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Topic: My body is wonderful-craftalong  (Read 4327 times)
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edelC
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« on: January 29, 2008 03:06:02 PM »

I have been thinking a lot on the subject of body image and how I talk to myself about my body. I am overweight and have a goal weight of about 50lbs less than I weigh now. I am happy that I will get there (eventually).

One of the big problems that I have is that I am very harsh with myself, especially if I feel that I have failed in not exercising or eating too much or whatever crud my brain can drum up to beat myself with on that particular day. Or just simply being mean about my belly or my thighs or whatever.

And I think this negativity about body image and self esteem is pretty common , especially with women, you dont have to be overweight, even really gorgeous women continually think (and say) harsh things about themselves.

So I was thinking how do I work on cherishing and loving my body? especially while in the middle of reshaping it with diet and exercise because it is too easy to see the body as bad, the fat as the enemy and to get even more negative about it. 

I decided to take a part of my body every couple of weeks and craft something (doesn't matter what) to reflect what is good about that part of me, the things that I like about it, the positive things that it does for me.

It doesn't have to be an actual representation of the body part, like say it was feet, I am not planning on drawing or sewing a pair of feet! but I might maybe make a toe ring to ornament them, or do a collage reflecting things like dancing, or maybe sew myself the softest most loving pair of slippers to cherish that part of my body. Or maybe do a photography collage of my feet in lots of different places or activites....!

Am I making sense here? I want to reclaim all the bits of me that I have insulted, neglected and just plain distained. I want to focus on the good bits, not the 'bad' ones and I think crafting is a good way to do it, because it gets past the conscious mind a lot of the time, into the unconscious, where real change happens.

Anyone fancy crafting along? I am thinking of maybe a different body part every week or two and then we can post our projects on here.



« Last Edit: January 29, 2008 03:06:24 PM by edel » THIS ROCKS   Logged

instantkarma
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2008 03:13:49 PM »

I completely agree. When I went off to college, I gained weight - not from eating too much, but eating cafeteria food in general - and for a while I was really bummed since I ended up with a bit of a tummy.

When I was lying in bed one night, making plans on how I was going to get skinny again, a thought came to me - why am I obsessing over this? I'm not obese. I don't eat a ton of junk food (though I do love sweets...ha...okay, maybe I eat more junk food than I should, but still), and I'm reasonably active. I'm taking care of myself - so what if I gain a little weight? I might look a little pudgy, but at least I'm healthy.

This winter I took a course in Feminist Philosophy, and it basically helped me shift my thinking from accepting who I am to starting to love who I am. I have told myself and my friends that I am trying to now develop a positive body image and to remain healthy instead of trying to just "accept" or even dislike myself.

*ahem* That having been said (ain't you proud of me? Cheesy), I do get what you're saying and I would love to be a part of a craftalong about body image. Forgive me, I've never actually *been* in a craftalong, so I don't know exactly what we'd be making (I know it's a bunch of people crafting...along...but not much more than that), but if it's something I feel I can undertake, then I definitely would. I'd love to make items that bring out the positives about my tummy, my hips, my nose, my eyebrows (long story)...the list goes on.

You have a great idea here, and I'm bookmarking this thread. I'll be lurking to see what becomes of it.

Hugs! Smiley <3
« Last Edit: January 29, 2008 03:14:59 PM by instantkarma » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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edelC
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« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2008 03:24:08 PM »

It is an interesting balance isnt it, that feeling that the rest of the world should accept us as we are, why should I loose weight. Of course the answer for me is really nothing to do with the rest of the world. I have realised that that is a smokescreen for not doing something about it. The rest of the world will have to accept me for who I am, regardless of size.

But (and its a big one Wink) the real truth is that carrying extra weight has an impact on things like my self-image, my health, how much exercise I am inclined to do, the clothes that I can carry off. all that stuff. The world fundamentally doesn't give a damn if I am 50lbs or 500lbs, but for me, for my health and my view of myself I need to care.

The other thing i have realised that being stuck in that state of refusing to even accept that its my problem not the worlds, is that making poor food choices (and I hear you about crap cafeteria food!) and not being active are not acts of self-love or self-care. But for me, they are acts of hostility to my body.

And it is so time to change that. But I totally get about the obsessing thing, so I figured that maybe if I am going to obsess, why not obsess about the ways in which I like me and how I can express that creatively.

A craftalong is just people working on the same stuff, or same theme at the same time and posting the results. No rules and no pressure, people can dip in and out where they please.
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instantkarma
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2008 03:28:22 PM »

And it is so time to change that. But I totally get about the obsessing thing, so I figured that maybe if I am going to obsess, why not obsess about the ways in which I like me and how I can express that creatively.

That's a good way to think right there. Cheesy I think this is a great idea for a craftalong, no matter your reasons for doing it. I'd be in if it gets off the ground.
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« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2008 02:22:25 AM »

Edel I hear what your saying about body image, although I have not had major issuses with weight I know of others who have a trick that I read about lately while I was reading the book called "The Secret" was to get an image how how you WANT to look and pin it up say in your bathroom, Now STOP thinking fat( I hate that word) thoughts or losing weight thoughts and think thin thoughts( easier said than done)
I rearranged my thinking so that instead of saying" god my thighs are large when will they ever lose weight"
To saying "Wow my thighs looks awesome thinning down and toning up the way they are"
it helps with the way you look at yourself too, as in instead of looking in the mirror and being critical look and admire how the body is toning up and the muscle under the fat layer is building apon itself to burn away the fat, remember that as you build muscle you burn fat even when resting and the best way to burn fat and build muscle is to do cardio for 30-50 mins 2-3 times a week, walking cycleing I don't mean you want to die cause your heart is pounding away, but you are sweating because your heart rate is up.


ok now I got right away from what I was going to say, ignore me if you feel I am talking rubbish, that is just my opion and something I took from my gym trainer.....

however lately I have been seeing body shapes, in particular certain parts of the body in rock formation at our local beach I look and think wow that would make an awesome photo and I snap shots of it.....

sorry to ramble if I offend anyone I am sorry it was not my intent.
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edelC
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« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2008 06:17:49 AM »

thanks Tanza you are absolutely correct the action of visualising where I want to get to is a fundamental part of what this craftalong is about in that; its moving toward something positive rather than focusing on the negative. Crucial for sucess.

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« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2008 09:27:39 AM »

i made plaster belly casts while i was pregnant, one from shoulder to thigh, 2 of just the belly, and one larger than usual pregnant breast.
 without the magic of amelia living in there, it wasn't very motivating, to work with my body as a subject. i hadn't really considered why, it certainly is pretty magical in it's own right...anyway, i want to do this craft along!
 
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« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2008 04:59:21 AM »

OK then its time to get this ball rolling

I'm thinking of a body part every two weeks or so and its Monday so here goes, in this order (ish)

Belly! (the most difficult one for me so the one I need to do the most!)

Thighs

Breasts

Ass

Arms

Hands

Feet

Hair

Face

I can't wait to see what other people come up with.

its all about the love!! Cherishing the bits of our body that we usually are so harsh about. So feel free to work on a different body part if that is your own personal bete noir.
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Muria
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2008 06:14:42 AM »

That sounds like a great idea (both the craftalong, and the belt)!  I really need to work on my self-acceptance.  My grandmother was a constant dieter, and my mom rebelled by not ever dieting (except for health reasons).  I'm kind of up the middle, but I'm trying to diet for better health, not just eating "diet" food that's low in calories (like those 100 calorie packs of junk food). Hopefully, eating healthy foods will not only help me to lose the extra weight I'm dragging around with me, but teach my children that it's important to eat healthfully.
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« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2008 06:53:05 AM »

Kookaloo_Starr if the belt is a reflection of the good things you see about your belly then I think you are on the right track, if its in the spirit of 'I don't like you so go away, or at least get smaller' then no.

I have to say that I really really dont like my belly, after giving birth to two kids its covered in stretch marks and manages to be both floppy and fat at the same time (I know I am multi-talented) So its important for me to give it some love, to learn to accept it (even while dieting) and to discover for me all the things that are good about it and do some craft that reflects that. I sense that in the craft work the unconscious will come through and perhaps some healing and acceptance will happen.

I spend all my time figuring out stuff, time to take a new approach.

But I so know how  you feel about loosing the craft mojo. I am definitely running low in the mojo tank
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Muria
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2008 06:59:25 AM »

Those aren't stretch marks.  They're badges of honor.  Smiley  (My 9 pound baby boys didn't give me stretch marks.  My 7 pound baby girl gave me a whole belly full. I still haven't figured that one out.) 

What kind of craft are you thinking of for your belly (I'm having a hard time coming up with something)?
« Last Edit: February 11, 2008 06:59:59 AM by Muria » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2008 04:58:31 AM »

Kookaloo_Starr  oh wow that is really cool! I love it, and I love the idea of your belt, something to adorn your belly and celebrate its wonderfulness.

Muria I am having a hard time coming up with something, beyond that I want it to be round, I was thinking of how my belly has grown and nurtured two kids and it is soft so i was thinking in terms of a quilt or a throw, But it needs to be round to reflect the feminine curves. But then I was also thinking of the concept of layers, layers of meaning, layers of time and emotion, layers of relationships, different people who have touched and caressed my belly from my kids to my lovers, and to the parents who took care of me too.

So I am having a hard time coming up with something that reflects all that, I got as far as a circular quilt that has a spiral pattern, radiating from the centre to mark the journey of all those layers (and patchwork to reflect different experiences and different times in my life) but I have no idea how to do a crazy patchwork circle/spiral!!

As I type this I'm starting to think I might just do a crazy patchwork and layer like mad, keep working on a circular background until I am happy with it..hmm, When I was pregnant I had stretch marks that curved right up around my belly to my navel and a little beyond (its the freckled celtic skin!) it looked like flames and I love the phrase 'fire in the belly' so I'd like to incorporate that too,

But perhaps it doesnt need to be totally planned to start, that its in the working 'blind' that the magic of the unconscious comes in.

OK I've decided I'll start tonight!

koo
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brookelynne
« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2009 02:06:29 PM »

Is it to late to hop onto this craftalong? 
I'm just now coming out of a pretty longish crafting slump and coincidentally I suffer from BDD and I am having a fairly massive attack this week.
The tummy is one of my big panic areas, so maybe crafting something honor it would help me see it in a different light.

I was thinking maybe a beach bag or market tote with a plushy squishy tummy aplique on it... I don't know, I'll play around with the idea a little and see if that is even within my skillset. 
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« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2009 05:25:58 PM »

I think this is a lovely idea! I've been sick with mono and a variety of other ailments for about 4 months, and as a result have gained some weight, on top of the weight I had already gained from college and going from a decently active job to a sit at a desk all day job. So I've been down about my looks. I'm finally feeling like I might could exercise a little, but I'd like to feel good about my self regardless. I'm not sure what crafts I'll come up with, but the wheels are turning.
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« Reply #14 on: March 23, 2009 07:30:37 PM »

Ok!
I was so inspired by finding this thread that I went straight home and made a little tote for groceries to honor my belly, squishy and all!
http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=298004.0
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« Reply #15 on: March 24, 2009 01:53:21 AM »

hey brookelynne that is brilliant. I love the bag and the intent behind it is fabulous.

I didnt get my quilt made, instead I made a shrine to how women feel about our bodies... http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=292198.msg3374414#msg3374414

but I need to start working on crafts that celebrate us..
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« Reply #16 on: March 24, 2009 11:02:50 AM »

i would be really REALLY into this if we could get it off the ground!  and as long as its okay for something to be whole-body rather than just one area each time - like, i am absolutely baffled as to what i would do for my belly, but if for body parts we were stumped on, it would be okay to do a whole-body thing, i'd be groovy!

i am a BIG girl and ive always struggled with my weight, but when i got sick three years ago, i started putting on the pounds and then started having to take pills that PACKED on the pounds and here i am, 120 pounds heavier.  im working on taking some off sloooooowly (i cant do much physically, so its a difficult process), because i need to take some off to be healthier.  but i know im never going to be where i once was and i really need to work on being okay with that and even being okay with my body now - losing weight because i LOVE my body and want it healthier, not losing weight because i hate my body.

so im all for it!!  i know i could use inspiration and support in learning how to love my body, fat rolls and all!  (thankfully, as i was thinking about my HUGE belly, i do come equipped with a husband who has loved me without fail through all that weight gain and still peppers my belly with kisses the way he used to!)
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« Reply #17 on: March 24, 2009 11:47:36 AM »

This craftalong is about any part of your body that needs some crafty love! Any or all. I'd love to see what you come up with.
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brookelynne
« Reply #18 on: March 24, 2009 01:26:06 PM »

The shrine is beautiful! I think it expresses well what a lot of us feel. 

I can't wait to see what other crafts people come up with!

I don't know if it's too early to move onto my thighs, but I have a pretty good idea of what I'm going to do Smiley
Not an exact idea of what it is going to be, but I want whatever I do for my thighs to feature an okapi. http://www.hedonistic.org/animimag/okapi.htm

Good luck to everyone crafting along! I can't wait to see the results Smiley.
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« Reply #19 on: April 15, 2009 10:52:11 AM »

I love this idea.I too have body issues.I'm going through a tough time with a lot of issues.And it doesn't help when your stress meter is through the moon.The only time I ever lose weight is when I'm sick.But then I gain it all back.I just need to do crafts that will motivate,inspire me to exercise.I'm over 100 lbs. overweight.And I hate the way I look/feel.It sure doesn't help when my dh harps about my weight.I've always been put down on how I look/and or weight.If I can get motivated enough tostart exercising again (90th time).I know I'll lose the weight.I usuallydon't eat sweets but I don't eat enough healthy food either.I'll have to put on my thinking cap to see what I can come up with to craft.Maybe a inspirational journal,a exercise log/journal,a beaded bracelet to keep up with how much weight I lose.Hmmm I'll keep thinking.How about these ideas.First get a medium glass bottle then add sayings,quotes,etc that encourage,and makes you proud of your body.Second a beaded bracelet that has movable beads that you move around the bracelet as you meet your goals.Third I'm thinking about doing a painting about how I feel about myself.Fourth a felt doll.On one side what I hate/loathe about my body.On the other the positive about my body.
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« Reply #20 on: May 01, 2009 03:51:00 AM »

Oh EdelC,that shrine!!!!

So much thought went into there. I loved the imagery and the story (to me) of starting in one place and ending up in another.

 I was reading this topic a week or so ago and thought about joining in, but I am there as to accepting myself. I have very bulging varicose veins and actually went on an interview this week in a (yes) dress and nylons. Albiet dark ones. I looked fantastic. Too bad I didn't get a picture. I haven't worn a regular knee length dress in over two years. Don't think I got the job, but the confidence to dress up more professionally has got me very optimistic someone will be smart enough to grab me soon.
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« Reply #21 on: May 01, 2009 05:52:51 AM »

yay good for you lovesclutter and I am sure you will be snapped up very quickly. The craft-along is about loving and cherishing your body, you dont need to be still working towards acceptance, perhaps you can set a great example in body acceptance.
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