I’m tired of being obsessed about my body image. I mean, I know it’s ridiculous to count every calorie that goes in me. I know I’m a perfectly normal weight for my height and age, and should count myself lucky I’m so healthy. I know, and have known for years, that even the most beautiful celebrity/model has her flaws and that every single billboard and magazine spread we see has been touched—from a range of slightly to exaggerated—by Photoshop.
I know all this, and yet. Every day I wish my legs were longer, my thighs were slimmer, my abs more pronounced. I fight a battle with my love for food and my desperate, irrational, rather stupid desire to look like a Sports Illustrated model. It makes me unspeakably sad that I’m suffering with this, because I know I should be smarter than that.
It makes me even sadder to know I’m not the only one.
I have an extremely beautiful friend, one who’s frame is to die for and who looks marvelous in every photo she takes, once tell me that she’s quit rice because her tummy is big and her face too round.
Why do we do this to ourselves?
This is not a cry for pity. It’s an observation and a question: at what point does wanting to be fit and healthy morph into an unhealthy obsession with looking good? Can a person want both, and how does a seemingly innocent goal end up becoming such a terribly frustrating thing?
It’s exhausting, a sick cycle carousel going round and round. A nightmare of weighing scales and body fat percentage and food.
I’ve grown to love working out because I feel strong and healthy and occasionally sexy. But I’ve also grown to hate what it sometimes represents about me.
Here’s a thought:
I am so tired of saying no, waking up in the morning and recalling every single thing I ate the day before, counting every calorie I consumed so I know just how much self loathing to take into the shower. I’m going for it. I have no interest in being obese, I’m just through with the guilt. So this is what I’m going to do, I’m going to finish this pizza, and then we are going to go watch the soccer game, and tomorrow we are going to go on a little date and buy ourselves some bigger jeans.”
― Elizabeth Gilbert
“It’s never been true, not anywhere at any time, that the value of a soul, of a human spirit, is dependent on a number on a scale. We are unrepeatable beings of light and space and water who need these physical vehicles to get around. When we start defining ourselves by that which can be measured or weighed, something deep within us rebels.
We don’t want to EAT hot fudge sundaes as much as we want our lives to BE hot fudge sundaes. We want to come home to ourselves. (p. 174-5)”
― Geneen Roth, Women, Food, and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything
And one more, totally insane:
“Even the models we see in magazines wish they could look like their own images.”
― Cheri K. Erdman.
We—I—have got to leave this obsession behind. I have to stop caring about what people tell me. I have to stop fearing flab and fight it for the right reasons, and I will... as soon as I figure out what those reasons are.