I’ve been struggling with body image. Feeling comfortable in my own skin. And in my clothes.
And it’s a damn shame because there is nothing wrong with my body.
I am old enough and certainly smart enough to know better than to fall prey to the airbrushed images lining magazines and catalogs. Knowing full well that many of the women with perfect figures I follow on Instagram earn their living as professional athletes and don’t sit behind a desk for eight plus hours a day thumbing through contracts.
Last summer, I went through some really ugly unmentionables and the only way I knew how to break through instead of break down was to lay down some miles. A lot of miles. Some around my neighborhood after work. On my mountain bike deep in the mountains. I ran myself ragged crisscrossing the county negotiating deals and keeping late hours in hotel rooms writing analytical papers about things like Amaranth deflating or energy elasticities. All in hopes that I could keep my poignant thoughts from consuming me. (I was wrong by the way)
And this other thing happened too.
I lost my appetite. I basically had to force myself to eat. So when I did, I chose the most nutritionally packed items I could get my hands on knowing I could get away with forcing myself to swallow less.
And as a result, I lost weight. Quite a bit of it.
And wow did it feel good.
But as time passed, and little bits of my life and happiness came back to me, so did my weight.
For the first time in my life, I feel heavy.
It’s not rational. It’s not realistic. And it’s not something I feel good giving voice to. Especially here on my little corner of the internet where I want my words to be pretty and document all the amazing adventures in my life. But here I am. A successful, independent young woman with body image issues just trying to be real.
I think there is a misconception that body issues only affect certain women, but the truth of the matter is that Body image it is a constant battle whether you are a 2 or a 12.
I know in my heart of hearts that I have a lot great physical qualities to be thankful about, but the thing is I am sick of looking at myself in the mirror and nurturing that negative little voice that tells me I need to get on the treadmill. And I am tired of beating myself up for eating that cookie.
Today I am embracing the fact that I am a work in progress. I am working to change my mindset by encouraging myself to think about how beautiful other women’s bodies are. I am beating down the negative thoughts that enter my mind when I compare myself to them.
I am acknowledging how much more important it is to be strong than anything else, that starving yourself isn’t attainable or healthy. I am working towards resuming a clean diet and getting back into a running routine so I can hone that strength, both mentally and physically.
(Ugly Friday morning words which will be edited and revised numerous times I am sure.)