Thanks to a recommendation from one of you guys, I found myself listening to a podcast yesterday that was an interview with Isabel Foxen Duke. She was discussing emotional eating and some of her words just knocked me for a loop. I mean, it all seems SUPER obvious once I think about it, but the kind of thing where you’re like, “Oh…yeah…I guess I could look at it that way…” and it kinda blows your mind.
She talks a lot about how body image plays a huge part in emotional eating. I had never quite connected the two like she did. I can’t really do her thoughts justice here, but just trust me that IT MADE PERFECT SENSE. I mean, it’s not like I thought the two issues were unrelated, but I never connected them as directly as she was able to.
(Look! I ended a sentence in a preposition! It’s like a throwback!)
But it got me thinking about body image and how – truthfully – it’s not my body I hate.
I mean, I hate that all of my clothes fit a body 15lbs lighter so I always feel slovenly wearing only the “biggest” of my wardrobe and I don’t really like any of it. So, if I could go shop for this body? I could probably learn to love it pretty quickly.
But – here’s the thing – the reason why I think I’ve always wanted a more fit body is because…I hate my face.
Saying that just cracks me up. “I HATE MY FACE!” Just seems like something so silly. But, the more I think about it, the more I realize how true it is.
See, Isobel was challenging listeners to think of someone you truly feel is gorgeous at a body size that is bigger than your own. And I could list out 50 right now. Some real friends, some celebrities, but all people who weigh more than me but that I think are stop-a-clock gorgeous and who I would trade appearances with in a millisecond.
And it’s all about their face.
Not even necessarily with makeup, I’ve seen my one friend right after she had a baby, and at the end of a 5K, when she’s sick…and none of those times was she fixed up or wearing makeup and she always looked SO PRETTY. Like, I’m super-intimidated by her beauty, even post-childbirth, and it’s because her face is gorgeous. She also carries a confidence about her that is sexy, but I honestly think that on same days I carry a confidence too – my insecurities are weird like that.
So it really is all about my face.
I think that I feel like the more fit I look, the less it matters that I hate my face. Isn’t that twisted? I have this vein on my forehead that someone I was in a relationship with once a million years ago told me made it look like I had had my face stepped on. So, you know, those words repeat themselves over and over constantly. I’m getting older so I have the chicken neck thing. I have horrible bags under my eyes. My eyebrows are crooked. And not in a way that waxing/shaping whatever would help, it’s like my FACE is crooked.
I think this is why I never got into makeup, because it requires spending a lot of time looking at my face, which I hate.
HOW WEIRD IS THAT?
So she kinda rocked my world and shifted my perspective.
It was just interesting to really take stock of my self-image and realize that in reality – this body, even at 16lbs heavier than when I was at my fittest – isn’t something that I hate. I could probably learn to love it if I could afford to re-dress it. (Although, if I could stop emotional eating, the weight would just drop off.) It’s mainly that I hate the redness of my skin and the shape of my eyes and the vein on my forehead and shape of my teeth and…so on and so forth.
And that was a weird realization. I kinda just thought it was my body I hated when I looked in the mirror, but it’s not as much as my face. Because the women who I look to as being gorgeous? Are the ones with the beautiful faces. Not the ones with the fit/trim bodies.
So, yeah. That was interesting. I thought about that a lot yesterday. I looked at my instagram page and it’s full of selfies but I know that the main reason I take those is because I fight SO HARD not to be “that girl” who won’t take pictures of herself. I don’t want to be the person who won’t be in a picture because I feel ugly. So I take a selfing and use a filter that dims the red of my skin and I take it at an angle where the bags are less and the vein isn’t as prominent. I know that I could visit somewhere like Dr Newmans Clinic to solve this small problem, but I don’t take pictures of myself that often so it’s fine. And I look at those pictures and they’re not ugly. I mean – why is my perspective so messed up? I think it’s because I walk by the mirror and I see the halo of frizz and the dark circles and the chicken neck and all of that makes me want to be skinnier because at least THAT I can control.
So, yeah! (I’m just going to start every paragraph that way.) This was all very enlightening to my own body/self image issues.
I guess I need to work on reprogramming because I know I’m not hideous. I like my eyes and my hair and if I’m wearing mascara I can actually walk by a mirror and not turn away. So, maybe I just need to work on being a bit more honest and seeing the GOOD in the person in the mirror – and not just the nose I hate. (DAMN YOU, DAD! THAT NOSE IS MUCH EASIER FOR A GUY TO PULL OFF!)
What about you – do your body image issues really apply to your body? I would be okay with this body forever if I could clothe it, but this face? This face is going to take some time learning to appreciate and love. And no amount of calorie counting will help that…which is equally depressing AND liberating.
“EAT ALL THE DONUTS! THE FACE WON’T GET ANY UGLIER!”