Let's Talk About Body Image

gaynow's picture

I am not skinny, slim, slender. I am not "beautiful" in the conventional sense of the word at all. You can't see my ribs through my skin. I am not "fat," although I have fat. I have a gut and thighs and an ass and breasts. So it really upsets me that I feel the urge to call myself fat. I try to love myself, and yet I hate my stomach and my thighs. I only ever talk about those parts of my body in half-joking commiseration with friends complaining about their own bodies. But my stubborn resolution not to buy into this whole stick-thin culture has me unwilling to attempt to "diet" (another thing that pisses me off--you don't "go on a diet," your diet is what you eat and you're always "on" your own diet). Or otherwise lose weight. Which is bad, because I'm not exactly fit and I ought to be. But see, I know that if I did--for lack of a better word--start dieting and attempting to exercise, it would be not to be healthy, but to lose weight and be more attractive. I hate that I'm ashamed of my own body. I hate that I'm supposed to dress to hide the way I look and that I always have to talk around sucking in my stomach. I hate that I try on clothes for my mom and she says I can't wear something because my stomach is too visible, or that she'll just comment that I need to lose weight. I hate that I feel like I'd be "pretty" "if only I didn't have a stomach." I hate that I feel like no one will date me because of how I look. I hate that I don't feel comfortable in my own skin.

I just calculated my BMI online. I don't exactly remember my weight--I'm within a couple pounds of it, I think. And at the upper value, I'm .3 BMI units into "overweight," and I'm not even sure if that weight is me being conservative. But like I said, if I did start dieting, it wouldn't be for health, it would be for my physical appearance. And that... can manifest itself in nasty ways, to say the least. I don't want to buy into that whole culture, I don't want to change myself to be able to love myself. But I think I also just don't have the energy, and so I'm using that as an excuse. And I'm not an idiot, I know that it takes commitment to a "diet"/exercise plan/whatever, and quite a while before any results are visible, and that the last places the fat will disappear from are the places about which I feel the most self-conscious. And I think I'm afraid that I will fail. I don't know how to do this. I feel like I can't talk to any friends about this, because it would be awkward, and serve only to make them self-conscious or awkward, give me placative assurances that they don't really mean, or flip out and think that I'll develop an eating disorder. And I just... don't know what to do with all this. I know Jeff will probably interpret this statement as me trying to foist all the blame onto society in general and let myself off the hook, so I assure you it's not that. Most of the problem is within myself, and I know that. But the whole mentality that makes it so difficult to deal with my own problems, that's not my fault. And so I say: fuck you, society.



Niwa's picture

Well, stop thinking about

Well, stop thinking about society, and about following everyone else, your opinion about yourself is what matters, I exercise not for being healthy, I exercise so I can have the body I want, You have to like your own body, so if you are over weight and want to lose some pounds, well go ahead and do so!
Just remember this you will look pretty if you think you are pretty, self esteem is a great turn on, believe me, so if you want to exercise do so, don't think about society and about trying to follow them, pursue your own ideals and what you like.

taste the rainbow's picture

Exercise, can come in

Exercise, can come in different forms. It's not just going to the gym all the time! Yesterday I went to the gym to play badminton with my dad. It was fun, and on top of that, I felt good knowing I had given my body some exercise. If you want to feel good about your body, I believe you have to use it! Of course you're not gonna feel good moving around in your own body if it is out of shape. Now, by "out of shape", I don't mean "fat". I mean, unused.

Exercising your body is like exercising your mind. You can't expect to know things or be knowledgeable without practice and study. In terms of exercising your body, the recommended dose is three times a week for 30 minutes blah blahblah.

The lack of exercise itself, could be one of the causations as to why you don't feel you have the energy to go out and be active! During first term this year I would go to the gym for hours at a time, right after studying for a couple of hours. As busy as I was, I didn't feel tired at all. In fact, I felt I had more energy than ever! Being active I found kept me regular. I would get good night sleeps, pay better attention in my lectures, do homework and go to the gym, and it never really felt like too too much.

This current term I figured I'd cut out the gym as to give myself more time to study and such. But really, I have found that I have less energy than I did before. Lectures are harder to sit through, I'm having trouble staying attentive during lectures and homework/studying is becoming an issue.

Honestly, I don't even know how much I weigh anymore exactly. It's not about weight, it's all about how I feel. And that's the way it should be. Weight and BMI shouldn't be given all that much attention, they're just numbers used for statistics, and perhaps warnings for those extremely overweight.. It's all about how you feel. We're all different, so we all need to do different things to make ourselves feel good and stay regular. We're human, we're animals, and we need to live. Part of living is maintaining our mental and physical states. Both need to be exercised regularly to operate at the level we desire.

Motivation is defined as the intensity, direction and persistence of effort a person shows in reaching a goal (this is straight out of one of my text books haha). Finding the incentives to increase motivation towards the situation is the hardest part. Good luck with everything!

Lehcure's picture

so don't base your "dieting"

so don't base your "dieting" on you thinking it's submitting into the "wanted image"
base it on you not wanting to worry about things like that. Or even think about them.
Base it on whatever you want to base it on.
I think just little changes could help you anyways.
It's not incredibly difficult to cut down on sweets,
Maybe cut down on butter and stuff like that. idk.
I find leg lifts help the abs and thighs.
What REALLY helps the abs is laughing :)
just pop in a hilarious movie or have someone tickle you :P

ferrets's picture


try to exersive, but only a little. i walk my dog, thats it about a mile every day, well not right now because im still healing from broken bones. but that isnt the point, the point is light exersive is better then heavy exersive( for losing weight). but i know how it is to hate ur body, most people will at some point, and how u try to change urself, just because ur bf tells u to work out more, oh wait that was just my problem. there is no reason to hate u for who u are though. i doudt that helped, but i did try.