Something I’ve noticed lately is how society tends to think that females are the more judgmental sex, and while I’m not certain if that’s true or false, I can remember many more times in which guys have offended me with comments on my appearance than girls. Here are just a few examples:
A boy in my junior high biology class once told me I had a big nose. I was already self-conscious about it, and therefore fought back with the argument that at least I wasn’t a “13-year-old boy with a hairy Adam’s apple”. I regret saying it, I really do! Hopefully it hasn’t stuck with him as long as his criticism has stayed with me.
A boy I had been going out with in high school was at my house once for a holiday party. I was trying to plug my phone in behind the couch when he said, “Here, let me; I’m smaller than you, anyway.” It may have seemed like a harmless side-note to him, but I still think about it sometimes, and it’s brought me to a point where I don’t even want to date a “skinny” guy. Not that skinny men aren’t attractive—there are plenty of them out there! But I never wanted to feel like the “bigger” one in the relationship. I was already humiliated enough by the fact that my round derriere had been knocking pencils off desks since the 7th grade. (Seriously, though. They should space those desks farther apart. Mortified.)
Then, just last year, I remember showing up to a church activity when a boy there asked why I was late to the party. I told him I had just come from practice, to which he replied, “Oh. You don’t look like you play sports.” In truth, I had just come from violin practice, which made me feel even worse about myself. The thing is, I probably could’ve out-hiked anyone in that room (#legsofsteel); but what did that matter if I didn’t LOOK like I could? As long as you’re a thin chick or a broad dude, who cares if you’re actually fit and healthy, right?
You know how everyone has that one friend who eats whatever he/she wants, doesn’t exercise a day in his/her life, and still manages to look effortlessly flawless? I’d always think to myself, “I’m over here working so dang hard with almost no results, while you’re over there flaunting your dumb genetics!” You could say I was a bit salty—still am sometimes, I’m not gonna lie. But it didn’t matter how much cardio I did or how little I ate, “thin” is just not in my genetic makeup. Momma blessed her girls with hips! HOWEVER, even though becoming thin isn’t in the cards for me, becoming strong most definitely is. This thought has changed my whole mindset about food, exercise, and my body. Improving performance always trumps improving appearance.
If you’re struggling with body-image issues AND you’re single, you know how much more difficult dating can be. While using dating apps I’d always worry that guys would match with me ‘cause my face is cute, but when they saw my lower half in person, they’d lose interest. There was one guy in particular who I thought maybe felt this way, but guess what the date was? Hiking. Ohh yeah, baby! I had this in the BAG. Of course he was asking me about sports and if I went to the gym, just tryna gage my athleticism, but when we got to the trailhead I completely smoked him. At the end of the hike (as he was running to catch up, mind you) he exclaimed, “Dang girl! I wasn’t expecting you to be ALL LEGS!” That’s what I thought, my dude. That’s what I thought.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that your health is far more important than your size. Something I've noticed as I've tried even harder to become a healthy, well-rounded (yes, that means enjoying guilty pleasures) individual is that even though my size or weight hasn't changed much, the way I view myself has. In fact, just last week I remember improving my run time/weight amount and thinking, "How freaking BA is that?!" Do I have washboard abs now? No. Do I have the best body-image around? Heck to the no! There are still so many things that get me down every single day. But I'm improving, so I'mma take that and run with it.
One last thing: giving compliments. I have been trying to improve the quality of compliments I give so as to boost others' confidence in themselves as PEOPLE not as things to be looked at. Because what happens when the physical things we used to get complimented on go away? Our self-esteem goes away, too. It's not wrong to compliment someone on their hair or skin or muscles, etc. But PLEASE make sure they know how kind or thoughtful or funny they are as well.
If you find yourself in need of a confidence boost (physically, mentally, etc.), hit me up!