Sunday, July 7, 2013

When it's more than a bad body image....

Summer is a mixed blessing to me. While I enjoy the sun, with tons of sunscreen of course, and the longer days, I also dread the heat which inevitably leads to humidity and the need for wearing less clothes. By the latter, I am specifically speaking of shorts. I have not worn women's style shorts in over 10 years. I don't like my legs. To me, while, according to my husband they are nice and muscular, all I can see are the flaws. Sadly, it's not just with shorts. When I look at myself in the mirror, I see a different person. I see all the scars, the cellulite, the grey hair etc. While many people may understand, most cannot relate. I suffer from body dysmorphia. I have for over 20 years. When I say I see a different person, I mean it. I am a size 4, but when I look in the mirror I still see a size 12, and being five feet tall, that's a little on the pudgy side for myself. I still see the large thighs, the flabby arms, the bad skin. Getting past that isn't an easy feat. Telling someone to "get over it" is easier said than done. And yes, it can be kept at bay, at least for me it was for quite a few years, but it has slowly started to rear it's ugly head the past year and a half. What triggers it? For me it's food. Food has been my nemesis for as long as I can remember. It is the source that keeps me alive, but also the source that makes me feel inferior. I count calories, I worry about carb, protein and fat ratios. I worry about the nutrient levels. I worry about salt intake, how bloated I am going to look and feel. I worry if I eat too much how fat I will look. Which then leads me to the exercise portion. Over training has been what I know and what I do for as long as I can remember. I worry about lifting enough weight, not doing enough cardio, not training 5 plus days a week. It's a vicious cycle, and once your in it, extremely hard to get out of. So, while many people look at me and see a woman who is fit, pretty and apparently confident, all I see is the opposite. It's like looking in a different mirror. I am not fishing for compliments when I ask my husband if I look okay, I am looking for a way to boost my own  confidence to be able to walk out the front door feeling good and not having to worry if I see a mirror, because if that confidence isn't there, the first mirror I see is also the last image I see of myself, and it's never a good one. Some days are better than others, and yes, I am taking steps to try and get it under control, which includes eating more, and reminding myself that I don't need to be on the treadmill 6 days a week. Then perhaps I can actually wear a pair of shorts that are from the women's section, ones that show a little more leg and then perhaps the image I see in the mirror will be the one that's actually there.

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