9/8/2018 – On Inner Representations of Self

This morning during my meditation, a guided course led by Sarah Blondin, I realized that I can’t imagine myself in my own mind without Bad Body Thoughts disrupting my zen.

Should I picture myself as I currently am, and sit with the revulsion I feel over my overflowing belly, wobbly chin, sausage arms, flat rump, massive thighs?

Or do I think of some form of my idealized self, me when I was thinner, me when I was younger?

No, that won’t work either. It always leads me back to Option A, distracted by all the things that lead me to feel like a piece of shit. Because instead of being some form of my idealized self I’m… me. As I am.

I work hard to keep these feelings inside. I never say negative things about my body in front of my children, and when my daughter grabs my belly fat and tells me it’s BIG and SQUISHY I focus on making sure that I don’t create negative associations. Genetics being what they are, it seems likely she’ll have to deal with a squishy belly someday herself, but even if she manages to do what I haven’t been able to (stay slim, master impulses, prioritize output over input) she’ll face down situations throughout her life where she has the opportunity to be an ass to someone who is fat. She’ll know that’s not how her Mama raised her.

I give myself a solid A on this area of the parenting report card, but that’s not enough because I’m more than Mother, I am Me.

There is no on/off switch for this, at least not one that I’ve found. I read the BoPo articles and follow the Instagram accounts and admire the women who have made progress toward loving what is. I know what I want to feel, and it isn’t too difficult for me to play the part and project outward. I can do the selfies, and put up some Instagram Stories about self-acceptance, and it does help. But it’s still more of a band-aid than a cure.

Do we become what we think or do we start with action and the thoughts shift from there?

4 Comments

    1. I feel like I have a good handle on my actions and meditation/mindfulness has helped me with acknowledging my feelings, but I haven’t been able to let go of wanting to eradicate the thoughts and feelings in the first place. Your comment helped me see that that’s what I need to work on.

      Reply

  1. I am loving these posts. Short, thoughtful, very well written. I was thinking of this very topic this morning. Feeling some revulsion for the jiggly, the dimpled as I watched myself dress. Then I picked up a big load of laundry and felt grateful to move throughout my life without physical pain. The best solution I’ve found is to focus on what my body does and now how it looks. It’s not a perfect fix, but it’s workable for me.

    Reply

    1. Amen. Every time I’m reminded of all the things I *can* do, the things I don’t have seem much less important.

      And thank you, I’m enjoying the focus on the process with this space, instead of the outcome/response. I hope my writing will improve over time, that will be a nice benefit, but for now it’s about writing to write with no other goals in mind.

      Reply

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