I hate my body. There. I’ve said it.
I am no different than millions of women and men. But I have spent years convincing myself that I didn’t hate my body, just that I wanted to make it better. I’ve said all the right things about being a work in progress and how far I’ve come. The sad, solid truth is that I absolutely hate my body.
I went on Tumblr for a minute today and couldn’t find anything to post. Why? Because no matter how sexy the picture, the scene, the pose, I constantly compare my body to those of the women in the pictures, and of course, I find myself lacking. I could go on and on about how society does this to us, about how marketing and advertising have done this to us. Yeah, yeah, yeah. We all know where it came from.
Looking at the pictures on Tumblr, it hit me. I hate my body. I hate everything about it. It’s not good enough, and it never will be.
I find myself grateful that I don’t have to raise little girls. I have no idea how I would instill a love of their own bodies in them, since I don’t love my own.
When I look in the mirror, I rarely see the strong, muscled legs or the firm, round ass. I rarely see the strong shoulders or the collarbone that I was shocked to see for the first time a few years ago. I see the dimples. I see the saggy, excess flesh. I see everything I hate about myself.
And yet, while I bemoan a body I don’t care for, I know I’m what other women seek to accomplish. I know it because I was once 90 pounds heavier than I am now. I know that for women losing weight, they see me and I’m their big goal to achieve. I know it because I once looked at women my size with pure envy, wanting desperately to be their size. Once I got down to this size (a size 10/12, if you must know), I began to look at the next big goal – the last 30 pounds to lose.
I have struggled for three years to lose the last 30 pounds and have been unable to do it. Whether it’s stress or biology keeping me at this weight, I don’t know. In one moment, I tell myself it doesn’t matter, that it’s ok if I never lose the last pounds. In the next, I nearly cry when I look at myself in the mirror.
The worst part is that I know I am desirable to (some) men. One man in particular tells me I’m beautiful; he makes me feel beautiful. When he cupped my breast, it felt like it was made for his hand. When he palmed my ass, he told me it was a perfect fit. When he spent more than an hour simply stroking every square inch of my skin, learning it, worshiping it, I was no longer a flaccid, flabby woman – I was simply soft skin and sensitive nerve-endings. I was beautiful.
When I’m alone, I can barely remember those feelings. When I look at myself in the mirror or in pictures, I don’t see what he sees or the rest of the world might see. I see nothing but imperfections. I see everything I hate. I sometimes still see the fat chick from 90 pounds ago. I see the too-round face. I see the angular nose that looks strange in profile. I see the stomach that will never be flat. I see sagging breasts. I see cellulite that will never go away. I see imperfect skin. I see every flaw, perceived or real.
I want to be different. I want to love my body, but I don’t know how. It’s the only place I lack real confidence.
Want to talk about my profession? I will amaze you with my passion and enthusiasm.
Want to talk about writing and reading? You’ll get tired of the topic before I do.
Want to talk about raising little boys, dealing with dumbass exes, and making ends meet? Pull up a chair. I’m a resident expert.
But please don’t take my picture. Please don’t put me in front of an audience. Please don’t look at me. Please don’t make me look at myself. I don’t like what I see, and I convince myself that you won’t either.
I am neither so obese that I can no longer get out of bed nor am I so thin that anyone would mistake me for a supermodel. I am the average woman. I keep telling myself that the average woman looks just like I do. But I can’t stop focusing on what I hate about my own body. It’s not healthy. I know it’s not.
Sometimes, I wish I could stop worrying about what I eat or how much I workout. Except then I become paranoid about being the fat chick again. I have a constant fear of somehow going backwards and gaining every pound back.
And yet, while I say that about myself, I don’t care what other people look like. Some of the people I love most in the world have far from perfect bodies, and other than a general concern about their health, I don’t care what their body looks like. I care about the person inside, not the shell that is their body.
Why can’t I love myself as much as I love others?
I was exactly where you are a little over 2 years ago. Now I do love what I see in the mirror – even though I weigh almost exactly the same. It was a long, creative, and somewhat bitchy journey. I hope you can find that place too.
Thank you. I hope I can, too.
Basically, in addition to some self-ego-boosting, I learned to cut myself more slack….and other people less. I might just have to write about that.
I think you should. 🙂
I’m sorry you feel this way. And I completely get it in my own way. I’m sure, granted I’ve never seen you (idt) that your beautiful. I was just having a talk with kitten the other day abou how tumblr makes me feel inadequate as a man. So F. The
Models and 20 something skinny princess and be proud of who you are. Put on your most fantastic outfit and stand I front of the mirror and say damn I looks fantastic because ya know what. I bet real world money that you’d be 100% correct in the eyes of many yourself included.
Thank you. I’ve been sick for the past couple of days, so I’m sure that’s not helping. I fake it every other day, by doing just as you suggest. I dress in pretty dresses and do my hair just so, and I feel pretty…until I take off my clothes. I guess that’s where the real problem lies.
But thank you. ((hugs))
I am almost exactly where you are. When the 10 doesn’t fit that fit a few months ago I beat myself up. I weigh a lot. Too much. Yet other people think Im beautiful. Objectively, I can see the positives I have going for me. Yet I hate my body. If it belonged to someone else I wouldn’t think twice about it. If my friend weighed the same (just shy of 200), I wouldn’t be critical. I would be loving and supportive. But I can’t do the same for myself…
Why do we love others more than ourselves? That’s the question that needs answering…I wish I knew the answer.
Yes, that is a question I wish I had the answer to.
I know how you feel…I was wondering once reading one of your posts if there is some connection between having been the chubby little girl with brown hair and writing about sex as that was me too he he…I also was kinda fat at one point, though even then many people told me I was beautiful, I have never believed it; now I am prob the same size as you (10-12). Even now I would say that on average people compliment me on my appearance about three times every day but I still waver between deep self-criticism and cautious self acceptance. The times I feel most accepting of my body is when a desiring man is touching me definitely. Wish you could join my gym — the guys there are all Hispanic and they adore women that are more round and soft, have a little weight on their bones. When I sit with them in the sauna they tell me I don’t need to work out, I have a perfect body lol. American culture is especially vicious to women’s bodies.
I like your gym. 🙂
I’m told most days that I’m pretty or beautiful or attractive too. I still carry every teasing word, insult, and criticism from my childhood in my head. For whatever reason, those words carry more weight (no pun intended) than the things I hear today. I wish I knew how to fix that.
I read your post earlier. I could feel your pain so much, I had to walk away for a while. I hope that sharron does write her story. I love Wordwytch’s attitude and comfort in herself. I have been searching the internet every single day looking for the tools, keys, and clues that will help me become the person who loves me for how I am. I had it for awhile and then let my thoughts beat it out of me again.
I wish I had the recipe for body acceptance to give to you. I do know you ARE beautiful but I also know that no one outside of you can give you that self-love.
But I CAN give you (((HUGS)))
Thank you friend. When I see pictures of women that look like me – especially on Tumblr – I feel it a little less. When I avoid mirrors, I feel it a little less. When I’m in the presence of someone who finds me beautiful, I feel it not at all. Now to just discover how to rid myself of the feeling altogether.
In group therapy the other night, we were talking about working to mentally transfer that power and confidence we feel in some areas of our lives to others. I think the key lies in there somehow. I just don’t know how.
Look at things in a different way. Close your eyes, and use your hands to touch yourself and feel what your lover feels. He’s not thinking that “this skin is saggy”, or “Wow this isn’t as firm as it use to be.” He thinks of the velvet soft texture of your breast. He sees that soft belly or rounded hips as beautiful and sensuous. He accepts and loves you as you are. Just as you do him.
Your body shows that it isn’t some air brushed, starved, over muscled or virginal girl. You’ve created miracles. (babies) You’ve lived. Yes, a nubile young thing can be beautiful. However, if given the choice between a brand new doll still in the wrapper or a well loved doll in good condition, I’d grab that well loved doll every time.
I detested myself. Tried all the diets. Never Ever lost that last 20, 30, 2, 5, 17 pounds. I wore baggy clothes. I hid. I only made love in the dark. Then I had an epiphany. I decided to love me, since it felt that no one else did. I gave up diets and decided to eat healthy. (sort of the same thing, but different mind set)
I lost 10 pounds.
I had someone tell me that he loved me. Loved the whole package. He didn’t care about my weight or my age. He loves me.
I weigh 60 pounds less. I’m a size 18. I’m still 4 years older than he is. I make love in the daylight, starlight, moonlight. I’m his well loved teddy bear.
This is beautiful. The more I read, the more I like your Wolf. 🙂
I want to get to that point. Just not sure how.
Glad I didn’t offend.
Wolf is a lovely man. Not that he doesn’t have his days when I’d gleefully kick him, but… those are far outweighed by the good days.
As for getting to that point… Start small. I started by standing in front of my mirror and looking at myself. What did I love, like, dislike. Then I made plans. I like my face. I like my breasts. I don’t like my stomach. Okay, how am I going to fix that…
Plus, it’s the attitude of “I am a work in progress”. Know that you are loved and work from there.
Some days its easier to ignore and block out all the bullshit and just be. Other days not so much. The struggle of being human in an overtly beauty-centric society. Sucks balls. ((hugs))
Exactly. This morning, in the shower, I wasn’t my body, I was just me and I was at peace with my thoughts and myself. It was when I got out of the shower and looked in the mirror that I focused on my body again.
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Just remember this: “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”
I will try to remember…
There is no try, only do
Ok, Yoda. 😉
ah the truths of being a human. None of us truly love all of our bits and pieces. We bemone that our breasts sag, that our asses are not perectly pert, that we have bellies that jiggle, that our hips are rounder or fulller or fatter than someone elses.
But the flat honest truth is…. we need to cut ourselves some slack. We love all of those parts about our partners and they love them about us. So in the end it is the love we need to feel and embrace no matter what our current, previous or futrure bodies may look like. None of us will ever look like we did in our teens or 20’s and the truth is we get so much better with age. We replace perfection with wisdom. and that is sexier by far.
I agree completely. I just forget too easily.
[…] for next Friday. And yes, I will write my own post each Friday. I’m going to try to love my own body come hell or high water – this is a good way to […]
As I was reading this, I was thinking about how I’ve pretty much gone vegetarian over the past month or two, and HOLYCOW such a huge difference in my body. Any fat that was there is pretty much gone, everything is super toned.. (Of course I also try to be active every day), but yes. Just a suggestion you could potentially put to use. You’re beautiful the way you are!
Thank you – for both the suggestion and the compliment. I’ve considered it before, but I like meat way too much.
Ditto Ditto Ditto… and Ditto.
You will find a way to love yourself as much as you love others. 🙂
I’m trying. I really am. 🙂
I know.., 🙂
I just had to respond. I feel the same as you My Dear Friend. I try desperately to look in the mirror and accept this body shape, my soul has chosen to encase. Everything you mentioned is how I feel. On the same token, I have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and trying to loose weight is like walking up a icy mountain. I must confess, about 2 months ago I was obsessive/compulsive with exercise and eating minimal carbs and no significant loss. Although I tried to not to let this weight loss journey affect my emotions IT DID. I was curious if you have had your thyroid checked? Having a low thyroid can make you gain weight by just looking at an apple. I understand I should resume exercising. When I did I felt healthful and I did loose inches. Please know your not alone.
You have definitely given me something to think about…with the strange, inexplicable illness I just went through, this may be something worth looking into…thank you.