Why In The World Do I Have Body Image Issues?

I’m not special. I’ve had body image issues for as long as I can remember. Throughout my teenage years, starting when I was 12, I didn’t go anywhere without making sure my stomach was sucked in at all times. Until very recently, I started and ended every day on the bathroom scale, and praised/shamed myself accordingly. I have been both bigger and smaller than I am right now, and when I was smaller, I remained equally consumed with the scale, keeping a close eye on the pounds incase they increased. I also felt a sense of accomplishment when I was smaller. One time I bought a sweater at Old Navy – it was on a mannequin and the last one in the store. I felt pride (and shame for feeling pride) when it fit. It was an extra small. I overeat in private and feel great amounts of food-shame, even though no one saw me do it. I use junk food – chips and ice cream,as rewards for getting a lot of work done or just for not eating chips and ice cream for a while and I eat until I’m painfully full. Then I look in the mirror and feel regret and shame and somehow undeserving due to my lack of control. Undeserving of…anything. I feel undeserving in general because my perceptions of food and my body and my connection to it are negative. I’m not saying anything mind blowing here. I’m not even close to being one of only a few who feel this way. This is what I’m supposed to feel.

Growing up I was never told I needed to change my body for any reason by my friends or my family. I was fed good food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and learned to cook healthy meals of whole foods. I was not deprived of junk food, turning it into some childhood thing that I am trying to make up for in adulthood. So why then?

Maybe this…

This is a real advertisement.

They means this.

This is self esteem cancer.

For the record, I don’t read magazines. But I do watch movies and tv shows. Last night I was wishing I could have long pretty hair like the pretty Gilmore Girls. I look hot with short hair, but that point is so quickly and easily forgotten when I’m faced with what I understand to be a more traditionally feminine beauty.

This was purely inspired by this advertisement because it’s just so completely appallingly explicit and in-your-face. And it pisses. me. off.

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5 thoughts on “Why In The World Do I Have Body Image Issues?

  1. I didn’t allow weigh scales in the house while Matt and Jenn were growing up……….you are who you are……what you look like doesn’t matter…..if you are comfortable with who you are then you are happy………….throw those scales to the curb !!! you don’t have room for them in the tiny house anyway !! Be happy being you !!! Love you guys !!!

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  2. Hi! I found your blog through our FWFG group. :) I have only read 2 things so far but I already love your blog. This one in particular. I swear I could have written this one myself. You described pretty much my exact life and struggles, including the scales, body size and short vs long hair. I love your honesty! Can’t wait to read more! Keep up the good work!! :)

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    1. Wow, thanks Sarah! I’m happy to find people that have similar experiences! Since you found me through #FWFG I assume you’ve taken up yoga…has it changed your views at all?

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      1. I’ve practiced yoga off and on for the last 15 years but it never made a difference because I practiced it purely from a fitness standpoint with the afterthought that it might perhaps help me finally “chill the heck out!” :)

        It wasn’t util finding Yoga with Adriene about a year and a half ago that I finally connected with what I feel is true yoga, the whole body and mind practice. That combined with regularly talking with a therapist for a while helped me to change my views.

        I still struggle at times but it is so much more manageable because of my new mindset. I’m much for forgiving of myself and that really helps me. :)

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