A work in progress.

News flash: I’m a work in progress.

Okay, so maybe it isn’t quite so much of a news flash, as I truly believe we are always (or should be striving for) a work in progress. We should avoid becoming stagnant, or complacent. But what I mean by feeling my work-in-progress status so much right now is in part the Barre N9ne Challenge, of course, but also mentally.

My need for balance and to an extent, control, and struggles with change. I think I am getting the latter two under control, and most likely because I am adjusting to my job more and more and the change doesn’t feel quite so jarring as it has felt the last few months. As for needing control and balance…well, I think those areas will always be areas where I need to work on allowing. Allowing my own feelings, allowing others feelings and needs, and allowing the premise of imperfection.

Imperfection in myself, namely.

This goes back to my self-image issues, something that I am faced with as my sister and I embark on this 60-day challenge, something that I wish I could run and hide from, but I can’t. I need to face them, realize that a large part of my body issues are extremely mental, and the other part are well, extremely real. I do struggle with balance in terms of my diet. I am much stricter with myself during the week and let myself slide back a little too much on weekends. For the most part, that’s normal, but for me, it’s obviously starting to affect my body.

I realized this yesterday when we were measured for our before/after stats. I kidded myself that seeing my sisters numbers compared to mine wouldn’t bother me. Probably because I thought they’d be the exact same, since we wear the same size in pants, shirts, dresses and even shoes. (makes for a great double wardrobe, though, I must say!) But her numbers were a little better than mine. And as much as I tried to shove down the body failure/fat talk, it was too late. It was written all over my face. Jess could sense it. I hated that I could see it in the mirror in my eyes. It shouldn’t matter that we’re slightly different measurement-wise. What matters is that I immediately slid into comparison/body hatred mode. And it’s unhealthy. It makes me want to cry and scream and yell at myself for feeling the way I do.

…but I’m a work in progress.

And I’m trying. SO hard. I know this next 60 days will be not only physically altering, it will be almost moreso mentally. I hope to come out the other side much more healthy mentally (in addition to physically, of course!) because feeling this way, the way I feel now, isn’t the way I want to feel. I don’t want to fixate. I don’t want it to drag me down. Because in the grand scheme of things? Life is pretty damn good. It could be so much worse. SO much worse. I’m blessed with so much, the way I perceive how I look should not drag me down. Absolutely should not be as much a priority in my brain as it is right now.

…I need to tell myself to ‘bear with me’ as I battle myself through this and come out stronger on the other side. It’s going to be worth it.

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33 thoughts on “A work in progress.

  1. Here’s a book you might want to check out. It’s called “When Women Stop Hating Their Bodies”.

    http://www.amazon.com/When-Women-Hating-Their-Bodies/dp/044991058X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1305313291&sr=1-1

    It’s aimed more at women with eating disorders, but I think would be beneficial for anyone dealing with body image issues. I struggled with disordered eating and severe body image issues well into my adulthood. I can relate.

    One thing I’ve learned (not just from my own experience but from the experiences of others, too) is that body image issues are about way more than how you look. There are much deeper forces at work and those are the ones that it’s most beneficial to focus on. You’ll get there. Have some faith in yourself. 🙂

  2. I bet that was a terrible feeling. I can just imagine how it must have felt. But they’re just numbers. You’re still you and beautiful.

    You can use it as motivation to really kick butt at this challenge. I can’t wait to hear about the results!

    1. It was terrible feeling. And only because we are identical sisters did it bother me more than if it were anyone else. I should have kept my curiosity at bay and not even bothered looking! regardless, I am glad we are doing this together, it’s going to be really good for both of us.

  3. Sad face 😦
    It broke my heart last night to see that look in your eyes…especially since it somehow felt like “my fault” even though I know it’s not. I just want to fix your pain, fix your “fixation” issues, make you feel good about yourself again. Because despite our desire for some refinements in certain areas of our body, I want you to always remember that you are beautiful. Inside and out. And that I love you sis. Together we will rock the sh*t out of this challenge. And be better for it. xoxo

    1. No sad faces. We’ll get through this together. and this is definitely NOT your fault. I am so excited to do this together, I know it will be good for us both. XOXO

  4. Oh man. You know I never want to tell anyone what to do, because I feel like I am not at all (and never have been) in a position to advise anyone, but I’ll say again Jo that I think therapy would be helpful. I think, especially since this is a regular source of pain for you, that finding a female therapist who can help you work on this from a neutral, non-fixing perspective would benefit you immensely. I know that I love mine, and she has been truly helpful with my body image issues. You’d be surprised how freeing it is to work with someone who is NOT a part of your personal life. Just wanted to throw that out there as an option. You are not alone, this is just so common.

    1. Thank you Marisa. That was a gentle nudge, but a good reminder. I have been meaning to look into local options. I may, assuming this doesn’t help me (the challenge, reading some books etc).

      1. I think also, because you have to be able to love yourself even if you outright failed at the challenge, and did weigh more than you wanted to AND weren’t meeting your fitness goals. I think that is the real reason, to learn to love yourself even when you aren’t at your best.

        I will say that therapy is something you have to do for you, if you feel that it is right for you, not because someone suggests it. For me, it is easy and simple to go and talk to a stranger about my personal life but that is not the case for most people, so it is a highly personal choice and scary to someone more shy or private than me (as I think you are) 🙂

        1. You’re right…it is a decision I would need to make, and I’m mulling it over. As for the weight thing. I am not going to know my weight. I don’t want to know, I am basing it on inches and how I feel overall. Just fyi 🙂

  5. girl, we will ALWAYS be a work in progress. But thats the beauty of it. It means NO ONE is perfect, therefore we don’t need to strive to be. We just need to be content.
    🙂

  6. I’m not here to tell you what to do to “fix yourself” because I don’t have the right- but I will tell you that you are an inspiration to me. I admire your strength, your devotion, and most of all your passion. I wish you could see you through my eyes.

  7. sigh. sorry to read this, hon. the body stuff is ROUGH. and that’s a lot of the reason why i’ve never been able to do things like fitness challenges; the competitive angle makes me CRAZY. i can’t hold dominion over my body the way i can write, argue, etc. i am so, so impressed with you for tackling such a HUGE challenge like this. it’ll get better. i have faith. 🙂

    1. Thank you! I know, facing this stuff head on IS hard but I think it’s actually going to help me, believe it or not. At least I hope so 🙂

  8. Hugs!!!! I know the feeling. I really do. And sometimes it’s even harder when you find yourself comparing yourself to someone you love dearly. I don’t think there is really anything anyone can say to you to “fix” the issues. It’s something you have to work through on your own. At least you know you’ve got tons of love and support. I know it’s easier said than done, but try to see yourself how others see you – strong, beautiful, smart.

    1. It is something I need to work through, but I DO appreciate all of the virtual and IRL support. Everyone is so helpful, with different perspectives. XO, thank you!

  9. It will be SO worth it! I should jump on the “improve my body image” boat with you…cause I seriously need to! I cannot wait to see the changes you’ll go through these next few months. It will be life altering, I am sure 🙂

    PS: boo

    1. You’re right, it will be!! I hate that you sound like you have body image issues too, but in a way, it’s comforting that I’m not the only one floundering with it. And I think this will be life altering, for sure. BOO! 🙂

  10. Do you have any idea how many women would give an ovary to look like you? I don’t have any to spare, since I’m already down one, but you get the idea.

    Big hugs!

    Desiderata: Never compare yourself to others for there will always be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

    1. You always make me smile, Nicki, with your wonderfully flattering comments. Can I kiss you too? 😉 I love ‘desiderata’ – I need to make a t-shirt with that on it I think…

  11. It made me so sad to read this, but I know exactly how you felt. I think we all go through that. In reading through the comments, I agree with Marisa. Not about the part that you should go to therapy, but that it is liberating to talk to a stranger about your personal issues. I recently started going (again) and it really is so helpful. If you ever want to chat about it, let me know!

    1. Thank you Naomi, I so appreciate a listening ear if I need it! I probably do need it, even just to vent, ya know? It’s just frustrating. I can’t get out of my own (mental) way. But each day, I am starting to feel a little better. So I think that is a really positive sign that this is exactly what I need right now!! XO.

  12. I love the tat. 🙂

    And I believe in you. You’re awareness is fantastic. You’re blossoming ever more slightly daily.

    Also, we’re ALL a work in progress. And patience is tough.

    xxoo

    1. Thanks T. I hope I am progressing, not REgressing. Time will tell I guess. patience is NOT my virtue, as we know, but I’m trying! XO!

  13. Sorry to hear you got upset at the assessment. I did have similar issues in the past but I’ve learnt to “let them go” and now say to myself all the time that my body is strong and fit and healthy. I’ve found some books really good at dealing with these issues and if you like email me and I’ll tell you more.

    You are beautiful, warm,engaging, great sense of humour and have so much to offer and I think you look amazing and beautiful on the outside too but you have to believe it about yourself. You’re “you” and I think comparisons (I know how easy we women do it) are only going to make you stressed and sad.

    1. Thank you so much Susan, you are so sweet. I really do appreciate your comments and feedback, and everyone’s here. It’s really helping me move forward and just take it one day at a time and not try to run before I walk.

  14. It’s easy for any of us to tell you that you look great or shouldn’t feel bad about the difference in the numbers. But, you have your feelings and you’re entitled to them. It’s good that you recognize it and that you’re trying to work on being less self-deprecating. You deserve that.

    I untagged a lot of photos of myself in the first outfit at Fashion For Paws last month. In person, the outfit looked okay. But, with the zoom lens, tight material and certain angles, I had so much belly fat. I try to remind myself that it was the angle or lens, but I cringed. I want my pre-steroids body back now!

    1. Aww. Thank you for sharing your own experience with how you felt seeing the picture. It is so easy to be self-critical, but I can imagine that ALL of us that saw those photos would never have noticed. I need to turn that back on myself more and realize that nobody is noticing the bad, they are likely just seeing the good. You look amazing by the way, and you are on your way back too. I can feel it 🙂

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