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    NOSUGARADDED87   11,848
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Self-Consciousness

Friday, June 29, 2012

Let me begin with this: Perhaps I'm insecure. It's possible. Perhaps I'm suffering from the time-of-the-month side effects. Also possible. Regardless of the cause, I know what the effect was ---

Yesterday, I felt ugly for the first time in a while.

I was wearing my most flattering pair of jeans. I was also wearing one of my least flattering shirts. I could wear a t-shirt from college and look better than I did in this shirt. I have a very small chest and wide hips (in relation), so the shirt is very baggy up top and very tight on the bottom. You could definitely see my muffin top.

I was also sweating like I haven't sweat in ages. It was unusually hot outside yesterday, and although I welcome the warm weather, I was ill-prepared for it. All of this was fine -- I could deal with it -- as long as no one saw me for any length of time. Yes, I went out walking twice pushing the largest stroller known to man (I was babysitting). But when I walk, I walk quickly enough for no one to notice me.

I'm good friends with the parents of the 1-year-old whom I was babysitting. They are awesome people. The dad is really funny, and great to get along with. He came home first, and about a half hour earlier than I expected anyone there. That's all well and good. I was hoping that I could just talk for a little while then leave. I was visibly sweating, there was no breeze, and I looked like a hot mess.

He said we needed to wait until his wife got home, because she was getting the money out of the ATM to pay me. Honestly, I don't need to be paid by these people. I love spending time with their little girl -- speaking English with her, singing to her, teaching her to walk, etc.). But they insist.

None of this is relevant yet, and for that, I apologize, but I wanted to set up the scene. Twenty to thirty minutes after the dad gets home, the mother returns. (Disclaimer -- She is an awesome person, very sweet, incredibly intelligent, etc. I don't want my negative feelings to be attributed to her personally in any way. My feelings are my own, and she has no control over them).

The mother came in, dressed very well in clothes that FIT. She is very slim, even after having a baby. I don't think she gained an ounce during that pregnancy.

The father eventually got onto the subject of his wife feeling like she has fat she wants to get rid of. Don't we all? However, at no point in my life have I ever been as thin as this woman. She's healthy, but very slim. She concurred with her husband, and said she had fat on her hips that she wanted to lose. I was astonished. I explained that I'm much bigger than she is, and noticeably so.

It's a little painful to recount everything, so I won't. Due to the difference in cultures, what they said was entirely appropriate here, but would be considered rude in America. I understand both cultures, so I wasn't as offended as I could have been.

Honestly, I wasn't offended at all. I was just sad. I was sad that this woman feels fat (she's my height, but so tiny!). I was sad that she could wear such simple clothes and look exquisite. I'm sad that after having a baby, she's tinier than I have ever been in my life. I'm sad that she works from 7am to 7pm and still eats and exercises better than I do -- someone who works from home and has nearly unlimited amounts of time and resources to live a healthy life.

Is it me? Am I just failing at what I set out to do?

I honestly haven't felt so disgusting in a very long time.

Today, I feel a little bit better, but I'm still depressed. I ate a much smaller portion than usual yesterday. My fiancÚ cooked supper, but by that point, I was so distraught (seriously) that I didn't care what he made. I was in depressed-eating mode. I had the pasta carbonara and tried to put the day out of my mind.

Today, I resolved to get back on track. I have been exercising pretty regularly lately. I really enjoy my walks now, and am trying to get back into cycling as well (though it's really difficult).

But the pain of yesterday still stings. I felt so hideous...just hideous.

And that's a feeling I never want to have again.
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LISALGB 7/1/2012 7:09PM

    Yes, definately get rid of that shirt!! Make a dust rag from it or something . . . anything. But get rid of it.
Just remember, we are all different - and you are doing what is best for you. You are making healthy choices that will last a life time.
And, as you said, the cultures are different, so you have to take that into consideration. Just choose to be proud of yourself for all that you do.

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DRAGONCHILDE 6/29/2012 10:39AM

    Get rid of the shirt. You don't need to own something that feels that badly, and no amount of thriftiness is worth the feelings it gives you.

You can't compare yourself to her. She's likely blessed with good genetics, and a good start... it's easier to be healthy when you start out that way. Those of us who struggle with weight often don't have the same start. We fight genetics, our parents' upbringing, our own insecurities,

Working from home doesn't mean you have unlimited resources, either; get that idea right out of your head. I work from home, too, and unlike someone who gets to come home and leave work at work, we don't have that luxury. It's always there, and we have to do it with the added burden of taking care of our houses, coupled with the added expectation that we CAN do everything because we don't "work as hard" as someone in a more traditional role.

I struggle with being a bit of a workaholic, whose work is always two feet away, and often can't say no to doing one more thing. I stay unbelievably busy, and motivation is hard to come by.

WE all have our insecurities. My sister in law, who is just the tiniest, most adorable thing in the world, might weigh 110 SOAKING WET complains all the time about her hips. She doesn't like them.

I can't begrudge her that. That's her right. We live our lives bombarded with images of airbrushed perfection telling us what we're supposed to look like to be beautiful.

And I promise you something else: You didn't look as bad as you think you did. WE're always our own worst critic. Let me tell you about my recent experience.

See, I've always had great legs; I was a biker in college, and have always had copious amounts of muscle. Lately though, I've hated my legs. They'd gotten fat, I'd lost all definition to being sedentary, and when I looked down at them, they were all chunky and think and seemed as big as my thighs.

I hated it. I hated shaving, and always wore jeans or long pants because I was embarrassed by them. Then summer came, and I finally broke down and got a good deal on some long shorts (the kind that come just below the knee.) I wore them to the gym, because I had nothing else clean, and it was HOT. In class, I was looking in the mirror, and had to stop.

My calves weren't fat anymore. Stunned, I looked down. They still looked thick and fat to me. But the mirror told me a different story. They were lean... muscular. And looked good.

They still look huge to me in the shower. Even though I know they're not, really.

It's all about perspective. Remember you're close to you. You see things right up close, at a skewed angle, and even when you look in the mirror, you're looking through biased eyes. Are you a runway model? Hell no. (Who'd want to be?) But I guarantee you something: No one else is as close to you as you are. No one else has your perspective. They;re on the outside, looking at the surface, not inside, battling your own insecurities and self-criticism. They don't see you they way you do.

Be kind to yourself. Don't compare yourself to other people. Their lives aren't yours. Their genetics aren't yours. Their support isn't yours. In short: They aren't you. I weigh a good 50 lbs more than you do, and will likely never weigh as little as you do (I'm tall, and at my leanest was 145, and that was a bit too thin for me)... but you know something? I can't compare my body to yours. I know that I'm healthy, and progressing along my path to strength and health.

So here's what you do. Focus on the good things. Don't aim to meet her standard. Aim for setting your own. Work with what YOU have. And remember: you don't have to be perfect to be healthy, and make things better.

Comment edited on: 6/29/2012 10:41:24 AM

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JANETTEB553 6/29/2012 4:13AM

    Also Tear up and throw out the shirt... Jump up and down on it first... Feels good.... emoticon

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JANETTEB553 6/29/2012 4:10AM

    Ahh that is rotten. But think. We are all different.. You are you... You are doing things to change your life.. It does not happen immediately but it does happen.. Keep your chin up... Stop judging yourself against others. You are you and you are doing the best you can.. Tell yourself that... emoticon

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