Sunday, June 9, 2013

Self Image and Personal Atrocities of Perception

I know that I have a question which has been waiting for me for a while...I'm still working my way up to it. Promise I'll get there before the end of the century.

I have spent the majority of my life underweight, and striving to gain an ever elusive 5-10 more pounds.
Suddenly, there's no need to strive for that anymore--because a magic 15 pounds appeared on it's own.
Which is why my fucking clothes don't fit.

But that's not really what this post is supposed to be about. It's supposed to be about how we perceive ourselves. Or more accurately, how I perceive myself.

I love this picture because she knows she is beautiful as she is, and that knowledge makes her beautiful.
She doesn't want to be nipped and tucked into someone elses idea of beauty to fit some popular mold of what is attractive.
She is who she is, and she's happy with it.
I respect and admire that.
So why exactly can't I, who nearly fits inside those little marker lines, feel the same as she does?

It's not that I don't think that we should take care of ourselves and be in good shape, I do.
Taking care of myself is something that hasn't been a big priority for me in my life, with the exception of my teen years, which were admittedly vain.
Somewhere between life and kids, I decided that taking care of myself meant achieving more that 2 hours of uninterpreted sleep a night, eating enough to not fade away completely (though my success at that was debatable at times), and consuming enough coffee to stay awake for an entire day.

Over the course of the last year, taking care of myself has become one of my priorities. I eat well, make time for that extra shower that just couldn't happen when the kids were small, workout consistently, and am probably in better shape than I've been for years.
These are good things, you say?
Here's the catch:
I don't take care of myself because I like my body and I think that it's worth taking care of--I do it because I don't like my body, and I don't want my husband to wake up one day and decide that he feels the same way as I do about it.

Now, my screwed up particular motivation does not negate the physical improvements made by taking care of myself. It does however, prevent me from appreciating the results of my efforts.

Why is it so extremely difficult for me to take the simplistic and healthy view?


  1. I love this - especially that photo. If only we could just decree that we would feel good about ourselves and make it so!


    1. sin,
      It's a wonderful photo, isn't it?

      I so wish that I could issue that decree and it would be so! Unfortunately, he has issued such decrees, and not even that has stuck...

  2. *waves hand*
    Oooh! I know this answer!

    Because you're human.


    1. And ten points to Jz!
      Being human is...Complicated.

  3. I don't know one person, honestly (though I have heard up such mythological creatures), who doesn't have a bit of a beef with his/her appearance. We are a vain species, because we have been taught to continually questions our physical worth. And some asshole keeps moving the attaining the elusive idea of perfection gets more impossible by the day. I could say I wish I had your problem (trying to gain rather than lose), but I know people like that and know how very real that wish is. You are certainly not alone.

    1. Brigit,
      Lol@ the mythological creatures.

      Right?! WHo is the asshole that keeps moving the mark anyways? I suggest we find and lynch 'em.

      Trying to gain is no longer a problem, which I think, is one of the things that has thrown me for a loop. Wouldn't mind losing 5 pounds for the first time ever...

  4. It's because you are a female. And woman in our society get the message that their bodies have to live up to some airbrushed photoshopped.

    The real story is that if women feel good about themselves, men find them very attractive. They like confident women who have a good body image regardless of how they look. He is probably very happy with your body. Good luck and I hope you can be one of the women who can embrace their body.


    1. FD,
      I must say that the the Photoshopping and airbrushing drives me nuts-it is quite unfair.

      He is happy with my body as you suggested. Now if I can get on the same train...

  5. for decades I was skeletal, now I'm flabby - in between were a few seconds when I felt good about myself. It's my perception, nobody else and you so right, I do things to myself because I don't like my body, yet he has never passed judgement on me, so why do I keep doing it!?

    1. DelFonte,
      Sometimes I think that our perception is our own worst enemy!
      Odd how we give them all this control, then we pass judgement on ourselves in ways that they don't...

  6. When you find out, let me know ok? I'm working on it, but everytime I think I have it, some other part ends up in the spotlight.

    1. lm,
      Yes!! What is it with the rotating parts???

      This is one of my favorite backgrounds. It usually even manages to stay up for more than three days!

  7. We are definitely our own worst critics. I don't like my body either and worry that he will decide he doesn't either, even though he reassures me constantly that he loves my body. If only we could see ourselves how others see us.


    1. Roz,
      Oh how often I have wished that6 I could see myself through his eyes.
      Did you see that video that Dove did where they had an artist draw up pictures based on women's self descriptions and then off the descriptions of other people?
      If you haven't, it's great. I think Dauntless has it on his blog, A Dauntless Journey.

  8. From One Submissive To AnotherJune 10, 2013 at 8:59 AM

    We give men far to much power to decide if we are good looking or not. Why are we always concerned with whether or not I'm good looking enough for him? Flip it, is he good enough looking for me. Probably not. This dawned on my sometime after high school and I can assure you that I am crazy comfortable in my own skin. My body looks almost exactly like that picture and that shit is sexy regardless of what any guy on this planet thinks. I'm not saying that's your problem or solution Lil, but I did notice a common thread in the comments about men when we are talking about our own bodies. We need to stop talking about them when referencing what we look like. So I guess I'm just throwing this thought out there, kind of related to your post. And I get my own irony when talking about giving men the power to decide something on a D/s blog but I think its the one area they should have no power. And if you have enough self love, then they don't. As for getting to the self love part, I gave myself the permission and the power to decide I had a good body and it came with it. Anyways, didn't mean to rant lol.

    1. From One Sub,
      Personally, I think that I would probably have a better self image if he could decide it for me lol.
      i think that often, in the context of men defining how we feel about ourselves, it's not just men really, it's women--judging oneself in comparison to someone else that he could choose.

      I haven't finished my coffee yet, not sure if I made sense...

  9. We (most of us) as women...suck at life! Where body image is concerned anyway. I don't have the answers...I struggle constantly! Maybe we need to realize how much time and effort we waste on worrying about it. Be healthy, take care of yourself, and at the end of the day spend that time thinking about things that truly matter instead of something as stupid as fat...or the lack thereof.


    1. baby girl,
      lol, I hear you there.
      Right? it's sooo easy to get caught up in things that don't really matter.


Play nice.