Don't waste another minute feeling self-conscious.
Oh, negative body image. This is a big one for me! Maybe not as much now in my older years where I've finally reached the ‘I don’t give a shit’ stage of my life. But I was guilty, guilty, guilty of this negative behavior all through childhood and into my late twenties.
I was born chubby. I mean little legs and arms with creases at the joints — Michelin Man chubby! I also got thick black glasses in second grade, which, along with my size, made me the target of all sorts of negative comments from my classmates.
In my teens, things didn't improve. I wasn’t really fat, I was just big, which, at that age, equated to fat. I was built like a linebacker with broad shoulders, barrel chest, no hips, and breasts that were small. Let’s just say, not attractive. I was also the smartest in my class and very athletic, so I definitely wasn't on the dating radar of the boys my age.
Those self-shaming demons had a hold of me from a young age, so my eventual solution was to be a fiercely independent, socially awkward, proud nerd. I feigned indifference and outwardly pretended that I didn’t care, all the while aching for acceptance.
I eventually matured enough to realize I had parts of my body that I could appreciate — full lips, nice hair, a strong jaw-line, and admirable legs (thanks sports!). I also had some great female role-models who exuded confidence and joy regardless of their physical traits. They unknowingly helped me to take steps to increased self-acceptance and a gradual realization that I had so much more to offer with my sense of humor, empathy, and self confidence.
Do I still wrestle with those demons? Do I still find myself having critical, shaming thoughts about my body? Most certainly. Who doesn’t in this society where, unfortunately, so much emphasis is placed on physical perfection and outward beauty?
Do any parts of my story resound with you? Do you find yourself speaking that shame talk to yourself or to others? Do you have friends who do the same? How does this behavior make you feel about them? How does it make you feel about yourself?
This video reinforced and strengthened my resolve to quiet those negative thoughts and feelings that I continue to battle, and I think you’ll feel same after watching. Melanie Gorman (YourTango Experts Senoir VP) hosts this extremely informative session and there are some wonderful perspectives from Author John Gray, Personal Development Coach Jan Bowen, Speaker/Presenter Jill Crosby and Marriage/Family Therapist Nasrin Barkhordari.