Body Image: Normal Isn’t Enough?

I have body image issues. Who doesn’t these days? Do I really, truly, and honestly have any real reasons to dislike my body? No, not really. I’m a healthy weight. I have acceptable curves. I am not deformed or anything. I’m normal. So why do I feel like I’m not?

In my first year of university I got fat. Well, “fat”. You know how they tell you about the ‘freshmen 15’? Lies. I gained 20 lbs (9 kg). I know why it happened; I was eating shitty food and not getting nearly enough exercise. It’s no surprise that I put on weight. I didn’t actually get fat though, even though that’s what I always say. I’m tallish for a female – 5’8″ (173 cm), and at my heaviest I believe I weighed 172 lbs (78 kg). That tipped me just over into the ‘overweight’ section of the BMI scale. It’s not like I was huge.

Once I moved off campus, my weight started dropping. I was eating better (not that I eat well, but at least what I cook isn’t deep fried!), and I was getting more exercise. When I started putting in even more effort into exercising, I dropped even more weight. That 20 lbs I gained? I dropped it, plus another 10ish.

A Body

I don’t actually keep track of my weight very closely. I do not have a scale where I live, but when I go back to my childhood home for holidays I often weigh myself just to see where I’m at. I check my measurements every so often. I try not to measure or weigh myself a lot, because I would start to do it compulsively.

So, there I am. Normal.

Now, I inherited a pear-shaped body from my mother and her side of the family. That bothers me. I swear, I could lose another 20 pounds and my ass would still be about the same size. Yeah, I’d like to have a smaller bum and thighs, but it’s not going to happen (at least, not without plastic surgery). I can live with it. Guy friends have said how much they like big butts (and we know they cannot lie about something like that), and I know they’re trying to help. Yet, I don’t particularly want a smaller ass for guys (or girls [or whatever]). I want a smaller ass for me!

Despite knowing that my body if fine, despite knowing that some people would be envious of my body, despite any compliments I may receive, I still find myself dissatisfied. Honestly, I’m not certain where to go now, and what part of myself to work on. On one hand, I could work on getting myself into better physical shape (I could use some toning; I have the upper-body strength of an elderly woman). On the other hand, I could work on my mental condition so that I am able to be happy with myself the way I am. Maybe I need to do both! Regardless, even being ‘normal’, there is still room for improvement, and I think that’s a good thing because it means I haven’t given up on myself yet. ◕‿◕

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