Self-Love Saturday: Accepting What I See (Body Image) pt1

I look tired don't I? I am..had a loooong day

I have a love/hate relationship with my glasses. Things between my glasses and I have been complicated since I first started wearing them in kindergarten. See, there are pros & cons to this relationship.

The Pros : I’m a geek. A nerdy gal. I enjoy being so. I’m a writer, I create, I’ve grown to loving the ability to pick out a pair of specs that reflect different aspects of my personality….well at least nowadays. Back when I first started wearing them in 1989, they weren’t so uh…stylish. Whose glad times have changed and so have the fashions in the eye wear department? THIS NERD.  🙂 But let’s be real, the most important pro of all is the fact that I can FREAKIN SEE. How blind am I? Let’s just say I’m grateful for the guy who has to sand down my lenses at the lab-he always does a phenomenal job and I can see all the way to Jupiter!

Yep...pretty tired...and sweaty. It's the anxiety LOL

The Cons

My glasses are always outrageously expensive because my eyes don’t like me and are shaped like grains of rice. My astigmatism in both eyes is severe and gets worse every year apparently. The other con? They let me FREAKIN SEE. Everything.

Why on earth do I count that as a con? Simple: without my glasses on, the vision I have of myself is never complete, and for someone who struggles in the self-esteem department, there’s an unexpected comfort that comes from that. Not wearing my glasses allows me to not see the physical things about myself I don’t like. At least not in telescopic, 3D fashion. It’s like editing a photo, you know where you can use photoshop tools to blur out or cover up what you don’t want seen? Not wearing my specs is like that for me.

So it goes like this. I get ready to go somewhere or just you know wash my face if I’m staying home for the day. When I’m done, I look at myself in the mirror…sometimes I may have a little (mineral) makeup, most days I don’t, but I’ll look and give myself an assessment. You know…how I think I look on a scale of “OMG UGH-oooooh girl, you look FIERCE!” It usually falls somewhere in the middle…most days. But then I grab my specs, look at myself again, and all I can see are all the things I don’t like about myself, everything that I think is a physical imperfection glaringly staring right back at me. In plain sight. However I was initially feeling about my looks usually slides a few pegs down the scale at that point….

I know, I know...I need a pedicure....Want to give me one?

With my glasses I have a more realistic view of how I look….but my body image and self-esteem pretty much suck. Always has since I was a little girl. I’m sure talk therapy would reveal the root of it is steeped in daddy issues. He never validated me, he always pointed out what he thought was wrong with me physically, was always trying to change how I looked, he controlled how my hair was done & what clothes I wore. To this day I have a complex about my feet because this man took me shopping for sandals and embarrassingly laughed at me when I tried on a pair-I was 11. I thought the entire store could hear him describe my “ugly feet” that weren’t “sandal feet”. I’ve since grown to accept how my feet look, but I have insecurities about them still. Getting a pedicure is like torture, I can’t take the anxiety about what Sally thinks of my toes.

But anyway, my point is this. For years, especially the past year, I’ve been hating the way I

I walk around sucking this in all day when I'm in public....I know...I know. I guess I like to torture myself?

look. I mean HATE. I look in the mirror and man, I just see a body that resembles nothing the one I had at 21. Or even before my last pregnancy. My breasts, my girls, they sag. Forget eye of the tiger, I’ve got his stripes. Have a slew of stretch marks too. I look like my dad, so I see his features. I’m at the highest weight I’ve ever been in (175-181 range), so my face is round and puffier than I’m used to. I just don’t like what I look like. Hated putting my glasses on & having what I hate stare back at & taunt me.

That is until today. All day today I thought about acceptance. About what it means to accept my body…what having a healthy body image means. I generated a lot of thoughts about it, but to start I’ll just say that I made  a decision today to just accept what I see.

Just accept it. Face it. Embrace it. Whether I like it or not. Just accept everything about me

that I think keeps me from being beautiful or desirable. I made a vow today to love my body and everything about it no matter what state it’s in.

Accept me. Own me. Embrace me.  So, to show my commitment and to officially sign my pledge if you will, I took some pictures. To show that I’m no longer hiding behind blurry vision or despising myself.  As you can see I’ve, posted them among these words…

Instagram filters rock...

Here’s to the conclusion of another Self-Love Saturday and me striving to see myself through a healthier, wholesome lens.

I’d like to thank Shape of A Mother for helping me take this step….

What lens do you view your physical self through? What do you think distorts or sharpens it? Feel free to share below….


8 thoughts on “Self-Love Saturday: Accepting What I See (Body Image) pt1

  1. First of all, you are super-fierce for the self-love AND the pics. Love where you are going with this. Love it.

    I have to ask…why is it that as women, we judge our bodies and our self-esteem by how we look naked? I mean…I’m completely guilty. I’ve always felt pretty comfortable in my clothes (you know, on the days I actually get dressed), but I’ve always really, truly judged my body-image naked in front of the mirror…where I grab at anything loose or squishy and wonder if it’s too much.

    I feel beautiful in my purple sundress, blow-dried hair, and light makeup with curled eyelashes. Really, truly beautiful. But first thing in the morning? In the mirror before a shower? Or after a long day of toddler wrangling when my hair’s back in a frizzy ponytail? Not so much.

    it just seems kind of ridiculous to me. Why isn’t it enough to feel beautiful when I’m wearing clothes that flatter my figure? Why is a bikini the true test of someone’s attractiveness?

    Am I making any sense? 😉 Or just rambling?

  2. First, yes, you’re making complete sense. Total sense. I think some of it comes from the expectations we have of ourselves & the expectations others have of us. From husbands, family members, to society as a whole. I also think the media has shaped what our definition and perception of what beauty is-especially on a cultural level. Think about our obsession with women’s bodies, especially celebrities….ESPECIALLY after they have a baby. The focus isn’t on how healthy they are or how they are adjusting to mamahood, it’s on “how she lost the baby weight”. Everything is all about our appearance and as a culture we’ve allowed the media, hollywood & advertising to tell us what’s acceptable, beautiful, what we should look like all the time, etc….

    So….in a nutshell, I think it’s just because society has set a certain standard of what is beautiful, which in turn shapes & molds our expectations of ourselves in this department.

    I’m with you-why don’t I feel “beautiful” in sweats & a tee? Instead of appreciating the sacrifice & ordeal my body endured to give me my kids, why is the first thing I do is complain about how it looks, tell it how much it’s NOT doing for me, basically just destroy it with my askew-ed perspective. ….

    Does that make sense? Did that answer your question?

    • I think you’re right about society and pop culture framing our sense of body-image. Frankly, it pisses me off…I should be able to BE beautiful without having to FEEL all the time. You know what? Right after giving birth to E, I looked like I had been hit by a truck. 30 hours of labor. But being physically beautiful wasn’t my focus (nor should it have been). Being present. Being whole. Both more important than being beautiful on the outside. Perhaps in addition to shaping what we value as beautiful, society has also shaped how much physical beauty matters. I think just being aware of it helps undo some of the brain-washing/conditioning.

      Right now, at this moment, I’m okay with not looking my best – my words are what matter while I type to you. I’m not gonna win any beauty contests sitting here in my pjs on the couch with greasy-all-day-makeup-face. I’m okay with it. And that should be okay with everyone else too.

    • Thank you! ((HUGS)) It’s a process, I’m learning (loving myself) but I’m determined to reach that goal. Thank you for reading & commenting 🙂

  3. You are awesome and beautiful. I wish you could see yourself the way I see you.
    I’ve always had issues with body image and self esteem….always.
    I look in the mirror and see something totally different…totally and negatively different.
    Sigh…it’s hard.

    • I don’t know what it is about your comments that always brings tears to my eyes but they do lol. Maybe it’s because I feel we have some things in common so perhaps we’re kindred spirits? Thank you for the compliments-I’m better at taking them than I used to be, but it’s still awkward for me sometimes to accept & believe them. I’m working on that too. But thank you for saying that.

      I wish I could see me the way others do-those who see the negative & the positive, & still see me as a beautiful person, inside & out. I know I’ll get there one day, but MAN it takes work, this self-esteem stuff. I totally get what you’re saying….and you’re right, it is very hard.

      But know this-how you see me, is exactly how I see you. You’re a beautifully radiant person-I can see that just from your smiles 🙂 We can go through this together-we’ll get there. Just gotta keep working at it.

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