MizFit Exposed.

img 0125 4 225x300 MizFit Exposed.

To be honest, when Michelle from eatingjourney emailed and asked me to join in her Exposed blogger movement I had absolutely no intention of doing my own Exposed post.

It wasnt that I didnt think it was an amazing & powerful concept idea because I entirely did.

When I worked as a counselor for college-aged women Id launch all of our groups with an exercise Id imagine many of you are familiar with.

Id present them with butcher paper & ask them to draw what they though the outline of their body would look like.

Next Id have them plop on the paper & Id trace them and we’d compare the two pictures.

99.99999% of the time the women believed themselves to be far, far larger than they actually were.

No matter how many times I saw this exercise in action it broke my heart.

The women with whom I worked not only didnt appreciate their bodies for all the amazing things they could do—-they werent living *in* their bodies enough to have any sense of what they looked like.

As a result I adored Michelle’s idea & was really inspired watching bloggers from all over the world jump in, post Exposed pictures, and spread the body appreciation instead of the bodyloathing that can sometimes emerge in the blogworld.

My hesitation came from the fact I know all too frequently we (The  royal. The To my chagrin I experienced a lot of this reaction over here) whether we wish to admit it or not still judge the proverbial book by its cover.

I feared that because many of you perceive me as “already fit”  it might lessen my message of overall overwhelming thankfulness and appreciation for every single facet of my body.

The fact is it was only after I worked my way to this place of self-love that, suddenly, all else (including but not limited to the physique) fell into place.

As soon as my healthy-living was no longer about the vessel but about what my body could do it was practically as if my body sensed it.

It immediately stopped fighting me and, it seemed, was eager to be as fit & healthy as it could possibly be.

(bear with me here as I didnt draw on my photo like the other women did. I could give you a million pretend-reasons why but honestly I just couldn’t figure out how.)

I am thankful for my eyes. I can see and, as a woman who has had a close family member struggle repeatedly with losing various aspects of his sight, I never, ever take that for granted.

I am thankful to my brain for the fact I can think clearly and remember. As a woman who has had seen a family member lose memory as a result of Alzheimers (then referred to merely as dementia) I dont take that for granted.

I am thankful I can walk. Lately the Tornado and I seem to be encountering many people in wheelchairs. As a result, she’s has started asking why they cant walk like she can. I am grateful for my legs.

I am thankful for my health, my strength & for making it to 40 without any major aches, pains or injuries.

My body demands foodfoodfood (plenty of clean whole nutritious meals), exercise (not too much but consistently over years) & lots of rest in the form of sleep and spiritual/meditation time.

What Ive learned (finally) is that when I give my body what it seeks it repays me ten-fold by being able to do pretty much anything I ask of it in return.

That’s me.

EXPOSED & proudly joining the ranks of these gutsy beautiful inspiring strong WOMEN (I tried, to no avail, to  get Ren Man to join me.).

Now you.

Men AND women.

I know it can be a really difficult, challenging experience but Im asking you to just consider taking a turn:

Why do YOU love your body? What specifically do you love about it?

Are you willing to expose yourself?

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Comments

  1. says

    I think that it’s a brave thing to do! You are great! And thank you for reminding us again that we have so much to be grateful for, regardless of what our bodies look like.

  2. Bobbie says

    I think what you said about not living in ones body enough to kn ow what you look like is even more powerful than the links and the photo.

    Thank you for that.

  3. says

    Wonderful post! Get reminder to be thankful for our bodies and all the great things they do for us.

    To answer the question, I love my body’s ability to adapt to changes. At one point in my life I felt trapped by my body because I was so obese. Because of many changes I made it responded and instead of being a prison it became a freeing force in my life. It will take me anywhere and it grows stronger with every challenge I throw at it now. I have a much stronger appreciation for what my body can do for me now that I am working with it instead of against it.

  4. Hannah says

    I am woman enough to step up and admit that, had you not addressed it, I might have rolled my eyes a bit at this post.

    I would have seen you as already so flipping fit and not thought you brave for posting the photograph (I am being honest).

    After reading your post about your family members and what you are thankful to your body for I have changed my mine.

    Interesting post, Miz.

  5. says

    You are so fabulous. Strong, both physically and mentally. I’m interested in potentially posting my “exposed” picture….lets see if I get the courage up to do it. I do love my body- lately I have grown to love my legs. As I’ve mentioned on my blog, I used to hate how muscular they were and how they NEVER looked good in a skirt. Now I enjoy all of the incredible things they allow me to do

  6. says

    Good work, Miz. Love that bod. Glad to know you love it, too!

    Ummm, as far as exposing myself, uhh, does the video I posted count???

  7. says

    I love my legs, because they have always been strong and carried me even when there was a lot more of me to carry.

    I don’t think I’m brave enough yet to expose myself. (Still have to much loose skin hanging aorund me from all of this weight loss.) But I’m working on building up my confidence, so maybe someday.

  8. says

    love the concept.

    And grateful that the exposure idea includes clothing. For a moment – I was picturing photos with ‘photo shop boxes’ over certain bits. Although I have to admit that would be very telling. The worst of my belly wrinkles are covered by my underwear. . .

    To be honest. I REALLY wish that I had a ‘before’ exposed picture. Maybe even a life size before exposed picture. I would really like to look at the differences. I think I remember how big I was – but I am sure I really don’t.

  9. Allie says

    I need to think about this.

    If I would do it (could I do it as a guest post here since I don’t have a blog) and if I think it is easier to expose when you are already fit.

    It may be easier to expose but it is NOT easier to love your body. I have been both places and did not have more thankfulness when I was think.

    Allie

  10. says

    I started looking at the “exposed” posts and realized I was just trying to grade my body on a curve. So clearly I am not ready for this… It’s a nice idea, but the urge to compare is still too strong.

    If I had a body like yours, though, I would never wear clothes at all.

  11. MizFit says

    perhaps start for yourself, Jen. a picture for you which you write on with sharpie and tuck in a drawer for when you need a BODY LOVE REMINDER.

    it took me ages and manymany baby steps to get to this post.

    xo xo,

    Miz.

  12. dragonmamma/naomi w. says

    You look pretty much exactly the way I thought you would; even fully-clothed, you’re obviously lean and fit. (But I forgot that you were a star-bellied sneetch!)

    I have no artistic talent, so the exercise would probably be worthless for me. But I’m such an ego-maniac, I’d probably make the picture look better than I actually do!

  13. says

    You amaze me…I’ve been on the fence about this project, because I’m not at my “happy” weight. But I guess that’s the point — to be happy with your body at any weight…

    As soon as Vegan Week is over, I’ll do an Exposed post of my own. Gulp.

  14. says

    First off, you look great. I like what you said about focusing on what your body can do rather that what it looks like. Great perspective.

    What do I love about my body? I have fairly toned legs. Not much cellulite.

    Would I expose my bod on my blog? Maybe. I gotta get my head around it first. Probably not quite there yet.

  15. says

    Wow – amazing post. I could never, at this point, do it – but then again, I’m not used to this body that I see in the mirror every morning. Yet. To answer your last question, and this surprises me to say it, but I love my (still) chunky thighs, because they run and jump rope and do squats and let me know I’ve worked those muscles, which makes me feel powerful!

  16. says

    Miz – this is so great. What makes it stand out is not the exposed outside that you have here, but the inside that you exposed. That shines through in all of your posts :D

    I really do love my body and myself now. I have been actually doing more of this on my blog by posting pictures of me in workout gear, totally sweaty and without makeup and proud of those pictures! Sure, I have bigger thighs, but they are strong and do so much for me.

    I love everything about this journey, even the bad stuff. Okay, I don’t love the bad stuff when it happens, but it does have its place :)

  17. says

    Many posts ago, you wrote about finding one word to describe ourselves. I came up with one for me, and said I’d come up with one for you. I did, but never posted it. Today seems like a good day. I see you as incredibly courageous, and your “exposed” just reinforces my belief.

    Hooray for your courage and for all the good thoughts you send everyone’s way on a regular basis.

    Not sure at this point in my life I’ll ever work up my courage to do an exposed but it’s something I’ll think about for a while. Who knows, maybe.

  18. says

    Very well thought out and written. I am scared. I could not do it. I’m thankful and grateful but for me, the things I am grateful for are not photograph- worthy.
    Not my toes or my sense of humor.

  19. says

    Loveitloveitloveitloveit.

    I’ve seen this around the blogosphere and I think it’s FANTASTIC. Such a brilliant idea!

    (And yeah, I have been unable to figure out how to write on one’s body, too).

    I share your gratitude for being able to walk and for being able to remember- losing my memory and getting Alzheimer’s is probably one of my most biggest fears, if not THE biggest.

    I’m thankful that even though one of my legs is shorter than the other, I don’t need to have surgery to “fix” them. I’m thankful I’ve never needed braces. I’m thankful that I had eye surgery when I was five to correct a wandering eye and that the surgery went well. I’m thankful that none of my moles are cancerous.

    I’m also grateful for my small height, because it means that in contact sports I’m often overlooked by the taller players on the opposite team, so I can sneak past them without them even noticing ;)

  20. says

    Well done.

    I love the fact that my body lets me know right away when I’ve fed it something that’s not good for it. I doubly love the fact that no matter what damn fool thing I’ve done over the years my body has bounced back and is still here to mostly do my bidding.

  21. says

    What an amazing post–thank you!

    I’ve lost one friend to colorectal cancer and another to complications of diabetes. Other friends have lists of ailments as long as my arm. I’m so grateful that my body is not punishing me (so far) for the years of abuse. And when I look in the mirror and see a new wrinkle or a bit of saggy skin, I am THANKFUL to be standing there to wince.

  22. says

    I’m not going to post a photo (though if you were to search back through my blog, you would find a picture of my abs[or lack thereof] hidden in there somewhere). But I will say this…

    I was a bookworm child and phys-ed class was torture. I never thought that I would enjoy exercise. However, as an adult I did start deliberately exercising and, while I’m no athlete, I have come to be proud of what my body can do. Over the years I have surprised myself with what I have been able do and the fact that I actually do enjoy exercising. So while I may not be happy with my weight, I do love that I have become one of those crazy works-out-on-a-regular-basis type people.

  23. says

    Congratulations on exposing yourself!

    (hmmm, does anyone else think that sounds a little weird?)

    I am grateful to my body for all manner of things, but am definitely not ready to expose myself. And probably never will be!

  24. MizFit says

    and yet you do, BL, and you do POD, and so many of you do (yes. I shall let that HORRIBLE COMMA USAGE sink in before I continue :)) on your blogs already.

    through your words.

    there truly is not that much of a leap.
    a difference.

    all baby steps.

  25. says

    You are beautiful – inside and out! For myself (will not be playing along with this particular meme at home) I am grateful for a body that just made another human being! Pretty cool party trick;)

  26. says

    Thanks for showing your real self and letting us know how and why you are grateful for your body! More women need to do just that.

    We often forget what a GIFT it is to have a body that can do and give us such wonderful things.

  27. says

    Pure awesomeness–strong and real and beautiful.

    I feel really lucky and grateful that my body, for the most part, does what I need it to do, and thrives when I treat it right. So many people are not so fortunate.

    Will ponder the idea of exposing myself… and ponder…

  28. says

    You look amazing and strong. And your writing today is very powerful.

    I love the fact that my body carries me throughout my day in a healthy and strong way. And that I was able to give birth to my wonderful children.

  29. says

    Wow, this is SO powerful! I can understand your hesitations about it, but the message is definitely getting across here. I think I will join in. I’ve been feeling down and out on my body lately, this is the kick in the butt I need to feel proud of it again :)

  30. Leslie says

    I am torn about this as I still believe it is easier to be thankful when you already look good.

    Your words about the selflove coming first however have me thinking.

    Which is good I suppose.

  31. says

    You never fail to inspire me. I LOVE this post (and you!). The thought of doing this makes me hyperventilate, but what I can do is list all of the things I am thankful for and keep working at learning to love my body. This post and your attitude towards your body is what I aspire to- and it’s posts like this one that make me believe that someday, it just might be possible.

  32. says

    Like others, I am not in a place today where I can expose myself like all you others. I’ve done it in the past -though not quite this same way. I’m sure I’ll do it in the future.

    But not today.

    Partly because I need to focus not the physical but on the body love. I don’t need/want one more thing to sit between that.

    And partly because my camera broken.

  33. Nikki says

    Great topic Carla- Well done girl!

    I’ve actually been thinking of this for the last few weeks as well!
    With so many diseases and sicknesses (& age) that sometimes interfere with normal body functions/movement…I’m thankful for all my body! I have the ability to move about freely;picking and choosing the physical activities I want to do!!
    I have a friend who’s in her early 80’s and she’s down right frustrated with her body…a gentle reminder to me not to take my body for granted & to keep living healthy so I can enjoy my freedom to move no matter what my size or shape – which is secondary in the whole picture!!

    Cheers from the very rainy, windy Canada

  34. says

    Beautiful post.

    I am not ready to expose myself. What does that mean? I’m not sure, but I hope to reach the stage eventually.

  35. says

    Of course. I would so go exposed, and here’s why:

    I have heavy scars across my midsection where two babies entered this world…this process.

    I have severed tendons in my breast, making one side numb, but it’s where the doctors took out something that was NOT malignant.

    I have a black toenail, from the first training round of my recently completed first marathon at 50 years old.

    I have 2 holes in my left earlobe, because in the 70s, you only pierced ONE extra, and it had to be on the correct side, and I’ll never forget hiding that from my father.

    I have countless scabs on my knees from falling.

    I have a scar across my right calf from the first time I tried to shave. It was disastrous, and my mother was horrified when she saw the blood.

    I have a scar on my left wrist, when in my first marriage I put my fist through a plate glass window on accident…but it’s indicative of the kind of anger I used to have.

    I have one blemish or whatever on my left shoulder, that I’ve had for 15 years. And, I cannot get rid of it.

    All of these places on my body are roadmaps. From the girl I was, to the woman I’ve become…and while I don’t walk around naked, I would have no shame showing anyone, any of these marks.

    My body…it carries my soul…and that’s what counts.

    Beautiful picture, Miz.

  36. Bea says

    Lovely.

    The sentiment and message here are amazing.

    I grew choked up at your appreciation for your vision.

  37. says

    Miz.. wow, thanks for doing this. No .. i’m not ready to post a pic of my semi-unclothed body.. but someday.

    I am proud of what this body can do, and is learning..

    and i’m thankful for you.. thanks for stopping by my blog today. You bless me.

  38. says

    One day a few months ago, a friend & I were doing a 12 mile run, and we’d reached that place in the run (just past mile 10) where we were feeling a bit….whiny. And then we ran by a home for quadriplegics, and saw a few of the residents outside. Nothing cures whiny runners like people who can barely move themselves about!

    I am thankful that body mostly does everything I want it to. I am so strong and so able – and I am not thankful for that often enough. I am thankful that there are people like you to remind me to take time to be thankful! :)

    • MizFit says

      as always Im reading your comments and thinking about this all morning. thanks to all of you for sharing your thoughts and insights.

  39. says

    This…this is exactly why I love reading you Miz. :o)

    One of the core things I’m trying to change is my negative self talk about myself and about my body. I set a goal to treat myself as I would treat my very best friend. I would never tell her some of the mean and hurtful things I tell myself. When I start going down the negative and self-sabotaging path, I have to remind myself that I am worth this change. That God gave me this body and its the only one I’ll ever have. And while I love it as is, it is my responsibility to make it the best possible. You take care of what you love and I love myself. :o)

  40. says

    The truest form of self-love, isn’t it? I went through these very same feelings when I posted my before and after pics of my weight-loss (http://bit.ly/mystory2). Vulnerability at that level is tough, but at the same time so freeing.

    When we shift the focus from what we aren’t to what we ARE, the clarity and gratitude can become almost overwhelming.

    Thanks for the reminder to stop and pay attention today to all the gifts that my physical body gives me.

  41. says

    You look GREAT! When I posted my pis about 6 months ago, I was accused of blogging porn pics. Now, I call them fatty pron. lol

  42. says

    Holy abs lady. Wow.
    I think it’s really important to love yourself enough to understand that that is why you want to be fit…that your body helps you LIVE. :)

  43. says

    This is such an amazing idea! When I fist read it, I thought I would end up clicking through to posts of women with perfect bodies but I was actually surprised at how normal everyone is!
    I am always comparing myself to other people who I admire but who are ridiculously thin or airbrushed beautiful. Now I have people I admire to compare myself to who are REAL and healthy! This project makes me look at my body in an entirely different way. I think I could even “expose” myself!

  44. says

    Just an amazing amazing post!!!!!!!!!! The people are amazing! I never got to this point until my blog & the pics I now post as my pics on it. It took a lot to get me there too. And then when I saw them I thought, I actually look decent! It is such a scary thing! I am in awe of these women & their ability to expose. I could not have done this even 5 years ago!

    You look awesome to Miz! Thank you for such an inspiring post!

  45. says

    Amazing post. You are indeed courageous. I do think it’s easier to love one’s body when it’s fit, but I’ve known plenty of fit girls that still hate themselves.

    I’m not quite there yet, but I am going to post some before and after shred pics. Now I just have to take those afters…

    I love my body for being with me through fat times and skinny times, and never deciding to give up on me even though I had given up on it!

  46. says

    Miz I love that you shared your Exposed post. It is important that we all recognize what our bodies can do and not just the size they are.

    I love that you said your body started reacting when you thought about what it did instead of what size it was. That’s what I’m starting to realize now as I work to just be fit and not skinny.

  47. says

    A powerful post, indeed! You gave me a lot to think about, and I mean really think. I’ll have to put it in a blog post at some point soon.

  48. says

    I am so glad you joined us! You have an incredible body and mind! Thank you for being such an awesome inspiration!

  49. says

    You are awesome.
    And not because you have such an awesome bod. Which you do. And I don’t mean that in any weird stalkerish way!
    But, you are such an inspiring force and you always make me think when I read your posts. I love that!!!!!

  50. says

    I haven’t done an “exposed” post (yet!), but putting ALL of my triathlon pictures out there–including the one of me in bathing suit and swim cap and funny goggles–had to be my “exposed” moment. I had debated on doing so, but one of my best friends since jr. high school said something along the lines of, hey, we’re in our 40’s, and we are what we are; our bodies have given us so much over the years. Gotta admit, feeling the body love was a lot easier after realizing that it hasn’t given up on me yet and can take me on such fun adventures!

  51. says

    I don’t think I’m ready to be THAT exposed.

    But I’m grateful to my body for handling all the abuse I’ve dished out: from starving to bingeing to drinking to over-exercising to purging. It’s a miracle that my liver still functions at all. (No hyperbole there. I’m serious.)

    My body handled my shit for me when my mind wasn’t capable of it. And now my mind is learning to handle it, so my body can have a break.

  52. Myra says

    I am proud to be a part of this blog….
    Well…I honestly don’t love myself too much most of the time….but let me share this one with you..
    My daughter loves her body…every 12 year old bit of it…perfect I might add…But even better than that..she loves mine too!

    She is loving me healthy.

  53. says

    You are so brave. I am a wimp. But I am a thankful wimp. I am thankful that I am able to accept my body’s ailments (lately, so many, it seems…) and know that we all have things to “deal with” in life.

  54. says

    I love that you did this! It is amazing how powerful it is to see I can’t imagine how you feel actually doing it.
    I have thought about this and I would have no trouble doing it without the picture, lol. I just can’t bring myself to do the picture so I suppose that defeats the whole purpose.
    Your awesome!

  55. Glenda Spain says

    Hi, I read about your blog on What I’ve Learned So Far, and am so happy for your success….good show!

  56. Liz says

    I realize this is quite old and about a time in your life that’s even farther past, but it might comfort you to realize that the women could’ve been drawing themselves deliberately bigger so as to not seem egotistical about their size to you?

    I mean, still bad that they’d have a need to put on an act that way, but better than having so many women who have no idea how big they are, n’est-ce pas?

  57. says

    Your post was one of the first “exposed” posts I read, when I still didn’t really know WTH it was. Aftr reading yours and a few others, I thought- hey, I can do this. And then I did and it was so much harder than I thought it would be. But also so freeing and empowering.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] I was asked by a good friend, Carla Birnberg (aka MizFit around here) to join in an appreciation of the whole human body – our wholeness is what makes [...]

  2. [...] along with statements of body appreciation, as opposed to body loathing. Renowned health blogger MizFit recently joined the Exposed movement and told a compelling story from her days as a femael [...]