Recently I have spent some time thinking about myself and how I perceive myself.  I noticed that over the last few years my self-image has changed.  It has changed because although I do believe I am in control of myself and my thoughts its other’s perception that leads my thinking in my self-image.  What I hear on a regular basis is what I believe.  It also works with what I don’t hear.

I was in a relationship for 14 years.  I had daily feedback from another person that gave me my self-image.  The good thing with that is that he told me daily how sexy and beautiful I was.  The bad thing was that he also told me on a regular basis that I was a “dumb ass” to use his words.  He made me feel like I wasn’t capable of doing a lot of things.  That I couldn’t communicate, that I wasn’t strong enough and didn’t think enough.  Over time I began to believe these things and thought I was stupid and worthless.  I began to feel like my redeeming qualities ended at my looks.  It didn’t matter so much that other people in my life would compliment me and tell me I was smart or that I was strong.  His voice was the one that I heard on a daily basis.  As our relationship fell apart I started hearing the voices of other people and over time my self-image has changed.

My current self-image is the opposite of what it was 5 years ago.  Since I have become single and have met many new friends the things I hear tell me I am smart, I am strong, I am more than capable.  I have never felt better about my abilities in life and being able to do what I want to do.  It’s wonderful to have confidence.  It’s also wonderful to listen to several voices and not just one.  I know deep down what I think is what really matters but we all soak in what we hear on a regular basis. 

Despite these praises about my abilities I no longer hear on a regular basis that I am attractive.  No one tells me I’m ugly or fat but I am seeing my looks go downhill.  I’m getting older and it’s starting to show.  I am also getting fatter which I hate admitting and am not happy with.  This past winter along with last winter I have gained weight.  I have a hard time losing any weight I gain.  It tends to stick around.  I am unhappy with my body.  It’s strong and underneath the fat I have a decent amount of muscle.  I just don’t like the layer covering the muscle. 

So what am I going to do about my image of my body? Well, I can’t do much about getting old but can do things to age gracefully.  Mainly,  I don’t like the fact that I feel fat.  I need to cut down on my calories, particularly ones that are “empty” calories such as beer.  So I am going to work on my body.  I exercise and in general what I eat is healthy but my portions are oftentimes too big and my beer intake definitely does not help.  So I’m going to work on my portions and limit my beer.  I need to set goals and rules for myself to push myself to lose weight and give myself a better self-image.  It won’t be easy but it will be worth it.

Here’s to eating less, drinking less and loving myself more.


One response to “Self-Image

  1. i can understand a lot of this post. for me, i think i felt bad about both personality and my looks for a long time. as i have gotten older, i am beginning to care less about my attractiveness or how it comes across to the world physically. that being said, i don’t like that i am overweight (and apparently my doctor doesn’t either). I want to look fit because I want to be fit. i want the lifestyle that goes with taking good care of myself which i want to incorporate into my intellectual life as well. in so much as taking care of myself physically and being restricted on outdoor activities because i am out of shape. it is hard becoming a well rounded person huh?

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