Monday, July 18, 2011

Theory: "Lingering Self-Esteem"

Does anybody else ever feel like their body looks like it did in high school/college but when you look at it you think, "Who's body is this and where did it come from? It most definitely does not belong to me!"
I in no way want to give the wrong impression that I want or expect to look like I did in high school. Back then I was working out year round for sports about 2+ hours a day, which totally blows my mind now (apparently I had nothing else going on; how does someone have that much time to work out?!).

Anyway, back to my original thought, I have been working on this theory I call "Lingering Self-Esteem." 
Definition: an individual (such as myself) has a falsely positive image of their own body causing them to think they look better than they actually do. 
Example: I put on a swimsuit and feel normal then look at the mirror and am sure that someone is pulling a prank on me and has switched my regular mirror for a fun house mirror.
Example: In high school, a girl friend complained to me about her thighs rubbing together when she walked and I remember thinking, "Hmmm... my thighs don't do that, must just be her." Now I am Thigh Rubber.
Example: When I go home I still find myself looking at my younger sister's wardrobe to see what I could borrow like I did 7 years ago. Now the only thing I can borrow from her is a pair of socks (granted, she is all of about 5 ft and 100 lbs, if that).
Example: I always pick up items on the rack that are about a size too small because they look like they would fit me, then later decide that the sizes in that store just run small (that's a legitimate excuse, right?).
Example: I don't usually notice my upper arms, but the question is when did they start moving at their own pace when I do things like wash the windows or wave?
Example: My stomach feels flat, but when I look sideways in the mirror after a big meal I can't help but think, yikes! am I secretly like 3 months pregnant? Where did that food baby come from?! I thought my stomach was tight enough to hold that in... (This brings us to my next theory, called "Learn to Suck it In").

Now before you go giving me the lecture about how I should love my body and everyone is made different (yada yada yada) you need to understand that I totally get that! I am (most days) satisfied with the body I have as long as I am consistently eating healthy (but not cutting out tasty) and working out. I know that I have curves that come from my sweet Grandmas and they will always and forever be there. And I know that my husband finds me beautiful in every way and never notices any of the negative things I do (Praise the Maker for unobservant men!). And I definitely, definitely don't want to give teenage girls the impression that putting on a little weight when you grow up is a bad thing. It's natural and I wouldn't go back to my A cup for nothin, not even losing the extra pounds!

But sometimes a little self-deprecating humor can take a poor attitude about my body and turn it into a giggle. And for me, writing this blog is totally worth laughing at myself to stay out of the body-hate mentality that our society pushes on everyone. I can notice that my body is different than it used to be (and that there's more of it) without having to spiral into a depression and stop eating.

So here's to all you women out there who can't fit in your high school cheerleading uniform/prom dress/favorite jeans and are happy (or at least content) with being a little curvier! 
Hurrah for being at home in your adult skin.
And for all you skinny minny's that don't know what I'm talking about, go grab a donut and find another blog to read (kidding!).

Psalm 139:13-14
For you created my inmost being;
   you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
   your works are wonderful,
   I know that full well."

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