If you are tired of hearing about my weight and exercise, I'm sorry…find another blog to read. This is important to me so I'm going to talk about it here.
This morning I posted this picture of myself:
Someone replied shortly after , "Oh you look tiny in that picture". The first response that came to mind was, "oh it's a good angle." In fact that has been my go to response for a while now. I know all about angles. My second response was wanting to point out that if they looked close enough they would see my arm fat and buddah belly. I stopped myself and instead replied, "And you are officially the best part of my day." I allowed her comment to add some swagger to my step for the day and I chose to just believe it.
Of course I right away took a different picture to get a better angle and hopefully appear less fat.
I've been working out a lot. In fact if you follow me on any sort of social media you will often see photos like this:
Sticking with the gym this time has not been hard. I'm enjoying the gym. I'm enjoying getting stronger and having better endurance. I still need to get my eating under control and if I could do that maybe I would see better results in the weight loss department. As it stands I'm down 2% body fat. When I heard that I was mad. I've been working out since March 24th and in that amount of time I wanted bigger results. But…the number didn't go up and that is all I should care about. My husband has to keep reminding me to stop calling myself fat. I usually say it in a joking matter but he's had enough. I keep telling him that technically according to the BMI and my body fat percentage that I am in fact FAT.
If you see my photos lately you will notice there is always an angle involved.
I took this photo recently. I made sure to angle the camera from the top. I only shot myself from the side and I made the photo concentrate on my cleavage in hopes that it would distract from any fat.
In this photo even though the dress is cute as shit and I looked good for the photo I bent over, again made my boobs the star, and posed both arms to avoid any fat or jiggly parts.
My husband and I are avid Chivers and he's been trying to get me on their website for a while now. I've never felt pretty enough, no one else on that website has three chins like me, or cellulite on their legs, or five asses. But he keeps telling me I'm worthy. So I started submitting my own photos. I submitted the one below when my new Chive panties arrived in the mail.
Look closely, they are both cropped on the sides so you can't see the part where the underwear kinda pushes into my skin, and you can't see how wide my hips and waist really are.
I also submitted this photo. My husband loves this photo.
There are so many angles and camera tricks here. Unfortunately I don't know how to Photoshop so my stretch marks are still visible. I'm learning to take those as pregnancy battle scars instead of ugliness. I haven't made it onto the website yet and I've convinced myself it's because I'm not like the other size 2 tiny girls with implants. Of course a girl with a real body and real boobs wouldn't make it…no one wants to see muffin tops on their morning Chive viewing.
Finally I decided that I wanted to wear a bathing suit that wasn't a tankini or a one piece. I got brave and I bought this.
The bathing suit is cute, but obviously I cropped the photo above my ass, and my legs, and I turned to the side so you couldn't see my stomach fat from the front. My arms are lifted so they don't appear fatter when they press into my body.
After that a friend posted this on Facebook:
It kind of struck a cord with me. I have been wanting to wear a bikini forever just so I could have a full body tan. I was tired of spending my summers with tan arms and legs and a pasty white stomach. So….this weekend I did it. I went into public in a bikini.
Obviously I worked with the angle a lot on this. And if you look hard enough behind my tattoo you can see my back fat.
The only picture of myself I have taken lately that I can't immediately complain about is this picture.
Although upon further inspection I see arm fat near my tattoo causing some kind of fat crease.
The point of all this is that I wish that for one day I could see myself how others see me. Everyone around me keeps telling me I look good. There are fleeting moments where I see it, but for the most part I really don't see it. I haven't lost enough weight to justify their comments in my head.
I've been trying to follow this:
But I will be honest. I fail daily. I fail 100 times a day at not comparing myself to others. The girl in my office has nicer legs then me. My best friend who does weigh more then me wore a bathing suit to the pool this weekend and all I could think was, "she has no cellulite on her legs, they are so smooth, and her stomach isn't all full of stretch marks. At the beach women who seemed bigger then me that were wearing bikinis I looked at and though, "okay well if she can wear a bikini I can wear a bikini." But then I thought, oh my God, maybe she isn't bigger then me. If she is wearing a bikini there must be a reason, so obviously I'm bigger then I thought in my own head.
It wasn't until maybe this last weekend that I realized, that those women were in fact bigger then me, they probably just hated themselves far less then me.
When I go to the gym, instead of being proud of my work I'm constantly looking at the smaller girls wearing tiny clothes and getting mad. I get mad that I'm not as small as them, and I get madder that they go to the gym in such tiny clothes. I understand they are small and skinny and fit, but did it ever occur to them that they are discouraging people like me. I look at them and know, most of them had the genetics to start out small, and since they do a lot of prancing around and flirting at the gym they obviously aren't working out as hard as me, yet they are so much smaller then me. I hate it, girls like that aren't an inspiration. They do nothing but make me shame myself and be mad that God created some people with good metabolism and fantastic genetics and I got stuck in the short, fat, slow metabolism gene pool. For a long time I hid out in the girls weight room just so I didn't have to see those skinny girls, and I didn't have to feel like the sexy fit guys were laughing at the fat chick struggling to lift weights. Thankfully I've gained enough muscle to feel confident in my lifting abilities now. I know people aren't laughing at the chick who can't even lift the bar, but I do know they are all laughing at the size of my thighs in their head.
Loving myself is a huge battle. My husband hugged me yesterday and told me I felt smaller. I didn't reply. The reply on my tongue was, "I've gained three pounds, I can't feel smaller." Instead I just shut up and said nothing. People comment left and right on my social media photos telling me I look good. Instead of replying I think, "it's because of the angles, if they saw me straight on they wouldn't think that.
In fact I posted this progress shot on Instagram the other day. It's me about a month after I started working out, and me this weekend at the spa.
After posting it I thought, "this is it, everyone has seen my legs from the front now. Everyone knows how fat I really am." I wanted so badly to crop that photo above the thighs but I couldn't or no one would have been able to see the progress I've made.
I was so confused when people commented that I looked good and was making progress. Didn't they see the fat? Didn't they see the cellulite? Didn't they see the cottage cheese hiding under the skin of my thighs, and the fat pack surrounding my belly button?
Or…is it possible I'm the only one who sees this? Am I really so filled with self hatred that I can't take the compliments I'm given? I used to love my eyes and my smile. Now when I take a face photo, I notice my eyebrows are bushy and ugly, my nose looks large on my face, my front teeth are big and they are no longer in line, and my complexion is shit. When did I get so far gone I can't even appreciate what used to be my favorite thing about myself? There has to be some way to fix this. There has to be a way to learn to love myself. This madness has to stop. The hatred in my head needs to go away. I've had enough. I want to love myself. I want to take a picture and just see beauty, not pick it to pieces. I want to take a photo with my kids where I'm not hiding behind them. Or take a photo of my family that I'm not afraid of posting just because I look fat. I want to be able to take a picture without thinking about angles and cropping and hiding. How do I do this? How does a person learn to love themselves? How does a person learn to say thank you to a compliment instead of cringe.
If there is a secret I would love to know it.
3 thoughts on “Wishing to love myself”
“Shannon….you are beautiful
If you figure out how to love yourself I wish you would share it with the rest of us. I won’t even post pictures of myself from good angles when they are cropped (Oddly I have found that being shot straight on gives me an illusion of being smaller than I am because you can see I have a waist. From the side I am so incredibly wide it is embarrassing.)
We are our own worst critics though. You are not as fat as you think you are. It is the truth for everyone. Those skinny girls flirting about at the gym in almost no clothing still think they are fat. Call it societal programming, but it is how we all seem to be wired.
Dove did a video in one of their Everyone is beautiful projects that had women describe themselves to a sketch artist who was behind a curtain, and then had a stranger that had only met them for a few minutes describe them to the same sketch artist. Then the two pictures were shown to the women. The strangers pictures were all incredibly flattering and closer to accurate, whereas the ones where they described themselves their features were distorted.
I know telling you that you look good and I can see progress will probably not stick, but it is true. You really do look good.
I can totally relate to this post. I am a fellow self hater. There is very little I like about myself, I hate having my picture taken, and I would never in a million years wear a bikini.
My weight goes up and down. I just can’t seem to maintain a healthy weight, and I always revert back to fat. Which, of course, causes more self hate. UGH!
Well, for what it’s worth, I think you look good. Keep up the good work!