This past week I went and took my very first aerial yoga class. I was so excited leading up to the class, but quickly began to panic and let fear set in when the class started. Even though I fall under the weight limit, I was so self conscious about being able to move in the silks and how other were perceiving me. My body image has always been so negative. There was always someone telling me how much I need to lose weight. And I’m not talking about them telling me because they were concerned for my health. It comes to a point where whenever it’s brought up, you feel like that is all they see in you.
Regardless if you are wanting to lose weight or not, take some time to answer these questions. If you can understand the history of your body image, you can start to create a new landscape for yourself and your future.
How Has Body Image Impacted Your Daily Life?
I am constantly thinking about how others are seeing me, even if I don’t realize it. Continuously pulling on my clothes to try to hide parts of my body. Very rarely can I walk by a window and not think indifferently about the way I look. In my head I think I look one way, but then I look in the mirror and the two images don’t match up. I have never thought that I can’t do something because of my weight because in my head I don’t look like this.
Does this mean I am delusional, that I don’t want to accept reality? Part of me would answer no to that. The simple fact that I am worried about people seeing my rolls when sit, or what my butt looks like when walking says that I do know and understand what I look like. So it so much about if I am capable of doing something, it’s what other people are seeing when I am doing that thing.
What Have Been Your Challenges & Triumphs With Body Image Over Time?
My body has definitely changed physically over the last 10 years. Things started to go differently when I started taking infertility medication. During those 6 years I had put on 50 lbs. Being newly married and not really knowing how to cook and having pasta about once a week didn’t help either. Then when we finally got our daughter. Now I have this whole new body to work with. How do I love this new body when I was barely able to love the previous one? I am now challenged with accepting this body no matter my size.
Most people might think that since I am so self conscious and hard on myself about my body image I wouldn’t be sharing pictures for the world to judge. I use to think that too. I know that there are other woman who feel. My hopes is that if they see me facing my fears and overcoming, maybe they will to. Or at least know that there is someone out there who understands what they are going through.
What Have You Denied & Allowed Yourself Because Of Your Perception Of Your Appearance?
I don’t allow myself to be or feel attractive to my husband. It doesn’t matter how much or often he tells me things about my appearance. If I can’t see it, then I wonder how he can. A lot of the way I think isn’t going to change over night. That change is going to take time and I am going to have to allow myself and be comfortable with feeling certain ways. Every day is stepping stone to getting to where we should be. Every day we are going to be faced with challenges. Each day can be a win.
I have allowed myself to fall in love with fashion and style. Especially being plus sized, having fashion and style is one thing main stream tells we shouldn’t have. I have allowed myself to stand up for that love. If there is something you want to do then do it. Don’t allow yourself or others stop you from living a life you love. If that were the case, I wouldn’t be on this journey I am now.
What Have You Gained Or Lost Because Of Your Body Image?
For me, the main thing I have gained is this new passion and desire I have. Being the change and the rock that same may need to see the potential in themselves. Am I perfect, no. Will I still have days that I don’t like the way I look, probably. The key is not letting those thoughts get in your way. Most people will have days where they don’t think 100% of themselves.
Someone told me this recently and I love the idea and will be adopting it into my daily life; “Try for ‘body neutral’. On days I have body negativity coursing through my veins like fire, I can’t switch to body positivity and mean it. But I can get to neutral-where I stop ruminating on the hate and focus on letting my body just me. On days when I’m already neutral, I start to practice body positivity and love. I’ve found that has helped me stack up more loving days and less hate days.”