Body image is a troublesome, fickle beast. Is it ever completely satisfied? Just when I believe that I am comfortable with who I am and all of the lumps and flaws that are part of the package, I stumble into moments of uncertainty and insecurity. It would be quite easy to keep those moments private, locked away inside where nobody else can see my frailty, but that wouldn’t be helpful to anyone, not even me.
My weight is currently hovering at 160 pounds or just under, and I am okay with that. The numbers on the scale no longer have any importance to me, except for the purpose of fitting into a weight class for a competition. In fact, I have stepped on the scale only 2 or 3 times since my last competition in August. Obviously I don’t want to inflate like the Goodyear blimp, but I also don’t need to stress out over how much I weigh. It is of much greater importance that I eat well and eat enough to fuel my training. I know this. I believe this. I am comfortably content with this.
And yet I have moments when I feel lumpy and odd and overweight. Those moments come less often now, but I am still blindsided by the way they sneak up on me and cloud my thoughts and attitude. I think that is the most dangerous part of it all…the insidious nature of a beast intent on destruction of self-confidence. As much as I am comfortable with my current weight, I have had frequent moments of negative self-talk recently in which I tell myself that I am fat and lumpy.
It isn’t very often that I take video of my training, because it really isn’t necessary as my coach is always there to ensure that my form is good. However, from time to time, we will film a lift or a set, because it is a potential PR rep or so I can actually see my form for myself. My chiropractor asked me about video of my overhead squats, so my coach filmed two sets of my overhead squats last week. Later that night I showed my husband the videos. He was impressed by my actions, but I was amazed by how slender I looked. My husband’s response to my verbal amazement was to gush enthusiastically about my leanness, the muscularity in my shoulders, my physical and inner strength, and on and on. Basically, he doesn’t look at me the same way I sometimes look at myself. And I guess that is the point.
The image that I see reflected in the mirror or in my mind’s eye is distorted more often than not. That distortion is the result of years of negative self-talk and trying to fit into society’s mould of what a woman should look like. I suspect that I will always have this struggle, although I am confident that the struggle will not always drag me down or knock me about like a rag doll. I might get shaken up a bit, but I am stronger in knowing, really knowing, who I am, holding tight to that knowledge and shaking off the oppressive doubts.
If you want to see one of my overhead squat videos, you can see it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QSBkP6aXU0k