"This One Thing I Really Love About My Body" is a no nonsense challenge for all of us to put our self admiration into words when it comes to something we never allow ourselves to talk about... body pride. Its a difficult task that counters everything we've learned, but I'm offering you a chance to thwart self hate and submit what you love about you. It could be a body part, it could be a physical attribute, it could be a strength... anything that comes to mind. Your submissions of a pargraph or more and one image are all happily received. Contact me here.

I am fat. I am strong. My arms are also strong, and fat.

In the past I’ve never been too proud of my arms with flabby wing fat hanging off of the underside
and jiggling every time I wave hello. Hanging at my sides, my arms make my top half look fatter than
I am because they widen me. In pictures if I try for the cute hand on the hip thing, it doesn’t work
either. Sweaters or jackets that fit me everywhere else pinch my upper arms and leave me feeling
claustrophobic and uncomfortable. And forget about raising my arms above my head.

I remember in sixth grade the teacher made everyone crowd around the pull up bars while each student
took a turn at as many pull ups as they could push out. I couldn’t complete any. The teacher insisted
I complete at least one pull up while two of the larger boys in the class held my feet and gave me a
boost. Somehow I was supposed to be proud of my one assisted pull up, but I wasn’t. I felt embarrassed
and self conscious with my own body’s strength. It was a dirty way to make me feel engaged in a class

Today I still can’t do a full pull up. I can hold onto the bar and hold myself in place while fully engaging
my body. The first time I did this I was proud, and remain proud that the next time I try I will be able to
pull myself up, if even just a fraction of an inch.

I’ve been working out at a bootcamp with a trainer that believes in my strength and pushes me to be
stronger. When I first started out I was lifting a measly 10 pounds per arm. If anyone were to ask me if
9 months later I would be strength training with 25 pound dumbbells per arm, I would have rolled my
eyes and laughed, “Yeah, right.” The truth is that I do lift, pull, press, push and sometimes even balance
50 pounds above my head. I’m glad I now know that it isn’t the looks of my arms that should determine
how proud I am of them, but their strength.

From time to time, I still feel like my 6th grade self again, self conscious when everyone stares at me
during bootcamp. I’m convinced it’s because I’m the fat girl in class lifting heavy weights. One of my
fellow bootcampers pointed out that maybe people see themselves in me. They see how strong I am
and look at ME for encouragement.

Imagine that. A fat girl encouraging others to be strong(er)? I think I just might like my arms a little more


Thank you so much Natalie. Visit her at The Sunshine Grove.


  1. Glad that you're back and posting, mama! Keep on keeping on.

  2. My observations at the gym have taught me that you can never gauge how strong someone is just by looking at their body size or shape. Our strengths are as diverse as our bodies, which is amazing.

    Also, totally jealous of your 25 pound dumbbell workouts. This gives me hope that one day I will be able to do some reps with anything other than a set of 10 pounders :)

  3. I agree with Ginger Mandy 100%, ones strength is completely internal. I thought I was fairly strong and now I have a new yoga instructor that is kicking my ass!

  4. I know that you totally inspire me to get stronger! I admire your strength and perseverance and you totally rock those weights(and burpees!) :) xo!


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