Struggling with self image? Be careful what you expose yourself to

Ever since I was 9, I have struggled with self image. I went through that phase when I was young, the pre-teen phase where you get a little chubby, your parents still tell you you are beautiful (cause you are) and then you lose the weight when you are older. However, thanks to my brothers, my identity was demolished from age 10 on, it still has lasting effects on me now. I’m not putting all the blame on my brothers, but just a word to new parents, don’t ever let the boys attack the girls, there should be severe consequences for it. It’s in the boy’s nature to make fun of girls but that shouldn’t be allowed to let loose whenever they feel they want to make fun of someone.

It was part of my self image problems that got me into the fitness industry, I wanted to feel better about myself, I didn’t want to be anorexic like all the girls on the magazine but I wanted to be healthy, however weight loss soon led to an addiction to have the perfect 6 pack and to always be slimmer: like the magazines. I have always gone in an out of this addiction, but what always brings me back home is the fact that I am who I am, I have my own body shape and it is what is healthy for me. I’m not going to try to acheive to be someone because of the way the media thinks is better for society.

I was thinking a lot about self image and self esteem the other day after I had watched some tv. We have free cable for two months, it’s a promo that we got, we don’t watch the tv at all, if we do it’s a movie. However, sometimes when I come home I’m really tired and I turn it on and this one particular day, I watched the E! Television, because that was the only thing slightly interesting on, for me at least. Well I watched it for a few hours, then I got up, and I felt so fat, there’s a mirror in our hallway and I had an awful perception of myself, I was super unhappy. Obviously it was just a feeling but that feeling had to stem from somewhere. This feeling continued on for the next day and I realized that it was some sort of anger or jealously cause I didn’t look like any of the people that were on the fashion television, I wasn’t on a runway, or a celebrity, I didn’t own $3,000 dollar dresses that made me look amazing.

Some of look at those magazines when we are in line at the checkout because we are bored waiting for the next person in line to finish. Everyone had a part of them inside that suffers when the media pushes things at them from every single angle: magazines, tv, mall shopping, posters. It’s like someone constantly knocking on your brain saying “get with the picture!!” Except that that picture is see through, there’s absolutely nothing to it, it’s false, it’s fake. Sure it’s okay to be somewhat fashionable, as long as you know what looks good on YOU and YOU work it that way. I think that’s why I love TLC’s: “What Not to Wear” because they take average men and women, women who are middle aged, have some shape to them and teach them how to dress accordingly to their shape, they can look good if they choose wisely.

Having had a past history of low self esteem, I have already struggled with reality of the soon coming large belly I will receive as my baby gets bigger and that there’s always the horror of thinking you won’t be able to lose the baby weight after giving birth but who am I kidding? I’m in the fitness industry, the most I’ve ever weighed has been 204 pounds (gah!) and I managed to get down to 153 in a little over a year, I know how to be healthy which means having a healthy pregnancy. Not giving into cravings left and right. Exercising regularly and maintaining good nutrition.

If you’re struggling with your self image, stop watching the tv, and stop looking at magazines, and ignore all the posters that you see regularly. Find your identity, and stick to that. Be care with what you expose yourself to. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks of you. When you workout, workout to be healthy, if you want more defined biceps and shoulders that fine, just know where the line is. If it’s realistic and you just want to acheive a goal that’s good! But don’t carry it too far.

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  1. #1 by Mom on August 18, 2011 - 12:23

    Dear Miriam,

    Just remember that every pregnant woman is beautiful. The glow from the baby growing within you shines right through you to the rest of the world. The only ones who don’t see that beauty, are those who do not look on babies as gifts from God, but as curses.

    We are blessed to know that the babies we carry (or have carried) are God sharing His Gift of Creation with us. That is what makes woman so special. Only woman (with the help of man) can cooperate with God it bring another soul into this world to help populate Heaven.

    What a blessed gift women have been given. God bless you (and Paul) for taking on this task of aiding God in fulfilling His great Plan for salvation.

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