Saturday, October 4, 2014

Day 4: Body Image.

(This post could contain triggers.)
Let's drag out that skeleton, shall we? It's going to get ugly.

I've always had a love/hate relationship with my body. Ok, that's a lie. Sometime in middle school (or maybe earlier?) something shifted in my brain, and I decided that I pretty much hated myself. Not just my body, but everything.

I look back now, and I'm sad for that little girl who was terrified to speak in class, who didn't want to play at recess for fear of being laughed at, who hated sleeping over at friends' houses because it meant leaving my safe place of home and being vulnerable for a whole 24 hours.

By middle school that had morphed into an obsession with my body. I tried to stop eating. Thank God the internet wasn't invented yet, or I would've starved myself into a hospital. As it was, I heard some tricks about how to hide the fact that I wasn't eating and became a pro.

I'm not sure what changed. But at some point I discovered that food could be an amazing comforter. And so I started eating. Lots. Instead of hiding what I wasn't eating, I had to hide ALL that I was eating. I hate barfing, so I wasn't a successful bulimic. Never once could I make myself vomit no matter how many times I tried. So, I took diet pills and laxatives. Fast forward to today...

Remnants of all those old feelings continue to haunt me. I'm driven to perfectionism. I mostly do not weigh myself. Quit for about 10 years, except in the doctor's office yearly, when I had to be weighed. I just know the scale summons demons for me.

A few years ago when I discovered running, my body transformed into a runner's body. I was at my lightest weight since middle school, but this time through healthy habits. And then I discovered CrossFit and competitions, which led to a strength building program. And I love it.

Here is the hardest part-- not the heavy lifting, or the brutal WODs (Workouts Of the Day). The hardest part is sometimes loving my new body. I have built muscles in places I've never had them. I've also put on about 15 pounds. My jeans barely fit on my butt and thighs. And I love it. And I hate it. I'm at my lowest body fat percentage ever, but my mind feels tight jeans and goes, "OH MY GOSH! YOU ARE GETTING WAY TOO FAT." Ok, that's not my mind-- it's those scale demons again. Because my mind answers with, "YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL AND STRONG AND FIT AND HEALTHY... AND LOOK AT THOSE ABS! (You've never had abs that you could see before.)" And my husband frequently echoes that.

Stop looking at the scale. Stop obsessing in the mirror. You are beautiful because of WHO you are. So, get out there and be beautiful! Focus on the numbers of weights you can lift, miles you can run, people you can impact. 


4 comments:

  1. This is very inspiring! So glad I stopped by!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh body image issues and self esteem....how much I understand this! I am glad you have made peace (for the most part) with your body. It's something I'm still working on at present. Wouldn't it be great if everyone was taught from an early age by everyone around them (and society at large) that they are beautiful, special, and worthwhile just as they are and that all of us are different and have different challenges and different talents and that makes us amazing? I try my hardest to instill good body image, good health habits, and good self esteem in my three girls, but it is a very difficult thing at times given my own issues and the messages that society presents. I think you look absolutely amazing and I love the picture with your hubby and you lifting together. His expression is hilarious! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! I wish there was an easy way to teach it-- I spend a fair amount of time around teen girls as a teacher and in the weight room and try to encourage them. But yes, it's important that we don't make those self-deprecating comments in front of younger women.

      Delete