Body Aches


Why the comparison?

Why the comparison is a great question.  What do these pics have to do with the title is another great question.  Scooch over here by me for a bit, and I will fill ya in.  😉

What these comparison pics, that you have already seen, are about is BODY IMAGE.  How do YOU and I see ourselves?  Several of my online buddies have commented that my title is wrong–cuz I am not fat.  Jueseppi has been getting on to me for some time because he thinks I need to have my eyes checked, because I complain about my body.  His kind rebuffs got me thinking about body image.

I have been reading across the web; some of the images of women are disturbing. There are women who look like victims of starvation to women who seem proud of morbid obesity, and everything (mostly healthy) in between.  Then, are the experts and people on every side of the issue that further confuse the matter of what is a healthy body image.  What is too big?  What is too small?  What is the perfect ideal or body image a woman should have of herself?  Who decides what is “RIGHT” for each of us?

I think we each must decide what is our ideal for ourselves.

As long as our ideal is healthy, then that is a good place to stop.  Does this mean that I think a morbid obese or anorexic’s decision to stop where they have is good?  My answer is a few questions: Is your weight healthy for you?  Will your weight help strengthen your body or harm it?  Will your weight cause illness?  Both extremes will cause health issues.

According to my BMI numbers, I am OVERWEIGHT at 167–or what ever my weight is right now.  I personally do not think 167 is a good weight for me.  I think that is too heavy for my bone structure, and the activities I want to participate in.  Even so, I am postponing my push for weight loss in favor of strength training for this year.  There I said it.  I am not trying to lose for 2012.  I am trying to maintain; losing would be a wonderful bonus, but strength is the goal.

I think for most women this whole body image idea becomes a body-ache/heartache.  I never measure up to how I want to look in my head.  There are a number of reasons for this:

  1. I am 48 years old–not 20–so, some of the things I want to see won’t happen without surgery, and probably not then.
  2. I have weighed above 250 for more than 10 years–my body will not go back into a smooth form (I must say it has done MUCH better than expected–happiness here!) Of my youth; again without surgery.
  3. I’ve given birth to 4 children; two of them were 10 pounds +!!  That does damage–just sayin’!
  4. On a mental note: I think I am too harsh with myself, and this is where rejoicing comes in.

I love seeing fit women of all shapes and sizes.  I love seeing the 200+ pound women getting out there and giving it what for.  I never think ewww….YUCK!  She shouldn’t go out for this.  I always think.  WOW!  You go girl (same for the big guys).  I feel proud of them, excited for them, and speak a prayer of blessing on them as they go.

So, what is my (and so many others who have lost a large amount of weight) major malfunction with seeing how far I have come?  I don’t know.

Lets look at today. I didn’t feel bad when I put my outfit on; I kinda felt slim.  Which is always fun.  It gives you that little pep to your step.  Then, in the Reformer room, (they rearranged the machines, now, you see your body from a different angle) all I could see is the biggest part of my body.  It was distracting me. It was discouraging me. I found myself trying to look away from the large-ish rear and gut.  I tried to focus on my legs that have begun some yummy new muscular shapes (I LIKE MUSCLE).  A bit later, we bridge, and I see the upper part of my thick stomach, and the flab pooching out around my underarms (this is from the lat work I have been doing).  I tell myself — REJOICE.  I tell myself:  you made the choice to grow strong.  The rest of the weight will come off in time, but not fast.  I know all this.  I have known this since I started training folks when I was 17.  So what is my PROBLEM?

Body Image.  What I see in the mirror looks the same to me as the old 255 pound me.  Why?  I really do not understand why.  I think it just takes time for your brain to process that you have in fact CHANGED. I use looking back at these pictures to help my mind see … the distortion of the woman I see in the mirror.  That I might KNOW what I see is NOT reality.

I am slimmer.

I am fitter.

I am WAY healthier.

Life’s good!  I will grow past this thought pattern too.  Just like I overcame the fear of SPANDEX at 255 pounds, I will overcome the unhealthy mental body image, and LOVE myself just how I am.  Because … you know why?

I am fun.

Well ... it is soak time now, cuz Donna made me hurt this morning! In case you wondered ... I am NOT taking pics of bath-time so this nap-time pic will have ta do. 😀

I love life and people.

I am giving.

I am kind.

I am loving.

I am strong.

I am courageous.

I am persistant.

I NEVER GIVE UP. (on myself or others)

I’m an artist.

I wanna be a writer.

There are just too many facets to myself to list … we would be here all day.  You get the idea.  I need to focus on what is real and good.  I am going to achieve all my goals–some may take just a tad longer than I like, but THAT IS OK.

Oh … and … I am pretty darn cool to boot.     😉

Just out of curiousity … what do you see when YOU look in the mirror?  Are you Sexy and You KNOW IT? (winkin

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20 thoughts on “Body Aches

  1. I have blogged about my “disconnect” many times…and will probably blog about it again in the future. This is something I definitely struggle with…every single day. When I am moving around, I can feel the difference in the way I move. When I am jogging/running at the gym, I can feel the difference in my endurance. I can lift more weight, do more reps, etc. However, when I stop and look directly at my body (especially in the bath or shower) all I see is fat. I see no difference in my waist, hips, legs, arms from 315 pounds to now (into the 230’s). I have lost nearly 80 pounds and I *see* no difference. It is incredibly frustrating…especially when those around me see it and squeal in celebration. I have a hard time celebrating something I don’t/can’t see. It truly is unnerving.

    I wish I would have taken pictures of my whole body in the very beginning. I think it would have helped me tremendously to look at myself then and now. Sigh. I cannot change that, though…and, so I just keep trucking forward. Eventually I’ll see it, right?! If nothing else, I *know* I am healthier, stronger, and more fit than I was when I started! I’ll always have that. 🙂

    -Erica

    • Know just what you mean, worse luck. I was in the bathtub the other night and seeing puffy flabby tummy (sorry for the visual) and “huge” legs and felt I hadn’t lost weight at all. But I have! I know it! But what I saw, like you, was “no difference.” Darn mind playing tricks on us…

      • Hey OB! It is our mind. I think our minds harm us the worst. I really wanted to get to goal before I started the lifting and stuff, because I just don’t lose. I can’t get my eating right–I eat too much or too little.

    • Erica,

      I think all of us struggle with this once you have lost a significant amount of weight! It just takes processing. I am finally feeling stronger. I LOVE that. When you get to where you want to be or even close it will still be a struggle. I’ll be there when you get there. We will hold each others hands.

      My children started insisting that I be in pictures. They would not let me throw mine away—they said they wanted a record that I lived. So … I have pics. They do help too! REally help. Take them now. Record your progress so you can look back and see–it helps. Promise. 🙂

      HUGS Erica!

  2. What an awesome post! I love comparing photos of myself as well. You see yourself every day, so it’s sometimes hard to realize how far you’ve actually come. At my old apartment I kept a photo of me when I started working out and a recent photo of myself next to each other to remind me of that exact fact.

    I look forward to reading more of your blog 🙂

    • I find that I really have to look at these photos to accept the changes. You wouldn’t think it would be so, but it is. I am pushing 100 lbs lost and … still it is hard somedays to see.

      I think having the photos on the fridge was great! Looking forward to getting to know you as well. 😀

  3. I became really good at NOT seeing myself in mirrors or reflections. I was even better at avoiding mirrors, but when I couldn’t avoid, I learned how to not see. It was too much to handle -I couldn’t maintain a positive outlook seeing how unhealthy I looked. I had an image of myself thinner and healthier in my head, and I did not appreciate being confronted with proof that I was not.

    Yesterday, I ran later in the day than usual, so each time I came around one end of the track, with the sun behind me, I cast a shadow across the wall. I almost didn’t recognize my shadow! It was awesome. I looked strong. Not super-thin, and I couldn’t see the healthier color in my face (since it was just a shadow), but I could tell that I looked strong. It was the longest run on the track I’ve done to date, which I think was because I was feeling so powerful. I’m going to take some more time to get used to my shadow before I start really looking hard in the mirror. I want to keep acting like the super-healthy, thin 20-year-old I am in my head … I won’t get to super-thin or 20 again, but I’ll get to a more appropriate place and then I’ll worry about what I really look like.

    • Thanks for the wonderful thoughts and honesty Andie! I can totally understand how you feel about the shadow. I have a few pics with my new shadow. My shadow used to mock and shame me as I was out being active.

      WTG on that new stronger run to go with that new stronger WOMAN! 😀

    • Andie,
      I know exactly what you mean! In fact, I have *no* mirrors in my house other than my medicine cabinet mirror, which only shows shoulders and up. I never really got to “know” my body before weight loss, which compounds my struggle to see and accept changes I’ve made since. I do workout in front of full-body mirrors at the gym now (as they line majority of the walls in my gym, of course)…and I truly think that will help me see changes going forward. Or at least that is what I’m going to tell myself. 🙂

      -Erica

      • I had mirrors — I would flinch if I looked over at myself. Now, I have full body mirrors mounted to the wall–that I plan to take out–in my bathroom. I got to see all of me when I stepped out of the tub, the shower, and when I sat on the potty–I got a great side view of my jabba the hut body. That has been encouraging to see how much less of me there is on the potty. 😀

  4. Hi there !

    Your post is just plain GREAT ! I love what you say and think it is so true. I also think you got it right, it is about having the body that goes with your life and what you want to do with it.
    For me the BMI is a good risk indocator and I want to stick with the eahlthy range because i have a family story of diabetes, cancer and heart attack, I am carrying those bomb genes I know it and the only way to stop it is by maintaining a healthy weight and an active life.
    I too know skinny girls feeling fat and ugly and bad and big girls feeling beautiful and getting everything they want from life so…
    I also wanted to thank you for reading my posts and liking them. And yes I am NUT and I also love that about myself ;-p
    all the best to you !

    • Thanks girl (NUT) for stopping by and commenting. You know how we all LOVE comments! I have diabetes, high blood pressure, and a HUGE list of crap that plague me–thus my push for weight loss, health, and not just fitness ( I was pushing fitness even at 263–just wasn’t working for me to lose). Looking forward to getting know you. 😀

  5. I’ve been following your blog for a little while now, and I have to say, this is my favourite post to date. I love your list of things, and I agree, you do seem fun, and cool, and giving, and strong, and all those things. Like you, I see something different every time I look in the mirror, but one day I hope to see a thinner me! Not a perfect me, necessarily.

    • Sandi that is such a nice thing to say. I am glad that you liked my post. I hope you see a thinner you sooner rather than later. Keep me posted on how you are doing.

      Thanks for following and commenting. Means the world. 🙂

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