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Hoping for Empowerment
04/22/2017

All my adult life I've been 5'7" and weighed between 125-130 lbs. I have a small frame but had enormous breasts. I hated them. I took being slender for granted as I never dieted, ate whatever I wanted and never really had a "formal" workout plan, though I was active and I'm not a snacker.

In 1994, right after I had my second child (I had gained about 30 lbs. with him and was almost down to my pre-pregnancy weight), I found out my husband of 8 years was having an affair. We divorced soon after and due to stress, I weighed in at 115 lbs. and wore a size 4. I stayed at that weight for about 4 years when I married my dear husband and had 2 more children. My weight crept up to 130 lbs., which is still well within acceptable for my height. Due to stretch marks and my giant breasts, I didn't dare wear any revealing clothing and felt quite self conscious about my body.

 

In 2006 I was 37 and back down to 125 lbs. I was happy with my weight. Thankfully in 2012 I qualified for a breast reduction from 36J to 34G (I had asked for B cups but, long story short, that wasn't possible). They are beautiful and fit my body, my back pain and shoulder pain are gone, and numbness in my fingers is gone.

Now I am 49 and was just listed on the transplant list for a new kidney. I am very self conscious because age has caught up to me with sagging skin, stretch marks, and now a distended abdomen due to enlarged kidneys (and honestly, some post menopause chub). My weight has ballooned up to 145-155 lbs. I'm in a size 6 pants now due to the swelling of my kidneys, which weigh about 8-12 lbs. each.

I may have a body image problem because I HATE the way I look now. I'm scared of dialysis, then steroids I'll have to take because of the transplant and the weight I might gain. I eat under 1000 calories a day due to nausea. My body looks like this picture I took in June 2016. I have a gut, flabby arms, crepy skin on my legs -- yuck. My husband tells me I'm beautiful and people always say that I'm slim, but I see a huge woman in this pic. I'm hoping to have an empowerment story someday.

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My Body Stories Hoping for Empowerment
All my adult life I've been 5'7" and weighed between 125-130 lbs. I have a small frame but had enormous breasts. I hated them. I took being slender for granted as I never dieted, ate whatever I wanted and never really had a "formal" workout plan, though I was active and I'm not a snacker. In 1994, right after I had my second child (I had gained about 30 lbs. with him and was almost down to my pre-pregnancy weight), I found out my husband of 8 years was having an affair. We divorced soon after and due to stress, I weighed in at 115 lbs. and wore a size 4. I stayed at that weight for about 4 years when I married my dear husband and had 2 more children. My weight crept up to 130 lbs., which is still well within acceptable for my height. Due to stretch marks and my giant breasts, I didn't dare wear any revealing clothing and felt quite self conscious about my body.
Strength and Empowerment
I've struggled with weight my entire life. By the winter after high school graduation, I weighed 195lbs. This was mortifying to me. Within 5 months I lost 60 lbs. by doing cardio 6 hours a week and "eating clean." I was skinny! But I hated my body composition: flabby stomach and arms, no "toned" appearance.. and the weight loss never stuck. I regained and lost 15 lbs. for probably 3 years before I regained almost all of the weight due to my dietary and exercise lifestyle being unsustainable.
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News Body Positive Inspirational Memes
At MyBodyGallery, we sometimes get fabulous images uploaded by our community members. These often lend themselves to being paired with inspirational statements. Here's a roundup of some of the ones we've created over the past year. Be inspired to search through our gallery or contribute to our amazing crowdsourced database of images of what real women look like.
30,000th Image Milestone
On Monday I was excited to discover that MyBodyGallery had reached another milestone: our 30,000th user-contributed image had been uploaded. I'm the person tasked with reviewing every single image that comes through our submission interface (there are several reasons we have to screen all images prior to making them live, including…ahem…what you might guess—let’s just say this non-puritanical website admin has seen some things that garnered a formidable blush!). When I saw this upload I was incredibly pleased to see that this momentous image was typical. Completely, utterly, almost boringly typical.
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