Saturday, March 14, 2015

My newest reason to not have an awesome body

My most recent mind battle about body image occurred when my SIL showed me the new Piyo disk she is using as a workout.

I visited the website and was simultaneously envious of this gal's body and concerned that she is too thin.

I won't ever have a body like for her a number of reasons.

1. I don't get paid to exercise.
If it was my job, I would do it a heck of a lot more than I do.  When I see celebrities, I have to remember that part of the millions they make is based on how they look.  If I had millions riding on it, I would have a personal trainer at my house every morning, too.

2. I don't particularly love to exercise.
I do love to write and teach literature so I put my effort into things I love doing.

3. I refuse to cut out entire categories of food and become a slave to food either in gluttony or denial.
Having had to restrict my diet in the past, I won't do it again unless medically necessary.

4. The stand (I just came up with this the other day....hence my newest reason title above)
I can't stand the way she does above, jutting my hip and chest out and looking beneath my long gorgeous hair with bedroom eyes.  If I had a body like that, would I have to then stand in that come-hither fashion?  Even if my body looked that good, I have my head on top of my neck, and my head wouldn't fit such a body.  The short hair....the nerd glasses.

My head would also refuse to try to act sexy.  Some people can pull it off.  I cannot, nor do I have any desire to try.  I have trust issues with people who feel compelled to pose sexily.

I'd be lying if I said I love how being in my 40s is affecting my body. It's clear by this post that at 40+, I do not have a handle on my body image.

I realize that I look fine.  I am, by all definitions, slender.  I am in no way complaining about how I look.

I am, however, struggling with how I look.  I'm the one that has to look at myself coming out of the shower every day.

To me, I look like I'm constantly 16 weeks pregnant from my first pregnancy (anyone with more than 1 child knows how the uterus springs back into pregnancy stretched-out-ness 10 seconds after conception for all other gestations).

I'm not thrilled with what happened to my upper body following 5+ years of breastfeeding.

I am seeing the slow signs of aging--the sagging, the crinkling--making their first forays onto my physical self.

What should be most important is that I am fairly healthy.  My cholesterol is 129.  My BMI is 23.  My blood pressure's last read was 100/60.  The only reason I should exercise is for my health, but I admit there is a secret hope that doing what little exercise I do will miraculously result in ripped abdominals.

I know it is redonkulous that it bothers me that I can no longer fit into my wedding dress.  Although I wear a size 8 now, and my wedding dress is a size 8, it won't zip up the back.  I like to think that perhaps things have just "shifted" over 17 years.  Of course, I seem to remember weighing around 127 lbs when I married, and now I fluctuate between 138 and 142.  I like to think that this additional 11-15 lbs is muscle mass (since I only started working out at the gym 5 years ago), but that is redonkulous, too.

When it comes to body image, there are all sorts of things I tell myself, some true and some complete balls of crap.  Sometimes it is hard to differentiate between them.

It saddens me that after working through so many teen angst issues, I am still struggling with how I look.  I'm hoping that at 50 or 60 or some more wise age in the future, I will permanently let this issue go.  

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