body dump


I’ve spent my whole life being perpetually disappointed in my body. It just tends to fail to completely satisfy me. It’s the underachieving equivalent of the X-factor contestant who is the first one voted off the live show.

It almost – but not quite – gets to perfection. 

Before I had children, I had a flat stomach. Well, almost. I never actually had a FLAT stomach, more like a kind of little bubble let’s say. But I could suck it in really well. For ages. Until I had a beer, then I’d forget, and just flap about down there.

And I had shapely thighs. Because sausage shaped is a legitimate shape. 

And a pert bottom. It could hold up a pencil. And probably the notebook to go with it. Somewhere there was a black woman who wanted her booty back.

And in short, I had dancers legs – which is a not so subtle way of saying my calf muscles could probably crack walnuts.

I went to the gym, I worked out, I ran, I cycled and I played softball. So I was always fit. And yet… my body never managed to make it to a revered status in my mind. I never loved it.

Then I hit 40, discovered that I’d had two children (that part wasn’t really such a shock) could best describe my stomach skin as “crepe-y”, had the same amount of bottom – and yet it was so much lower, had a lot less boob – which was also lower – and flatter, and had developed little muffin tops despite doing endless sit ups in body attack on a weekly basis.

And I loved my body.

It’s so much more imperfect now, and yet I love it and appreciate it for all the life it’s given me. I look back on my “imperfect” previous body and realise how lucky I was, and how under appreciated my body was. The photos I look back on show me a slender, fit and sporty looking person. I see nothing in those photos to illustrate all the flaws I saw at the time.

Magazines distort your idea of perfect. They show you something which isn’t real and make you think that you’re therefore defective, deficient, disfigured even.

And you’re not – whoever you are, you’re not defective, you’re perfect. Because perfect covers such a huge variety of normal and average, and it also covers above and below average.

To celebrate the fact that real people and real bodies are not what the media parades in front of us, I foolishly agreed to create the artwork for a calendar illustrating just that – the real body beautiful. Real people (bloggy type people), real bodies, really kinda naked. Ish. And then I found myself even more foolishly – fully aware of the consequences – agreeing to be in it.

The day of reckoning is now upon us – the calendar is raring and ready to go. 11 ladies, 1 gent, including me (I’m not the gent) all stripped down to a state of semi nakedness. Here is the sneak peek, but I don’t just want you to look – I want you to buy it.

The proceeds of this calendar go to a charity called the National Eating Disorders Association.

Because you know that you’re perfect. So let us remind you about it EVERY DAY of 2011.

Categories: health and stuff


  • Elly Lou says:

    I’d like to wrap your imperfect body in my imperfect arms and give you a bit sloppy imperfect kiss.

  • Amy Phillips says:

    I love this photo of you. Also, the fact that you described your body in terms of food made my laugh. Crepe-y, not to be confused with creepy. HA!

  • larry528 says:

    Lovely project. Being an imperfect male, for a lot longer time than you, i have full knowledge of the gap between what my mind sees and what my eyes see. But as you atest, sexy isnt sight, its being. And thats how two peoplke can see the other, regardless of the way clothes hang or not.
    (Ps, I came here via redneck mommy, but I will lurk since its a refreshingly ordinary full life blog, which makes it attractively sexy. )