Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Skewed Self-Image

I think most women will agree when I say that we all hate our bodies. Especially our bodies after childbirth. If you are one of those who actually is happy with the body you have, good for you! And I am jealous.
I don't think I have ever truly loved my body. There has always been something I wish I could change. When I was younger, it was my hair. As I got older, it was my boobs (too small) and my legs (ugly shape, practically bowlegged, terribly unsexy). Of course those things remain the same, but now I have a new appreciation for the body I had.
I look at pictures of myself back then, and I think, "How could I have not liked myself?" In comparison to now, I was hot! Ok, well, maybe not hot, but good enough.
My boobs now are still too small, but at least back then they were perky. Thank you breastfeeding. I won't leave you with any pictures, but think National Geographic.
My legs are still a terrible shape (why, oh why, couldn't I have inherited my mother's legs??), but at least they were slim back then and not covered in unsightly (and quite frankly scary) varicose veins. Thank you Dad. And Mom actually. Of all the things to inherit.
At least now they make better hair care products than they did back then. I have learned how to tame my mane, but I still wish for less frizzy and much straighter hair.
I look back at pictures of myself and remember I thought that my tummy needed some trimming. If I could only have looked into the future! After R, I knew that my tummy needed trimming, but by his first birthday I was almost back to my pre-pregnancy weight. I was more unhappy with myself then.
After L, I gained a little more weight. And then a little more. I now look back on those pictures of when R was little and think, "I wish I at least looked like that!" Now I would REALLY like to lose 10 pounds. That would put me back to pre-R. Not college pre-R, just before R. And I'd be ok with that.
There are things I've come to accept. Like, I'll NEVER be able to wear a bikini again. *sniff* I know that even if I worked out hard and did 500 crunches everyday, my stomach will still be covered in stretch marks, loose skin, and a totally messed up belly-button.
And I can't change the shape of my bones in my legs. Nor do I have the desire to undergo surgery to remove all the ugly protruding veins.
I also do not have the desire to have a boob job. Nor the money. But that's what all these fantastic push-up and padded bras are for!
I gain and lose 2 or 3 pounds over the course of a week or so all the time. I could never be one of those people to celebrate the loss of that little amount of weight, because it happens all the time. Some days, on my "skinnier" days, I'll feel like I'm not so bad hiding under all my clothes.
And then the clothes come off.
And I stare at myself in the mirror.
And I lament.
It's funny how you think your body image leaves more to be desired and then ten years down the road you finally see your old self clearly, but probably not your now self. Because in another ten years you'll look back and think you were not as bad as you are now.
So maybe I should just be happy for what I am now because in ten years I'll be ten pounds heavier, more grey, and definitely more wrinklier.

1 comment:

  1. I so understand that feeling. On good days, I'm okay with my body (clothed, of course!).

    On bad days, I see how I used to look and go "Wow ... I miss looking like that".

    It's tough. I know. I'm finally using foundation a bit (never did that before) and the hair highlights help. I don't find myself vain, but one has to feel good about oneself. If I have blonder hair like I did when I was younger, I can ignore the thighs that touch more than I'd like them too ;)