BMJ: Day 4 – Consider How Body Image Has Impacted Your Life

Anyone that spends time worrying about how they look can instantly explain to you that their body image has impacted their lives. And I’ll add that anyone that worries about it knows that they are being impacted negatively. Truthfully, I believe Ms. Molinary (The author of “Beautiful You” – the book I’m following) is writing this section to bring our awareness to the battle we tend to have with ourselves and our bodies. Granted, sometimes there is a subtlety to the message we send ourselves, but it is there.

To bring this awareness, she asks a few questions to be answered in the “Beautiful You Journal”, as she calls it (I’m calling mine the “Beautiful Me Journal” (or BMJ for short)- yeah I know it’s not very creative, but I’m going with it). So, here are the questions and my answers:

How has body image impacted your daily life and outlook?

I can best answer this question by admitting (I’m sure this comes as no shock to others) that I have such self-hatred of myself that it ruins any chance of positivity throughout my day. I can’t stand to look in a mirror, I hate stepping on a scale and I have had this as a reason to drink my pain away. It feels hopeless on many days that I’ll ever appear to be attractive or healthy.

What have been your challenges and triumphs over time?

My weight is my biggest challenge. Of course, being a type 1 diabetic, it makes it difficult to manage my weight, because anything I do has an impact on my blood glucose levels and it is highly discouraging trying to accomplish much.  As to triumphs? When I was younger, I was in shape, exercised a lot, ate with respect to nutritional needs and made health a high priority of mine. Also, I used to lift weights, achieved a blackbelt in martial arts and really enjoyed an active lifestyle. But I haven’t felt any triumphs in many years.

What have you denied and allowed yourself because of the perception of your appearance?

It’s not so much that I denied myself anything, but more to do with taking an active step towards self-destruction. When I began hating myself, I quit caring about what I ate and took up drinking beer on a regular basis. I hate to admit it, but there were times when I wasn’t showering regularly and I wasn’t addressing hygiene matters. It’s kind of embarrassing to admit, but truth in myself is what I’m after here.

How has your personality changed because of your sense of appearance?

I became negative, pessimistic, angry, depressed, anxious and I’m sure irritable and frustrating to be around.

What have you gained or lost because of your body image?

I’ve gained close to 100 pounds, and I have gained unhealthy addictions – alcohol, sex, escape online – anything to avoid how I feel about myself. Lost? I feel like I’ve lost job opportunities due to my weight, looks and attitude. I feel like leaving a toxic marriage became impossible, because I could not see anyone wanting to be with me or wanting to be around me, let alone wanting to have sex with me.



14 thoughts on “BMJ: Day 4 – Consider How Body Image Has Impacted Your Life

  1. Body image is so very important, ain’t it? It’s critical when it comes to how you think and feel about yourself… but is also important when it comes to how other people see, feel, and think about your body… and how that might make you feel.

    Image, after all, is everything. Some of the things about our bodies we can change, from becoming exercise junkies to even surgical correction to improve and/or enhance those things we don’t like about our bodies… but sometimes, we wind up being “victimized” by the hereditary things that, at conception, combined to come back at some time in our lives and just fuck with our body image and, sometimes – or usually – in ways nothing we can do is going to fix.

    But a lot of this are things we can do something about… if we can be motivated to do it. Like, my doctors get on me about exercising but a lot of those exercises, like walking on a treadmill, for instance, is both challenging and potentially dangerous for me considering how the stroke I had just fucked some shit up; I can barely walk without tripping over my feet and you want me to get on a treadmill? Go for a walk where there might be traffic and because my balance is shot to shit, I might lose said balance and, maybe, fall into the path of a moving vehicle.

    I’ve been hit by a car once and it’s an experience I do not ever want to experience again and more so when I can’t run even if I had to do it to save my life. Now, the left side of my brain is dominant which means I’m right-handed… but that side of my brain got damaged and the right side doesn’t work the way it used to so doing something like lifting weights – even light ones – could result in my right hand deciding to just let go of the weight… and it might hit me or harmlessly fall to the floor – the thing is I don’t know what’s gonna happen.

    Any time an empty cup will just fall out of my hand for “no reason” tells me something.

    But I do what I can. I have a “beer belly…” except, I don’t drink beer but you should see the size of my kidneys and I know they’re responsible for my beer belly look… and short of having them removed and replaced, there’s nothing I can do about it; all the sit ups and crunches in the world is not going to produce that six-pack abs look that not only we find desirable and healthy but so do a lot of people.

    The real question, for me, is do I have a problem with my body image and do others have a problem… and do I give a fuck if they do? I don’t because as you read, there’s not a whole lot I can physically do. I know some folks do… and while I appreciate what they say or may feel, fuck them – they don’t know what it’s like to be dealing with all the shit I have to deal with that affects my body image. Having said all of that…

    If you can effect a change in your body image, it make sense to do so… but you still have to be motivated to do it and then stay motivated toward that goal. For many, that’s just not an easy thing to do because it calls for breaking a lot of habits we’ve gotten used to – and we all know how hard it is to break a habit.

    One can answer all of these questions if they’re honest with themselves but at the end of the day, uh, what are you gonna do about it now that you’ve figured out some stuff about your body image? The question I will, of course, challenge you with, my friend, is that if I can do some stuff so that I’m in the best shape I can be in despite my deficits, you don’t have those deficits (that I know of) so, ah, what’s your excuse and why aren’t you working on those things that have screwed up your body image?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I thought about something we have in common – we were – are – martial artists and, might I add, good ones. You remember how important balance is, right? My trained and honed balance is shot to shit; I can’t even kneel down because it’s a struggle for me to stand back up – and it hurts like you wouldn’t believe… but I keep working at it because that simple thing of balance is part of my body image, not to mention how current conditions makes it hard for me to defend myself if I had to.

        I still do the katas we both learned and because they’re an exercise all by themselves, working the whole body as you flow with grace and power… and a grace and power my stroke took from me. You don’t have my problem so there’s a hint in this for you to consider.

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      2. Good. My wife sometimes catches and watches me do katas… and sometimes she thinks it’s funny to watch me struggling to do something I used to be able to do effortlessly – and I think it’s funny, too, so that doesn’t hurt my feelings at all. But I also see her nod as she understands that no matter what’s happened to me, I haven’t given up; she knows that I won’t give up no matter how many times I stumble or fall on my ass. She says I’m too skinny and my butt ain’t as nice as it was when we first met – and before I had the stroke. Does she like my body as it is? Who knows but the one thing she knows is that despite everything, I’m in pretty good shape for an old, disabled guy. My weight and BMI are within the range for someone my age and height. Because the katas serve a purpose and I don’t need any equipment to do them and I can do them anywhere, any time and only if for a few minutes.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I am hoping so. I’m not sure if you remember the last blog I kept where I went through this process, but it was very enlightening. I’ve decided that I give up on the things that work, so I am going to reverse that and start doing those things again.

      Liked by 1 person

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