I was speaking with some lady friends today and as is so often the case the subject turned to body image. I had turned down a dessert (that I really didn’t want) using the excuse, “I’m watching what I eat.” I’m not one to deny myself a craving. If I want it, I eat it, but in moderation. I simply couldn’t think of a polite way to say no to a homemade treat without hurting anyone’s feelings. Most people respect the “diet” excuse.
My comment got the ball rolling. One of the ladies said she shouldn’t eat it either, she worked out last night and hurt all over. Of the eight ladies standing and chatting, not one had a positive thing to say about their physique. How sad is that?
I’m fairly comfortable with my weight, but I still have areas that make me cringe when I see them in a mirror or a photo. I’m pretty sure that if by some miracle I woke up tomorrow and those trouble areas were suddenly fixed to my version of perfect, I’d find some other area to obsess over. Logically, I know this. Emotionally, I still take the hit to my ego every time I see them
I’m not going to blame the media. I suspect women have always had some unattainable standard of perfection in their mind’s eye.
This weekend, I made the mistake of voicing a few complaints to my husband. We’d spent a few days at a local resort and he’d taken a couple pictures of me. I was nitpicking the photos as he uploaded them, pointing out all those trouble areas while completely ignoring the positive aspects. He wasn’t pleased. He picked out his favorites and had me post one on Tumblr and change my profile picture on Facebook. The comments were very kind. No one pointed out the glaring issues that in my mind had neon arrows pointing directly at them.
He meant well. I appreciate what he was trying to do, but I don’t think it was as successful as he’d have liked. For each kind comment, I had a rationalization – no one wants to hurt my feelings – they feel like they have to say something nice – and on and on.
I know that’s a defeatist attitude and not at all beneficial. Believe it or not over the years my attitude has improved. When we were first together and my husband would give me a compliment, I used to accuse him of lying to me. I don’t do that anymore.
I do believe he likes what he sees. I’m fairly certain he was born with invisible rose colored glasses that magically appear when he looks my way. They don’t mask everything though and thankfully he never blows sunshine up my butt. He will acknowledge when I’ve put on a few pounds and he will help me in anyway I ask, to remedy the situation. His honesty about such issues allows me to believe him when he compliments me. So, I guess I’m making headway. 😉