For no other reason than being random, I wanted to take a moment to share how I’m feeling about the topic of body image these days:
Generally, I make a conscious effort not to mention how I feel about my body to others; let me confess, ‘it’s complicated’. During my 42 years here on this earth, I have been held captive by my fluctuating sense of body image for at least 32 of them. Excuse me while I take a moment to mourn the time I’ve lost thinking about how my weight, height and shape defines me. It’s like a merry-go-round. What I wouldn’t give to get off.
How I see myself is my business, or is it? Doesn’t my personal sense of body image affect how other people view me, themselves and others? Thinking of the people who are near and dear to my heart, I’ve ripped them off somewhat. I haven’t been 100% ‘present’ in our experiences together because there’s a part of me that’s distracted with my sense of body image. Cases in point:
- Getting ready to go out for dinner and changing a few times over because I ‘look fat in that dress’ followed by asking my husband and son how I look (followed by telling them they don’t know what they’re talking about);
- Chastising myself for eating something ‘bad’ and proceeding to ruminate about all the exercising I will need to do in order to rid myself of the potential consequences;
- Feeling awkward in social settings when I am feeling less than stellar about how I look.
- Letting my body image even be a part of how I define myself.
What do these actions tell the people I love?
- I don’t trust their opinions;
- They should be worrying about their body image and everyone else’s for that matter;
- Who I am depends on the way I look;
- The time we spend together isn’t enough to fulfil me.
I’m sad that I’ve wasted so much time. I’m worried my actions have impacted how my son views himself and others. I’m confused because I don’t agree with using body image as a source of judgement but then use it to self judge. Frankly, I’m rather exhausted of the whole idea that body image is even part of what defines me or anyone else. Of course, I think overall health includes exercise and healthy eating but I need that mental picture I have to move beyond the physical and include way more focus on soul.
Now, go outside and play with all abandon