Sunday, September 15, 2013

Body image, maintaining and other confusing ideas...... sort of

I was reviewing my Feedly (blog reader thingie) today and came across a post by gokaleo that caught my eye.  I did a little clicking and came to this post linked here.

I love that the title is Bullying, Body-shaming, and the Unbearable Powerlessness of Douchbaggery.  I have to state first that at initial perusal, I do not allow myself to get bullied.  I am old enough to be over that crap.  I mean seriously, try to bully me and I will tell you to go F yourself.  And I won't say F either.  I fortunately have by now come to terms with the fact that I am what I am and if you don't like it, tough taffy, Tootsie.  Get over yourself.  And that is where my teacher self confidence REALLY is helpful!  hehehe.

However, a part of the bullying that she refers to in this post is the subtle cultural images that we are all exposed to during our life.  The bullying that takes place is the placement of images and ideas in the media that only the thin and young are worthy of viewing.  That older or out of the narrow range of popular culture "norms"people are not good enough, not pretty enough, not thin enough, buff enough, tough enough - just not enough. This needs to stop!  It is screwing with our minds.  I hear it all the time in my teenagers, friends and co-workers. I like to try and make them think about what they have said.  Challenging a "norm" that shouldn't be there at all.

I occasionally get sucked into this whole thing- my body that had been overweight (in an unhealthy way) it's whole life does not conform to the thin waisted, perky butted, skinny legged ideal that is portrayed everywhere.  I have none of those things - in my mind..... It makes me crazy when I realize that it has affected me so deeply.  I was irritated when a dear friend of mine called me a skinny minny yesterday.  I don't feel skinny right now, as I have about 10 lb around my middle that wasn't there at the beginning of the summer. So, I am thinking that just because I am so much smaller than I used to be she is just seeing that and not as I actually am.........................................


OK, seriously.  So many things here- I won't go into it, I think you get the drift.  I have lost a lot,  remain in the healthy/normal weight area, I have worked out enough that I am strong and pretty fit (always the qualifiers, I know), so here I learned a mini lesson.

I am seeing some unwanted ideas behind my dissatisfaction with myself right now.  I do not look like the thin young person that might be at the gym next to me.  I might not lift as heavy as the middle age person across the gym.  I do not do the same workouts as my fitness friends elsewhere in the US.  So therefore, I am not doing something well enough.  a **ding ding** moment.  We can pay all the lipservice we want to be stating that we should not compare ourselves to others, but yet, it happens all the time.  Whether it is the slight panic of not being good enough or the slight sense of self satisfaction that we are doing better than someone else.  CRITICAL THINKING is needed here.

So, if I have gained some weight- a couple things:

Did I get too thin for my body to hang onto that weight? 
 Hmmm, maybe a little.

Am I eating poorly or something?  
Well, I know that I have a few downfalls that I can over indulge in that probably made my intake/output be skewed.  I am going to address the excess of certain things in my diet by cutting them back, but not eliminating things that I truly enjoy.

Is my health being negatively affected?
Um no.  I can still bench 150 on a sore chest and I walked 6.8 miles yesterday and felt great.  Only stiff knees from my session with deadlifts and squats.  I can live with that.

Maintenance is even harder if you allow yourself to be side tracked.  You revert to old eating habits to cope with your feelings of inadequacy.  You self soothe with food when you are stressed out by life and old issues raise their ugly heads.  You sort of have to resolve these things before you can be at peace with yourself. And so I have been thinking about things that affect me and am trying to discover what other little bits of pain are hiding in my brain.  As long as I don't regain that weight- the knee hurting, back wrenching, heart wrecking weight I used to have, I will be a success in my mind.  I will!

Lesson learned here- watch out for these little reactions that have no real basis in reality!!!  Reality is not what the media portrays.  Reality lives in each of us.  Thinking that we are never thin enough, or young enough, or our faces unlined enough or back buff enough is not especially helpful.  Well, the buff back is never enough!  :)  I will strive to become the strongest, fittest, HEALTHIEST, vegetarian Badass that I can be (thank you Nia Shanks)  for my health and for my own strength and quality of life-- but not because the people online or in magazines or on TV tell me to be!  We need to all be healthy and strong- not thin and young.  BIG DIFFERENCE THERE!!!!!

And only then will we all find our joy that is inside us!


  1. My dear friend, you have a way with words and such terrific insight! You hit the proverbial nail on the head. THANK YOU!

    1. Did I? I hope so, I was motivated and inspired by a series of events this morning. I hope I conveyed my idea- WE ARE NOT A NUMBER ON THE SCALE!

  2. Awesome reference article and even more incredible assessment of it by you. Thank you so much for sharing!

    1. I am glad you found worth in it! :) I was speaking from my heart and experience.....