Friday, December 11, 2009

Images May Appear Larger Than They Really Are

This Has been Cross Posted At My New Blog: The Dirty Thirty Tridea
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We've touched on the fact that I'm a weight loser.  Since last January I've lost close to 40 pounds.  I've put a few back on but I'm looking to lose about 20 more and then maintain.  I'd be happy then.

Or would I?

I have a terrible body image.  Seriously.  And I'm not saying this so you all- you know the 3 of you who read this besides me- will comment and tell me what a fabulous body I have.  Believe me, I am very proud of how far I've come since starting my weight loss and exercise journey.  But that doesn't mean I am happy with how I look.

I love that I've dropped close to 3 or 4 sizes- although the cost of new clothes has been difficult to wrap my head around.

I enjoy that I tend to have more energy than before- although that does mean that my kids take advantage of it and make me run all over the place after them.  (I secretly enjoy that even though I pretend I don't.)

It makes me happy that I feel like I can hold my head up a bit higher than before because my confidence is greater- although it is starting to make my neck and back hurt, standing up straight all the time.

All of that being said, I still have this image of myself as this terrible fat person.  I still look at pictures of myself and think I look terribly fat and out of proportion.  I look in store windows and mirrors and sometimes just can't stand how I look.

And really, that bothers me.

At my heaviest (non-pregnant) I was well into the 200s.  Now, I'm really not even near that- the 200s, that is.  And what's funny is that even at that weight I thought I looked ok.  I look back now and there are times when I did look ok but I can see myself behind the weight.  I can see the person I'm in the process of becoming behind the too fat face and the extra wide hips and the super jiggly arms- which I still have, DAMMIT!

I wasn't lacking self-confidence, I was just viewing myself as an image that was probably better than what it truly was.  Now, I can't escape the physical images I have of myself from then.  I still see the super heavy me when I walk down the street.  I can't stop viewing myself as obese and gross.  I cannot let go of my fat image and I cannot figure out why.

Don't misunderstand what I'm saying here- I am confident in who I am as a person.  This is not a crisis of personality or character.  I know who I am as an individual and I am proud of everything I've accomplished and done- weight loss and non-weight loss related.  I love myself for the most part.  I just don't always love the way I look.

I feel like I have more "fat" days than skinny days.  I constantly feel like I weigh 300 pounds- even though I've never come close to that.  I constantly feel like my clothes don't look good on me and I'm readjusting myself and what I'm wearing.  It's daily that I wake up and change my clothes- especially my shirts- 9 times because I never think they look ok.  I still hate my thighs and forget about my hips- I've considered taking a vacuum to them and performing my own liposuction.

Is my poor self-image so bad that it limits what I do and who I see?  No, it's not.  This summer I wore a bikini for the first time since I was 6 but truthfully, I was completely uncomfortable in it.  My chest was too small, my stomach not firm enough and my thighs too jiggly.  But no one noticed that except me.

I am too critical of myself and I need to stop that.

When I set out on this journey I wanted to be healthy and I wanted to feel comfortable in my own skin.  It's funny, in a lot of ways I feel like I've become more uncomfortable as I've lost weight.  I've become more self-conscious as my body has taken on a more shapely form rather than the blob like form I felt I had before.  I'm now at the point where I need to let go of the self-conscious and move more towards the self-accepting but actually doing that is much harder than saying it.

I don't worry about what other people think.  But I worry too much about what I think and my thinking appears to be wrong.

I have a terrible body image and I'm not looking for a miracle to occur by completing this Triathlon but I am hoping that the journey I'm on will create in me an image that I can accept as real and true.  I'm hoping that I can finally shed the pounds of fat that are really no longer on my body but are clearly occupying my mind.


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