The last couple of weeks I’ve been thinking about body image a lot. Being around a college campus, it can be at the forefront of anyone’s mind. A) because there is a lot of information about body image issues and B) there is a concentration of young folk. Every year at the start of the semester I go through this, “woe is me” deal because I start comparing myself. To 18 year olds. Brilliant.
Thankfully, this only lasts for a few weeks and then I start to right my thinking. I will admit it’s not easy. Everything around me is so damn PERKY!
As I’ve mentioned, I’m having a love affair with pinterest. However, I am not a fan of all of the weight loss items on there. Don’t get me wrong – I think many of the work outs posted are great and I will continue to pin some of these beauts. I also will continue to talk about my own journey of weight management. However, I’m speaking more towards things like this:
These pictures have captions that include, “best weight loss trick ever!” Or “if I can do it, so can you”. The huge problem I have with pictures like the above is I think this person looks great in the BEFORE shot! Actually, I am not even sure the after is a real – maybe photoshop at work? Whatever, the point is there are a lot of these on there. I find it frustrating.
As I mentioned a couple of months ago, I’ve given up on the scale. I’m really happy I made this decision and strongly recommend it to others. When I first started losing weight and the preceding maintenance, weighing myself everyday seemed to work for me. But then it started going down hill. I had one setback (when I was visiting WA) but that was the last time the scale and I were aquainted. This was a great choice for me – I wasn’t even considering the impending body image issue that rears its ugly head at the beginning of the school year.
Since I’ve been down the road of disordered eating and mustered through the ups and downs of body image I think it’s important to talk about it and not hide it away. Not talking about it makes it seem like it’s bad to have these feelings. Considering what much of our society considers beautiful, it’s easy to have negative thoughts – for all genders. A couple of my male friends and I have started to talk about it more and more and it’s fascinating for me to be this open about it. I know I can talk about my feelings but still be seen as a “confident” person. And then I’m also learning a few things too:
I have a feeling the above will be a never-ending process. I admire people who embrace themselves wholeheartedly and this comes naturally to them. It doesn’t to me. So I have to keep plugging away and be mindful of the messages I am receiving from my environment, the people I surround myself with, along with my inner voice (my harshest critique ever). Then I can choose whether to pay attention to those messages or throw them out with the trash – a very intriguing idea!