I don’t know why this came up in my brain, but I was thinking about body image last night. Most specifically about mine.
I have a not so great body image in general. It’s alright when I look at how I look with clothes on. I can see that I have lost weight and am in a pretty healthy range and clothes that I couldn’t fit into a year ago are fitting well, even baggy today.
I kind of feel like maybe I look something like this woman below. Maybe a little bit chunkier in the butt/thighs, but still within tolerable limits.
This gal looks healthy, she looks fit, and still has some curves and maintains that “I am a woman and I don’t need to do anything besides just be me for you to see it,” sort of appeal that I have to take advantage because I’m just lazy when it comes to anything but the most basic hygiene/grooming maintenance. I have curves, I’m very aware of my curves and I’m much more comfortable showing them off than what I was six months ago.
However, this is how I feel I look when I do not have any clothes (or only a swimsuit/underwear) on:
I’m not saying that the gal above has a bad body. I know many people would love to look like that. It’s just that there is a difference between her and the gal above and I don’t know why I can look at myself in the mirror and feel one way when I am covered with fabric, even well fitting clothing, and in less than 2 minutes completely change my opinion. I look and can’t help but think that I need to tone a lot more here, lose fat there and can’t stand the way my thighs or ass looks. I no longer feel satisfied with my 25lbs. weight loss since October of 2011. I feel like I should aim for another 5-10lbs and maybe then my thighs will look like they’re “supposed to” and my stomach will be a little flatter…
The worst part is that this line of thinking makes me feel guilty for having such shallow thoughts. Why should it matter what I look like? It’s not going to change who I am and what I do… it shouldn’t change other people’s perception of me. But I know that there are studies that prove that it does and that it is something I should care about at least a wee bit. But then I feel like I am going against another part of my internal values which say I shouldn’t care and shouldn’t pay attention and then I get stuck in this cycle of circular thinking.
I really don’t know how to get out of this process at this time. I don’t even know if I could or would follow any suggestions or things I could work on. Which sort of makes this entire thing worse, because I’m aware of a “problem” but am unwilling to work on it. So I guess I’m somewhere between pre-contemplative and contemplative?
Oh well. Sometime in the future I’ll start working on this. Until then I’ll just have to deal with it or avoid looking at myself before/after showers.