Saturday, August 05, 2006
I have found that all my weight ups and downs have made it very hard for me to be in touch with what I really look like. It's especially difficult because pictures, mirrors, the scale, other people's opinions -- all those external ways to validate your own perspective -- are so unreliable and changeable. I can look great in one picture and in another, I have massive thunder thighs.
It is very hard for me to keep in touch with the idea that my weight and size are very average and that I am not freakishly large. I don't need to take the biggest dressing room.
I was writing an email to Lori earlier today and realized how my feelings about my body being large are mostly about having a body type that is radically different from the magazine ideal.
The other day Frances sent me a link to some columns, one of which talked about how our "fix-it" mentality means that we no longer accept any limitations of genetics or "constitution" on what size or shape we could be. If we only work harder, we can have the body of our dreams. But I look at my own body, at the bodies of the women in my family, and at old pictures of myself from when I was thinner and I know these thighs are here to stay. I might as well learn to appreciate the things that they can do: run, bike, swim, walk.
I think that the solution is to stop checking all those outside sources for validation and to turn the focus on something other than appearance. As hokey as it may sound, I think the key to sanity is getting in touch with my own intrinsic worth as a person and not focusing so much on the packaging. The diet and exercise are just part of a larger program to better myself -- they help me feel more centered and whole. The most important thing is what Caroline Myss calls "The Journey Into the Heart." I feel like in the last year or so I have finally taken the first small steps.
"Count your calories, work out when you can, and try to be good to yourself. All the rest is bulls**t." -- Jillian Michaels at BlogHer '07