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The 'Just As I AM'-Challenge

After writing that post a few minutes ago titled 'Loving A Larger Woman' I have been struck with just how important it is to accept yourself just as you are. I mean, look at me:

I am not a fashion or style diva like the like our long time favorite friend, Franki, over there at


I may not be as quick witted and quirky as Hänni {HawKnee} of
{HAWknee's House}...although I AM bigger than her in bust size...whether that is something I should be admitting right now...I don't know!

Although, I have a star chart on my fridge where I give my self stars for doing my chores and living an healthy and organized life, unlike my, South Carolina based sister-in-law, Margaret at
...for this week (and the last 4 weeks, actually) my side of the chart has been very bare. In fact, my 3 1/2 year old son is whooping my butt where stars are concerned. HeHe :)

So that got me thinking...who am I and what is it that I stand for.

Apart from the standard; Age: 28, Gender: Female, Location: Hanmer Springs, New Zealand, which tells you completely nothing about me and who I am.

Literally, my only 'claim to fame' is that I am a proud, single mommy to two gorgeous toddlers of 3.5 and 1yrs.

I am a size 20 (Australian sizing) but when telling people my dress size I prefer using your American sizing system cause it means I can actually say I am a size 16, a whole two sizes less...well, it does sound better now doesn't it?

I own three bra's that have been fitted especially for my size 20 / 16F feminine beauties.. However, sometimes...when I haven't done the washing for a week, (Ah...like right now!) I try to, un-flatteringly squeeze my 'old friends' back into the maternity bra's which I wore at my son's birth almost 4 years ago...Grrr

I own 3 pairs of shoes, all non-name brands, flat heeled and terribly boring and practical and up until a few days ago I didn't even know who Michael Kors is...I have since learned that he's an amazing designer (I even found a yummy pair of pumps that I absolutely adore!).

However, I have never owned, nor ever likely to own anything with the brand 'Gucci' on it. Actually, I have had the same hand bag for the last 5 years which, incidentally, I purchased at a 'saver' store and I like the same style, so much, that when the bag breaks or gets a bit threadbare I periodically go back to the same store to buy exactly the same bag cause I am comfortable with it.

As far as dressing goes, I am ashamed to admit (or maybe not so ashamed!...) that I feel more comfortable in my sloppy jo's (sweat pants) rather than in a halter neck and heels. In fact I hardly ever where makeup unless I am going to some special event or there is a chance I may accidentally 'bump' into a particular fellow that I have been ogling...for the better part of the last 18months...but more on that later.

I love sneaking a few moments out of my hectic, diaper filled, days to pick up a good soppy romance preferably by Jane Green or Jennifer Weiner or Jude Deveraux...I think I have an obsession with J authors...but my all time favorite novel, despite the clichés is Pride and Prejudice...I am still waiting for my 'Mr Darcy' to sweep me off my feet.

Ok...and then there's my erratic exercise patterns...although I endeavour to run 7 kilometers, 3 times a week on my parents Elliptical Trainer, it inevitably never eventuates and if, on the extremely rare occasion, it does, I generally work really hard one week and then, after a couple of days rest, don't get back into it for another 4 weeks (...or more).

I guess you could say I am a bread and butter woman who is fascinated by glitz and glamour of the 'other side' but has never had the paycheck to be able to afford it.

You know, its true, I am all that...and more...but more importantly I know that I AM F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S! I am a real woman, with a real body (unfortunately). I have real dreams and desires and I am making a real career for myself...right here, online, writing from a real honest place.

After much soul searching I have discovered a secret...and that is that I am becoming A-O-K with who I am ...All of it! Indeed, my favorite quote comes from one of my favorite movie renditions of my all time favorite novels...yea...you probably guessed it...Bridget Jones' Diary...where Darcy stammers uncomfortably to Bridget, after she has just subjected him to her characteristic verbal diarrhea... "I like you, Just as you are!"

It occurs to me that if women could learn to 'like themselves, just the way they are' ...despite what the media tells us daily; about what we should look like, what we should be doing, what we should wear and what we should be buying even...then the world would be a better place for us and we would be happier.

The buck stops here...and on this I promise I wont be sitting on the fence...I guess you could say I have found my 'soap box'...here on this blog you wont find a lot of "marketing speak" or a blogger who would write something about a product for the money. Here, the only thing you will read/hear is the voice of the 'real woman'.

So I challenge other bloggers out there to take part in the same life changing exercise...Instead of concentrating on the negative points of why you want to loose weight and what you hate about yourself...how about writing 5 points about who you are and why you are ok just like that, they can be quirky, embarrassing, brutally honest, boring it doesn't matter...You are perfect, you are unique and you should accept yourself with all your quirks--'Just as you are'...Make sure you write it honestly and positively as I have done above. It will be a list that you might need to revisit every day for the next year to remind yourself, that you are ok, and your life is going to turn out ok...but more importantly it will be an affirmation to yourself and the first step in appreciating YOU just as you are.

For those that participate write a comment here with the url to your post and I will compile a list so that others can visit your blog and encourage you also.

Enough for now, my fabulous friends, until next time, keep smiling...

Coming to you from a 'real' place.

The Just As I Am Challenge....Explained (22 July 2007)



Lets play tag...here's how it works...Take up the challenge yourself then choose 5 people to tag...list those chosen ones on your blog under your entry and then visit their blog and write them a comment letting them know they have been 'tagged' to take part in the challenge...keep track of who participates and record their links on your blog as they post their entries.Eventually we will be able to follow a trail from everyone's blog linking to other blogs and their tagged blogs etc...it could be huge... Tell your blogging mates...and lets start a craze and grow and learn to love ourselves through doing this.Plus, inspired by 2kbloggers, my dream is to set up a photo montage, of ALL who participate, with links back to their individual blog posts...Now I am getting goose bumps...IMAGINE a photo montage of 2,000 'Fatbloggers' accepting themselves...Just as they are! Ok, Ok so I am thinking Big!!!! I always do...but if you think this is a neat idea then get onboard and lets start making an impact sort of like the 'pay it forward' phenomenon. And if you would like to be on the montage...start sending me your photo's with links to your challenge post...so that I can set it up.

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