One of the hardest thing about blogging about my personal style is that I am forced to take pictures of myself. And really look at them. Not just glance in a mirror for a few seconds, but take a deep long look at each picture to find the ones that work and then tidy them up.
The result is days like today. I love the dress I am wearing today, but I look at every single picture I took and am filled with self-loathing. My arms are flabby, my body looks like a stuffed sausage, and my double chin just won’t go away no matter how many pictures I take or angles I try. (Today I took 110 pictures. Out of that there are 3 that will be in tomorrow’s post.)
Am I nicely put together? Yes. Are the color and cut appropriate and flattering? Yes. Do all the garments fit me properly? Yes. I just hate what I see the outfits covering.
I have so much respect for women who can accept their body as it is. At 48 that is still a battle I fight every day. There are still days when the best assessment of the me in the photo/mirror that I can come up with is “Not bad for a fat chick”, where the word fat is loaded with judgement and derision.
I’ve read the research; I know full well that weight is more than just calories in minus calories out. I have never been thin so I have no mental image of myself thin that I am comparing myself unfavorably to. I know that I am healthy; healthier than many younger, thinner people that I know. I do hot yoga 2-3 days a week and ride my bike for miles at a time at least 1-2 times. I am a good, honest, generous person. I am smart and accomplished in every conceivable way.
Which makes my weight all that more glaring a failure. It is the single area of my life where I have been unable (despite multiple attempts) to make a lasting change.
So I have days like today, when I want to stop blogging because I don’t want to be faced with those pictures that force me to see myself as the world see me rather than the (obviously inaccurate) way I see myself. I try to remember that I am far more than a number on a scale; that the fact that my arms are flabby and my belly round doesn’t lessen my extensive intellectual and career accomplishments (and, in fact, makes them all the more impressive for having been achieved despite the U.S. societal tendency to see weight as a character flaw and sign of weakness/laziness).
But I still hate it sometimes. I really wish I knew how to accept and love this last part of me.
(I realized after I wrote this what one of the triggers is. I read a lot of plus bloggers, and noticed something: not a double chin in sight. That seems to be one of the major trends – plus bloggers all have thinnish faces, regardless of the shape below that. I don’t, and I’ve become very self conscious of it lately….)