Wrestling with the World: My Struggles with Body Image

I haven’t been writing for a bit because I just didn’t know what to write about. But something finally came to me. Yesterday was Valentine’s Day. People seemed to be either very negative or very positive. Like many other people, I was without a lover of some sort. Yesterday marked one year of living the single life. As much as I tried to stay positive… I couldn’t help but to think, “Am I not pretty enough, skinny enough, smart enough, fun enough? What could possibly be so wrong with me that no guys have shown any interest in me at all?”

It then hit me that the world would love for us to think that all of these negative things about ourselves. And by the world, I am talking about both the media, and the people around us. The media says that in order to be pretty, you have to be tall, skinny, not too dark, with long hair, ect. In order to not feel alone, you have to have a mate that is physically attractive and makes a good amount of money. Don’t worry, the people around us are saying these things too.

So, my mum took a look at my food journal after I came back from my 13.1 mile jog. She asked me if I had eaten anything else that I may have forgotten to log for the day. I didn’t. Well, my mum told me that I was in the negative by well over 800 calories and that I’ve been consuming less and less over the past two weeks. This is a problem. She had to remind me about how unhealthy this behavior is and that if I don’t start eating more, I’m going to get sick.

I went to my mirror. I saw all the acne scars, how short I am, how I could stand to loose a lot more weight to fit into the size 1/2 jeans I used to wear (yes, I was the same height in high school, but was skinny enough to wear a size 1/2). But then I realized that none of those things really mattered, because that’s not why my loved ones love me. That’s not why I’ve been able to move further in my military career or my civilian one for that matter. šŸ™‚

I run not too look good to other people. I run because it makes me feel better. I run to get those negative feelings out of my head. Then I decided to look through my running log. I’ve been able to run longer than I’ve ever been able to. Last October, I was so out of shape, that I couldn’t get through one mile without feeling like death. Now, I can power through 13.1 miles without stopping. For me, that is a huge accomplishment. My Valentine’s Day gift to myself: learning to appreciate myself.

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