included I’m downright miserable. At eight, 18, 28, 38, and now here at nearly 48, that has never changed. That anxiety is always there, but the bottom line is that I refuse to give up my experiences in favor of sparing my body image.

So, even though I’m embarrassed and self-conscious and hope no one sees what I know darn well they all see, I fake it and pretend that I don’t give a flying peapod what anyone thinks of me. I use amusing self-deprication and my natural ability to make people laugh to diffuse any visuals they may have.  That’s how I cope with how truly oppressive the daily body image-anxiety is. I put on my best method acting job and I channel Camryn Manheim and Melissa McCarthy and all those beautiful women in the Dove commercials and Torrid catalogue, and I PRETEND. I ACT like I look great. I know deep down that both my chins are on full display and that the horrible region above my bellybutton has strangers wondering when I’m due. But I act like I am just a normal looking girl like all the ones I feel surrounded by. 

In daycamp I swam and pretended no one thought I was the fat girl, because I loved swimming. In high school I took dance and whipped off my clothes in the locker room and pretended no one could see my stretch marks, because I loved dancing. In college I rocked the big hair and low cut shirts so I could pretend people would focus only on my genuinely great hair and boobs.

Playing a guard on THE BAY the Series

As an actress, I bury myself in every part so that no matter how heinous my wardrobe is, I can pretend it’s not really me, it’s the character (I’ve never felt more unattractive than when I had to walk down the courthouse steps 1,400 times on camera for the world to see as my character on THE BAY).  

As a mom I admittedly care less, because nothing is more important to me than that role. But I do still care, mommy politics is brutal, and there are some days that my resulting anxiety is dialed all the way up to 11. But I rarely back down on acting like I don’t care, because from mommy politics to stage lights to Space Mountain, I won’t miss out on … anything.  

Now, all that said?  In no way is this the end of my story. Yes, it’s been a 40-year battle with my body image, but I’m a tenacious, glass-half-full girl, so I’ve always seen this struggle more as a 40-year pursuit of my best self. Over time, I’ve figured out which clothing and makeup is going to make me feel good about myself. I now know what trends I can indulge in and which won’t work.

Mary Beth is right, looking back at this photo from 5 years ago, I think I look pretty good. But at the time, that wasn’t the case.

As I’ve gotten older, it became about not just my looks, but my health, too. I’ve tried lots of diets. They all work, it’s a matter of staying power for a lifetime change to a different healthy diet and fitness lifestyle.  On the horse, off the horse … on the horse, off the horse … Oh, look, there’s the horse, I think it’s time for another ride. Gah! I am very, very acquainted with that horse, and I’ve tried many ways to stay on it. I’ve tried programs like Weight Watchers, and endless amounts of calorie and carb counting. This is also not the first time I’ve been brutally honest about myself. I recently started making videos documenting my pursuit to my Facebook followers so I’m forced to be publicly accountable. Here’s one video I posted that really represents how I feel about this pursuit.  

I refuse to stop trying. I put a lot of time and energy into this struggle, and I think about how much I could accomplish if I used that time and energy for something else. So, I never give up. Instead, I’m constantly inspired by friends, family and the world I surround myself with – like Mary Beth’s Plank – to pursue the body and health that I really want. My husband and son and parents are always encouraging me. My friends are always there for me.  I am quite sure that the copious amounts conversations with my oldest friends – Marla, Joanna and Mandy – on this subject could fill several volumes of books. 

When I was eight, I was sure I’d be able to lose the weight before my next checkup. When I was a teenager, I couldn’t imagine turning 20 and still being overweight. When I was in my 20s, I knew there was no way I’d still be heavy when I got married. When I had my beautiful little boy, I said, “Ok, you’re a mommy now, so there’s no way you’re going to turn 40 and still be heavy.” Now here I am, at nearly 47, and part of me really wonders if I’m just destined to be overweight for the rest of my life … if my body image will be nagging at me from the assisted living apartment.

But the rest of me says no.  If there’s one thing I’ve learned from Plank, it’s that I don’t have to be complacent with how I feel about myself. My weight and resulting negative body image yammering at me has been an absolute life-long struggle, yes, but it’s not over yet. I want to overcome this – I need to overcome this. And not just by being skinny, but by liking myself on the outside as much as I like myself on the inside – whether I’m skinny or not. My family inspires me. My friends inspire me. Plank inspires me. And I’m not giving up.   

Daring to wear the dress I wanted and feeling pretty good about it!

Until then, I have to make a choice. Let the whisperings of my body image truncate my life or don’t. Allow how much I care about what people think of my weight prevent me from doing what I love or don’t. Give my body image power over my ultimate happiness or let it exist without any power at all. Today it’s somewhere in between, because it does have power. It makes me feel bad about myself no matter how much I try not to let it. But I like my life. I love my family and friends, and I want to experience my life with the world, not hiding away from it. So I choose to keep acting like I don’t care what anyone thinks so I can experience all that I want to experience. While I continue to try to pursue something better for myself. I won’t be relegated to the periphery by anyone, least of all myself. No matter what my body image tenaciously keeps telling at me about that sleeveless dress I’m dying to wear.

45 Comments

  1. Joanna Lopez

    G-no I did not just read your amazing article today, I promise 😄Instead I took a few days to reflect on just what I wanted to say and just how I wished to say those words. As I read your raw, insightful article I thought, WOW, I could not be more proud of you!!!! I have always admired your confidence my sweet friend as it has been my lifelong struggle. Please know that I am honored, humbled and blessed to call you my best friend! Love and hugs B

    • B, you know how much I adore you. If only people knew you like I do they’d wonder why someone like you could lack confidence. Part of why I was able to have those college experiences I write about here was because you gave me the opportunity to do it by being my friend. I had no one, you offered me a lifeline, and when you gave an inch I suddenly has six miles with you. If I didn’t have you there to encourage me just by being by my side, I am not sure the will to be included alone would have been enough for me to overcome how unattractive I felt most of the time. I think we give the people we love what they need, so it’s hard for us to see where their struggles are sometimes, because when we have their backs, like we have each other’s, the struggles aren’t as obvious to us. Thank you for always supporting me. I will always do the same with many, many more miles ahead of us! Love you. — G

  2. Susan Denaux

    Wow, just wow! I relate to your story so much. Thank you for sharing!!

    • Susan, thank you for reading and for your support! I so appreciate it! Anyone named Denaux is ok with me! :-).

  3. Stephanie

    You are so real! You are truly beautiful. You forgot to mention your smile which is the first thing I notice about you. I am learning there is much we don’t know about weight in terms of hormones and genetics. Hopefully, they will figure more out in the future. I have struggled since puberty. The scary thing is that in college someone said she thought I had anorexia. I wasn’t anorexic “looking”at about 135 pounds but she pointed out my behaviors. The truth was that I was starving myself to be that weight to the point of waking up so weak to the point of passing out. I wouldn’t eat in front of anyone. However, I would get criticized at the doctor’s office for being overweight. There was more to the puzzle. Since around thirty it has seemed impossible to maintain a normal weight and I miss shopping etc…Swimming has helped me tone up which really helps but the numbers won’t go down much. I will never give up but it is such a struggle. I have often chosen to hide at times at missed opportunities. My husband doesn’t understand when I do that. Yet, other times I simply don’t care too much and go out anyway. Thanks for sharing your story! Also, BMI calculators need to go! There are so many body types so an accurate picture is never given.

    • Stephanie, thank you for sharing your struggle, here. I think it’s so important that healthy habits are not always reflected in our appearance. I’m sorry that you had such a struggle and that it continues to challenge you. Our struggles may be different, but the way they make us feel is the same, and it’s not fun. We have to find ways to cope with the things that challenge us, and all we can do is continue to do our best to overcome. People of all shapes and sizes have positive body images that don’t undermine them. Unfortunately, we do. But I’m working on it, and I can see that you are, too. Thank you for your support, Stephanie, and you have mine, too!

  4. Jennifer Luisi

    Hillary😊
    You are beautiful #keepbelieving
    I think it’s cool even with all the inner struggle you do what you love and I imagine the courage a person would need to act and allow oneself to be vulnerable in front of others is incredible and very inspiring. Thank you for sharing your story.

    I♡U Mary Beth🌼

    • Thank you, Jennifer. #TheStruggleIsReal, but I’m also #StubbornAsAMule, so there’s it’s a weird meeting of those two things. I’m humbled that I could inspire you! Thank you so much for reading and for your kind comments.

  5. Stephanie

    I think we fluffy girls can all relate! Thanks for sharing your story!

  6. Hilary!!! I don’t know what to say. Or I don’t know what to say to say it nicely lol. This left me quite angry that anyone can tell a child they’re not going to be something because of their weight. You know my Kayla and she has always struggled with weight, but we were so fortunate her drama director never held her weight against her. But, like you I was told by a coach at a young age I couldn’t play the position. That hurts bad. A person you look up to tears you down with words and you never forget that. Ever. It did teach me though to be more cautious with my own words, so maybe it wasn’t all bad.
    You’re beautiful and your openess here radiates that. Thanks for keeping it real and sharing.

    • Thank you, LIsa! I so appreciate your comments! I am so glad that Kayla had a supportive drama teacher. She’s a confident and radiant girl, so it’s clear how positive a nurturing her environment has been. You raised a great young woman. And now she’s helping to nurture kids, herself. That cycle of positivity and warmth that you and her family and people like her drama teacher have given her will now continue so that those young people can, hopefully, pass it on, too. For every one jerk like my vice principal and and your coach, there are enriching souls like Kayla’s drama teacher, yourself, and now Kayla.

  7. Natalie (esq05)

    I’ll bet even if you lost the weight to whatever number you feel is the goal, you would find something else to pick on about your body….because that’s what we women do, don’t we? The show of perfection is an unattainable mirage, but we are bombarded by these perfect images on TV, ads, movies, hell, even facebook, instagram, snap chat etc. It’s only getting worse. I don’t have a weight issue but believe me I can easily list a few dozen things I wish I could change about my body. We all have our issues. I think it’s awesome that you’re able to get out there and do all these cool things despite your anxiety. I’m sure a lot of people would trade you their (whatever body part) for some of that bravery.

    • Well, as Roseanne Roseannadanna used to say, “it’s always SOMETHIN’!” I think it’s just part of the human condition to pick apart our perceived shortcomings ad nauseum, and I don’t think it’s exclusive to the female gender, either. We’re almost always harder on ourselves than others are and than we need to be. It’s like a fun house mirror where what you see is a distorted version of what’s really out there. Thank you for reading, Natalie, and for your supportive comments!

  8. Marnessa

    Mary Beth & Hilary, Thank you for sharing this! All I can really say is “WOW”! Such an amazing story. Very inspirational. Hilary, YOU ARE A BEAUTIFUL WOMAN! Thank you for sharing your story & being so open & honest. That’s not always easy for women especially when it comes to our bodies.

    • Oh, thank you, Marnessa! I don’t feel very beautiful, but these amazing, supportive comments have really made me feel good about myself, no lie! I look back at the old photos and say, ya know, I don’t think I was really actually THAT fat there. I believed I was at the time, but now I think, jeez, was I? Right now, I feel like an oaf pretty much all the time, but this comment chips away at that feeling quite alot. Thank you for reading and for these very kind words!

      • Marnessa

        You are more than welcome Hilary! U keep being who you are! Your an inspiration & I’ll say it again because we all need to hear compliments & encouragement; U R BEAUTIFUL!!! DON’T GIVE UP ON YOURSELF & KEEP BEING WHO YOU ARE!

  9. Hilary,
    What a wonderful writer you are, and so great for you to share this message. I haven’t even known you for a year, but your spirit and energy are amazing and I applaud you for sharing your journey!

    • Thank you so much, Cindy. You’ve been so kind and supportive in so many things since I met you. It really does seem like I’ve known you so much longer. You are caring and genuine, and I’ve been truly enriched by you these past months. I so look forward to kicking off my next steps with you!

  10. Barbara levy

    Wow that was so honest and really hit home. I am 68.5 years old and I ask myself over and over when will I like how I look? When will I buy clothes without thinking does it cover up my ass. I was one of the first counselors the first year weight watchers had a camp. I had already lost my weight (just) and I was told I was too thin to be a counselor. Later that night I received a call hiring me. Good thing it was an all girls camp because one of my jobs was to help with weigh-ins once a week. As I stood there each girl stripped down until they were completely naked before getting on the scale- including hair clips and glasses. Shoot, I undressed down to underware also. With all the activities I lost another 10-15 lbs and the camp was then worried I was too skinny and I was forced to eat double servings- now is that crazy? The point being I wasn’t happy. In camp there were no full length mirror so we could not view our image. On a day off with other counselors we were window shopping and I saw a reflection. I said to my friend, “. I could be happy if I looked like her- pointing to the girl in the window. It was me at 5’6” and 125 lbs but I still felt like the girl shaped like a pear how needed to cover up.

    When does it end and you just see who you really are? I go to multiple specialist and they all know I will not get on the scale unless I feel it is necessary. Yes, if I am having surgery I get on the scale because there is a need to know. I get on the scale with my cancer MD because he is monitoring my TSh and has a need to know. I started doing this at 19 years old. I don’t want to be ashamed of a number. I want to buy clothes and wonder if it makes me look fat. Hilary I would love to join your journey and learn to adopt a healthy lifestyle but to also like our reflections.

    • Barbara, this is such interesting insight. If I’d gone to WW camp, you could have been one of my counselors! What a difference the years make with what we know today about nutrition and mental and emotional wellness surrounding our weight and body image. No mirrors?! But I had to laugh when you described the weigh-in process. I think it’s something everyone who’s ever had to weigh-in — with a program or just at home — can relate to. The stripping off of everything, lest the dangly earrings add those extra-curricular ounces to the readout. Today when I get on the scale, I don’t do that. I do take off my shoes, but everything else just stays on, because the older I get, the fewer games I want to play. Not that I don’t play any, I’m always negotiating in my head, like you get to eat that beef sandwich today, but tomorrow it’s only salad. But the stripping down process just had me going, yep … yep … yep. I think it’s good that it made me smile in amusement, rather than mortify me with memory. Do you watch, “This Is Us?” What a difference that “immersive experience” is (what a euphemism, huh?) from what you worked at WW. *sigh*. This journey is hard. But at least we’re not alone in it.

  11. Marla (one of your oldest friends)

    I was surprised to find myself crying as I read your post. I wish I could take away the pain that you have felt and continue to feel. You are a ball of energy, a loyal friend, a fierce and loving mother, a devoted wife and daughter, a keeper of memories, a talented writer, a confidant, and so much more. I hope you see all that is good and right about who you are. I believe we are on this journey through life to have experiences that teach us lessons. What are the lessons you are learning to move you forward on your path? XO

    • Thank you, Marla, for always knowing who I am. For never letting me get away with anything that is going to be detrimental to me in the end, and for letting me get away with whatever it is you know I need to cope with. Thank you for never judging my hash browns. And for not stocking cookies in your house. Darn it. And for being fiercely loyal to me every day I’ve known you for the past 37 and a half years. I learn lessons all the time. I don’t always apply them when I should, but I’m trying to listen to them more and to my vices less. You inspire me more than you know.

  12. Thank you Hilary for your honest and beautifully written story. So much I can identify with this that I screamed ‘yes’ repeatedly…but other parts I only wish I could say yes. I have let my lifelong struggles with weight dictate what I will and will not wear and I know that this has often unfairly defined me. For example I refuse to go swimming with my kids. I have once in their lives and the youngest are both almost 19. That defines me-makes me sad and regretful. But the horror of my world collapsing and humiliating myself in bathers to me is worse.
    My weight has gone up and down and up over the years. But I still see “ten ton tessy” in my head. A name I heard an adult call me when I was 8. I try but the prison of my mind is still strong. Now don’t get me wrong. I have a nice life and have shared wonderful exeriences. I can aim for something and work towards it. But the scars of body image have defined my life constantly. Many many times I have wondered what my life would be like if it didn’t….
    Thanks Hilary. Like several here so pleased and proud to know you and thank you for your story. X

    • Jane, I adore you. And I hurt for the 8yo girl that was called such a heinous thing by an adult. I know that we’re alot more enlightened now as a society than adults were when we were kids in the 60’s, 70’s, and even the 80’s. But we’re not all the way there yet, and there are still children scarred like we were by kids AND adults. Sometimes things are said without the intention to harm, but other times people are just mean. My vice principal was a mean man, and he raised a mean daughter (I got to experience it by double in real time). I only hope that the adult who said that to you wasn’t the same. I’m so sorry. I also relate to the bathing suit anxiety. OMG. The last time I appeared in public locally in a bathing suit was when my son, now 12, was probably seven or eight. On vaca I’ve gone out in a bathing suit, because I”m never going to see those people again. But here? With the mommies who know me? No. It’s hard to get over. We have to find other ways when we have an obstacle in our lives to find meaningful time that’s lost elsewhere, so I try to do that … while my husband takes the little dude to the swimming pool. In the meantime, for those of you looking for nice bathing suits that don’t make you feel bad about yourself, I cannot recommend Land’s End more highly. I”m not a conservative dresser, which is the kind of classic lines they create, but their bathing suits are WONDERFUL. I also really like Torrid for clothing and Modcloth (which is all sizes from tiny to not tiny) for pretty much anything wearable. Jane, honey, if you ever decide to give it a go, look into Land’s End. Love you.

  13. Jamie Samsel

    Mary Beth thanks for this.

    Hillary – that was brilliant and you said what I wish I could!

    😘

    • Jamie, thank you so much for reading and being the sweet person you are. I always feel like we’re on the same page, but I never would have guessed this was one of them. xo

  14. Hils,
    Thank you for your candid brave sharing of your journey. I can so relate. I love myself and life, but the body doesn’t always seem to fit. You’re an inspiration in so many ways; writer, mom, actor, friend. Never stop being brave and working on being the best you, you can be.
    Thanks, Mary Beth for having Hilary as your guest writer and seeing the importance of sharing this topic.

    • Beth, you’ve been so lovely from the day I came to know you. I think you are pretty inspirational, yourself, and you’ve raised a beautiful daughter. I support you on your journey, too!

  15. Nancy McCarthy

    Hilary, First of all, I am so glad I got to meet you & spend time talking with you when we were in LA. It actually took me a minute to realize you were Fan Fiction Hilary. 🤔 Secondly, there’s no way you’re almost 47! Maybe 40….MAYBE. Reading this blog today makes me think of growing up & how cruel kids can be (and teachers too!). It has always pissed me off, even when I was a kid! You’re just minding your own business, going along in life, thinking that you’re just like every other kid, then some mean/bully picks on something, which brings the anxiety & self-consciousness out (like we aren’t hard enough on ourselves to begin with!). I’m not sure if anyone really doesn’t care what people think. I think everyone does to some extent. That’s why we wear nice clothes, put on make up & try to stay in shape. We do it for ourselves too, but we want people to think we look good. I think the thing we need to remember though, is do we feel good. We should do those things if those are the things that make us feel good. #KindnessIsLovingYourself And you, my friend, are a Rock Star!

    • Christie

      Love this response, Nancy👍🏻

    • Nancy, thank you so much for these great comments. I think you’re right, it’s so important to be who we want to be for ourselves. Kids are very cruel, yes. I’ve tried very hard to give my son a strong sense of confidence and self-esteem so that when the hard times come with cruel peers, as they do for all of us at some point, that he can cope through it unscathed. I think YOU are the rock star! We have some serious mutual admiration for each other.

  16. Cindy Martinez

    Hills-Your heart and spirit had me years ago. Your share on this topic…is better then cake(and I like cake). You putting your struggle out there, will resonate for so many of US! Keep seeing the beauty in yourself and keep using your voice to make the world better. XOX

    • Wait a minute, now, Cinder. Better than cake? Better than blue velvet Alcove cake? I don’t know. If that’s how you really feel, then I’m completely humbled. Because you’re selfless, giving nature is very inspiring to ME. Thank you for being my friend and for supporting me. XO

  17. Andrea Welmaker

    Thank you Mary Beth and Hilary. Hilary, your story brought tears to my eyes. I think we all have self image struggles. They might be the same as yours or it could be something different. Your words are so encouraging and inspiring. I know they encouraged me and will do the same for so many more! 💛

    • Andrea, honey, thank you so much for these comments here, and for your beautiful comments on Insta and Twitter. You are so beautiful to me. As a mom, as the person you are inside, as a friend, and as a pretty, pretty girl. Thank you for being so supportive of me. To know that I could inspire someone like you means so much to me!

  18. Rebecca Conway

    Hilary is so articulate–so well-spoken–and I can identify with her journey. I also have made the choice to live as if I don’t care–because, like Hilary, I’ve decided it’s better than the alternative. The horse analogy is my story as well. After being on the horse for a while–and experiencing some degree of success–for whatever reason unbeknownst to me–I dismount and fall into same unhealthy patterns. Self-discovery–knowing my motivations–would serve me well. I’d be interested in feedback from kind MaryBeth followers.

    • Rebecca, you’ve articulated exactly how it is with me. I am in a serial cyclical pattern where I do very well at whatever I’m doing, and then for some reason that eludes me, I am suddenly horseless. It’s even harder as we get older, so the things that worked for me even three or five years ago don’t work for me anymore (or at least not as well). It’s very hard to stay motivated when you know you’re doing the “right” thing but seeing less success. My whole life I have known that one day I’d be thinner (and healthier). My motivations as a child were so people would stop calling me names. My motivations as a teenager were so boys would like me. My motivations in my 20’s were so I’d look pretty. My motivations in my 30’s were so I’d be able to be a more active mom. Now in my 40’s my primary motivation is for my health. But to look good to myself is always going to be part of what drives me, too. I hope you find a horse you can ride into the sunset. I’m looking for it, too, and I feel very sure that it’s always right there over the next ridge. And probably always will.

  19. Terri from Cincinnati, OH

    Wow….what an inspiring read. That was awesome and speaks volumes. Thanks for sharing. Keep on keeping on!

    • Thank you for reading, Terri, and for your comment! I’m gonna keep on keepin’. It’s all I can do is keep at it and never give up!

  20. Susan Nolen (Suzzy1969)

    Thanks Mary Beth and Hilary for sharing this!….I have those exact same thoughts about my body from being overweight all my life. But thanks to friends like Hilary and plankblog that inspires me all the time to never give up and to always keep pushing forward! Thanks ladies!

    • Suzzy, you keep pushing, I will, too, and know I’ve got you as much as you’ve got me! You’re a sweet, kind soul with your own beauty that makes me smile whenever I see you out there!

  21. Beautiful story! Body image is a constant problem for everyone; women and men alike! I definitely think it is something that always needs to be addressed, especially with children/teenagers. I know no one likes hearing from the skinny girl, because they think problems don’t exist for them. I’ve always been thin and I’ve always been told that. It became an expectation in my kind that I needed to stay thin to please everyone else. Body image whether thin or big is always going to be a struggle especially with the way society portrays it. Thank you for sharing your story!

    • Thank you, Lynsey. I am happy to hear from the skinny girl, because negative body image is an equal-opportunity pest. Positive body image is also equal opportunity, and we all have our struggles to find it. I know what you mean about the pressure to stay thin, I’d imagine it’s just as hard as the pressure to lose weight, and it’s no fun. Thank you for your comments and your support!

      • Thank you for taking the time to reply to everyone! Your story is truly inspirational for everyone! I agree positive body image is a beast for everyone to deal with!

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