Self-image and Body-image
Monday, April 22, 2013
I hate that so much of my self esteem is tied up in the tag-size on a pair of jeans.
Last Friday, my friend, who is a beautiful, petite, slim, blond; suggested we go out to the bars. My first thought was, “Oh My God! That’ll be so much fun!” My immediate second thought was, this image of me, setting there, looking fat and ridiculous while some guy rudely wedges himself between us, so he can talk to the pretty girl and put his back to me (I’ve been there many times so I know it happens).
I ended up backing out of the idea.
Then Sunday night, we started talking about our “ideal man” and I made the mistake of saying, “I need to find a man.”
So, trying to be helpful, she decided to find me one. She actually opened an account on a dating website right then and there and started looking for someone I might be interested in. She would hold up her computer and ask me what I thought of each guy she found. I kept shooting them down and she complained that I was too picky. But I was actually thinking, ‘so you get this guy to talk to me. Intellectually, online and in phone calls we’ll have a great time. He’ll think I’m smart and funny and will ask to meet me. And the moment he sees me, I will actually see the disappointment on his face (again, I’ve been there.) So what’s the point of going through all the rest just to end up rejected the moment we met.’
I realize that this is not the guy’s fault. I’ve been rejected enough, and beat up by society and myself enough, that I now walk into a date (or bar scene) expecting failure; so I’m sure I’m not the warmest person in the world at that moment. I’m nice and funny, but I can’t get it out of my mind that this is the first and last time we will be talking. So I just, instinctively, shut off. I remove myself from the moment so it doesn’t hurt so much when I am rejected. I just reject him first, to save myself the time and embarrassment. And that makes me both sad and mad.
It irks me that in my head, my entire self worth is tied to my waistline!
I put myself through college! I traveled, alone, to Italy, (without speaking the language), to study for the summer! I have lived on my own, taking care of myself, since I was 18 years old! I have a full time job, I love to read (actual books), I write, I paint, I sculpt! I love to learn new things, I read Scientific America for fun! I bike, I hike, I love to take nature photos, I love to travel and explore. People are always telling me how intelligent I am, how intuitive I am, how funny I am, how cheerful, how open minded, how giving!
And yet, I hate myself because I’m not a size 6. I don’t give myself a chance because of my arm jiggle and my stomach. I hate that I can create this strong, confident woman in my stories, but I can’t seem to bring her across into myself. I hate that I let it all affect me so much and that I can so easily ignore my good qualities and that I give so much power to my negative ones. I hate that my body image is dictating my life.
About a year ago, when I started all this change in my life, I also started seeing a therapist. Because I was miserably unhappy with my job and I realized that my life wasn’t going to change until I made it change. I feel fairly confident that my professional life is in hand, but I also realize that my weight problem is only the tip of a very big iceberg I had been trying to ignore most of my life. I think now it’s time to start talking with my therapist about dealing with my self-image/self-esteem issues.