A Weighty Question

When I was a little girl, one of my well-meaning relatives called me “thunder thighs.” Until the age of 16, I was severely overweight. A chubby girl who ate her feelings and spent more time with her nose in a book than on the playground, I grew up with severe body issues. With no friends and low self-esteem, I hid my body in baggy clothes and refused to look at myself in the mirror. Depressed, dejected, and on a path to obesity (and becoming the true “fat lady who sings”), at the age of 16, I decided I’d had enough and took charge of my body and my life. Slowly, I began to deal with my emotions and started to feel more comfortable in my own skin. I became determined to change my life. I started reading on the treadmill or stationary bike at the gym 3-5 days a week. I joined my mom in a weight watchers program. I went cold turkey from all soda and fast food and substituted herbal tea and portion controlled meals. A year (and 75 dropped pounds) later, I began my path towards health and happiness. At a time in my life when I was at my most emotionally vulnerable, I had the courage to believe in something greater. I could have continued to wallow in self-pity and hide from the world, or I could take the steps to drastically change my life. With each pound lost, I started to look in the mirror and see beauty and strength amongst the flaws. As the years went by, my weight fluctuated a bit–the stresses of performance degrees and long nights of studying took their toll on my body. But post-gradschool, as I found joy in my daily yoga practice and health through a gluten free, vegan diet, I am now happy with my small but mighty body. Yes, I’ve been on a diet for 12 years straight and have to be very careful of what I eat each day, but for the first time in my life, my body is happy and healthy. I enjoy my daily practices and challenges. I thrive on spending a few spare minutes of my day holding a handstand or plank pose. 

Weight and body image will always be a struggle for me. I may always feel like the chubby girl; but, with the help of my yoga practice, I am slowly starting to love my thunder thighs and the strength they provide. 

  #yogagivesbackchallenge day 15: laghuvajrasana/ little thunderbolt.   


5 thoughts on “A Weighty Question

  1. “Magazine”

    Up in the little room, looking out, everybody’s passing time
    Princess all dressed in wool, dreaming eyes, singing her sweet rhymes
    “Rain play my song today, no one wants to know me anyway”
    Perfect lover where are you?
    I can’t wait much more for you to come true
    Shining prince inside my head,
    Live inside a palace underneath my bed

    And everybody knows who they are in a velvet garden of rhinestone stars
    Shine down on me satin queen, the overlords of insane scenes
    They go dancing cross the pages of the magazine

    Typewriter steel and gray, work away, everybody’s going home
    Over across town, caught in a crowd, still living alone
    Little room for her out of the rain
    A little something for the pain
    Lady-in-waiting patentially for the lord of the rock ‘n roll aristocracy
    Dreaming in photographs at night, love’s like sand held in your hand so tight

    And everybody know who they are in a velvet garden of rhinestone stars
    Shine down on me satin queen, overlords of insane scenes
    They go dancing cross the pages of the magazine

    Everyday’s like the day before
    Come in tired and lock the door
    Paint your space with magic hands
    Shining slick and dandy
    Smile at your fans

    “C’mon pretty boy sing for us take me”
    Take me over the edge
    Nobody else is good enough

    And everybody knows who they are in a velvet garden of rhinestone stars
    Shine down on me satin queen, overlords of insane scenes
    They go dancing cross the pages of the magazine

    • I should’ve prefaced my post of the above song lyrics by saying … The lyricist had a very bad stutter through 6th grade and has beed was very much over weight most of her life … The words to this song “Magazine” are autobiographical … She lived a very lonely life, shunned by most of her classmates and teased and taunted by the young boys…. She became very introspective and from that she began writing poetry and prose … Her enjoyment while singing in choir and the love of The Beatles led her to guitar and and folk music, yet still very much a loner, fighting the continuing battle with weigh/Body image …. She began to really focus on her music and soon she was singing in local Rock bands yet still in the background and mainly regarded as the “Chick” harmony singer….. A series of events lead her to Vancouver B.C. where she joined others in a band from her home town.. suddenly the creative juicies began to flow and some of the most memorable Classic Rock hits were penned and recorded ….. I have been told a story about one night in a small crappy club on the Canadian Club circuit when she just opened and stepped up her performance, she found not only her true self but she FOUND her full voice ….. This woman is now regarded as one of the finest female singers in the Rock world (and has been for nearly 40 years) … She and her goup fwere inducted inot the Rock and Roll Hall of Fane in 2013…. Last year was invited and sang at the Kennedy Honors Event in he presence of many dignataries including the First Lady and President Obama …. She performed the Rock Classic “Stairway to Heaven” as the remaining members of Led Zeppelin (Page, Plan and Jones) watch listened in awe (even moved to tears) her name is Ann Wilson of the group Heart ….. So fate/destiny ?… I think not, Some luck ? .. perhaps … BUT, Sheer Hard work and determination is what drove her to the top ….

  2. Nancy Koren says:

    Dear Marissa,

    I also was severely overweight as a child. I weighed 210 pounds by the time I was 14. I continued to be overweight until I decided to become a vegan 18 years ago. Little by little my weight has reduced and I have been very healthy! Next week I will be 76 years old and when I tell people that they can’t believe it! Of course as you probably know, one can be an unhealthy vegan depending on what one chooses to eat, but there are so many healthy choices.

    Tomorrow night I’m going to a vegan pot-luck over in SLO from 6 – 8 PM. They meet once a month. If you would like to go with me, contact my email or call me at 462-3434.

    Don’t give up!

    Nancy Koren

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