Cake stories and food photos tend to be much more interesting than book reviews, but for the most part I do really feel the need to share what I’m reading so you’ll have to put up with them from time to time. Capische?
Good. Glad we’re clear on that. 🙂
(Photo from here.)
This morning I finished the book Hungry by Crystal Renn (with Marjorie Ingall). Some background information for you: Crystal Renn is a 23 year old American plus-size model who nearly died from anorexia while trying to fit into the image of the “perfect” straight size model. She wrote this book to tell her story, and it accurately details her life before, during, and after her struggle – when she finally found success as a plus-sized model.
To be honest, the book didn’t really grab me until the last two chapters. Up until that point I felt pretty indifferent about the memoir. Its not that her story wasn’t interesting or heart wrenching, but I think the style of writing turned me away. I didn’t feel that the writing was as serious as her disorder, and for me it took away from the severity of the situation. What did grab me were here lessons that she explained towards the end, specifically:
“Do stuff. Be. Don’t wait to be thin to start living… ‘Life begins now’.”
I’m convinced that roughly 98% of American women have body image issues – myself included. I’m great at conveying all this confidence on the outside and claiming I don’t care what people think, but in truth that preaching is verrrrrrryyy hard to practice. So I stopped preaching it, and over the last year and a half I’ve found myself slipping into a pattern of being one of, “those girls.” You know… the annoying ones that count calories and talk about their thighs in the bathroom. The ones that sigh when they go out to dinner because they won’t eat what they want since they’re trying to be, “good.” The ones that annoy you to no end because they have zero confidence in themselves.
Its sad and its sick, and I’m awfully ashamed that I’ve started to act in this type of manner. I can honestly admit that the reason I’ve never tried to go to an open call is because I feel like I should lose 15 lbs before I even try. Similarly, singing used to be my absolute favorite thing in the world. Then one day I was singing in front of someone that I think very highly of and this person laughed and told me that I sounded nasal-ey. Since then I’ve hardly sang a note. Sad sad sad. Even though I am my own worst critic, I don’t think its too far off to admit that it’s pathetic that I’ve let the thoughts of others dictate my actions for so long.
There are a lot of factors that contribute to low body self esteem, and Crystal does a great job of explaining them and backs her thoughts with evidence. I understand what triggered my insecurities, but how long can I use that as an excuse and blame others for the way I feel? The quote up above really has been ringing in my ears over the last couple of hours. Yes I’m absolutely frustrated that my weight has creeped up another 10 lbs in the past 2 months despite my efforts to incorporate more cardio into my life and be wiser about my food choices. It feels as though my efforts have completely backfired, but I can’t give up on myself. Besides, even if I do lose those (now) 20 lbs that I’ve been dreaming to lose who is to say that I’ll be any happier than I am now???
I’m thankful to have stumbled upon this book. I had heard about Crystal Renn before and admire her work as a model. Once I had heard a synopsis of her story I immediately went to Amazon to order her book. I’m not sure if I’d read it cover to cover again, but the latter parts of the book made the purchase worthwhile for me, and I plan to pass it along to a couple of people in particular.
Crystal reminds her readers that, “confidence is ultimately what makes us attractive,” and that we need to, “accept that the only person you have to please is yourself.” She’s very correct in asserting that, “life is too short to hate yourself,” and I’m personally going to make a commitment to me to start turning my hateful thoughts around.