I am having a I Feel Disgusted With My Body day.
This feeling, I realized, is most-often brought on my seeing candid or quickly-posed photos of myself and, occasionally, weighing myself.
Well, I haven’t weighed myself in probably two months, so there could be only one other culprit…
If you follow my Instagram, you’ll see one of the two photos that put me in this mental place. Here’s the second one (which is the worst offender):
Logically I know that most of what I dislike about this photo is just weird shadowing on my thighs and lower abdomen. And let me just add: even if there wasn’t this weird shadowing adding what looks to be weird fat-foldy-ness to these areas of my body and, say, my body actually did look like this, THAT IS OKAY AND I AM STILL A WORTHY PERSON WITH SASS AND GRACE AND BEAUTY. …nonetheless, I hate my body shape today and feel kind of gross and disgusting.
I’ve spent far too much mental energy trying to come up with some way to effectively starve myself small and somehow not feel starving… which, y’know, doesn’t actually exist. One can eat in a caloric deficit and gradually lose fat, but the fact of the matter is you will still have times when you’re hungry because being in a deficit is exactly that: being hungry sometimes. Not starving, but… I’m getting off track. Most of you know this shit.
Using my CBT tools that I’ve spent lots of money acquiring over the last several years, I’ve been doing my best to shut down these negative thoughts, to negotiate around, to offer positive affirmation, and, finally, to put together a solution.
Where does this body dissatisfaction come from? Part of it is: the body in that picture is not the body I see when I look in the mirror each morning. It’s not the body I see when I catch my reflection in a window. But, most importantly, it’s not the body I see in my mind’s eye. All these things I just mentioned? These are the perceptions of my body that should matter. An unflattering picture does not.
Back to that solution, though… The first is the one I’ve been working so hard on for the last few years, and that is: loving my body no matter what shape or size it is and thinking positively about my present body while being grateful for all the cool shit it does for me. The second solution is to get back to regularly lifting some heavy weight. I got 5 weeks in recently, but some of those workouts were derailed by back issues. I just recently got clearance from my physical therapist (this is a whole other story I’ve been meaning to write about, too, so stay tuned for that at some point before too long) as well as some good exercises to do to make sure I’m firing my glutes properly to protect my problem areas and I’m super stoked to take this knowledge with me into the weight room.
Returning to weight lifting is what’s going to help me the most to change my body composition and get me closer to the aesthetic I want without a super restrictive diet. The fact of the matter is, I don’t give a flying f*ck if I stay a size 18/20 if I have a bunch of bad-ass, strong, visible muscles that power all the things I love to do most.
To wrap things up, a reminder for me and for anyone else struggling with this same stuff:
Eat like you love yourself
Move like you love yourself
Speak like you love yourself
Act like you love yourself