Beauty of a Woman Blogfest–Making Peace with My Thunder Thighs

I hadn’t planned on participating in August MacLaughlin’s Beauty of a Woman Blogfest. I didn’t find out about it until my BFF Ingrid Schaffenburg asked me to look at her post for typos (check out her post here. It ROCKS). So here goes.

Yes, I am a total joiner.

Let me start out with a little back story. I was never the pretty one in the family. I had two cousins who were stunning…then there was me. Family members would say, “Oh, Cara and Sonja are just so gorgeous. And Kristen, she is so…smart.” I guess it was a compliment. And, in fairness, my cousins looked like Mila Jovovich and Darryl Hannah so it was hard not to look plain next to those two. It still is. They still are DROP DEAD GORGEOUS and I love them both to pieces.

Anyway, when I was thirteen, I wanted to enter a modeling contest and the family laughed. They thought I was kidding. Later, when I was sixteen a family member told me, “Kristen, it’s a good thing you are so smart. Not like you are going to catch a husband with your looks.” And I suppose all of that was bad enough, but I had a nickname I never could escape and it bothered me far more than the remarks about my plain looks (yes, I was a late bloomer and thank GOD for makeup). What was the nickname?

Thunder Thighs.

See, I am only 5’4″ on a good day when all the planets are in line, and I am of…stockier build. I started ballet before I was four, and I never stopped dancing. I dreamed that one day I would dance in NY, so I practiced for HOURS. One day, a girl at recess called me “Horse Legs” and that was the first crack in my previously bullet-proof confidence. Suddenly, I realized that all the other girls in my ballet class were long and willowy. So were the ballerinas in the pictures on my wall. For the first time, I realized I was different.

We can call Kristen a lot of things, but “willowy” ain’t one of them.

Anyway, a boy at school heard the “Horse Legs” comment and decided to up the ante and call me Thunder Thighs…which stuck.

The 80s were a dreadful time for somebody with 21 inch thighs. The skinny jean with the tapered ankle was in style and I would get stuck in my jeans…literally. I remember one day my dad had to get involved. By this time, I’d given up dance and taken up soccer, and my jeans were stuck on my calves. Took someone with a good grip to free me from my denim snare.

Mortifying.

And it was bad enough to have Thunder Thighs because I was fit, but later I struggled with my weight. If anything stopped me from a regular workout, I gained weight quickly…all in my butt and thighs. I recall one time I gained a lot of weight after a nasty ankle injury. I had tipped the scales, and, for the first time, I had to go over to the plus size section. I remember retreating to the shadows near the escalator so no one would see me cry.

For those followers out there on the heavy side, what SADIST determined that African animals across the @$$ was a good idea? Oh this row of zebras across my derriere makes me look three sizes smaller! This giant hibiscus on my left boob makes me look so svelte!

But you know what? I am happy for that experience, and I am happy for my Thunder Thighs. Hey, at least I have legs that take me where I need to go. I’ll admit that I still struggle with loving the Kristen I see in the mirror, but the cool thing is that I have learned to love the Kristen I see reflected in other people much more. To me, THAT Kristen? SHE is the pretty one. The Kristen who keeps the new writer from giving up, who encourages the retiree who struggles to tweet.

My weight goes up. It goes down. Hell, I have everything from a size 2 to a size 16 in my closet. But, at the end of the day, none of that really matters when it comes to beauty. Real beauty is a white light we shine into the world, and we can only see it reflected in others. Kindness, generosity, love, patience are all qualities that make those around us glow…and we all look skinnier in that kind of lighting :D.

I know what it feels like to be “the plain girl” and “the fat girl” and that is cool, because it freed me up to learn to be “the kind girl” and “the fun girl.” Life is short and so am I. I will never have 88 inches of skinny model legs. I still want to write Target hate mail because they still INSIST on carrying 15 different varies of SKINNY jeans and only two curvy styles, but it doesn’t bother me like it used to.

Having Thunder Thighs caused pain, true. But, as my friend Ingrid tells me, “Humor is birthed from pain.” And I always add, “Which is why I am so damn funny.” I believe that, when we learn to laugh at our imperfections, it frees us to grow, to learn. I think one of the most beautiful things about me is I can laugh at anything, and I am not afraid to share my screw ups so I can help others learn. Maybe if I had been as beautiful as my cousins or as willowy as Ingrid (who was a professional ballerina and frets over her her small boobs–seriously check out her post). Maybe if I ‘d been anything other than the smart, plain, girl with the Thunder Thighs I wouldn’t be here…and I wouldn’t have you guys.

Which means I wouldn’t change a thing.

And P.S. I actually didn’t catch a husband because of my looks, or even because I was smart. I caught him because I was FUNNY :D. Thank you, Thunder Thighs!

LAUGH! It makes you beautiful!

Thanks, August for the challenge!

So what about you? Maybe you haven’t participated in this blog fest, but you can share here. Do you struggle with Thunder Thighs? Have you ever had to endure the Zebra Pants of Shame? Do you loathe Target and their 50 varieties of skinny jeans? What part of you did you have to make peace with? Maybe it isn’t even your looks. Are you shy? Do you collect bar coasters and love to yodel and it has interfered with finding a husband?

…whoa. Just kind of went Jerry Springer there.

And on the next edition of Kristen Lamb’s Blog. Her commenters confess to a secret life in the circus!

Whatever. Have fun. Share. It counts for the contest.

I LOVE hearing from you!

And to prove it and show my love, for the month of February, everyone who leaves a comment I will put your name in a hat. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the hat twice. If you leave a comment, and link back to my blog, and mention my book We Are Not Alone in your blog…you get your name in the hat THREE times. What do you win? The unvarnished truth from yours truly. I will announce last week’s winner on Friday.

I will pick a winner every week for a critique of your first five pages. At the end of February I will pick a winner for the grand prize. A free critique from me on the first 15 pages of your novel. Good luck! 

I also hope you pick up copies of my best-selling books We Are Not Alone–The Writer’s Guide to Social Media and Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer . Both books are ON SALE for $4.99!!!! And both are recommended by the hottest agents and biggest authors in the biz. My methods teach you how to make building your author platform FUN. Build a platform and still have time left to write great books.

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  1. #1 by PCC Advantage on February 9, 2012 - 11:53 am

    Oh my goodness….loved this post from beginning to end! So inspiring!

    P.S. I love yodeling…I do it all the time. If a man can’t handle that, then I kick him to the curb… ;)

    • #2 by Author Kristen Lamb on February 9, 2012 - 11:58 am

      Damn Skippy! I actually met my husband on Match.com and my profile was the bio of a lunatic. I claimed that I trained sea monkey in my spare time and that my perfect date would have his own sea monkeys, cuz I wouldn’t share mine. He fell in love, LOL.

      • #3 by Jenny Hansen on February 9, 2012 - 2:28 pm

        Why do sea monkeys make a man HOT? It works every time.

      • #4 by authorleannedyck on February 9, 2012 - 3:24 pm

        Unfortunately, I’m unable to leave a comment unless I reply. Thank you for the entertaining and inspiring post. For it, and many others, I’ve nominated you for The Versatile Blogger Award.
        Good luck,
        Leanne

        http://sweatercursed.blogspot.com

  2. #5 by susielindau on February 9, 2012 - 11:55 am

    I am glad you joined the party! What was up with all the name calling back in the day. I had my share of nasty nicknames. I have often wondered with all the talk of bullying, if any of my tormentors feel ashamed.
    It is amazing how beauty radiates from within. Confidence is what really makes us shine. With it we can be our humorous selves.

  3. #6 by Marcy Kennedy on February 9, 2012 - 11:56 am

    You should see my grin right now. Your closet sounds a lot like mine. I really should throw out those tiny sizes because I’ve come to accept I will never fit back into them (and shouldn’t since I was sickly at the time). I’m taking part in August’s blogfest too, and am headed over to read Ingrid’s post right now :)

    I got my husband in part because I love Star Trek. No joke. I may even have to write about that next week since it’s Valentine’s Day and all :)

    • #7 by Athena Grayson on February 9, 2012 - 4:22 pm

      You and I must have shopped in the same hubby department! ;) I rolled a natural 20 and got a critical hit when I found mine. ;)

      I call us “Women of Actual Size.” And I do it in Skipper the Penguin’s voice (from the Penguins of Madagascar – if you have kids, you know who I’m talking about).

  4. #8 by Ken on February 9, 2012 - 11:59 am

    This is a beautiful post Kristen. I’m 41, and I’ve heard and read a lot of things, but just this last summer a friend of my daughter teased her grandpa for having hairy shoulders. We were on a camping trip and were enjoying the beach. Her grandpa said something simple, yet it stuck with me, and I can already tell it will stick with me forever. He said, “God makes us all different.” Simple, right?

    I enjoyed your post.

  5. #9 by amandalewisab on February 9, 2012 - 12:00 pm

    Bullies in elementary. I was the smallest in the class (precieved as weak) but they taught me how to have to skin of a rhino. Xoxo stay strong Kristen and remember that beauty is the whole package!

  6. #10 by Juliana Brandt on February 9, 2012 - 12:00 pm

    Everyone, absolutely everyone frets over their appearance. I was granted the skinny genes in the family- but that didn’t stop be from feeling awful about myself. It wasn’t until college that I realized being beautiful wasn’t what was stopping me from being happy, it was ME- all the negative thoughts and wishes to be something else. I’m forever grateful I was able to realize this and accept myself for what I look like and for who I am.

    This is a wonderful post, Kristen. We all need the reminder that we all struggle with the same things. And you are hilarious, it’s what makes this my very favorite blog to read (and also the amazing advice :)

  7. #11 by Darlene Steelman on February 9, 2012 - 12:01 pm

    Well, I am sorry you were picked on in school, that’s for sure. Kids are so darn mean.. which is why I taught my kids NOT to call other kids names…
    I can relate from the opposite end of the weight spectrum.
    I was a bean pole growing up (and tall – I was 5’7 when I was 11 and freaking terrified!). I was called, “skinny minny” “too tall jones” “giraffe” but the worst one I was ever called was “Olive Oyl” Omg, that one stuck and I withdrew into my shell more so than I ever had. I still get pissed off when people call me skinny (I’m not anymore – I am 5’10 and pushing 170).
    Unfortunately, with the 170 pounds – none of it went to my boobs! :'(
    I have not participated in this blog fest, but I just learned of it this morning from someone else’s blog..
    Great post, Kristen… :D

  8. #12 by lwsapir on February 9, 2012 - 12:02 pm

    I love this post. And my closet has the same “variety” as yours… I am hanging onto my size 6’s…optimistic that someday (it will likely take divine interference) I may once again wear them.
    In addition to having a propensity to gain weight in ways that make jeans unflattering, I am also seriously pale (me + shorts = blinding) and I’ve never had ankles.
    In my perfect world, muumuus would be the height of fashion and strappy sandles would not exist.

    Thanks for this post, Kristen – you always make me laugh, and you are right. True beauty has nothing to do with the size of one’s thighs.

  9. #13 by Carrie on February 9, 2012 - 12:02 pm

    You sound like me. I too am about 5’4 and I have bigger thighs (thanks German ancestry!) I figure skated so my thighs just got thicker as I developed muscle.

    Jeans are the bane of my existence so once I find a pair that works I go with it and buy 3 or 4 pairs.

    Oh, and I caught my husband by reading a HUGE book at the beach…possibly the tiny bikini helped too (one good thing to putting on a bit of weight was bigger boobs!)

    • #14 by Author Kristen Lamb on February 9, 2012 - 12:08 pm

      Those damn German genes. Yes, I have German and Scandinavian blood. Good, strong stock. I can carry a mule on my shoulders and bench press a goat. But yeah…dance and soccer just made the big legs bigger…and bigger. And the weird thing is now they would be considered HOT. We’d be fitness models, LOL.

  10. #15 by Laura Drake on February 9, 2012 - 12:07 pm

    Oh man, I could have written this, except add linebacker shoulders and size 11 shoes to your description! Except the nickname for me in elementary school was Fatso Fogarty (hey, I’m old – look it up, whippersnappers.) They now call our body type, “light bulb” — feel better?

    Me neither.

    Aside from my sense of humor, I believe that this childhood forged my ability as a writer – not to mention all the plot-fodder!

  11. #16 by Donna Brown on February 9, 2012 - 12:08 pm

    In more ways than one, I was Carol’s big sister. It’s nice to see that I’m not the only one who struggles with weight issues. Sometimes I think I’m one of those writer’s who like to hide behind my laptop like some fat people hide behind their fat clothes.

  12. #17 by Kait Nolan on February 9, 2012 - 12:09 pm

    OH my darling…we are separated at birth. I too, have thunder thighs. When I was a size 2 and 112 pounds, I had thunder thighs that still rubbed together. I am also 5’4″ (SHORTIES UNITE!). I also have crazy muscular calves. They aren’t cankles and they aren’t fat. They are muscles. And I cannot find knee boots. Those gorgeous, sexy riding boots everyone wears with the dreaded Skinny Jeans (what moron thought that pants tucked INTO boots was a good look? That only works when you’re wearing jodhpurs and a riding hat). I WANTS THEM. I LUST AFTER THEM. I finally did find a pair I could wear–marked “extended calf” (WTF?), which I now can’t wear because I put on ten pounds (blast it). I spent years feeling like the odd duck, hiding behind my brain (if I can’t be pretty, at least I’m SMART!), never being the “norm”. And it really wasn’t until I changed my outlook, until I decided it wasn’t about being skinny, it was about being FIT and HEALTHY that I really settled into myself. So…thunder thighs or not…I am STRONG. And I think I’d rather be strong and able than skinny and weak.

    • #18 by Author Kristen Lamb on February 9, 2012 - 12:14 pm

      ROFLMAO. Extended calf! *howls with laughter* Maybe we need to created “Extended A$$” and “Extended Thigh” jeans, LOL. Yes, I do think we were separated at birth. But Twitter reunited us! :D

      • #19 by Jenny Hansen on February 9, 2012 - 2:43 pm

        LMFAO over all this magic extended business. Ever since I sat my a$$ in bed for a few months, jabbing needles in my tummy, I often have the need for “extended belly” jeans.

        But do you know what magic I discovered during pregnancy?? BELLY BANDS. No kidding – $16 at Target and your pants can stay up, whether you’re bloated or not. Had I discovered these earlier, I would have saved a pile of money on the rainbow of “different sizes for different days.”

        • #20 by Kait Nolan on February 9, 2012 - 3:14 pm

          What the heck is a belly band?

          • #21 by Jenny Hansen on February 9, 2012 - 4:06 pm

            They’re called “Be Bands” at Target and I used them my entire pregnancy to hold my pants up when they wouldn’t zip. I still use them when I want to wear something that fits my butt and not my tummy. :-)

    • #22 by Athena Grayson on February 9, 2012 - 4:29 pm

      I have Thunder Thighs. They are great for Kicking Ass.

      I got a solution for your need for knee boots. If you are crafty, you can knit or crochet custom-fitted spats (like form-fitted legwarmers–80’s aweigh!) that slip on over demi-boots or shoes, or you can sew them. Cut Out And Keep has patterns and variations, and Threadbangers even has a vid or two floating around, IIRC http://www.cutoutandkeep.net/projects/spatsvariations

      I love that you’re about FIT and HEALTHY–that’s where I’ve ended up, too, after a long, hard struggle.

  13. #23 by Tameri Etherton on February 9, 2012 - 12:12 pm

    ‘Life is short and so am I’ LOVE it! I was always the ‘pretty’ one in my family and I really wanted to be the ‘smart’ one (that’s my sister), but I did have a ginormous flaw – I have tree trunk calves. Yep, not only large thighs, but calves that never fit in boots, no matter how much I stretch them. I ogle all the cute boots women wear and dream of a day when my calves will fit into them, which hasn’t happened, yet, but I still hold out hope.

    Family and kids can be so mean! My dad is horrible at making nasty nicknames, but I refused to let him do it to my kids. He might say something in private, but never around me or them. Life is hard enough to have to hear demeaning words from a loved one.

    • #24 by Author Kristen Lamb on February 9, 2012 - 12:17 pm

      So that’s the solution. You, me and Kait Nolan need to stock up on those Extended-Calf Boots. ROFL.

  14. #25 by melissabowersock on February 9, 2012 - 12:14 pm

    Kristen, your observations and outlook are priceless. Truth be told, I’ll bet your cousins had their own issues; I remember reading in Mariette Hartley’s book, Breaking the Silence, something she said about “comparing her insides to other peoples’ outsides.” That provided a huge shift in my thinking. I was always a “big girl,” 5’9″ and not skinny by any means while my sister was petite, blond and popular. However, we each carry our own demons and all our experiences add up to make us the people we are today so in that vein I am grateful for it all. Like you, I developed a sharp wit and sense of humor, both invaluable in dealing with the world. And I wouldn’t trade a bit of it for anything else! Thanks for the great column; great insights and great laughs.

  15. #26 by becomingcliche on February 9, 2012 - 12:19 pm

    I didn’t catch my husband with looks. I caught him with a snare. And a tranquilizer dart.

    My Easter dress with I was twelve came from a shop with the word “Stout” in the name. I felt special.

    • #27 by Author Kristen Lamb on February 9, 2012 - 12:43 pm

      ROFL. Nice. I dig your tactics.

  16. #28 by Ingrid Schaffenburg on February 9, 2012 - 12:20 pm

    Thunder thighs!? That makes me so angry that your family did that to you. But in fairness I guess we’re all tested in this area of self-image. You with your family, me with Hollywood. You are HOT my friend. Embrace that inner and outer strength that infects us and inspires us all. You are a strong and gorgeous woman! And I’m proud to be your friend :)

  17. #29 by Kimberly Mullican on February 9, 2012 - 12:23 pm

    We women are so hard on ourselves and our bodies. I gained 100 lbs with my first child. Yep one hundred bloated pounds. Thankfully I was 20 and it came off. I was 98 lbs when I became pregnant, so tipping the scales at 200 the day I gave birth had me very weepy.

    Now at 35 it’s a lot harder to maintain my weight. I’m still close to my ideal weight plus 10-15 lbs. ;) But as Julia Roberts said in EAT, PRAY, LOVE, “Momma loves her muffin top!”

    As a fellow 5′ 4″er, I’m a fan of heels and anything to boost the “girls.”

    By the way, I’ve seen other photos of you. You are gorgeous. And you’re smart, and funny. Triple threat!

  18. #30 by Richard Monro on February 9, 2012 - 12:23 pm

    I have as always felt that the inside of a person is what makes the outside beautiful. I have talked with classically beautiful people who didn’t appear as beautiful after 10 minutes of conversation. Conversely, I’ve met some downright homely people who became beautiful in my sight because of a beautiful soul. Your blog hit the bull’s-eye on this topic. Thanks.

  19. #31 by Laura Pep Wu on February 9, 2012 - 12:25 pm

    BEAUTIFUL post. Here’s to european thunder thighs!!

  20. #32 by Suzanne Lucero (@S_Lucero) on February 9, 2012 - 12:30 pm

    Kristin, I love you. Not in THAT way, but in this way: you’re someone who doesn’t laugh at other people but who laughs at herself WITH other people. It encourages me to laugh at myself.

    I’m 25 pounds heavier now than I was for many years, and when the weight started sticking around after my fifth child was born, I thought, “Oh, all I have to do is a little more exercise and it will come right off.” When it refused to go away, I knew something was up. Sure enough, pretty soon it was HELLO HOT FLASHES. And most of us know that signals a time in our lives when certain parts of our bodies, um, settle. No, not my boobs. Those are still the same size as they were when I was 13. (At least I have something that hasn’t changed over the years). After years of trying to squeeze myself into my too-small jeans, I finally gave in and bought a couple of pair a size larger than I had in over 25 years. I struggled with that decision, and even went through the 5 stages of grief:

    1) Denial (It’s just a little extra weight from the baby. It won’t stay too much longer.)
    2) Anger (NO! I’m fighting that I’m getting heavier–and older–with every ounce of my waning strength.)
    3) Bargaining (If I don’t eat breakfast or lunch, then just have a salad for dinner, I’ll be thin again.)
    4) Depression (I don’t care. Give me the whole damn cake, I’ll eat myself under the table.)
    5) Acceptance (Time to buy a new pair of pants. I can’t breath when I put these on anymore.)

    My hair, what there is left of it, is almost totally gray, and my best feature, my eyes, now have a wrinkled pillow under each one.

    Getting older sucks, but at least I can laugh at it.

    • #33 by Author Kristen Lamb on February 9, 2012 - 12:44 pm

      Man, I FEEL you on the Kubler Ross. After having a baby it seems nothing is where it used to be. I live in yoga pants because then I feel curvy, not fat, LOL. What an awesome comment! THANKS!

  21. #34 by Kim Griffin on February 9, 2012 - 12:30 pm

    First off – if you’re plain, I’m the queen of England. (and i’m not, btw…).
    I loved the post. You are so right about developing other intangible traits so that you shine from the inside. Being able to laugh at yourself and laugh in general is key too.
    I loathe Target for the skinny jeans situation AND because I can never find pants there that fit me lengthwise (I’m 5’2″). Except yoga pants – so I pretty much live in those!

  22. #35 by Piper Bayard on February 9, 2012 - 12:32 pm

    You’re so pretty, I can’t imagine that you or anyone else ever thought otherwise.

    Ironic to me that you thought you were too short to be a ballet dancer. I always loved ballet and wanted to be a ballet dancer, as well, but where I grew up, I was too tall by far. I think all of those dancers in the pictures, and I think the operative feature is that they are willowy. It would take a Navy SEAL and three of his friends to lift me over his head for some of those moves.

    Ultimately, I love my body. Do I wish I was thinner? Definitely. Do I wish I looked younger? Positively. But my body has brought me through cancer, injuries, years of self-destructive behavior and numerous unidentifiable ailments, and it’s given me two amazing babies. What a trooper she is. I do my best to never insult her with my harsh judgements.

    Thanks for a great post, Kristen. :)

  23. #36 by Catherine Johnson on February 9, 2012 - 12:34 pm

    Great post Kristen. I am the ugly duckling of my family too, but probably not the funniest either. They are such smarty-pants lol. I was once amongst an international group of au pairs in Paris and some guy walks up and asks how far along I was. All my friends shouted at him, it was awesome :)

  24. #37 by shawn on February 9, 2012 - 12:37 pm

    Actually you caught me because you are beautiful, funny, extremely smart, a gamer, a fantastic cook and home maker, a person who shares my ideals, a person I can count on no matter what, a person who understands my love of God and country, and most importantly a person who puts up with my insatiable thirst for things that make really loud noises. ;p

  25. #39 by Debra Rosenberg on February 9, 2012 - 12:38 pm

    I grew up with the opposite problem and believe me, that’s no picnic either. From the time I was small, my well meaning parents would say, ‘She’s so pretty. She’ll never have a hard time finding a husband.’ Never a word about being smart or having the ability to succeed in whatever I set my mind on. Just the other day, my dad told me I should go to my 40th high school renunion (yes 40, that’s not a typo) because I’ll be the youngest looking woman there. (Believe me, I won’t be) Not a word about the fact that I just completed my first novel and I should go so I can brag about that.
    Every time I get a rejection, I have to fight the feeling that I was rejected because I’m not smart enough to write a book that anyone would want to publish.
    Kristen, I LOVE your blog. So smart and so inspiring. Because of your blog and your books, I WILL publish one of these days, either self or traditional. Now if I could just build up enough confidence to start that blog :)

  26. #40 by Anne R. Allen on February 9, 2012 - 12:40 pm

    Body image issues bring women together more than any other problem, I think. That’s the theme of my novel, Food of Love. I don’t think there’s a woman alive who doesn’t feel her body is flawed in some way. The models I’ve known are the worst. Most of my life I was a pretty well proportioned size 10, who always wanted to be a size 4. Then I got a terrible medical condition and they put me on prednizone for nearly a year. When I emerged, I was a size 22. All I can do is laugh at my stupidity, trying to diet away my nice body all those years. All that dieting made it impossible for me to lose weight no matter how little I eat or how much I exercise. At least I don’t have to worry about my clothes making me look fat. I AM fat. Count your blessings, normal-sized ladies–thunder thighs and all.

  27. #41 by Mikalee Byerman on February 9, 2012 - 12:43 pm

    OK, so first of all: I will soon be posting a new “favorite quote” on my Facebook wall. And it will read thusly:

    “Humor is birthed from pain” ~ Kristen Lamb’s friend, Ingrid

    Seriously. As someone who only found her writing voice after enduring a completely blindsiding divorce, I may have this emblazoned on my chest!

    And speaking of chests…

    I’m 6 feet tall, have “child-birthin’ hips” — and yet I’m completely flat chested. It’s cruel, really: For someone to be so remarkable in terms of physical presence/stature…and yet so unremarkable when it comes to that one all-important physical attribute. Or at least, I used to think it was an all-important physical attribute…

    But in recent years (and thanks to my manfriend of almost-3 years, whom I also met on Match.com!), I’ve learned that that “all-important” physical attribute isn’t one thing or another — but rather, the sum of all parts.

    And apparently, 6 feet + child-birthin’ hips + tiny tatas + funny from pain = someone I love … and someone my manfriend loves!

    GREAT post Kristen — I’m so glad you’re a joiner. Now I’m off to read about the Beauty of a Woman Blogfest…
    :)

  28. #42 by Emmie Mears on February 9, 2012 - 12:45 pm

    I wish I’d known about that sooner — between that and me donating my blog to V-Day for the week, we could have done something even awesomer. :)

    I was teased relentlessly for — get this — being shy. My classmates got no end of giggles from seeing how much they could make me blush or cry. Some of it was the braces and the acne, but most of the people I dreaded seeing were the ones who harassed me to see how red they could make my face.

    Sigh. That’s over now. I struggle with weight too, mostly because I have a horrible metabolism and have never been “skinny,” though I’ve never been that much overweight either. I love my body though, and I love who I am.

  29. #43 by Sheila Seabrook on February 9, 2012 - 12:49 pm

    Oh Kristen, what a revelation. I always assumed you were a 6′ goddess … and to me, you still are. :)

    I have thunder calves. My husband learned to love me despite my calves, which he hates. Now when I see my legs, I just don’t care anymore. There are far more important things in life than how we look physically. Yay for the revelation!

    Wonderful post. Thanks for sharing!

    • #44 by Author Kristen Lamb on February 9, 2012 - 1:42 pm

      Actually I am 6’4″ in my own mind. :D

      • #45 by Jess Witkins on February 9, 2012 - 3:10 pm

        LOL. I love this. I’m adopting this thinking.

  30. #46 by Les Edgerton on February 9, 2012 - 12:54 pm

    You women! I swear! You sound just like my wife Mary, who I call “Eye Candy.” She’s drop-dead gorgeous–as you are according to your photo–and since she’s tall she goes around saying she’s “a jumbo girl in a medium world.” So far from the truth! She’s absolutely gorgeous. She also berates her feet, saying they’re too big… and they’re perfect. I suspect if we heard from your husband he’d feel the same about you as I do about Ms. Eye Candy. I suspect you’re an unreliable narrator… you’re saying one thing, but your photo tells another story.

  31. #47 by Liv Rancourt on February 9, 2012 - 1:02 pm

    The only thing I can count on is that my weight’s gonna be different tomorrow. Might be higher, might be lower, depending on my frame of mind. Seriously. In the last ten years I’ve lost and regained over 100 lbs. It’s hard to let go of the physical and not let it affect the emotional.
    Love your post. Thanks for letting us see a new side of you.

  32. #48 by Elizabeth Twist (@elizabethtwist) on February 9, 2012 - 1:06 pm

    This is awesome, Kristen. I’ll be stopping by elsewhere on the blogfest. We women culturally conditioned to tear ourselves down. If we stopped worrying about looks, imagine everything we could accomplish with all that extra energy.

  33. #49 by Angela Orlowski-Peart on February 9, 2012 - 1:21 pm

    You are fabulous and gorgeous, and who the heck cares about the thighs anyway? We can cover them with straight-leg jeans or flowing skirts, right? And 5’4″ is an awesome height for a woman – ask my hubby, he will tell you!

    As for the hibiscus on the left boob… uhm…did you get the idea from my YouTube Hawaii video? It’s not red and not a hibiscus but close enough :-)

  34. #50 by KM Huber on February 9, 2012 - 1:35 pm

    Here’s to 5’4″–which I may have been for all of one of my thinner years; am now fighting to hang onto a nanoinch (I know, I know no such measure) of any part of 5’3″–and to German Russian dirt farmer calves. My thighs and stomach have always grown together; my stomach alone could feel a family of four for a week. I have a flat butt, always have. Rarely, do I fit in any jeans other than stretch.

    Whew! I feel better. Thanks for joining the blogfest, Kristen. I needed you to do that.
    Karen

  35. #51 by David N. Walker on February 9, 2012 - 1:38 pm

    Funny . . . I’ve never particularly noticed “Thunder Thighs.” What I’ve always seen is a loving person and faithful friend.

    You should try having ringworm in kindergarten and having your head shaved. I had to play by myself all year, because the others didn’t accept me.

    Aging also help you get over worrying about looks. 40 or 50 years ago I was considered handsome. When I look in the mirror now (don’t even need 15 or 20 power), I wonder how? Oh, well. . . .

    • #52 by David N. Walker on February 9, 2012 - 1:39 pm

      Oh, I forgot – you have the most photogenic face I’ve ever seen. At least when Mike Bumagin isn’t the photographer.

  36. #53 by Jenny Yates on February 9, 2012 - 1:49 pm

    Thanks Kristen for reminding me of a basic mistake I so often make. I think I’m the ONLY ONE who is imperfect! Too short, too wide, (good Scandinavian genes!), too big boobs – yes I’m convinced that’s worse than not enough. I never look good no matter what I wear – too top heavy. Ugh! But it was probably what generated the comment from one of my school students that ‘Mrs yates is the best hugger!’ Every part of us is good for something! It has taken a lot of years – I’m a great granny now (we were young starters!)- but like so many others I have learnt that it’s who I am on the inside that counts. Smile and be happy from the inside out and everyone will ‘see’ you as PERFECT.

  37. #54 by Denise Wolf on February 9, 2012 - 1:49 pm

    Appearance is so emphasized it is amazing anyone, even the “pretty” ones make it through without therapy. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to embrace who we are knowing there are no mistakes? So glad you have people in your life who see all of you, including your wonderful sense of humor, and love and support you and allow you to share your story and knowledge with us so honestly.

  38. #55 by Rhonda Hopkins on February 9, 2012 - 1:51 pm

    I can relate soooo much! Like Darlene, I was called “Too Tall Jones” b/c of my height. 6’0″ now. In elementary school pics I was always the lone girl on the top row with all the guys. I also had glasses so “4-eyes” was a common nickname. Some of the teasing and bullying I was sure would do me in, but in the long run it made me stronger. I learned not only to stick up for myself but for others too. Oh and those ankle injuries can be DISASTROUS for your weight. I crushed mine 20 years ago, 7 surgeries later and I’m about to have my 8th. I gained a lot of weight over the years, but since June, I’ve lost 54 pounds. I’m determined not to let another surgery put it back on. Anyway, great post Kristen!

  39. #56 by katmagendie on February 9, 2012 - 2:05 pm

    My adoptive mother was short, like me (I’m 5’2″) but she was very tiny – maybe 100 pounds. Well, I wasn’t so tiny and I used to wish I were her “real daughter” so I could be really tiny.

    But what gets me is though I was called “Butterball” by the elementary school photographer (you know those school photos, bleah), when I look back at photos of myself, I wasn’t fat – I wasn’t a butterball, I was just not skinny.

    I developed WAY too early too, like 5th or 6th grade– talk about all kinds of stuff coming up because of that. Once when I was 13 or so, a grown man who should have known better and looking back I see how creepy and disturbing this is (back then I was just embarrassed and scared) – but he said, “My my my – you have a woman’s body and a little girl’s face . . .” ewwww!

    I often said as I was growing up and as a young woman: beauty is Respected and Revered but curvey women are “sex objects.” *sigh* I always envied beauty – tall lithe beauty, instead of my short curvy too-developed body.

    But! I learned that a strong healthy body made me feel more powerful. More in control of my body image. More in control period. I used to be a personal trainer, and I still like keeping myself Strong. It’s an armour. A shield against the “ogling” and the idea that curves means sex.

    Dang, didn’t mean to spout out all that! And by the way – I always think of you as gorgeous, which of course you are – you just can’t see it – all the other crap is in the way of you seeing it.

    • #57 by Author Kristen Lamb on February 9, 2012 - 2:21 pm

      I feel pretty with makeup and my fake eyelashes are like a magic feather, LOL. Just when I have no makeup I am actually very plain. I’m naturally blonde (which is nice) but it means blonde eyelashes and blonde eyebrows with blonde hair and pale skin=no face. I don’t feel ugly, but I don’t feel particularly beautiful…so I make up for it by being funny :D…which is way funner anyway :D.

      • #58 by Julie on February 9, 2012 - 3:59 pm

        That’s so funny Kristen! I’m a natural blond too (hence the blond eyebrows and lashes) and extremely pale. It’s like my face disappears when I don’t have makeup on – LOL

        • #59 by katmagendie on February 9, 2012 - 6:12 pm

          I wanted a nose-ectomy – seriously, I have quite a big nose :-D

  40. #60 by nadinefeldman on February 9, 2012 - 2:08 pm

    I’ve had the misfortune of having Bad Skin. At 53 I am going through my second adolescence due to hormonal changes, and it seems that nothing I do helps. The last time I went to a dermatologist it was a disaster (I am sensitive to medications and had horrible side effects). I treat my skin tenderly, eat a great diet, and get facials, all of which helps, but it seems this is a phase I just have to go through.

    As for height, I’m 5’2″ (if I stand up reeeaaaallly straight), but I’ve always told people that I walk tall. I found a cute, short hubby whom all the other online ladies ignored because of his height (5’6″). He’s a gem of a man, and they all missed out!

    Truth is, I have an amazing life. My body is strong and healthy, and I want for nothing. So what are a few zits? I have decided that if someone else has a problem with my face, it’s their problem.

    • #61 by Author Kristen Lamb on February 9, 2012 - 2:22 pm

      I feel ya on the skin problem. I have been doing the Obagi regime (not fun) to correct acne scarring from my youth. Oy! The stuff they used to tell us was GOOD for our skin! I wouldn’t wash my FLOORS with that chemical junk. I cut out dairy totally and it helped A LOT.

  41. #62 by granbee on February 9, 2012 - 2:23 pm

    Kristen, and here I was thinking you have the MOST gorgeous, twinkly smile I have seen online EVER! Anyway, you are absolutely right that the one who makes us laugh is always beautiful because they leave a beautiful mark on our souls!

  42. #63 by Jenny Hansen on February 9, 2012 - 2:35 pm

    My mother used to listen to me lament as a teenager, roll her eyes, and say, “Uh-oh…Defect! Defect!” It made me laugh and stop the bitching but I look at pics and wonder that she didn’t bitch-slap me. I was a 15-16 year old HOTTIE, and I had no idea.

    I can’t say I’ve ever again achievedthat level of hot, but who has time to work out 3 hours a day anymore. Slowly, I’m trying to make peace with the fact that ‘hottie’ comes from within and healthy matters more than the 25 pounds that blood clots and babies and menopause have added to me.

    Whatever.

    I’m fun…that’s gonna keep people I love around me wa-a-a-ay longer than “hot.”

  43. #64 by Suzanne on February 9, 2012 - 2:36 pm

    Hi Kristen,
    “Tee-pee” legs here (knock-kneed and ankles far apart). When I married a man with gorgeous, straight, tennis-player legs I was hopeful for our children, but turns out the TP gene is dominate. I have two girls with the same legs. Looking at them I can so easily see that their legs (although they complain to me about them all the time, it being obvious where they came from) don’t define their wonderfulness. So, hmm, perhaps mine don’t define ME either. Thanks for helping me see that today.

    Suzanne

    p.s. I love your blog and am shocked to learn that you are not the gorgeous one in your family b/c truly when I first saw your picture months ago I thought Wow! How can I look that hot in glasses??

  44. #65 by Coleen Patrick on February 9, 2012 - 2:52 pm

    Ok well I’m shy AND I have stocky legs. I prefer to call them extra muscular. Besides when the gale force winds blow and the zombies emerge, stocky legs will be able to stand her ground–or run, whatever is necessary.

  45. #66 by MaLinda Johnson on February 9, 2012 - 2:58 pm

    Aww…you are gorgeous and most definitely not fat. I was blessed with a healthy German gut and have experimented with ways to embrace (camouflage) it.

  46. #67 by Jess Witkins on February 9, 2012 - 3:21 pm

    I love August’s blogfest. This is the best Valentine’s present ever reading all these stories from women sharing what they love about themselves. I don’t think I “grew” into my body until college. Some great skincare, an awesome haircut and BAM, I looked and felt a lot better. But that doesn’t change me being the first girl to get braces, being only 5’1 and a 1/2 (a very important 1/2), and having pastier than pasty white skin. I was the kid walking indoors halfway through recess cause I’m literally allergic to the sun and my arms would be covered in hives despite wearing SPF 80! LOL.

    Now, my favorite things about myself are my undyed red hair, the numerous scars I’ve inflicted over stupid, adventurous acts, and like you, my ability to laugh and make others laugh as well. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to climb a bookcase to get what I want down. ;)

    • #68 by August McLaughlin on February 9, 2012 - 3:35 pm

      I agree, Jess. Today feels like V-day and Christmas combined! Love that you dig your natural hair and scars. I savor my appendix scar daily. ;)

  47. #69 by Adriana Ryan on February 9, 2012 - 3:25 pm

    AWESOME post, Kristen! I cannot picture you as Miss Thunder Thighs–you look like a model in your photograph! :) But we all have our insecurities, huh? After I had my kids, I struggled with a less than taut tummy. MUCH less than taut. It still bugs me. :( But then I imagine the alternative–a flat stomach and no kids. No, thank you! You’re right. With everything we lose, we gain something else invaluable. Thank you for sharing with us. :)

  48. #70 by Paige Kellerman on February 9, 2012 - 3:26 pm

    Seriously? Every time I see your author pick, I’m always like, “I wish mine looked that good. Kristen is so photogenic.” You’re super pretty. Who were these fools??

  49. #71 by Maria on February 9, 2012 - 3:28 pm

    I saw the picture of the dancing hippo and wondered how you’d made it out to California last night to see me in my hip hop “Groovalicious” gym class. I spent last night l̶u̶m̶b̶e̶r̶i̶n̶g̶ dancing around and trying to do hip hop a mere 6 lbs from my highest ever weight. I’d watch myself in the mirror and see the hippo. Of course every other person in the room was fit and graceful at least in my head. I’m sure that is not how each woman saw herself; we are so hard on ourselves and so generous with each other.

    I am tired of the body dysmorphic disorder flaring up, but there you have it. The difference now is that I don’t let it stop me. I’ll be going back to “Groovalicious” and I will embrace my body no matter how I see it or how it feels. I can move and I will, but sometimes being the smart girl, the funny girl, the encouraging girl simply isn’t enough. I still occasionally dream about being a beauty queen. I work on accepting the beauty and awe in being a goddess. I work on learning to live in my body and I work on being grateful for the power in my body and the strength in my body, and today that is enough.

    Tonight is Zumba at the gym and whoever or whatever I see in the mirror isn’t going to stop me from going and enjoying it – body dysmorphia or not.

  50. #72 by August McLaughlin on February 9, 2012 - 3:34 pm

    As I read your first book, I kept thinking, “Man, this woman is so smart!” Then I hopped on your website and thought, AND she’s GORGEOUS?!” :) It’s crazy how hard we are on ourselves and how much our perception varies from the way others see us. I imagine every woman, and lots of guys, who read your post see themselves in it. I know I do.

    When it comes to beauty, it seems to me that a few things are universal. We all have it, all grapple with what it is and the best kind is what you described—the kind reflected in others. Loved this post, Kristen. Thanks so much for joining the fest!

  51. #73 by tomwisk on February 9, 2012 - 3:34 pm

    As a non-woman with image issues I appreciate your post. I wanted to be the cute/lovable guy but always wound up in the posse. I remember a pair of black denim jeans from Robert Hall that I wore from ninth grade through my sophmore year in high school. I couldn’t kill the suckers. Finally they got “lost” during one of my trips to the laundromat. You cited African prints as the go-to style for the svelte-challenged, men’s clothiers like camo-like prints and Hawaiian shirts. You know the ones. The kind so loud you hear them before you see them.

  52. #74 by Miriam Joy on February 9, 2012 - 3:47 pm

    I really like this post. Compared to most of my friends I’m reasonably skinny, though I’ll never be more than 5 foot 3! However, I want to study ballet and become a ballet teacher. It’s a difficult industry if you’ve been dancing since you were three and you’re completely skinny and flat-chested, let alone if you’re a late starter (I was 15) with a family history of large boobs, doing your best to break the mould in that respect… So even though for every day life I can be comfortable in my size, I can never be comfortable because of what I want to do, and people often don’t understand that (they’re like, “You’re skinny! Relax!” and I always reply, “No, I’m normal sized. Which means for ballet, I’m too large.”).

    However, I’m learning not to judge myself on that, especially as I recently watched some videos with some great ballet dancers who weren’t the painfully thin mould. I’m also learning that whatever happens, I can always take it out on my writing :)

  53. #75 by Julie on February 9, 2012 - 3:52 pm

    Kristen, I LOVE this line: “Real beauty is a white light we shine into the world, and we can only see it reflected in others. Kindness, generosity, love, patience are all qualities that make those around us glow…and we all look skinnier in that kind of lighting. So 100% true.

    And I’m 5’7, but I too have thunder thighs. Recently, when I spent THREE hours at Nordstrom trying to find a pair of said “skinny” jeans that would look halfway decent on me, I explained my predicament to the 20-something salesgirl. In trying to commiserate and make recommendations, she said, “I have big thighs too because I’m a figure skater so I have a lot of muscle there.”

    Whereupon I looked at her and said, “Yeah? Well mine ain’t muscle.” Commiseration FAIL! :-)

    • #76 by Lynn Kelley on February 10, 2012 - 9:11 pm

      I would have said the same thing to the salesgirl! Cellulite’s no delight! I’d love to have muscular legs.

  54. #77 by Darke Conteur on February 9, 2012 - 4:02 pm

    I was just the opposite. Up until the age of 30, I was 85lbs, and at 5’2″, I was, as my stepfather put it, a ‘walking toothpick with two nuts tied to the front’. I wasn’t bulimic or anorexic, that’s just the way I was. After Sithboy was born the weight came on, and I’ve been struggling with my weight ever since. I don’t want to be that thin again; it didn’t look healthy, but there are times I can’t get that image of that younger person out of my mind and I have to remind myself that I’m not fat, I’m just thicker than I used to be.

  55. #78 by Julie Glover on February 9, 2012 - 4:04 pm

    Love this post, Kristen. I am the least pretty of three sisters. And if anyone wants to argue, I have our photographs and high school dating records to prove it. I got that “you’re smart” thing too. Whatever. I wanted to have smart AND supermodel looks.

    But in the last few years, I’ve gotten very comfortable in my own skin. Hey, I’m not getting phone calls from Cosmo, but I have a handsome husband, a great family, terrific friends, a wonderful writing career brewing, and most importantly, I kind of like myself. I’m smart enough, funny enough, pretty enough, nice enough, and altogether it works out reasonably well. I’ve also learned that women are most beautiful when they are confident and smiling.

    By the way, when I saw you in person at DFWCon last year, I thought you were quite beautiful . . . and smart and funny too.

  56. #79 by Sabrina Alexander on February 9, 2012 - 4:16 pm

    Timely. I’ve been thinking I’m too far on the fluffy side and wondering how to stop it now that I’m GETTING OLDER. Looks like I have two issues I need to work on, lol. Thanks for this.

  57. #80 by Jodi Lea Stewart on February 9, 2012 - 4:40 pm

    Wow…you are the poster child for transparency! You really do practice what you preach. I’m not as far down the road as you are, so I suffer most of my imperfections alone. I do not agree with all that you said, however. I think you are adorable looking. The first time I saw your photo on your book, I started chuckling. That twinkle in your eyes should be packaged and sold for big bucks (to snobs and terrorists – instant cure!). Your picture always elicits the same big smile from me. So I agree that you are beautiful in all the right ways. Personally, I’ve lived a physically schizoid life:
    1. Chubby Texas baby whose grandmother liked feeding spoonfuls of butter to her grand-babies,
    2. Skinny little girl in Missouri with ferocious allergies and asthma,
    3. Chubby adolescent with a HEALTHY appetite on a ranch in the Arizona high country – whose mom cooked three huge ranch-hand meals a day, complete with biscuits, sourdough rolls, and cornbread + dessert. Not helpful. Nuh uh.
    4. Skinny teenager who allowed herself only 400 calories a day so she could be glamorous teen model (and who wound up with malnutrition).
    5. The rest of the story: thin>chubby>fat>fat>chubby>sort of fat>thin>etc.What am I now? Somewhere in between all those categories. Always struggling to attain a body goal that eludes me. One thing about it, I’m nice. And funny. And sympathetic. When I had my 23″ waist, I was self-absorbed and hungry. That’s about it.

    Keep leading, Kristen. I (and 5 bajillion others) will follow!

  58. #81 by Lori Oster on February 9, 2012 - 4:49 pm

    MY childhood nickname was Thunder Thighs! But, my parents were the ones who gave it to me, not a schoolmate. I was 9 1/2 lbs when I was born (I hear this means I was bigger than most babies) and, well, they officially named me Lori, but immediately started calling me Thunder Thighs.

    I consider it a family tradition. My mother’s German parents called her “Dickchen”, which basically means little fatty.

    I think it was Samantha on SATC who, when asked by a department store saleswoman if she wanted to try a new face-lift cream, said, “This is my face honey. Deal with it.” I might be a bit off with the quote, but I love the sentiment behind it.

    Great post.

  59. #82 by Athena Grayson on February 9, 2012 - 5:01 pm

    My thunder thighs are great for kickin’ ass.

    I used to want to ballet dance until I discovered belly dance. Women of Actual Size look and do better at belly dance (plus it works out those areas we most want to work out and keeps our joints loose).

    As for my boobs…everyone likes to retire somewhere south…my boobs are just scouting ahead of the rest of me.

    Ah’m sexay an’ I know it! Wiggle wiggle wiggle!

  60. #83 by CC MacKenzie on February 9, 2012 - 5:48 pm

    Reading this fabulous post, I kept thinking I DON’T BELIEVE THIS!

    In my head you’re 5’11” a lean, mean fighting machine with flowing blonde locks down your back -a bit like a cross between a Valkyrie/Boadicea – with a copy of WANA in your hand bashing it over my head, saying ‘get on with it, woman.’

    Which makes it even more amazing that, actually, you’re just like me.

  61. #84 by Natalie Hartford on February 9, 2012 - 6:11 pm

    Thunder thighs. Oh do I know thunder thighs!!! I carry the majority of my weight in my legs. Whenever I buy pants, I have to buy them 3 sizes to big to fight my thunderous thighs and have the waist taken in. And like Tameri and Kait, I’ve always longed for knee high boots. Extended calf boots don’t extend near enough for me. I wonder who they hell these boot makers are constructing their boots for!! Pixies???
    In the end, I’ve been working hard this year to celebrate, accept and love all of myself – thunder thighs and all – and to find clothes and accessories that help me FEEL good! I hate having to get clothes taken in but if that’s what it takes to have pants that fit great and make me feel sexy, then that’s what I do. I gotta work with all that God gave me…
    Work it girl…whatever it is that you got…work it!

  62. #85 by katmagendie on February 9, 2012 - 6:16 pm

    What is so fascinating and telling and real about all these is the very thing that one of us felt so “wrong” about is the very thing someone else may have wished they had.

    It’s all about what messages were driven into our young girl’s (or young men’s for those who share here, too!) heads as we grew – especially if it came from someone we should have trusted to protect those tender parts of our psyches.

    You all are brave and wonderful and if I were standing next to you, I wouldn’t see any of these “things” you all see – I’d see wonderful women (and men) who I’d like to know better for all the things that have nothing to do with Looks.

  63. #86 by brendamarroy on February 9, 2012 - 6:34 pm

    Kristin, First of all, I keep going back to look at your picture, and I think you are a really beautiful woman.
    Second, I’d love to be able to walk without having my thighs rub together. Ouch…They are not as bad as they used to be, but they still sometimes stick. When they were the thickest, It seemed there was not enough corn starch or baby powder in the world to keep them from rubbing and chafing.
    I’m just so glad to finally be in a place where I can lovingly accept myself as I am. Accepting and loving me is of prime importance to me at this phase of my life. I’m 70 and love it.

  64. #87 by gingercalem on February 9, 2012 - 7:06 pm

    Kristen, loved it and we ‘thigh-girls’ have to stick together!! I ‘used’ to be nearly 5’5″. Somehow I’m barely 5’4″ now. And all my life, I wanted to be 5’7″ and I wanted the extra height by stretching my legs a big longer, so you know, they’d this thinner.

    But now I’m a huge weight lifter and my big ol’ quads help me move a ton a weight around. ;)

  65. #88 by Louise Behiel on February 9, 2012 - 7:50 pm

    great post Kristen. why do we all have such issues about appearance? most of the men I know don’t share this truth – they feel they’re cute or handsome or hot. go figure.

  66. #89 by Anna on February 9, 2012 - 8:34 pm

    I figured it out once. Ever since I had my kids I permanently gained 2 pounds a year all of it (until it started to overflow) around my hips. Not much, you may say, but it adds up. Because it worked so phenomenally good for my girlfriend, I tried the hcg diet, and lost 50 of those pounds. Not that I’m svelte again, I never was and never will be. Plain Jane is me and has been me all my life. I was the girl with kudies all through school so it wasn’t until relatively recently that I started to come out of my shell, though that has nothing to do with my weight loss. Speaking of which, 50 pounds of extra baggage left behind not to mention that it’s still gone, feels just awesome. You can read about true tales of my life here in the wilderness of Alaska at http://AnnaOfAlaska.blogspot.com – True stories of the life I lead and the fun I’ve had.

  67. #90 by Ray on February 9, 2012 - 9:08 pm

    Kristin,
    I love this post. I would like you and all the rest of the fine ladies who commented here to know something. I don’t care if you have thunder thighs or if you are considered Plain Jane. It is a woman’s HEART that matters the most. Without heart a person is cold as stone. I wish you all happiness and bountiful blessings
    Ray

  68. #91 by Donna Martin on February 9, 2012 - 9:42 pm

    I can relate on so many levels. I certainly love the “me” I am today more so than the “me” I was in my 20’s…but then again there is MORE of “me” to love these days than in my anorexic 20’s…lol…

    Great post as usual!

  69. #92 by Ashley Prince on February 9, 2012 - 10:19 pm

    I always hate commenting on weight issues that I have because growing up I was the “skinny girl.” But having a body image disorder didn’t make me feel that way. I struggled with eating disorders from the 7th grade. I wasn’t anorexic (I didn’t exercise) or bulimic (I hate throwing up), I just stopped eating. Maybe I would eat one meal a day. Maybe.

    In the past year since I’ve been married, I’ve gained 7 to 10 pounds. Which technically, I guess is good because I was underweight when I got married. However, there are days I sit in my closet and cry as I see size 2 to a size 6. I know that is not a huge difference, I get that. But my sister is the gorgeous, skinny, model. I’m the cute librarian. (Which I’m okay with most of the time.) Also, my sister has been told she looks like a Victoria Secret model and Megan Fox. =/

    I really love this post and it’s very inspiring. I am trying to embrace my look and my thighs. I get all my weight in my butt and thighs. Why it won’t go to my boobs is beyond me. I wish it would.

    Thanks again for a great post.

  70. #93 by charlfk on February 9, 2012 - 11:24 pm

    I have one question :-) why is it women always have to “find” a husband? What do guys do? If I had been your mom, Kirsten, I would have decked anyone who called you anything but gorgeous. Is everyone in the US that cruel? My word, I’m glad I live in darkest Africa where we only have to face AK47s LOL
    In the west, from hundreds of years back, women’s families paid a dowry. Here in Southern Africa, men pay lobola, which still makes us a commodity–sigh.

  71. #94 by Jami Gold on February 9, 2012 - 11:31 pm

    Oh, Kristen, you are beautiful–inside and out. Seriously, do you realize how much we all admire and look up to you? :)

    Proud founder of the Kristen is Awesome-Dipped-in-Glitter club ;)

  72. #95 by bridgetstraub on February 9, 2012 - 11:40 pm

    I have struggled with my weight my whole life. I was the pretty one, but always assured i’d be even prettier if I was thinner. The real kicker is that it was true, at least physicaly speaking, however I think it is what has taught me to laugh so it’s all fine.

  73. #96 by Romy Sommer on February 10, 2012 - 4:43 am

    I loved your post, Kristen. And yes, you change lives and inspire fledgling writers, which is way more important than a few centimeters here or there. We love you, so keep that white light shining!

  74. #97 by tracikenworth on February 10, 2012 - 5:30 am

    I thought when I was younger and hated my body image that was the worst of it. But then along came medicine over the past few years that has dropped serious weight on me. I hate wearing plus sizes, it’s damaging to your health and mind and spirit. Right now, I’m trying to do exercises to get me back in shape. I struggle with the prettiness of my youth being drained into someone who looks like their pregnant. And the comments people make can be so hurtful. Every now and then, I catch a glimpse of “pretty,” but then the rest of my body shows up in the mirror and ruins the reflection. I’m determined to get these pounds down. I have diabetes now and high cholesterol, neither of which wants to manage well. I’ve made some positive lifestyle eating changes since Jan. for me and my family and already I can feel a difference. Likewise with the exercise. I think of that Designing Woman show where Delta Burke’s character is ridiculed at her high school reunion for her weight. Oh, can I cry along with her, but these days, I lift my chin and I’m grateful for what I am and who I am and what I’m going to do with my life.

  75. #98 by Stephanie D on February 10, 2012 - 10:42 am

    “Real beauty is a white light we shine into the world, and we can only see it reflected in others. Kindness, generosity, love, patience are all qualities that make those around us glow…and we all look skinnier in that kind of lighting”
    Loved this! Great post.

  76. #99 by Cynthia Cheng Mintz on February 10, 2012 - 11:04 am

    Being small isn’t a picnic either. I’m shorter and fairly small framed – the only time I weighed over 100 lb was when I was in my mid-teens into my early 20s, thanks to my cookie habit – , so I got stuck with “she’s sooooo cute” comment well until I got engaged. Strange that a diamond ring makes one a woman.

  77. #100 by S. J. Maylee on February 10, 2012 - 11:06 am

    I once dreamed of being 5′ 4″, but alas my dream didn’t come true, I’m only 5′ 2″
    You’re one of the lucky ones in my book ;)
    My mother has this tiny frame, but I got my dad’s sturdier/stocker frame, boo. I’ve studied dance most of my life and I still remember a judge (Patrick Swayze’s mom actually) at a competition calling me cute, but fat. I was 13!! In the years that followed I believed I was fat, but I was not of course, that came years later. Finally last year something started to click, I think it was something like acceptance. Whoever said growing old sucks has it all wrong, age has brought clarity. With the cobwebs of self deprecation out of the way I was freed. In the last 7-months I’ve lost just over 30-pounds & can’t remember the last time I felt so good about myself.
    This post caught me by surprise, I mean have you looked at your picture lately at the top of this page? YOU are gorgeous. Maybe your cousins are pretty, but that doesn’t detract from what I can clearly see. Thanks for showing a very human side and once again prove we are not alone.

  78. #101 by colonialist on February 10, 2012 - 11:11 am

    I recently posted a rhyme where I said that true beauty comes from attitude rather than looks. It is true. Perfect looks with an expression of downtrodden misery can never compete with the plainest of faces topping the most unfashionable of bodies but where kindness, joy, humour and serenity shine through.

  79. #102 by Patricia on February 10, 2012 - 12:54 pm

    Well, Thunder Thighs, nice post! I never really had thigh issues, but my hips can’t seem to stop spreading. When I was younger I was told that I had good hips for child bearing. Nice. Just what every teen-age girl wants to hear. No wonder there are no Barbie babies.

    The ironic part is that I was never able to bear any children so the hips weren’t even useful in that department.

    But, alas, I too pride myself on my sense of humor. And I caught my husband’s attention because of my voice and musical talent so I guess the body doesn’t really matter that much after all.

    Thanks for being a part of today’s beautiful lady blogfest!

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

  80. #103 by Peter DeHaan on February 10, 2012 - 5:50 pm

    My teen years trace back to the seventies, where the style — for guys and gals — was jeans that were skin tight above the knee, but with huge bell bottoms below. My larger-then-normal thighs did not cooperate at all with this style. I and my sore thighs were so glad when the style for men moved on to baggy pants.

  81. #104 by Julia Whitmore on February 10, 2012 - 8:37 pm

    Ha! You ARE funny. Every time I get stuck on a writing project (oh about once a day), I check in with an expert, often you, and you are always funny, which does make the medicine go down. Thank you for this very personal and warm contribution to August’s blogfest. Your post keyed me into it, at the very last second, and I appreciate the tip. OK, so I didn’t make my 5 page writing goal for the day, but well worth it.

  82. #105 by Lynn Kelley on February 10, 2012 - 9:20 pm

    I love this post, Kristen, and never would have guessed you felt that way. I, too, have jumbo thighs now that I’m in my fifties (which really rock, by the way). I used to be way too skinny. I’ve had all different size clothes in my closet, too. Silly me, still holding on to those darling shorts and capris for when I tone up. Haha! I won’t even get started on the cellulite, wrinkles, and gray hair. My poor eyesight is helping me to grow old gracefully (most of the time). I think the life coaching (that’s how I think of it) you do in your blogs is rubbing off on me. In Ginger’s post about her thighs, I left a comment similar to how you feel, just thankful I have legs to get me where I’m going. And it’s the truth. No point in whining when each day is a gift and could be our last. Gotta make the most of each with what we have. And your hubby is so sweet, leaving that comment. I can’t read all the comments, but I’ve read a lot and they’re great. What a great dialogue you’ve got going here, and what a wonderful blogfest August has hosted. Awesome, touching posts.

    • #106 by Lynn Kelley on February 10, 2012 - 9:26 pm

      P.S. Many women get to the point they won’t be seen in a swimsuit. I didn’t want my big thighs and cellulite to keep me from going swimming from time to time. Board shorts are great! Girls board shorts, the longer ones. They’re really cute and I’m not so self-conscious.

  83. #107 by Andrew Mocete on February 11, 2012 - 8:10 am

    This post is one of your best, Kristen. It really sucks that school is the ultimate place where you have to fit in because everything that happens there stays with you FOREVER. And then if you talk with anyone on the subject, they have their own tale of insecurity. It just goes to show that we’ve all gone through the same thing in our own way.

    I bet your thighs are great, they just were given a bad name. As Homer Simpson said, “Everybody would love crabgrass if it had a cute name like . . . elf grass.” So, I propose changing Thunder Thighs to Sultry Thighs. Or better yet, The Sultry Thighs of Awesome. Think about it.

  84. #108 by Ann Foweraker on February 11, 2012 - 9:35 am

    Brilliant post! As you probably know I am fighting the weight that crept on and on since menopause (posting in my blog)… but even when I get right down there to the weight I was before (that is before I went to Summer camp in the USA and then before having my children ) I shall still have thighs that tend to rub together at the top and look massive from the side. At under 5’4″ (now – used to be taller, honest) it doesn’t make for the best body-image in the world, so this was inspiring. Now where do I sign up for the funny-bones – seem to have missed them on the way.

  85. #109 by Kara on February 11, 2012 - 4:08 pm

    I think I had the opposite problem, long shapeless legs. But kids are cruel and they can find the one thing that we consider a weakness and torture us with it. I also had freckles, damned to eternal cuteness, when I wanted to be SEXY:) I snagged my hubby because he thought freckles were sexy, funny how that all worked out. I love your post and how whenever I read your blog you make me smile.

  86. #110 by ramblinann on February 12, 2012 - 9:23 am

    I have been called Thunder Thighs and Wide Glide. Yup and I was a good 15 lbs lighter then I am now. My problem when I was a teenager was a tiny waist and BIG hips. As I was told I was built for baby making so I went on to prove them right, having four of them.
    Today the waist line is more proportionate to the big hips and big butt, which by the way is what caught me my second husband. LOL
    I will never be willowy like a fashion model, but that too is ok because I can’t walk in heels.

  87. #111 by Karen McFarland on February 13, 2012 - 1:21 pm

    And just when you thought it was safe, the skinny jean has hit the stores and our thighs again! Is there no end to our suffering?

    Thanks for being such an inspiration Kristen for so many floundering people! As with your husband, your humor has attracted a multitude of people who are attracted not to your thighs, but to your heart!

    Thank you for this post! My apologies for being late to the party, but I was held captive by an army of McFarland men at a family reunion and was just released yesterday. I am grateful for these estrogen induced posts that may help me recover from an overdose of too much testosterone! I am in therapy heaven. :)

  88. #112 by Catherine McKinney on February 14, 2012 - 12:19 pm

    Kristen thank you for sharing with such an open voice, and with much humor. I actually stumbled across your blog beginning with the post “3 Steps to Freedom…” which had me crying at my desk. With much family support, I am beginning a freelance writing career and only this morning did I name one of my dragons of emotion. But this post brings me to another self-imposed stumbling block. The head shot. You know for Linkedin and Facebook and even my about page. Well I don’t have a head shot. Do not care to have my photo taken. So I have been fretting for weeks about striking out into the cyber world without confidence in my face. Intellectually I know this is sad. Being an extremely shy person does not help my dilemma. And no the shots in the bathroom mirror with a scarf covering must of the bad haircut and showing roots did not work out today. But now I think I will just get the profiles up and going and get a head shot later. It is great to hear women talking about their beauty. We should all do it more often. Thanks for listening. I wish you curvy, sexy jeans.

  89. #113 by Heather Marsten on February 17, 2012 - 10:57 am

    Thank you for sharing this – my closet runs to higher sizes, but the hurt that a name can cause is incredible – You told your story tongue-in-cheek, but there is pain behind those words – You are beautiful, and you are right – it is a beauty that people see that has nothing to do with physical appearance. I grew up in a home filled with abuse and at seven my father told me I was so stupid, dumb, and ugly no man would ever want to marry me, so he was going to teach me to put out. He did and I lived out those hurtful words in a wild lifestyle until I finally came to my senses. As I’ve been writing my memoir, I realized that I still have those words etched in my spirit, even though I am loved by a wonderful husband of 25 years and have young adult children who still love me and call home regularly. I have friends and people who respect me, but there still is a part of me that holds on to those words spoken to that seven year old who would have done anything for her father’s love, but the sting is less as my healing grows. I am hoping that my memoir will give people hope and encouragement, and let them realize that healing is possible. Have a blessed day.
    Heather

    • #114 by charlfk on February 18, 2012 - 2:00 am

      Ah, Heather, your story really touched me. I’m sorry your father was so horrible, but hats off to you for having the strength of character to overcome it.

  90. #115 by Cecilia Marie Pulliam on March 4, 2012 - 11:45 am

    Kristin, you know you have touched a chord with every woman in the world. At one time I was so thin my family nicknamed me Bag of Bones. I was thin all my life until menopause. Then due to changes in blood sugar, hormones, stress etc. I “blossomed” with a thirty pound weight gain, which refuses to budge unless I eat no more than a carrot a day. Big lesson for me. When I was thin, I still thought I was fat and unattractive. I once said I’d rather be flat than fat. Shame on me. As I have aged I have also come to realize the old adage that beauty is transient is so true. It is so much easier to focus on being fit, rather than ravishing. Feeling good over obsessing over my appearance. Great post, great affirmation that beauty is a thing of perception. Thank you.

    • #116 by Author Kristen Lamb on March 5, 2012 - 10:41 am

      Thanks, Cecilia. It has been really awesome to listen to so many other stories. It is sad, yet uplifting that we all have so much in common.

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