Bringing Sexy Back: Around the Bonfire

by Gigi Ross on June 5, 2013

Chances are, you’ll read today’s post about body image and sex and say, “me too!”

Elaine from The Miss-Elaineous Life is letting her negative body image get the best of her right now. I’ll bet this has happened to you too. Read, comment and join the live discussion happening today.

body image and sex

Bringing Sexy Back: Elaine’s View

I have struggled with weight and body image issues the majority of my life.  I have also had what I would consider non-major “food issues” for most of that time as well.  These days I eat fairly healthy but I like food a lot and especially the kind that is not necessarily the best for me.

When I was in my teens I was a size 8 or 10 and of course I thought I was fat.  Because there were girls who were smaller than me and did not have as big of legs or as big of a bootie as me.

Oh man, what I wouldn’t give to have that body back!

BUT (no pun intended), I also know that for me anyway, that body is history because DUH, I am 38 and I have had three kids and the DNA is not stacked in my favor.  And all of these things take their toll, mentally and physically.

A couple of years ago I had gotten my body to a place I was really happy with.  I was running quite a bit, training for races and I even completed my only (so far) half marathon.  I had adapted my diet to include mostly “good carbs” and I lost 30 pounds in a matter of about 10 months.  I was doing well.

But I slipped out of those good eating habits and then my ankle decided to not cooperate in the running department and oh, Lookee Here, I am back up 20 unwanted pounds!

And I am pissed about it.

Not only am I pissed about my clothing going back up 2 sizes and the extra dimples on my body but I am pretty insecure about my body in general, even with my husband of 13 plus years.

I was just SO proud of what I had accomplished back in 2011.  And I looked DAMN good, so now I think I look DAMN bad.

And even though I know my man loves me no matter what, it does not stop my mind from going there…

I mean, certainly he enjoyed having sex with me much more when I was thinner.

It does not stop me from thinking down about myself even though I know he still desires me.

And unfortunately, it does not stop me from dismissing his compliments and his “baby you look good”s and his pats on my butt.

Instead I internally roll my eyes and think “there is no way he can actually think I look good like this” because I myself do not think that I do.

At this point I feel like I either need to commit to changing things back, by getting back to eating and exercising like I know I should, or simply accept myself as I am.

But neither seems like an option right now and here I am stuck, feeling like I cannot bring on the full sexy.

And some of you may have never experienced this and if not I am SO very happy for you because it can drive you to the point of not even being able to get “frisky”.   So then, neither can your partner because they sense something is wrong and well, of course they also sense your non-friskiness (I know, I am making up words) and it quickly becomes a vicious cycle of nobody-is-frisky and well, that is (with the risk of sounding silly for rhyming) “risky”.

Did you catch all that?

I know. It’s complicated.

The short story is that I sincerely wish I felt more comfortable with my body so I could give off the vibe of sexy confidence all the time but unfortunately that is not where I am right now.

However, I AM working on it and in my pursuit to get there I am realizing that in order to find my happy place the journey is in fact two-fold.  It includes both adapting my ways of thinking AND generally changing my ways in regards to eating and exercising.

I believe I can get there again but it is going to take some work on my part to bring the sexy back… even though according to my husband, it never left.

 Elaine Alguire is the multi-tasker behind The Miss Elaine-ous Life and a full-time wife to one great guy and mom of three amazing kids.  When not wrangling children she’s taking photographs (and posting many to Instagram!), writing or out running (both literally and figuratively).  You can also find her updating her blog Facebook page or tweeting as @elainea.

Bringing Sexy Back: Watch The Live Discussion

Now watch Elaine and other women talk about how body image can affect your sexual relationship on G+ Hangouts on Air!

Panelists:
Elaine Alguire | http://www.misselaineouslife.com/
Dani Walker | http://www.suburbiainterrupted.com
Chloe Jeffreys | http://generationfabulous.com
Natalie Chiles | http://www.nataliechiles.com
Pauline Campos | http://www.girlbodypride.com
August McLaughlin | http://www.augustmclaughlin.com/
Malia Carden | http://twitter.com/justmalia

{ 40 comments }

Alison June 5, 2013 at 5:56 am

Elaine, I don’t feel sexy either.
Not. One. Bit.
And my husband doesn’t really care how I look. But I think if he did a little more, I may be more motivated to change and lose the extra 10-15 pounds I gained over the last 2 pregnancies. See how I also manage to play the blame game here, although he’s accepting of me?
Sigh.
I applaud you for confronting this issue, my friend. xo
Alison´s last blog post ..Time, I’m Sorry

Elaine A. June 5, 2013 at 7:47 am

I am certainly motivated by my husband caring, Alison. I shave more often, that is for sure… ;-)

And Thank you!! xo
Elaine A.´s last blog post ..Guest Post at Kludgy Mom

Keely June 5, 2013 at 6:37 am

You are not alone in this, sugar. But- for reasons that simply boggle the mind- I’m starting to believe that our husbands SERIOUSLY DO NOT CARE WHAT WE LOOK LIKE/ARE WEARING/SAY as long as we SHOW UP.

Kinda like a fairytale, no? ;)
Keely´s last blog post ..My Dad Will Beat Cancer. (Round 12.)

Elaine A. June 5, 2013 at 7:47 am

I believe it too, Keely, I do. Now if I could just convince my whole self to believe it and be comfortable in my own skin….

tracy@sellabitmum June 5, 2013 at 6:47 am

Oh Elaine. I love you for being honest and real. ..and yes, me too. I want sex only if it’s pitch dark in the room and then maybe let’s still wear something to keep our eyes covered. Oy. xo
tracy@sellabitmum´s last blog post ..Land of the Giants

Elaine A. June 5, 2013 at 8:19 am

Hee hee. Love you too, T.

Dani June 5, 2013 at 7:10 am

Elaine I cannot wait to “meet” you later today during the Bonfire Chat! Thank you for openly discussing these issues that all women face, no matter what size they are. I am the opposite of you. I have lost a lot of weight (and was never overweight to begin with) and I now struggle with a fear that I will gain it all back. It takes a toll on me emotionally and even though I have a great sex life, I know my insecurities are not “attractive”. My constant complaining about feeling gross or wishing my stomach was flat or obsessing over hormonal breakouts that seem to be taking over my face is annoying. I know it is. But I can’t stop.

I am a cheerleader for every woman out there, making sure they feel beautiful, no matter their size, issues, whatever but my own worst enemy about myself. These are issues every woman faces and I am not sure how to help myself escape from the cycle of negativity. Today’s discussion will be great!
Dani´s last blog post ..Where Did the Time Go?!

Elaine A. June 5, 2013 at 7:50 am

Wow, Dani, so great to get your perspective.

It does get me that no matter how “thin” we are or whatever else we are having insecurities with (like your skin), we do ALL deal with this in some way. I truly wish we could all accept ourselves for who we are.

MOST excited to “meet” you soon too!! :D

thekitchwitch June 5, 2013 at 7:23 am

Despite the Dove campaigns and the H&M catalogs featuring “realistic women,” it’s still just so hard for women to crawl out of their heads and accept–let alone appreciate–themselves. And as women, we’re harder on ourselves than anyone else in our lives.

Well, mostly. I’m the woman who’s married to the man who signed her up for a personal trainer at the gym because she was getting “jiggly.” The woman who is 5’7 and 118 pounds and thought she looked pretty good after birthing two kids. And no, I will never let him off the hook for that asshole move.
thekitchwitch´s last blog post ..If You’d Been There: Just Write

Elaine A. June 5, 2013 at 7:45 am

Oh girl, I don’t even remember the last time I saw 118. Maybe 6th grade?? No really. p.s. I’m 5’3″.

And YES, we are our harshest critics, for sure!
Elaine A.´s last blog post ..Guest Post at Kludgy Mom

Jennifer June 5, 2013 at 11:40 am

I hope you fed him potatoes every night for a month after that asinine move.
Jennifer´s last blog post ..Summer Lovin’ {Creative Writing}

Shell June 5, 2013 at 8:13 am

Elaine, you know I get this. We need to figure out a way to stop being so hard on ourselves.
Shell´s last blog post ..Pour Your Heart Out: Pick Up the Phone

Elaine A. June 5, 2013 at 8:18 am

Agree, my friend!! Let’s get a plan. :)
Elaine A.´s last blog post ..Guest Post at Kludgy Mom

Laura at Mommy Miracles June 5, 2013 at 9:32 am

It is comforting knowing that my husband loves me and desires me and thinks that I am sexy, but it is SO hard when I don’t understand how this can be true. I too keep promising that things will be better when I lose some weight and feel better in my body – but that is a process, isn’t it? And it isn’t fair to ourselves or our spouses to wait to live and love (ourselves and each other) until we reach the end of that process. Like you said above – in high school, we had no idea how skinny and gorgeous we were. We might never not.

I hope that somewhere in this process you, and I, and everyone else who feels this way, can learn to feel confident in our own skin. And if some weight is lost in the process, then that’s all the better. :)
Laura at Mommy Miracles´s last blog post ..Music To Run To: My Favorite Running Playlist

Elaine A. June 5, 2013 at 11:26 am

I hope so too, Laura! Thank you for this honest comment. :)

Caitlin MidAtlantic June 5, 2013 at 9:58 am

I have felt like this so much lately… It really is a vicious cycle of feeling unattractive, not having sex, then pushing sex away, not wanting sex… and the longer it goes, the harder it is to get started again. I have been making an effort to “just do it” a lot lately, and the act of having sex is getting easier, and actually making me feel more desirable in the process in a weird way. Hope you get your mojo back!
Caitlin MidAtlantic´s last blog post ..Chore Chart

Elaine A. June 5, 2013 at 1:36 pm

Well, they do say, the more you have it the more you want it! ;)

Thanks, Caitlin!

Katie Sluiter June 5, 2013 at 10:00 am

I am going to admit right here that I share this problem to the point of our sex life totally suffering. It’s definitely a challenge we have in our marriage right now because there is about a four-day window when I am up for sex, the rest of the month? I want him to stay away because I feel gross. ::hangs head::

I know what to do about it. Either love myself this way or do what I know I have to do to lose it and feel better…but…but…sigh. both seem unattainable right now.
Katie Sluiter´s last blog post ..Eddie, Eddie, How Does Your Garden Grow?

Elaine A. June 5, 2013 at 1:38 pm

See? We both know what NEEDS to happen, it’s the doing it that’s hard. I REALLY hope we can both get there…

Hugs, my friend.

Lady Jennie June 5, 2013 at 10:30 am

Excellent post!!!! As you know, I struggle with the same thing and I just think you worded it so well – vulnerable, real, even funny mixed in. But you touched on a point that many woman, including myself, can relate to.
Lady Jennie´s last blog post ..Light on a Dusty Shelf

Elaine A. June 5, 2013 at 1:38 pm

Thanks so much, Jennie.

I know many can relate for sure!

erin margolin June 5, 2013 at 10:36 am

Elaine,

I feel you. I wish I could be there for the chat, but I think it’s 2:00 CST, which means I’m out…leaving my house by about 2:15.

Interesting thing is that, as you know, I have terribly body image issues. My husband, however, works out like a fiend and is really in shape. We mostly eat pretty healthy (more fish and chicken than beef, etc.), but I have had twins plus one and my body will never be the same.

He is attracted to me, but he wishes I would work out more–in part b/c he thinks it would help me feel better about myself (yes, he’s probably right) and it would probably help my depression (yes, but temporary, not a permanent solution). I know about endorphins and all that.

I just…I can’t get into sex when all I’m thinking about is how gross I look/feel. And when I’m exhausted after a day w/ the kids…

Love that you’re doing this. YOU ALL ROCK! Love this topic and so many will relate!

Elaine A. June 5, 2013 at 1:44 pm

And see, here’s the thing Erin, you have the body I have always wanted. (I mean, you know what I mean. lol.) Tall and thin. I think you look amazing and I bet your husband does too.

And no, your body will never be the same but neither will mine or hers or hers or hers! We MUST accept ourselves for who we are in our own right. I know, I am learning too.

xoxoxoxo

Leigh Ann June 5, 2013 at 10:41 am

It’s so hard to understand how our husbands see us. During my ups and downs my husband has assured me that he sees ME, not my chubby belly or flabby arms. Although it was very motivating when I was training and his attention was increased tenfold. Now that I’m NOT training, my newer, smaller shorts are getting tight and I can feel the inches coming back. That’s a motivator too.

Thank you for sharing this, Elaine. So many of us know exactly what you’re talking about.
Leigh Ann´s last blog post ..The Torreses start a project

Elaine A. June 5, 2013 at 1:51 pm

Thanks for relating Leigh Ann.

And yes, our husbands do still want us even though… ;)

Kat June 5, 2013 at 10:55 am

Oh yeah. I know EXACTLY what you are talking about and I am in the same boat right now. Just not feeling good about myself and of course that directly affects the bedroom. Also working against us? The hubby doesn’t feel good about himself lately either so neither one of us is putting forth much effort right now. Not great.

Thanks for going there, Elaine. Many of us can relate!
Kat´s last blog post ..WW- Vibrant

Elaine A. June 5, 2013 at 1:51 pm

Oh man, Kat, whenever I see photos of you and your hubby I think “Man, that is one HOT couple!” But I know what you mean, well, obviously… ;)

Thanks for commiserating… xo

Katie June 5, 2013 at 12:11 pm

Even at the best shape of my life right now I feel that way sometimes. And I’m 10 years younger than you–so maybe I’m doomed. :P Grateful you put this out there, though. xo

Mama and the City June 5, 2013 at 12:18 pm

I don’t think there are any women that are comfortable with their bodies, not even those that ‘seem’ perfect.

I know, in my case, I should get a friend to support and help getting into better habits – like excersice, diet, etc…

Perfection I don’t strive, but something more comfortable is something it’s always in my list.
Mama and the City´s last blog post ..Clicking Pause

Elaine A. June 5, 2013 at 1:53 pm

Thanks for having me here today Gigi, and thank you for the awesome hangout. What an experience! I wanna do it again! ;) I am really grateful to you for letting me use your space for this post, truly.

AND, so great to meet the ladies on the panel today. What a great bonus!
Elaine A.´s last blog post ..Guest Post at Kludgy Mom

August McLaughlin June 5, 2013 at 2:40 pm

Thank you for this honest, insightful post, Elaine! It was such a pleasure sharing a screen/panel with you today at Gigi’s bonfire. (Thanks again, Gigi!) Open honesty about these issues can go so far, IMO. I’m sure you struck a chord with many today, and through this post. Wishing you loads of happiness, self-acceptance, health and great sex. ;)
August McLaughlin´s last blog post ..Sexual Confidence: How to Feel Sexier Naked

Vanessa Betcher June 5, 2013 at 3:30 pm

I am also one of the many women that feel this way.

Robin | Farewell, Stranger June 5, 2013 at 7:25 pm

Elaine, I so get this. Before Connor was born and the year or two after I was at my lowest weight and my fittest. And then I started medication and gained weight and it’s still there. And it’s so frustrating, but I don’t know what to do about it. But I’m trying, and in the meantime I’m ignoring the fact that it affects my sex life. ;)

Good for you for talking about a tough topic.
Robin | Farewell, Stranger´s last blog post ..Lacing Up

Elaine A. June 6, 2013 at 6:46 am

Thanks, Robin.

Fist bump in solidarity.

xo

Vicky June 5, 2013 at 11:17 pm

I know you’ve probably gotten hundreds of “I totally feel the same ways” but the reality is, I totally feel the same way. It was like reading so much of my own story. I’ve been lucky to keep most of the weight off that i lost 5 years ago (30 of the 37) but the “feelings” and “thoughts” that are associated with food, weight, health, clothing size never seem to go away. I hate that. i hate that I “feel” gross if I go a few days without working out. I hate that I “feel” chubby no matter how many hours are spent exercising and my legs just don’t get thin or long or lean. To a certain degree I know I am master of my thoughts, but there is a part of me that fears I will always have those feelings and will never be totally content.

We are lucky we have loving me that feel our sexy has never left. We are lucky we have the education and the intelligence to know the right things to do. And maybe we are lucky enough to one day just feel alright in our skin so we can not risk the frisk;)
Vicky
Vicky´s last blog post ..Something is missing…

Elaine A. June 6, 2013 at 6:44 am

That’s a HUGE part of it for me too, Vicky. Trying to put those ugly voices out of my head and just relax about it all and not constantly worry about what I am eating or how I look in the mirror. It’s SO, SO hard.

thanks for that last line. It made me smile big. :D
Elaine A.´s last blog post ..Old School Blogging, June

Malia June 6, 2013 at 7:21 am

I wish I knew how to inject every woman who struggles this way with confidence. It’s so freeing. Elaine, I truly hope that you are able to find that confidence in yourself again. I know it’s in there. The fact that you were able to write this post and participate in the chat yesterday shows that you have it.

I’m not perfect and there are things about my body that I do not like (ironically enough, a lot of what I don’t like doesn’t have anything to do with my weight). I just know that when I’m with my husband, I feel like the sexiest woman on the planet. He loves me and desires me and I find that to be an incredible turn on.

It was an honor to be on the Bonfire Chat with you, and Gigi and the others yesterday! I’m so glad that “met” that way! I’m looking forward to future collaborations!

Elaine A. June 6, 2013 at 8:13 pm

I know it’s there too, Malia. Now if it could just make an every day appearance!! ;)

Honored to be on the chat with you as well. Thank you!

Julia June 6, 2013 at 12:15 pm

I’m thinking it’s risky not to get frisky should be a tag line for some type of campaign to have more sex in marriage. With that being said a lot of times I feel more squishy than sexy. And even though I know my hubs finds me sexy sometimes I feel like we are inundated with so many images of “perfect” bodies that it becomes hard to love our own. Now go get frisky!

Elaine A. June 6, 2013 at 8:14 pm

I agree with you about the images clouding our OWN self image, absolutely!

Thanks for reading and weighing in, Julia! :)

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