Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Look Good Naked

To say that I have body image issues would be a gross understatement. Sometimes I think I felt better about my body when I weighed 300 pounds than I do now. I am not sure why that is the case, because since my gastric bypass I have gone from super skinny size 10 (on my 5'10" body), to normal size 12, to a few pounds more. All in all, I am still 130 pounds thinner than I was when I began. This fact alone should be enough to keep me confident with my figure, yet it eludes me on so many levels.

Tonight I watched Lifetime’s “How to Look Good Naked”. This is not your run of the mill “makeover” show. Instead Carson Kressley attempts to assist a woman who is dissatisfied with her “less than perfect” body. He then endeavors to create in her an acceptance of who she is. The poor woman must stand in front of a mirror in only her bra and panties, which of course, she has difficulty doing, but seems to humor him just the same.

One of the most interesting experiments occurs when Carson brings several women out in their underwear and the subject is to choose which ones are bigger and which are smaller than she. She appoints all the women lager, when in fact; they are ALL smaller than she. Chronicling the transformation of the woman from self-conscious to self-confident is quite astounding. Just being privy to the change in the way she carries herself is somewhat astounding. There was no liposuction, no “nip-tuck”, no drastic makeup or extreme hair makeover; she simply begins to accept her body--even appreciate it.

I know I have lamented ad nauseum about the fact that my newfound athleticism has not paid off with changes in my body. I find that I am much more confident on the bicycle, in the gym or in the pool, but that confidence doesn’t seem to carry over to the full-length mirror. How should I expect anyone else to think I am sexy, if I don’t believe it myself?

Why is it that women have such a hard time when it comes to our bodies? The men in our lives love them, why can’t we? Shouldn’t we afford ourselves the same admiration as those in our lives who love us? Even when I was obese by children would say, “Mom, you are not fat.” I would dismiss such comments as silly, when I should have embraced them as the truth.

In this episode of “How to Look Good Naked” the subject’s most significant "aha moment" comes with her words, “I feel liberated.” That’s what loving your body can do. It can make you not only confident, but liberated as well. So, take off your clothes and take a good look…liberate yourself---and---look good naked!


Anonymous said...

It's hard, I think, because we are raised to evaluate ourselves and each other constantly. It doesn't end with teens or young adulthood either. Even as mature women, we are expected to look life women much younger.

Look the "role" models television and movies trot out for us. And once a woman hits 50 it is like she vanishes forever, replaced by a younger, thinner model.

Body image issues for me are a hangover from my younger days I would love to just shake forever but my progress is slow.

KMY said...

Marcia, I can relate to your post. I've gotten myself down to a reasonable weight, but am only able to focus on the midsection roll and the too-short legs.

My niece tells me that I owe her a dollar every time I criticize myself. Smart girl. She might not need a job after all! ;o)

Congratulations to you on losing all that weight and keeping it off! The bypass is a great start, but the lifestyle changes you have made are what impresses me the most! What an inspiration you are.

Anonymous said...

I have to watch this show. I am proud of you and your efforts to exercise. I know one must move the body, can you now tell me how to get the runners high? LOL!
It would make mornings around here much more bearable!
Love ya,

TGLB said...

It takes a lot of work to stop hating yourself. I am fat. And I am beautiful. The two are not mutually exclusive. And I don't believe that "fat" is a moral judgment; not one I'm willing to accept anymore, anyway. I am fat just as I am tall just as I am brunette just as I am funny. It's an adjective, not an identity. Not the identity it was for the last 25 years of my life; now I'm just me. And fat. And it's okay.

Marsha said...

"It's an adjective, not an identity."

Well put!