Wednesday, May 29, 2013

You Are Beautiful

Let's talk self-esteem and body image today, shall we?

Sorry for the vulgarity (not really)
And sorry for the lack of source citation -- I pulled this off of a friend's Facebook page.
I've been thinking a lot about this lately for a couple of reasons.  First, this is something that I have thought about pretty much every day since all of the boys liked my best friend in third grade and not me.  And second, Farrell's 10-week testing is coming up this week, and if I win the grand prize, my before and after photos will be plastered in the gym and online and, quite possibly, in the store-front window.

Obviously I'm not too excited that my before picture will be broadcast for everyone to see, but I'm not yet fully satisfied with what my "after" photo will look like.  I mean, I still have a lot of work to do!

(Side note: I'm obviously going to post my before/after photos here, which I totally understand is public territory.  The gym, however, is located in the neighborhood in which I teach, and y'all, 15-year-olds can be mean!)

Also, while I lost eight pounds and over 11 inches in the first five weeks of Farrell's, I don't feel like I've made drastic improvements these past five weeks.  I have felt especially icky the last few days, which is weird because I've been doing everything right -- and more.

See why we're talking about self-esteem and body image today?  Clearly, despite all of the work I've been doing, I still have some issues.

As I'm brainstorming the content of this post, I am quickly realizing that it could be pages upon pages upon pages long.  I mean, I could talk about the recent controversy with Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries, I could talk about the blogger who deemed the NBA cheerleader too chunky to cheer, I could talk about the incessant chatter about women's weights during the 2012 Olympics, I could talk about the fat-shaming that is plaguing our nation, or I could talk about the fat talk that occurs far too often.

And obviously, I could go on and on and on and on and on.

But I'm not going to talk about those things.  Instead, I'm going to talk about my favorite topic: me.  :)

I have never been a stick-thin girl; I've always been athletically-built, and even when I'm not in the tippest-toppest shape, it doesn't take too long for me to start toning up and developing those hidden muscles.  While I've had a fairly flat stomach for most of my life (until I hit 29, um what?!), but my thighs have always been a lot sturdier than I would like.

And, I feel like I weigh way more than I should, I feel like I'm a way bigger pant-size than I should be, and I feel like I look way larger than I actually (probably) do.

But I have felt that way my whole life.  I felt that way when I weighed 150 pounds, and I felt that same way when I weighed 190 pounds.  That is just the way my brain has been programmed by Vogue, Victoria's Secret, and Gossip Girl.

Something that The Boy said the other night has really stuck with me.  Essentially, he told me that I was so super sexy and that he thought I was just so darn beautiful.  (Aw, so sweet.  I'm a lucky girl, I know.)  But then he said, "I just wish you would see it, too.  I just wish you would believe me."

Don't get me wrong: I am not constantly self-deprecating.  I know that I am getting fitter by the day, and I know my tummy, arms, and legs are getting pretty darn toned.  (And I know that The Boy would love me regardless of what I looked like.)  And here's the deal: I do believe him.  I do believe that he thinks I'm sexy and beautiful, and at times even I think I'm not too shabby.  Apparently, though, I still exude the lack of confidence that has followed me since, oh, forever.

I guess some things just take time to change.  I'm trying.

I do need to note, however: I'm not working out like a crazy woman and eating ├╝ber-healthfully because I want to be a size zero.  (That's never going to happen, nor would I want it to.  I like my curves!)  In fact, I could not care less if I stay the exact same size I am now forever, as long as I get more toned (which, I guess, would make me go down a size or two).  Rather, I am exercising and eating well because it makes me feel good.  I like being able to see my muscle definition.  I like feeling sore after a long run.  I like the rush of endorphins while I'm kickboxing.

I am being mindful of my fitness and my nutrition because that is who I am.  If I don't workout and don't eat well, I am not the Emily that everyone knows and loves.  It's not okay.

In fact, while The Boy is supportive of Farrell's and doesn't mind eating the healthy food that I cook, he says that the only reason he likes me doing the program is because he notices how different I am, how happy I am.

I apologize for the completely discombobulated post.  I feel like it made no sense and didn't really get anywhere, but here's the (lost in the post) moral of the story: let's figure out a way to get our society to stop caring so darn much about the number on the scale, the number on the dress, and to start caring more about people.

Have a very Happy Hump Day, and just remember:

Peace out, yo.

What are your tips to a positive self-image?

1 comment:

  1. Great post! Sorry about the sturdy thighs. Genetics: it's the law.