What is real? A bit about body image

photoI am sitting on the couch, looking down at my pants. These pants are years old. I have had conversations with friends about how much we love our out-dated Old Navy yoga pants. The pants once black are now more of a charcoal gray. I look and see the excess material – they are baggy! I’m getting ready to go workout, and I’m wearing a pair of yoga shorts (oddly enough Old Navy) beneath the pants. And…they are baggy. Just yesterday I was feeling large, considering what it would take for me to be less of a ‘big girl.’

Don’t get me wrong, I know that I am not fat or overweight. But I am a big girl – large structural build and significant muscle mass. This often bothers my psyche. Today’s media flaunts rail-thin women – no fat and no muscle. It’s no wonder the female body image is so distorted. Fashion is designed for the thin woman – no butt nor hips nor shoulders. Some clothing is designed for a bust. But an athletic girl like me….it’s no wonder I spend most of my time in sweats! I can’t find clothing to flatter this figure. Further, it’s no wonder I feel big!

Looking down on my pants today was a bit of a reality check. What is real? While I have been feeling big, tangible evidence shows that this is not true! My pants are too baggy! If I could still read the inside tag, I know it would read M for medium. That’s not big! I know friends and acquaintances have been saying I look thin and like I’ve lost weight (I lose during times of stress!). What they see is real, isn’t it? My own view is distorted – after years of looking at the mirror do I see what is real and true today? Or do I see the me I saw 5 years ago, last year, or last month? Have images of the past been permanently burned into my retina, replacing what is real and right in front of me today?

Or…am I comparing myself to the models in the fitness magazines? Those women get touched up. I know this, but knowing and believing are two very different things. This is a constant battle!

Do you see the REAL you? I often think that others see the real me more than I do – physically, emotionally, AND spiritually. I believe that they see the real me more than I like to admit… My challenge to you today is to ask yourself this questions – and please be honest!

1. How do I see myself?

2. How do others see me? (hint: use real-life experiences and statements to draw this picture!)

3. What is REAL?