I'm just a fat gal with a blog and an opinion. Well, lots of opinions.

The “Problem Area” Mind


While having lunch with a friend on Friday I overheard some women talking and while I didn’t catch most of their conversation two words kept popping out at me, “Problem Area.” One kept saying that she was fine with everything except her “Problem Area” and that she couldn’t feel right or truly herself until it was…solved, I guess. It seems we all are victims of this way of thinking at some point in our lives. It took my hearing this woman talk about her “Problem Area” to remind me of just how far I’ve come in my self-acceptance journey.

I have known women of all shapes and sizes and walks of life. They all tend to share the proverbial “Problem Area” or at least that frame of mind. As though removing a simple part of one’s body would transform them into perfect if not ideal human beings. Being on the opposite side of this concept, I can’t help but wonder what they would consider to be my “Problem Area”…I simply cannot carve up my flesh for the offering as easily as they can, not even in conversation. When asked years ago what one thing would I change about myself, friends lamented about thighs and noses and boobs and such and all I could muster was, “various moles and things.” I was still new to fat liberation/acceptance, but I had already given up on hating my body.

I will say this, if you are still obsessing or thinking about your “Problem Area” you are only holding yourself back. When you can free your mind of such baggage, you will be able to get more done, be happier in general and just kick ass. To hold yourself back from enjoyment and fashions and fun all for some made up “problem”? Well, I understand, but it’s time to reconsider. Your thighs, your belly, your hips, your ass, your chin/s, your ankles, your calves, your boobs, your neck, your cheeks, your forehead, your back rolls and even your body hair are not holding you back, but you thinking ill of them is. It makes you more self conscious and who the hell needs that?

It is high time we all just take a deep breath in and let all of that shit out, out, out for good. Let it out like so much pollution, because that is precisely what it is. Let it out and let it go once and for all!!! You don’t need it. No one needs to hate their bodies, not even a piece of them. Instead find one thing you love about your body. Celebrate that! Celebrate it every damned day! Take pictures of it, hold it, grope it, stroke it and love it! You are worth it! You are worth that extra attention.  You are worth putting hate and judgement behind you for good.

I do believe that when you hate even a part of yourself, you see yourself and the world through that same lens. Fuck that! It is high time we all start enjoying what we have while we have it. And dammit if my knees aren’t still sore two days after belly dance class, but I will keep on dancing and shaking and shimmying and nobody, not even these knees of mine, will stop me! We can do this, together! We can solve our “Problem Area” by making it not a problem at all. I’m not saying that you have to love every individual piece and part of your body individually, but loving and appreciating your body as a whole and wondrous thing is possible and necessary, I think.

So let’s try something, put your “problem area” in comments followed by one thing about your body that you love. I will respond with a way to celebrate it! Deal?  Oh okay, fine, me first:

I used to really struggle and hate my arms. I love my feet! I celebrate my feet by painting my toenails purple! Woo!

14 Comments to

“The “Problem Area” Mind”

  1. On October 24th, 2011 at 2:53 pm Piper Says:

    My “problem area” is my stomach. Even though I believe in body acceptance as long as you are healthy, I can’t help but wish that I had a smaller stomach. I’ve been on diets since I was seven years old and now in my early thirties, I’m scared to try dieting again because I’m afraid that I will either not lose weight or lose weight and gain it back. My experience with dieting.

    I’m a size 24 by the way. Even though my stomach is big, it actually compliments my body. I wouldn’t look right if I had a smaller stomach because it is proportionate to the rest of my body. One thing that I love about my body is my dark skin. I don’t have to worry about tanning! Thanks for letting me read your blog.

  2. On October 24th, 2011 at 3:05 pm Not Blue at All Says:

    Piper: Letting you read? No, thank you for reading. Truth is, I’d probably be writing this with or without actual readers, but it’s the comments that keep me going! So thank you for that.
    A few things strike me here, you say it’s health that matters most to you, I’m with you on this. Have you read “Health At Every Size”
    by Linda Bacon PHD? I ask because I’ve heard from a few fats that are all about body acceptance and will even preach the HAES rhetoric, but haven’t actually read it. It’s not mandatory, but it was a huge eye opener for me in regards to brain chemistry and dieting as well as how we’ve been trained since we were toddlers to not trust our own bodies. Which, now that I’m on the other side of this I can honestly say is bullshit. I chose to give intuitive eating the best try I knew how and it had rewarded me in full. I now know what full feels like and what too full feels like. I know when my body is craving things that I need to pay attention and not withhold those things, even if they seem suspicious.
    You say you don’t like your belly but say you wouldn’t look right without it…why not celebrate it? Shimmy and shake it, paint it gold and bejewel that belly! It loves you! I am happy to hear that you love your skin tone. Though, I’m so anti-tanning it’s not even funny…but I don’t really have a choice in that since I’m a redhead. Ha-ha! Thank you so much for sharing here, hun. take care of YOU!!!

  3. On October 25th, 2011 at 5:49 am Dominique Says:

    I used to hate my ginormous boobs because of severe back pain. I got a breast reduction, which reaaaalllllllllly helped my back, but I still hate them for being scarred (surgery did not went well.) I hate my stomach as well and am not fond of the newly sagging skin of my arms, nor of the place where my thighs rub, it huuuuuuuurts! To be precise, the parts I don’t like for aesthetic concerns are boobs, belly and arms; the thighs, it’s only a question of discomfort. Now, to what I like: I LOVE my hair, dark, wavy and really thick. Got a short hairstyle a couple of weeks ago, this being a brave act for me because people kept bugging me not to cut my beautiful long hair. Yay me because I have never got so many compliments my hole lifeeeeee! I love my lips and my feet too. 🙂 And my hands. Oh, and the back of my neck. 😀

  4. On October 25th, 2011 at 8:51 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Dominique: I feel ya on the chub-rub issue, I have it really bad, too. My solution is to wear jeans mostly and now that I’m venturing into dresses, teggings are my prized possession. Go you though on the short hair cut. I did that a couple of years ago and yeah, best compliments of my life. So happy you’re getting that too.

  5. On October 25th, 2011 at 1:58 pm William Says:


    You have not experienced chub-rub until you are a fat boy with chubby legs that rubs his “equipment”. Fortunately Mother Nature devised some process that let me grow out of it 🙂

    Dominique as a fat guy that can give many women a run for their money in the Boob department, I feel for you. I finally had to accept that they did not show much if I am not wearing a form fitting top and if people are turned off by all the movement in my shirt when I am in motion……………..too bad

  6. On October 25th, 2011 at 4:40 pm Not Blue at All Says:

    William: Thank you for sharing your side of the chub-rub story. I hadn’t considered the male specifics of this scenario. I’m sorry you had to deal with that. And rock on for allowing others to take responsibility for their judgments and perceptions. Seriously, how is someone else’s taste ever my problem? Awesome.

  7. On October 25th, 2011 at 2:11 pm Sim Says:

    I just had to comment on Piper’s sentence up there

    ” Even though I believe in body acceptance as long as you are healthy”

    I’m hoping this is one of those things that you write without realising how it sounds?

    Cause how it sounds is it’s fine to accept your body if you are healthy, but if not….don’t accept it.

    I have lots of health issues, mostly unrelated to my weight, some perhaps correlated perhaps not, but I am still working on accepting my body, health problems and all. Most of my health issues can’t be changed and will never be gone. The whole HAES thing is difficult for me, because I will never be healthy at ANY size, so I feel pretty excluded from many discussions.

  8. On October 25th, 2011 at 4:41 pm Not Blue at All Says:

    Sim: Thank you for pointing that out. I didn’t catch it. I cannot speak for the commenter, but I will say that body acceptance is simply that and is a unique journey unto each individual. Let’s not start adding asterisks to what that may mean for you. Thanks again.

  9. On October 25th, 2011 at 6:23 pm E. Ai B. Says:

    I think I’ve got more of an issue with my size since having children. The skin of my stomach, which was one puffed out, soft and lovely, is now…hanging skin. I’m okay with feeling fat (how other way should I feel? I’ve ALWAYS been FAT) but this makes me feel frumpy at 26 years old. Same thing with the boobs…while being with child gives you a nice size F rack for awhile…it does eventually go back down a bit, and with larger breasts, it’s an uphill battle to avoid sagging.

    I’m also curious, has anyone else gained a bit of weight with intuitive eating? Since doing that, I’m close to my heaviest weight. I won’t lie, it bothers me a bit. I’m happy I don’t feel deprived, but I’m sad that with exercise and eating what I’d like, I have gained about 20lbs. …I haven’t spoken with anyone whose body did that with intuitive eating, and maybe I’m just freaking doing it wrong 🙁

  10. On October 26th, 2011 at 9:21 am Not Blue at All Says:

    E. Ai B.: I didn’t hear what you do like about yourself, my dear. Why is that? I admire you for having kids at age 26, or younger. At 34 I still feel too young, ha-ha!
    Sagging is natural. If you want to go broke on firming creams and other garbage, you’re welcome to. But you already know how that goes. We all do.
    Last year, part of my “bra meltdown” episode and later blog post, was the simple fact that my boobs didn’t look or feel like MY boobs anymore. It made me so sad. They have been at times a defining feature and other times a burden, for sure. But to suddenly be faced with needing a bra and having boobs I didn’t know or understand freaked me out! I’m wondering if this is how you feel in your after-baby body? And I think you’ll find that your body does change over time, no matter what you do.
    I have been practicing intuitive eating for awhile now and I cannot say weather or not I’ve lost or gained weight because I don’t own a scale. I don’t even have access to one and that is fine by me. You may find that your recent gain could be the start of your body finding what it needs and redistributing the nutrients and maybe even holding onto it longer than before. It takes time to equalize or normalize or whatever. I just know that I no longer feel sick before or after eating. I now know what hungry and full and too full feels like. I didn’t before. Thank the stars for HAES!

  11. On October 26th, 2011 at 3:45 am Veronica Says:

    Thanks a lot for writing this! Even though I am generally pretty radically accepting of my body, I have been holding on to the “Problem Area” mindset. This was just the little push I needed to let that go.

    Since I see very little discussion about my “Problem Area”, I feel I should mention that it’s my fat vag. More specifically the area where the pubic hair grows (I don’t know the English word for it). A lot of trousers give me camel toe deluxe, and it kind of sags when I look at it from the side, and I’ve been kind of ashamed about it. I won’t be any longer, and I very much hope the limited discussion I’ve seen on the subject doesn’t mean there are many others out there who are.

  12. On October 26th, 2011 at 9:26 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Veronica: Ah yes, the pubic mound! Margaret Cho did a bit on the pubic mound years ago, good stuff! Women are made to feel that they should have a picture-worthy vag/pubic area in general…but you already do! Fat, saggy, thin-lipped, bushy, thinning hair…I would almost dare say that a vag is like a fingerprint, unique to each individual! That is a fabulous thing, too. The camel-toe thing? Well, that can be uncomfortable. I wonder if underwear could help? Like a different kind. Or simply better fitting trousers. I know that’s difficult to find. I didn’t buy 5-6 pairs of jeans when I found the right ones for no reason. I feel for ya, but I don’t think that there is anything to be ashamed of or concerned about. It is just one more thing that makes you…YOU! And I hope I don’t need to tell you how to celebrate your wonderful parts?! Thank you for sharing your concerns here. It means a lot to me that you trust enough to do so. Thank you.

  13. On October 28th, 2011 at 9:24 pm Mulberry Says:

    Yeah, the things I don’t like are more a matter of medical conditions than strictly about appearance. Sometimes there’s an overlap; I already told you my story of PCOS and hairiness. There’s also the occasional flare-up of psoriasis – bright red scaly flaky skin highlighted by a pale caucasian frame is not my idea of an attractive look.
    When it comes to problem areas, a stray pimple or uneven breasts or a flabby thigh (which I assume are typical examples) don’t even compare to the above.

  14. On October 30th, 2011 at 11:00 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Mulberry: you make a great point in how this way of thinking is very privileged. It is precisely why I fight against it and try to educate others, too. Health is not to be taken for granted. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts.

Email will not be published

Website example

Your Comment:

Subscribe to my feed