What is body image? AND why the hell do I care about what I look like? Is it just the girl in me that over analyzes every photo, every angle of my outfit before I leave the house? Is it just human nature to compare ones self to every one else out there?
Again I look to Wikipedia for an accurate description of the term body image:
Body image refers to a person’s perception of the aesthetics and sexual attractiveness of their own body. Human society has at all times placed great value on beauty of the human body, but a person’s perception of their own body may not correspond to society’s standards.
I am not sure that I have seen a photo of myself since college that I didn’t over analyze what I looked like in. But why? I probably did the same thing in highschool, but let’s face it that was just teenage stupidity and insecurities. I was skinny in highschool. I never weighed a pound over 115. I started gaining weight in the last few years of college, but how couldn’t I? I wasn’t exercising. I was drinking beer. I was eating fast food regularly. There was nothing healthy about my early twenties. I think I really realized how much I had let my health go when I saw a photo of myself and there it was staring back at me….a double chin and love handles. YUCK!
Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to change my habits. Sure, I joined a gym, but never went. (I don’t think going 1-2 times a month counts.) I ate more veggies, but smothered them in cheese. I drank “Lite” beer. I quit drinking Mountain Dew and started drinking Diet Dew. (These were the pre-coffee years. I needed to get my caffeine somewhere and still hadn’t discovered the most wonderful and pure caffeinated drink, coffee.)
It took a long time, but here I am now. I would never go back. I hate veggies with cheese. I will only drink a Diet Mountain Dew out of desperation in the middle of a 12 hour night shift if coffee isn’t cutting it anymore. I do go to the gym, regularly. (Granted I only go regularly from November thru April, because after that workouts are meant to be outside as much as possible.) BUT here I am still over analyzing every photo of myself. The first thing I see is the “muffin top” —-DOUBLE YUCK! Then I still see a lingering double chin… flabby arms. I digress.
I know that I am stronger, physically and mentally. I know there has been a transformation. I wish I could just accept how far I have come. I wish I could put a picture from 2 years ago next to one now and say “Holy crap, you look awesome!” (Seriously, I would never say that about myself, but you know what I mean.) I do not need flat abs or a defined abs. I just want abs that don’t puff out when I kneel down or sit or bend over. (Maybe the danish I had after my brick workout today wasn’t such a good idea after all!) I want skinny, defined biceps. (Maybe I should actually add some arm workouts to the mix?!) I NEED to lower my body fat percentage. Proof is in the pictures.
A continuous work in progress. (Man my boys are handsome!)