f Ideal body shape? I am more than my body.

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Ideal body shape? I am more than my body.

December 10, 2015 / ,

When will enough ever be enough?

"Just few more kgs, just few more centrimetres, and I'll be at my ideal shape."
"Just gotta skip some meals and stick to veggies/fruits, and I'll be able to fit into my old pair of jeans."
"Just need a sharper face and I'll be able to look better in photos and on screen."
"Do I look fat in this outfit?"
"If only I don't have those flabs on my arms, those folds on my tummy,
a more defined jawline, thigh gaps, a smaller waist, etc etc."
"Argh. Fats"
"Sigh. I'm no longer as skinny as before."
"Damn. My face looks chubby!"

Do these thoughts appear in your mind frequently? Let me be honest with you, such thoughts occur to me occasionally too.
As much as I advocate a healthy lifestyle with frequent exercise sessions and balanced diets in order to feel good and look good,
there are still days when I struggle to accept my own body, and when I don't feel good about my body at all. 

Those are the days when I feel absolutely unattractive.
Those are the days when I will be angry at myself for not being able to achieve my 'ideal body shape'
no matter how regularly I exercise and eat healthily.
Those are the days when I pinch the areas where I deem as 'fats' and give myself a disgusted look in the mirror.
Those are the days when I'll pick out the flaws on my body and shame myself for the 'imperfections'.
Those are the days when I'll simply put the blame on these body 'imperfections' for making me feel lousy,
instead of realising that the root of the problem is my own insecurities.
Those are the days when I feel terrible for not being able to fit into some old clothes, and refuse to throw them away
and then impose the idea on myself that I must be able to fit into them again. 

When I came back from my 1.5 months trip to Europe, I lost weight. People around me were telling me how skinny I became,
but I thought they were just exaggerating because I didn't go on any diet intentionally.
I probably just lost weight from walking alot in the cold weather.
Then one day when I finally stepped onto the weighing scale and found out that I lost 3kg,
I took a long look at myself in the mirror and that was when I realized that I really lost weight.
At that moment, I truly felt that I didn't look good and healthy, so I told myself that it was time for me to bulk up and build back those muscles. From then on, I have gradually gained back the weight which I lost.

No matter how many people around me told me that I was in good shape and I looked better at the current state,
I never felt satisfied because I always believed that I was far from my 'ideal body shape'. But somehow, along the way,
instead of being happy that I finally gained back the weight, I started feeling that I became a little 'meatier' than I should be
because I was not gymming as regularly for a certain period of time,
I felt that I was becoming 'chubbier' instead of being toned. Given my job nature, the differences can be seen clearly on screen.
So that was when I started having a lot more of those 'I-feel-terribly-unattractive' days.
I started being really conscious about the food I ate, and I went back to those calories-counting days.
Oh, that switch from feeling that I was too skinny to feeling that I was gaining too much 'flabs'.

And then one day, I finally started to realize that it's time to stop allowing my physical changes
to affect me day in and day out. It's time to respect my body and appreciate how every bit of it functions to keep me alive.
It's time to stop thrashing my own body and wallow in misery just because I could not achieve the body shape that I want.
It's time to stop being mean and so hard on myself. I may not be at my 'ideal body shape'
and I will never achieve the 'Kendall Jenner' body, but really,
when will enough ever be enough? Instead of disliking my body for the imperfections,
for how it looks - too skinny or 'fats at the wrong areas'; it's time to accept it at its current state
while I put in the effort to improve it bit by bit constantly. 

My face may seem rounder on screen now, my arms may not be of the nicely toned shape that I deemed as ideal,
but are my loved ones going to stop loving me just because I am not at my ideal shape? No.
Do my personal development stop just because my body is imperfect? No. Unless I allow myself to degenerate.
Does my body image dictate my character/personality? No. So why am I letting it affect me so much? 

This post is a reminder for myself that I am more than my body.
It's time to get over my body, and on with my life because there are so much to life than my body shape.
If anyone tries to tell me what beauty is, and how an ideal woman/man should look,
I will shut them out. I do not need to listen to their definition of what 'beauty' is.
As cliche as it sounds, beauty is truly what shines from within, and self-love is an important factor.
Slowly but surely, I'll learn to appreciate my body, I will learn to value and respect my body more;
and I will work on developing a stronger sense of self-worth.
One day, I will be able to accept my body fully.
I will focus on achieving the optimum health and fitness state instead of the 'ideal body shape'.
I will remember that my aim to have a balanced diet and exercise regularly is for health and fitness,
not just because of achieving the 'ideal body shape'.
Although my job nature requires me to be disciplined enough to keep myself 'in shape',
it does not mean that I should feel less of myself just because I have not achieved my 'ideal body shape'.
I am more than my body. 

Ending this post off with one of my favourite reads:

'The thing is, looking at someone, you have no idea what struggle they're going through or what they've experienced. You don't know which thin girl is sad, which fat girl thinks she's fucking awesome, which person is wrestling a devil or kicking ass in ways they never dreamed of. You don't know who fights depression or social anxiety, who has cuts all up their thighs, or who is going home to another inescapable black eye. Everyone is fighting a fight you can't see, and most of us are hiding it behind a smile.
The only way I know how to escape these feelings is to get the hell away from the mirror. I may never look at my body and feel pure love and appreciation for what I see there, but I can take a flying trapeze class or swim with sharks or paint or ride my horse and forget, for a while, that what my body looks like matters at all. Those are the moments that my heart is happy and my well is refilled--when I forget that I'm a soul in a weird, lumpy, breakable body. When I simply am. 
So where do we go from here? I'm not going to impel you to go write down five things you love about your cellulite or tell you to make love with the lights on or eat a steak. I'm just going to remind you that the prettiest person you've ever met has probably considered suicide and the thinnest person you know still has one patch of fat that she can't eradicate. If you can love your body, honestly love it, then you're already ahead of the pack. No matter how you feel about it, just remember to treat it well. It's imperfect, but it's the only one you get. Good food, deep sleep, and lots of hugs feel good no matter what you look like. Find the thing that makes you forget what makes you sad and do that thing regularly. Be kind to others. Be kind to yourself.

As for me, I'm going to bake brownies and snuggle my kids, because they think I'm perfect, big squashy belly and all.
One day, I hope I can learn how to believe them.'
 -- Source 

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