On Being the Fattest Person at the Gym

By Emily Milner

Twenty years ago, when I was on my mission in Ecuador, I weighed approximately 110 pounds less than I do now. I lost weight within the first few months I was there, from a combination of walking about ten miles a day, having intestinal parasites, and being unfamiliar with and unaccustomed to the food. When I returned home I was skinny to the point of looking slightly unhealthy.

No one could accuse me of that now. Instead I am fat. I’ve listened to a couple of Teri Gross’s interviews with fat women, and it’s interesting because she’s always very careful to refer to fatness in the way that the women are comfortable with. Would you rather I say overweight than fat? she asks.

No, they say. Fat is fine. I’m fat. You can say fat.

I remember as a child being happy my mom was thin and pretty, unlike some dumpy fat moms I had seen at church. “I’m so glad you’re pretty,” I said. “And not fat.” She didn’t want me to think that; she wanted me to be kinder to the moms who were fat. But all I could see, as a child, was that my mom was undeniably skinnier and therefore prettier than the other moms.

My kids will never have that same pleasure in a thin, pretty mom.

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My Body

By Terresa Wellborn

Body image is a thing. No matter what stage of life we find ourselves, we can’t escape it: tween or teen, pregnancy or postpartum, menopause or beyond. We bleed, slough off dead skin cells, lose hair, gain weight, earn wrinkles. We morph as the years pass. Things once perky now sag, gray hair sprouts, and …

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Beach Body

By Jessie Christensen

I once saw a meme circulating around the internet titled “How to Have Beach Body”. The answer was simple: “1. Have a body 2. Go to the beach”. Two years ago I spent a week in Hawaii and took my body to the beach every day. I also saw a lot of other beach bodies—fat bodies, skinny bodies, small bodies, large bodies, old bodies, young bodies, tattooed bodies, bodies in all colors. Visiting a crowded beach in Hawaii is the best way to get a wide view of the full spectrum of humanity. Everyone there had a beach body and they all seemed to be enjoying themselves.

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Seeing My Body For The First Time

By Ashmae Hoiland

My first time at the YMCA, I stood dripping in my navy blue swimsuit against the pastel locker background of the women’s locker room. I wasn’t sure what to do. Change under my towel? Go to a stall? Peel off my swimsuit in that vast expanse of space, leaving me entirely vulnerable? As I stood …

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Sabbath Revival: Your Body Is Special

By Sandra Clark

When my bra fitting this week told me that my size doesn’t exist, well pointed out that I do and it should. My body may not be fit model ideal, but in all its quirks, abilities, and beauty it is mine. And as Anne Hansen points out in this great piece from the archives, it’s pretty special. Exactly as is. 

Our guest post comes from Anne Hansen. Anne is a mother of boys, wife of Wade, English teacher on extended sabbatical. gardener, reader, and modestly paced runner. She loves naps, flowered dishes, cookies, and light blue. She writes weekly for Hey Nonny (http://www.hey-nonny.com).


Is it my recent foray into the painfully early “Body Attack!” class at the gym? (That’s a lot of plastic surgery in one room.) Maybe it’s because my husband and I just watched What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? Whatever the reason, lately I’ve been preoccupied with our culture’s unhealthy extremes in body image.

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Me, My Body, and I

By Rosalyn Eves

A few days ago, C. Jane posted an untouched, full body photograph on her professional Facebook page  to make a point about body dysmorphia. Above the picture she wrote, “I’m doing fine.”

File:Antalya museum statue of a woman.JPG
Photo by Ad Meskins, wikimedia commons

I nearly wept. Not because of the message: I believe that we *should* love our bodies regardless of what size they are. But because I’m not sure I’m doing fine. That “should” taunts (haunts?) me.

Here’s a truth: I don’t love my body. I’m incredibly grateful for some of the things it has done for me—for carrying me long miles on my mission, for bearing children, for not giving up when I put it through a half-marathon last fall—but I can’t say I love it. When I look at it, really look at it, all I see are the thighs that have always been too wide (CRTs, or “charging rhino thighs” as we call them in our kids. It’s cute, for a 3 year old. Not so cute when you’re almost 40), the breasts that are too small, the wrinkles starting around my eyes.

I don’t think I’m alone in this. It’s hard to grow up in our society without having complicated feelings about received ideas of beauty for women and men.

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New Year’s Thoughts on Aging

By Linda Hoffman Kimball

Magdalena - age 4
Magdalena – age 4







Linda - age 4
Linda – age 4






The last of the tribe left yesterday. We have had our immediate family (12 of us – including the grandbabies ages 4, 3, 2 and 6 months) in full force or overlapping since the middle of December. There was also an uptick of numbers on New Year’s Day when 23 more extended family members joined us for lasagna and fun in the snow. (By some LDS folks’ standards, the numbers probably seem skimpy – no more than an average Family Night with the cousins.)

It’s a heady experience to see the lyrics of “Sunrise, Sunset” play out before my eyes. As I watch my grown kids handle their toddlers I feel a rush of “As you are, I once was and as I am, you will become” (to reframe Lorenzo Snow’s couplet). I definitely experience tsunamis of joy and ineffable affection.

But I am not naïve.

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For Sale

By Kellie Purcill

For sale a wreck Or let’s just say that she’s a jumble of wonky wooden flooring (and a stubborn set of sails).   The price unlikely Or let’s say that she’s a deal of work along the staircase (that flirts and stubs your toe).   The choice difficult Or let’s say that she’s a handful …

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Mathematics of a Curve

By Valerie Owens

Sixth Grade: In my mother’s craft room, we use measuring tape to turn hips, waists, and breasts into numbers that seem to sing: skinny, skinny, skinny. And then we get to her. And the word everybody thinks, but nobody says as I wrap the blue tape around the pudgy white flesh of her waist, is …

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A Body Journey

By Melonie Cannon

When I think of long journeys, I imagine a silver train slinking through the Russian landscape at twilight or a lone backpacker traipsing through the rainforest. I never imagined the journey I have been on for the last thirty days. One I had been preparing for a long time, but was unaware of it. I …

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