Thursday, 17 October 2013

My Burning Man Aftermath (Otherwise Known as Part Two)

So coming back from Burning Man I was feeling more relaxed, but I was also feeling really unhappy about my appearance.

Like I said, seeing photos of myself didn't help, but I didn't delete them either.  The (carefully chosen) photos I sent people, I got feedback back from them that I looked great! so I figured maybe some day I'd be able to see what they saw, so no deleting, I told myself.

After a week or two of being back home I realized that my body wasn't fat.  I was average back home.  Maybe a little thinner than average.  Certainly in the places we ate in the States I felt thin again.  But at Burning Man?  My body is far above the average weight, or state of fitness or thinness or something.

I started to feel like back home I wasn't unattractive.  I was ok.  Maybe sometimes better than ok.  Some days I could see myself in the mirror and think, hey I look good!

But not naked.  Not in a bikini.

I look fine with clothes on.  Clothes can cover the pooch.  The back fat.  The lumpy thighs.  And so I'm disguised when I'm at home.  Most of the time.

I look better when I've just washed my hair.  Worse when it's been a day or two.  But my hair... it's... blah.

I've been growing it.  Do I keep growing it?  Will that make my chin look thinner?

I don't do anything with my hair.  I'm a lazy hair person, always have been, that won't change.  So it gets pushed behind my ears, off of my face.  Doesn't do much for me, really.


My clothes are... fine.

But I'm too concerned with being comfortable to wear that belt that would show off my waist, or to wear those shoes that would lengthen my legs (and make my toe hurt like a bad word.)

But maybe there were some clothes that weren't helping.  I stood in front of a mirror a few weekends ago and tried everything on.

Gave away the things that didn't fit anymore, or didn't make me look any better than frumpy.

I know in theory, whenever I put something on it should flatter me, but that's not my reality.  I've got some things that when I wear them, people like the garment, but there are only a few things that I wear where I feel like I'm attractive in them.  And they're not really wearable in my spy cave.

Makeup, fine.  I do my makeup, it looks good, it's not particularly fancy.

Blah, blah blah.  I look ok.  On a good day, when all the elements align, I feel like I look good.

But it's a fleeting feeling.

I had a striking thought the other day... It's not my fault that I'm not young.

Because it's not.  I can't help not being twenty anymore.  It's not my fault.

And yet I'm still sad that I'll never get to go to Burning Man as a twenty year old.  (Good lord I'm glad for that though, I probably would have drunken myself sick.  I just mean body-wise.)  And the sad part about it is that I didn't even like my body when I *was* twenty.

A woman at work the other day, as we were sharing about our body woes (she used to be 200 pounds, I'm so proud of her, even though I just met her last month!) told me a saying she'd heard.  "I wish I was as fat now as the first time I thought I was fat."

Well damn.  When I was sixteen, my family and I travelled to Hawaii for a holiday.  It was awesome, but I remember trying to hide my body.  Clearly, I was fat.  Or so I thought.  People were looking at me because I was fat.  My breasts were large, so they were probably looking at that, but my body?  When I see pictures now?  Was amazing.  How happy would I be now, to have that body?  And yet I hated it then.

How happy would I be at ninety, to have the body I have now?  And will I have hated it?

Sure, there's something to be said for loving yourself, for being kind to yourself.  For appreciating the beauty of your body as it is right now!

But that's not the same as looking at where I've taken by body to and knowing I could make it a little thinner... a little more toned.  I could see more definition.  I want to be able to look at myself in a bikini, or even naked, and say, yeah, I work hard to look this way and I feel good about how I look.

I'm never going to be taller than I am.

I'm never going to be a petite figure with little, perky breasts (unless I invest in surgery and alter what I was given, but I don't want to do that unless it's medically necessary, and I hope my health never makes it medically necessary.)

I'm never going to be stick thin.

But I've watched ladies at work give birth, and work hard and look great a year or three later.

I've seen me, before my car accident, with defined arms and a thin stomach.

I know that my metabolism has changed.  I know I'm working against age, and genetics and let's be honest, the fact that I often care more about the physical comforts of treats than I do about a future possible change in my figure.

Yes, I would like to lose some weight.  Not a ridiculous amount.  Just enough.

I would like to be more in control of my sugar intake.  I'm not sure it's realistic to say none, but less.  More controlled.  Less manic.

I would like to be strong again.  And fitter again.

I would like to not see and feel flabby, soft parts of me rolling over clothes and underclothes.

I would like to go to next Burning Man and be comfortable in what I'm wearing, or not wearing.  To feel attractive.  And to feel attractive in myself, for real, there and beyond.

I hate how I feel right now, and Burning Man was the spotlight on that.  I am unattractive and I can't keep feeling this way.

Burning Man made me feel really unattractive and I'm doing something about that.

Maybe what I'm doing won't make me feel any more attractive, but I can't see that it will make me feel any worse.

I don't see how I could feel any worse.


Blogger Sabrina Marie said...

I can relate to pretty much every.single.statement. Body issues sadly are the norm in our society. I've taken to trying to have better self-talk. When I think a negative about my body, erase it with something I like about my body. I've noticed when I focus less on my dislikes it's easier not to eat chocolate haha I also realize that it is only going to wrinkle, fall, and basically go downhill look wise. I might as well enjoy what I do have, cause we all get old! Not to mention, celebrating the things that are completed non appearance related. I'm many things besides a big bottomed, black haired, woman. I'm a mom, partner, friend, former surrogate mom, etc. my life is good because I'm living a genuine, positive, love filled life. What I look like doesn't even matter. Ok maybe a little, my partner thinks I'm sexy ;) but overall my life is great because of everything else besides my big butt!

Thursday, October 17, 2013 9:19:00 am  
Anonymous kandijay said...

I get what you are saying. My mirror has been calling me fat for the past few weeks. As rude as this is, it has a point.

Seriously, though, I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis 5 years ago, and my goals for my body changed. Instead of trying to be skinny (which I never have been, and though I would like to try it someday, in the immortal words of Bridget Jones, I will always be a little bit fat), I have started focusing on taking better care of myself altogether. I have to eat well and keep my body moving or I will be in constant pain. And that is NOT worth it.

Thursday, October 17, 2013 5:09:00 pm  
Blogger Victoria said...

You've got some great points Sabrina Marie, and a surrogate Mom? Wow! Good for you! *hugs*

That's sort of how I feel about it too kandijay, I want to take better care of myself, for so many reasons. Sorry about your diagnosis but good for you taking care of yourself.

Thursday, October 17, 2013 8:09:00 pm  
Anonymous Dominic said...

"Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth;

oh nevermind; you will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded.

But trust me, in 20 years you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked….

You’re not as fat as you imagine."

^ Quoted for truth.

I.. can't really relate to a lot of what you say, if I'm honest - I've looked in a mirror and wished the view were better, sure, but I've never looked in it and hated, or even disliked, what I saw. I don't think I'm wired that way.

But I've had the "Right, this has to change" moment with my body too. For a different reason - the pain and weakness after my own traffic accidents - but I get up early and hit the gym every weekday morning because I'm determined to get a better body.

Some days - particularly at the moment when it's cold, dark, and raining - are hard. Getting up early when you're tired and unmotivated sucks.

But not working towards what you want sucks more.

Go to it! And good luck.

Friday, October 18, 2013 6:35:00 am  
Anonymous kandijay said...

Thanks. As much as it sucks, it was the motivation I needed. :)

Friday, October 18, 2013 7:48:00 am  
Blogger Victoria said...

I know that quote (song) well D! I admire those who can get up early. I wonder if I'll ever be that way :)

True enough Kandijay :)

Friday, October 18, 2013 9:50:00 pm  

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