Fashion,  Health and Fitness

Body Image

Color Blocking | Everybody, Everywear

Well, hello there! I apologize for the lack of a Monday and Tuesday post; as I mentioned in my Friday Links post, we went camping last weekend and thus there were no outfit pictures for Monday, and then Monday was Mr. Owl and my 7-month anniversary, so we didn’t take any pictures on that day, either.

But yesterday I decided it was a good day to take pictures because I wore the above shorts, and since shorts aren’t the most flattering on me, I figured these are good pictures to talk about two subjects that tend to get a lot of reaction (not bad, just reactions) from people wherever you talk about them on the internet: confidence, and weight loss.

As I’ve mentioned earlier, I am trying to lose 15-20 pounds. A lot of my friends in real life as well as some of you blog readers immediately jump to defend my figure, saying I don’t need to lose weight and I look good the way I am. I get a lot of people that try to reassure me, argue with my decision, point out that I’m a woman and I should have curves, etc. And it’s lovely of everyone to say these things, but here’s the thing: I know I look fine the way I am.

I know I don’t look fat. I know I don’t look overweight. I am not consistently insecure about my weight or shape. On a day to day basis, I don’t look in the mirror and go “ugh, girl, you need to lose weight.” On a day-to-day basis, I usually look at myself and am pleased with what I see. I know how to dress the body that I have in a flattering way, and generally I’m pretty good at hiding the flaws and bringing out the positive things in my shape.

But just because I like me now doesn’t mean I don’t also know that there is room for improvement.  It has been my goal for a long time to reach a specific weight/measurement and jean-size, and I’m too stubborn to give up just yet.

Since I was about thirteen, I remember always being about 15 pounds heavier than most of my friends. As I got older, that number rose from 15 to 20 to 30, until I was somewhere around 17, I weighed 180lbs and was at least 50 pounds heavier than the other 17-year-old girls I knew. Thankfully, one day I just had enough and I lost 30 pounds, but since then I have fluctuated between 150 and 160 pounds, and I would like to put an end to that.

Right now, I weigh 162 pounds. I am 5’6-1/2″, my hips are 15 inches bigger than my waist, and despite what you all might think, I’ve got plenty of squish to go around. Occasionally, I have been told that (by an Asian man serving food) “Food is good for the baby” and I’ve been asked “is that the way the dress is, or are you going to have a baby?”

These comments make me giggle more than anything else, as I am not easily offended and I have always liked the belly pooch that I have. If you don’t believe I have a pooch, well, here it is: the most unflattering picture I’ve ever posted on the blog, but probably also the most honest one.

And yes, I was slouching which only made it worse, but still: this is my body, flaws and all. I’ve got belly squish, a bubble butt, thick thighs, and a comparatively small chest. But you know what? There are positives in all of that. I have a lot of curves. I have a very small waist compared to my hips. I once heard someone say I had really good legs for heels. I’m not exactly sure what that means, but y’know.

Most of all, I have a boyfriend who repeatedly reassures me that he likes me just the way I am, but that if I want to lose weight, he’ll support me in it. So long as I don’t get too skinny.

And I doubt that I will ever be (or want to be) skinnier than 140 pounds. In the world of bloggers, where the popular girls are all 5’7″ and 125 pounds, I’ll still be relatively curvy and definitely not a weight that most girls would be proud to admit. In fact, I remember reading once on a very popular blog how the blogger in question got somewhat defensive that, at 5’8″, she weighed 135lbs. I just wanted to say “Girl, at 5’8″, you should definitely not be ashamed to admit that, nor should you be skinnier.”

I don’t know when it became an unpopular thing to have curves, or why it seems that admitting you’re anything over 130 pounds, no matter if you’re 5’4″ or 5’10”, has become a thing to be ashamed of. I do understand the negative connotations when anyone who appears normal claims they’d like to lose weight, because so many women (and men, I suppose) become underweight due to the pressures of society. I have recently seen a few blogs that are focused on fat-acceptance to level out the amount of people who are anti-fat. I’m not sure if I could jump on board with total fat-acceptance, just as I can’t condone excessive weight loss, but I have to admit I understand where the fat-acceptance blogs are coming from and even if sometimes I think the arguments for accepting fat can go overboard, there are good messages there.

Love your body. Be confident in who you are. Your size shouldn’t control who you are. The people who are important will love you for the person you are from within… and if there is someone who constantly judges you for your size, maybe you should rethink that friendship. Sure, there will always be the negative groups, but they’re mean so you can ignore them. 😉

And I don’t know if saying all of that even makes sense knowing that I have the goal to lose weight. How can I say I’m confident in who I am now, but say that I need to improve?

Well… it’s a lot like saying I’m happy without chocolate… but chocolate would definitely add to my happiness.


{J.C. Penny} Shirt:  $6.08
{Romy} Camisole: $8
{Forever 21} Ring: $2.80
{Gift} Shorts (Target) | Earrings

So, that’s my two cents. The bottom line is: don’t be afraid to like who you are at the moment, but don’t rule out that you can always improve.

And also, be healthy. Cuz that’s important.

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  • nancyfrancis

    There is something to be said for having goals 🙂  Especially writing them down, on the internet, where everyone can hold you accountable!  Good luck on your quest, I too have some fitness goals this year and have been really enjoying the process!

    • Mara

      It’s scary to write my goals down on the internet! Because now I feel like I absolutely must work towards them. Even when I already would on my own, you know? The only thing that makes me stick to my plans more than posting them on the internet is telling Mr. Owl about them. 

      Oh, good luck sticking to your fitness goals! It’s amazing how taking the steps to be healthy can actually be so enjoyable!

  • Sarah Whiting

    This is such a beautiful post.  I think that sounds weird seeing as it’s about weight and such, but the healthy view that you have of your own body is beautiful, and makes you even more beautiful! 

    Also, I love that your metaphor for being confident in your weight but still wanting to lose weight is all about chocolate… yeah. 🙂

    • Mara

      I think I understand what you’re saying. Thank you! 

      Haha! I know, I was going to say cake, but I don’t like cake as much as I like chocolate, and I’m not really actually any happier with cake than without. 😀

  • mariecarolk

    I really, really love this post. I definitely know some people who need to hear this 🙂 Thanks for being brave enough to tell the truth as you see it.


    • Mara

      I know some people who need to hear this, too. 
      Oh, I don’t feel like it’s brave, it’s just honesty. 🙂 Which I guess takes bravery when it’s on the internet.

  • Ashwini Chaudhari

    i am completely in love with ur shots, very candid pictures. the colorblocked outfit hooks grt and very comfy. I agree with u, when I wanted to lose weight, everybody told me that I am not fat, and look grt just the way I am. But only you know why you want to lose weight – firstly if u think u will be more healthy and fit then thats the right thing to do (and I just did that) all the best with weight-losing and being healthy..

  • Jess

    First of all, these pictures are absolutely beautiful, the second one especially.
    And second, I think this post is wonderful. Accepting your body and being fine with it as is and also being fine with tweaking as you please is really important, and I think a LOT of people overlook it in favour of either the wholehearted body acceptance or wholehearted thinness. There are very few people who fall into the healthy first mindset, and as long as you’re going about changing your body in a happy and healthy way, and remaining healthy at the end, then by all means, go for it!

    • Mara

      Thank you! I have to give the picture credit to Mr. Owl. He’s pretty dang good with the camera. 😉
      I have never really understood why it’s only popular to be either wholeheartedly accepting or entirely too skinny… because usually neither one of those is healthy. I do think that everyone should accept their bodies as they are now, but not to the point that they would never improve upon them. 

  • Salazar

    Bravo for an honest and inspiring post! There’s nothing wrong with wanting to improve yourself as long as you don’t measure your self-worth by how much you weigh or how your body is – which you don’t. Good luck with getting healthier! I only wish I had the motivation to do the same.

    • Mara

      Thank you! You know, I completely lose motivation a lot. But then just as I decide to eat some sort of junk food, I think about my goal weight and my goal for that week, and it really, really helps to put away the food. I almost feel guilty for nearly ruining my own goals. I don’t know if that’s normal, but y’know. It’s good, anyway!

  • The_Canon_Girl

    Gorgeous pictures (the lighting is just magical, it almost gives a fairytale atmosphere to your pictures!) and a very sincere, honest post. I agree with you, you completely have the right to be comfortable with yourself but maybe see the need to “improve”, whatever that may mean. 😀 I do think that complete body acceptance is important. Most people are logical thinking human beings and know that, once they go over or under a certain weight, they’re not particularly healthy anymore. However, it’s up to them how they want to deal with it and IF they want to deal with it. It’s not up to society to judge what is “pretty” and “healthy”. People do with their bodies what they please, as far as I’m concerned. But from a preachy, body positive point of view I like to take on from time to time, you just want to feel happy. Because being attractive or not according to anyones norms is just not the most important thing in the world. We need to set our priorities straight, I think. I love the yellow top with the red shorts! 🙂

    • Mara

      Thank you! I have to give the picture credit to my boyfriend. He’s usually the one behind the camera, and he’s got such a fantastic eye for it! 
      People definitely need to learn how to accept the body they have! And to also learn not to listen to society so much. Society’s views are always way too twisted. 
      Thank you!

  • Emily B.

    Great post Mara! I agree with your line of thinking. It is definitely possible to be happy with your body and still want to lose a few pounds or tone up your stomach. ‘Happiness’ and ‘wanting to change’ aren’t completely mutually exclusive. There’s only a problem when people try to change their bodies through unhealthy means, or end up consumed by self loathing due to how they look. 

    • Mara

      It’s funny how so many people think that happiness and wanting to change can’t go together. But the definitely can! I think a big part of being confident in my body now, though, is that I have a supportive boyfriend who actually continually reminds me that I should never get TOO skinny. Which is nice. 😉

  • Brittany Carson

    Great post! I totally agree with you! I am only 5 ft tall (yes I’m a shorty) and overweight according to my BMI. Although I am 144 lbs. I carry my weight well. People (particularly my friends and family) always tell me I don’t need to lose weight. I reassure them I don’t have a complex with my size. I really like my curves as I used to be very tiny. But I am trying to lose a little weight more for health reasons. My family has a history of a plethora of health issues and I am trying my hardest to avoid or delay getting one in particular- diabetes. I love your confidence and I say more power to you for wanting to lose weight for YOURSELF and not because society has a skinny model complex! Can’t wait to hear about your journey!

    • Mara

      Oh, yes, another reason I want to lose a little weight is definitely because of the health history of my family! Diabetes is very common, and most of my family is overweight! I’d like to do everything I can to avoid those problems as well! 
      But good luck on your journey, too! Here’s to losing weight and being totally healthy!

  • Franziska

    I think your body is fab but if you aren’t happy with it, there’s nothing wrong with exercising and eating healthy, and if the side effect is losing a few pounds, great! best of luck to you 🙂

    • Mara

      Well, thank you! I’m not unhappy with my body, exactly, I just know that it could be better. Like I said, it’s a lot like saying I’m happy without chocolate, but I know I would be even happier WITH chocolate. 😉 

  • Sarah With A Bow

    Somehow I failed to read this the last time I was here. So I’d like to jump on the bandwagon (I assume) and support you for loving yourself and your body! My massive weight loss (wow–I can’t believe it was almost 6 years ago) was partially for vanity reasons and, more importantly, because I was done feeling physically “icky.” I don’t really have a better word for it–I was sluggish even though I was fairly active because of my food choices and I had no concept of portions whatsoever. Subtracting 50 lbs was lifechanging, I’ll admit. My health is worth it, even though I am just as much a rectangle now as I was then, haha.

    In other news… I think that maxi dress is going to look HOT on you. 

    • Mara

      That’s so great that it’s been six years since you lost weight! It’s really encouraging to me to hear those kinds of stories, especially since I’ve been seeing so many articles online that claim nobody ever keeps their weight off for more than five years. Yay you, for disproving that! 
      I definitely want to lose weight for the health part: the more I eat sugar lately, the worse I feel. Plus, even though my boyfriend likes the way I am now, I just want to be… better. For vanity reasons. 
      And I don’t think you’re a rectangle! You’ve got a great figure! 
      Ah, I can’t wait to buy it!

  • oomph

    This was a really nice post. I think we should all aim to be healthier….and that doesn’t necessarily mean skinnier. Pretty pictures, too.


  • Jamie Rose

    Woo! I definitely understand and agree with being happy with your body and seeing room for improvement, but not letting that be an obsession. I think you look great now and you’ll surely look great when you get to your goal weight too! 

  • Meanz Chan

    I agree with everything that you’ve stated above. This is a great post. I’ve been trying to work on my body and eat healthier, and it’s not because I feel like I’m fat, or that I really NEED to. I just want to. I want to feel healthier, have more energy, and I have always has a specific goal in mind that I have yet to accomplished. I also know where you are coming from when you talk about being heavier than your friends. That’s how I felt too. I hated that feeling. It’s hard not to compare yourself to others no matter what. Also, I think it’s important to know your body type and how to dress it! Not to hide your flaws but to accentuate all the great things about your body! I’m all about self-love, but I’m also all about improvement!

  • Emily

    You have awesome curves. I am in fact blessed with the exact same body shape! I am working to boost my positive side and learn to love my body. Although I am proud of my curvy shape I have started to eat better food and exercise etc for the simple fact it makes me feel great. I used to be a person that sat around moaning about my weight etc, how I will never lose weight but I learned to stop feeling sorry for myself and just get up and get to it 🙂 I adore my amazing wide hips and all my squishy parts, but honestly eating better and exercise does a whole world of good and I cannot explain how great I am feeling now I have become more confident and learned to love myself. Stop blaming the world for your problems and just get up and go! There is no easy way around losing weight so for those of you ‘Googling’ how to become skinnier by just sitting there, well I’m sorry but you aren’t going to improve yourself by doing nothing!