body image

March’s WIRT: The Husband’s Secret

Hello peeps! It’s that time of the month again, time for What I Read Tuesday (WIRT), when I share my latest reads as I complete 2015 Around the World Reading Challenge and I tie them into the blog’s theme.

I started this world tour in Japan with 1Q84. Last month I returned to The United States and read Heft. This month we travel to Australia and I share my thoughts on The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty.

Liane Moriarty is a prolific australian author. Her six novels are all international best-sellers but I hear that this is one of the best. I have not read her other books but friends who have swear that this one is the juiciest.

thehusbandssecretThe Husband’s Secret is set mainly in Sidney. However, there’s not a lot of talk of major landmarks. Most of the stories take place in a suburban area. The Pacific Highway is mentioned as a line that divides the city and at the time that metaphor makes little sense but it does later on.

This is a story about family secrets. The secrets we intentionally keep from each other, the secrets we may never even know are secrets, and the havoc they wreak.

Here’s the description from the author’s website:

“My Darling Cecilia, if you’re reading this, then I’ve died…

Imagine your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret – something with the potential to destroy not just the life you built together, but the lives of others too. Imagine, then, that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive . . .”

This is the beginning of a story of a myriad of characters that look otherwise not connected but whose lives are about to crash (sometimes literally) into each other. Most of the characters are very relatable and it will make you wonder… “what would I do?”

There is a somewhat smaller character in this story that really got to me. Her name is Felicity and she is the cousin of Tess who is married to Will. Felicity used to be obese. She used to be bullied in school and called a “baby elephant.” She and Tess are super close; so close that the two along with Will now co-own and run an ad company in Melbourne. Felicity has been Tess’s eternal third wheel. When their story is introduced (chapter 2) we are told that Felicity, who had grown into a fat adult, ‘a big girl with a pretty face’ had now “joined Weight Watchers, given up Coke, joined a gym, lost forty kilos [88 lbs] and turned beautiful. Extremely beautiful.” It looks like she’s about to steal Will from Tess. I’ll stop there and offer no more spoilers.

Although Felicity’s story is not central to the plot, it is central to my blog and issues with body image. I have to admit that it upset me that Felicity doesn’t get to have a life until he’s dropped weight. She was the character that I identified the most since I still feel that way many times… I still feel that I can’t really demand what I want… I have to be “not fat” first. It’s an everyday struggle. Anyway… I can’t really add more without spoiling it but I do recommend this book and you can read the rest of my review here.

Favorite Passage

downloadSo there you have it… we just need to be a bit ‘benty’. 😀

FYI - Tomorrow starts April AtoZ Blogging Challenge. Tomorrow will be easy: "A" is for April and I'll do a regular post on things I am looking forward to this coming month. The remainder of the month will be mostly related to weight loss, dieting, and overall about choices made throughout my weight loss journey. I hope you enjoy it and find it useful... here we go... 30 days of blogging.

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Throwback: High School & Body Image

Thank you Kathy from Mama’s Losing It for today’s prompt. She provided five different prompts for today and I decided to go with #2 Throwback time! Share an old class photo of yourself. With no other instructions I decided to go with the last class picture we took during my last year in high school. Please note that in Venezuela, all students wear uniforms and we have one less year of education than in the US. So this was the equivalent to the 11th grade and I was 17 years old. It’s the 90s (yes, I totally dated myself) and hence the horrific super dark terracotta lipstick. 😀

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I can’t believe that I thought I was fat. I tend to tell people that I have never been at a healthy weight but then I come across my high school pictures and even a few from my early twenties and I am reminded that I have been at normal range although at the time I didn’t think I was.

I still remember my time in high-school. I have fond memories. I had many friends and got along with my peers. I was liked and respected by my peers and teachers. But I realize in retrospect that I had an unhealthy body image, one that contributed to me gaining so much weight in the last decade. I truly believed that I was fat and I wasn’t. I wasn’t thin, I wasn’t the prototypical “hot” girl for sure but it bothers me to recognize that I felt less so than some of my peers that I now come to realize didn’t look that much different than I did.

Why do we have these crazy body image problems? I wish I knew. I wish I had realized I had them so that I would have done something about it. I wish, I wish, I wish.

It’s been almost 20 years since that picture was taken and I finally have an appropriate view of my body. In fact, recognizing where I was was crucial in getting me to work towards where I want to be. Although I still cringe when someone asks me how much I weigh (this only happens when it’s appropriate to ask), I make an effort to share it out loud. I own my number, I own my body, and I own my process. I have to be thankful too for this body which I had totally abused with little exercise and too much fatty “fake” food, and it still kept going. Now, halfway through my journey to a healthy weight and on a lifetime journey of keeping myself healthy I see how my body rewards me for treating right.

Dear 17 year-old me, Stop worrying… you look great… enjoy life, many adventures await you.

I wish I could say that to her. I wish someone would have said that to me. Alas, I have had great adventures but I have also missed out on things for not thinking that I was good enough. It’s never too late to turn it around though. This process has not only giving me back my health but I’ve learned again to love myself and be happy with who I am. Don’t like something? Change it, WE CAN CHANGE! How awesome is that!

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