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.