We are told to love ourselves and be happy with how we look and embrace whatever size we are. In fact, I’m doing a yoga program that ends every single practice with “I am perfect just the way I am. I’m exactly where I need to be.”
But I hate where I am. I want to be somewhere else. That’s why I’m committed to that yoga practice. It’s why I run. It’s why I’m watching what I eat. It’s why I’m tracking my calories and tracking my weight.
Why is it so taboo to say I hate my body? I do. I don’t always. But I do right now. I had a stressful year, and I put on a few dozen pounds. I was confident with how I looked previously. I knew when I was at a healthy weight, putting good things in my body, and seeing my efforts in the kitchen at the gym pay off in how I looked.
I don’t feel that now though. Now I see the size on the clothes I’m purchasing change, having to purchase said clothes because the ones I have don’t fit. That kinda sucks. Yes, I’m more comfortable in clothes that fit, but do I need to be okay with the fact I have to buy a new wardrobe to accommodate my thicker thighs?
Why do I have to be okay with that? I’m told I should be, but here I am, not okay with it.
Now, I feel the guilt of feeling like I’ve let myself go AND the added guilt of feeling like I shouldn’t care about it, that I should be happy with my body no matter its present state.
I want to get back where I was, back when I was happier with how I looked in clothes. It’s not about how other people see me. My husband tells me I look great. I try to wear clothes that I think flatter me, and I don’t feel self conscious in public.
But I’m not happy with where I am right now, and I think that should be okay. Is wanting to be healthier, make better choices and feel good in my skin, because I feel good, not because someone tells me I should, not okay? Can't I want to look and feel better?
We ladies, especially as we age and our metabolisms slow to a grinding halt, have to fight with body image and body confidence our whole lives. Our view of what is good and healthy and normal and attractive and desirable is so heavily influenced by what we see in the media and the outside world. There is a significant difference, though, between wanting to fit an unrealistic mold, and wanting to be happy with what you see when you look in the mirror.
Not everyone compares themselves to super models. Many of us just compare ourselves to what we were, what we want to be, and a realistic assessment of what we can reasonably do to get to a place where we can be happy. It might not be a weight. It might be a fitness level, or a pair of pants fitting, or a number of kilometres run.
It’s a slippery slope, I know. Eating disorders are real. So is body dysmorphia. But not everyone who isn’t happy with how they look suffering from either of those things or at risk. Some of us just want to get our shit together, put ourselves and our own health first, after back-burnering ourselves for far too long.
I am working on it. I am taking care of myself. I am watching what goes in my body more closely again and making sure I stay active. That’s not because of how society says I should look. It’s because I know I feel best when I look my best. I want to be happy when I look at myself in pictures again. I own it. I will say it. I am working on it. But, I don’t like how I look right now, and that should be okay.