LOVE has come for you.

Monday, January 26, 2009

i'm noticing a pattern here...

The kids are napping, so I was looking at our pictures from our 20 hour mini-vacation. We stayed in a hotel a few miles from home--pool and jacuzzi, room service, HGTV. It was fun, and a good test run in case we decide to make a trip to Dallas or D.C. this summer (non-camping destinations). I realize a variety of toys is important; more snacks for the kids, electric tea kettle and patience should also be easily accessible. It was a sweet little get-away. But the thing that really caught my attention in the photos, was my own image. Argh!

Recently I have acknowledged how unhappy I am in my own squishy and over sized bod; I am taking steps to change that part of my life (the body is the easier part of this endeavor). Mainly because I do want to have a life. I don't like being fat. Uh-uh. Not at all. You see, it is uncomfortable. Yes, I can wear clothes that look okay, but I have to start being honest. Those clothes have very little to do with how I look. Mostly the clothes that come in my size should be considered less-unflattering.

Its not just that last 10 pounds after having 2 kids in less than 2 years. No, it is 15 years of mistreating myself, and 5 months of a severe drive-thru addiction, which equal a scary last 100 pounds. That is One Hundred. Just after the first of the year I was confronted with the reality of my visage. It made me break down and sob uncontrollably. My husband loves me so much, and is always making me feel beautiful. He doesn't want to hurt my feelings (and he is just a randy rascally fellow), so I kept fooling myself by using his love and devotion and desire for me as a measure of my physical beauty. Who would have ever believed that someone could truly love me for who I am, not for how I look. Amazing. (double standards, anyone?)
I've been editing myself in my blog posts. I've been editing myself in my own head. I've been editing myself in my expression. Do any of you remember the Jenny who loved being the center of attention? Who would sing with you and to you at the top of her lungs? Who would say anything she thought (almost) to kick butt in make me laugh? (who couldn't hold in her own laugh because some of you are really stinkin' funny) I must have eaten her, because that Jenny is hidden deep inside this size 18 top and 24 bottom. Well, I'll be doing some more editing, but not trimming my opinions, passions, or expression. I'm going to be editing my pant size.

I wont, however, continue to edit my image. There are some horrendous photos of me from our wonderful night in Brooklyn Park. (Exotic, yes?) I am going to share them with you here, as part of my uncut version of my world. And the photos above... Those are all the mirrors in my house. The only full length mirror is on the back of our bedroom door. There is no good light, so its easy to accept what shadows do not highlight. I've always heard women say they would only look at themselves from the chest up. It finally dawned on me that is what I have been doing. Denial is not just a river in Egypt (Actually, the Nile begins in Ethiopia (and Uganda) flowing North!).

Lets call these the Before photos. Amen!


Laura Jean said...

This is possibly the best post I have read in the blogging world. Probably partly because it rings SO true with me, but also because I love LOVE your honesty in it. It was a big deal for me to admit I was doing Weight Watchers. And guess what? I have One Hundred to lose also- although I'm aiming for 80 because it's seems a little less scary! Ever notice I don't post pictures of myself? Only the one on the side of my blog, which was taken two years ago, and somehow at a deceivingly good angle. I had a break-down about a month ago- probably much like you did. I couldn't handle it anymore. I got the same response as you got from your husband. I got it from all my family. Leanne had to explain to me that, truly, they think I look great. Weird. But after I explained how I FELT, everyone has been so supportive! Davin is even counting points to shed those "marriage" pounds that seem to develop. I know he'll reach his goal LONG before I will reach mine, but I'm okay with that.

I did WW before and hated counting points, so I wasn't excited to do it again. But it's worked for so many people I know, so I committed to one month. And with Davin doing it with me- and Leanne- it's been so easy! I know I'll keep going!

Sorry for babbling. Thanks SO MUCH for the post. Good luck with everything- WE CAN DO IT!!!

P.S. Don't hate me, but I think you look lovely! :)

Laura Jean said...

P.P.S. You're one big step ahead of me. I can't get myself to post a recent picture of myself...

ethiopifinn said...

Laura, the funny thing is, your points post was part of what prompted me to think about my mirrors. I didn't know I would reveal what you read here tonight, but I'm glad I did! Baby steps.

Joni said...

Jenny you are fabulous no matter what. Your beauty is evident inside and out and I love to see your image on your blog, even better in person. I appreciate you sharing your SELF and what is going on in that beautiful head of yours. I encourage you to be the best Jenny you can be, and I support you in your endeavors, having no doubt that you have what it takes. I think you have great courage to expose your vulnerability and you are fast becoming one of my favorite authors. I've always felt a huge respect to those who can put parts of their innermost being into print. You are BOLD and you are BEAUTIFUL. Thank you for the opportunity to see you a little bit more...

ethiopifinn said...

joni, no fair making me well up! lol. it feels good to be so well loved. xo.

Joni said...

And I know it's me you are referring to in breaking your silence in make me laugh...:)

Anonymous said...


You are one of the most beautiful souls I know. It can be difficult to be honest with oneself. I am proud to know you......you have such a way of putting things into words. And although I haven't had weight difficulties, I feel your pain. Best to you.


~ Junkyard Jennifer said...

You, my friend, are an inspiration.

I've always, even in your recent posts, thought of you as a confident, happy-in-your-own-skin kind of girl. I've always admired that!

I've gained weight since having babies and I have a husband like yours who accepts me for who I am. That hasn't been easy when I've wanted to lose weight. I think I need that kick in the pants. But I've been grateful for his love! On the other hand, I'm also grateful he's never 'pushed' me.

My change came last year when I accepted myself for who I'd become. I've always been pretty good at just accepted myself for who I am, unless I was trying on clothes...but in recent years when I'd see pictures, I'd actually cringe.

Finally, last year I really started looking at the pictures. I started 'accepting' that this is what I looked like. I just never gave it much thought before then in spite of the countless strangers who asked me if I was pregnant and when I was due long after baby #3 was born!

I hope to lose 40 pounds, but realistically 50 would be ideal. I can't explain what this post means to me. It's so inspiring. Tears in my eyes inspiring.

I HATE pictures of myself right now. Exactly why I never post any and why I don't have a 'profile' shot. But I'm still working on that 'accepting'. I've lost a little since Thanksgiving but I need to kick it up a notch on exercise and fruits and veggies. I'm mostly going about it on portion control and I've switched from coffee to tea, which helped with the initial ten. (They say two cups of green tea a day can boost your metabolism, I believe it!)

I think the biggest thing for me, that almost is a stumbling block, is the fact that I've never wanted to lose weight just to be skinny. To be thin. I want to be healthier. I worry so much about diabetes and blood pressure and heart disease and so many other things that can come about from being overweight. I know you can get them being thin too, but they are a bigger concern for me being overweight. That's my motivation. That and I'd give anything to wear a pair of jeans that I absolutely LOVED.

I'm cheering you on! You're awesome!! And, I know you can do it!

Jan said...

oh honey-
You are where I was about one year ago. Unhappy with myself. Denial. etc. etc.
I joined WW in May. I committed to doing a team triathlon in August. And I had to become honest with myself, however painful it was. And I did! I have missed only two WW meetings since last May- I figure some people have to go to AA, I have to go to WW LOL- but it works! And a lot of the material they cover there is good for the rest of you (non-body self) too. Lots of therapy, I think.
I am 31lbs less of me, now. I am working on the rest of it (17 or so lbs. to goal.) It has been slow. But so worth it!

What is your plan of attack for weight loss?

Honey dear, we need to get together for a thirty-something party- to celebrate being women and mamas. I would like that. Sometimes I wonder how many people get that side of me, but I know you do.

I admire your mama side of you. You seem so happy in that role.
I would like to visit with you!

Jan said...

One more thought:
It doesn't matter how much you have to lose, it just matters that you are working on it.

Jen H. said...

I am a good editor, too. Lately, it has just been editing the too small clothes so I don't have a reminder....arghhh...

Anonymous said...

You are a WONDERFUL person and I am LUCKEY enough to say a great friend. This post got me laughing and crying! I have to say YOU GO GIRL! Nancy

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Sorry I misspelled LUCKY!! haha only me!

Anonymous said...

Jenny, Kudos on this post!!

I love that you can talk so candidly about yourself. I think we, in general, feel much more alone than we need to feel.
SO... just so you know, you can chalk me up as one who completely understands.

And I love your laugh! Your post on your double date with Mel, I could just hear your beautiful chuckle in my head.
Love, Angie

Amy said...

Jenny - I've been reading your blog for a bit, and I love your writing. I have those same feelings about my weight and body that you express so well... Thank you for such an honest and inspiring post. :) Also, I just discovered a blog by "Dietgirl" (dietgirl.org) - an Australian now living in Scotland who started her blog in 2001 and wrote about her weight loss journey - she lost half of her weight. It's also inspiring and hilarious.. and she writes with a combo of an Australian/Scottish accent which I find especially fun to read.

MindiJo said...

Wow! This is such an awesomely (new word) honest post. Good for you for putting yourself out there. From what I know of you, you are absolutely beautiful. If losing weight will help you see what everyone else sees, go for it! It physically makes you feel better, I know that much. You have a lot of support!! You wise, wise woman- (whether you know it or not) because when you announce that you are going to do something to someone, it's not as easy to back down from that.

Leanne said...

I read this yesterday and didn't have enough time to formulate my thoughts to respond. I think most of them were covered in other fan's comments here, but here are mine:

1. I'm trying to lose weight too and completely understand the struggle. It's a bit of a sisterhood.

2. You are beautiful. But not just in word. In that mystical, unexplainable aura way. I've loved being part of your blog.

3. You can do it! It's hard work, but anything worth obtaining usually is. In my prayers.

Lots of love!

Elizabeth said...

I see those photos, and I see you - beautiful you. I do think you are beautiful on the inside and outside. However, I can hear the unhappiness in your "voice" so fully support your editing efforts.

And I know that you will succeed. For many reasons, but most of all because you are making a change for yourself - which seems to be the only reason that really works. You know that your hubby and kids and family and friends love you regardless. :)

If I lived closer, I'd invite myself over for a weekly walking date. You could walk the pup, and I'd walk the kids; it would give my arm a break. ;-)

ethiopifinn said...

Hello mine friends! Thank you for sharing and for all the support.
Amy! I'll check out dietgirl :) and hi there.

I've noticed another thing... when I post a "real me" piece, it inspires you to comment. Me luckey.
I prefer the 'e' version of the word. xoxo to my girls!!!

Anne H said...

Jenny, My sister Tricia will be a WW instructor holding her own meetings by the end of Feb. She is doing two "at work" meetings during lunch hours and a Thursday evening meeting in Osseo. She would be an excellent leader as I'm sure you know she has lost somewhere around 150 pounds. She would be inspirational and she has some awesome recipes! Just a FYI. Good Luck and I will be pulling for you!

Anonymous said...

Wait Jenny! Can I now respond even without a blog?! I am so excited! And is this Joni also my old friend and your former side kick? I have so many magnolia Lane memories and beyond. Make me laugh with the kyds! Jenny - you did rock! I tell people you are the funniest person in the world and so much fun to be with. I really do miss you! The countless laughs and serious convos we had growing up are such a precious memory to me. Good luck with your weight loss program. After Teddy (my 4th) was born I lost 40 something lbs on WW. No question it works.