Learning to Love My “Thunder Thighs” – A Short Nonfiction Story

Hat, romper, shoes, and thunder thighs. Whatever.

My poor brother.

One day, as our family gathered on my parents’ back porch in the summer, he dared to jokingly say something about my thunder thighs. He didn’t mean any harm by it; he was only lovingly teasing me.

But I’d heard about it enough in high school, especially as a cheerleader who had to wear a cheer outfit to school twice a week, and those old wounds hadn’t mended. I suppose even in my early 30s, I was still sensitive when hearing my legs referred to in that way.

I leveled him.

Of course, I’m sorry for it now. I should have been able to laugh it off, make fun of myself, and just accept that I have pretty strong, muscular legs. I always have. I played tennis, did gymnastics, and cheered.

Fast forward to now, many, many years later.

With age comes wisdom. I am older, wiser, and more confident now, even if I still wish I had been born with long legs and was 5’5″ instead of 5’1″.  When you hit a certain number as you age, you just don’t give a $$$$ any more what anyone thinks; you become less self-conscious, and you wear what makes you happy.

I like fashion a lot, enjoy clothes and putting outfits together, and being trendy. I bought the outfit above yesterday, and I can’t wait to wear it, big legs and all.

You get smarter. You accept yourself, and you learn to love yourself and all  your imperfections.

And if ever once upon a time you called me “thunder thighs,” I forgive you.

Stephanie Verni is Professor of Business Communication at Stevenson University and is the author of the newly released Inn SignificantBaseball Girl, and Beneath the Mimosa Tree.  Along with her colleagues Leeanne Bell McManus and Chip Rouse, she is a co-author of Event Planning: Communicating Theory and Practice, published by Kendall-Hunt.  To visit Stephanie’s Amazon Author page and see her books, click here.

Walking for Mind, Body, Spirit…AND To Improve Creativity

Approaching the golf course in our neighborhood on today's walk.
Approaching the golf course in our neighborhood on today’s walk.

***

It’s 1:35 p.m. on a sunny, gorgeous Friday here in Maryland where the temps are a stunning 79 degrees, and I’ve just returned from an hour-long walk. There are no excuses when the weather is this spectacular. As someone who admittedly has not taken very good care of herself over the last few years and has put other things and other people first, I’ve committed the summer to my overall physical and mental well-being. From reading to writing to exercising daily and eating better, it’s time for me to get serious about my lifestyle.

I’m not hear to preach about your health; Weight Watchers, your doctor, and your own family do that for you. But what I can attest to is that walking helps clear the mind, especially if you walk by yourself. Doing it for one hour allows you the time to just reset your brain, reflect on things, and put some distance between you, work, family, and friends. There’s nothing wrong with a little alone time.

It’s amazing how revitalized you can feel after strutting your stuff for one hour at a good pace. I love walking in my neighborhood–there’s so much to see. Many neighbors are in the midst of home renovations, the golf course sits in the middle of the neighborhood, and the trees, flowers, and landscaping of the homes provide an excellent landscape to entertain me. There’s always something new to see.

Walking also helps boost your creativity. According to research by Stanford University in 2014, it’s proven that walking helps creativity. I do some of my best thinking when I’m walking, and I come home and incorporate things I thought about into my stories. Writers are always told to seek inspiration from outside sources, and nature is a wonderful source of just that.

If you’re not in the habit of walking, you may want to give it a try. It really does invigorate your body, spirit, and your mind.

The beautiful sky from last night's walk...and airplane headed to BWI Airport.
The beautiful sky from last night’s walk…and an airplane headed to BWI Airport.

Save

Acceptable “B” Words for a BETTER You

cropped-cropped-twinklelights.jpgBonjour, Beautiful Blogosphere Buddies,

As I’ve BEEN thinking about how to make the world around me prettier and lovelier, I BEGAN thinking about how when we make changes in our lives, everything can become more positive. As I pondered this, I was getting dressed this morning. I had to run errands, and I wanted to wear something pretty and feel good about myself. Positive affirmations are real, and we need to accept our lives for what they are and be happy and contented with ourselves. I truly BELIEVE this.

I searched for “positive ‘B’ words,” and from the site Positive Words Research, the list BELOW popped up indicating positive words that start with that letter.

BEATIFY, BEATITUDE, BENEFICIAL, BENEFIT, BENEVOLENT, BELOVED, BEST, BETTER, BLESS – BLESSING – BLESSED, BLISS – BLISSFULNESS – BLISSFUL, BLOOM, BLOSSOM, BALANCE – BALANCED, BEAUTY – BEAUTIFUL – BEAUTIFULLY, BELONG – BELONGING, BOLDNESS, BRAVERY, BRILLIANCE – BRILLIANT, BLISS ON TAP, BEYOND FABULOUS, BIOPHILIA, BRIGHT, BRIGHTNESS, BALISTIC, BLASTING, BLAZING, BLINDING, BREATHTAKING, BUBBLING, BUSTING, BLISSCIPLINE, BUYANCY, BULLISHNESS, BRISKNESS, BUOYANCY, BREEZINESS, BRIO, BE EXTRAORDINARY, BE HAPPY, BEAUTIFY, BEING AT REST, BENEFACTOR, BENEFITS, BENEVOLENCE, BENEVOLENTLY, BENEVOLENTLY CHEERFUL STATE OF MIND, BEST OF ALL POSSIBLE WORLDS, BEYOND, BEAUTY IN ALL THINGS, BEINGNESS, BELIEVABLE, BLOOD-BROTHERS, BOHEMIAN SOUL, BOHO-SOUL.

Those words are all poetic in their own right, for sure. They are indeed, positive words we can incorporate into our own lives. Then, there are everyday things that can make us feel good, too. So I decided to make my own list of “B” words that make me feel BETTER about myself. Below is what can put me in a positive mood.

BikewithFlowers
It may seem like such a little thing, but my BIKE makes me very happy. BEING on my BIKE and riding it around offers a sense of freedom and allows me to feel like a kid again.
This BLANKET SCARF makes me happy for three reasons: the colors, that it's fashionable, and that my husband bought if for me. The BROOCH has been in my jewelry box since I was a fashion consultant. It's fun to BREAK IT OUT now and then.
This BLANKET SCARF makes me happy for three reasons: BECAUSE I love the colors, BECAUSE it’s trendy and fashionable, and BECAUSE my husband BOUGHT if for me. The BROOCH has been in my jewelry BOX since I was a fashion consultant. It’s fun to BREAK IT OUT now and then.
These BLOOMS make are BEAUTIFUL. During the cold months when winter looms, flowers BRING sunshine into the house.
These BLOOMS make me happy. During the cold months when winter looms, flowers BRING sunshine into the house. And those of you who know me well or see me regularly know how I am most definitely BOOT-OBSESSED.
BLOGGING has become part of who I am. I cannot imagine my life without it now. And BANGLES, well, they're just fun.
BLOGGING has become part of who I am. I cannot imagine my life without it now. BEING a BLOGGER takes time, and it requires connecting all your social media, including Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. And BANGLES, well, they’re just fun. As for BLACK coffee, I prefer flavored coffees such as Hazelnut and Vanilla Creme.
BIG sunglasses protect your eyes and sure do help when you have dark circles under your eyes from too many late nights and not enough BEDREST.
BIG sunglasses protect your eyes and sure do help when you want to camouflage dark circles that have formed from too many late nights and not enough BED REST.
image3-1
BOOKS have had a positive influence on my life, both writing them and reading them. Hot off the press as of yesterday is a textbook that our BUSINESS Communication students will be using for our Event Planning course, written by my colleagues and me! We are very excited to finally see it in print after a year and a half of research and work on it. BASEBALL Girl is a fictional story I wrote about a girl who works in professional BASEBALL in BAY City, AND BENEATH The Mimosa Tree is a love story about two people who grow up next door to each other and fall in love…BUT something happens and they must see if forgiveness can BE found.
BANANA BREAD. Honestly, do I need to explain this???
BANANA BREAD. Honestly, do I need to explain this???
I have a love-hate relationship with my BODY. I have a tough time losing weight, especially as I've aged, and sometimes I get lazy and don't exercise and eat properly. With all the BODY shaming that is going on constantly, especially over social media, I can BECOME so angry when I see people disparaged about their build or weight. For me, it's a constant BATTLE. BUT, here's me BEING positive and moving my body today. It takes effort, willpower, and time, BUT it can BE done.
I have a love-hate relationship with my BODY. I have a tough time losing weight, especially as I’ve aged, and sometimes I get lazy and don’t exercise and eat properly. With all the BODY shaming that is going on constantly, especially over social media, I can BECOME so angry when I see people disparaged about their build or weight. For me, it’s a constant BATTLE. BUT, here’s me BEING positive and moving my BODY today. It takes effort, willpower, and time, BUT it can BE done.
Saw this gem at my parents' house and asked them if I could have a copy. When I look at this picture, one "B" word comes to mind: BLESSED.
Saw this gem at my parents’ house and asked them if I could have a copy. It’s from their 50th wedding anniversary. When I look at this picture, one “B” word comes to mind: BLESSED.

There you have it. My positive “B” words. I’m curious to know what you would choose.