If you have ever been tempted to tell me I am full of hot air here is your chance. I am overweight by 70 pounds, the weight of a full helium tank. A whole tank. Or, you could tell me I’m bananas because I am 187 bananas overweight. I am overweight by the weight of an average sheet of drywall and an entire bushel of corn.
I have always been conscious of my body and overly conscious of my weight, even when I weighed too little. Four years ago when my journey with psychotropic medications began I never imagined it would affect this part of my life. 70 pounds later and its a daily battle not only to be emotionally balanced but also not to lose my mind over the fact that I am considered obese for my height.
Peace with my body weight and shape eludes me. Even though I work out 3-5 times a week, hard, at the gym and am in the best physical shape of my adult life I cannot be satisfied with the way I look. I’m frustrated that I’m working so hard and its making such little result in my appearance.
The funny thing is I remember when I was underweight, because of a borderline eating disorder, and I thought then that I was still over weight.
This body image thing is a bigger issue than our scales and our mirrors. Its something deeper, internal that drives our perceptions of who we think our best self is.
I take better care of my body, soul, spirit and mind than I ever have. My artistic and spiritual life are rich and growing. So why can’t I be satisfied? I think it is because I measure myself by the wrong mirror. The current image of what it is to be successful does not include being overweight. Advertisers struggle to portrait what a “real” woman looks like and yet we so often compare ourselves to movie stars and fashion models who’s job it is to be in shape.
Being a size 5 and in shape is not my job. My job is to be healthy and being healthy includes my mind. So I need a makeover for my mind. The makeover is really an attitude adjustment. An accurate mirror would tell me that I am healthy, I am strong, I am creative, beautiful and talented. I will work hard to tell myself that I am not my body weight. I am so much more than that.
Will I continue on my quest to lose some bananas? Absolutely, but I will also try really hard not hate myself in the process.