…..your answer is crucial.
Someone is looking for you to say, “no.” Someone is looking for you to say, “yes.” Someone is looking for you to give the right answer. But there is no right answer. Because we aren’t “right.” We can’t be. Instagram tells us so.
What we are seeking is validation to our lifelong disgust with our bodies. We want to know if someone else thinks our butt looks big. Or small. Our breasts and thighs and stomach too. Because how they look in the eyes of others seems to define WAY too much of our self-worth even though we say it doesn’t. And I’m saying we.
I still struggle sometimes. And there is no filter to handle the remnants of a lifetime of being uncomfortable with my body.
I’m not sure when it started. I remember, very early in life, being told I had a “high booty.” There were references to my skirt being down in the front and up in the back. I remember going to bed in a training bra and waking up in a size C. I remember having to stop playing football because my own teammates had started “tackling” me. I remember being the most popular the Monday after a dance show after I put my “high booty” and D’s in spandex for a dance show. I remember not being able to wear the strapless shirts in recitals. I remember being told my large breast were a problem during an audition. I remember being told my breast were now too small. I remember crying because I couldn’t fit into a size 14. Or 16. Or 18. Or 20. Or 10. Or 8. It didn’t matter where I was on the spectrum. I just wasn’t happy. I needed to be “better.”
And it became harder when people criticized me for being critical of myself.
Most of us think “the next person” shouldn’t have an issue. But we don’t know their history. Often times it is more of what has built their experiences than it is sheer vanity. And often times it is because we want to be accepted. We want to be validated. We want to know that we are o.k. And the text book answer IS “I don’t need anybody’s validation. I don’t need people to accept me.” But behind closed doors, eating disorders, food phobias and exercise addictions are running rampant. Who tells the truth and brings it to the light so we can all take a breath and let our bellies hang free (if we want) while we do it and say, “Accepting and loving myself where I am doesn’t mean I accept my situation.” We can work towards better health and fitness goals without hating our bodies. It is, indeed, a slippery slope.
As to how we start, I started by stopping the comparison game. I cringed every time I saw a picture (and there are lots of them) of me giving my all with every piece of leftover skin I own falling down between my legs (still do sometimes) BUT I owned that it was me and I was proud of what I was DOING more so than what I was wearing or looking like. I know a lot of women, my age, who do what I do who have bodies that are banging but that has nothing to do with me. I started setting my own standards….from my heart. It works….most of the time. 🙂 I also separate myself from people, places or things who body bash. If you criticize everyone who doesn’t have a six pack and eat greek yogurt three times a day then I separate myself. Sometimes we THINK we are not taking another person’s critical attitude on but we can….even against ourselves. I also started spending as much time complimenting myself in front of the mirror, naked, as I did complaining. Because there is good in everyone. Yes. Even you.
Spend time with your body and reinforce what you know to be true. You are strong enough to have done something. Start there. Build in what you see as your strong points and create talk that helps you feel comfortable with the person that will be with you until the end.
And, regardless of how your butt looks, you are awesome. 🙂