Monday, April 21, 2014

Reverse Body Image

($5 to whoever can name this yoga pose. I sure can't.)

So this is going to sound strange, but just bear with me.

I think I have reverse body image issues.

I'm one of the billions of women who "use to be skinny"! But in the past couple years, I've noticed that I look at my body in a different way than most of the "use to be skinny" women.

Let me explain...

Growing up and in high school, I was skinny. I always knew I was thin but I didn't know I was really thin. Not unhealthy thin, but just SKINNY. I would always look at my friends, who were also skinny, and think I looked just like them. But one day after high school, my (curve-friendly) friend mentioned me being skinny and I said something like, "Yea, just like you", and she said, "No, not like me. You were really skinny."

 Kali circa 2002-2005

So then I went back through some basketball pictures and thought, "Wow I really was thinner than I thought." Again, it wasn't unhealthy (I ate like a horse everyday), but I just didn't realize I was stick thin. (The abnormally long arms didn't help.)

Not a big deal - I never had any weight issues or body image problems growing up and even when I stopped athletics everyday and entered college, I started to put on some weight, but didn't really notice or mind.

Fast forward to a year ago, I'm 7 years out of high school & 3 years out of college. Yes, I gained weight/filled out/lost some metabolic speed, however you want to put it. But where most of my friends were complaining about this body part or that, I was still totally content with my body.

See, when I gained weight towards the end of college, it all went to my butt and hips. My stomach is still flat and my arms are still relatively thin. So, when I look in the mirror, I see a slender person. I rarely would turn around and look at my butt in a mirror so in my head, I have always been skinny.

I have reverse body image issues because I think I'm really skinny. But I'm not.

How's that one for you? Am I sounding crazy yet?

I keep forgetting I have a large rear end and thunder thighs.

Maybe it's a good thing. The mental battle is the hardest to overcome, right?

Up until a couple years ago I kept thinking I looked the same as I always had. Until I would try on jeans in a fitting room and have to go up a size, or see a full-body picture from a wedding and think, "Oh wow, those hips don't lie."

I'm telling you it's bizarre. Once I finally realized I had this reverse issue, I'm more aware of it. (Hence my new found love for running and staying active.) But I still find myself categorizing my body in the slim group and then realizing my bottom half doesn't belong.

I'm not saying I have a healthy body image which isn't OK so I'm trying to ruin it. I'm just saying that most women have great bodies but pick them apart and convince themselves they don't look good. Whereas I keep thinking I'm the skinny girl from high school until I have to hop around the room to get my jeans to zip.

So for now I'm calling it the reverse body image and leaving it at that until I can figure out what to do with it.

Hey, I didn't say I had all the answers! Just plenty of problems. :)

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