Body Image - Loving the Skin You're In

Happy Tuesday everyone! I hope you all had a great week last week and are having another great week so far 😊 So today I am going to talk about body image and how we see ourselves in a little different way than some do. I am only going off my own experiences and what I have witnessed, I am by no means an expert or saying I’m 100% right 😉

Body Image. What does body image mean? According to Dictionary.com, body image means

an intellectual or idealized image of what one’s body is or should be like that is sometimes misconceived in such mental disorders as anorexia nervosa.

Interesting the definition brings up mental disorders and anorexia because when I typed in “Body Image” into Google, the National Eating Disorders Association website popped up, the Psychology Today popped up 2nd, and Kids Health website listed 3rd. There is a relation to body image and I believe we have all been conditioned into a slight body dysmorphia when relating our bodies to the “perfect standard”. A lot of times (at least for me), I have perceived my body image negatively – always have. I am used to comparing myself to what the standard is for men and then look in the mirror and pick out every flaw on my body.

I have made lots of strides on how I view myself in general, but more so in how I physically view myself. About 2 years ago, after one of my more recent weight gains, I realized that I had to love my skin no matter what size I was. If I don’t love myself now, how will I like it when I’ve lost weight? I won’t. We all remember a time (usually in high school) where we look back at pictures of how small we were and wish we could be like that again. But I remember at my smallest weight, sophomore year in high school, I hated the way I looked. I was still too big. I worked out a lot, and I still hated my body. So, getting smaller aint gonna do sh*t about my body image. This is the only body we have, you have to love it.

So how do you like what you see you in the mirror? One thing I started doing was looking in the mirror and instead of listing everything I hated or needed to change, I would point out the positives. My hair looks good today. This outfit makes me look slightly slimmer. When I wear this shirt, you can’t see how far my stomach hangs over my belt haha. But seriously, point out the good and it slowly takes over. Do I still look at my body under a microscope? Absolutely. But it’s no longer a oh wow, you are so fat, your arms look terrible. It’s now a wow, if I roll up my sleeves this way, it makes me look like I have toned arms.

I also changed how I viewed myself in clothes, not just in the mirror. I resented the fact that I was growing out of my clothes and I like to be trendy and fashionable. Thankfully, style for men has changed DRASTICALLY in the past few years so now the boring business attire can fit with your body type and help you look good. Style has also drastically changed for Big & Tall (not 100%) which has helped me the past 2 years. I give a lot of that credit to Target. They introduced a Big & Tall section in their clothes and that changed my world. I had gotten to a point where I no longer fit into clothes that were offered at Target, Wal Mart, Old Navy, TJ Maxx, Ross, etc. I had to go to department stores (yuck!) and look at this 5’x 5’ section that has crap with pleated pants (I’m no 100% knocking pleated pants, but for large guys, they literally make you look larger lol). So after finding clothes that worked, I felt like I looked good which made me feel good (and like how I looked).  – Side note on the topic of clothes. I want you to know that clothes are not made to fit people. You have to get things tailored or altered slightly. I think I was watching an episode of What Not To Wear in the last season and I remember Stacy London saying how tailoring is where it was at. Nothing is made to fit anyone except runway models, and even then, they are pinned and stitched before they walk out on the runway. So either teach yourself (there are great videos) or have an amazing Mom that will do some for you like I do ha. Or find a tailor 😊

Let’s also talk quickly about pictures. For the past few years, I haven’t been a huge fan of pictures that included anything from below my chest. I didn’t like seeing my body compared to other people and see the size difference. This resulted in me not being in a lot of pictures. Which is quite sad. There are memories that I am a part of but I’m not present in the pictures because of my insecurities. Do you think anyone other than ourselves looks back at pictures and thinks, wow they sure were fat then. (I mean, some people probably do but whatever ha). I’m also that person that approves all of my photos before allowing the tag to show. You know how I fixed this – a) I have realized cameras are the devil and typically NEVER flatter anyone and b) I sat in front of a mirror and learned how to pose to make myself appear smaller. If I’m taking a picture with a group, I need to be close to center so I don’t have that weird fat neck from turning to the side. I also learned how to push your face out slightly to give a slimmer neck. There are ways to pose that help as well. Does this seem a little vain? Yeah. But it makes me feel better and love myself! Don’t you hate that feeling when you feel like you looked good in an outfit and then you see a picture of it and the angle is so bad you go and burn your closet while crying into your red velvet bundt cake? Yeah – me too. Not that I took that instance from anything specific 😊

Anyway, after all is said and done, love yourself. Life is too short not to love yourself. And if you don’t like something about yourself, fix it 😊 or learn to love it 😊 because either way, it’ll always be there.

I hope you all have a great week. My half marathon is on Saturday and I’m a little nervous. I will probably have some sort of epiphanized post on it next week haha.