May 6, 2009

Bigger Than My Body

Sometimes I catch a glimpse of myself in a full length mirror, or in a photo taken from a distance, and I think to myself, "ugh, I'm so fat!" This is not something that occurs to me when I'm dressing, or showering, or any other time I'm alone with my body. But then I get caught unaware by my reflection in an office window, and I'm struck anew with horror. I'm not an idiot - I know how much I weigh (too much), how big my waist is (too big), and how wide my thighs are (too wide). Somehow, knowing these things is different from seeing them. Knowing is what I can do in the back of my mind, privately chastising myself for eating a bowl of ice cream instead of going for a jog. Seeing is what other people do - I imagine them seeing my fat body and thinking, "ugh!"

Then again... I don't usually look at someone who is overweight with disgust. Empathy, maybe. The thing is, we all have body issues. When someone is overweight, or underweight, or has the right amount of fat but it's distributed "incorrectly," they assume that everyone around them sees them as ugly. When someone is "perfectly" proportioned, they worry that others look at the and only see a beautiful body. I mean, I assume as much - any supermodels (or supermodels in training) reading this blog, feel free to chime in. We are a society that is body-obsessed, when we would be better served to be health-obsessed. My mother has type II diabetes, and my father (despite his current state of denial) has heart disease. These should be my reasons to exercise and eat right, not the desire to conform to some impossible standard. Someday soon, I want to be able to see my body without thinking, "ugh!" More importantly, I want to be able to see my body at age 90, saggy and decrepit and alive.


P.S. Apparently, I've become addicted to song lyric post titles.
"Someday I'll fly
Someday I'll soar
Someday I'll be so damn much more
'Cause I'm bigger than my body
Gives me credit for."
Bigger Than My Body, John Mayer

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