You Can’t Always Get What You Want

August 12, 2014   23 Comments

I have a confession to make. I have been on vacation for almost 2 weeks.

Body Shape is Genetic

Jaw dropper!!! (not)

Obviously, I pre-wrote so you would think I was still here typing – but I wasn’t.

I went to Quebec, Canada – land of hockey and lovely Canadians (who COULD NOT be nicer). Canadians have been framed as being “nice” - but, boy, they did not let the stereotype down. My family had a wonderful time.

Something very special happened on my trip. I came face-to-face with a reality that I had ignored and I felt a bit freer after my acceptance.

During our vacation, we visited a Quebec waterpark because my son is addicted to waterslides. This was a beautiful spot and everyone had a picnic basket or cooler full of food – and ALL the women were wearing bikinis (well, almost all).

A couple weeks ago, I did a reveal of myself in my new bikini and at this waterpark I actually FIT IN wearing it.

You see, the women here (most with kids) were stocky, big breasted, and curvy – their skin was very white (cold winters up there) and I looked exactly like everyone else.

My ancestry? 25% French Canadian. Ding Ding Ding!!! Hello!!!

I am not the progeny of Gisele Bundchen and Tom Brady. My ancestry is dominated by French farmers who are not known for their long thin legs or glossy blond hair.

Genetics has dictated that my eyes are blue, my hair brown, and my hips as wide as the St. Lawrence. If I wanted to change how I look, I could get contacts and dye my hair but what about my hips?

At some point in your life, take a good hard look at your parents and know that you are going to look like them. The ideal, featured in magazines and movies, is not attainable for many of us because we didn’t start out with the genetic attributes that will get us that “look”.

And that, my dear readers is okay. In fact, it is more than okay. Just as we don’t want a world filled with the same race of people – we don’t want a world with the same shape of people. Size diversity is beautiful and should be embraced both literally and figuratively.

To quote the sage, Mick Jagger:

“You can’t always get what you want. But if you try get what you need.”

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First 20 Comments: ( See all 23 )

Thank you!! Truer words were never spoken! And in our diverse world, it is so funny to look up and see yourself reflected everywhere. This is so fine!! Happy Bikining!!!


SO true!! I spent most of my youth starving myself to try to get that long lean look --- it worked for a time, but the minute I relaxed my vigilance, the real, somewhat chunky, average me was back. Now I am 62, and while I try to keep off too many extra pounds for the sake of my heart, I have had to accept that while my mom was petite and dainty, from aristocratic stock, my dad's forbears were all sturdy English farmers and fishermen, or Germans, who are not known for their willowiness. So I too, have had to accept this body and hope for better things perhaps, in my next lifetime !!

You have to accept you as you are. There are few of us that have "perfect" body parts, etc. Just try to keep you healthy and in shape. If you like getting in better shape...go for it. That's what I'm doing now that I've keep the weight off for over 2 years. I will never be bikini material....but I don't care. I feel great being at a healthy weight for me. Look at all the famous people out there...most of them aren't "perfect" by any means! (Not that I'm trying to be perfect.....just saying that the majority of us are not).

I have always wanted long, lean legs, not the short, chubby things that I have. The tops of my thighs touch (and to be honest, at certain points in my life the middle of my thighs touched too!). But at almost 50, I have learned to love my legs. They are super strong and muscular. And they're mine. Good job on your own revelation!

Hahahahaha you just made me laugh out loud!

So hilarious that it takes a trip to a water park in a different country to realise you (and the rest of us who can identify) fit in with everyone else.

We should never blame ourselves for being less than favourably genetically blessed in the body shape department.

There's so much more to people than that.

As I said once back when I first started reading your blog - I love snack girl! Thank you once again for helping and encouraging us to do the best we can and enjoy who we are, not what we strive to be.

Awesome post. Well stated. Thank you

I love how simply Silva's last sentence was stated....there's so much more to people than that!!

WHY does this country have such an obsession with being thin, & who determined that that's what makes a person "perfect"? Crazy!! Obsessions like this have caused the disgusting Kardashian's to become so famous, & yet they don't do anything to better anybody or anything. If we published magazines with only people that make the world a better place, I'm sure our beauty standards would greatly change!

Rock your bikini and enjoy life! Bless you for giving voice to all us big girls who given genetics are all sizes and shapes, and enjoy life to the fullest! BTW, very pretty print - - Lands End has some wonderful products.

Quebec is on my bucket list! So glad it was a great realization for you. You look beautiful! Cheers~

I, too, have been on vaca for 2 weeks, at a rental house with only one mirror, a bathroom above-the-sink mirror, so I could only see myself from the lower neck, up for 2 weeks. I found I never freaked at putting on my bathing suit, I felt comfortable in everything I put on and in my own skin. It wasn't until the second to last day that I realized why: I couldn't see myself! I told my husband that I hate the inventor of the mirror. I was so happy and comfortable but, alas, vacation ended and we have lots of mirrors at home. If only I could get comfortable with the me I see.

"Be yourself, everyone else is taken."

Thank you for writing this. You made my day :)

Yes! Read the poem by Maya Angelou, Phenomenal Woman :)

Lisa, you're spot on again! Thanks for so truthfully (and humorously!) saying what women need to hear, amidst the ever-present bombardment of beauty ads and innuendos.

Well said, Snack Girl!

Imagine - if everyone accepted her/his body, ate healthy food (with a few treats now and then) and did some outdoor self-propelled transportation (walking, cycling) and/or physical work, then there would be no multi-billion dollar diet industry to undo all of the damage done by a salt/sugar/fat-laden processed food industry and sedentary lifestyles!

But it all starts with acceptance ...

I have to go to this place! After 2 surgeries on my intestines, I have no muscle tone left. I did not have to worry or diet until I was about 50. It is not about the processed food industry. It is about accepting responsibility for your health and life and not blaming your kids, your spouse, corporations, your parents, your neighbor, your doctor, the president or yourself. It is about loving yourself enough to change what needs to be changed.

Everybody knows what they shouldn't eat. We need to get to the underlying reason why we chose the lifestyle we chose. If your happy with that, fine. But, are you? We lie to ourselves to get what we want. We sabotage ourselves and sometimes other people.

We are diabetic, and when we go to dinner with hubby's brother and his wife they order huge desserts. They know we are diabetic and my sister in law says, " Mmmmmmmm, don't you want some of this? Mmmmmmmmmmm. Here have some." Are you kidding me. Then she offers it to hubby and I said, "What are you trying to do kill him?"

Some people do not understand that too high blood sugar can send someone to the hospital and too low sugar can do the same.

I sit there thinking, if she keeps it up she, and, sadly, her husband, my hubby's brother, may end up with diabetes and they will wonder how they got there.

Yes, it is a matter of health, not body image.

Thank you so much for sharing. Self acceptance is key in creating a healthy relationship with not only your body, but your mind and spirit as well. I'm so glad you had such a wonderful vacation, and you ROCK that bikini!

Lisa, I love your site, your comments are exactly what i need to hear! I have actually unsubscribed from all the "eat healthy" sites. I am only keeping yours as you are real and speak the truth, about accepting ourselves. Your book is my next step. Keep up what you are doing!

I have to share a friend's Facebook post that echoes the sentiment of this and the previous article about loving your body. This is a post from a 30-somthing dear friend of mine with 2 boys - ages 5 and 8. Now I know I'm a superhero with the lovely lightning bolts I have, too. :) Gotta love the insights of children...


Just got out of the shower and as I was drying off, I suddenly felt my 5 year old rubbing the side of my stomach. He says, in complete awe, "Mom! These lightning bolts are amazing. How did you get them all over your stomach?" I said, "You and your brother! When you have a baby, your tummy stretches out and you are left with all of these marks. Have a baby, get lightning bolts for free! But...a lot of mommies don't like them." He laughed and said, "I love them! They are so cool. You're like a superhero!" Well, that's a positive spin on stretch marks!

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