NOTE: Before you read my response to this topic, please read Hayley’s Post on the matter.
I LOVE Hayley’s take on this topic. She’s spot on with the struggle most of us face daily in regards to not just our weight, but how society perceives it and the impact that has on who we are.
Society is constantly throwing the ‘perfect body type’ in our face. Like, we HAVE to be a 5’9″, 00 to be found attractive and sexy and beautiful. Celebrities are always trying to hide their flaws or get rid of them entirely. When was the last time you saw a woman with a little bit of a pouch around her midsection and big beautiful thighs on a magazine cover or feature? Well aside from Christina Hendricks and Jennifer Lawrence, I haven’t seen ANY. To me, Jennifer (as Hayley mentions) and Christina are voluptuous, curvy, sexy, beautiful women and they’re proud of their bodies. That confidence makes them that much sexier and beautiful. But even then, the critical public eye always finds ways to knock them down and criticize for having confidence in their size and figure.
Personally, I’ve struggled with weight issues and a disillusioned idea of what my body looks like.. since, well, forever. I, like Hayles, went through periods of time where I’d basically starve myself for days in order to reach a ‘perfect’ weight or ‘look’ for an event or trip. I fought this particularly hard when I moved to Charlotte and was still traveling back home to Arizona to see my then boyfriend and friends/family. The last thing I wanted was for people to think I ‘let myself go’. I didn’t want a single inch of my body to look different, unless it was a ‘better different’.
But why did I care so damn much? I cared because I thought I had to. I had this idea in my head that if I changed at all, people wouldn’t think I was attractive. Boy was I wrong. Once I was finally settled in Charlotte, I focused less on what I looked like and more on what I felt. Or so I thought. Earlier this week I was faced with the realization that I still struggle with this, despite thinking I had overcome it.
While at Chili’s with my running friends, we got on the topic of weight and went around the table guessing each person’s (all while dominating chips, food and then cast-iron cookies. It was all in good fun for a ladies night). Aside from Karen being spot on with basically everyone, I guessed everyone to weigh well under what they actually did, with me guessing that Hayley, in particular, was well under my own weight. When the facts came out, I realized my guesses were so off because my view of myself, was still way off. In my mind, I looked many pounds heavier and less toned than Hayley. In reality, we’re about the same size, and for our body types, we’re both healthy thin. I felt like I’d been hit with a wrecking ball. How was my view of myself still SO off?
As you all know, this week is the Richmond Marathon. I’ve been eating a lot (in comparison to what I normally eat, or don’t eat as the case may be) and I’ve gained a solid 3-4 lbs. I’ve been eating all of my favorite foods; carbs, sweets, lots of healthy fluids and eating 5-6 small to medium meals per day. And you know what? I’ve been happier this week than I have been in months. My attitude is great, I have lots of energy, I’m sleeping without waking up 2-3 times a night and my digestion is finally regular. I feel amazing. Who would have guessed!?
So, with all that being said, with knowing what I and many others struggle though daily, I want anyone who battles an inaccurate view of what they really do look like to know that YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. Forget society, forget what you see, even, and focus on how you feel. You’ll be shocked at how it changes your perspective on things.