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Wifey Wednesday: Body Blues
It's Wednesday, which means it's time for Wifey Wednesday, and it's time to talk marriage!

And today's a special day for that, because we're having a party here at the To Love, Honor and Vacuum blog! I've integrated the blog with my main website, so you can take a better look at my books, get links to my columns and articles, get lots of free stuff, and more! Just click on the links above!
What's a party without presents? I'm giving away lots of stuff today, so read to the bottom to find out more!
But right now, let's get on to our marriage topic.
Today I have a question for you: do you like your body?

I mean really like it?

I read this funny joke the other day that said women are easy to figure out. You just have to do these things: and then it was followed by a list of about 100 things women wanted, many of which were contradictory. Then there was the list for men. It was only two points long. They were:

1. Show up naked.
2. Bring food.
Sounds about right to me! Now I know some husbands aren't as amorous as their wives, but in general men's sex drives are higher than women's sex drives. So let's assume, for the sake of argument, that your husband's sex drive is higher. That means that quite commonly the two of you are in conflict over sex. He wants to; you don't; who gives in? If it's always him, he's likely frustrated. If it's always you, you may feel a little taken for granted or used. It's not a good situation.

We women need a new way of looking at this, and one of the things that helps, I believe, is to actually feel comfortable in our skin. When we like our bodies, we're more inclined to think about our bodies, and what we may want to do with them. When we're disgusted or ashamed by our bodies, we tend to try to turn off all the messages they might be giving us. No wonder it's hard to get in the mood!

So how do you get to the point where you like your body? This is where I think exercise comes in, for several reasons. Not because you need to be a size 6 (more on that later), but because the more we exercise, the more energetic we feel. We also get used to listening to our bodies for cues. We stretch. We work the muscles. We feel something other than just slumping on a couch. And the more we use our bodies, the more we want to move them!

Exercise, of course, can tone up your body and help you look more attractive, but let's face it: many women who are size 6 or size 8 don't feel attractive. We live in a society with such strict guidelines for beauty that few of us will ever feel like we pass the test. And we all know that vanity is wrong, anyway. So where's the balance? How do we value attractiveness, without becoming vain, or self-focused, or media driven?

I think we need a new idea of what it means to be attractive. Truly attractive people are comfortable in their skin. They exude confidence. They dress their body type and they dress well, even if they have lumps and bumps. They use their bodies, rather than sitting at a couch or a chair all day.

You don't need to be a Barbie; you do need to feel good about yourself.

Here's a clip of me talking about exactly this issue. It's hilarious, and it's not that long:

So we aren't to be vain, because it's unrealistic anyway. Instead, I believe, we need to use our bodies or lose them; use them not just because we want to look good, but mostly because we want to FEEL them.

I've started an exercise program lately, and I'm really enjoying it. I use the WiiFit, which isn't as strenuous as going to the gym, but it works for me! I'll post my workouts tomorrow, but what I've found is if I begin my day in an active way, I tend to want to end it that way, too. I feel proud of my body throughout the day. I stretched it. I pushed the limits. I made my heart rate go up. And when we feel less like schlumps, and more like athletes, we're more inclined to be excited about our bodies!

And we're more likely to want to embrace them (and to want to be embraced in return). So if you want to turn up your sex drive, can I recommend learning to love your body? Find out what it can do. Start pushing it. Don't be so ashamed of your body that you hide it in oversized clothes and spend the day without being active because you've given up. Do something! It's a new day, and decide to start today! The more we love our bodies, the more we're going to want to use them in other ways, and that is important to our husbands.

It's so hard to feel sexy when we feel like our bodies are falling apart. One woman I know was either pregnant or breast-feeding for about eight years straight. Then one summer she was finally done, and the family headed to the beach. Thankful to be without a child hanging off of her, she lay down, face up, on a towel, only to find that one boob had migrated under one armpit, and the other under the other. Everything was sliding where it was not supposed to. Hard to feel in the mood then, isn't it?

And yet we need to find a way to! What our bodies look like doesn't actually matter as much as our attitude towards them! Are you excited by what your body can do? Do you push your body? Do you dress it well? Do you enjoy looking pretty? If you do, you're more likely to enjoy other "extracurricular activities". If you don't, it's time to silence the voice that tells you you're ugly, and start doing something about it!

If you want my prescription for feeling good about your body, read my excerpt from my book Honey, I Don't Have a Headache Tonight here!

And to thank you all for being here, I'm going to give away copies of the audio download of my talk, Honey, I Don't Have a Headache Tonight! I'll give one to someone who signs up at my entry form before noon EST! And I'll give three to people who link up their own Wifey Wednesday post in the link below! I'll draw these tonight at my Twitter party (and notify them by email).

Tonight I'll also be giving away copies of my books at my Twitter party at 9 p.m. and my Facebook party at 8 p.m.! To follow it on Twitter, just search for the hashtag #tlhv! And to follow on Facebook, just become a fan of my book page!

This week I want to know: how do you feel good in your body? Will you share your thoughts with us? It's easy! Either leave a comment, or go to your own blog and write a post on marriage. Copy the picture at the top of this post and put it on your post, and then link back. Then come here and enter the URL of your post in the Linky! I'll look forward to reading what you all write!

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At 7:23 AM , Blogger Lorrie said…

"Show up naked and bring food"! Isn't that the truth!! After our youngest gets on the bus, I try to head out for a 20 minute walk. It does WONDERS!! Hoping to add the Wii next. Interested in seeing what you do.


At 9:18 AM , Blogger Katy-Anne said…

This is where it gets difficult for me. I want to be "proud" of my body. I want to join a gym, one with a pool because I love to swim. But that requires being able to afford the gym, and afford the swimsuit. I love to push my body in the water. When I was a teen I would jump in, do 100 laps in an olympic sized swimming pool, and get back out, all while my sisters were still just splashing around. I loved it.

I feel like my body is not a priority to my husband because HE thinks I look cute even though I have excess weight on my thighs from being pregnant, and I have a horrible tummy right now. But because he thinks it looks ok even if I don't, it's not a big deal to him. Then he wonders why I don't feel like "playing" with him. I've tried to explain to him that I need to FEEL beautiful, but he says that we can't afford it and basically I should just "get over it".

It's hard to get over it when I have very few clothes in my size, and the ones I do have don't fit that well, or aren't comfortable, and they definitely are not attractive (which is why they were passed on to me...nobody else wanted to wear them). While I am thankful to have something to squeeze my body into, I do NOT feel beautiful.

I am super picky about modesty, and choose to only wear skirts and dresses, that come to at least mid-calf, however, I still want to look cute in those skirts and dresses and not look like I'm just wearing a sack. I would like to be able to wear things that are at least slightly trendy. There are a lot of nice things out there right now.

In fact, I told my sister in law the other day that I wanted a Cato gift card (I LOVE that store) and she laughed and said that "nobody buys Cato gift cards". I sadly agreed. It's such a beautiful store though. I have a wish-list probably a mile long just at our small town Cato store.

My hair needs trimming, and we "can't afford" that either. However a friend of mine told me that her friend said she'd do it for me for free, so that helps. That same friend and I are going to give each other pedicures too some time this week.

Hopefully the hair and pedicure thing will make me feel a little better, because I can see myself wearing the same pink jumper 3 days in a row pretty much every week for a long time. At least until my husband gets another job.


At 12:29 PM , Blogger Sheila said…


You brought up something that my husband always laughs at, too. He says it always amazes men because women don't want to make love when they don't feel attractive, but if the man wants to make love, then obviously HE thinks she's attractive. So what's wrong with us women?

But we do need to feel attractive, don't we?

I think you're taking the right steps by trying to pamper yourself with the help of a friend! Pedicures are great, and so are haircuts!

When you do have money to spend on clothes again, what I'd suggest is instead of trying to get as many pieces as you can, as cheaply as possible, that you buy ONE outfit that makes you feel great. Have the pants or skirt in neutral colours, so that then you can add different tops when you get more money. But it's better to have one thing that you feel great in than twenty that you feel frumpy in.

Until then, pamper your feet! :)


At 12:40 PM , Blogger Katy-Anne said…

I have a gorgeous fall skirt in orange and brown, and lovely fall sweater in lime green, however I don't have a orange or brown shirt that I look good in to match the skirt. But there IS one at Cato to match. :D haha. And there is a beautiful black a-line skirt at Cato to match the sweater. HAHA. Then I'd just need a shirt for that too and have two nice outfits. Oh and there is a sweater dress at Cato that my husband really likes on me.

Ok enough about Cato. But dreaming helps. LOL.

Anyhow yes I tend to buy one outfit at a time, and I buy a complete outfit at a time, usually. I didn't with the sweater because it was on super Cato...haha, and the skirt we got on etsy I thought I had a shirt to match but when the skirt got here it looked funny with the shirt.

Anyhow, I'm glad that my children have all the clothes that they need. So thankful!


At 11:19 PM , Blogger Kim said…

Well I'm bummed - i began reading your post this morning - I got about mid way through but then had to post-pone reading it until just now. My uncle died last night and I had to go be with my cousin...sad thing is she lost her mom in 06, her grandma in 07, my mom (her second mom :-) in 08 & now her dad in 09...she's pretty much freaking out right now and feeling very low...a prayer for my cousin Shirley would be greatly appreciated.

Ok - now with the post - First of all...I'm SO wanting your Honey, I don't have a Headache Tonight so I hope I don't miss out the next time you have a giveway for it...If I would have read just 3 more paragraphs this morning I could have commented before noon your time and gotten in on the deal...that's ok - I hope the winner enjoys the read. :-)

I find when I get up and exercise I feel better about myself. It really seems that I go in spurts of exercise and eating healthy about every two weeks. My husband never tells me anything about my hair, makeup, my body, I always put so much pressure on myself with all of it. If I say something about looking fat he says why don't you exercise...which I take him as saying "yeah, you are gaining weight"...I know he didn't say that but that's what I feel like he's saying...then I say something to him and he says he just wants me to be healthy and he thinks exercising will help with that. I agree but HATE to exercise. I'm PRAYING we can get a Wii for Christmas so then maybe I can get or borrow the WiiFit and work out with it.

I try to be very conscientious of my weight because my family has a tendency to be or become heavy and I don't want that to be me.

He has always said I don't need to wear makeup but I've been feeling better lately about myself when I have some on.

Thanks Sheila for all your wisdom & knowledge!!!


At 5:01 PM , Blogger Karen (Canadian Soldier's Wife) said…

I love to get out for a walk WITH my hubby. He naturally walks faster than me, so it challenges me to up the pace, and as I get in better shape, I am finding that my pace has picked up and now I'm challenging him! It makes me feel good about myself, it's some good quality time together, and it's healthy for both of us!

We're actually hoping for a Wii for Christmas this year so I'll be checking out your workouts!

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About Me

Name: Sheila

Home: Belleville, Ontario, Canada

About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.

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