Sunday, February 28, 2010

Body image part deux

I posted a question on the most recent Two Fit Chicks episode recap. Here it is:

I've been stuck at almost exactly the same weight for almost 2 years. I have bumped up my workouts and I swear that I see a difference on my body and some of my clothes are a little looser, but my weight has not changed. I thought it might be a whole body composition thing, but the body fat scale says I've made a lousy 1% drop in my body fat (from 39% to 38%) in that time. What (if anything) is going on in a situation like this? Is it just wanting to see progress so much that I imagine it?

I was thinking about this question today and realized it boils down to asking, "Is there anything wrong with the fact that I'm feeling better about my body, even though I have no externally-verifiable evidence to prove that I am really getting fitter or thinner?"

I think this need for validation and approval is part of the funhouse mirror syndrome I described in my last post. I feel like I live with two competing and diametrically opposed ideas about myself: "I am pretty great!" and "I am a complete loser." I am always bouncing from one to the other, depending on cues I get from people around me, or inanimate objects like body fat scales. It's exhausting.

The easy answer is, of course, "Don't worry so much about what other people think! Be kind to yourself." Sure, raise your hand if you've been able to do that. Not me. Part of the problem is my weird fear that someone is going to catch me in the act of thinking I'm better-looking, thinner, smarter, more competent, etc., than I really am. Then there will be a terrible, humiliating smackdown. I'm not sure where exactly I learned this, but it's not easy to unlearn.

1 comment:

  1. Oh Jen... I can so relate to your thinking and i knew when i read your question there was no way we would trot out a "be kind to yourself" answer. Definitely top question on the agenda when we record next friday... still pondering :)

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"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