If you’re a guy, you’re really not going to be enthralled by this post. Apologies in advance.
This post is the standard dissection of women and their body issues—so men, roll your eyes and look away. It’s no different than your mini feed during the Victoria Secret Fashion Show, so you’ve seen it before anyway.
Apparently, my friends held counsel this week and collectively decided to feel bad about their bodies. I received comments, texts, and even a phone call from three of my best friends on this subject.
It kills me to hear my friends talk about themselves like this. Not because they’re fit, thin, and beautiful and I want to tell them to STFU [I really do have obnoxiously gorgeous friends], but because I know how much it sucks to feel that way. I’m as guilty of it as anyone.
This morning I was deleting pictures on my iPhone (is anyone else constantly running out of storage space???) and saw this photo. This picture was never supposed to see the light of day.
Right before I sold the old digital camera you see here, I went through and wiped the memory card clean. When I found this picture, all I could think was, “Damnnnnnn I looked good!”
This photo was taken three years ago in Costa Rica. I worked my ass off for that trip. I dropped to 14 percent body fat, the same percentage I held as a Division I athlete in college. I also never posted the picture on Facebook because I hated how I looked.
Honestly, I really am such a F#*#%NG idiot sometimes.
This is not a feel-good post. I am not going to sit here and tell you the scale doesn’t matter. I’m not going to tell you you’re beautiful on the inside, or all the other crap you’ll see under the #bodyacceptance hashtag.
Why? Because any woman who says they’ve never felt bad about their body is a fucking liar. Quote me on that.
Instead, this is the reiteration of what I told my friends. It’s what I tell myself, to rationalize myself out of any self-deprecating comments running through my head.
Point number 1: Stop stressing out, because no one can tell.
I weigh fifteen pounds more than I did the first time I lived in DC. I jumped from 123 to 138, for anyone who doesn’t believe me. I absolutely hate it. When I told my friend Tim, his mouth dropped. After regaining composure, all he could say was, “Just how skinny were you?? Never once would I ever think, ‘Wow Kara has let herself go.’” In an instant, I knew he was not saying these things to make me feel better.
Point number 2: One bad day does not erase a week of hard work, just like one good day will not erase a week of poor choices.
One week ago, I ate a pint of ice cream before 10AM. You are all fully aware of this. I honestly thought I gained ten pounds overnight. Fast forward to today, I’ve experienced a week of hardcore lifting and a marathon date with the squat rack. One look in the mirror this morning, and I thought my butt grew two sizes and my ab lines were coming out of hibernation.
These thoughts are not real. It is physically impossible to gain ten pounds in one day, just as it’s impossible to form a six-pack in one week. The mirror was just reflecting the guilt (and then pride) I felt inside. Do what you need to do to feel good about yourself, but move on from it.
Point number 3: Look at your body through another person’s eyes. Tell yourself those negative thoughts are bullshit. Then give yourself a freaking compliment for once.
Fact: We do not see ourselves the way the rest of the world sees us. For all the times I have mentally ripped apart my body, I wonder how my perception would change if it belonged to someone else. For one, I would probably think it was pretty toned. And two, I probably wouldn’t care. I love my friends, but I don’t sit at home analyzing their abs, ass, or thighs the way I criticize my own.
In a single week, I have gone full circle from feeling crappy about my body, to feeling pretty damn proud of it. While I can presently sit here thinking positive, rationale thoughts; there are going to be days when those negative thoughts return.
There is no finish line to taking care of yourself. Even when you hit your goals, you will have to keep working. You have to manage it day by day, just like brushing your teeth or tidying your home.
^^^That part, is kind of a drag. But here’s the silver living: If there’s no finish line, by definition there can be no starting point, either. Meaning—no matter how much your brain tells you otherwise—one bad day will never throw you back to square zero.
Stop tearing your body apart, because years from now you’ll see a photo of yourself and think, “Wow. I really was a F-ing idiot.”