Even the words ‘normal’ and ‘ideal’ seem to have been twisted out of shape: ‘normal’ now has a tinge of “not ideal” and “needs improving”, while ‘ideal’ brings with it a taste of “unattainable for the likes of us” and a good level of pressure to align your own body to that image.
All of this is silly, of course: we are given a body to live in and – while there is a certain amount of things we can do, like exercising, watching our food, etc. – some of what we have is not open for modification. And believe me: there are more elements you cannot change than there are those that you can change! Just think height, hair type, bone thickness, hip size, etc., although many are spending a lot of money to have those ‘repaired’ with plastic surgery.
I say “f*ck that sh*t!” Isn’t it more helpful to be okay with what you have and make sure that others can see that you are? If you feel that you are somehow ‘less’ than others, you’ll always send the wrong message, because you are not! You are different, but no less worthy of attention, affection and love than anyone else!
I speak from experience here: I have gained a bit of weight over the last couple of years for the usual reasons: getting a little on in years, not moving enough, not motivated enough to work out properly. I never considered myself to be handsome by any description, and even worse: because I did not conform to the ‘ideal’ image in my own head, I felt bad about who I was. The trouble with this is that this feeling is actually reinforced each time you feel as if someone has rejected you.
When you start a conversation with someone who then blows you off, the first instinct is to assume you don’t look right. In reality he may just have other things on his mind, is not interested in conversation, or simply wants to be on his own. Ultimately, how you see your own body is very much in your own hands, and the outside influence tends to be bad rather than good.
It’s so much easier to let yourself be dragged down by bad feelings than it is to haul yourself back up from that hole you have been digging for yourself, and anything you can do to change the weight of those thoughts on your soul will make a difference!
There is a remedy that I only came across very late myself: I try to push those negative thoughts and assumptions to the side and let them weigh less on my mind, and then create a space for the nice comments I am getting and make sure to remind myself often of those.
I have been at the receiving end of a bit of lovely attention from several men lately, after a long period of feeling unseen. This is proving to be a large change in my own perception of myself: seeing your own light shining in the eyes of someone else provides a much needed reinforcement of that basic knowledge that we all have: “I am just fine the way I am”.
Of course, if there is a way to shed some of my weight to feel less tired, or to do more yoga to become a bit more flexible, that is fine. The point is that I’d be doing this for myself rather than to please someone else. If I feel better about myself, I won’t be affected as much by what feels like a rejection to me.
My plan is to keep those people in my life who make me feel good about myself. And ditch the ones who don’t because how could they be real friends if I feel bad when I’m with them?
These are my own thoughts on aspects of my work I feel strongly about.