Body Image and Seasonal Dysfunction

My jeans don’t fit! I’ve lost weight. Lots of it. I have more to lose. You’d think I’d be happy, but I’m not. I’ve barely lost where I need to lose it the most. I hate this in-between stage. I need a new body! I don’t like the one that has come with passing birthdays. This one needs a complete engine overhaul and a new paint job.

My daughter is at the beach for a week. I could easily join her, but I won’t. There is no way I’m going to put on a bathing suit. It’s body image and I know what my image is. My oink, oink body is starting to imitate a Chinese Shar-Pei . I can see what is staring at me in the mirror, and I’m thinking no-way! Embrace my curves? My curves are in the wrong places and headed south. The days of wearing a bathing suit in public are done for me – besides we aren’t supposed to be in the sun. I’ve had plenty of sun in my life, more than enough.

To make matter worse, I’m writing a Christmas story. As authors, it seems we are always off season with our stories. This year is no different. I actually have two stories in edits.  Let’s pretend we are freezing as we walk through the snowy street. We’re doing that while trying to keep the house cool enough that we don’t melt! Does it make me feel any cooler to envision a snowy walk? The sweat pouring off my forehead is not snow.  I wish it were that easy. I’d be writing tropical beach romances in January and snowboarding adventures in July. Just think of the savings in power bills.

I need to do a little post holiday shopping when the sales on summer clothes are probably at their best.  But anything I buy, I’m hoping won’t fit next year. I think I should make do with the few things I bought this spring.

I watched a friend last year lose tons of weight. I kept telling him to buy a few new clothes, because he got to the point that he couldn’t walk without holding onto his pants. When he finally bought some new clothes, the transformation was amazing.  I’m not quite to that point with my weight loss.  Maybe in another month and by then all the stores will have their winter clothes. That won’t help me when September and October can still be darn hot here in Virginia.

It does conjure up the memory of my youngest daughter having a massive growth spurt when she was about two. Right after Christmas, I noticed her little snowsuit was snug. A week later, I could barely get her in it, and the little sleeves were much too short. Do you know what it is like to buy something like that after Christmas? Every store told me they had sold out and they weren’t getting any more in stock. (Back in the old pre-internet days.) I think my friend bailed me out with one from one of her friends that no longer fit her daughter.

Anyway I look out my back door and I see green grass, Cannas blooming, too many Japanese beetles, a set of robins frantic to gather bugs to take to the nest filled with young ones, hummingbirds flitting, the sky is blue, and I’m writing about Christmas in the northern hemisphere. Seriously? Yes.

So I’m seasonally out of kilter. My pants are trying to fall off of me, and the body is having a race to see which part of me can reach my knees first. And the winner is… To be announced at a later date.

But if you’d like to read a book that will take you through a few seasons, and take your mind off your own body image, A Rancher’s Request released on July 27, 2017. (Somehow I can’t imagine living around here in 1890 wearing long dresses  with no air conditioning.) These two people might be more suited to one another than either one wants to admit. Zadie is determined to make Duncan change his mind about the arranged marriage that their fathers have agreed upon.

Here’s a snippet you might enjoy of Zadie chatting with her best friend.

A shiver ran up Zadie’s spine. “Marriage isn’t that far off for me.”

You have a suitor?”

“Thank you very much. You make it sound as though I would never have one.”

Catherine looked at her children who were now tossing seeds from a maple tree into the air and watching them spin to the ground. “I didn’t mean it that way. But you never seem to have an interested male. You went off and were educated. This is Franklin. No one around here does that.”

“Well, I did and I’m glad I did. And as for my suitor, he’s the son of an old family friend.” She decided that wasn’t lying. It also wasn’t telling the whole truth.

“Oh, that’s so exciting. Tell me more! Do I know him?”

She shook her head. “Not much to tell. He’s from Edenton, he’s moved to Wyoming, and we’ve been corresponding. So far everything is going well.” All right, that’s a lie. Maybe I should write to him. What if this doesn’t work?

“Oh, I’m so happy for you.”

“Well, don’t get your hopes up or spread a bunch of gossip, because I still don’t know what will happen. We’ll leave it with so far everything is working well.” Another lie. If you call getting chapped hands from all the laundry as working well, it’s a fry-in-Hell sort of lie. I’d like to skewer my father and roast him for dinner.

“Wyoming? Isn’t that a territory?”

Zadie shook her head. “It recently gained statehood.”

“Aren’t there Indians out there?”

Again Zadie nodded. “I’ve heard it is very wild in the west.”

“Aren’t you scared?”

Zadie smiled. I’m scared out of my skin and not so much about the Indians. I’m more worried about my own survival skills without a maid to help me. “I’m certain Duncan will protect me.”

It’s available in paperback and in ebook.

Click on the cover for a sneak preview!




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8 Responses to Body Image and Seasonal Dysfunction

  1. susanrhughes says:

    I have the same problem when I try to replace one of my girls’ pairs of sandals in August when they break, or mittens in February when they get lost. The stores don’t have any!

    Liked by 3 people

    • E. Ayers says:

      At least now there’s the internet and almost anything can be found on it. But buying shoes without trying them on… And kids will lose mittens! That’s bringing up the memory of the story about the three little kittens who lost their mittens. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. leighmorgan1 says:

    E., you have a great set up for your story. I’m really looking forward to reading it.

    As far as body image goes, I think that is something we all suffer from. I don’t know exactly where it starts, but I know it is very real and can be devastating.

    I think about my weight and my muscle mass, or lack thereof, on a daily basis. Where diet consciousness can be a good thing if it leads me to healthier choices when I eat, it can also be quite limiting if I allow it. I’m working on not allowing it.

    I was in Las Vagas a while ago, and although I was quite conscious of my weight, I look back at the photos and wonder why. It isn’t the photos that get though, as much as it was an encounter with a group of older French men and women who I befriended poolside. They were the least body conscious people I’d met. They—to a man and woman—wore the bare minimum to keep the standards set by the hotel, which were minimal. They were all over 55 and none were swimsuit models. They enjoyed the pool, they enjoyed one another—to the point of openly appraising without the sleaze factor. They were simply enjoying themselves, and I think they got a kick out of my “mid-western shyness”.

    Everytime I question whether to go to the pool or not, I think of those French tourists who simply enjoyed life without being critical about how others saw them. I learned a bit about enjoyment, confidence and simply not caring what anyone else thinks about how I look from befriending some older smiling people in a pool.

    I hope you choose to go to the beach. If anyone makes you uncomfortable ask them their name. I’ll make them a cretin in my next story.

    Liked by 2 people

    • E. Ayers says:

      Body image isn’t really a separate thing. It’s a matter of caring. It’s no different than making certain your hair is combed and your teeth are brushed. That both shoes match and match whatever you are wearing. Your clothes are clean, pressed, etc.

      We care what we look like. The body is no different. I’ve accepted the stretchmarks that came with having babies. And I can live with the fact that I’ll never look like I did before I got pregnant. I can’t imagine not caring about how I look. Wouldn’t that be like wearing that old tee shirt from the bottom of the laundry bin with has paint splatters on it and the edges are frayed to a company BBQ?

      I swear that body in the mirror doesn’t belong to me. And I hate wearing it even for a quick trip to the grocery store!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Carol says:

    I so identify! No more bikinis for me!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. jackiemaurer says:

    Congrats on the weight loss. It’s not an easy accomplishment for many.

    Liked by 1 person

    • E. Ayers says:

      I’m really not doing much to cause the weight loss but there’s been a big change in some medications. I’ve always been very careful with my nutrition and tried to eat right. The only thing I’m doing is staying away from the stuff that isn’t good for us.

      I always say if you can put it in a salad, I will eat it. But I know someone will come along and claim that marshmallows, graham crackers, and chocolate go well with lettuce. I promise I will draw the line on that! 🙂


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