Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Appreciating the imperfect body

No wonder I have body image issues. Look at the woman I thought I was suppose to look like when I was 21 years old. Normal women don't have perfect bodies like Farah, or her perfect hair or her perfect smile. I remember when I had my long, straight hair cut to look like Farah's hair (the shag, for those of that remember such things). I had braces as a teenager so I had perfect teeth, but I never came close to her perfect body.

I wasn't fat when I was 21, I weighed around 132. I wanted to weigh about 125 because I thought I was fat. I'm 5' 6 1/2" tall. I was stupid. Now I'd give anything to have that slightly imperfect 21-year old body.

In about five weeks I'm going to be wearing a swimsuit. Since my body image basically sucks, this worries me a little. Please don't misunderstand me, I've come a long way in accepting my body as it is, with its loose skin and wrinkles. I appreciate my healthy body a lot more now than when I was 21. I'm healthier than when I was 21. I feel more fit and athletic, and very energetic.

There's a lot about my body I like now. For the first time in my life, I actually feel okay about my body. I appreciate my curves, how my waist is much smaller than my hips. I like my smallish breasts and the square shape of my shoulders. I'm even starting to like my arms, I can see muscle where there use to just be flab.

Unfortunately, I tend to focus on the negative when it comes to my body. It's hard not to when I think about wearing a swimsuit in five weeks. I tried on my tankini (stupid word) from when I went to Las Vegas last summer, which was about 17 pounds ago . It doesn't hide anything. It lays it all out there for the world to see. That's what makes me uncomfortable. Being judged.

Why on earth do I care what anyone thinks about my body? It's just a stupid shell of the real me. It's the stuff on the inside that counts, right? Yet I put too much value on other people's opinions of me. Men and women. Do they think I look okay? Am I cute? Do I look sexy? Seriously, I shouldn't give a rat's ass what anyone thinks about me. But I do. Sadly, I care about this too much.

So in five weeks I'll put on a swimsuit and wear it in front of strangers. Yes, I'll do it, and I'll try not to give a damn what they think about me. I'll try to appreciate my body for what it is, imperfect but very healthy. There could be worse things.


MizFit said...

I had totally forgotten my DAD (!?) had that same picture on a pillow (?) until I came here this morning.


and farrah isnt even farrah any longer :)

Squishy ! said...

I've found that sometimes the best thing to do is just fake it until you make it. *smiles* When I don't feel confident in my bathing suit, I just fake it. Eventually, I get so caught up in the fun that I'm having that I stop caring what other people are thinking. I have a lot of practice with that though, since I go to a "manly" gym, and exercise surrounded by man-muscles and beefy testosterone.

Anonymous said...

You look great!

antgirl said...

I bought my first bathing suit in 15 years last summer. My body isn't perfect either, you'll see me drooling over Claudia Blacks guns today, but no one's is. I think accepting that we are who we are is a big thing - inside and outside. Once you master one, it helps the other.

Luckily there are lots of swimsuit styles to help us look our best. :)

Who didn't have Farrah hair back then? LOL I've always had straight, fine hair. So it didn't work at all on me.

Ida said...

It is hard to accept ourselves the way we are. Wearing a swimsuit is hard for most of us. Just hang in there. I like what Squishy says. Fake it til you make it. Lots of people would LOVE to look like you look these days.

bbubblyb said...

I had to laugh at the farrah hair lol I think we've all wanted to be someone else, have someone else's body. But really those are doctored up pics of those people. I hope you will just try to have a good time and not worry about your body in a swimsuit. I say that though I've struggled with it for years. I remember actually crying over my best friend taking a picture of me on the beach. It's good to hear you say you're accepting your body it gives me hope. It really is about being healthy. Good post.