Loving my body: a work in progress

This afternoon, I had the pleasure of circumnavigating London on an open-top bus with the inimitable Dr Deb Burgard. We’ve been having a bit of a heatwave this week, at least by UK standards, and I found myself hot, sticky, and rather uncomfortable. Oh, and grumpy (sorry, hubby).

I’ve written before about dressing for the weather. I’ve talked about my own epiphany the first time I went sleeveless, how much more pleasant it was, and how nobody freaked out at the sight of my arms. There are also a couple of great memes about how to dress your body appropriately for the weather. This is one of my favourites (–>).

So, I was at least wearing a very short sleeved top today. But I was in full-length pants. That’s a line I just haven’t managed to cross yet. Somebody wrote on facebook a couple of days ago about how she’d done the sleeveless thing a couple of years ago and never looked back, but this was the first time she’d worn shorts. I’m not there yet. But as I wandered through Leicester Square this evening, I saw people of all shapes and sizes, slim, plump, tall, short, younger and older, wearing sensible, weather-appropriate clothing. And not once did I think, ‘Sheesh, did she look in the mirror before she left the house?’ Nope, mostly I was thinking, ‘Damn, I wish I was wearing something light like that.’

Maybe when people look a little too long at a fat woman in a short summer dress, maybe they’re thinking, wow, that dress is pretty; or wow, I’ll bet she’s a lot more comfortable than I am; or, hey, I wish I had her confidence. On the other hand, maybe they’re still so damaged by society’s war on women’s bodies (of all sizes) that they really are having disparaging thoughts about mirrors and houses. Or maybe they’re just pulling that face because they have a headache and they’ve just remembered that they’d forgotten to pick up the dry cleaning. Who the hell knows. And is that reason enough for me to be hot and sweaty and uncomfortable? Hell, no. I think I may have some shopping to do. I’ll keep you posted.

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3 Responses

  1. It’s been hot here, too. Today, as I meditated at our local mall (which I like to call “my pinball monastery at the corner of Commerce and Conscience”) I was pleased to see the number of fat people, male and female both, who had made clothing choices which were more geared toward comfort than concealment. And I was also thankful for the effect of the heat in its Revelation aspect. Fatness is, after all, the physical embodiment of Abundance. In time that will be more fully understood.

  2. I’d like to agree with you, but I can’t. I don’t go out wearing sleeveless tops. I have them, but if I leave the house or the back garden then I wear something either under or over them. Whilst I would LOVE to think that if people look at me they are thinking ‘how great that she’s so confident’ I now that 9 times out of 10 they aren’t. One reason I know is because I DON’T when I see other people out. I can’t help it. I do wonder to myself how they can wear something like that. I may think that I wish I had their confidence, but that isn’t the over riding thought. Perhaps that makes me a horrible person, I don’t know. I do know from talking to other people that my first thoughts are not unusual.

    I am trying to embrace myself as I am, but it is almost impossible. So whilst I appreciate the sentiments of this post, I don’t think it is very realistic. We judge: it’s human nature. And society imposes an acceptable body size and shape on us. I’m not saying that is right (I’d love to believe what you are saying here) but it is true.

    • Angela

      Hi Helen,

      I’m so sorry to hear this is still so hard. You are right about how humans judge, of course, and yes, many of those people may well be thinking that. But you don’t need to define yourself by what they think of you. And there isn’t much you can do to change that, other than by modelling that confidence.

      Next step of course is to develop it yourself in the body you have. And while maybe not easy, after years and years of feeling ugly and wrong, the way you think about yourself (and others) is something you can work on, and change.

      If you sign up for my newsletter using the sign up box on the top right hand corner of the web page, you will get a free PDF describing the single most transformative exercise I ever did, and the one that helped change the way I look at myself and others. You won’t get much in the way of newsletters, because those are one of the things that have taken a back seat while I’m studying, and you can always unsubscribe afterwards. But I think you might find it interesting and hopefully useful too. Feel free to drop me a line anytime if you want to talk about any of this. Ang :)

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