About 2 weeks ago I was in Phoenix, Arizona with some friends. The hot tub was our watering hole. We always ended up at the hot tub every night. Now, fatties unite can all agree, we HATE swimming pools and/or hot tubs. Basically, we hate showing off our bodies.
When I was bigger, I had to wear a t-shirt in the pool. If the rules were no shirt then I would not swim. I hate having my man-b00bs shown. Yes, that is a technical, official term that I am using.
Before the trip, I messaged my friend telling him that I will not enter a body of water because of my low body image. I refused to swim and I purposely didn’t bring a swimsuit. Bad mistake, because hours after my plane landed, I was in the hot tub wearing running shorts and a college t-shirt.
When you first dip your toes into the hot tub, it BURNS! Like, the heat is too much to bare. After a while, you get used to the feeling and what was painful is now soothing.
Well, on the 2nd night I was sick of wearing a cold damp t-shirt post-Hot tub hangout. I decide to strip it off. I gave the group a quick, “don’t judge my body and saggy skin because I lost a lot of weight in a short amount of period” speech. Yeah, they looked at me funny and I felt a little embarrassed.
I took my shirt off.
I can feel the pain of the on-lookers as they assess my body. I need to submerge my body ASAP. I failed to live up to the pressure of society to have the perfectly toned, ripped with 10 abs body. I felt ashamed, cold, and lonely.
After some time, I realized that people did not care. I made such a big deal over my body when we all struggle with body image. I talked to a normal guy who ran track in High School and some college and he said he hated some parts of his body. This guy has the perfect body. It is insane the amount of pressure we put on ourselves.
The watering hole, in which in my mind, was a place of judgment and pain revealed its true nature to be soothing and comforting. I didn’t feel alone. I felt a part of the group. I felt free.
Body image disorder screws with our minds. We feel less of a person because our body is not perfectly scaled, sized or colored. If I could be honest, I never felt fatter than right now at my skinniest when I eat junk food. When I was huge, I did not feel it. Now that I lost a few pounds, it really comes to mind the hysteria over our bodies. I do not know if it stems from me not wanting to be fat again or .. I don’t know what else it could be.
We have all seen the pictures with the skinny girl that circles parts around her body that she wish she can change. Well, that is a reality for most of us. We may not have the courage to actually use a black sharpie or vocalize it but we do it in our heads. When we see someone who has a better body than us we compare them to us. We are chipping away our self-esteem every time we judge another body to our own.
How do we stop it?
I just have to find that calm within.