Figure Flaws?!

The idea that there are such things as “figure flaws” drives me batty.

In many ways, I have the body shape that “obesity experts” wring their hands over. I have a thick waist and narrow hips, such that my waist to hip ratio is nearly at 1. I tend to gain weight around my midsection. I know, the horror! Apparently, per the “obesity experts” I should not only lose weight, I should make the fat move to my hips and thighs because it’s “healthier!”

That is, (a) I should somehow magically move my body fat from one part of my body to another, even though there’s no viable way to do this, and (b) I should worry over the fact that I have this type of body, even though the truth is  this unhealthy belly fat thing is all bullshit.

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Pseudo Empowerment Through Bodily Sausage Casings? (Image courtesy of Flickr)

Also, worrying about belly fat could increase my cortisol levels, which could make me store more belly fat. So, if someone (a doctor, for example) were really worried about my belly fat, he or she shouldn’t admonish me for it, because that admonishment could stress me out and just cause more belly fat and more alleged belly fat-related problems. The horrors continue!


I used to worry about this crap a lot. I used to think if I could just have a more hourglass shape, even a fat hourglass shape, things would be better. It’s sort of like a variant of the fantasy of being thin paradigm. I thought if I were a sexy hourglass instead of an upside-down triangle/apple, then clothes would fit better/guys would like me more/I’d win the lottery/etc. etc.

It wasn’t until I started doing an exercise program called T-Tapp back in 2006 that I learned about different body structures. I realized then that people built like me, with torsos that are so short that their rib cages nearly touch their hip bones, always have big waists compared to the rest of their bodies. And by the way, I’m not saying that you need an excuse to be whatever size you are. I’m just saying that realizing that my body shape and structure weren’t weird or bad or whatever helped me get out of the idea that I should be trying to change it. It made me realize that there is no one right body shape, no body shape that is “better” or “worse.” There are no such things as “figure flaws.” Rather than striving for a different body, I finally realized that my body was what I’ve got, so I might as well enjoy it.

So my tip for this week is (if you feel like trying a tip), is to practice enjoying the body you have. Let go of comparing your body to others, or worrying about its shape. Be gentle with yourself as you embrace this concept, and be conscious of the negative voice that will likely come up. (By the way, I’m not saying this easy, just practice it and be open to it for now.)

Golda is a certified holistic health counselor and founder of Body Love Wellness, a program designed for plus-sized women who are fed up with dieting and want support to stop obsessing about food and weight. Go to to get your free download – Golda’s Top Ten Tips For Divine Dining!

3 replies on “Figure Flaws?!”

“Rather than striving for a different body, I finally realized that my body was what I’ve got, so I might as well enjoy it. ” This really resonates with me, except I’d say ‘work with it’ in addition to ‘enjoy it’. love to exercise. I especially love challenging exercise. This was not always the case. After 2 complicated pregnancies, essential hypertension, battling OCD and depression, I was in horrible shape and I thought my body was a failure. I started exercising regularly to help my blood pressure. I soon came to realize the stress reducing benefits of exercise. But I still didn’t like exercise. Then one day an odd thing happened at the gym. I was doing incline sit ups and a man walked up to me with a 10 lb. weight plate. I knew this guy by sight, but we’d never been introduced. He held the weight plate out to me and I skeptically asked “What’s that for?” He said “It’s for your next set”. “No way can I do that”, I responded. He said, “Sure you can, just try it”. I have no idea why I actually took the plate from him, but I did. And, to my amazement, he was right. I was able to do a set with the weight plate. More importantly he was right about the “Sure you can”. I started challenging myself more and more at the gym and I grew strong. I found new confidence in my body’s ability to overcome. Now I have more body confidence than I ever had in my life. I will always be rubenesque because I refuse to starve myself. So I will always be a bit cushy in places, but that is fine by me because I have faith in the strength of my body, I have worked with what I have and am proud of the results.

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