Happy New Year (and New Boobs)!

And here’s to posting more… or at least attempting to. It seems that this blog is starting to become my post-surgery blog. This isn’t intentional but I do feel like it’s a good place for me to talk about it.

So the end of last year was a little rough on me it went something: migraine, 1 day break, food-poisoning, 2 day break, breast reduction surgery, 4 day break, happy new year! I’m a relatively ambitious person so my partner and I made reservations at our favorite restaurant for a lovely but quiet new year’s eve celebration. Thankfully, the love of my life very sensibly made me stay in bed to celebrate the new year by cursing the people who were screaming, “woo!” as we were trying to sleep and hadn’t noticed that it had struck 12 while we were chatting with each other. Alas, the joys of being in a committed relationship where having surgery 5 days before the new year is ok because no one is upset you missed the big NYE celebration. In fact, not only is no one upset it’s actually a relief because you forgot to plan something until our server had mentioned they were doing a special menu. So the fact that we had to cancel was really not the end of the world. As a person who loves food, I was a little bummed we were missing an awesome menu but I’ll even publicly admit, she was right, I should have stayed in bed inside and I was much happier for it.

Anyway so I think I owe the people of the internets the courtesy to understand my rationale behind getting a breast reduction. I say this because I only wish I had found something like this for myself years ago. I was a horribly early bloomer in the physical sense, I got boobs at 10 and started my period somewhere between 11-12. Emotionally, I was a wreck. I had no idea how to put those two things together. I was a pretty shy and innocent tom-boy that just wanted to play with the boys or by myself.

Unfortunately for me, my first bra was a 32D and my guess is it should’ve been more appropriately a 28F but they don’t really make those sizes and trying to get me into any bra was a challenge so the thought of going to a specialty store might have made me want to crawl into a hole and die. Actually it would have made me want to crawl into a hole and die. By the time I exited high school I was wearing a DD probably more like an I/G if I had gone to a specialty store. And by the time I was old enough to actually go to a store that could size me properly I was a 32H.

I’ve hated my breasts my whole entire life. Not because they look bad, I’ve gotten plenty of comments. But because they’ve brought attention I don’t want and quite frankly big boobs get in the way of a lot of shit! My shirt eats with me all the time, am I a messy person? Not really but I also have a shelf in front of me! Which can sometimes make it difficult for food to find my mouth without also finding something else to land on or brush against. I hated trying to find sports bras, they never fit right. In fact, they fit so poorly that I just sucked it up and they have left a scar under my breasts that all my doctors ask me about.

Needless to say I have been contemplating a breast reduction for YEARS! But having major surgery, especially elective surgery, is a big deal. That said I still found having a breast reduction to be an intimidating prospect. I have to thank one of my closest college friends, who told me that it was super sucky and really painful and has a long recover but if I asked her if she would do it all again, she would. That really helped me think of just how much this surgery can change your life. Having torn my ACL and needed to have that reconstructed, I can say without a doubt that surgery is not something to be taken lightly. I did a lot of research and I found a surgeon that I could trust, he’s one of the best plastic surgeons in Chicago with a focus in breast reductions and I would recommend him to anyone who is thinking about having this surgery, Dr. Robert Galliano. He’s extremely helpful and he doesn’t seem overconfident but does explain all the details about your surgery to you, which I found to be extremely comforting and helpful.

I would also say any surgery where they cut through bone, tendon and muscle is way more painful than a breast reduction. However a breast reduction is not a cake walk. Like at all. Ever. Don’t read my saying that it is less painful as “you’ll be fine in a week” because that’s totally not true. What I am saying is that when I was out of surgery from having my ACL reconstructed I felt like I was going to go blind with pain until they gave me morphine and if I didn’t take my vicodin I felt like I was going to die. So that is blindingly bad pain. With the breast reduction, I could handle being off vicodin, it was not fun and I would not recommend missing your doses your first two days but it’s not blinding pain. I mean even my vicodin doses this time are half the dose that I got for my ACL so clearly it’s just a different level.

What is really different though is your mobility. Knee surgery is annoying because you know it’s hard to walk around and move. But you can use crutches, eventually you learn to put weight on your knee and you’re still mobile. You can shower. Keeping a leg out of the shower is annoying and challenging but not rocket science. The good news with a breast reduction is that they encourage you to shower. The bad news is that you can’t lift your hands. So it’s like ok… I can shower… But HOW?!?!!??!?! Yeah, I totally asked myself that the first 4 days.

I thank my lucky stars every day for my partner because without her I have no idea how I would have made it through my first week. She helped me eat, sleep, take pills on time, take showers, everything. She helped me with literally everything. Oh and the other thing to note is that if you’re lucky you don’t have drains (most doctors try really hard not to have to give you drains). But if you’re unlucky (like me, though my doc had said that I was so big that there was a high chance that I might need them) and you have to have drains it’s awful. They look like weird alien pipes coming out of your skin (they are not as big as this is making them sound). It’s pretty gross: it’s blood and fluid that are draining from the side of your breasts where they perform the liposuction. Until your drains collect less than 30cc of fluid for 2 consecutive 24 hour periods, you have to keep them in. Mine didn’t last terribly long, I got them out on day 4 but still it was a rough weekend to have them in. Showering is terrible, it makes it difficult for your arms to go down to your sides. Fun fact about drains if you get a tummy tuck you also get drains except they are placed just above your pubic hair. Gross! (At least now I know why I never want to have liposuction done anywhere else ever again)

Anyway I am currently on day 9 out of surgery and I feel pretty good. I need painkillers to make it through the night but otherwise Advil does just fine. I can lift my arms mostly over my head. I can’t really carry any weight on them if they’re that high up and even when they aren’t lifted that high I can’t put too much weight on them or try to pull too forcefully. But I can do most things I need to do by myself. So that’s nice. I’ve been showering without help for the past 5 days… there are a few places that I need help drying off, like my feet because they are too far (and my arms are not very long they are well proportioned to my body but if they were only a half inch longer I could reach… and some people have longer arms than legs so who knows maybe you’ll be lucky).

So all that said and done, my surgery took 10!!!!! lbs of tissue off my breasts and who knows how much fat. My breasts are still very large, I’m not sure what size yet it’ll still be a while before I know that — probably 4 or so months. But I feel a thousand times better. I can stand up straight, my back no longer hurts. It looks like I lost 40lbs but I didn’t. My knees don’t hurt anymore. There are just so many benefits to this that I am kicking myself a little bit for not having done it sooner. And here’s the thing, you don’t know until you do it how you’re going to feel about it.

So I’m not at my ideal weight. I want to lose a lot more but having done the surgery I feel better equipped to try and tackle that than I did before. I feel like I’m ready to take on my fitness challenges and not have this weight hanging over me (literally!!) anymore. I am very lucky. I have a partner who supports me and is actively helping me get through this and it makes it infinitely easier. I have a job where I can take the time I needed off and now that I’m ready I can go back. It’s definitely not the thing to do for everyone. But for me, I think this was the right choice and I really wish I had better information before. Even if I still only came around to it now. So I’m going to continue blogging about this so there’s at least a good amount of information about one person’s experience.

One of the ways that I think this surgery helps greatly is not only with just physically being able to do things but also with body image. The size of my boobs have always made me feel fat. And I think perhaps that was wrong. I’m not thin by any means, not even close. But I am also not obese and having boobs that were that big made it seem like my entire upper body was taken up by them and so it made me feel fatter than I was. Working on my body image has been a life long challenge for me but I’m hoping that I can continue to work on it and that this will help me reconcile my body with my own self image and hopefully something beautiful can come from there.

Running Travails

So I keep semi-hurting myself. I don’t want to say injuring because technically I am not injured, which is really the only thing I am clinging on to right now. But I’m hurting. Pretty badly. And I’ve at least narrowed it down some. I seem to hurt only after extremely long runs. Or after I’ve done sprints (or soccer, which is essentially the same thing). Now I actually managed to figure this out after I did a 5k this weekend where I had been mentoring these kids to teach them how to run. So my running buddy for the race is this absolutely adorable 5yr old with crazy amounts of energy. But my little buddy is not so good at listening to advice about pacing so he took off at breakneck speed as soon as the race started. And continued to do pretty freakin’ fast sprints for the first mile, even a bit of the next half mile. We finally slowed down to a more normal run/walk for the last half of the race. But let me tell you by the end of that set of sprints my knee was *killing* me. On the bright side at least I know the causes and how to avoid it or at least try to avoid it.

Anyway so I’ve been in physical therapy for a few weeks and I have this giant bruise on my leg. My PTs have been doing “deep tissue massage” on my IT band because apparently that’s what’s been causing all my knee problems. You’d think this is great… not so much it’s more like Chinese water torture. And now it just hurts to touch or lie on my thigh, which is *awesome*. (not).

Though on the not so sucky side my PTs also have me doing some pretty awesome yet somewhat difficult exercises and routines. The best part is they totally make comments while I’m trying to go through the exercises/stretches they give me. Today one of the guys was like, you know I think y’all gave her every single thing that everyone hates to do. And I’m thinking to myself, “Gee thanks guys, I appreciate being the guinea pig of torture treatment”. On the bright side I’m getting some really awesome core workouts that I don’t think I would ever inflict on myself. And I’ve learned some pretty good stretches. And I actually feel like I’m getting stronger and I feel like I can actually see the effects of all of it on my body, which is great. Like my upper abs look amazing, now if my lower abs didn’t look like jello we’d be all set. So all of these things are definitely good, it just comes with a lot of pain and hard work. I can’t decide if it’s great or if I hate it. Either way I’ve got another 2 weeks left and I am going to try to make the best of it. (I’m almost tempted to ask for more. Yes, I am a bit of a masochist, always have been a lil’ bit).

Learning To Run

You know, running doesn’t seem like something that is initially incredibly complex but now that I’m training for a marathon I think there is a lot more to running than just putting one foot in front of the other. Such a huge part of training is a mental game, just being able to tell yourself that you can do it. First of all, I don’t consider myself a runner because I’m slow and I just don’t think of myself as a runner. I first started running any meaningful distance (read: more than a mile… ok actually it was like 3ish) in April when a coworker asked me to start running outside with her and to do a 5k. I have these trusty old running shoes that I have come to love a lot.

Since I started training for my marathon these shoes have served me really well but they’ve got a lot of miles on them now. And recently I’ve heard a lot of talk about these new shoes. Ones that are the closest thing to running barefoot. So I’ve decided to take the plunge and give them a try. I haven’t run in them yet, obviously since you can still see the tags.

As much as I deny being a runner and saying how much I dislike it, it’s seriously addictive. After I did my 5k I followed it with a 10k a few weeks later and then a half marathon about 3 weeks after the 10k. This was a pretty poorly planned set of races for someone who isn’t a runner. However, it did make me see that I really like running, it’s challenging in some great ways but it’s also difficult to run the much longer distances by yourself. I find running about 6 miles by myself is a great challenge and I like doing it alone. But the longer distances pretty much anything upwards of 10 miles is really really difficult for me to get through without help. So I am extraordinarily glad that I discovered Team in Training because not only do I have a great group of people that I run with, I am reminded that I’m not just running for my health or to challenge myself but also to help all those people who are battling cancer. I’m doing what I can to make a difference in the world. Perhaps it’s in a very small way but it is what I can do. It also reminds me to appreciate the journey I’m on. Life is one great journey and there is always something new around the corner and you never know what you find.

The Never-Ending Struggle…

with body-image. I’m pretty sure I’m not all that unique in this struggle actually. In fact, I’ve found that most of my female friends have many of the same issues I do. I mean we all complain about different things and have unrealistic expectations of what we should look like. And each of us carries this burden in different ways. The most fascinating part about it is also that most of us have a view of ourselves that are skewed in remarkable ways. For example one of my friends recently got married and apparently put on a few pounds after her wedding. Now she’s my old college roomie, I’ve known her for over 9 years now (wow we’re getting old) and the weight she’s gained is barely noticeable. Seriously, the only reason I noticed is because she said something and then specifically pointed out all her problem areas. I mean yes, we’re not 18 anymore. None of us look the same. That’s totally unrealistic to expect that we will ever look the way we did when we were in our teens again.

I was recently thinking about this because my mom came to visit. And as usual she had a comment about what I looked like. Now last year I went through some major ups and downs which caused me to lose a drastic amount of weight. This is me in January:

This is me on Memorial Day:

So perhaps I have gained a little weight. And yeah the two photos are two totally different contexts so they look drastically different. But the main idea is that in all honesty, I haven’t gained *that* much noticeable weight. Even without the added input from my mom, I have noticed a certain unhappiness in myself with my weight and the way I look. To counter this I’ve used a few methods from my best fried, Ev, where I was taking status photos every week (now every month) to see where my body is at and give myself a more realistic view of what I actually look like. The problem is that I know I don’t necessarily see the right me even in photos. A lot of it is dependent on my mental state and how I think I should look. It’s amazing how frequently it interferes with my own well being. I know that I may be a little extreme but I don’t think I’m the only woman that beats up on herself over a pound here and there. The thing is I used to do this when I was 107lbs. I was teeny tiny and I thought I was horrifyingly overweight. I think it’s something that you have to really take with a grain of salt and start to appreciate your body for what it is and not for the super stick thin images that we’re presented with in magazines and on TV. I have a friend who has started to do that and I’m not sure how she does it yet but boy do I hope to get there some day.

Just What You Need…

And sometimes when you let yourself believe, life gives you just what you need.

I spent 12 hours at work today and I came home to my roommate and his date watching tv in our living room. I had completely forgotten that he told me he had a date he was bringing home. I only remembered once I walked in and saw a strange guy watching tv on our couch. I was totally expecting to not want to talk to them at all and was ready to be annoyed at having to deal with people after an exceptionally long day at work, especially after the last couple of weeks I’ve had being nice and making pleasantries was the last thing I wanted to do. However, I was pleasantly surprised while saying hello to the two of them when my roomie’s date just spontaneously said, “You’re beautiful.” It was even funnier when my roomie vehemently denied putting him up to it, which I believe because Adam never lies. And quite frankly I’m not even sure he would think of putting him up to it. Regardless, it completely made my day.

I guess I’m just a sucker for flattery. And gay men. Though in all seriousness sometimes life can surprise you just when you thought everything was going all wrong. In just the way you need and you didn’t even know.

Forget All Those Diets, This Is Really How You Lose Weight

So I’ve lost 27lbs this year and really the bulk of it, 17lbs I lost in the last two months. I lost them strictly due to stress and anger. It’s amazing what the body can do when you put it in a stressful situation. And if you reduce your eating to about a tenth of what you normally eat and you don’t sleep for more than 4 hours a night (and even then that’s if you’re lucky). You’re really changing your body’s patterns. Not to mention that stress and anger burn calories all on their own like you couldn’t imagine. Combine that with a need to release tension and add a good several hours of exercise a day just to work off all the excess energy you have from stress and anger and you’ve got a sure fire way to shed pounds very very seriously.

Now in case anyone missed the sarcasm in my tone, I do not actually believe any of this is a good or healthy way to lose weight. Effective, yes. Healthy, not even close. However, the first 10lbs I lost the old fashioned hard work way and I really believe that is the way to go. I mean yes, I am happy to have a better body image due to my circumstances but I can promise you I felt much better about how I got my body to start changing when I did it the right way. It’s not by following some miracle diet. In fact, I didn’t follow any diet. I simply ate when I was hungry and an amount that lead me to feel full but not overly full and to institute exercise in my routine. I go to the gym (or play soccer) 6 days a week. I’d like to do it 7 but I know that realistically I have to allow myself at least one day off. Seriously, diets are not effective it changes your patterns for a short period of time and the weight will come back. If you just make healthy changes in your lifestyle and commit to raising your metabolism it will work. It will just take time. It took me 3 months to lose 10lbs but man did I feel really successful when I did it. I’d even say it feels much better than losing nearly 20lbs in less than 2 months because I know that the first time around I was trying and I was taking care of myself. The second time around was due largely to external factors. And of course, I’m a girl so I have my own set of body image issues but it really is far better to do it the way you feel accomplished as opposed to a way where you feel like you cheated the system.

An Interesting Way To Start The New Year

I have been inspired by a friend of mine to reflect a bit on how I wanted to start the new year and how I actually started it. Now she had two separate posts on what she wanted and what actually happened but I think I can cover all of mine in just one (especially considering I started thinking about posting this just now).

So initially I actually had contemplated starting out the new year quietly, at home, by myself. I know this doesn’t sound particularly exciting but I’ve had an exceedingly busy and social year and I really just wanted some down time. I was thinking of a good book or maybe a stupid movie or better yet working on my website and playing around with some Ruby on Rails. That was my idea for a perfect New Year’s Eve. And to follow that with some loose resolutions (because I don’t really believe in resolutions) that I will be healthier and make time for myself amongst all my crazy activities.

My actual New Year’s Eve was spent with some of my friends in Austin, who I have not seen in years. And to be honest it didn’t really feel like a new year’s celebration, we went out for dinner and then to one of the bars downtown and ended up wandering around Austin for hours after the bars closed (it’s a long story, let’s just leave it at that). But it was not too far from what I had initially wanted because it didn’t actually feel like the typical New Year’s Eve celebration, it was more like a few very old friends of mine and I going out and “getting into trouble” as usual.

Actually it was pretty interesting getting up in the morning because we didn’t drink all too much yet all three of us (that went out and were crashing at the same place) still weren’t feeling 100% in the morning. And I dubbed it the “Adult Hangover”; you don’t have to drink excessively to be tired and cranky after a night out. It’s the grown up version of that lingering feeling of regret for going out partying with your friends. Except now, as adults, you are smart enough not to drink yourself stupid but you still get the consequences of not being able to bounce right back after a long night.

So for my first day in the new year I decided to visit my cousins who also live in Austin and I really couldn’t have thought of a better way to begin the new year than with people that I love that I rarely get to see because I live so far away. And after such a great kick off to the new year I decided to make some slightly more concrete new years resolutions: actually eating healthier, seriously trying to keep up a vegetarian diet and hopefully by the end of the year become vegan, go to the gym/exercise at least 4 times/week (excluding soccer and dance), have a more positive body image, seriously focus on my academics (no more lame excuses), be more positive and productive at work and last but not least make sure to fit in some substantial time (at least a couple of hours) every week to just be by myself.

And I did learn something while I was back home. “You can take the girl out of Texas but you can’t take Texas out of the girl.” I don’t know if I’ll ever live there again because I do miss seasons whenever I go south but I will always have a special place in my heart for Texas and everyone I know that still lives there.

Unintentionally Vegetarian/Vegan

So here’s the thing, I’ve been reading this book Skinny Bitch, which by the way is awesome, that has some really horrifying passages about slaughterhouses and dairy farms that are pretty darn disturbing. So the first day after I read it, I was a little put off the whole meat and dairy thing. Now, I find this interesting because well I read The Jungle and that had absolutely no effect on my eating habits or desires. So I don’t know when I gained such a conscience or perhaps the passages were just different from the ones included in this book, I read that over 10 years ago (for school) so I’m a little fuzzy on it. It might also have to do with the fact that I’m reading this book by choice and I was reading The Jungle because it was on the reading list in high school.

I’ll put a disclaimer on this here and now, I may not be a vegetarian/vegan permanently, I truly do enjoy my animal products, I just find it fascinating what one book can do to your life which is why I am writing about it here.

The thing that I find most interesting is that it has been a few days since I have read those horrifying passages and I can generally forget things I don’t want to know relatively easily (at least when it comes to food that I like and don’t particularly want to give up). But for some reason I am finding that when I go out or am in the office cafeteria I will actually opt to get something vegetarian and if possible vegan before I choose anything with meat or dairy. It’s almost as if the women who wrote this book got into my head and changed my psyche a bit. I choose to eat differently. And I keep telling myself that I miss meat but honestly, I don’t really mind not having it. It’s only been a week that I’ve been doing it but um, I’m also the girl that used to say she likes to “eat her steak still mooing”. I mean one of my good friends and I talk about how we like to cook our steaks “black and blue” which basically just means it’s very rare. So I just find it fascinating that just by reading one book I have made a huge change in my diet. It just jolted me into the realities of the industry and my opposition to eating meat and dairy really has more to do with the way that industry works than my taste preferences.

Also, what I have found in the past week is that you can find tons of really tasty vegetarian/vegan food out there! You don’t necessarily need meat or dairy to make yourself a fabulous meal. All it takes is a little creative thinking. And quite frankly half the vegetarian/vegan food is better for you anyway.

The only thing I will say is that my experiment with a soy latte was horrifyingly disappointing. I really didn’t think it would taste all that different but I don’t put any sweetener in my lattes and I swear the soy milk made it sickeningly sweet. I couldn’t even finish it. That was really sad because while I don’t drink lattes often, I do like them on occasion.

I’m curious to see what this difference will make in how I feel when I go to the gym. I injured myself last week so I took a week off but I’m back as of today I think it should be interesting. And I mean the book is called Skinny Bitch so I’m curious as to how much changing your diet so drastically will change the rest of your body image etc. I suppose simply making healthier changes should make it easier. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

Being a “Skinny Bitch”…

seems to be a tall order. At least if you read the book Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin. I never truly intended on reading this book, I had read a review in the New York Times and aside from the catchy title I didn’t really have much interest in it. But recently I’ve been a little more into health and being more proactive about getting healthy and well I ended up with a 3 hour delay on my flight back to Chicago after Thanksgiving. So what’s a girl to do other than go pick up the first relatively interesting book she finds at the airport bookstore.

I inteded this to be an amusing, interesting read. Considering I had already read the Times review on it I had a vague idea what the book was supposed to be about and I had no intention of changing my eating habits to become a vegan. Little did I know that they took excerpts from a book slaughterhouses when I first cracked that book open. The most interesting part of the whole thing was that this little book does not look like it can change your life. Quite frankly, it looks like a fabulous piece of fluff to put on your bookshelf for shock value – much like this book Queer that I own which just has fabulous pictures and some historical content but mostly fabulous pictures.

Yet I couldn’t take my eyes off it. I read it on the plane and then the train and in the cab and even in bed once I got home. I haven’t gotten through the entire book yet but I am about 3/4 of the way through and I think it is great. I also had no intention of becoming vegan yet I can’t seem to look at meat the same way. Those passages about the slaughterhouse just changed something in my psyche. I can’t say that this will be a lasting change just yet since it has only been 2 days of relatively vegetarian eating (I am stubbornly trying to hold on to my carnivorous roots, it’s not working out so well for me – I rebelled when all my friends became vegetarian and I have a hard time eating my words).

It’s amazing how without even intending to make a huge change in my life, I have done so anyway. And I actually feel really good about it. Partially because, well if even a fraction of what they said was true about the slaughterhouses I can’t eat meat in good conscience. I was happy being blissfully unaware but now that I know I do think it may just be time to make that change in my life. I don’t know how I feel about being vegan because well, I haven’t cooked in about a year and it is hard to find easily available vegan food. I will try to be as vegan as possible but I don’t know that I can go the whole 9 yards that the girls tell ya to go.

And I would truly recommend this book to anyone. I mean you don’t have to believe what these women believe to find this to be an interesting read. If nothing else it makes you well informed. I may not stay vegetarian or vegan for long but the information that I have gathered here has certainly changed me and will stay with me for the rest of my life. I think that just changing your mindset and your outlook on life can be helpful and these women just put it so well in the book. I think one of my favourite passages was one about carbs when they start ranting about how only idiots don’t eat carbs. Having been an athlete, I have known about the virtue of carbs for years – trust me crew coaches don’t let you get away with not eating carbs.

The other thing I really love about the book is that it gives you a place to put all that energy most women spend about obsessing about being skinny. It gives you so many things to think about that are truly interesting and ways to change your life that are not difficult. Most of all it uses common sense that people can relate to easily. I mean what’s better than a book that tells you, come on idiot just use your brain, think about what you’re doing and you’ll be fine. It’s pretty awesome, at least I certainly think so.

The Ever Present Obsession with Losing Weight in America

Imagine my distress as I am reading this morning in the paper about a new method of stapling your stomach where the surgery does not require cutting. I am quite serious and this appears to be quite real and if you’d like to read the article you should click here. I have always found it distressing when women (or men) want to get surgery in order to lose weight. Perhaps I am wrong but I just feel that the healthy way to do it is through diet and exercise. And I do realize that everyone’s body is different and it can be more difficult for some than it is for others which can be disheartening but I also think that it is our own responsibility to take care of our bodies. You cannot just allow yourself to balloon out and then expect a surgery to fix it.

Now I am no exception to the rule, I have my own set of insecurities about my own weight as do most women that I’ve met in the US. (Quite frankly many women from other parts of the world seem to have a healthier view of their bodies, perhaps not leaps and bounds healthier but it’s not quite as hyped up as it is here in the states, at least when I base this on my friends circle.) And I know that in recent years I have really let go and I really need to kick it up a notch but I am not going to let my hectic schedule talk me into a surgery that could possibly be damaging to my health. I mean how much do we know about “shrinking” your stomach. Somehow that just strikes me as a bad idea that could lead to all sorts of negative side effects and serious complications should you not be able to comply with your dietary restrictions.

It’s funny because I don’t think Americans have *always* been obsessed with being slender. I look back at the time of Marilyn Monroe and in those days having curves was sexy. In fact, that was the typical image of a model, it wasn’t those stick thin coat hangars that we call models these days. My theory (and I could certainly be wrong) is that this all changed when Audrey Hepburn came on the scene. No actress/model/famous woman had ever made it so glamorous or “cool” to be thin as she did. I mean let’s face it Audrey Hepburn is still an icon of class and beauty that is unparalleled. (I may be biased, I am also a little in love with her). But it saddens me to think that my most favourite icon of all time could have been partially responsible for this drastic shift in what is a beautiful body. I mean before her time women were supposed to have hourglass figures, which I will admit can also be a bit unrealistic but I think it gives a little more room for imperfection than the coat hangar look.

Don’t get me wrong I love Audrey Hepburn and I think that thin women without an hourglass shape can be beautiful too I just think it has lead to an obsession with losing weight and being thin. It would be great if we could get rid of the stigma of not being stick thin but also maintain an idea of what healthy is so that this country wouldn’t have such a problem with obesity. I believe there is a happy medium and somehow I think that we should be able to attain it.