Tuesday, September 7, 2010

IMaGe is ... (everything?)

I am going to cut to the chase here, I broke down and decided to invest in myself, and started a weight watchers program. I figured since I knew at least 10 people just starting their journey's I could possibly piggyback on some of their enthusiasm and commiserate with their grief. My avenue is to handle things online, no meetings, just meetings with friends. I have started a blog within my membership profile, and have gotten to read some of the spectacular commentary of others.

Today I am contemplating this one thought (and of course looking for the study)
" I once read an interesting study about body image. There was a direct correlation between how far people thought their car was (either parked next to another car or driving next to another car) and how large they thought they were."
Hmmm...on one hand, I always have issues judging parking spaces, but when in motion I always think I have more room than I probably do. Does this mean I am conflicted about my size. I admitted yesterday that I have always felt like I was much smaller than I am when I am heavy and much larger than I am when I am not heavy. It would be interesting if I could just come to terms with the thought that I am something "OTHER" than FAT or THIN and just be...creative, witty, helpful, even possibly attractive? My whole self worth seems to be tied up to a number on a scale, and with that so does my confidence and my motivation. Why do I think people care so much? Why do I care what other people think?

A few years ago, when I was bordering on being a thin person, getting to within 10lbs of where I really wanted to be, thinking that if I could just loose that 10 lbs people would treat me normally. In the past 25 years I have gone from a young bulimic athlete with 4% body fat (and thought I was the size of a house) to a severely overweight and depressed housewife who was the size of a house (but retained the athlete mentality) to a moderately thin healthy athletic artist/mom/wife, to an overweight stressed out artist/teacher/mom/wife and let me tell you something I have noticed from being on BOTH sides of that fence... THE WORLD IS MEAN TO FAT PEOPLE!!! They are treated differently. There seems to be this culture that associates "intelligence" with weight, beauty with weight, etc. The lower the number on the scale the more bright and beautiful and BELIEVABLE someone is. I saw my own attitudes change when I approached that acceptable weight. To my own surprise, I was just as cynical as they come and to this day I am embarrassed about my shortcomings.

When I was in Korea, I was confronted on a daily basis about my weight. There was no "POLITICAL CORRECTNESS" I had to endure hearing how heavy I was on a regular basis. At first the words stung like a hot salted knife. I was even told that the key to all my problems was exercise, HAH, if they only knew how much grief that action has caused me. I have exercised ALL my life. Most of which has been to EXCESS and at the EXPENSE of relationships. If I wasn't puking up what I ate, I was trying to work it off. I am lucky I married a guy who doesn't associate my weight with his self worth. I am sure that the consequences of that would have been grave. If only they knew how PAINFUL life can be... there is no "quick fix" and if you spent a day in MY shoes...or my head for that matter.

Not too long ago I had friend ask me why I felt the need to carry padding around with me... I was shocked that someone would confront me in this manner. I have thought about that question for the past 6 months...why do I need to carry padding around with me? Am I afraid that I will need a comfortable place to rest? Am I afraid that people with not like me so I give them a reason not to? I am still working on the answer. It must be my own personal enigma?

Image is everything... I guess the one in my head is still a work in progress... Thanks for viewing my sketchbook.

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