Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Monday, May 9, 2011

Monday Musings: Body Image

For most of my adult life, I hated to shop for clothes. Why? Because I'm 5' 3 1/2" tall and weighed 183 pounds. Nothing looked good, so I bought over-sized things to hide whatever I could. After I lost 50 pounds a few years ago, things began to change. I started to feel better about myself and began to enjoy clothes. All of a sudden, it wasn't just about something fitting my body. It became more about whether something flattered me or not. Or even whether I liked it.

I took myself shopping last Thursday for new jeans. Every pair I put on fit (size 10, I might add). But not all jeans fit everyone's body well. I never knew this. Because I couldn't or wouldn't wear jeans, unless they were those over-sized stretchie ones. And I don't need to find tops that come down to mid-thigh that are loose. I can wear tight-fitting tops; tops that even cinch in at the waist.

Sorry, guys, I know this must be boring, but after 40 years of not caring about clothes, to suddenly be interested in fashion at 62 is an awesome experience. Here's a photograph of me with my singing group, Sugartime, taken at our house concert this past Sunday. Those are pretty amazing purple dresses, aren't they?

P.S. Just because someone loses 50 pounds, though, doesn't mean their body issues disappear. I almost didn't post this photo because of the arms. Oy!

Off to write, now.


Lauracea (Sue R) said...

Oh you look fabulous! And well done for losing the pounds - I imagine you feel much healthier. It can only be positive.

Jennifer Shirk said...

You look beautiful!!
I know what you mean about body image, my friend is a size 6 and complains about the paunch on her belly. We all have issues. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Karen you look great! Where I live, most women your age weigh 250 pounds. Not a pretty sight...

Darlene said...

Karen, you look wonderful. I love the purple. If only the body issues would go away, too!

GigglesandGuns said...

Karen, you look fantastic! Love the dress.

Joanne said...

That is so good that you lost that weight, congratulations to you! I love clothes too, I'll bet you'd be a lot of fun to shop with :)

Your singing group looks beautiful, too!

Jules said...

And here I was thinking, "Man she looks great, hope I look like that at 62!" But fashion? All I can say is "Comfort, baby, comfort!" :)
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Karen Walker said...

Sue, yes, it was, indeed, a health issue. Much better now!
Jennifer, I have teeny tiny friends who diet to lose body fat -it drives me nuts!
Alex, it is an epidemic in this country. Thanks.
Darlene, thank you - I love the purple, too. And I don't think my body issues will disappear in this lifetime. Sigh!
Giggles and Guns, thanks
Joanne, I'd love to go shopping with you - especially in NY - Albuquerque for shopping isn't the greatest!

Liz Fichera said...

You look FANTASTIC! What a lovely photo. Thanks for sharing. :-)

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Great picture! And I love the purple on you. :)

I *still* don't like shopping, though! I think I'm hopeless. :)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I've never been excited about clothes, even after I shrunk down to a size 4. I'm just barely 5'3", and petite 4 is really hard to find. Half the time, I end up in the kid's section.

Karen, you look wonderful! Don't worry about the arms.

Odie Langley said...

As everyone has said it is really a lovely picture. I finished your book this weekend and posted a review on my blog and one of my friends has already bought a copy so maybe others will as well. My wife is reading it now. Have a great week. Oh, I thought the ending was so good the you and David came together.

Karen Walker said...

Liz and Elizabeth, thank you both so much.
Diane - size 4, really? Yikes.
Odie, your words mean so much to me. And thank you for the support you have shown on your blog. I've already gotten one visitor here because of you that I know of. Yes, the ending is awesome. My son and I are very very close and have been for some time now.

Julie said...

What a wonderful picture! You look fabulous. And I love the dresses too, such a pretty color.

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Iv'e been trying to lose weight for ages, I did lose it once but it piled back on, but I am determined I WILL in the future,
You look great .

Karen Walker said...

Thanks, Julie,
Yvonne, I can't tell you how many times I took it off and put it back. This time, I just learned to eat differently, rather than diet. Good luck, And thanks.

Holly Ruggiero said...

You look great and the purple color looks good with your skin tone.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Karen .. well done on settling down and losing the weight .. I'm sure you'll keep on going slowly .. sadly some laws of gravity won't go away! But to hell with the odd flabby bits .. the fluffy purple looks wonderful .. such a vibrant lively colour .. and you can stand in front of people and sing - hey ho .. one day perhaps ..

Love the name sugar time - and bet you had fun choosing those outfits .. and now more to go looking for .. have fun and enjoy the summer .. cheers Hilary

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

"When I am old, I will wear purple." Familiar with that poem? If not, look it up; I think you'll like it. You look fantastic, so enjoy! Me, I'm just the opposite. Used to be very thin. Now? Uhhhh, not so much.

K.C. Woolf said...

You're so right about the issues. They're in our heads, though, but that doesn't make them any less real - to us at least.

Great photo. You look fab! :-)

Karen Walker said...

Holly, thanks so much.
Hillary, thanks - the name Sugartime came from a song popular in the 1950's of the same name by the McGuire Sisters.
Susan, I do know that poem and love its sentiment.
K.C. Thanks

Better is Possible said...

Are you tired of hearing it yet? You look fabulous! Love the purple. What arms problem?

Karen Walker said...

You guys are totally awesome. Sometimes it's hard to drink in all the love and support from this community. Thank you.

Joyce Lansky said...

Congrats on the weight loss. It's hard to do, if it weren't we'd all do it!

I stopped by to award you the Stylish Blogger Award and the Versatile Blogger Award. You may visit my blog sometime tomorrow after 4:30 AM central time to pick up your awards . . . but there are a couple of goofy rules that go with them.


Melissa Sarno said...

Purple is my favorite color, so I absolutely adore that dress. You look great and I'm excited you recently discovered a love of fashion. :-)

Brianna said...

Those dresses are gorgeous! I love the color and you look fabulous!

Melissa Ann Goodwin said...

Everyone in the photo looks beautiful! I love the dresses too.